10/05/2012 11:31 am ET Updated Dec 05, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories


TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for October 5, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Not a shock. Bobby Valentine is out as manager of the Boston Red Sox. He takes the fall for a bad all-around situation.
  • The Atlanta Braves host the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League wild card game tonight. Texas will host Baltimore in the American League. Both are one game playoffs.
  • Ho hum, the NHL cancels the first two weeks of the season.
  • Thursday night football: St. Louis hands Arizona its first loss, 17-3. And now there are just two unbeaten teams left in the NFL, Atlanta and Houston.

2. One Game Season

Will America take to this new one game playoff system? There are two games tonight, how do you feel about playing 162 games for the right to play one? I've been to two of these. The 1978 playoff game between the Yankees and Red Sox at Fenway, and the 1999 playoff between the Mets and Reds in Cincinnati. The Mets/Reds game lacked drama. Edgardo Alphonzo hit a first inning two run homer, and the road team went on to win in a shutout. So no real excitement there. On the other hand, I sat next to John Havlicek watching the "Bucky Dent" game. (I love dropping names.) All these years later (34) I still recall a whole bunch of plays from that game. A baseball classic. Is that what we're in for tonight, or just two more "games" that will seem mundane year after year?

3. More Bikinis

The other day when I wrote about the Bikini Basketball Association, I mused what's next? Well who knew? It's already here. Thanks to Top 5 subscriber B.H. It's the Bikini Hockey League. And I have some video of this one. But of course they don't play on ice, much to the disappointment of J.M. below. It's roller hockey. Oy.

4. Friday eMailbag

Many of you disagreed with me that Miguel Cabrera should win the MVP based on winning the Triple Crown. Some of you favor Angels rookie phenom Mike Trout. By the way, I like the point of Top 5 subscriber M.M. "Every single Triple Crown Winner has something in common. They are all in the Hall of Fame."

With the European "Miracle of Medinah" H.K. writes, "Now I know why they call it the 'Ryder' Cup. It's named after the truck that ran over the U.S. team."

After the Cowboys dismal offensive display against the Bears Monday night, P.G. writes, "I hear Tony Romo threw his helmet in disgust at the end of the game... and it was intercepted."

The NBA is finalizing plans to get rid of the scourge of flopping. R.B. opines, "Just think of all the money that would be raised if the NBA penalized the politicians for flip-flopping."

With the new Bikini Basketball Association being formed, J.M. writes, "How about a bikini ice hockey league? That'll really make things 'pop' out."

Editor's Note: Hey, this is a family email!

5. Spanning the World

This week's Spanning the World highlight comes from junior hockey in New Jersey. The goal scorer jumps up against the glass to celebrate and... Oops! And nobody got hurt.

Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up: Thursday, October 25 in the 8:30 a.m. half hour.

Happy Birthday: Hockey great Mario Lemieux. 47.

Bonus Birthday: Actress Kate Winslet. 37.

Today in Sports: Al Gionfriddo of the Dodgers makes his famous catch in left field robbing Joe DiMaggio. 1947.

Bonus Event: They have records for this? Dick McInnes, from Henderson, Ky., clung for 390 miles to a kite being towed behind a speedboat along the Ohio River. He set a "world record" for "kite hanging" of 12 hours. 1965.

Fun Fact: The Top 5 was read in Iceland yesterday but not in South Dakota.

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