Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 23, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- Sports oxymoron headline of the year. "World Peace turns violent." Metta World Peace (Ron Artest) of the Lakers connected with an ugly elbow thrown at James Harden of Oklahoma City and got himself ejected from the Lakers double overtime win.
- All quiet in Vancouver. Despite being the #1 seed and getting ousted by the eighth seeded L.A. Kings there were no riots in the streets as there were last year.
- Elsewhere, Philadelphia ousted Pittsburgh in six games and Boston forced a seventh game with Washington.
- After losing seventh straight finals to Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal finally beat him 6-3, 6-1 to win the Monte Carlo Masters for the eighth consecutive year.
- Is it the earliest vote of confidence in baseball history? Bobby Valentine gets the "seal of approval" from Red Sox management just 14 games into the season.
2. And Still...
Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox became the seventh ex-Met to throw a perfect game or a no-hitter. You know 'em. Ryan, Seaver, Gooden and Cone for starters. That doesn't count a bunch of pitchers who threw no-hitters before they became Mets. Names like Warren Spahn, Al Leiter and Bret Saberhagen. Then there's Hideo Nomo. He threw no-hitters before AND after he was a Met. It's unfathomable that no Mets pitcher has ever thrown one while wearing a Mets uniform. It's bound to happen one century or another, no?
3. Crime and Punishment
Has there been a nastier Stanley Cup playoff in recent years? Raffi Torres of Phoenix was suspended 25 games for his hit on Chicago's Marian Hossa. Torres left his feet to nail Hossa. Torres will miss the rest of the playoffs and some games next season as well. Hossa was carried off the ice on a stretcher. The punishment by the league is clearly based on the injury involved. If Hossa played on, Torres wouldn't have been so harshly penalized, in fact there was no penalty called on the play. This system seems flawed. If a hit is dangerous players should be sanctioned without regard to injury. This shouldn't be "an eye for an eye." It should be what's right or wrong.
4. Fenway 100
It was a lump in the throat moment last Friday afternoon. 92-year old Johnny Pesky and 94-year old Bobby Doerr in wheelchairs joining the returning Red Sox players to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. I'm sure sitting in wheelchairs is how these Red Sox legends don't want to be remembered. But at least they showed up for the party. Many big Red Sox names took a pass. Let's assume they all had previous engagements that were unbreakable.
5. Heads Up
Time was that only important moments in sports were put up for auction. Babe Ruth's contract. Mookie's ground ball. But thanks to the video age, you can now buy bloopers. A Spanning the World classic is on the auction block, the baseball cap that Jose Canseco wore for Texas when a home run bounced off his head and over the fence in Cleveland in 1993. Bidding ends May 4 and the current bid is $3,200. Of course in his own inimitable way Canseco says it wasn't a homer, it was a 4-base error.
Happy Birthday: Yankees outfielder Andruw Jones. 35.
Bonus Birthday: Child actress Shirley Temple who had that kid's drink named after her. 84.
Today in Sports: The first of many. Hank Aaron (the natural home run champ?) hit the first of his 755 homers. 1954.
Bonus Event: Ya think this will amount to anything? The first video was uploaded to YouTube. 2005.
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