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Top 5 Sports Stories

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Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for October 20, 2010 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

* Texas takes a commanding 3 games to 1 lead in the American League Championship Series by beating the Yankees 10 to 3. Adding injury to insult, Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira's season is over with a hamstring injury.
* New York baseball fans have had their fill of the Molina brothers. Yadier's homer crushed the Mets in 2006. Benji's may have done the same to the Yankees this year. Both Molina blasts were hit on October 19th.
* The Giants shutout the Phillies 3-0, so San Francisco leads the National League Championship Series two games to one.
* Today's schedule:

Game 5 Texas at Yankees. 4:07pm Eastern, TBS.
Game 4 Giants at Phillies. 7:57pm Eastern, FOX.

* The Cubs name interim manager Mike Quade their full time manager. So Joe Girardi is staying put. (To the chagrin of some Yankee fans who didn't like his moves last night.)
* The NFL fines three players a total of $175,000 for violent hits last Sunday.
* Idle thought of the day. If I wore short skirts like Erin Andrews, would I have 200,000 Twitter followers too?

2. The Fall Classic

Let me take a wild stab and say that FOX probably isn't rooting for a Texas/San Francisco World Series. It's hard enough getting America to watch baseball as it is. Just look at Monday night's ratings. A bad NFL game on ESPN, beat a great post season pitching performance in the Bronx on TBS. Baseball is clearly America's "passed-time." And now Texas is one win, and the Giants two, from facing off in the World Series. I'll watch the World Series no matter who is playing. I can't say the same for America's sports fans.

3. Locking The Barn Door

The NFL says in addition to yesterday's stiff fines, they'll start suspending players for dangerous helmet hits. Fine. But did it take all the carnage from Sunday to finally wake them up? Did the Rutgers tragedy Saturday contribute to their "seeing the light?" Did the studies showing long range effects of concussions enter into it? And perhaps most important, will the players union fight it? These new tough rules seem obvious, but they're never easy. With bodies flying everywhere, head hits are inevitable. So now refs and league disciplinarians will have to interpret intent. And I'd like to see helmet hits banned at all levels of football, starting with Pop Warner. That's the place to start.

4. Home Cooking

In light of "Today in Sports." I live on Long Island and believe it or not, it used to be a source of pride to have a professional hockey team representing "the Island." I didn't live here when Julius Erving and the Nets also called Long Island home. But now, even for Rangers/Islanders games at the antiquated Coliseum, there are tons of empty seats. And the Islanders radio broadcasts are on the Hofstra campus radio station, with college kids handling some of the announcing chores. Having started my career in college radio, I think that's cool. By the same token, it doesn't scream out major league. Those 4 straight Stanley Cups were a lifetime ago. How much longer before the Islanders go the way of the Nets?

5. Numbers Game

Check out #80 for the Holmes Community College football team in Mississippi. 80 is 60. 60-year-old Alan Moore is a kicker on the team, and Saturday he successfully kicked an extra point. And then he headed off to spend time with his grandkids.

He's still waiting to kick a fieldgoal for the JUCO team. In golf, it's a wonderful accomplishment to shoot your age. How about if you're 60, kicking it?

Today's Birthday: My hero, Mickey Mantle, was born on this date in 1931.
Bonus Birthday: Snoop Dogg. 39.

Today In Sports: The New York Nets sell Julius Erving to Philadelphia for $3-million. 1976.
Bonus Event: Former First Lady Jackie Kennedy married Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis. 1968.

If you'd like an autographed copy of my new kids book, The 25 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time, contact Dolphin Bookshop in Port Washington, N.Y. 516-767-2650. I also have a book signing at Dolphin Saturday 1-3pm.