THE BLOG
07/25/2012 10:39 am ET Updated Sep 24, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for July 25, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

  • Another big baseball deal. The Dodgers get former NL batting champ Hanley Ramirez from Miami.
  • Cole Hamels of the Phillies gets a six-year deal worth about $140 million making him the second highest paid pitcher behind the Yankees CC Sabathia.
  • Alex Rodriguez breaks his left hand when he's hit by a pitch from Seattle's Felix Hernandez.
  • The U.S. Olympic basketball team, led by Carmelo Anthony's 27 points, beat Spain 100-78 in their final exhibition game before the Olympics.

2. Perspective

Remember when O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of murder? Students at Howard University cheered. Fast forward to Monday, when Penn State got penalized. The stunned faces on campus tell the story. Top 5 subscriber P.G. writes from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. "You should see the Harrisburg Patriot, our daily newspaper. Every page is all about the horrible NCAA being so mean to poor little Penn State... it was all that Sandusky guy's fault and the school didn't do nuthin' wrong. I can understand the students feeling that way, but down here it's the prevailing attitude among just about everyone. Makes me a little nauseous to tell the truth." An actress once told me the only difference between the good guy and bad guy in the movies is the story you know. I guess you can modify that to the story you root for. Objectivity be damned.

3. You Betcha

Get your bets down. Gambling is legal of course in Britain and there's no shortage of Olympic odds. You can get 3-1 that any Scottish swimmer will win gold or that it won't rain on the Opening Ceremony. But that's just for starters. You want longer odds? How about 33-1 that London Mayor Boris Johnson will accidentally light his hair on fire with the Olympic torch? Even longer? The odds are 250-1 that every team in the 4 x 400 relay will drop their batons. But if you want to really get rich. I'd go for the 1,000-1 odds that a UFO will appear over the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony. Hey, you never know.

4. Fore!

They'll stage the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship in a couple of weeks in Cleveland and you might want to check out Latanna Stone. The Florida youngster won her qualifier by shooting a 70. Oh did I mention she's 10 years old? Which is two years younger than the previous youngest golfer to ever qualify. The fifth grader has her own website. And she's been profiled on TV a bunch of times. She's no Jenny-come-lately. She's been golfing since she was two and has won over 100 tournaments. Did I mention she's 10 years old?

5. Jessica Redfield
1988-2012


Perhaps you heard about Jessica Redfield. Her real name was Jessica Ghawi and she wanted to be a sportscaster. She loved hockey and she would write, intern, broadcast, anything she could do to advance her career. She moved to Aurora, Colo. a month before she was gunned down in a movie theater. Her grief-stricken family has created a fund in her memory. The money will help an aspiring young go-getter, like Jessica, to study sports journalism. What a wonderful tribute and legacy honoring a young lady whose dreams were destroyed by senseless violence.

Happy Birthday: Former Major League pitcher Javier Vasquez. He relieved in the second inning of Game 7 of the ALCS between the Yankees and Red Sox in 2004 and promptly yielded a grand slam homer to Johnny Damon. 36.

Bonus Birthday: Friends star Matt LeBlanc. 45.

Today in Sports: Pete Rose sets the National League record with a hit in his 38th consecutive game. He would reach 44. 1978.

Bonus Event and Birthday: The first "test-tube" baby is born in England, Louise Brown. Today she turns 34. 1978.

To sign up for Len's free daily Top 5 email click here.