12/08/2010 10:58 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for December 8, 2010 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

* Derek Jeter says the contract negotiating process that portrayed him as greedy made him angry. He also says he doesn't envision this being his last contract. The next negotiation should be tons o' fun.
* Rumors have several teams clamoring after free agent pitcher Cliff Lee, including two teams supposedly willing to offer 7 years. He'll turn 40 during that 7th year.
* The Mets are being sued by the Bernie Madoff trustee, trying to recover funds for victims. The Mets say team operations will not be affected. They seem to be non-players at the Winter Meetings.
* The Dodgers ownership situation continues to be screwed up. A judge has ruled that Jamie McCourt shares ownership with Frank. The couple is in divorce proceedings.
* The love affair continues between the Washington Redskins and defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth. He's no longer speaking with coach Mike Shanahan, so he's been suspended for Washington's final 4 games. He's appealing.
* Among the new boxing Hall of Famers are Mike Tyson and Sylvester Stallone (for the Rocky movies). Maybe Ronald Reagan will make the Football Hall of Fame for playing the Gipper?

2. This Is Howard Cosell Speaking Of Sports

I remember watching Monday Night Football 30 years ago today. Howard Cosell announced to the world that John Lennon was dead. It felt surreal. It still feels implausible. Of course in today's world, Twitter and Facebook would have had the news even before Howard, but it wouldn't have had the same impact. Cosell was one of my broadcast heroes because he was the first sportscaster who actually had opinions. Imagine that in today's ultra-loud everyone's an expert sports world?

3. Analyzing The Vote

In the aftermath of the Veterans Hall of Fame vote, I can understand George Steinbrenner not making it, but former player chief Marvin Miller? Has anyone in history had more of an impact on baseball than he? To me, Miller and Steinbrenner are two giants of the game, making them Hall of Famers in my book. But I realize there's another side to the Steinbrenner argument. Subscriber Michael V. wrote on Facebook, at Len Berman's Top 5, "You must be kidding. Steinbrenner in the Hall of Fame? NEVER. The Hall of Fame is for greatness. Let's remember George Steinbrenner's accomplishments. He fired two-time MVP Yogi Berra after he promised he would not, he hired a felon to 'investigate' HOF ballplayer Dave Winfield, he himself was convicted of a felony, he made a mockery of the Yankees by firing Billy Martin every year and ruined baseball by escalating salaries so high that a family can no longer attend an MLB game."

The truth is, I get all that. I also know that if it weren't for Steinbrenner, baseball wouldn't be as popular as it is today. 4. Last Chance A holiday auction being run by Grey Flannel ends today. At last check, the handwritten speech, Mickey Mantle's last to his adoring public, was going for over $6,600. In the speech he advises his "little teammates" out there, not to do drugs and alcohol but to become an organ donor. Another Mantle item, a baseball in which he wrote out the words "F__ked Up" under his signature, was going for over $3,100. Here's the auction site. When Mantle was in the hospital, he sent famed collect Barry Halper, a signed "soiled" doctors glove. That was the Mick's sense of humor. These days, I half expect that glove to come up for auction as well. 5. Lies, Damn Lies, And Statistics Earned Run Average I understand. Earned runs yielded, multiplied by 9, divided by innings pitched. But quarterback rating? What gobbledygook. Thanks to subscriber Gary S. for the formula. (I added a 16th step.)
  1. Divide a quarterback's completed passes by pass attempts.
  2. Subtract 0.3.
  3. Divide by 0.2 and record the total. The sum cannot be greater than 2.375 or less than zero.
  4. Divide passing yards by pass attempts.
  5. Subtract 3.
  6. Divide by 4 and record the total. The sum cannot be greater than 2.375 or less than zero.
  7. Divide touchdown passes by pass attempts.
  8. Divide by 0.05 and record the total. The sum cannot be greater than 2.375 or less than zero.
  9. Divide interceptions by pass attempts.
  10. Subtract that number from 0.095.
  11. Divide that product by 0.04 and record the total. The sum cannot be greater than 2.375 or less than zero.
  12. Add the four totals you recorded.
  13. Multiply that total by 100.
  14. Divide by 6.
  15. The final number is your quarterback rating.
  16. Get a life.

Happy Birthday: Former Knick (and several other teams) Jumpin' Johnny Green. He's 43rd on the all time NBA rebound list. 77.
Bonus Birthday: Desperate Housewife Teri Hatcher. 46.

Today In Sports: Da Bears edged the Washington Redskins 73-0 in the NFL Championship Game. 1940.
Bonus Event: John Lennon was shot in NYC. 1980.

Don't forget that my kids books make perfect stocking stuffers. You can get personally autographed copies of The Greatest Moments in Sports, and The 25 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time, by calling the Dolphin Book Shop at (516) 767-2650.

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