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Top 5 Sports Stories

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Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for July 12, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • An internal investigation into the Jerry Sandusky Penn State sex-abuse scandal, led by former FBI director Louis Freeh, says "The most powerful men at Penn state failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized." Joe Paterno and others are accused of deliberately hiding facts.
  • Dwight Howard isn't going to Brooklyn. The Nets say trade talks with Orlando are over.
  • For the first time in history, more women are on the U.S. Olympic team than men, 269-261.
  • A 100,000 raise. The singles champs at the U.S. Open this year will each earn 1.9 million.

2. Non-Story

They used to ask "how many trees have been sacrificed" for all the newspaper space devoted to Dwight Howard? These days they measure it in tweets. Anyway, the answer is far too many. He's going, he's staying, he's demanded a traded, he's gotten his coach fired, he's going to Brooklyn, he's heading to the Lakers. I'm sure I've missed dozens of these drop dead headlines. In the end, he's still in Orlando and he's under contract through next season. I'm afraid lots more trees are doomed (and precious tweet space will be wasted) trying to surmise his every move before that contract expires.

3. Overrated

Ouch. Sports Illustrated polled baseball players anonymously asking "Who is the most overrated position player in the game?" The overwhelming winner? The Yankees Alex Rodriguez with a whopping 17 percent of the vote. And in second place, his left-side of the infield buddy, Derek Jeter. Jayson Werth of the Washington Nationals came in third, while Nick Swisher of the Yankees and Albert Pujols of the Angels tied for 4th. Really? Aren't A-Rod and Pujols supposedly the best two position players of their generation? And yet the guys who actually lace 'em up, think their reputations far exceed their abilities? Stunning. What do the top 5 have in common? I think..... jealousy, among the rest of the league. They are all among the highest paid players, or they play in the Bronx. Factor in that the Yankees Brett Gardner, Russell Martin and Mark Teixeira all got votes and I think you've got a serious case of Pinstripe envy.

4. Taste Test

Ronaldinho is an international soccer star. Here he is at a recent news conference. One slight problem. That can of Pepsi in front of him. He's a paid endorser of Coke. Actually he was a paid endorser. The Coke people weren't amused by his beverage choice and they dumped both him and his $760,000 salary.

5. Tater Trot

Marlins third baseman Hanley Ramirez did not compete in Monday's Home Run Derby, and he wasn't named to the NL All-Star team either. And yet he holds the 2012 home run record? Yup. According to he set the record earlier this month for longest home run trot of the year. He took 30.3 seconds to round the bases, which is the second longest non-injury tour of the bases since they've tracked this stuff. David Ortiz of the Red Sox is still king. If Ramirez was a Super Bow ad, he'd cost around $3.5 million. The mustard is free.

Happy Birthday: Gold medal winning figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi. 41.

Bonus Birthday: Bill Cosby. 75.

Today in Sports: A poem detailing the Cubs double play combination of Tinkers to Evers to Chance, is published for the first time. 1910.

Bonus Event: The first Etch-A-Sketch went on sale. 1960.

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