Sunday, October 30, 2005

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" ---- 11-05-05

The NCAA has recommended establishing a $10 million fund that will pay schools/teams that show achievement/improvement in the classroom. Ah, yes, just what we need in modern-day college athletics--more incentive for schools to lie, cheat, and alter transcripts..........TRIVIA QUESTION #1: Name the team that won the very first American Basketball Association (ABA) championship (1967-'68 season); answer to follow..........Former UCONN basketball center Eric Hayward has been fired from his job at a state-run hospital after being accused of having an improper relationship with a 16-year-old female patient. Definitely a case of a "husky" barking up the wrong tree, huh?..........New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman recently said his decision to remain with the team has "nothing to do with money;" he also said the following words about his position--as opposed to other general managers: "To me, it's harder to have a high payroll." Yeah, O.K., Brian, do me a favor and share that latter statement with the GM's in Kansas City or Tampa--men whose lives would be a HELLUVA lot easier with some major bucks in their hands. Either Mr. Cashman celebrated his new contract a bit too much after offering the aforementioned words--or he's auditioning for a comedy gig when his tenure as Yankees GM DOES come to an end..........Can you imagine if supermodel Kathy Ireland married Tulsa DB Anthony Germany, divorced, married former big league pitcher Mark Portugal--divorced again--then married ex-Eagles place-kicker Todd France? She'd be walking around with the "worldly" name of Kathy Ireland Germany Portugal France..........Answer to trivia question #1: The PITTSBURGH PIPERS--who defeated the New Orleans Buccaneers in the best-of-seven series 4 games to 3 behind the stellar play of future Hall of Famer Connie Hawkins..........Very simply, the N.Y. Yankees' pitching staff was in MUCH better hands with Mel Stottlemyre at the helm than it will be with Ron Guidry running things..........This week in sports history, November 6, 1974: Pitcher Mike Marshall of the L.A. Dodgers becomes the first reliever in major league history to capture the Cy Young Award--outpolling teammate Andy Messersmith by 30 votes. Marshall finished the season with 15 wins and 21 saves while appearing in a major league-record 106 games; he pitched a mind-boggling 208 innings, appeared in 14 straight games at one point, and pitched to a stellar ERA of 2.42..........TRIVIA QUESTION #2: What former Illinois QB once threw for over 600 yards in a game vs. Ohio State? Answer to follow..........As predicted in this column a few weeks ago, UCONN guard/laptop criminal Marcus Williams will return to the court JUST IN TIME for the team's Big East opener against Marquette on January 3rd--JUST A COINCIDENCE, right? It's also JUST A COINCIDENCE that Williams--a future pro and more valuable to the team than fellow "computer salesman" A.J. Price--received a more lenient penalty than A.J. At this juncture, there's a bigger stench in the athletic department at UCONN than there is surrounding the skunk cabbage patches located in Ohio's Gahanna Woods Nature Preserve..........Gotta love CBS' Dan Dierdorf's comments during the first half of the recent game between the Chargers and Eagles--an ugly one filled with penalties, injuries, etc.: "If this were a beauty contest, you're looking at Miss Congeniality."..........Answer to trivia question #2: DAVE WILSON--who threw for 621 yards vs. the Buckeyes in a game played in November of 1980; Wilson would later play professionally with the New Orleans Saints..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former big league pitcher John Candelaria--who will celebrate on November 6th. A tall lefthander who was born in New York City, "Candy Man" pitched 19 major league seasons between 1975 and 1993 for a variety of teams in both leagues; the majority of his tenure was spent in Pittsburgh. Candelaria won 177 games in his career while pitching to a lifetime ERA of 3.33. His best season came in 1977 with the Pirates when he went 20-5 with a league-leading ERA of 2.34 while being named to the NL All-Star team. Best wishes, "Candy Man."..........Finally, the sports world has suffered some great losses lately—namely, the deaths of the following people: influential N.Y. Giants owner Wellington Mara, ex-NYU basketball coach Lou Rossini, Oakland A's broadcaster Bill King, ex-New York Net Willie Sojourner, and Connecticut broadcast legend Dick Galiette. As far as Galiette is concerned, I last talked to Dick at a Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance luncheon in New Britain a couple of summers ago where he graciously took the time to tell me how much he enjoyed my sports column--words I'll never forget. The longtime voice of Yale football, his contributions to Connecticut sports in general are too numerous to mention here; suffice it to say that few (if any) journalists ever promoted sports in the Nutmeg State like Mr. Galiette. Condolences go out to ALL of the families of the aforementioned sports personalities; each gentleman will surely be missed.

Bob Lazzari

Reprinted by permission of the Valley Times.


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