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Len Berman

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Top 5 Sports Stories

Posted: 04/19/2012 10:28 am

Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 19, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

  • NHL. Pittsburgh staved off elimination with a 10-3 thrashing of Philadelphia. The Flyers lead the series three games to one. Vancouver also stayed alive with a 3-1 win over L.A. (Kings lead three games to one.)
  • An old fashioned pitchers duel. Cliff Lee of the Phillies pitched 10 shutout innings, Matt Cain of the Giants pitched 9. The Giants won 1-0 in 11 innings.
  • Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona had a change of heart. He'll attend tomorrow's 100th anniversary at Fenway Park. Good for him.
  • After 38 years as women's basketball coach at Tennessee, Pat Summitt is stepping down. She's been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

2. Centennial

Willard Scott will not be sending birthday wishes, but Fenway Park celebrates its 100th anniversary tomorrow. Thank goodness it survived, unlike the original Yankee Stadium which opened 89 years ago yesterday. The only thing that ever came close to Fenway for me was Centre Court Wimbledon. They're both cozy and very green. You've probably heard all the stories by now. Tom Yawkey and his wife's initials are in Morse code on the left field scoreboard. How the NBC cameraman was cornered by a rat inside the scoreboard, so that classic isolated replay of Carlton Fisk's 1975 World Series homer was really an accident, not by design. The stories are endless. Happy 100th to the oldest and best ballpark in America.

3. Just Hangin'

So yesterday I was with Eli Manning, Joe Namath, Reggie Jackson, John McEnroe (here's picture proof) Mariano Rivera, CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher, Joe Girardi, Rex Ryan, Tom Coughlin, Jim Boeheim, Michael J. Fox, Kelly Ripa and that's just for starters. Have I dropped enough names yet? It was Charity Day at the brokerage house BTIG. All commissions for the day, in the millions, went to charity. Just wanted to point out that there are tons of sports personalities doing good things. Sometimes we lose sight of that. In case you were wondering what Johnny Mac and I were talking about in that picture. He told me he used to be offended when people told him he was a better announcer than he was a player. He would wonder, "Did you ever see me play?" Then he realized it as a compliment. As a player, he was #1 in the world. If he's a better announcer than that, then that's pretty cool.

4. Quiet on the Set

You guys had some great comments to my thoughts about having an alternate audio channel for sports broadcasters, a channel where you would just hear the natural sounds of the ballpark without any announcing.

C.G. How would I know who's sponsoring this call to the bullpen, or the 15th pitch of the game? Sometimes there are more commercials in the "announcing" than the commercial breaks.

C.A. I once watched an all-natural baseball game at a friend's house who had a satellite dish. What struck me was how cool it sounded. It felt like being at the game. Maybe that is why baseball is against doing that. People would just stay home as the only things different would be the temperature and the inability to catch a foul ball.

J.R. I vote for keeping the announcers, the crowd sounds and eliminating all that ridiculously loud music and other noise pollution that ruins the enjoyment of the game. WE WILL WE WILL ROCK YOU! ROCK YOU!

S.V. As a woman, who doesn't have the option to play baseball, I learned how to watch the game by listening to the broadcast.

Editor's Note: Finally SOMEBODY who appreciates announcers!

P.M. Hey Len, how about a "Top Five'" without any words?

Editor's Note: Hey, if it helps me get a subscriber in Russia.....

5. Dick Clark
1929-2012


Dick Clark was a giant in our business. From his American Bandstand to Dick Clark Productions, he had his hand in decades of major TV productions. I had the honor of working with Dick when he asked me to appear on several of his Bloopers shows. He was a wonderful host only caring about making me look as good as possible. And the stories he could tell. When the history of TV is written, Dick deserves a full chapter... at the very least.

Happy Birthday: Tennis star Maria Sharapova. 25.

Bonus Birthday: Actress Kate Hudson. 33.

Today in Sports: The first Boston Marathon was run, Patriot's Day. 1897.

Bonus Event: The American Revolution began with fighting in Lexington and Concord. 1775.

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