11/15/2012 10:34 am ET Updated Jan 15, 2013

Top 5 Sports Stories


Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for November 15, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The Mets' R.A. Dickey wins the National League Cy Young Award, David Price of Tampa Bay is the American League winner.
  • Angels free agent outfielder Torii Hunter signs with Detroit.
  • Jets coach Rex Ryan did the right thing. He called his players cowardly, the ones who ripped Tim Tebow anonymously.

2. Upsets and Underdogs

If I ever write a sequel to my current book The Greatest Moments in Sports: Upsets and Underdogs, R.A. Dickey rates a chapter. Maybe two. There's no cheering in the press box, but how could you not root for this guy? Nearly 38 and drummed out of baseball on too many occasions to count. He wrote a book about being sexually abused as a child, and maybe the catharsis of finally telling his story freed him to become the pitcher he is, the first knuckleballer to win the Cy Young Award, and a good buy to boot. The Mets need to sign him in a hurry. He's an inspiration.

3. Moneyball

Don't you think, "God, don't they make enough money?" The Yankees apparently love to load up on extras for their players. Alex Rodriguez will famously get millions more if he sets home run records. And that's on top of his obscene contract. Now it turns out that Derek Jeter can make out too. According to Yankees beat reporter Sweeny Murti, Jeter will be watching the MVP results tonight very carefully. He's not one of the 5 finalists, but if he should finish 6th he'll get another $2 million tacked on to his 2014 salary. He's already had $1.5 million added for winning a Silver Slugger award. And remember, the Yankees have vowed to reduce payroll. Maybe they will. But it's the perks that'll kill 'em.

4. Our National Pastime

If you want proof how limited our "National Pastime" is, look no further than the Olympics. Baseball and softball got the boot after Beijing in 2008, but they're trying to get back in starting in 2020. They've formed a unified bid, so in essence they are applying as one sport. They were scheduled to meet this week with IOC officials in Switzerland. Baseball/softball has stiff competition. Only one new sport will get selected next fall, and karate, roller sports, squash, sport climbing, wakeboard and wushu are all knocking on the door. One of the reasons baseball and softball got bounced was the claim that not enough countries participated in their sports. But wushu anyone?

5. More Jimmy Piersall

With Jimmy Piersall turning 83 yesterday, some of you sent me your favorite Piersall memories. Top 5 subscriber Richie S. came up with a story that I hadn't heard. During a game in 1961 against Cleveland, a couple of fans jumped onto the field and went after Piersall who was in center field. And who came racing to the outfield to Piersall's defense? None other than Mickey Mantle who was on first base for the Yanks. How about that? The Mick helping a guy in trouble on the other team. My hero!

Happy Birthday: Former Denver Broncos running back Otis Armstrong. 62.

Bonus Birthday: She sang Downtown. Petula Clark. 80.

Today in Sports: Elgin Baylor of the Lakers drops 71 points on the Knicks. Two years later Wilt Chamberlain dropped 100 on them. 1960.

Bonus Event: Dave Thomas opened the first Wendy's restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. 1969.

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