12/10/2010 12:12 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Top 5 Sports Stories

TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for December 10, 2010 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • I guess they kinda want the guy. The Yankees offer a seventh year to free agent pitcher Cliff Lee. The Texas Rangers continue their hot pursuit as well.
  • In Thursday night football, Peyton Manning bounces back to beat Tennessee 30-28.
  • Cam Newton is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy tomorrow night. He won two other football awards last night and he told ESPN he did nothing wrong in the Auburn recruiting process.
  • Martina Navratilova had to abandon her charity climb of Africa's Mt. Kilimanjaro after not feeling well.
  • They'll set the all-time hockey attendance record tomorrow when Michigan hosts Michigan State at Michigan Stadium. The 109,000 seat stadium is sold out.

2. You Go First

An interesting give and take in the Cliff Lee negotiations. The Texas Rangers asked his agent, what it would take to sign Lee? His agent went public saying that's not the way it works. He said the team makes the offer, not the player. Elsewhere in the Red Sox/Yankee border war, I asked on Facebook at "Len Berman's Top 5" if the Yankees are the "Evil Empire" for their spending ways (according to the Red Sox), what do you call the Red Sox after their two big deals this week? Some of the answers:

*From Yankee fans: Hypocrites. Losers. Desperate.

*From Red Sox fans: Daddy. Smaht. Green Monsters. World Series favorites.

Since I'm the official scorer, advantage Sox fans.

3. Truth in Advertising

'Tis the season to get bombarded with gift ideas. (I'll wait until the end of this email for mine.) Subscriber Tom M. was puzzled by the email he received from Major League Baseball. The ad says "Give Someone Everything for the Holidays." The ad is for gift cards for a casino. Tom asks, "Does this promotional email from MLB seem odd given their rules about gambling? Pete Rose has got to be shaking his head."
The truth is, the rules about gambling don't apply to fans, just players and managers. And the lines have been blurred long ago. Can you imagine there was a time when Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays got in trouble for being casino greeters? And now MLB profits from casino relationships.

4. Friday eMailbag

Subscriber L.M. took the Monday night Jets loss hard. "The Jets are not meant to win these games. It's a curse. It's a disease.....The Jets are the Cubs of football, and they always will be. Certain teams are meant to lose, and the Jets are one of them."

M.W. has it figured out why George Steinbrenner didn't make the Hall of Fame. "I think MLB was afraid the Yankees would put another giant bronze in Cooperstown."

And K.K. doesn't think Marvin Miller should make it either. He writes, "Please Lenny you're killing me---enough about Miller, the man who ruined baseball for the average fan--I don't care about the player I don't care about the owners---I care that I can't afford to see a game today. THANKS MARVIN."

As for the Mets promotion to allow fans to take batting practice and shag fly ball, D.M. asks, "Didn't you mean to say that if the person is able to take batting practice and shag fly balls, he may be eligible to BE a starter for the Mets????"

And one more on Steinbrenner. Subscriber S.I. takes me to task. "To say that if it weren't for Steinbrenner baseball wouldn't be as popular as it is today would be like saying if it weren't for Hugh Hefner, sex wouldn't be as popular."

Editor's Note: Let me think about that one.

5. Spanning the World

This week's Spanning the World highlight is Donald Trump's hair on Monday Night Football. It takes on a life of its own, waving to the crowd. Check it out.

Although my favorite all time Spanning the World "hair highlight" involved a boxing match. In 1995, not only did Craig Houk get knocked out, but so did his hair!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Happy Birthday: Former White Sox infielder Norberto Martin. Means nothing to you, but trying to be a nice guy, he rolled a baseball along the dugout roof to a fan. It hit his beverage cup dousing the poor guy in beer. A Spanning the World classic. 44.
Bonus Birthday: Everybody's favorite wacky Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich. 54.

Today in Sports: The Philadelphia A's sell slugging first baseman Jimmy Foxx (see baseball book below) to the Boston Red Sox for $150,000. 1935.
Bonus Event: The first Playboy Magazine is published with Marilyn Monroe on the cover. Her former husband is also in the book below. Enough plugs? 1953.

Don't forget that my kids books make perfect stocking stuffers. You can get personally autographed copies of The Greatest Moments in Sports and The 25 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time by calling the Dolphin Book Shop at (516) 767-2650.

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