Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for October 7, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Roy Halladay of the Phillies pitches a no-hitter in his playoff debut against Cincinnati.
* Texas and the Yankees also draw first blood in the baseball playoffs. More of the same for school kids. The Yankees/Twins game ended well after midnight.
* Today's playoff schedule. All games TBS and Eastern Time.
Game 2, Texas at Tampa Bay. 2:30pm.
Game 2, Yankees at Twins. 6:00pm.
Game 1, Braves at Giants. 9:30pm.
* By the way, the NHL season begins today with 5 games, one of them in Helsinki, Finland.
2. No No
I got an email yesterday morning from subscriber Jo Ann in Philadelphia. She said she was going to the game last night and she would let me know how fantastic Roy Halladay's perfect game was. Sorry, Jo Ann. He walked one batter. You were way off base. No perfect game. Just your run of the mill no hitter.
Somebody asked me the other day if I still get excited about sports after being in the business for 40 years. I answered yes because you never know when something great or dramatic is going to happen. It happened last night. The second no hitter in post season play, two days shy of the 54th anniversary of Don Larsen's perfect game.
I wonder what's going to happen today?
3. The Pitts
The Pittsburgh Pirates this season stretched their North American record to 18 consecutive losing seasons. But here's a ray of light. Their Double-A team, the Altoona Curve, won their league championship. Matt Walbeck won manager of the year for the 4th time in 6 years. So, how was he rewarded? With a pink slip. The word is he wasn't following the Pirates format for developing players. Yeah, that's been a winning formula, hasn't it?
By the way, a Pittsburgh fan named Gary Mercer bet $20 dollars on every game for the Pirates to lose. His return on investment this season was 9.98.
4. Everybody's Doing It
In response to yesterday's item, where a former bicycle racer says you can't win the Tour de France without doping, subscriber Torin R., a cycling enthusiast, sent me a thoughtful email. "What they can do - doped or not - is simply incredible. As the drug testing gets better it will certainly lead to more positive tests. But it won't stop the cheating. As testing gets better, the drugs get more sophisticated and harder to detect. So maybe they should alter the prize. Make the trophies in the shapes of prescription bottles, IV bags, or mortars and pestles."
Another possibility is to let them do whatever they want to their bodies. Why should we care? That's pretty much what Italy's anti-doping prosecutor suggested this week. And he immediately caught all sorts of flak. But think about it. If these guys wanna be dopes, why should millions of dollars be spent trying to catch them being stupid?
There's a popular tailgate parking lot at Cleveland Browns games called "The Pit." The charge per vehicle is $30 dollars. Of course you can save the fee by walking in to join your friends. But not so fast. Last Sunday people without cars were charged a $5 standing fee. The air they breathe, is still free... so far.
Happy Birthday: 3-time NBA champ with the Boston Celtics, Willie Naulls. 76.
Bonus Birthday: Former American Idol judge Simon Cowell. 51.
Today In Sports: They might have been the Whiz Kids, but the Philadelphia Phillies were swept away in the World Series by the New York Yankees. 1950.
Bonus Event: Damn, I had Cumberland plus 221 points so I lost my bet. Georgia Tech edges Cumberland in college football, 222-0. Georgia Tech was coached by John Heisman, yes that Heisman, and they didn't throw a single pass. 1916.
A big welcome to all the new Top 5 subscribers as a result of my Today Show appearance yesterday. In case you missed the segment:
My interview with Shepard Smith on FOX has been rescheduled for later this month.