Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for December 6, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Longtime baseball exec Pat Gillick, currently with the Phillies, is voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.
* The Yankees and Derek Jeter agree on a contract that could be worth $65 million over four years. The Yanks have also wrapped up their deal with Mariano Rivera.
* Phillies free agent outfielder Jayson Werth jumps to the Washington Nats for $126 million over seven years.
* The Red Sox have worked out a deal for San Diego's slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
* The first place Steelers win 13-10 in Baltimore Sunday night thanks to a late turnover.
* The 9-2 Jets visit the 9-2 Patriots tonight.
* Auburn and Oregon will meet for the National Championship January 10th in Glendale Arizona.
* Tiger Woods blew a four-shot lead and completed 2010 without a win, as Graeme McDowell won the Chevron World Challenge over Woods on the first playoff hole.
Somebody was bound to be happy today. The George Steinbrenner supporters, or the bashers. As it turned out, George did not make the Hall of Fame... yet. There were those who thought the tide of sentimentality, created by his death, would raise his prospects. As it turns out he had sufficient baggage to sink him, for now. There's a school of thought that goes some people are "first ballot" Hall of Famers, others aren't. To me, that's hogwash. You're either worthy of Cooperstown, or you're not. That includes the first ballot. I think George is a Hall of Famer. Former players union chief Marvin Miller too, regardless of how many votes are taken.
Those photoshopped pix of him in a Mets or Red Sox uniform were cute, but Derek Jeter wasn't going anywhere. Their contract squabble got a little too uppity, but in the end everyone's happy. Except for maybe the New York tabloids which spent a couple of weeks featuring Jeter on both the front and back pages. And if we can somehow get the conversation back to baseball, even with Jeter's supposed declining skills, is there a better infield in baseball? Perhaps, when all is said and done, one of the best of all time.
4. Ron Santo, 1940-2010
When Ron Santo passed away last Friday we only had the space for a quick mention.
Clearly, for the Cubs faithful, that wasn't enough. Here's what subscriber Eric P. had to say.
"I was saddened to see the beloved Ron Santo only listed in Quick Hits. Being from Chicago and a lifetime fan of the Cubbies my heart sank a little this morning when I heard the awful news. Every Cubs fan knows Ronnie was the perfect Cub fan, the #1 fan really. He was a player, the voice, and persona of what it meant to bleed Cubbie blue. In 2003, when the Cubs made their run, the story was that the team was trying to win the World Series for Ronnie before he passed away due to his battle with diabetes and cancer. There are so many stories out there about the beloved Cub and I would hope on Monday your readers understand what he really meant to all Cubs fans."
Thanks Eric. This is a start.
5. War Of Words
The NFL Players Association has told its members to hang onto their paychecks for the last 3 games in case there's a lockout next season. An NFL spokesman responded by saying, "Disappointing and inexplicable, especially for fans."
Hmmm. ESPECIALLY for the fans. Are those the ones priced out of the new stadiums, or just the poor slobs who have to watch TV at home?
Happy Birthday: Giants football great Andy Robustelli. 85.
Bonus Birthday: Three-time Tour de France "winner," Spain's Alberto Contador*. 28.
Today In Sports: The birth of the Halos. Gene Autry is granted an American League franchise in Anaheim. 50 years ago today. 1960.
Bonus Event: Thomas Edison is the first to record a human voice when he recites, "Mary Had a Little Lamb." The American Vegetarian Association, if it had existed back then, probably would have protested Tom's choice. 1877.
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