Monday, June 19, 2006

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" ---- 06-24-06

I'm not saying American women's tennis is in trouble but, at last glance, only THREE U.S. players were in the top 100 in the WTA rankings: Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams, and Jill Craybas. The more I think about it, I believe I just said that American women's tennis is INDEED in trouble--didn't I?..........TRIVIA QUESTION: In 1979, the California Angels had three players who finished with more than 100 RBI's apiece. Name them; answer to follow..........Best wishes go out to LPGA Hall of Famer/ABC's own Judy Rankin--who was diagnosed a few weeks ago with breast cancer. Having already undergone a couple of surgical procedures--and currently undergoing further treatment--the wish here is that the likeable 61-year-old is back on her feet very soon and able to continue her terrific on-course analysis..........Can you imagine if former FDU basketball player Tommica Woods married former NFL linebacker Gerald Irons, divorced, married NFL WR Donald Driver--divorced again--then married Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge? Golf equipment manufacturers would surely delight in her full name of Tommica Woods Irons Driver Wedge..........I often think about major league records that will never be broken--or at least not in our lifetimes (Nolan Ryan's career strikeout total of 5,714 immediately comes to mind). Another one is now starting to look untouchable: Rickey Henderson's career stolen base mark of 1,406. Henderson stole almost 500 more bases than the great Lou Brock--second on the all-time list; Kenny Lofton is the closest active player to Rickey--a staggering 800+ stolen bases behind. As the game has changed immensely over the years (with an increased emphasis on power--and NOT baserunning), Henderson's mark will surely look more and more impressive as the years roll on..........This week in sports history, June 25, 1948: Heavyweight fighter Joe Louis retains his crown with an 11th round knockout of Jersey Joe Walcott in a fight held in New York. Before more than 42,000 at Yankee Stadium, Louis was trailing on two of the three judges' cards after ten rounds--but ended the bout with a vicious right to Walcott's jaw that sent the helpless challenger to the canvas..........How 'bout bowler Kelly Kulick--who recently became the first female to join the PBA tour full-time after averaging 224 at qualifying trials? Can you imagine taking a gal like this on a first date to a bowling alley where she annihilates you over ten frames, say, 225-130? I wouldn't know whether to give her a good-night kiss--or rather try to shake/squeeze her hand hard enough to the point where bowling on the next date would NOT be an option..........Answer to trivia question: DON BAYLOR (139), BOBBY GRICH (101), and "DISCO" DAN FORD (101)..........Lazzari's "Cheap Win of the Week": We'll give this one to Pirates reliever Matt Capps. In a recent game vs. San Francisco, he pitched one inning--giving up a home run to Moises Alou while allowing the Giants to extend their lead. However, he ultimately ends up with a "W" as the Bucs scored five runs in the following inning to take a 7-5 lead..........Where is the bigger "revolving door": At your typical downtown Manhattan hotel or in Detroit--in reference to the Lions QB position?..........Happy belated birthday wishes go out to former major league pitcher Dave Goltz--who blew out 57 candles this past week (6/23). Goltz pitched 12 big league seasons with the Twins, Dodgers, and Angels--winning 113 games lifetime. A native of Minnesota, Goltz' best year came in 1977 with the Twins--a season in which he went 20-11 while pitching an impressive 303 innings. Best wishes, Dave..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former pool player Steve Mizerak--who died recently of complications from gall bladder surgery at the age of 61. Mizerak won the U.S. Open each year from 1970-1973, but was perhaps best known for the famed Miller Lite beer ad in which he drained a mind-boggling trick shot. Said Steve during the commercial, "It's easy to work up a thirst--even when you're just showin' off." A show-off at times? Perhaps--but it was "all biz for 'The Miz'" while in serious competition; he was simply a master at pocket billiards. In short, it was difficult NOT to like Steve Mizerak; he was a personal favorite of mine ever since I first became familiar with his cool demeanor/dry sense of humor during an ESPN legends tournament quite a few years ago. Rest in peace, "Miz."

Bob Lazzari

Reprinted by permission of the Valley Times.


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