"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - -8/29/15
In regard to sprinter Usain Bolt: Seriously, I don't know if I've ever come across ANY athlete who does what he/she does ANY BETTER than Bolt. His recent victories in the 100m and 200m (AND 400 relay) at the World Championships in Beijing (after an injury-plagued year) are just further proof of an individual whose accomplishments TRULY leave me speechless. He's had INCREDIBLE competition since he burst on the stage back in 2004, but ALWAYS makes it looks so easy when competing against the world's best (just ask Justin Gatlin, Asafa Powell, etc.). Folks, trust me: We will NEVER see a faster human being, and his world-record times in the 100 and 200 (9.58 and 19.19, respectively) will NEVER be broken--well, at least not in MY lifetime (that is unless Bolt HIMSELF somehow deems it necessary to change that). I'm just thankful that I've been lucky to see this man dominate the world of sprinting like he has--an athlete whose mind-boggling exploits (in my opinion) have somehow gone slightly under-publicized..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 2004 Texas Rangers--who finished 89-73 under manager Buck Showalter--had FIVE players on the team who hit 20 or more home runs apiece. How many of these players can you name? Answer to follow..........*Here goes: Former University of North Dakota track star Emily Emerson marries former major league catcher Steve Lake--divorces--then walks down the aisle with current PGA player Ryan Palmer. Fans of a very successful English progressive rock group would surely enjoy her full married name of Emily Emerson Lake Palmer..........Anyone out there catch of glimpse of tennis player Caroline Wozniacki wearing a skin tight, orange outfit at the recent Players' Tribune celebration for women held in NYC? Let's just say it was a LOT more "eye-opening"/attractive than when she wears all-white tennis garb on the court--along with a baseball cap--while sweating profusely..........Oh--and as far as being rendered speechless about a person who's NOT an athlete? How 'bout my fellow Fordham alumnus Vin Scully--who will return for his 67th year in the broadcast booth for the Dodgers in 2016? Sheesh--at this juncture, I just want to be able to LIVE until the age of 67. The MOST amazing thing? He's STILL the best at what he does, folks--and will turn 88 in the fall. Simply remarkable.........I had the privilege of interviewing former New York Yankees player/World Series MVP Bobby Richardson recently--who had just celebrated his 80th birthday. Put it this way: In addition to having put together a storied baseball career, the man is "top shelf" as far as character is concerned. I've talked to many media people about Richardson over the years and not ONE person has had anything negative to say about the former infielder. I don't expect that to change either--a total "class act" if there ever was one..........Did you know that the 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates finished last in the NL in ALL of the following categories?: At-bats, runs, hits, batting average, ERA, saves, and wins? Yes, a true sign of a team that lost 105 games--and the main reason why manager John Russell was fired as soon as that nightmarish season was completed..........*QUESTION: Shouldn't some television network give some SERIOUS consideration to producing a soap opera based on the life of PGA golfer John Daly?..........Answer to trivia question: MARK TEIXEIRA (38), HANK BLALOCK (32), ALFONSO SORIANO (28), KEVIN MENCH (26), and MICHAEL YOUNG (22)..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of legendary NHL coach Al Arbour--who passed away last week at the age of 82; he had been suffering from Parkinson's disease and dementia. Arbour is best-known for being the leader of the New York Islanders' dynasty during the early 1980's as the team won a remarkable FOUR STRAIGHT Stanley Cups; he also won four Stanley Cups as a player (defenseman) during the 50's and 60's. Altogether, he won 782 games as a coach; his incredibly strong work ethic is often cited as the main reason why he was such a successful coach. In retirement, Arbour continued to follow the game closely--often being critical of the NHL's disciplining policies. Arbour was the NHL's coach of the year in 1979 and was ultimately elected into the league's Hall of Fame in 1996. He is survived by his wife, Claire, and four children: Joann, Janice, Julie, and Jay. Rest in in peace, "Coach."