08/16/2011 11:05 am ET Updated Oct 16, 2011

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for August 16, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Minnesota's Jim Thome becomes the eighth major leaguer to reach 600 homers.
  • The Mets Jason Isringhausen becomes the 23rd reliever to notch 300 saves.
  • Call off the hounds. After yielding runs in three straight games, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera records a perfect ninth inning against Kansas City.
  • Not a good way to get ready for the U.S. Open. Andy Roddick flames out in the first round to Philipp Kohlschreiber in Cincinnati.
  • Play of the night, the first place Milwaukee Brewers turn in a second to short to first to home triple play against the Dodgers. (4-6-3-2 if you're scoring at home.)

2. History

So where does Jim Thome fit it? Do you instantly think Hall of Famer? Doesn't 600 homers automatically qualify? By all accounts he's clean. Yet does piling up numbers when homers come a lot more cheaply count as much as home runs in earlier eras? Is he one of the all time greats? Just wonderin'.

3. Ratings

Quick, who won last year's PGA Golf Championship? 14% more of you should know. Last year, when Martin Kaymer won, that's how much higher the ratings were than Sunday. So what's the reason? Both events featured playoffs. Maybe because it looked like Sunday was over before Keegan Bradley's late heroics? And two years ago, when Tiger Woods was losing to Y.E. Yang, the ratings were significantly higher still. Well, newsflash. Tiger may never come back to the top, and Sunday's final was thrilling. Maybe viewers can start to realize what makes a good sports event without having to have a big name headliner.

4. Tit for Tat

Last week I suggested that a player's skin might be the next collective bargaining skirmish. For example, if an NBA player slapped a Nike logo tattoo on his body, would the league claim they deserve a cut? Well as Top 5 subscriber Whitney H. pointed out, this isn't far-fetched. Boxer Bernard Hopkins claims he got big bucks to wear a tattoo of "Golden Palace" on his back. Then there's serial streaker Mark Roberts. You've seen him at Wimbledon and the Super Bowl. He sells his skin to everyone. Then again, you might remember the basically topless woman, again with "Golden Palace," who tried to present Jim Furyk with a rose at the 2003 U.S. Open. I'm guessing not too many people noticed the ad.

5. Good One

In honor of today's birthday couple I thought I'd share something that Kathie Lee Gifford once told me. Her late dad was the product of a Native American mother and a Russian Jewish father. Kathie said, "We used to call him Sitting Shiva."

Happy Birthday: The great Frank Gifford. 81.
Bonus Birthday: Frank's wife (and my Today Show buddy) Kathie Lee Gifford. 58.

Today in Sports: Babe Ruth dies at the age of 53. 1948.
Bonus Event: A slight change in the lineup. Drummer Pete Best was given his walking papers, paving the way for Ringo Starr to join the Beatles. 1962.