Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for May 9, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com
1. Quick Hits
- NBA playoffs: Indiana ousted Orlando in five games. Atlanta, Denver and Chicago all stayed alive, but they still trail Boston, the Lakers and Philadelphia three games to two.
- Is tonight the end of the line for the Knicks in Miami? One thing's for sure, there will be no Linsanity. Jeremy Lin will not play in this series.
- The Devils eliminated the Flyers in five games. They await the winner of the Rangers/Washington series.
- A career night. Josh Hamilton of Texas becomes the 16th player to hit four homers in one game. He was 5-5, with 8 RBI and an American League record 18 total bases. Texas won in Baltimore 10-3.
- Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte will return to pitch against Seattle on Sunday.
2. Tennis Anyone?
To follow up yesterday's issue of the future of football, battle lines are being drawn. Kurt Warner started it by saying he didn't want his kids playing football. Former wide receiver Amani Toomer torched Warner saying "This reminds me of the guy at the basketball court, who once he gets done playing takes the ball and ruins the game for everyone else." Toomer's former teammate, Osi Umenyiora weighed in backing Warner saying, there's a strong chance he (Osi) will end up in a wheelchair thanks to football, and he doesn't want his son to end up there, too. Wow, strong stuff. They've got to change the lyrics. "Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be Cowboys, or any NFL team for that matter."
3. The Bob Arum Award
NBA commissioner David Stern gets the honorary Bob Arum award. You know, "yesterday I was lying, today I'm telling the truth." When a couple of NBA players blew out their knees during the first weekend of the playoffs, Stern said there was "zero chance" that the injuries had to do with the shortened season. But now, after Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert and Baron Davis were all knocked out, he's hedging, saying it might be related. On another issue, most fans agree the shorter schedule is better. Rev up the season on Christmas Day. Stern says the league will look into it, but then he throws the zinger that the players would have to take a 20 percent pay cut. Never mind.
4. Game of Chicken
Oh those English soccer fans. They've had enough at Blackburn. Their beloved Rovers are being kicked out of the Premier League (they call it relegation), so the fans are taking it out on their owners a giant Indian chicken farming firm. During their last game, of course a loss, one fan threw a live chicken on the field wearing a Blackburn flag. Fans chanted "You're not fit to run the club." One fan ran onto the field and threw away his season ticket. Then again it was the last game of the year, but I think he made his point. One fan wrote to a British newspaper that there should be an investigation into "Who deemed these idiots sufficiently competent to own a team in English football?" They make American sports fans look downright proper.
5. Happy Endings
Thanks to subscriber David J. for tipping us off to one of those moments where you can't help but well up. A couple of kids got to throw out the first ball at an Arizona Diamondbacks game the other night. They didn't know that the guy in the catcher's mask was their dad who came home from a tour in Afghanistan to surprise them. Play the video on the TV station's website. I dare you to keep a dry eye.
Happy Birthday: Tigers slugger Prince Fielder. 28.
Bonus Birthday: The great Billy Joel. 63.
Today in Sports: Jim Gentile of the Baltimore Orioles becomes the first player to hit grand slam homers in two consecutive innings. 1961.
Bonus Event: Something new. A starting gate is used for the first time in a Triple Crown race, the Preakness. Before that, horses raced from a standing start. 1930.
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