1. Quick Hits
- Safety first: MLB is proposing the end of home plate collisions.
- The Mets sign 40-year old pitcher Bartolo Colon: 2 years, $20-million.
- The quote of the year from Washington Redskins (for now) coach Mike Shanahan: I’m trying to be as honest as I can, and I don’t normally do that.”
2. Here Comes the Throw
Football and hockey aren’t the only contact sports with safety issues. There’s always baseball. Forever the catcher has been the most vulnerable player on defense with baserunners allowed free shots. That will end if the players approve the proposed end of home plate collisions. The rule comes only 43 years too late for Ray Fosse.
3. Preseason Deja Vu
Aren’t you tired of all the dysfunction in Washington? But enough about the Redskins. And now they’re shutting down their fragile quarterback for the final three games. Wasn’t Robert Griffin III or RGIII the savior of the franchise? Now he’s just the face of it…which is a mess. Nothing like treating the last three games of the season like exhibition games. Fortunately for Redskins fans they’ll be paying full price for only one more game, the last home game against Dallas. Looks like the Redskins name controversy is the least of their problems.
4. Numbers Game
Will Yankees players be wearing triple digits some day? Now that they’ve announced that they’ll retire Joe Torre’s #6, the retired numbers wall needs some updating. #42 has now been retired twice, one for Jackie Robinson the second for Mariano Rivera. Then again the Yankees aren’t #1 when it comes to jersey retirements. The Boston Celtics have retired 21 numbers and they also have banners honoring Jim Loscutoff. It reads “Loscy.” He wore #18 before Dave Cowens. And a picture of a microphone is in the rafters to honor announcer Johnny Most. And if you’re wondering about the Montreal Canadien, they have 17, almost Yankee-esque.
5. Sportsman of the Year
When I suggested yesterday that David Ortiz might be a good choice for Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, many of you agreed. On Facebook at “Len Berman’s Top 5″ some suggested Peyton Manning, Mariano Rivera and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. H.N. proposed Lindsey Vonn. J.H. wrote, “I suggest Dennis Rodman, for his efforts to break ground with North Korea.” And Top 5 subscriber L.S. had an interesting take. “Ryan Braun. As the biggest name to get caught and suspended, he’s now the poster child for getting greedy, caught, lying, busted again and punished. He becomes the name invoked to any young player being warned of the perils of cheating. Sportsman doesn’t always imply sportsmanship.”
Really? They why didn’t Jerry Sandusky win it last year?
Happy Birthday: Gymnast Cathy Rigby. 61.
Bonus Birthday: Former The Price is Right host Bob Barker. 90.
Today in Sports: A snow plow operator on work release from prison cleared a spot on the field in snowy Foxboro so that New England could kick a field goal and beat Miami 3-0. 1982.
Bonus Event: The 2000 Presidential election finally is over. The U.S. Supreme Court effectively said George Bush was the winner over Al Gore. 2000.
Attention holiday shoppers! 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.