TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for July 9, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* LeBron James announces he'll play for the Miami Heat.
* Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert writes a scathing letter on the team's website, calling it a "cowardly betrayal." He also says that James "quit" on the team, during the playoffs.
* The New York Post says the Yankees are on the verge of getting Seattle pitcher Cliff Lee. What, LeBron James wasn't available?
* Nick Swisher of the Yankees and Joey Votto of the Reds are the fans' final choices for the All Star Game.
* Paul Goydos shot a 59 in the opening round of the John Deere Classic in Illinois. He's just the 4th player on the PGA tour to record that magic number. And yet he only has a one shot lead over Steve Stricker who shot a 60.
* The U.S. open tennis winners will each earn a record $1.7-million this year. Chump change for LeBron James.
2. King James
How excruciating was it, waiting for LeBron James to finally say where he was going? Nearly halfway into his TV special. Not as excruciating as it will be for Knicks fans. This franchise was gutted, just waiting for this moment. How many more years will it take for the Knicks to contend for a title, if ever? Yes, James could have made more money staying in Cleveland, but Miami gives him the best chance to win, even if a bitter Cavs owner "personally guarantees" that Cleveland will win a championship before the "self-titled former King." The Heat already had one superstar even before they signed Chris Bosh. That's one more than the Knicks or Nets had for that matter. When you get right down to it, the Knicks have New York City as a draw, but nothing else. Makes you wonder, when Amar'e Stoudemire said the Knicks are a great organization, in what universe?
3. Umm Umm Good
Paul the octopus made his final prediction today. So far the denizen of the deep at the aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany is 6 for 6 predicting World Cup results. He chose Spain to win it all. But some German citizens are really pissed because Paul accurately predicted Spain would beat their beloved German team. One German fan, a woman who works in a Berlin fish stall, has a suggestion for Paul's demise. "Nothing beats grilled octopus. Cut him up in thin slices and grill him on all sides with a dash of lemon juice, olive oil and garlic on it. Delicious!"
But the aquarium says Paul is safe. Of course PETA is demanding his release, but that's a whole other story.
4. Friday eMailbag
S.D. isn't a fan of the way LeBron James made his announcement. He writes, "It is amazing that now we have hour long specials when a sports star announces what team he is going to make billions with. If this were baseball, we would have a 24 hour special just based on the Yankee signings."
Editor's Note: Tune in next winter...
Subscriber B.B. agrees with me that Stephen Strasburg should have been added to the National League All Star team. "At first I thought I'd have a problem (with it) but then I remembered that Mickey Mantle was named to the 1968 All Star team, during a season when he certainly wasn't performing like an All Star. You're right, the game is a show and it would not have been wrong to have added him to the roster."
As for the Paraguayan lingerie model who says she'll run through the streets naked even though her team lost, M.W. writes, "I'm glad the tradition of running through the streets naked stayed in South America. Given our luck in soccer, we would get Rosie O'Donnell over here."
When I talked about Major League Eating, as a real organization, and mused what's next, the Major Indoor Drinking League? J.M. tweeted me @LenBermanSports, "So, in case of a tie... Beer pong would determine the winner?"
Editor's Note: Absolutely not. Penalty shots!
5. Spanning the World
Here's this week's Spanning the World highlight. If you hate the buzzing sound of the vuvuzelas, this one's for you.
Have a great and quieter weekend everyone.
Today's Birthday: O.J. Simpson. 63.
Bonus Birthday: Actor Tom Hanks. 54.
Today in Sports: Mike Tyson is banned from boxing and fined $3 million for taking a chomp out of Evander Holyfield's ear. 1997.
Bonus Event: You mean he was once in a different band? Paul McCartney performs on stage for the first time with Wings. 1972.