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Len Berman

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Top 5 Sports Stories

Posted: 05/07/2012 10:58 am

Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for May 7, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

  • The Knicks win their first playoff game in 11 years beating Miami 89-87. They still trail three games to one. Philadelphia, Boston and the Lakers all take commanding 3-1 leads in their series.
  • NHL Playoffs: L.A. completed a 4-0 sweep of St. Louis. The Devils lead Philadelphia three games to one.
  • Albert Pujols finally hit his first Angels homer in a 4-3 win over Toronto.
  • There's no lying in baseball. Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels admits he intentionally hit Nationals rookie Bryce Harper with a pitch. Old school for sure. Will Hamels get a new school suspension?
  • For the first time since 1925, both teams put position players on the mound as Baltimore beat the Red Sox 9-6 in 17 innings. The winning Orioles pitcher was their designated hitter Chris Davis. Viewers in Baltimore didn't see the ending. The station cut away for 60 Minutes.
  • Was Rickie Fowler dressed in a nice matching outfit or a prison jumpsuit? Either way, wearing his traditional Sunday outfit, he earned his first PGA tour victory yesterday at Quail Hollow.

2. The Fine Print

Here's how it works in sports. The commissioner takes action and no matter what, the players union appeals. It's automatic. And it doesn't matter if the commissioner is 1,000 percent right. Of course the NFL Players Association is appealing the suspensions as a result of the Saints bounty scheme. Are they saying the bounty system never happened? That the players are innocent? Of course not. They're claiming the commissioner doesn't have a right to punish players for actions before the collective bargaining agreement was signed last August, even if those actions were reprehensible. Gobbledygook. Here's a better idea for the NFLPA. Write a note to Roger Goodell. "Dear Commish: Thanks for looking out for our safety and well-being. With love, your players."

3. Name Game

I guess I'm rooting against I'll Have Another to win the Triple Crown. Nothing against the horse, it's the name. Some of the great horse racing names have won the Triple Crown: Whirlaway, Citation, Secretariat, But I'll Have Another? The story behind the name even isn't good. It involves the owner's wife who asks him a nightly question as he lies on the couch. (Hey get your mind out of the gutter.) She asks him if he wants more cookies? I guess it's better that he's not watching his weight or the horse's name might have been, No Dear, I'm Dieting. Still, when it comes to monikers, I'll Have Another ain't War Admiral.

4. Mo Mo

Mariano Rivera vows he's coming back. He says he doesn't want to go out this way. How rare is it these days not to hear one negative word about someone who's been in the public eye forever. Some of your comments:

L.S. (If he indeed is finished) This is preferable to seeing a late decline like we see with so many other greats. What's the last memory of Namath, or Mattingly, or Ewing? Not a good way to potentially go out.

B.L. I think Mo will come back next year. His mantra has always been that he wanted to end his career on his own terms, not because of injury. I believe that he has enough pride to end it "his way"... Just for one more year.

N.S. on Twitter @LenBermanSports Regarding the Hall of Fame: This will be ultimate test of whether anyone can get 100 percent of the vote. Whoever doesn't vote for him should have his voting rights revoked.

J.G. I hope I speak for the entire Red Sox nation when I say not a single Sox fan wants to see Rivera's career end like this. He belongs on the short list of Yankees who ooze class: Posada, Jeter, Bernie Williams, and Paul O'Neill.

5. All Rise

Seems we're having anthem problems. When a paralyzed Israeli rower won the gold in Italy, nobody figured they'd need Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem. So when they started playing some song nobody ever heard of, she took the microphone and sang Hatikvah by herself. Well done, unlike the Kazakhstan shooter who won in Kuwait, and they played a spoof anthem from a Borat movie. A sample of those lyrics: "Kazakhstan's prostitutes cleanest in the region." Hopefully the anthem peeps will get things straightened out in time for the London Olympics.

Happy Birthday: 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. 28.

Bonus Birthday: Robbie Knievel, daredevil son of Evel Knievel. 50.

Today in Sports: 35 years ago today, one down two to go. Seattle Slew wins the Kentucky Derby. 1977.

Bonus Event: Shelly Long's final episode on Cheers. 1987.

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