Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for August 24, 2009 from www.LenBermanSports.com
1. Quick Hits
The Yankees smash 5 homers off Josh Beckett and beat the Red Sox 8-4. They take 2 out of 3 from Boston and up their lead to 7 1/2 games.
Bad news for Mets fans who want a shakeup. Owner Fred Wilpon told the New York Post that general manager Omar Minaya will return. Presumably that means the manager is safe as well.
More bad news for Mets fans. They had the tying runs on base in the 9th when Phillies second baseman Eric Bruntlett turned an unassisted triple play. It made former Met Pedro Martinez the winning pitcher. Only in New York.
Florida is the overwhelming #1 pick in college football this season. What? No love for Syracuse?
2. Two Decades Later
As you can see from "Today in Sports" below, it's now 20 years since Pete Rose has been banned from baseball. And the debate rages on. His former teammate Mike Schmidt weighed in over the weekend. He wonders if Pete knowingly compromised the integrity of baseball. And if so, what about the steroid users? Schmidt acknowledges that even if the ban is lifted, 75 per cent of Hall of Fame members would have to vote for Pete to make it. That may never happen. The essence of baseball is "to get a hit." The man who got more than anyone may never make it to Cooperstown. There's something wrong with that.
3. The Cubs Sold, The Cubs Sold!
Pending major league approval, the storied Chicago Cubs have been sold to the Ricketts family for $845-million. Scoreboard since 1908. 5 owners, 47 managers, zero World Championships. But hey, they do have Wrigley Field and great fans. And as they used to say in Boston, "anyone can have a bad century."
4. Knock Hockey
The video screens at the new Cowboys Stadium are the 8th wonder of the world. They are 60 yards long and stretch from 20-yard line to 20-yard line. Cost? $40-million. By comparison their entire previous home, Texas Stadium, cost $35-million to build in 1971. Anyway, there's one tiny glitch. Punts hit the scoreboard. It happened repeatedly in warmups, and once during Friday's first exhibition game. They declare the ball dead, and re-kick. Too bad. Make it like golf, If a tree's in the way, them's the breaks.
5. Monday Musings
Two sides to every story. Bears 17 Giants 3. Bears fans giddy over debut of quarterback Jay Cutler. Giants fans unhappy over team's lack of offense.
Wanna feel old? Carl Yastrzemski turned 70 over the weekend. Wasn't it just yesterday he popped out to Nettles to end the playoff game at Fenway?
D.M. tweeted me @LenBermanSports to tell me he had the same feelings about the great Roberto Clemente who would have turned 75 last week.
For boggle/scrabble/crossword fans: Is track star Caster Semenya from South Africa a he or a she? A U.K. newspaper figured out an anagram of Caster Semenya is, "A secret man? Yes." Amaze your friends and neighbors.
Happy Birthday: Hall of Famer Cal "Iron Man" Ripken, Jr. 49.
Bonus Birthday: Police Academy actor Steve Guttenberg. 51.
Today in Sports: Pete Rose signs his "death certificate." He is banned from baseball. 1989.
Bonus Event: Pluto is reclassified as a "dwarf planet." Bummer. 2005.