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Len Berman

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Top 5 Sports Stories

Posted: 06/28/2012 10:28 am

Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for June 28, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

  • The NBA draft is tonight. New Orleans owns the first pick.
  • Spain beat Portugal yesterday on penalty kicks. They'll play the winner of today's semifinal between Italy and Germany in the Euro 2012 final.
  • At the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, Michael Phelps edged Ryan Lochte in the 100 meter freestyle. Both are heading to London.
  • At Wimbledon, former #1 Caroline Wozniacki lost in the first round to Tamira Paszek of Austria.
  • Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte is out at least six weeks with a broken ankle.

2. Good Times

When somebody says "name the best rivalry in sports," don't be so fast to say Yankees/Red Sox, or Ohio State/Michigan. Pause a second and think about Dodgers/Giants. As of today they are tied for first in the National League West. There's some nice symmetry to that. It's exactly 50 years since they tied for the National League Pennant and they had a three-game playoff which the Giants won. Of course there was always 1951 and the "Shot Heard 'Round the World." Not to mention Juan Marichal's bat attack on Johnny Roseboro. Then again, the Giants and Dodgers have played each other more than any other two teams in Major League history. Familiarity if not breeding contempt, has certainly bred a wonderful history, which thrives to this day.

3. Man vs. Machine

Lots of your were all stoked up over the play at Yankee Stadium the other night where they ump called "out" and there was no ball in the fielder's glove. You were mixed on the issue of replay. Several of you pegged it as umpire incompetence and called for the ump to be disciplined. J.F. wrote on Facebook at "Len Berman's Top 5,"Honestly, you shouldn't need replay for that one. If an umpire is so stupid that he doesn't know to check for the ball in the fielder's glove we should be talking less about replay and more about career counseling." And Top 5 subscriber D.H. raises a good question. "I am wondering if baseball umpiring is worse today or has technology made it possible to show all the mistakes that were always there?" My vote would be humans are humans, technology keeps getting refined.

4. Bernie Fine

Top 5 subscriber N.A. wonders, "What ever happened in the Bernie Fine case? (Fine is the former assistant basketball coach at Syracuse who was accused of sexual abuse by two former ballboys and a third man.) Maybe your readers would appreciate an update on the heels of the Sandusky conviction." Excellent question. So far, no charges have been filed. One of the accusers has recanted his story. Bernie's wife says she was libeled by ESPN and is suing. Bernie himself has kept a low profile and was hired by an Israeli basketball team as a consultant. It's entirely possible that Jim Boeheim was right when he called the accusations "A bunch of a thousand lies." We'll never know for sure. The only certainty is that Fine's reputation was irreparably harmed.

5. The Squeaky Wheel

It's finally happened, The Top 5 has been opened in Russia. Regular subscribers have duly noted that I've been kvetching about it for months. And last weekend somebody, somewhere in that huge country came through. (So did somebody in Iceland for whatever that's worth.) So which country should I target next? North Korea? Madagascar? Or would you rather I just knock it off?

Happy Birthday: Former Broncos quarterback John Elway. 52.

Bonus Birthday: It turns out the 2000 Year Old Man, Mel Brooks, is only 86 today.

Today in Sports: Lee Trevino is struck by lightning at the Western Open. He was asked what he would do the next time he was in a storm and he said he'd take out a 1-iron because "Not even God can hit a 1-iron." 1975.

Bonus Event: The Treaty of Versailles ended World War I. 1919.

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