Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 10, 2013 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- The Knicks win their 13th straight game and their first Atlantic Division title since 1994, the year they lost to Houston in the finals.
- The Golden State Warriors clinch their first playoff in six years. The Houston Rockets also clinch. The Lakers and Utah are battling for the last playoff spot.
- It looks like Jay-Z will sell his small share in the Brooklyn Nets so that he can represent NBA players.
- U-Conn routs Louisville 93-60 to win the NCAA women's basketball title for the 8th time.
- The father of Russ Smith, Louisville's top scorer, says his son will forego his senior year to enter the NBA draft.
2. Blacks in Baseball
With the Jackie Robinson movie 42 opening on Friday, it looks like no coincidence that Major League Baseball will be forming a task force to figure out how to get more black players into baseball. There were just 7.7 percent on opening day rosters as compared with 27 percent in 1975. The reasons have been well chronicled starting with the popularity of basketball and football among African-American kids. There's no such problem among foreign ballplayers who comprise 28 percent of the rosters. And I'm sure that baseball being a business, part of their concern has to do with ticket sales. The number of African-American fans in the stands is reportedly under 10 percent.
3. End of the Line
It's expected that the Red Sox will not sell out their game tonight at Fenway Park. That would end a streak of 794 consecutive sellouts (the longest in baseball history) dating back a decade. Of course teams utilize creative bookkeeping so it's possible, despite empty seats, a team can declare a "sellout." But the fact remains that high ticket prices, team performance last season and the weather will conspire to doom the streak. After tonight, temps won't get out of the 40s for Fenway night games. Even with the cheaper food prices that the team cooked up for this month, it won't be enough to keep the streak going. The Sox can be comforted in the knowledge that they do have two world championships under their belt during the sellout streak. Now about the Cubs...
4. You Betcha
The Masters gets underway tomorrow and Vegas has installed Tiger Woods as the overwhelming favorite at 3-1. Rory McIlroy is 8-1 and Phil Mickelson is 10-1. Nobody else is better than 25-1 including defending champ Bubba Watson who's 35-1.
5. Olympic "Games"
On your Olympics scorecard, there will be golf and rugby at the next summer Olympics in Rio in 2016, and no wrestling in 2020. The Olympic poobahs are trying to come up with new stuff for the Brazil Olympics and some of the events being considered are three-on-three basketball and BMX freestyle which is essentially doing tricks on bicycles. I have one question. Are these the Olympic games or Barnum and Bailey?
Happy Birthday: Mr. Video Game, former coach and broadcaster John Madden. 77.
Bonus Birthday: Actor Steven Seagal. 61.
Today in Sports: 60 years ago today, the Minneapolis Lakers beat the New York Knicks 91-84 to win the NBA title four games to one. 1953.
Bonus Event: Paul McCartney announces that the Beatles are splitting up. 1970.
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