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Top 5 Sports Stories

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TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for March 2, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

  • No announcement yet on expanded playoffs in baseball. If it had happened last year, then the Red Sox and Braves wouldn't have "collapsed" and they might still be drinking beer in the Boston clubhouse.
  • Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett needs surgery for an orbital fracture around his eye after fouling a bunt into his face the other day. Ouch.
  • Davis Love III leads the Honda Classic after the first round. Tiger Woods is seven shots back. If Woods can't straighten out his putting you have to wonder how much longer he'll stay on the tour.

2. Moneyball

The Yankees are going downright thrifty. Hal Steinbrenner says the Yanks are going to lower their payroll in the coming years. Right now they're around $210 million, and they want to get down to $189 million. After the 2013, luxury tax kicks in above the $189-million mark. The good part is, the Yankees plan to lower ticket prices commensurate with their payroll cuts. Yeah right.


3. Wilt the Stilt

The game was in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia against the Knicks. Many fans came early to see a basketball game between members of the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Colts. After that game, lots of fans left. They missed Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100 points. The remarkable part about that night was Wilt, a notoriously bad foul shooter, made 28 of 32 from the line. Nobody has come close to 100 since, even though there's now a three-point line which didn't exist back then. There is no film or video tape of the milestone. Just this call by Bill Campbell on WCAU radio. I maintain that despite all the attention that Wilt received, he was an underrated and under-appreciated athlete, but that's a story for another day. For now, we'll dwell on Wilt's century mark. A moment that may never be duplicated, half a century ago today.


4. Friday eMailbag

With Ryan Braun "beating the rap" for failing a drug test, P.M. writes, "Does he have a White Bronco... guilty as OJ."

With baseball probably adding another wild card team in each league, S.P. writes, "I look forward to the year when there is a 4-way tie for the 2nd wild card and they need an extra 2 rounds just to figure out who plays in the wild card round. We'll have a World Series game on Thanksgiving!"

J.B. agrees with my anti-fighting stance in hockey. "I'm all for good, tough competitive hockey but the fighting/street brawling which goes on in professional hockey is a disgrace and demeans the game to say nothing of the execs, refs and fans who condone it"

After the Knicks got torched by Miami, M.C. writes: "Lincinerated!"

M.V. didn't think that Ben and Jerry's should have apologized and removed fortune cookies from its Jeremy Lin flavor. "I can't believe that of all companies, Ben and Jerry's caved to the crazy left wing PC police...if by some miracle, I was a great basketball player, and they could come up with an ice cream with matzo crumbs in it, I would be elated."

And with the Potomac Nationals planning a special promotion for April 15th on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, H.K. writes: "The Cubs would be more appropriate for this promotion. They've been sinking every year since 1908."


5. Spanning the World

This week's Spanning the World highlight comes from the festivities at the NBA All Star Game. One couple is too busy texting to participate in "Kiss Cam." That couple is none other than Jeremy Lin's Parents!
Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up: Thursday March 29 in the 8:30am half hour.


Happy Birthday: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. 30.
Bonus Birthday: Singer Jon Bon Jovi. 50.

Today in Sports: 50 years ago today. Wilt Chamberlain scores 100 points against the Knicks in Hershey, Pa. (Featured in my best-selling kids book, The Greatest Moments in Sports. 1962.
Bonus Event: A great moment in Mets history. Darryl Strawberry fights with teammate Keith Hernandez on picture day. 1989.

Fun Fact: The Top 5 was read this week, among other places, in Mali, Argentina, South Korea and Cambodia.

To sign up for Len's free daily Top 5 email click here.