BY LEN BERMAN
TOP 5 FOR DEC. 12, 2012
1. Quick Hits
The suspensions of 4 New Orleans Saints players in "bountygate" have been tossed out.
The Lakers continue to be a train wreck, they lost their 8th game out of 11th last night in Cleveland 100-94. A quarter through the season the Lakers are on the outside of the playoffs looking in.
Is that really a Brooklyn home court when loud chants of MVP go up for Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks? (The Knicks won 100-97).
Kevin Youkilis becomes the latest former Red Sox player to sign with the Yankees.
NHL talks resume today.
Tom Watson is chosen as U.S. Ryder Cup Captain, his second time.
2. The Devil Made Me Do It
Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue made a "down the middle decision" as the special arbitrator in the appeals by the Saints players of their suspensions. He basically ruled that they did wrong but they should have their suspensions thrown out because the Saints organization was "wronger." The players could still be fined. Perhaps Tagliabue really thought that way. Perhaps he was just trying to prove he was fair. Either way, the players who were involved in this heinous scheme don't come off as guilty as the organization. Something's not right here. Over the course of history using the excuse that "I was just following orders" has rung hollow. While not exactly comparable, the perpetrators in "bountygate" are just as culpable as those trying to cover it up.
3. Bah Humbug
They don't come classier or more honest than Mets pitcher R. A. Dickey. So when the Mets invited him to their annual holiday party yesterday of course reporters asked him about his contract talks. And typical R.A. he was candid. He's not happy it's taken this long. He said only wants what is fair. And he hinted that if he doesn't get a new contract this year he won't be around after next. The Mets are reportedly upset that Dickey used a holiday party to air his grievances. Really? Did the Mets expect R.A. to just shut up play the role of the happy elf? Or are the Mets building a case should they decide to trade him? Christmas or not, business is business.
4. Lost in Translation
In Venezuela, Detroit's Triple Crown and MVP winner Miguel Cabrera won yet again. This time the home run derby at the Venezuelan All-Star game. I don't know if it's because of the language, but it all seemed so much more emotional. Not to mention the size of the trophy!
In honor of the day, here are a dozen famous Number 12s.
Lots of NFL quarterbacks:
Wade Boggs (Tampa Bay retired his #12)
Montreal Canadien Dickie Moore
And to make it a baker's dozen, The Big 12 Conference.
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Happy Birthday: The youngest U.S. Open winner when she was 16, Tracy Austin. 50.
Bonus Birthday: C'mon down and celebrate Bob Barker's 89th birthday.
Today in Sports: Wayne Gretzky of Edmonton is the quickest to 50 goals in his 39th game. 1981.
Bonus Event: One night stands! The first Motel opened in San Luis Obispo, California. 1925.
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I'll be signing books at Sparta Books in Sparta, New Jersey tomorrow night at 5pm.
Looking for a holiday gift for that young sports fan in your life? If you'd like to purchase a personally autographed copy of my new book The Greatest Moments in Sports: Upsets and Underdogs, please contact the Dolphin Bookshop in Port Washington, New York at (516) 767-2650.
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About Len Berman:
Len is an Emmy-Award winning sportscaster and New York Times Best Selling Author who has covered just about every major sports event including multiple Super Bowls, World Series, and Olympics during his 40-year career in broadcasting.