Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for October 25, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* The World Series begins Wednesday, with the San Francisco Giants hosting the Texas Rangers. Vegas has installed Texas as the slight favorite.
* Win or lose, Rangers catcher Benjie Molina gets a World Series ring. He appeared in 61 games for the Giants during the regular season, 57 for Texas.
* FOX Sports reports that Brett Favre admits leaving voice mails for a Jets sideline reporter, but he denies he sent her penis pix. It didn't get any better for Favre at night, when he threw a bunch of interceptions and Minnesota lost at Green Bay.
* There were no penalties yesterday for illegal hits to the head in the NFL.
* This is going to be a fun year in college football figuring out who is #1.
Auburn is now #1 in the BCS poll after Oklahoma lost to Missouri. Oregon continues to be #1 everywhere else.
2. The Giants Win The Pennant
OK, its official. The sports media doesn't have a sense of humor. When Ryan Howard of the Phillies took strike 3 Saturday night, somebody, somewhere should have played Russ Hodges' immortal call, "The Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant... they're going crazy..." You can listen to the three versions of the final out Saturday for yourself.
You'll note the Philadelphia announcers first reaction wasn't that the Giants had won. I'm surprised they didn't announce, "The Phillies lose the pennant... the Phillies lose the pennant."
3. The Fall Classic
And then there was one. You can check Dallas/Ft. Worth/Arlington off your list. Seattle is now the only Major League city that has never been to the World Series. And what a delicious irony for Rangers fans. The pennant was clinched with Alex Rodriguez holding the bat on his shoulder. Rodriguez's salary bankrupted that franchise. Not to mention his claim of using steroids only in Texas. Talk about a team exorcising its demons. And now the Yankees have lots of problems. What to pay Jeter? How to get younger? How to improve the starting pitching? Will Mariano Rivera last forever? Nothing that money can't solve. That's the Yankee way. Now, that we've got that settled, what can we do to help the Mariners?
4. Sticking Points
It's negotiating season. The NBA is ratcheting up the rhetoric, throwing things at the backboard to see if anything sticks. Already Commissioner David Stern says owners want to reduce player costs by a third. And now the idea of contraction is rearing its head. Contraction isn't a bad idea (except in the cities being contracted). And while they're at it, maybe they can slice and dice a few NHL teams as well. But you have to wonder what other cost saving measures they have up their sleeves? How about starting 4 players per team? And while we're at it, Mr. Commissioner, how much of these savings are being passed on to the fans? (That was a rhetorical question.)
5. Extremely Sudden Death
Something happened on the PGA Tour yesterday that has never happened before. On the 4th hole of sudden death at the Justin Timberlake golf tournament in Las Vegas, Jonathan Byrd won a 3-play playoff in sudden death. He did it with a hole-in-one. That was a first.
Take a look.
John Gambling, on WOR Radio this morning, asked me if you call that a "walk off ace?" Of course you do. Carts aren't allowed on the PGA Tour!
Happy Birthday: Former chair-slinging Indiana basketball coach, Bobby Knight. 70.
Bonus Birthday: Singer Katy Perry. 26.
Extra Bonus for all you art lovers. Picasso was born on this date in 1881.
Today In Sports: Bill Buckner. 1986.
Bonus Event: Where would traffic reports be without it? The George Washington Bridge opens up. 1931.