Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for December 16, 2009 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Pitcher Roy Halladay's Phillies deal is worth $20-million per season. Not quite Johan Santana money, but close.
* A Mets sighting. The team is reportedly close to signing Japanese reliever Ryota Igarashi. The 30-year old has already had Tommy John surgery.
* M-V-P, M-V-P! Kobe Bryant scored 42 points despite wearing a splint on the broken finger on his shooting hand. The Lakers beat the Bulls 96-87.
* College math. The Big 10 is considering expanding from 11 teams to 12.
2. Game Changers
Major League baseball has created a 14 person committee to examine everything on the field. Presumably that means stuff like expanding instant replay. They've got managers, front office people and former players on the committee. What they don't have is anyone who is actually on the field like current players or umpires. Anyway, if I were on the panel I would vote for a 20-second "pitch clock." If a pitcher doesn't throw within 20 seconds it's an automatic "ball." If a batter steps out of the box for anything other than an appendicitis attack it's an automatic "strike." Lets speed up this sucker!
3. Who Knew?
Somebody who has spent some time professionally with Tiger Woods told me "he's a good guy." That he's smart and funny and is good company. As for his infidelity? He said that's commonplace in pro sports.
So after Tiger finally patches things up with his wife, if he ever does, maybe he can start working on his public image. He comes across as steely, unfriendly and spoiled. We've already learned that he's not "perfect" in his private life. Maybe he can start acting more "human" publicly too.
4. Say it Ain't So!
Thanks in part to Tiger, the Top 5 has been an "A-Rod free zone" lately. but now comes the tragic news that A-Rod and Kate Hudson are splitsville. So says Gossipcop.com. They say the trouble began the night the Yanks won the World Series. Maybe it's because he won a ring, and she said, "where's mine?"
5. Everyone's a Comedian
Subscriber Karen V. jokes, "I was in Borders yesterday and saw the new Tiger Woods Bimbos Calendar. That's right, a bimbo for every month of the year."
Of course that's far fetched. We all know that couldn't compete with "The Tiger Woods Weekly Floozy Planner."
Happy Birthday: three time Super Bowl champion center with the Giants and 49ers, Bart Oates. 51.
Bonus Birthday: Ya' feel musical? Yet another one of those one-named artists like Madonna and Cher. Beethoven was born on this date in 1770.
Today in Sports: O.J. Simpson broke Jimmy Brown's single season NFL rushing record. Brown: 1,863 yards. Simpson: 2,003 yards. 1973.
Bonus Event: That goofy taxation without representation bit. The Boston Tea Party. 1773.