Tuesday, July 11, 2006

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" ---- 07-15-06

I recently caught up with golfer Notah Begay III after Friday's round of the Buick Championship in Cromwell where I inquired about the health issues that have plagued him over the past few years; these include a torn disk and some major sciatica--the latter of which prevented him from walking for two weeks at one juncture. "I'm still recovering," he said, "and I still have pain. It hit me a couple of times out there today. When I get uneven lies, my back sometimes doesn't want to hold the position, and I hit it kind of bad. But I'm just trying to deal with it." The hope here is that the 2000 GHO champion can overcome these health obstacles--or at least control them comfortably; he truly remains one of the "good guys" out there on the PGA Tour..........
TRIVIA QUESTION: Two Toronto Blue Jays pitchers share the club record for most losses in a season with 18. Can you name either pitcher? Answer to follow..........If you're a N.Y. Mets fan, watching a Steve Trachsel-pitched game is more painful than listening to an old Cyndi Lauper album at 78 speed..........Can you imagine if former women's college basketball player Ann Ching married ex-tennis champion Michael Chang--divorced--then married former world-ranked badminton player Andy Chong? She'd be playing pick-up games with the catchy married name of Ann Ching Chang Chong..........This week in sports history, July 17, 1983: American Tom Watson pars the 17th and 18th holes at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club--enabling him to win his fifth British Open championship. In a wild final round where no less than EIGHT different players either led or shared the lead at a given point, Watson finished with a 70--giving him a one-stroke victory over Andy Bean and Hale Irwin..........I am totally convinced that Lance Armstrong will still be at the center of doping accusations in the year 2055--when he's beating everyone at shuffleboard at the old folks’ home..........The Detroit Pistons have signed center Nazr Mohammed to a five-year deal worth about $5 million per year; Nazr averaged six points and five rebounds a game this past season. Question: Who ever said that mediocrity doesn't pay?..........Trying to defeat Wimbledon champion Roger Federer on grass is more difficult than flossing one's teeth with a tennis racquet..........Is it me--or is the occurrence of a pitcher reaching a 100+ pitch count in the fifth inning becoming more common than a GEICO commercial on TV?..........Do you get the feeling that the refusal of Greg Anderson (Barry Bonds' personal trainer) to testify against the slugger (perjury allegations) is, in itself, the loudest and most damaging testimony one could give?..........Answer to trivia question: JERRY GARVIN (1977) and PHIL HUFFMAN (1979)..........I'm now wondering if Double A female professional umpire Ria Cortesia has run into a 'cheesy' pick-up line like this one: "Hey, Ria, you may be umpiring the bases today--but one date with me and you'll always feel like you're at ‘home’"..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league relief pitcher Bobby Thigpen--who blows out 43 candles on July 17th. Thigpen pitched nine seasons from 1986-1994 with the White Sox, Phillies, and Mariners--saving 201 games lifetime. Few will forget Thigpens's magical year of 1990 when the All-Star reliever made 77 appearances while saving a major league record 57 games--a mark that still stands. Best wishes, Bobby..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of Georgia Southern WR Teddy Craft--who died recently from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident; he was 22. Craft, also a return specialist, led the Eagles in reception yards and TD's last season; he had been a second-team All-Southern Conference selection the past two years. May the young man rest in peace.

Bob Lazzari

Reprinted by permission of the Valley Times.


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