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Top 5 Sports Stories

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Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 12, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

  • Bad blood. Terry Francona will skip the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park next week despite delivering two World Series titles as manager.
  • Johnny Damon reportedly will sign with the Cleveland Indians.
  • A good start to the hockey playoffs. Philadelphia trailed Pittsburgh 3-0 and won 4-3 in overtime. Eighth seed L.A. shocked #1 Vancouver and Nashville beat Detroit.
  • Champion Kentucky reloads. The top high school basketball prospect in the country, 6-10 Nerlens Noel from Everett, Massachusetts has chosen the Wildcats.
  • The Baylor basketball program, men's and women's, has been placed on three years probation by the NCAA. The Baylor women are national champs.
  • The Atlanta Falcons have reportedly been offered next season's Hard Knocks on HBO.

2. Legalese

Is every Top 5 subscriber a lawyer, or does it just seem that way? My thanks to all of you who sent in your legal opinions on the Ozzie Guillen/Fidel Castro "freedom of speech" controversy. Here's the gist of it: Ozzie is "free" to say whatever he wants, and the Marlins, a private company, are "free" to punish him in any way they please. Did I get that right counselors? Good. Now leave me alone and get back to billing your clients.

3. Memory Lane

I asked on Facebook at "Len Berman's Top 5," "On (yesterday's) 50th anniversary of the first Mets game, what's your favorite memory other than '69 or '86? Here are some of your answers:

*Tania P. Mike Piazza's home run at the first game after 9/11.

*Gregg D. Pitcher Anthony Young's 0-27 stretch! :)

*Steve F. 1973, Game 3 of the playoffs. Reds-Mets. Pete Rose and Buddy Harrelson at second base getting into a fight.

*Dean L. Gary Carter's Opening Day home run in '85.

*Hank W. So, so many... Vince Coleman tossing a firecracker at the fans... Bobby Bonilla calling the press box to complain about an error.

*Jeff K. Banner day with my dad when I was a kid, great doubleheaders!

Editor's Note: Tell me another baseball franchise with such a varied and colorful history.

4. Oops

The True South Classic will be held near Jackson, Mississippi this July. The organizers are naturally proud. They sent out word that all the top golf pros including Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson are expected to compete. Except none of them will be there. They'll all be at the British Open which is being contested the same week. When that was pointed out, they sent out an amended press release. They might consider amending the name of the tournament. "True" and "Classic" doesn't quite fit.

5. Your Ad Here

You know it's coming and you can't do anything about it. Ads on NBA jerseys. Why not? It's bound to happen one day. The WNBA does it. So does soccer around the world. NFL practice jerseys have ads. It's only a matter of time before all the pro leagues in America do it too. Of course not all teams are created equal. One media company estimated that an ad on a Lakers jersey is worth $4.1 million a year, while a Minnesota Timberwolves ad would be worth a fraction of that. Can't you see it now? Yankees uniforms won't have the names of the players, but that won't stop product placement.

Happy Birthday: Edmonton and Rangers Stanley Cup winner Adam Graves. 44.

Bonus Birthday: David Letterman. 65.

Today in Sports: Arnold Palmer wins his fourth and final Masters. 1964.

Bonus Event: A bad day for dentists. Somebody used a catcher's mask in a baseball game for the first time. 1877.