Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for October 11, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- American League drama: The A's score three in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Tigers 4-3 and force a fifth and deciding game tonight in Oakland. The Yankees beat the Orioles in 12 innings on a Raul Ibanez homer to lead Baltimore two games to one.
- National League: The Giants forced a fifth and final game with Cincinnati this afternoon. The St. Louis Cardinals now lead the Washington Nationals two games to one.
- Tebowmania: Jets owner Woody Johnson tells CNBC that Tim Tebow will be with the Jets for his full three year contract.
2. The Case Against Lance
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency threw the book at Lance Armstrong yesterday they released a thousand pages of documents and testimony from 11 former teammates. The agency says "The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen." USADA makes the case that Armstrong was at the center of it all. Armstrong himself had no comment. Every time I write about Armstrong, several Top 5 subscribers rush to his defense. My guess is that's becoming harder and harder to do.
Things aren't going too hot for A-Rod. Alex Rodriguez went another oh-fer last night and is now batting .083 for the series. What's more, the highest paid player in baseball was pinch-hit for by Raul Ibanez who not only tied the game in the ninth inning with a homer but won it in the 12th with a second blast. Ouch. (Ibanez is the first to ever homer twice in a postseason game in which he didn't start). And to add insult to injury, none other than Donald Trump tweeted yesterday: "A-Rod must be dropped in the Yankees line-up tonight if they want to win. He simply can't perform without drugs." Double ouch.
4. Ballparks Revisited
I knew when I talked about seeing games in old ballparks like Crosley Field in Cincinnati and Seals Stadium in San Francisco, you'd come up with some goodies.
*J.W. My father was fond of telling the story of attending Giant games at the Polo Grounds and Yankee games across the river on the same day. One day in the early '50s he went to a Giants game and then walked to Yankee stadium for a later start and had the same beer vendor for both games.
*B.B. points out you could have gone to the same ballpark in Houston and claim three stadiums, Enron Field, Astros Field, and Minute Maid Park.
* D.R. My wife and I went to old Municipal Stadium in Cleveland the last week it was open in 1994. We decided to enter through the upper deck in right field so as to tour the entire stadium one last time. So few people were attending Indians games that much of the upper deck had been unsold for ages. When we entered, we saw the sun glinting on an enormous field of cobwebs that had been spun over hundreds of seats. It was beautiful, surreal, sad, and emblematic of the franchise at that point in time.
E.M. saw the Dodgers play in four stadiums, Ebbets Field, Roosevelt Stadium Jersey City, L.A. Coliseum and Dodger Stadium.
*S.E. saw the football Giants play in five stadiums, Yankee Stadium, Yale Bowl, Shea Stadium, Giants Stadium and Met Life Stadium.
*C.B. I convinced my bride to visit the Houston Astrodome on our Honeymoon!
Editor's Note: And the marriage lasted 20 years after that!
5. Alex Karras
Alex Karras had nine lives. He was a dominant defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions from 1958 through 1970, missing 1963 after being suspended along with the Packers Paul Hornung for betting on NFL games. During his hiatus he was a pro wrestler and after football he turned to acting. He will forever be known as Mongo, the guy who punched out a horse in Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles. And along the way in worked on Monday Night Football and in the TV series Webster. 20 years ago I co-hosted a TV show with Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor and Karras was a guest of ours. A funny guy, but he was deadly serious about his acting, speaking in reverent tones of his role as a sheriff in the movie Porky's. Few people enjoy so many reincarnations. Karras may have been one of a kind.
Happy Birthday: Golfer Michelle Wie. 23.
Bonus Birthday: Actress Joan Cusack. 50.
Today in Sports: Neon Deion. Twenty years ago today. Deion Sanders suits up for the Atlanta Braves and the Atlanta Falcons on the same day. 1992.
Bonus Event: Bill and Hillary tie the knot. 1975.
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