Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 14, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com
1. Quick Hits
* The Yankees raise their 27th championship flag, then beat the Angels 7-5.
* The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin tonight.
* Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is dropped as a sponsor of beef jerky in Pittsburgh. Is it because the product describes him too well?
2. Ring in the New
Nobody can throw a ring ceremony like the Yankees. Who else can trot out Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford? Thunderous applause for the "core four," Jeter, Rivera, Posada and Pettitte. Right behind, A-Rod and World Series MVP Hideki Matsui, now with the Angels. A touching moment when Gene Monahan, the ailing long-time trainer, picked up his ring. And I felt a twinge of sadness when George Steinbrenner was introduced before the game, but he wasn't visible. He was later announced to the crowd, but he acts like a shell of his former self. Without George, there would not have been a yesterday.
3. What, the Puck?
"The NHL regular season is a joke because they play 82 games just to eliminate the Rangers." Sure it's an old joke, but Nashville made the playoffs. So did Phoenix, which nearly folded. Most people don't even know there are pro hockey teams in Tennessee and Arizona. But as bad as the regular season is, that's how great the playoffs are. The matchups in the East are fabulous. They never fight this time of year, and of course they keep playing until somebody really wins, no shootouts. So drop the puck and lets get it on. Here's another oldie but goodie for the non-hockey fan out there. "What's red white and blue and plays golf in April?" Yup, the New York Rangers.
4. The Win Column
After ragging on the Mets for their advertised $11.00 ticket, when it really costs $17.50, subscriber Pete M. wanted to tell me about something the Mets got right. "On opening day they were having computer issues with the in-seat food service. I had to wait 90 minutes to get my Shake Shack. Well yesterday I received an apology letter in the mail along with $50 in gift cards to be used for food or anything at future games."
There you go Mets fans, your team is batting .500 in the Top 5 this week. Now about that on-field record... (Last place after another loss last night in Colorado.)
5. Political Football
A recent survey says fans of professional golf tend to be more Republican. NBA fans are more likely Democrats. Republicans are also heavy into college football, NASCAR, and bull riding. Democrats lean towards tennis and WWE Wrestling. If you're looking for a sport that cuts across party lines, it's Major League baseball. I have no idea what any of this means, but it appears at least in Washington, both parties are equally into mud wrestling.
Happy Birthday: Charlie Hustle, Pete Rose. 69
Bonus Birthday: They grow up so fast. Little Miss Sunshine actress Abigail Breslin. 14.
Today in Sports: William Howard Taft becomes the first President to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.1910.
Bonus Event: Not such a good day for another President. Abe Lincoln is shot. 1865.
Follow Len Berman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lenbermansports