02/21/2012 11:24 am ET Updated Apr 22, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for February 21, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The greatest closer in history, 42-year-old Mariano Rivera, hints that this is his last season.
  • Manny Ramirez will play for the Oakland As. A one-year minor league deal (less his 50-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs) for $500,000.
  • Carmelo Anthony returns to the Knicks lineup, ending the Lin-Sanity. Deron Williams (38 points) and the Nets beat the Knicks 100-92.
  • Yet again. Portland center Greg Oden is out for the season with his fifth knee surgery in five years.
  • Trouble in Lakers land. Kobe Bryant has called out management for letting Pau Gasol twist in the wind about a possible trade. Management (GM Mitch Kupchak) says it's their job to manage.

2. The Race Card

Take a look at William Rhoden's column yesterday in the New York Times. He talks about Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin and their breakout success. But their "greatness" is not limited to on the field endeavors. They are praised for their faith and humility. William asks, is the over-the-top adulation the result of race? That Tebow and Lin are white and Asian. Why aren't black athletes so similarly adulated? It's a question certainly worth asking.

3. The Race Card II

The third race yesterday at Santa Anita featured the long shot #7 horse, Winforlin. She's a five-year-old mare who has never won. But with all the Lin-Sanity? She beat out two horses, finishing sixth. Lincompetent if you ask me.

4. Bobby V

As spring training camps begin to awaken, there is no more interesting story than Bobby Valentine and the Red Sox. I can't wait to see how the players react to the new sheriff in town. Already pitcher Jon Lester has owned up to the "chicken and beer" consumption in the clubhouse. Josh Beckett wasn't as forthcoming. Lester vowed to spend more time on the bench cheering for his teammates. Imagine that.

5. More Presidents

I knew you'd come up with a batch more when I suggested my "All Presidents" baseball team yesterday.

R.B. Infielder John Kennedy.

H.K. Bullpen: Jim "Mudcat" Grant, Outfield: Hack Wilson

C.A. Pitcher Reggie Cleveland, Outfielders Willie Wilson and Bo Jackson.

M.P. How could Grover Cleveland Alexander not be your right-handed pitcher? And how about Ike Davis as a pinch hitter?

J.B. How about Ron Washington as manager of your "all presidents team?"

R.K. Davey Johnson for manager.

C.B. has two goodies. Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish (pitcher Cal McLish) and outfielder Mookie Wilson!
Editor's Note: You gotta love a president named Mookie!

And from J.H. on Twitter @LenBermanSports, you could also have added Charlie Whitehouse to the roster. Washington Senators pitcher in 1919.

Happy Birthday: Detroit Tigers 1984 World Series MVP Allan Trammell. 54.
Bonus Birthday: Actor Kelsey Grammer. 57.

Today in Sports: Baseball players and owners agree to raise the minimum salary to $10,000. 1968.
Bonus Event: Plop Plop Fizz Fizz, Alka-Seltzer hits the market. 1931.

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