Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for August 30, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* The U.S. Open tennis tournament gets underway today.
* Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez is reportedly heading to the Chicago White Sox today.
* The first wait-wait-wait walk-off homer. The Braves beat the Marlins 7-6 when Brian McCann's "double" is ruled a home run after using video replay.
* Roger Clemens will be arraigned today on charges of lying to Congress about his steroid use.
* Matt Kuchar won the Barclays golf tournament in a playoff. Tiger Woods finished 5 strokes back.
* Michelle Wie won the Canadian Women's Open, her 2nd career title.
* Japan beat Hawaii 4-1 to capture the Little League World Series. They're the first international team to win since Curacao in 2004.
2. Tommy John
Interesting that Tommy John was a terrific pitcher who will forever be known as the first player to ever undergo "Tommy John surgery." It's sad that Washington phenom Stephen Strasburg needs the procedure. The Nationals have been criticized for rushing him along, but they claim they were very careful. Either way, hopefully he'll come back better than ever. Apropos of nothing, the day his surgery was announced I ran into Tommy John's wife Sally at the Little League World Series. Great lady who's on the Little League Board of Directors. She lives with her "surgically famous" husband in Charlotte.
3. Don't Believe What You Read
I tell young journalism hopefuls that you should read everything with a "jaundiced eye." Believe nothing. I was all set to write how lots of great pitchers have come back from Tommy John surgery including Mariano Rivera. It's all over the Internet. But it's not true. They thought Rivera would need the surgery, but when they opened him up, he didn't. But the untruth has legs, just like lots of stuff all over the media. Reader beware.
4. Johnny Mac
John McEnroe stepped in it. He said that women should play fewer tournaments, that they're not as tough as men. Thank God for McEnroe. In this vanilla sports world he says whatever he thinks and doesn't care. Maybe he's right, or maybe not. But if he weren't, why do men play 5 sets at the Open, and women play only 3? Men are stronger than women, that's a fact. But let the experts duke it out over anatomical issues. As for John, right or wrong, you go boy.
5. Little Leaguers
After visiting the Little League World Series this past weekend to sign copies of my new kids book The 25 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time, some random thoughts.
*Little League is as predictable as anything else in sports. I truly thought Chinese Taipei was unbeatable. Good thing I never bet.
* Ran into a lot of Pirates fans in Pennsylvania. They're not happy that Roberto Clemente didn't make my book. Chicago fans will be really pissed. No White Sox or Cubs either. (God I loved Ernie Banks.) And I thought this was going to be easy.
*I asked my guide how much the tickets cost to games? He said they're free. Every single game, every seat. Hey, it's Little League. Cool.
Happy Birthday: Brooklyn Decker's pal (husband), tennis player Andy Roddick. 28.
Bonus Birthday: A-Rod's pal, (unmarried) actress Cameron Diaz. 38.
Today in Sports: The great Ty Cobb (of course he made my book) makes his major league debut with the Tigers. Do you know why his number was never retired? (Answer below) 1905.
Bonus Event: Dave! The Late Show with David Letterman makes its CBS Debut. 1993.
Ty Cobb's number was never retired because when he played, they didn't have numbers.