Sunday, October 23, 2005

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" ---- 10-29-05

Young 16-year-old soccer phenom Freddy Adu recently vented his frustrations verbally to the media over his lack of playing time with the DC United club. Hey, at least he didn't threaten to hold his breath or run away from home, right?..........TRIVIA QUESTION #1: In the 1959 World Series between the Dodgers and White Sox, one player accumulated a series-high of TEN hits. Name the player; answer to follow..........Shame on some of these clueless NBA players (aka "dolts") who've challenged/questioned commissioner David Stern's institution of a league dress code. Newsflash: A HELLUVA lot of organizations employ dress codes--where employees are earning a HELLUVA lot less money than these uneducated, overpaid idiots. Let's just hope a TINY fraction of these guys realize that, if anything, the code IS addressing the "showoff mentality" so prevalent throughout the league--and also the bigger problem of the "ME, ME, ME," attention-grabbing, selfish mentality that permeates society as a whole at this juncture..........Here's a score for you--from a college football game played in the South last weekend: Campbellsville 62, Cumberland 60. Geez, there was even more "scoring" by football players in this game than there was on the now-infamous Minnesota Vikings "Love Cruise" from a few weeks ago..........Answer to trivia question #1: Second baseman CHARLIE NEAL of the Dodgers--who batted .370 during the series while also hitting two home runs and driving in six runs for his world champion L.A. ball club..........This week in sports history, October 30, 1974: In a title bout held in Kinshasa, Zaire, heavyweight Muhammad Ali knocks out champion George Foreman in the eighth round--reclaiming the crown that had been stripped from him seven years earlier. Ali's famed "rope-a-dope" worked to perfection as he dropped a weary Foreman to the canvas with a crisp, left-right combination..........It's with a heavy heart that I address the elimination of "Grandstand's Talkin' Baseball"/"Inside Yankee Baseball" from WICC's Saturday morning radio lineup; the long-running talk show's contract was recently not renewed by station management. Having co-hosted the show in the past (along with regular hosts Rich Marazzi, Bill Pucci, and others), I can say first-hand that the show was truly a unique one--bringing together incredibly passionate baseball fans each week, year-round, to analyze/discuss the game, play trivia, etc. Just another example of the cruel uncertainty of the radio biz--where "suits" often make decisions without regard to popularity and/or content. The good news? There were many friendships fostered due to the closeness of the show's listeners--bonds that will remain for years to come as we continue to mutually follow America's pastime on a daily basis..........TRIVIA QUESTION #2: In 1957, the world champion Boston Celtics had the Rookie of the Year on their roster--Tom Heinsohn. Only one other franchise has won the NBA championship while having that season's Rookie of the Year on their squad. Name the team and the player; answer to follow..........A section of Route 195 in the Nutmeg State has been renamed "UCONN Husky Way" near the University of Connecticut--supposedly to recognize that institution's academic and athletic achievements. Question: Shouldn't there also be a shady street in that vicinity called "Lawbreakers Lane"--to more accurately reflect that school's athletes' continued inability to follow societal rules?..........Former tennis champ Roscoe Tanner was jailed recently for violating probation; he bounced a check of more than $35,000 a few years ago (when buying a boat) and was also arrested last year for failing to pay more than 80 grand in child support. This guy is living proof that a tennis player's "unforced errors" can continue to accumulate LONG AFTER he's left the playing court..........Answer to trivia question #2: The GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS--who won the NBA title in 1975 while forward KEITH WILKES captured the Rookie of the Year Award..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former big league outfielder Mickey Rivers--who blows out 57 candles on October 31st. A native of Miami, "Mick the Quick" played 15 seasons between 1970 and 1984 with the Angels, Yankees, and Rangers; he was a .295 lifetime hitter. A speedster who often outran his outfield deficiencies, Rivers also stole 267 bases during his career and was an integral part of the Yankees' championship teams of 1977 and 1978; he hit .308 lifetime in the postseason. Best wishes, "Mick."..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former NFL kicker Toni Fritsch--who passed away recently of heart failure at the age of 60. A former player for the Austrian national soccer team, Fritsch led the NFC with 22 field goals in 1975 while playing for Dallas; he also played with the Chargers, Oilers, and Saints during his 11-year NFL tenure. To this day, Fritsch still holds the NFL record for kicking field goals in an impressive THIRTEEN consecutive playoff games. Rest in peace, Toni.

Bob Lazzari

Reprinted by permission of the Valley Times.


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