Sunday, September 24, 2006

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" ---- 09-30-06

I don't know what was more embarrassing--the U.S. Ryder Cup team's performance last weekend or the time I lost my swim trunks as a kid while diving into the waters of nearby Lake Quassapaug..........
TRIVIA QUESTION: What former AFC quarterback--who once led the NFL in completions and pass attempts--later went on to become the majority floor leader of the Missouri Senate? Answer to follow....
........Lazzari's "Cheap Win of the Week": Has to go to Rockies pitcher Justin Hampson who, in his first big league start in Colorado, pitched five innings and gave up six runs while allowing 10 hits. However, no need to worry; he gets the "W" nonetheless as Colorado pounds out 19 hits and an astounding TWENTY runs while routing San Francisco. Warning to Hampson: Pitching at Coors Field won't ALWAYS be that easy--but I'm sure you've been told that a dozen times already..........The "jockocracy" rears its ugly head once again as it appears that former NBA guard Allan Houston will land a studio gig with ESPN. This is a guy who earned TONS of money over his NBA career (thanks to a ridiculous 6-year, $100 million deal signed in 2001) but will have no problem taking a position away from a non-ex-jock, more-qualified BROADCASTER out there; I'm sure it's an ego-stroking thing, folks. In any case, Howard Cosell just let out another audible sigh from his gravesite..........This week in sports history, October 2, 1978: Bucky Dent of the N.Y. Yankees hits a wind-aided, three-run homer off Red Sox pitcher Mike Torrez in the seventh inning of a one-game playoff--leading the Yanks to a 5-4 victory and the AL East championship. The victory gave the Yankees the opportunity to play K.C. for the AL pennant; New York had been 14 games out of first place at one juncture in July..........Can you imagine if LPGA Hall of Famer Betsy King married AHL hockey player Joey Crabb? Seafood lovers everywhere would then surely delight in her married name of Betsy King Crabb..........Answer to trivia question: BILL KENNEY of the Kansas City Chiefs--who led the league in completions (346) and pass attempts (603) in 1983..........It's been reported that Thai boxer Manus Boonjumnong has squandered most of the $600,000 given to him by government officials after winning the light-welterweight gold medal at the 2004 Olympics; it's rumored that he spent it all on booze, gambling, and women. I can understand, Manus, how those three things could severely drain one's wallet--not that yours truly has ANY first-hand knowledge WHATSOEVER about those glaring vices..........How 'bout those thousand or so Orioles fans who walked out of Camden Yards last week--demonstrating against the team's collective misfortunes under owner Peter Angelos? Good for them; these are hard-working individuals who've paid exorbitant prices over the years during the Angelos regime and have seen little success for their buck. Time for an overhaul and a new baseball philosophy in Baltimore--a great baseball town--but that will only begin when Angelos sells the club..........Lazzari's "Lopsided Score of the Week": In a recent college football game in the Midwest, St. Francis (IN) beat up on Pikeville 63-0. A pessimist points out that if Pikeville scored NINE TD's and added most of their PAT's, they STILL wouldn't have won. An optimist counters by saying that none of Pikeville's players were forced to feel "butterflies" worrying about how they'd perform in the clutch..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former big-league outfielder Bob Coluccio--who blows out 55 candles on October 2nd. "Who?" you may ask. That's understandable since Coluccio played only five major league seasons between 1973 and 1978 for three different teams and was a lifetime .220 hitter. However, "The Macaroni Pony" did hit eight triples and 15 home runs during his rookie season of 1973 for Del Crandall's fifth-place Milwaukee Brewers ball club. Best wishes to Robert Pasquali Coluccio..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of ex-Pittsburgh Pirates GM Syd Thrift--who died recently after undergoing knee replacement surgery at the age of 77. Thrift spent nearly 50 years in baseball working for a variety of teams including the K.C. Royals--for whom he founded a successful baseball academy. He became GM of Pittsburgh in 1985--giving current Tigers skipper Jim Leyland his start as a major league manager. Mr. Thrift, may you rest in peace.

Bob Lazzari

Reprinted by permission of the Valley Times.


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