TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for June 4, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* The Lakers draw first blood beating the Celtics 102-89 in game 1 of the NBA Finals.
* Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig will not reverse the blown umpire's call in the "Imperfect game."
* Legendary 99-year-old UCLA basketball coach John Wooden is in grave condition at an L.A. hospital.
* Tiger Woods is 7 shots off the lead after one round at the Memorial.
2. Instant Replay
Well it's unanimous. Top 5 subscribers who took the time to vent yesterday want instant replay expanded in baseball. They are also urging the Commissioner to overrule the blown call that cost Detroit's Armando Galarraga a perfect game, something Bud Selig will not do. I don't think he should. What's done, is done. At the risk of annoying my own readers, I'm still not in favor of replay on the bases. With ball... foot... glove... there are too many variables. Then you'll argue what about obvious calls? Well, that is the rule in the NFL, and we all see how poorly that works. About the best argument for overturning the call I've heard, is to take poor umpire Jim Joyce off the hook. I'm actually in favor of that. See, I'm a softy at heart.
3. The Natural
Overlooked in all this is the retirement of Ken Griffey, Jr. He's 5th on the all time home run list, but 4th on the "clean list." He thrived during the steroid era without the slightest hint of cheating. It seems weird that a guy who followed the rules should get extra kudos, but that's what sports has come to.
4. Friday eMailbag
Last week I submitted that Jim Thorpe might have been the best athlete of all time. A.K. disagrees. He nominates Jim Brown. "He's generally regarded as the best football and lacrosse player ever, so superior in hoops that he still holds the Long Island scoring record with 39.6 ppg in 1952-53, tossed 5 no-hitters for Manhasset High School and, despite never having attempted many of the events (e.g. the javelin, pole vault), he competed in his first decathlon where he finished fifth in the Olympic Trials. First and second went on to win gold and silver in Melbourne in 1956."
Editor's Note: Syracuse guys are the best.
With the NHL now calling it the "Stanley Cup Final," (singular), J.S. emails, "Kinda like when the word police jumped on, 'Gentlemen start your engines' when they only had one each."
Editor's Note: Who knew that this was turning into English class?
And J.S. writes, "2014 Hooters Superbowl Party might feature a Frozen T-Shirt Contest. That should perk things up!"
Editor's Note: We can't print this email. We have standards!
5. Spanning the World
So here's the point in the program where I give you my Spanning the World highlight of the week. Normally a blooper. But I love this scene at home plate the afternoon after the "Imperfect game." Umpire Jim Joyce wiping away the tears, as he accepts the lineup card from Armando Galarraga.
Told you I was a softy.
O.K. you want a blooper? Check out the poor goalie. Actually it's a tale of two goalies in the Finnish minor leagues. Enjoy.
Have a great weekend everyone.
Happy Birthday: Tennis star turned nun, Andrea Jaeger. 45.
Bonus Birthday: Actress Angelina Jolie. 35.
Today in Sports: The New York Mets, with the #1 pick in the draft, select Shawn Abner. They passed on 4 all stars including Mark McGwire. 1984.
Bonus Event: Brilliant marketing. Ten cent beer night in Cleveland. Fans get drunk and riot, and the Indians forfeit the game. 1974.