TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for May 18, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- Indiana crushed Miami last night 94-75 to take a two games to one lead in their series. The San Antonio Spurs lead the L.A. Clippers two games to none.
- NHL playoffs: Los Angeles is one game away from the Stanley Cup Finals. The Kings lead Phoenix 3-0 after winning last night 2-1.
- Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who was suspended for a year in the bounty scandal, is suing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for defamation. He claims Goodell lied about him when making statements about the bounty scheme.
- Interleague play begins today in baseball. How about the "Battle of the Beltway?" The Baltimore Orioles are in first place, the Washington Nationals are half a game out.
- A swarm of bees invaded an area near the Colorado Rockies dugout during yesterday's game against Arizona. There was a slight delay of game. Later, a groundskeeper vacuumed up the bees. But fear not bee fans, they were merely relocated.
2. Donna Summer
With the passing of the Queen of Disco Donna Summer, the airwaves have been filled with her many disco smash hits. But she also performed at Fenway Park. The Boston native sang the national anthem as well as "God Bless America." Here she is during the 7th inning stretch of Game 2 of the 2004 World Series. She sang a capella with no studio effects. Her magnificence was not limited to disco.
I always feel a certain sadness when a big star puts his memorabilia on the auction block. You can buy Lawrence Taylor's Super Bowl XXV ring. This morning, the high bid was around $90,000. Bidding ends tomorrow night. I once hosted a TV show with Taylor. The restaurant that was named for him in New Jersey, where we taped the show, is also gone. On the field, there was nobody larger than L.T. Off the field, another story.
4. Friday eMailbag
In response to "ugly hockey," with players blocking so many shots, Top 5 subscriber G.H. writes, "Blocking shots is a product of today's equipment. The players are practically wearing body armor under their uniforms. Limit the size of the equipment, injuries and shot blocking will decrease."
And D.S. is also fixated on what the players wear. He writes, "Perhaps we could make them wear dresses, like figure skaters."
In regards to the empty expensive seats at Yankee Stadium, G.L. writes, "I say digitally put crowds in... especially if you can blot out the ungrateful 'fans' behind the plate on their damn mobiles."
As for the video of The Mick's 500th home run with no curtain call, J.F. writes, "I can't believe this is an actual major league ballplayer because he didn't stand there for three minutes admiring his handiwork. That guy doesn't have the style to make it in the bigs."
And from V.L. "I was at the game following Mantle's 500th. The Yankees in a pregame ceremony gave Mantle a $500 bond. Big sports."
5. Spanning the World
This week's Spanning the World highlight comes from a Little League game in Rock Island, Ill. The umpire summons his inner Frank Drebin. You remember Frank Drebin right? Played by the marvelous Leslie Nielsen, he took home plate umpiring to a new level in Naked Gun.
Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up: Wednesday May 23 in the 8:30 a.m. half hour.
Happy Birthday: Orioles Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson 75.
Bonus Birthday: Funny lady Tina Fey. 42.
Today in Sports: They announce that the first baseball All-Star Game will be played July 6 at Comiskey Park as part of Chicago World's Fair celebration. 1933.
Bonus Event: The Republicans get together and nominate Abe Lincoln for the presidency. 1860.
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