Thursday, May 28, 2015

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup - - - -5/23/15

Did you know that former major leaguer Joe Lefebvre  hit 13 triples in his career--with eight of them coming in ONE season (1983)?  His total led the Phillies that season--even though he started the year as a member of the Padres.  Joe played six seasons in the 'bigs' between 1980 and 1986 as a member of the Yankees, Padres, and Phillies and would retire at the age of 30..........TRIVIA QUESTION:  The 1996 Chicago White Sox--who finished 85-77 under manager Terry Bevington--had three players on the squad who drove in 100+ runs.  Can you name this hard-hitting trio?  Answer to follow..........I recently had the pleasure of interviewing former N.Y. Yankees pitcher Fritz Peterson--who played with the club from 1966-1974.  An extremely pleasant and "colorful" individual, Fritz mentioned his new book:  When The Yankees Were on the Fritz:  Revisiting the Horace Clarke Era; it's filled with many great stories that occurred during some "no-so-great" Yankee seasons.  It's simply a "must-read" for New York fans who followed the team in the 60/70's--remembering names such as Clarke, Stottlemyre, Bahnsen, and Munson.  It'll surely bring back some memories and foster laughs along the way; check it out at www.amazon.com.......... If Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia is worth $23 million per season at this juncture, then supermodel Elle Macpherson has never EVER looked good in a swimsuit..........Are you of the opinion that men's tennis is continuing a downward spiral here in America?  Put it this way:  At last glance, there were just THREE Americans in the ATP's top 50 rankings:  John Isner (#16), Jack Sock (#37), and Sam Querrey (#38).  Ouch..........Congratulations go out to Eastern CT State University soccer player Jon DeCasanova--who recently received a Bob Casey Courage Award at the CSWA's Gold Key Dinner in Southington.  Jon was diagnosed with aplastic anemia in 2012 followed by a lymphoma diagnosis in the spring of 2013; some doctors gave him very little chance of surviving.  However, Jon refused to cave in to negativity, certain doctors' opinions, and doubters.  Amazingly, he was able to play out his collegiate career last fall and pursue his degree in Sports & Leisure Management.  Yes--he's one very special and brave young man; I look forward to talking to Jon soon and sharing more of his wonderful story.  Keep fighting, Jon, and best wishes..........ITEM:  Rutgers football player Darian Daily is arrested in Sarasota County for armed robbery of a bicyclist at 2 A.M. this past weekend.  Call me judgmental, but can ANYONE out there recall ANYTHING good ever happening after midnight in Florida involving a college football player?..........*Fact:  Since signing an 8-year, $184 million extension with the Twins in 2010 ($23 million per season), Joe Mauer has hit less than 40 home runs (TOTAL) and averaged below 60 RBI's per season.  If he was around today, I'd imagine Frankie Frisch (aka "The Fordham Flash") would be saying something like, "Oh--those LONG TERM CONTRACTS!"..........O.K.--you asked for it (well, SOME of you did):  UL-Lafayette basketball player Kia Wilridge marries former Southern Oregon QB Austin Dodge, divorces, marries former MLB pitcher Jose Mercedes--divorces again--then walks down the aisle with former MLB pitcher Mike Lincoln.  Fans of various automobiles would surely delight in her full married name of Kia Dodge Mercedes Lincoln..........Answer to trivia question:  FRANK THOMAS (134), ROBIN VENTURA (105), and DANNY TARTABULL (101)..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Harlem Globetrotters legend Marques Haynes--who passed away recently in Plano, Texas at the age of 89.  Known for his legendary ball-handling and dribbling skills, Marques was a key member of a very competitive Globetrotters squad (they could beat ANYONE) in the 40's and 50's; he later enjoyed a stint with the team in the 70's when showmanship was at the forefront.  It is estimated that Haynes traveled more than four million miles in his career--playing in over 12,000 games in 100 different countries.  When I was a very young boy, I remember my Dad taking me to see Haynes--who was in Connecticut to make some appearances/perform exhibitions.  I've never forgotten that day--how I saw a man do things with a basketball that I (or my DAD) thought were impossible.  And to this day, Haynes is responsible for my fascination with the great "Pistol" Pete Maravich--my boyhood idol whose own showmanship will never be surpassed.  Hell, I'm sure the two of them are talking about some of the "tricks of the trade" in a much better place at the current moment.  Marques Haynes was the first Globetrotter ever elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield (in 1998); he'll always be considered one of basketball's greatest ambassadors.  May you rest in peace, Mr. Haynes.

