Top 5 Sports Stories

04/05/2012 10:26 am ET | Updated Jun 05, 2012

Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 5, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The Masters Golf Tournament is underway.
  • St. Louis beat Miami 4-1 to kick off the North American portion of the baseball season. There are seven more openers today.
  • Reds first baseman Joey Votto agreed to a $251.5 million, 12-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds, the longest guaranteed contract in Major League history.
  • Miami's home winning streak is now 17 games after the Heat beat the Thunder (an all-weather matchup) 98-93. (For the record the Lightning (NHL) lost last night but the Suns won. Hail hail.)
  • Ohio State sophomore Jared Sullinger will enter the NBA draft.
  • Wrestling legend Chief Jay Strongbow is dead at the age of 83.

2. Opening Daze

Has there ever been a more convoluted "Opening Day" in baseball? They really opened last week in Japan. And now a mid-to-late week start for everyone else. Two teams opened last night while lots of other teams were playing exhibition games. The Mets played an exhibition game yesterday, and will open their season today without a day off in between. Of course a few weeks into the season and nobody will care. But let's just say a "Grand Opening" it was not.

3. Tiger Watch

Years ago, sportscasters wouldn't give the golf results without mentioning what Arnold Palmer did. Much the way it is today with Tiger Woods. He's always part of the story. And the truth is the golf industry is rooting for Woods. A rising Tiger lifts all paychecks. But again, I maintain he's not truly "back" until he wins another major tournament. If he's wearing the Green Jacket on Sunday I will personally Tebow to his greatness.

4. Atta Boy

So you want the truth? You ain't getting it. The Masters all-male policy was going to come tumbling down. After all the CEO of IBM is a woman, and the CEO of IBM always gets a Green Jacket. Not so fast. Masters chairman Billy Payne stonewalled yesterday. He said, "One, we don't talk about our private deliberations. Number two, we especially don't talk about it when a named candidate is a part of the question." End of discussion. End of issue. It's been a boys club for eight decades and a boys club it shall remain.

5. Gotcha

Hey, give 'em their props. The PETA people went after the new Miami Marlins aquarium behind home plate because they claim that the noise in the stadium will disturb the fish. Oh. Well now PETA has gone subtle. That's something new. They purchased a commemorative brick at the stadium. Check it out and see if you can figure out the hidden message. "FLORIDA IS STILL HOSTING INCREDIBLE NIGHT GAMES. HELP US REACH THE STARS. CHEER OUR MARLINS!" Give up? The first letter of each word spells out. Go there and you'll learn that fish feel pain when caught, and eating fish is hazardous to your health. I didn't buy a commemorative brick, but if I did the message would read: TO HOME EXCITEMENT YOU REALLY EXCEL. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE TEAM SPIRIT.

Happy Birthday: #85 (for the year he was born?) for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, former Mets prodigy Lastings Milledge. 27.

Bonus Birthday: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell. 75.

Today in Sports: Kareem Adbul Jabbar became the NBA's all-time scoring leader surpassing Wilt Chamberlain. 1984.

Bonus Event: Thousands of radio stations simultaneously played We Are the World between at 10:25am Eastern time. 1985.

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