Monday, May 22, 2006

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" ---- 05-27-06

How 'bout University of Texas RB Ramonce Taylor, who called police recently after a window in his car had been broken during a fight--only to have cops then find FIVE POUNDS of pot in his vehicle? I'll go out on a limb and say that the chances of Taylor being named a Rhodes scholar are about the same as Britney Spears being named "Mother of the Year" in the very near future..........TRIVIA QUESTION: Jack Nicklaus' victory at the 1986 Masters was his final win on the PGA Tour; his 9-under-par, 279 score was good enough to win by one stroke over two very talented players. Who were these two runner-up golfers? Answer to follow..........Can you imagine if LPGA golfer Teresa Lu married former University of Prince Edward Island soccer player Chris Diamond, divorced, then married former major league infielder Mike Phillips? Fans of the popular "La Bamba" actor would surely delight in her full married name of Teresa Lu Diamond Phillips..........Gotta love ESPN's Chris Berman--who called the Tampa Bay Devil Rays bullpen a "five-alarm fire" during the network's baseball coverage last week..........Lazzari's "Cheap Win(s) of the Week": Hands down--goes to Braves pitcher Oscar Villarreal, who's made an art of "vulturing" wins. He pitches one inning vs. the Marlins on 5/15--throwing 26 pitches and allowing a game-tying HR to Mike Jacobs, but still gets the win as his team outscores Florida. Two days later vs. the same Marlins, he throws 21 pitches in the 11th inning (12 balls, 9 strikes), walks two, gives up the go-ahead run, but STILL gets another "W" as the Braves score three in their last at-bat. The two "cheapies" raised Villarreal's record this year to 6-0...........This week in sports history, May 29, 1971: Al Unser, driving the "Johnny Lightning Special," wins his second straight Indianapolis 500--with a record speed of 157.735 mph. Driving on his 32nd birthday, Unser led 102 laps and finished 22 seconds ahead of Peter Revson; Unser became only the fourth driver to win consecutive Indy 500's..........As painful as it is to watch, the ever-present, pompous athlete of today should take a closer look at jockey Edgar Prado's selfless, caring efforts last week at the Preakness--attempting to save the life of the broken-down Barbaro. Now THAT is what REAL heroes do, folks.........Former big league outfielder Albert "Don't Call Me Joey" Belle has been arrested for the second time on stalking charges--having made phone calls to a woman he was ALREADY accused of harassing. Here's how I'd write the headline for this story: "BELLE RINGING" GETS FORMER STAR IN MORE TROUBLE..........Answer to trivia question: TOM KITE and GREG NORMAN--both of whom finished at 8-under-par, 280 for the tournament..........I'm not sure what I can add to what's already been written about legendary University of New Haven baseball coach Frank "Porky" Vieira--retiring after 44 years with a record of 1,127-324-6. I guess I'll say this: His winning percentage of .777 is the highest in Division II history, but "Porky" should be considered among the elite college coaches in history at ANY level..........Lazzari's "Lopsided Score of the Week": In a recent Connecticut girls softball game, Wethersfield High defeated Bloomfield 25-1--in FIVE innings. The victors led 16-0 after two frames, while Bloomfield made EIGHT errors during this fiasco. The good news for Bloomfield is that they actually held Wethersfield scoreless in the third inning. The BAD news is that they lost by 24 runs to a team that wasn't exactly a replica of the old Raybestos Brakettes; Wethersfield had a below-average record of 6-9 coming into the game..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former big league second baseman Bill Doran--who blows out 48 candles on May 28th. A Cincinnati native, Doran played 12 seasons between 1982 and 1993 with the Astros, Reds, and Brewers--accumulating 1,366 lifetime hits. His best season came in 1987 for Houston when he appeared in all 162 games while hitting 16 homers, driving in 79 runs, and stealing 31 bases. Best wishes, Bill..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former major league outfielder Jim Lemon--who died recently of cancer in Mississippi at the age of 78. Lemon played for the Indians, Senators, Twins, Phillies, and White Sox between 1950 and 1963; his best years came while playing in Washington. Lemon drove in 100 runs in both 1959 and 1960 for the Senators--hitting 71 home runs over that two-year span. Named to the AL All-Star team in 1960, Lemon later managed the Senators in 1968; may he rest in peace.

Bob Lazzari

Reprinted by permission of the Valley Times.


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