Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for June 3, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga loses a perfect game on a blown call by the ump.
* 40-year old Ken Griffey, Jr. retires from the Seattle Mariners. He's 5th on the homer list with 630.
* The NBA Finals begin tonight, the Celtics at the Lakers.
* Philadelphia beat Chicago 4-3 in overtime. The Flyers still trail the Stanley Cup Final 2 games to one.
* And then there were none. #1 Serena Williams is ousted in the quarterfinals of the French Open. There are no Americans left in either singles draw.
* There are 12 horses in Saturday's Belmont Stakes. The favorite, Ice Box, drew the 6th post.
* The Memorial Golf Tournament begins today in Ohio with Tiger Woods in the field.
2. The Imperfect Game
A major league first last night, Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga pitched the third perfect game of the season against Cleveland, but it goes in the books as a one hitter. First base umpire Jim Joyce blew the call at first on what should have been the last play. Here it is.
After watching the replay, Joyce admitted he screwed up, and apologized to Galarraga. There will be increased calls for instant replay, and yes the pitcher got screwed, but that's baseball. I've never been in favor of replay on the bases. However, if a call like this decides a pennant race, playoff or World Series, I could be swayed.
3. There's No $ in Team
I think the Lakers are on to something. Bonuses. If you see a Laker take a charge tonight, he'll be getting an extra 50 smackers for his efforts. The $5 million dollar salary isn't enough to get Sasha Vujacic to stand in harm's way. It's the bonus cash. Hey, this just might work. Pay a baseball player an extra 25 bucks to move the runner over. Better yet, base a player's entire salary on the contribution he makes to the team. Nah. Too revolutionary. It'll never fly with the agents. The ultimate non-team players.
Wow, they take things hard in Cleveland. Apparently the city is devastated by the Cleveland Cavaliers not winning the championship. The LeBron James critics have been all over the talk shows. Radio host Tony Rizzo says "other than Tiger Woods, I don't know of a bigger fall from grace in our town... people are heartbroken." Cleveland, get a grip. LeBron is not a creep, and his biggest crime is taking a collection of lesser talent deep into the playoffs without winning it all. Sure the city of Cleveland hasn't won a championship in awhile, but at least they were in the conversation. Unlike lots of teams in lots of cities we know.
5. Poetic Justice
We recently talked about "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain," for the old Boston Braves pitching rotation which was rather thin. A Top 5 subscriber had suggested for the Mets, "Pelfrey and Santana and pray for rain mañana." But with the Mets recent pitching exploits, I'll go with "Takahashi and Dickey, you can't be picky."
Happy Birthday: Tennis star Rafael Nadal. 24.
Bonus Birthday: Actor Tony Curtis. 85.
Today in Sports: The New York Knickerbockers became the first baseball team to wear uniforms. Who knew they had naked baseball before then? 1851.
Bonus Event: For the first time, there was no joy in Mudville. Casey at the Bat was published. 1888.