Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 14, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Barry Bonds is found guilty of obstruction of justice.
* Lakers star Kobe Bryant is fined $100,000 for yelling an anti-gay slur at an NBA ref during a game.
* The Kings play their last game of the season in Sacramento. It could be their last game ever in that city, with Anaheim on the horizon.
* Florida Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson flirts with the season's first no-hitter. The Braves broke it up with one out in the 8th.
* Home ice advantage. The NHL playoffs began last night, with the road team winning just one of the five games, Nashville over Anaheim.
2. Swing and a Miss
Do you get the feeling that the government whiffed big time? They spent years and untold millions and all they got was obstruction of justice against Barry Bonds. The odds are he won't spend any time in jail. The jury deadlocked on the three charges that he lied about his steroid use. Interesting what happens when you get inside a jury room. Is there anyone on earth (outside of San Francisco) who doesn't think the guy juiced? In a way, the end result is very "O.J.-esque." Guilty in the court of public opinion. Innocent in court.
3. Lemme in Coach
Being a baseball coach is like being an offensive lineman. You only get noticed if you screw up. So when Josh Hamilton broke his arm sliding home head-first, he did what any modern day athlete would do. Blamed someone else. He called out his third base coach for the "stupid play." Then again, maybe Hamilton is the stupid one for using his head for sliding, instead of using it to take responsibility for his actions.
4. Charlie Hustle
As you'll see below, Pete Rose hits the big 7-0 today. So it's as good a time as any to revisit his exclusion from the Hall of Fame. Rather than rehash all the arguments, let me just say that some day in the future, maybe 100 years from now, kids will ask, "How come the all time hit king isn't in Cooperstown?" You know that there will be a movement to get him in posthumously. So let's cut to the chase, and do it while he's still alive.
5. Ten-Cent Beer Night
The Dodgers had planned six weekday afternoon promotions this season where food and drink, including alcohol, would be half price. After a fan was critically beaten on opening day, there were official calls to reconsider the policy. The Dodgers have. Alcohol won't be included. Doesn't anyone remember "Ten-Cent Beer Night?" The Indians ran the promotion for a game against Billy Martin's Texas Rangers in 1974. And surprise, by the time the 9th inning rolled around, the crowd was so liquored up that a full scale riot ensued. Cleveland forfeited the game. But here's the best part. Future beer night promotions in Cleveland weren't canceled. Limits were placed on the fans of four per customer. You gotta keep that booze flowing.
Happy Birthday: Charlie Hustle himself. Pete Rose. Featured in my kids book The 25 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time. 70.
Bonus Birthday: Same date, same year. Oscar winning actress Julie Christie. 70.
Today in Sports: Every president has done it since, except Jimmy Carter. President Howard Taft throws out the first first ball. 1910.
Bonus Event: Abe Lincoln is shot. 1865.
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