TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 30, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Tomorrow is the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby.
* Tiger Woods shot a 2 over 74 at Quail Hollow and trails by 9 shots after one round.
* San Antonio and Phoenix advance in the NBA playoffs.
* The NCAA has approved increasing the field of its basketball tournament from 65 to 68 teams.
2. The Color Barrier
When Jackie Robinson blasted trough the color barrier in 1947 it led to a flood of black baseball players. That number has been reduced to a trickle. Last season, 9 per cent of major leaguers were black. That's all, as opposed to 27 per cent Latino. The low point for blacks was 8.2 per cent in 2007. The reason appears obvious. Young blacks would rather play basketball and football. I'm guessing one reason is that they see they can be instant stars in football and especially in basketball. LeBron James jumped from high school to super-stardom. Baseball takes more time to make it as players must mature through the minor leagues. Just speculatin'.
3. Post Time
For many sports fans, the Kentucky Derby is the only horse race they'll watch all year. They call it the fastest 2 minutes in sports, although no horse has done it faster than Secretariat who ran it in less than 2 minutes. Anyway, when Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973 he broke a 25-year drought dating back to 1948 and Citation. That was considered forever. Until now. The current drought is 32 years since Affirmed. Maybe no horse will win the Triple Crown again, maybe it's just too hard. But after tomorrow only one horse will have a shot this year. And maybe he'll just do it. Wanna bet?
4. Friday eMailbag
When I joked that the Mets' Jewish rookie didn't have to skip a World Series game this year like Sandy Koufax, because Yom Kippur falls in September, subscriber S.D. emailed, "Ike Davis would be better off attending Temple on Yom Kippur to atone for Minaya and Manuel's sins of putting together a lousy team that will remain in last place."
Editor's Note: Maybe you should check the standings.
As for the possible liaison between George Steinbrenner and Barbara Walters, M.F. has the "inside scoop."
BARBARA: "Oh, George. You're sooo big and strong. Take me, George. Oh yes, yes, yes, YES!!!!
GEORGE: "That's it! That's what I'll call my network."
And subscriber F.W. has my back. He emails "Have you thought about asking your existing readers to recommend your Top 5 to friends and colleagues? Maybe you can ask your readers to give you five e-mail addresses and enter them in a competition for some prize?"
Editor's Note: I think about it all the time. So here goes, send me at least 3 email addresses of friends or colleagues and be eligible to receive free autographed copies of my best selling kids book The Greatest Moments in Sports.
5. Spanning the Week
Subscriber Tony T. suggests that we should include video links to great sports highlights. While there are plenty of sites that do that, maybe we will start a Spanning the World highlight of the week. How about his one? In an Argentinian soccer game, two teammates... one ball...
Take a look.
Just call it a "Bicycle Built For Two."
Feel free to send along suggestions for this new feature.
Happy Birthday: Former Knicks coach Isiah Thomas. 49.
Bonus Birthday: On the Road Again. Singer Willie Nelson. 77.
Today in Sports: Truly the end of an era. Lou Gehrig plays his last game for the Yankees. 1939.
Bonus Event: The original George W. was sworn in as our nation's first president. 1789.
Follow Len Berman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lenbermansports