Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for August 24, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren are now officially divorced.
* Rafael Nadal has been seeded #1 for next week's U.S. Open. He's never won the Open.
* The Red Sox have claimed their former star Johnny Damon off waivers. Damon has until tomorrow to decide if he wants to wave his no-trade clause. He said he'll likely stay with Detroit.
* Sammy Sosa can't believe that the Cubs haven't retired his #21. Baseball fans everywhere else can't believe that Sosa's numbers are legit.
People get divorced all the time, but never has it been so public. Tiger Woods went from being the richest superhero to a punchline overnight. And yes, Elin is now rich beyond her wildest imagination, and yes, Woods is now free to trawl the murky waters of strip clubs to his heart's content, there are still two little kids who have to grow up with Woods' last name. I wish them well.
3. The Giants Win The Pennant
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Bobby Thomson last week. Arguably, he hit the greatest home run in baseball history when the Giants beat the Dodgers in that 1951 NL playoff. Ironically, Thomson was the lesser ballplayer, yet he played the hero. Poor Ralph Branca, an all star pitcher, has had to endure all these years as the goat. In truth, if Thomson had never homered we wouldn't know much about him today, and Ralph wouldn't be as successful or beloved either. Even though one won, and one lost 59 years ago, both became winners.
Well it turns out the Pittsburgh Pirates may be the worst sports franchise going, 18 straight losing seasons and counting. But that doesn't seem to affect their bottom line. Despite their poor record and thanks to their puny payroll, their owners are in fat city. They pocketed $20.4 million in profits in 2008. And now comes word that the low payroll Florida Marlins have also made a bundle. So here we go. To level the playing field in baseball we need a salary cap AND a salary minimum. Pirates and Marlins fans, and fans everywhere deserve it.
5. Bush League
In the top of the 3rd inning yesterday afternoon, Hsun-Hao Shih for Chinese Taipei hit a 2 run homer, giving them a 20-0 lead over Canada at the Little League World Series. After he hit the ball, Hsun-Hao Shih just stood at home plate admiring his handiwork, he didn't hustle out of the batter's box, proving it's never too early to start honing your Major League skills. By the way, the 12 year old is built like the Pillsbury Doughboy. A little exercise wouldn't be a bad idea.
Happy Birthday: The Iron Man, Cal Ripken, Jr. 50.
Bonus Birthday: Politician/talk show host, Mike Huckabee. 55.
Today in Sports: Pete Rose is suspended for life for gambling on baseball. 1989.
Bonus Event: Bad day at black rock. Mt. Vesuvius erupts killing 20,000. In the year 79.
I'll be at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. this weekend signing copies of my brand new kids book The 25 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time. For a complete list of my book appearances, check out the appearance page on www.ThatsSports.com.