Sunday, August 27, 2006

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" ---- 09-02-06

The Newark Bears recently held a "Britney Spears Baby Safety Night" (love it!); I'm now waiting for another minor league club to host a "Paris Hilton Night"--where each paying customer receives a box of "Airheads" candy upon entering the stadium..........TRIVIA QUESTION: In the history of the Detroit Tigers, what pitcher has appeared in the most games? Answer to follow..........Can you imagine if tennis star Lindsay Davenport married former big league pitcher Frank Linzy, divorced, then married former Rider University track star Justin Lindsey? She'd be gracing the courts with the repetitive married name of Lindsay Linzy Lindsey..........Last week I took my nephew to my favorite sports bar, Hooters--the first time he had ever been in the restaurant world renowned for its lovely waitresses. The wide-eyed look on his face that day reminded me of the same look possessed by Mike Singletary when he used to play linebacker for the Chicago Bears..........This week in sports history, September 3, 1972: Finland's Lasse Viren takes control on the final lap and claims victory in the 10,000 meter final at the Olympic Games held in Munich, West Germany. Viren actually stumbled and fell to the track halfway through the grueling race but recovered to win in a world-record time of 27 minutes, 38.3 seconds..........Catcher Gabby Hartnett hit .344 for the 1935 Chicago Cubs. Did you know this was a record for NL catchers (with 400 or more at-bats) that lasted 60 years? Mike Piazza of the Dodgers surpassed it in 1995 when he hit a blistering .346 to break Hartnett's longstanding mark..........The NFL Network has named "Neon" Deion Sanders as a studio host on its upcoming pregame shows; ah, the "jockocracy" strikes again. Putting this guy behind a mike is almost as absurd as offering ballet lessons to sports editor Bill Pucci..........How major league pitching (and its perception) has changed over the years: On last Saturday's telecast, Fox' Josh Lewin referred to Angels pitcher Ervin Santana's six-inning, five-run performance as "solid." Somewhere, Hall of Famer Bob Gibson is experiencing indigestion..........Answer to trivia question: JOHN HILLER--who pitched in a team-record 545 games for Detroit between 1965 and 1980..........Titans CB Adam "Pacman" Jones has been arrested outside a bar in Tennessee--charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct; police said Jones reeked of booze and had bloodshot eyes when he was busted. If some video game creator out there has a sense of humor, he/she will come out with "Pac-Man 2006: NFL Edition"--where a red-eyed character gobbles up as many beer bottles as possible before time is up and it lands itself in a jail cell..........Lazzari's "Cheap Win of the Week": One of the cheapest of the year goes to A's pitcher Danny Haren; he pitched 5 2/3 innings last week vs. the Blue Jays and gave up 11 hits and a staggering NINE earned runs while throwing 100 pitches. However, he picked up his 12th win of the season as his team pounded out 16 hits of their own during a 12-10 victory..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major leaguer Alan Bannister--who blows out 55 candles on September 3rd. A versatile player who played both the infield and outfield, Bannister played 12 seasons between 1974 and 1985 for a variety of teams--spending most of his career with the White Sox and Indians. Bannister, a California native, hit .328 in 1980 for the Indians over an 81-game stretch after having been traded by the White Sox to Cleveland earlier that season; he hit .270 lifetime and appeared in 972 major league games. Best wishes, Alan........
Finally, condolences go out to the family of four-time Iditarod champion Susan Butcher--who died recently in a Seattle hospital of leukemia at the age of 51. Her name synonymous with both Alaska and dog-mushing, Butcher won the 1,100-mile sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome in 1986, '87, '88, and 1990. Butcher competed in her last Iditarod in 1994 before concentrating on starting a family; she leaves a husband, David, and two daughters--Tekla and Chisana. Rest in peace, Ms. Butcher.

Bob Lazzari

Reprinted by permission of the Valley Times.


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