Monday, May 11, 2015

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 5/9/15


Seriously, if you were Tom Brady's auto mechanic--and were doing a safety check on his luxury vehicle--could you tell him that his tires were under-inflated with a STRAIGHT FACE?..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1993 Chicago White Sox--who won 94 games under manager Gene Lamont--had three starting pitchers on the staff who won 15 or more games apiece. Can you name this talented trio? Answer to follow..........Lazzari's "Lopsided Score of the Week": In a girls high school softball game played here in Connecticut recently, Ellington defeated Windsor Locks 25-0 in a game shortened to five innings; the score stood 15-0 after just two innings of play. The "bright" side/optimistic view for Windsor Locks and its fans? No player on the squad had to worry/stress over making a critical error late in the game that could have possibly cost the team a victory..........Nothing against Canadian baseball fans, but the crowd who attended the Red Sox/Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre last Sunday had to be the QUIETEST 40,000 people I've ever come across. I swear--at one point, I could hear Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz BREATHING while watching the telecast on NESN..........Just one of the MANY things wrong with the NBA these days: The Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards played Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Tuesday, May 5th. When was Game 3 scheduled? FOUR days later on May 9th--yes, two teams located in the same time zone. At this rate, it's only a matter of time until the NBA season extends into the month of JULY, folks; go figure..........A message to lovely actress Charlize Theron: What does your boyfriend, Sean Penn, possess that yours truly DOESN'T?? O.K, O.K., he has a better house, nicer car, fancier clothes, TONS more money, and Hollywood fame. But I probably know a little more about sports than he does, Charlize--and shouldn't that count for SOMETHING? (ummm--I'm not holding my breath for the 'correct' answer, folks)..........*Question: The way things are going, will the Red Sox have more team meetings or WINS this season?..........ITEM: University of Alabama defensive back Cyrus Jones is busted on domestic violence charges--making him the FIFTH 'Bama player to be arrested so far in 2015. I can just picture the different file cabinets in coach Nick Saban's office right now: "Offensive Schemes," "Defensive Schemes," "Scouting Reports," "Pending Court Cases," etc............*O.K.--here goes: East Carolina soccer player Lexi Herring marries MLB outfielder Mike Trout, divorces, marries former Red Sox player Mike Carp--divorces again--then walks down the aisle with former big leaguer Tim Salmon. She is then known by the "fishy," full married name of Lexi Herring Trout Carp Salmon..........I recently had the honor of interviewing former MLB pitcher Fritz Peterson; my "Monday Night Sports Talk" co-host Tony DeAngelo has referred to Fritz as a "lost Yankee treasure." Why? People forget how talented he was while playing for some 'not-so-good' Yankee squads in the 60's/70's. I was amazed to find out that Peterson led the AL in fewest walks-per-9-innings-pitched FIVE years in a row from 1968-1972. He also had the all-time lowest ERA at the original Yankee Stadium--2.52 (yes, better than Ford, Raschi, Reynolds, etc.). Now THAT's impressive, folks..........Answer to trivia question: JACK McDOWELL (22), ALEX FERNANDEZ (18), and WILSON ALVAREZ (15)..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Missouri basketball player Jeff Warren--who passed away recently after battling an aggressive form of lymphoma; he was just 44. Nicknamed "War Horse" due to his toughness and refusal to quit, Warren lettered four seasons for the Tigers between 1989 and 1993 under longtime coach Norm Stewart--averaging 6.7 ppg/4.4 rpg for his career. A 6-foot-8 forward from Litchfield, Michigan, Jeff still holds the school record at Missouri for consecutive field goals made--converting 24 in a row over a four-game stretch during the '91-'92 season. His legacy, though, will be the incredible work ethic he possessed; many former teammates share the opinion that Warren was one of the hardest workers they've ever been around. Finally, former Tigers star Jon Sundvold offered this on Twitter: "Prayers to the Warren family. Jeff was one of the finest to represent Mizzou." Warren is survived by his wife, Susan, and two young sons. May Jeff Warren rest in peace.