Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for March 11, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Dodgers hitting coach Don Mattingly says the Dodgers have talked to him about replacing Joe Torre as manager in 2012
* Former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra signed a one day minor league contract and then retired from baseball as a member of the Red Sox organization. After Boston traded him away they won two championships.
* NHL general managers have recommended a rule change to make certain hits to the head illegal. Why not all?
* Call off the dogs. They've found Sidney Crosby's missing hockey gear from his Olympic gold medal winning goal.
* An arena grows in Brooklyn. Groundbreaking today for the New Jersey Nets' new facility.
2. Floating an Idea
Major League Baseball has a committee looking at all things baseball, and one of the ideas they've come up with is apparently "floating divisions." Teams could change divisions from year to year based geography and payroll. For example, Tampa Bay might be spared having to duke it out with the Yankees and Red Sox every year.
Here's a better idea. Do it like soccer in Europe. You finish last, you drop out of the majors. Finish first in the minor leagues, you move up. Ya think crappy teams with cheap owners might have a little more incentive to compete?
3. Say What?
The media hates vanilla sound bytes. That's why they can't wait to hear what former players have to say. Milton Bradley ripped the Cubs and wondered if some of the racist mail he received came from inside the Cubs organization. Kerry Rhodes ripped Jets coaches for not featuring him in the defense. And former Browns quarterback Derek Anderson ripped Cleveland fans as "being ruthless and not deserving a winner." All 3 athletes had something in common. They didn't perform. But they did do what pro athletes do best, blame someone else.
4. The Face Rings a Bell
So when you see Robert DeNiro, do you think Vince Lombardi? Hardly. But De Niro will play the legendary football coach in an upcoming movie. When it comes to sports movies, casting is tricky. Was William Bendix really Babe Ruth in The Babe Ruth Story? John Turturro was "dead-on" as Billy Martin in The Bronx is Burning. So who is going to play A-Rod when his movie is invariably made? Who will portray Tiger Woods? Can't wait to hear your answers.
5. I'll Drink to That
Horrors. They've scheduled a huge rugby game in Ireland for Good Friday. Fans and pubs are outraged. Drinking is not permitted on Good Friday. How can you possibly enjoy the action without a pint or two? Politicians in Limerick are talking about a temporary law to allow imbibing "for the good of the people." How can you argue with that logic?
Happy Birthday: Former Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis. He admitted to pitching a no-hitter on LSD. What a guy. 65.
Angels outfielder Bobby Abreu. 36.
Bonus Birthday: Media mogul Rupert Murdoch. 79.
Today in Sports: Big behemoths stand around in the cold while zebras watch TV. The NFL adopts instant replay. 1986.
Bonus Event: An earthquake hit an exhibition game in L.A. Fans left the stadium in a panic. The Giants and Cubs scrambled to the second base area until the ground stopped shaking. 1933.