Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 29, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* There will be 20 horses in Saturday's Kentucky Derby. The morning line favorite, Lookin At Lucky, will break from the not so lucky #1 post.
* The Montreal Canadiens complete their comeback from down 3 games to 1 to oust favored Washington.
* In all future baseball All Star games, the designated hitter will be used regardless of if the game is played in a National League Stadium.
* The oldest NFL player, Giants punter Jeff Feagles, is expected to retire today. Grandpa Brett Favre... still up in the air.
* Act II. Tiger Woods is in action today at Quail Hollow in Charlotte.
* It took a decade, but the U.S. women's gymnastics team just won the bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. China got disqualified for having an underage participant. You still have to wonder if China's 2008 gold medal is legit.
2. The Loser's Circle
Things are tough all over. According to the New York Times tons of horse farms are for sale in Kentucky, people are betting less at the track and you can now get a really cheap date at stud. Where once Smarty Jones, a near Triple Crown winner, commanded $100-thousand a pop, he's now available for a roll in the hay for just $10-grand. Something to keep in mind while you're watching Saturday's Kentucky Derby. Wonder if mint juleps and high fashion will be replaced this year by tap water and K-Mart?
3. Keep Your Eye on the Ball
Interesting that some of you had the same complaint yesterday, major leaguers playing like bush leaguers. Corey M. writes "Don't these guys learn anything going through HS, College, minors (heck even little league)?" And from John C. "Man my high school would have run us until we dropped if we played like that."
I hear this time and again in baseball and basketball. I guess the easy explanation is that sluggers get big contracts, not sacrifice bunters. And on Sportscenter, slam dunks far outnumber highlights of guys moving without the ball. Then again, errors in baseball really stand out. I remember my dad yelling at the TV, "they're playing like little leaguers." He was screaming at the Yankees in the 50's and 60's, who made annual World Series appearances.
4. Battle of the Belgians
It doesn't have quite the appeal of the Battle of the Sexes. That was the 1973 tennis match featuring Billie Jean King against Bobby Riggs.
*Time out for this commercial message.
That match is featured in my best selling kids book The Greatest Moments in Sports available at Amazon.com and bookstores everywhere.
*Now back to our program.
When Kim Clijsters and countrywoman Justine Henin meet up in Brussels on July 8th, they hope to break the all time tennis attendance record set by King and Riggs of 30,472. Good for them. What they won't beat is the world wide TV ratings mark set in 1973. That will forever be the most watched tennis event of all time. Not to mention the social implications for women not only in sports, but the world over.
5. God Bless America
Many of you responded to my memory of Kate Smith singing God Bless America in the Spectrum before the clinching game of the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals. Subscriber George F. who produced that game for NBC says the production truck was taken by surprise when Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito of the Bruins skated over to greet Kate after she was through singing. Several of you mentioned Kate singing before a game 7 win over the Islanders in 1975. And subscriber Sandy V. found Kate on YouTube from 1976.
Enjoy! And God Bless Kate Smith.
Happy Birthday: Tennis star Andre Agassi. 40.
Bonus Birthday: Same day, same year: Kill Bill actress Uma Thurman. 40.
Today in Sports: Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens sets the record by striking out 20 Seattle Mariners. 1986.
Bonus Event: A big day in tires, not to mention other sundry industries. Rubber is patented. 1813.