Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for August 23, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- What's with the Bay Area and performance enhancing drugs? A's pitcher Bartolo Colon is the latest to be suspended 50 games.
- Swept away. The first place Giants sweep the Dodgers while the White Sox sweep the Yankees.
- The Giants Jason Pierre-Paul will sit out tomorrow's preseason game with a back problem. He didn't suffer that dumping his teammate in the ice water, did he?
- Golf's four-event playoff begins today at the Barclays at Bethpage Black on Long Island.
- The U.S. Open draw is today. Roger Federer and Victoria Azarenka are the #1 seeds. The Open begins Monday.
2. Losing Ground
Losing ain't fun. Just look at the normally unflappable Yankees manager Joe Girardi. After the Yankees got swept last night in Chicago, Girardi was doing interviews when a heckling fan walked by taking shots at the Yankees and Girardi. Girardi could have ignored it, but he didn't. Perhaps it's a function of the Yankees lead being sliced to just three games without the cushion of the wild card as in past years. If the Yankees don't win the division they could have to play a one-game season, or they could miss the playoffs entirely. Maybe that's why Girardi is so steamed.
3. The Beat Goes On
You may be numb to what's still going on in baseball with performance enhancing drugs. You might think of it as white noise, you just don't hear it anymore. Or maybe you just don't care. But here's what the great Hall of Famer Johnny Bench tweeted yesterday: "@MLB players who knowingly took drugs should have their contracts voided. Why should clubs be punished financially." There you have it. While current players turn the other cheek, former players are livid. Of course the union will never accept that kind of punishment, but why not? Shouldn't the current players push for it? Or do many in baseball still go wink wink.
So what is 50-year-old Roger Clemens really up to? Saturday night he'll pitch for a minor league team in the Houston area. But the conspiracy theorists think there's a lot more at stake. Clemens is due to appear on the Hall of Fame ballot this year and you know how that's going to go. But if he should somehow make it back to the bigs, he won't be eligible for Cooperstown for another five years. By then all the writers will have forgotten about the steroid allegations, right? Or maybe they won't care as much. But Clemens isn't trying to pull a fast one right?
5. The Emphasis on Ancient
So now that Augusta has women, what about The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in Scotland? It's known as the "Home of Golf," and basically governs golf outside of the U.S. But their official rules state "men only." It's been that way for 258 years. The Royal and Ancient also runs the British Open, which next year will be played at Muirfield. Guess what? Muirfield is men only. Women of the golf world unite!
Happy Birthday: Kobe Bryant. 34.
Bonus Birthday: Linsanity himself, Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin. 24.
Today in Sports: Gotcha. Seattle pitcher Gaylord Perry is ejected from a game for putting a little "extra" on the baseball. 1982.
Bonus Event: One at bat, three "outs." In a game in St. Louis, Bob Elliott of the Giants is ejected for arguing a strike call. Bobby Hoffman completes the at bat, strikes out and is also ejected for arguing. 1952.
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