12/01/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for October 1, 2009 from

1. Quick Hits

The Philadelphia Phillies have clinched their third straight NL East
title. The Dodgers celebration is put on hold ... again.

In the first of many other shoes to drop, the Indians fire manager
Eric Wedge.

Gentlemen start your Zambonis. The NHL regular season begins tonight
with four games.

Kaching. According to Forbes, Tiger Woods is now the first billion-dollar athlete when you add together all his winnings, endorsements,

2. Lions and Tigers and Bears

Have you followed the mess at Binghamton? Out of nowhere, Binghamton
made it to its first NCAA basketball tournament last March. But now
the star of the team has been booted after his arrest for possession
and sale of crack cocaine. 5 other players have gotten the heave-ho as
well. Basketball teams don't just emerge out of nowhere. They often
come from police blotters and other sundry places. The school's
athletic director, who has since resigned, called the situation "a
zoo." But a local zoo employee took offense to that by writing a
letter to the editor of the local paper. She said, "Not one of our
tigers has been arrested with cocaine. No otter knocks over old ladies
to shoplift condoms. Our bear doesn't have temper tantrums and storm
off his exhibit. You won't find any of our lemurs busted for smoking
pot. So, please, stop insulting zoos by comparing those criminals to
us." Nice.

3. Bobby V

With Bobby Valentine heading to ESPN to be a baseball analyst, M.T.
tweeted me @lenbermansports "Bobby V. is headed to Baseball Tonight.
I'm noticing a trend...Steve Phillips, Bobby V...Manuel and Minaya
better get ready."

Sounds like wishful thinking from a Mets fan. The better question
would be how will Bobby Valentine and Steve Phillips mesh? They
haven't exactly been exchanging Christmas cards after their years
together with the Mets.

4. Look Ma No Hands

Sportsmanship is taking a back seat to health concerns. According to
the Boston Herald, NBA players and coaches have been asked to greet
each other with fist pounds or chest pumps. Handshakes are out. They
could spread swine flu. NCAA volleyball teams have adopted the
precaution, so have a couple of New York City high school teams. Maybe
athletes should all just bow like the Japanese. No touching!

5. One for the Record Books

Another baseball first. Donna Sachet became the first drag queen to
sing the National Anthem at a major league game. She sang, of course,
in San Francisco the other night. Nothing quite symbolizes patriotism
like a guy stuffed into a dress.

Happy Birthday: Slugger Mark McGwire. 46.
Bonus Birthday: Julie "Sound of Music" Andrews. 74.

Today in Sports: The Thrilla in Manila. Muhammad Ali beats Joe
Frazier in 15 rounds. 1975.
Bonus Event: Johnny Carson hosts his first Tonight Show from New York
City. 1962.