Len’s Top 5 – April 24, 2014

1. Quick Hits

  • Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected last night in Boston for having pine tar on his neck. He now faces suspension.
  • Tuesday night the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins combined for 28 strikeouts, the most in the Majors in 100 years. And to prove it wasn’t a fluke, they again combined for 28 yesterday afternoon.
  • NBA Playoffs: Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge followed up his 46 points in game 1 with 43 last night as the Trailblazers take the first two games of their series on the road in Houston. Miami leads Charlotte 2-0. Dallas and San Antonio are tied 1-1.
  • NHL Playoffs: Fit to be tied. Pittsburgh/Columbus, Chicago/St. Louis and Anaheim/Dallas are all 2-2.
  • Swimmer Michael Phelps ends a two year “retirement” today.

2. On Schedule

Years ago the NFL would put out its schedule and nobody would notice. Not in today’s sports world. The schedule is released, they have TV specials and analysts analyze to their hearts content. That’s what happened last night. It happens in no other American sport. When they announce the World Cup soccer matchups it’s a big deal worldwide. If you happen to be a schedule nerd, I envy you. Personally, I don’t have the energy to pore over games that won’t begin for another 4 1/2 months. Now about that Seahawks/Packers game on September 4th…

3. Upon Further Review

How many umpires and reviews does it take to count 4 balls? Apparently not enough. The other night in the Tampa Bay/Minnesota game, Yunel Escobar of the Rays struck out on a 4-2 count. Yes he had already walked. But the umps missed it and so did the umps watching in “replay central” who were asked to check it out. Take a look and take note of the 4th pitch. (Sorry about the commercial.) Maybe this replay thing wasn’t such a good idea?

4. A Mere 100 Years

Yesterday Wrigley Field celebrated its 100th anniversary. As incredible as it seems, the Chicago Cubs have never won a championship at Wrigley. Maybe the field is the jinx, not the goat? Anyway, I found this blog from 5 years ago titled “20 things that have happened since the last time the Cubs won the World Series (1908). Here’s #12 on the list. “The Titanic was built, set sail, sank, was discovered, and became the subject of major motion pictures.” Just to continue the disaster theme.

5. Pass the Plate

The story in New Jersey where the state rejected a woman’s request for the license plate 8THEIST while accepting BAPTIST got me to thinking. Sports-themed license plates are common but many get rejected. For example, Texas didn’t let someone buy LSUSUX. Just curious if any of you guys have seen any great sports license plates? By the way, there’s no law (I don’t think) against license plate frames. And there’s no shortage of frames with the message “Yankees Suck.” But you probably know that in New England.

Happy Birthday: Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran. 37.
Bonus Birthday: Babs. Barbra Streisand. 72.

Today in Sports: Sandy Koufax struck out 18 Cubs becoming the first pitcher to strike out 18 on two different occasions. 1962.
Bonus Event: A golf course in Illinois becomes the first to pass a cell phone rule. The phones will be banned if they disturb play in any way. 1991.

It’s time to go Spanning the World on NBC’s Today Show tomorrow morning in the 9am hour. And nobody got hurt, not even the guy trying to jump over cars in France.

Time is running out! You can win autographed books and That’s Sports hats. Just send me the names of 3 new subscribers to the Top 5. That’s it. You’ll be entered in a drawing to win lots of prizes. The deadline is tomorrow. Start scouring that address book.

Need a gift for that young sports fan in your life? Check out my books. And if you’d like a personally autographed copy contact the Dolphin Bookshop at 516-767-2650.


Mashable Media Summit 2010: Tuesday June 8th

A day packed with powerful presentations and interviews, Mashable's Media Summit (in partnership with CNN) featured the intersection of social and digital media and lifestyle themes. Len spoke about his transition from old media to new media. Watch his presentation here!

To buy Len's newest book, The Greatest Moments in Sports - Upsets & Underdogs, visit:

Len's Book Signings/Appearances 2014:

The Greatest Moments in Sports - Upsets & Underdogs

    Munsey Park Elementary School, Manhasset, N.Y. Monday March 3. 5:30pm.

National Radio & TV Interviews:

NBC's Today Show "Spanning the World" Friday April 25th.
  • NBC's Today Show "Spanning the World" Friday May 23rd.
  • NBC's Today Show "Spanning the World" Friday June 27th. CONTACT LEN