Monday, April 24, 2006

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" ---- 04-29-06

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist recently told the New York Post that the best advice he ever received from his parents was to keep both feet on the ground. Question: Isn't that kinda tough for Lundqvist to do at this juncture--since he makes his living on an ice-covered surface?..........TRIVIA QUESTION: What player holds the Seattle Mariners team record for most stolen bases in a season? Answer to follow..........Channel surfing on Easter Sunday, I stumbled upon women's college bowling on ESPN (I kid you not, folks). Can co-ed, grammar school hopscotch coverage now be looming on the horizon at ESPN?..........How 'bout this scenario: LPGA golfer Birdie Kim marries WFAN sportscaster Sweeney Murti, divorces him, then marries PGA golfer Ted Purdy. She'd then be strolling the links with the catchy married name of Birdie Murti Purdy..........This week in sports history, April 30, 1993: 19-year-old tennis star Monica Seles--ranked #1 in the world--is stabbed in the back by a crazed spectator during a changeover in a match played in Hamburg, Germany. Seles, playing against Magdalena Maleeva, was leading the match before a 38-year-old, disturbed German man (said to be a Steffi Graf fanatic) assaulted her from behind. Sadly, Seles would never be the same superior/high-ranking player thereafter..........As far as the Boston Marathon is concerned, shouldn't "Heartbreak Hill" be renamed "Kenyan Passing"--to more accurately reflect the spot where that country's competitors usually start dominating this race?..........Lazzari's "Cheap Win of the Week": This one goes to the Orioles' John Halama. He relieved an ineffective Rodrigo Lopez during the fifth inning of a recent 18-9 victory over Cleveland. He pitched one inning, gave up three hits (including a HR to Aaron Boone), walked a batter, and threw a mind-boggling 34 pitches--but STILL claimed the win during this slugfest..........Answer to trivia question: HAROLD REYNOLDS--who stole 60 bases in 1987 for Dick Williams' fourth-place club..........Washington Nationals GM Jim Bowden has been arrested in Florida for DUI after failing to obey a stop sign. One thing's for sure: Bowden can no longer be critical of his team's base runners should they run through the third base coach's own "STOP" sign while attempting to score..........Did you know that--despite hitting 442 lifetime home runs--former big leaguer Dave Kingman failed to hit above .225 in a season EIGHT TIMES in his career? He led the NL in home runs in 1982 (37) as a Met while hitting just .204; he hit a paltry .198 the following season. "Sky King" was a "strikeout king," too--fanning once every 3.68 at-bats during his 16-year career..........Lazzari's "Lopsided Score of the Week": In a recent Connecticut boys high school baseball game, Somers defeated Enfield 30-7; the victors enjoyed a 23-1 lead after two innings. If I'm the Enfield coach, I use humor as a comforting tool after the game and offer this: "Hey guys, the good news is that we scored seven runs and tried our best. The BAD news is that Somers scored four touchdowns and a safety--and this AIN'T football!"..........On WFAN Radio last week, Larry Brown sucked up the blame--saying that he "didn't do a good job" coaching the Knicks this past season. Please, Larry, there's no need to protect the collection of misfits on your team. What you SHOULD have said was THIS: "With this roster filled with overpaid malcontents who can't play defense, Red Auerbach--on his BEST day--would have trouble winning one game a week!"..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league outfielder Von Joshua--who blows out 58 candles on May 1st. A native of Oakland, California, Joshua played ten big-league seasons between 1969 and 1980 with the Dodgers, Giants, Brewers, and Padres--hitting .273 lifetime. Looking back, Von enjoyed just one truly successful season--1975 with the Giants. That year, he finished seventh in the NL batting race (.318) and was second in the league in triples (10) behind Atlanta's Ralph Garr. Best wishes, Von..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former L.A.-area sports bar owner Ernie Serfas--who died recently at his California home at the age of 83. Serfas, along with his brother Nick, operated the House of Serfas from the mid-'50s to the mid-'60s--a favorite watering hole for professional athletes and fans alike. Various members of the Rams, Angels, and Dodgers were seen frequently at Ernie's establishment; it was also a popular hangout for visiting sports teams. As if it were scripted, Ernie Serfas passed away while watching a basketball game on television; may he rest in peace.

Bob Lazzari

Reprinted by permission of the Valley Times.


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