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Top 5 Sports Stories

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Happy Valentine's Day everyone, here's my Top 5 for February 14, 2013 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The "Blade Runner," South African Oscar Pistorious has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend. He was the first double amputee to run in the Olympics in London last summer.
  • A never ending story. Hedo Turkoglu of the Orlando Magic has been suspended 20 games after testing positive for steroids.
  • A quick career. 6' 10" Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel is out for the year with a torn knee ligament. He's projected to be an early pick in the NBA draft, so his college career lasted exactly 24 games.

2. Juicing

New Angels star Josh Hamilton showed up at spring training about 20 pounds lighter. He credited "doing the juicing stuff" which was his little joke about drinking lots of juices and cutting out the carbs. The Yankees portly pitcher CC Sabathia also showed up slimmer, his secret? "No Cap'N Crunch." I truly hope it's all on the level. When Major League Baseball announced its new random HGH testing policy last month, I wrote "Can't wait to see who's the first player to show up at spring training and credit his 'brand new diet' for his slimmed-down physique." Believe me, I'm not making any accusations. But that's what sports has come to. Nothing but skepticism. Sad.

3. Meet the Mets

Mets owner Fred Wilpon said yesterday that the team's financial problems are behind them and the purse strings are now loosened. Spring training is of course the time when hope springs eternal. Every team has optimism to a varying degree. As I mentioned on Facebook at "Len Berman's Top 5," "The Mets mantra this year seems to be 'We're not as bad as people think we are.' Got a better slogan?" Some Facebookers wrote the usual old stuff like "Meet the Mess" and "Ya Gotta Bereave." I thought Hank W. had the best suggestion for the Mets 2013 marketing campaign. "At least we're not the Marlins."

4. Field of Play

Is the football field too small? In case you didn't know, and I didn't, a football field is 160 feet wide. The Canadian Football League plays on a 195 foot wide field not to mention it's 30 yards longer. Could a wider NFL field lead to fewer injuries? It's been discussed in league circles. The wider field, as the theory goes, gives you more space and fewer collisions. The flip side is that players can build up more speed before whacking someone. Either way, it's worth looking into. So long as the NFL doesn't consider adding a rouge to the scoring. Then again there's revenue potential. "This rouge is brought to you by Maybelline..."

5. Fore!

They're changing the site of the Australian PGA Championship which has been contested at Coolum for the last 12 years. One of the reasons for the move, "signage issues." It seems the resort owner, Clive Palmer, is a bit quirky. He had a giant mechanical T-Rex named Jeff outside the clubhouse which let out a giant roar and offended the sensibilities of the golfing purists. He also put up tons of advertising signs all over the course to promote his various business interests. One of his plans is to build a replica of the Titanic. I guess he likes giant things. You might agree that Jeff seems a bit out of place at a big golf tournament.

Happy Birthday: Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly. 53.

Bonus Birthday: "Mrs. Brady," actress Florence Henderson. 79.

Today in Sports: Something miraculous could happen. The Winter Olympics begin in Lake Placid, New York. 1980.

Bonus Event: Members of Al Capone's gang killed rival gang members in Chicago. Coincidentally it was called the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre. 1929.

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