06/26/2012 10:26 am ET Updated Aug 26, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for June 26, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • five-time Wimbledon champ Venus Williams loses her first round match to Russia's Elena Vesnina.
  • At the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, Ryan Lochte beat Michael Phelps in the 400-meter individual relay. Both are heading to the London Olympics for a rematch.
  • Arizona won the College World Series over two-time defending champ South Carolina.
  • Yesterday was parade-day in Miami for the NBA champion Heat.

2. More on Sandusky

Of all the comments I received about Jerry Sandusky, I wanted to share two with you. The first is from a prominent TV news producer, who covered the verdict. "I think your assessment that Sandusky is a 'monster' is accurate. However, I hope parents learn through this that what they're looking for is often the complete opposite of a monster, a nice, friendly guy well-loved by the community. After all, we don't hand our kids over to monsters. And the monsters know that all too well."

And this from Top 5 subscriber J.C. "Thanks for portraying Jerry Sandusky's crimes for what they are. I appreciate the compassion for the suffering imposed on the victims you expressed in the line, 'They'll never feel healed. Luckily we humans are resilient and as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse myself, I can tell you that it is possible, with lots of effort, for victims of childhood sexual abuse to heal and feel healed. If you find a moment to convey realistic hope for the victims it may help others."

As always, I thank my readers for sharing their honest emotions and experiences.

3. Pipe Down

Some day, women grunting in tennis will be a thing of the past. According to USA Today, The people who run the sport are going to tackle the problem head-on. So down the road, umpires will wield a "grunt-o-meter" and if the ladies screech too loud they will be sanctioned. Although what's too loud and what the penalties will be, will have to be determined. Better yet, they'll start working with young women at tennis academies to teach them the ills of noisiness, much like the education of young ballplayers about the consequences of chewing tobacco. Fine. Men's grunting aside, I just want to know the acceptable levels. One player supposedly shrieks at 109 decibels, close to a chainsaw. Not good. A quiet library is 40, so I'm guessing 75 is OK? So somewhere between a vacuum cleaner and a diesel truck. Sounds good to me.

4. Birthday Boy

For my generation, it was Mickey Mantle. For the kids today there's Derek Jeter. I travel to schools in the New York area, and when I talk about my book The 25 Greatest Baseball Players of All-Time, the kids are dumbfounded that Jeter isn't in there. And when I tell them not to feel bad, that Yogi Berra, Sandy Koufax and Roberto Clemente didn't make it either, they still don't get it. Jeter is their Mantle, and he's actually a more worthy choice. Unlike the Mick who certainly had his foibles, Jeter somehow manages to stay above the fray. Even in this TMZ/Twitter world you rarely hear a bad word about him. So happy birthday Derek. Here's hoping you continue to stay on that pedestal where millions of kids (and plenty of adults) have placed you.


This Sunday WFAN radio celebrates its 25th anniversary. They were the first all-sports radio station and they started a revolution. WFAN has invited back some of the people who worked there over the years, and even though I was just a blip on the radar in 1993 they've asked me to host for one hour on July 1st from 3-4 p.m. I'm flattered that they asked, and I'm looking forward to it. You can argue that sports fans are a little less civil these days, and sports radio is one reason why. But you also have to admit that sports radio is the modern day town well. We all gather around to hear the latest news, for better or for worse. And it gives us all a voice. There was a time when my opinion on TV was one of the few that existed on the air. Now journalists have to share the spotlight with all those Vinnies from Queens. It certainly is a lot more democratic, and at times more interesting.

Happy Birthday: Derek Jeter. 38.

Bonus Birthday: Actor Sean Hayes. 42.

Today in Sports: Muhammad Ali announces his retirement. (He of course fought twice after that and lost both times). 1979.

Bonus Event: Don't forget to brush after meals. The toothbrush was invented in China. 1498.

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