07/26/2011 11:05 am ET Updated Sep 25, 2011

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for July 26, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The NFL lockout is officially over. Teams can start making deals, and they can sign draft picks and undrafted players today.
  • The Texas Rangers fail to score in the 6th and 8th innings, collecting 27 hits in a 20-6 romp over Minnesota.
  • Dropping like a rock. Tiger Woods is now ranked 21st in the world, the first time he's been out of the top 20 since 1997.
  • The Turkish soccer season has been delayed a month, until September, in the wake of 30 suspects being jailed for match fixing.

2. Play Ball!

To no one's surprise, the long monotonous NFL lockout ended with no games being missed, and nobody losing any money. The Jets did the right thing and immediately announced they'd reimburse the employees and coaches whose salaries they cut. They never should have pinched those pennies in the first place. And a good casualty of this agreement, two-a-days. Practicing twice in one day, in pads, in summer heat is patently absurd. Now, thankfully it's a thing of the past. Another good step to improve the physical and more important mental health of the players.

3. Mensch

Kudos to Patriots owner Bob Kraft. He just lost his beloved wife Myra, and when he stepped up to the microphone yesterday, the first thing he did was apologize to the fans. Good for him. He then gave credit to a couple of the players at the negotiating table for thinking not in the short term for themselves, but in the long term for the good of the game. One of those players he cited is Jeff Saturday, the center for the rival Indianapolis Colts. Then Saturday said of Kraft, "he is a man who helped us save football and we're so (grateful) for that, we're (grateful) for his family and for the opportunity he presented to get this deal done."

Just check out the hug the two of them gave each other. Touching for sure.

4. Enough Already

At the World Swimming Championships in Shanghai, an Iranian swimmer pulled out of a race presumably because there was an Israeli competitor in the heat. Iran has pulled this stunt time and again. It's time for the international sports community to throw the bums out.

5. Monkey See

Last week I talked about a soccer player from the United Arab Emirates who hot-dogged on a penalty kick, incurring the wrath of both his own team and the opposition. His coach immediately pulled him from the game. Well, the lesson wasn't learned in the international soccer community. Mario Balotelli of Manchester City tried the same stunt during game action against the Los Angeles Galaxy. It earned him an immediate hook, in fact he never came out of the locker room for the second half. Bravo.

Happy Birthday: 1976 Olympic gold medal winning figure skater Dorothy Hamill. 55.
Bonus Birthday: The other Mick, Mick Jagger. 68.

Today in Sports: If you're scoring at home. Jesse Hill of the Yankees lines the ball off the head of Washington pitcher Ed Linke. The ball is caught in the air by the catcher who doubles up the runner Ben Chapman at second. Just a routine 1-2-5 doubleplay. 1935
Bonus Event: The check couldn't be in the mail, if a postal service wasn't created on this date. Benjamin Franklin was the first Postmaster General. 1775.

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