Huffpost New York

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Len Berman Headshot

Top 5 Sports Stories

Posted: Updated:

Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for October 19, 2010 from

1. Quick Hits

* Cliff Lee and the Texas Rangers take a 2 games to 1 lead on the Yankees in the American League Championship series, with an 8-0 thrashing last night.
* Today's Schedule:

Game 3 Philadelphia @ San Francisco, 4:19pm Eastern, FOX.
Game 4 Texas @ Yankees, 8:07pm Eastern, TBS.

* 66-year old Tony La Russa will return to manage the St. Louis Cardinals for a 16th season.
* Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau was arrested for spousal abuse. He then drove his car off a California cliff but wasn't seriously hurt. He said he fell asleep.

2. Texas Two-Step

He fulfilled the hype. What a performance by Cliff Lee of Texas. Merely Koufaxian. OK, Sandy struck out 15 in game 1 of the 1963 World Series in the Bronx, but 13 strikeouts by Lee (15 counting reliever Neftali Feliz) with an 8 inning 2-hitter isn't too shabby. And now the only thing that stands between the favored Yankees and a 3-1 deficit is the shaky A.J. Burnett. The Yankee brain trust of Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman has deemed that Burnett will pitch game 4 no matter what. I can just hear the Boss bellowing, "you guys had better be right!"

3. Using Your Head

Like me, many of you were upset by the rash of helmet/head hits this weekend in football. The worst one left Eric LeGrand of Rutgers paralyzed. Some of your thoughts:

*Dan H. writes, "The kid is a warrior and the heart and soul of Rutgers football. Great Student, great Kid. My heart sank when he went down."

* From Jay R. "Maybe it's time for football at all levels to study the rugby model and look at how the game could be played without helmets. Without them, players may actually be safer because tackling would have to be done using arms and legs, not heads."

*Many of you called for greater penalties for "head hunting." Jim S. wrote, "Helmet-to-helmet hits should result in the immediate suspension of the defensive player for the rest of the year... without pay. That should get their attention fairly quickly. It's not clean hitting... it's assault with a deadly weapon."
Breaking news, the NFL says immediate suspensions for helmet to helmet hits may be imposed. The question is, what took them so long?

By the way if you'd like to send Eric LeGrand a get well message, here's how to do it.

4. Buddy Can You Spare A Million?

Under the heading of why are we surprised? FIFA is investigating two members of its executive committee who demanded huge bribes in return for their vote for the site of the 2018 World Cup. They were caught on camera. One demanded $800,000 for his vote, another a whopping $2.4 million. Just makes you wonder what other shenanigans have taken place in the annals of World Cup soccer?

5. Better News

I have to admit the Eric LeGrande tragedy made me depressed over football. So subscriber Sue M. brightened my day. She sent along a wonderful football story. If you have 5 minutes to spare, it may just make your day. Enjoy.

Today's Birthday: Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield. 48.
Bonus Birthday: I once met him shopping in Saks. Actor John Lithgow. 65.

Today in Sports: The Reds beat the Chicago "Black Sox" to win the World Series. 8 Chicago players including Shoeless Joe Jackson were banned from baseball after they were accused of throwing the series. 1919.
Bonus Event: Bears and Bulls. The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops a record 508 points. 1987. The Dow closes over 12,000 for the first time. 2006.