Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for August 20, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- Melky Cabrera, already banished 50 games for performance enhancing drugs, looks like an even bigger fraud after the New York Daily News reported that his "people" "created a fictitious website and a nonexistent product to prove he inadvertently took the banned substance that caused a positive test."
- Let's play two-plus. In the longest game of the season, Pittsburgh beat St. Louis 6-3 in 19 innings and a tidy six hours and seven minutes.
- The first managerial firing of the season over the weekend, Brad Mills is out in Houston. The Astros have the worst record in baseball.
- USC is the preseason #1 pick in the AP college football poll.
2. The Bottom Line
If you live in the New York area you've been barraged by stories out of football training camp. And as usual, the Jets make all the headlines. Although the Giants finally got the ire of coach Tom Coughlin when a video surfaced of Jason Pierre-Paul dumping Prince Amukamara into an ice tub. But on the field in football, as in life, actions speak louder than words. While you debate the Jets quarterback situation the fact is through half the preseason, Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow have led the Jets to zero touchdowns, not one. And the guy who replaced Tebow in Denver, Peyton Manning got shellacked in his home debut. The good news, Manning got hit for the first time in 19 months and he got right back up. Check back in a couple of months to see if any of this means anything.
3. Black and White
Does the NBA think that its black players look better wearing color uniforms? That's the question after a New York Times story about Nets part-owner Jay-Z. The article included this inflammatory assertion about Jay-Z helping to design the team's black and white uniforms: He personally appealed to National Basketball Association officials to drop their objections to it (the N.B.A., according to a person with knowledge of the discussion, thought that African-American athletes did not look good on TV in black, an assertion that a league spokesman adamantly denied). Me thinks this story needs a little fleshing out, so to speak.
4. Cause and Effect
"One man's mistake is another man's opportunity." Never more so than at Penn State. Nine football players have left as a result of the Sandusky scandal, which leaves a bunch of holes on the depth chart. So enter Jared Fagnano a wide receiver at Akron. His brother is a safety at Penn State and Jared always wanted to play football there. So he becomes to first football player to transfer to Penn State. He won't have a scholarship, and he'll have to sit out this season.
5. Here's the Pitch
Barry Zito was on the mound for the Giants against the Padres the other day and his pitch was just a "little low." Of bigger import, the Giants visit the Dodgers tonight for a three game series. It's a battle for first place. And with the possibility that the loser may not make the playoffs, this takes on the appearance of a good old-fashioned Dodgers/Giants pennant race.
Happy Birthday: Former third baseman Graig Nettles. 68.
Bonus Birthday: My buddy Al Roker. 58.
Today in Sports: Usain Bolt wins the 200 meters in Beijing setting a world record. 2008.
Bonus Event: Lou Gehrig hits his 23rd grand slam homer. A record that stood until matched by Alex Rodriquez this year. 1938.
To sign up for Len's free daily Top 5 email click here.