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Top 5 Sports Stories

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Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 21, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

* Today could be the day that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is punished by the NFL for his lousy conduct. Then the debate will begin if race is a factor as compared with other suspensions.
* The Jets have signed Miami linebacker Jason Taylor. Taylor has spent a good part of his career trashing Jets fans.
* The world's top woman golfer, 28-year-old Lorena Ochoa, announces her retirement.
* The 48-year old president of the Colorado Rockies, Keli McGregor, was found dead of natural causes.
* The former president of the IOC, Juan Antonio Samaranch, is dead at the age of 89.
* Parents, let your kids grow up to become tennis players. Wimbledon champs will earn a cool one million pounds ($1.54M) this year, each runner-up will receive half a million ($770K).

2. While I Was Gone

Miss me? The Top 5 returns from "spring break" today. Four subscribers wondered what happened to my emails? (What a ringing endorsement!) And two subscribers told me about the Phillies fan who was accused of throwing up on an 11 year old girl. They've dubbed him "Pukemon." (Glad to see you've grasped the journalistic level of the Top 5.) The best story might have been the Mets and Cards playing a 20 inning game where Fox announcer, 42-year old Kenny Albert, didn't go to the bathroom the entire game. Get back to me in a few years Kenny. If you can duplicate that, we'll transfer the nickname "Iron Horse" to you.

3. Boo-ston

What, they booed the Red Sox in Boston? Shocking. While the Fenway faithful were emptying their lungs at their heroes, fans were staying away in droves in Washington and Toronto. Maybe a Red Sox fan should try being a National or Blue Jay fan? There's more to boo, and the players have a decent chance of hearing your individual complaint.

4. The Hot Seat

It must be fun sitting on the hot seat. If the Mets win, Jerry Manuel is safe. If the Mets lose, Bobby Valentine's name gets shouted all over the airwaves. I thought Lou Piniella's take was interesting. The once fired Yankee manager opined that current Yankee manager Joe Girardi has no idea how lucky he is that George Steinbrenner isn't running the show. No kidding. If George were still in control somebody would have been fired, the pitching coach, the manager or the clubhouse attendant, after the first two Javy Vazquez starts.

5. What, no Spooning?

Last week, on Garry Kasparov's 47th birthday, I mused: is a chess player an athlete? Well, according to subscriber Richard L. "Are you kidding? A chess player must know how to block, attack, defend, skewer, check, double check, pin and fork...and all while the clock is ticking. Dr. Leroy Dubeck, a professor at Temple University, did a physiologic study on the energy expended playing a variety of sports and found chess as exhausting as a 3 minute round of boxing, a set of tennis, or running some distance. Chess players are some of the best conditioned athletes I know."
My only response, can it really be a sport if "fork" is part of the strategy?
But thanks for the reality check, mate.

Happy Birthday: Former Mets reliever Jesse Orosco, who was on the mound when they clinched the 1986 World Series. 53.
Bonus Birthday: Don't Cry For Me Argentina. Actress Patti LuPone. 61.

Today in Sports: It rained in Southern California. A Dodgers game gets rained out for the first time since the team moved there in 1958. 1967.
Bonus Event: Geraldo Rivera opened up Al Capone's vault live on television. It was basically empty. 1986.