Top 5 Sports Stories

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for October 21, 2009 from

1. Quick Hits

The Yankees crushed the Angels 10-1 to take a commanding 3 games to
1 lead. The Yankees and Phillies are each one game away from a World
Series matchup.

Today's schedule: Game 5 Dodgers @ Philadelphia. (Phillies lead 3
games to 1.) 8:07pm ET TBS

Calling Inspector Clouseau. Major League Baseball "investigates" and
finds no proof that Yankee pitcher Mariano Rivera spit on a baseball.

Word is the NBA refs will be back for the start of the regular
season next week.

It wasn't only Mets fans who got emails from StubHub offering
"playoff tickets." A Top 5 subscriber got a solicitation for
Washington Nats "playoff tickets." Now that would be a valuable

2. Big Bucks

These days you don't always get what you pay for, not so with the
Yankees. CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez continue to dominate. They are
a big reason why the Yankees are one game away from their 40th World

But what's with the umpiring? The umps, in perfect position, blew two
straight calls last night against Nick Swisher. He was ruled safe on a
pickoff attempt at second, and then called out for leaving third too
soon on a sacrifice fly. Is there such a thing as a makeup call in
baseball? It sure looked that way. And for good measure, the same ump
at third, Tim McClelland, blew another call the next inning. I'm not in
favor of replay in most cases. I am in favor of getting these umps

3. Mid-Week Musings

It's good to be a fan of the undefeated New Orleans Saints. As "Big
Easy" subscriber L.R. points out, the Saints have completed a rare hat
trick. In successive games they beat all 3 "New York" teams, Buffalo,
Jets, Giants.


Sure I jumped the gun suggesting that the Yankees may have a
championship parade this year. J.S. wonders if the ticker tape will
consist of $50s or $100s? (You'll never guess that J.S. is from Red
Sox country.)


And Mickey Mantle's son David ( a Top 5 subscriber) emailed me that
all postseason home runs are not created equal. He should know. While
Manny Ramirez holds the record with 29, he's only hit 4 in the World
Series. The record holder for World Series homers? Of course, David's
dad, The Mick, 18.

There should be separate categories. World Series records and
postseason marks.

4. Political Football

There's a new PAC in Washington, a political action committee. They
call themselves Playoff PAC. Their goal is to help elect Congressmen
who favor a playoff system in college football.
I'm thinking of forming a new PAC. To help PACs get a life.

5. Word of the Week

Wow, the word balloon this week has really uh, ballooned. The
Colorado "balloon boy" was a hoax. What happened on the other side of
the pond wasn't. During a soccer game between Liverpool and
Sunderland, a fan threw a big red balloon onto the field. During the
game, Sunderland's Darren Bent "hadn't bent it like Beckham." He took
his shot on goal and bingo, it ricocheted off the red balloon, changed
direction, and went into the net for a goal. Sunderland won the game
1-nothing. Unlike Colorado, no charges will be filed.

Happy Birthday: The Chairman of the Board. Yankee pitcher Whitey
Ford. 81.

Bonus Birthday: For those of you who like to keep up with the
Kardashians, Kim is 29 today.

Today in Sports: Body English! Boston's Carlton Fisk hits a dramatic
12th inning homer to beat the Reds in game 6 of the World Series. (If
you're timing at home, technically the homer was hit the morning of
10/22.) 1975.

Bonus Event: Esther Canseco calls A's manager Tony LaRussa a "punk"
for not starting her husband Jose in a World Series game. What a
lovely couple they were. 1990.