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Top 5 Sports Stories

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Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for July 19, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

* South African Louis Oosthuizen won the British Open by a staggering 7 shots. The best American finishers were Sean O'Hair and Nick Watney who tied for 7th, 10 shots back.
* Michael Jordan must love his legacy. In discussing LeBron James joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, Jordan said, "There's no way, with hindsight, I would've ever called up Larry, called up Magic and said, 'Hey, look, let's get together and play on one team.'"
* The Redbirds are red hot. St. Louis trailed the Dodgers 4-0 in the 8th, and won 5-4. They swept the 4 game series and took over first place.
* It turns out 85-year-old Yogi Berra was hospitalized overnight Saturday following a fall at his home. He was released yesterday. Get well soon Yogi!

2. Fore-Casting the Future

This was supposed to be the "Year of the Tiger." He would win multiple Majors, since they were being played on courses that he has owned, Pebble Beach and St. Andrews. But after finishing tied for 23rd yesterday, he lost both of those Opens by a combined 16 shots. And the new person he promised to become was left muttering loud expletives after he missed a putt on 13. So the question has to be asked, will he ever win again? Has being exposed as a fraud as a person sapped his invincibility as a golfer?

3. Sound Off

My readers on Facebook at "Len Berman's Top 5" are really ticked that no Yankees showed up at Bob Sheppard's funeral. Ali K. writes, "The only thing that people seem to cherish is money. The Yankees showed a total lack of respect for Bob Sheppard who gave such a substantial part of his life to the Yankees." And from Bob B. "I believe that most players simply live 'in their own world' apart from the rest of us. They probably lack the social graces that one learns in the real world. Not attending and not showing their respect was immature and lazy."
The only thing I can add, is that the funeral took place on the back end of the All Star break, so many players might have been in transit. However, that doesn't explain the absence of former players.

4. Calling Rod Serling

Did you happen to see the bottom of the 9th in the Mets/Giants game yesterday? An obvious strike was called a ball. The winning Giants run, clearly safe at the plate, was called out. And a fair ball in front of the plate was called foul by the third base umpire, who had no jurisdiction on the play. Mets TV announcer Gary Cohen called it the Twilight Zone. He was being kind. You see better umpiring in Little League.
On top of that, the worst statistic in sports reared its ugly head. Mets reliever Frankie Rodriguez blew the save, only to get the win. Only in baseball can you be rewarded for failing.

5. Bursting Your Bubble

Congratulations to the minor league Lowell Spinners. Saturday night they set the all time record for people popping bubble wrap, 3,692. It was the 50th anniversary of the invention of bubble wrap. The team adds this coveted mark to its collection which includes the record for the largest game of "Duck, Duck, Goose." The Lowell Spinners are dead last in the New York-Penn League standings, but who has time to notice?

Happy Birthday: Tennis bad boy Ilie Nastase. 64.
Bonus Birthday: One of the finest people you'll ever meet in or out of sports, Jackie Robinson's widow Rachel. 88.

Today in Sports: The first unassisted triple play in baseball history. Wouldn't you know it, the guy who did it was named Ball? Cleveland shortstop Neal Ball. (I guess it would be even better if his name were Neal Glove.) 1909.
Bonus Event: A wonderful moment that I witnessed in person. Muhammad Ali lights the flame, opening the Atlanta Olympics. What's your most memorable Olympic moment? 1996.