TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for October 19, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- The Detroit Tigers are heading to the World Series after sweeping the Yankees four straight games, 8-1 the final score yesterday.
- St. Louis can join Detroit in the World Series with a win tonight. The Cardinals lead three games to one.
- Thursday night football: San Francisco beat Seattle 13-6.
- Skating on thin ice. NHL talks go nowhere.
- Five-time NBA champion guard with the Minneapolis Lakers and St. Louis Hawks, Slater Martin, has died at the age of 86.
2. Wait 'til Next Year
What a fascinating time for the Yankees. The "Bronx Bombers" turned out to be a misnomer as they set records for post season offensive ineptitude. Their season imploded with wholesale changes on the horizon. What does the future hold for Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera just for starters? (A-Rod vows to return to the Bronx next season). On top of that, I heard a radio commercial yesterday for Yankees 2013 season tickets. Don't you think Yankee Stadium attendance is going to be an even bigger issue? As I wrote on Twitter yesterday, "Yankees fans will say 'back up the truck' and overhaul this team. Mets fans will say 'welcome to our world.'"
It's a marriage made in marketing heaven, the world's oldest profession and the world's most popular sport. The Greek financial crisis has filtered down to the club level in soccer, so the teams need a helping hand. For one team, it's "Villa Erotica" and "Soula's House of History" to the rescue. They're a couple of brothels, and the team, the Voukefalas club, proudly advertises these fine legal establishments on their pink practice jerseys. Officials won't let them wear them during games because it's not appropriate for young people. And there are fringe benefits for the players. They've been promised "special time" at Soula's if they won. But alas there's a dearth of scoring on all fronts. They lost their latest game 1-0.
4. Friday eMailbag
With Nike dropping its sponsorship of Lance Armstrong, R.V. writes, "If Nike had to drop 'all troubled athletes' they would pretty much be reduced to sponsoring non-athletes."
When I suggested on Twitter @LenBermanSports "Maybe Pete Rose is a seer... he said age and playing shortstop would prevent Derek Jeter from breaking Rose's hit record. "Mark" tweeted back, "Wouldn't he have had a better gambling career if that were the case?"
As for the empty seats at Yankee Stadium during playoff games, S.R. writes, "Yankee stadium is no longer kid friendly and therefore will not develop younger fans, sad. Too expensive to take a family out to the old ball game."
When I asked what happened to the infamous chair thrown by Bobby Knight during a game, J.T. responded, "I think Clint Eastwood has it."
And when I tweeted "Any truth to the rumor that the girls A-Rod tried to pick up in the stands asked for Ibanez or Chavez to pinch-hit for him on the date? D.M. tweeted back "Len u no funny don't try to be funny dude."
5. Spanning the World
This week's Spanning the World highlight comes from Davenport University in Michigan. For Midnight Madness, an assistant basketball coach dressed up as the team's mascot and proposed to his girlfriend. The cool part is watching players and fans rush the court after she said "yes."
Spanning the World airs on NBC's Today Show. Next up: Thursday, November 29 in the 8:30 a.m. half hour.
Happy Birthday: Former heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield. 50.
Bonus Birthday: Artist Peter Max. 75.
Today in Sports: Maurice "The Rocket" Richard of the Montreal Canadiens becomes the first N.H.L. player to score 500 goals in his career. 1957.
Bonus Event: The stock market "crashed" as the Dow dropped 508 points. 1987.