Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for June 12, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- For the first time in franchise history the Los Angeles Kings are Stanley Cup champs. They beat the Devils 6-1 in Game 6 to win the Cup four games to two.
- Game 1 of the NBA Finals is tonight in Oklahoma City with the Thunder hosting the Miami Heat.
- The Yankees have climbed into a first place tie, and in case you haven't noticed, the Pittsburgh Pirates are also tied for first. It's been two decades (1992) since the Pirates have had a winning record, the same year the Yankees last had a losing record.
- Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco signs with the Miami Dolphins.
- Three time Olympic gold medal winning heavyweight boxer Teofilo Stevenson of Cuba is dead at the age of 60.
2. Hail to the Kings
I have to admit that the idea of hockey being played in Southern California still doesn't ring true, but the days of a 6-team National Hockey League have gone the way of the horse and buggy. And no matter where it takes place, there is no greater celebratory moment in sports than the lifting of the cup. The absolute joy on the faces of the players who have dreamed of this moment their entire lives. There's nothing quite like it in team sports. While they hand out trophies in football, baseball and basketball, all the names of the winners don't get inscribed on them as they do on the Stanley Cup. Players in those other sports don't get to keep the cup for a day to do whatever they wish. So what if some use them as water bowls for their dogs or as door stops. Other sports talk in terms of winning rings. That's what individuals do. Hockey players yearn to win "the Cup." That's teamwork.
3. Weather or Not
Thanks to all of you for playing along. When I talked about the "all-weather" NBA Finals between the Heat and Thunder and when I mentioned lots of other meteorological names in sports, lots of you joined the conversation.
K.Y. Kevin McHale.
S.B. Tim Raines.
D.Q. Former Met reliever David Weathers!
J.D. Don't forget Curt Flood
J.S. Re: 'Meteorologically speaking,' don't forget Clear and Rainey in the bullpen! Mark Clear and Chuck Rainey, who were relief pitchers and teammates on the Boston Red Sox in '81 and '82.
And from J.T. "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain"
4. Al and Len
OK, I'm not done with this yet. Here is the ultimate convergence of when sports and weather collide.
5. Warner Fusselle
We lost a member of our sportscasting community the other day. You probably don't know the name, but you knew the voice. He is Warner Fusselle. Among his credits: Seton Hall basketball, Brooklyn Cyclones baseball and he was the long running "voice" for Major League Baseball. You heard his voice millions of times, but didn't know his name. Here's just one example. Warner was enthusiastic as well as a perfectionist. It was important to him to "get it right." Those are qualities that any employee in any field should embrace. Warner was just 68 and will be missed by a legion of colleagues and fans.
Happy Birthday: Tampa Bay designated hitter Hideki Matsui. 38.
Bonus Birthday: President Bush, the elder. 88.
Today in Sports: They opened the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown 100 years to the day that Abner Doubleday probably didn't invent baseball. 1939.
Bonus Event: 25 years ago today. President Reagan implores Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down that wall" separating East and West Berlin. 1987.
To sign up for Len's free daily Top 5 email click here.