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Len Berman

Len Berman

Posted: September 16, 2009 01:04 PM

Top 5 Sports Stories

What's Your Reaction?

Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for September 16, 2009 from

1. Quick Hits

The Yankees and Blue Jays brawl at Yankee Stadium. It's not real bright to risk injury when you harbor championship aspirations.

The Red Sox and Yankees will open and close the 2010 season at Fenway. Why don't they just play each other every day?

Might we actually have a pennant race? The Giants close to within 2 1/2 games of Colorado in the Wild Card race.

Michael Vick is activated by the Philadelphia Eagles. He can practice this week with the team, but isn't eligible to play until week three.

2. Contraction

Have we reached the long overdue moment of contraction is pro sports? According to the SportsBusiness Journal the New Jersey Nets lost $25-million in the first half of fiscal 2009. Pat Riley has given all the non-players on the Miami Heat pay cuts. The Islanders are awash in red ink. Some NFL teams aren't selling out. Baseball and football ticket prices and personal seat licenses are turning off fans by the thousands. The Yankees announced yesterday that they are reducing the price of their most expensive seats next season. They used to say owning a TV station was a "license to print money." For some teams, owning a sports franchise is a license to burn it. How much longer can this go on?

3. All the News

Now we're talking. A New York Times editorial yesterday dealt with the hoary issue of "sports clichés." They did so in the context of Serena Williams' comments following her on court explosion. Such beauties as "It was what it was." "I'm moving on." "I was in the moment." I've never liked sports cliches and I've strived to avoid them. But for athletes who have something to hide, or don't wish to communicate, clichés are the perfect crutch. By the way, I'm taking The Top 5 one day at a time.

4. Mr. Detroit

Legendary Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell will address the fans at tonight's game. He will thank them for their support. Ernie has cancer. I first met him nearly 40 years ago. My father published a songwriting magazine, and Ernie was a subscriber. When Hank Aaron was chasing Babe Ruth's home run record, Ernie penned the song, "Move over Babe (Here comes Henry)." In the 1980's when my Sports Fantasy show was on NBC a viewer, an old Dodger fan, wanted to "strike out" Bobby Thomson. Ernie had called the "Shot heard 'round the world" in 1951 on TV. So he recorded the fantasy call for me. Ernie cried "The Giants lose the pennant, the Giants lose the pennant." In "Move over Babe," Ernie wrote how Hank Aaron was "swingin' mean." Take those same cuts at cancer, Ernie.

5. Coupling

The Yankees are all about tradition and they've taken Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn to the extreme. A-Rod, Derek Jeter, and Nick Swisher all have girlfriends who are actresses. According to the New York Post, Swisher was seen hanging with Joanna Garcia of Gossip Girls. They were with Jerry Ferrara (Turtle from Entourage) and actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler. Not only is Turtle unemployed in Entourage, he gets to wear his baseball cap backwards all day, and drive the car. And now he has Jamie-Lynn as his girlfriend on and off the screen. My hero.

Happy Birthday: 2-time Yankee world champ Tim "Rock" Raines. 50. Bonus Birthday: Columbo. Actor Peter Falk (Syracuse alum). 82.

Today in Sports: Mayhem at Ebbets Field. When the Dodgers lose to the Reds 4-3, a fan jumps onto the field and starts pummeling the umpire. Leo Durocher is suspended for "inciting a riot." 1940. Bonus Event: There goes the neighborhood. The Pilgrims set sail on the Mayflower. 1620.


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