03/01/2012 11:52 am ET Updated May 01, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for March 1, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Major League Baseball will reportedly announce today that it's adding two wild card teams to this year's playoffs.
  • Kobe Bryant wears a clear mask over his broken nose, scores 31 points, as the Lakers beat Minnesota 104-85.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers plan to release long time wide receiver 35-year old Hines Ward. Ward says he's not retiring.
  • In soccer the U.S. beat Italy for the first time ever, 1-0 in an exhibition game in Genoa.

2. The More the Merrier?

There will be generally positive reactions when Major League Baseball adds a wild card team in each league. Two teams in each league will play 162 games, and then meet for one single game. The positives are many. More teams alive presumably increasing attendance and ratings. More incentive to win the division. The sheer drama of a one game "winner take all" showdown. Now try this scenario. A team sneaks in with a losing record and winds up beating a team that won over 100 games in the World Series. Cue the headline writers. "What's the point of the regular season?" Who turned baseball into the NBA and NHL?" Enjoy the extra wild card everyone.

3. Hold Your Fire

Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez chose not to fire back at Bobby Valentine. The Red Sox manager tweaked both of them the other day. Said Jeter, "Who cares?" As for A-Rod: "I got my new press secretary that should be landing in the next couple days, Reggie Jackson, so I'll let him handle that." About what you'd expect. However, speaking of Reggie, it's too bad Bobby V. didn't manage the Red Sox during the glory days of the Bronx Zoo. Can you imagine Bobby and Billy going at it?

4. Tiger Mania

One of the claims in the new book by Hank Haney, Tiger Woods' former swing coach, is that Woods seriously considered quitting golf to become a Navy SEAL. Huh? Haney claims Woods even trained with the SEALs in 2004, which the SEALs deny. Just think, Woods could have been the one who took out Bin Laden. Although, if he blocked his shot and pushed it to the right....

5. Jump!

In response to my greatest leaps in honor of Leap Day yesterday, you guys had some additional choices.

*K.Y. Phil Mickelson winning the Master's and "leaping" a good six inches off the ground in celebration.
Editor's Note: I think you're much too generous estimating his hang time.

*C.A. Dwight Clark's "The Catch."

*R.B. (And others) What about Neil Armstrong's "Giant Leap for Mankind?"

*H.K. You forgot Kris Humphries' death-defying leap into the Kardashian family abyss.
Editor's Note: I defy you to find another blog that has Mickelson, Kardashian and Neil Armstrong in the same discussion!

Happy Birthday: A member of Michigan's Fab Five, Chris Webber. 39.
Bonus Birthday: Opie. Actor/Director Ron Howard. 58.

Today in Sports: Does it get any sadder than this? The Mick hangs 'em up. 1969.
Bonus Event: George Steinbrenner is reinstated as owner of the Yankees. Check out the iconic Sports Illustrated cover. 1993.

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