1. Quick Hits
- Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte come out to the mound and give Mariano Rivera the hook in his final Yankee Stadium appearance.
- Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig will retire at the end of the 2014 season.
- Thursday Night Football: San Francisco 35 St Louis 11.
- Playboy announces the top party schools. Syracuse is not among them (very disappointing.)
2. The Inmates Running the Asylum
Since I normally publish some of your comments on Friday I thought I’d turn over most of today’s Top 5 to you guys. The truth is many of you are more interesting than me. Colorado Rockies fan Tim P. is not a happy camper. He writes: “A very cool night at Coors Field Wednesday night. Todd Helton’s final game at Coors after 17 years. Not a dry eye in the house when his oldest daughter threw out the first pitch. Then Helton hits a home run in his first AB. There’s more sports news than the Yanks not making the playoffs.”
Thanks Tim. Here’s some video including the first pitch and hug. (Preview) And I hate to bust your bubble, but apparently Red Sox pitcher Jake Peavy told Helton he’d throw him all fastballs. Peavy grooved that pitch perfectly for Helton’s homer.
3. Now We’re Talking
This is what it’s come to for the Jacksonville Jaguars. A ticket promotion that includes free beer. This is what they tweeted yesterday. “Next 3 hrs only! #DrinksOnUs for #INDvsJAX from @BudLight (starts @ $45/ticket, 21+for beer). 2 free drinks w/ticket:”
Translation, buy a ticket to the Jacksonville/Indianapolis game and get two free beers. I can imagine some fans getting their two free beers and then heading home. Here’s a 2013 sports slogan for you. “The Jacksonville Jaguars: The best punch line in sports.”
4. Friday eMailbag
When I questioned why the NFL would want to put a team in London, R.K. suggests it has to do with gambling. “Part of the reason for its popularity is legal betting on it at a large number of bookmakers. You can bet any American sport there, even baseball. My English friend asked me more than once for scouting reports for March Madness.”
And from Top 5 subscriber J.P. “Having lived 3 years in the UK I can report that the league has worked hard at making inroads there and its product has achieved a significant degree of interest and popularity. Like us with soccer, however, there are many who just don’t get it and regard it as little more than rugby with pads.”
With the over-the-top “home” call of the Cincinnati winning touchdown against Green Bay, L.S. writes, “I don’t mind the Bengals call, since it’s so rare the Bengals have something to cheer for. It’s the same way I haven’t minded when the Pirates or Royals announcers have gone nuts this season. If the Patriots announcers did it, I’d be annoyed.”
As for Senator John McCain criticizing the Dodgers for jumping into the Arizona Diamondbacks pool when they clinched the NL West, R.L tweeted me @LenBermanSports, “I’m surprised Sen. McCain found time in his busy iPhone poker playing schedule to pitch a fit about the Dodgers.”
5. Spanning the World
This week’s Spanning the World highlight comes from English soccer. Here’s an interesting defensive strategy, depants him! (Preview)
Spanning the World airs on NBC’s Today Show. Next up: Wednesday October 30th.
Happy Birthday: Phillies Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt. 64.
Bonus Birthday: Oscar winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow. 41.
Today in Sports: 15 years ago today Mark McGwire set a single season home run record with his 70th. 1998*
Bonus Event: The Tonight Show made its TV debut with Steve Allen as host. 1954.
We’ve gone far too long without a contest. So here goes. Simply pick which team will beat which team to win the 2013 World Series and in how many games. Email me back with your answer putting it in the subject line. For example, “Dodgers over the Red Sox in 6.” Winners will receive autographed books and ThatsSports baseball caps. One entry per person. Deadline October 3rd. Play ball!
The Top 5 was read yesterday in Zambia.
The next time you 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.