Sunday, December 31, 2006

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" ---- 01-06-07

Singer Billy Joel is scheduled to perform the national anthem before Super Bowl XLI next month in Miami. Now if only they could get Joel's ex-wife Christie Brinkley to perform aerobics AFTER the game, it would truly make for a REAL "Super Sunday"..........TRIVIA QUESTION: Artis Gilmore is the NBA's all-time leader in field goal percentage with a mark of .599. What former player--not as well-known--is second all-time? Answer to follow.........Congrats go out to Tiger Woods and his wife Elin Nordegren as they are expecting their first child this summer. Let's face it: the only question now is if the new arrival will be born with a silver spoon or a GOLDEN TEE in his/her mouth..........The "Unwatchable NBA" Update: In a game last week in New Jersey, the Rockets beat the Nets 96-71; the home team shot 24-for-73 from the field (33%) and 3-for-16 from three-point range (19%). If I were a Nets fan who paid $100 to watch that fiasco, I’d have held up a sign at the end of the game referring to N.J.'s own Bruce Springsteen--one that read: BORN TO RUN--BUT SURELY NOT TO SHOOT!..........Gotta love WFAN's Joe Benigno--asked recently on the air about why he's not into fantasy football: "When it comes to my fantasies, football is NOT one of 'em"..........Lazzari's "Lopsided Score of the Week": In a men's college basketball game last week, Texas A&M blew away Grambling St. 101-27 (yes, a 74-point win). When you see a score like that, folks, the letters "A & M" take on an entirely new meaning: "antagonistic and malicious"..........This week in sports history, January 8, 1972: At its annual convention in Hollywood, FL, the NCAA announces that freshmen will be eligible to play varsity basketball and football beginning in the fall. Basketball eligibility was approved easily by voters; football was a bit more debated, but ultimately passed by a vote of 94-67..........If new K.C. Royals pitcher Gil Meche is worth $11 million per season, then the "Godfather of Soul," James Brown, had no rhythm whatsoever.....
.......Just HOW good of a hockey player was Wayne Gretzky (for those of you who may actually NEED a reminder)? The legendary Gordie Howe played six MORE years than "The Great One" and in 280 MORE games than Wayne. However, Howe is more than 1,000 points BEHIND Gretzky on the all-time scoring list. Simply mind boggling..........Answer to trivia question: MARK WEST--who compiled a shooting % of .580 while playing for a variety of teams between 1983 and 2000..........As new Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka will now be affectionately known as "Dice," you just KNOW that fans at Fenway will be keeping track of his strikeouts on placards RESEMBLING sets of dice--probably "snake-eyes" for every "K" recorded; that's a no-brainer..........I swear I just heard a HUGE collective sigh coming all the way from Anaheim--from the many Angels fans who've found out that superstar outfielder Vladimir Guerrero will NOT require surgery on his ailing right knee......
.......Happy birthday wishes go out to former big league pitcher Guido Grilli--who blows out 67 candles on January 9th. "Guido WHO?" one may ask--and for good reason. The Memphis native played only ONE major league season--1966 with the Red Sox and Athletics--going 0-2 with an ERA of 7.09. However, an optimist points out that Grilli went to bat TWICE in his short career--singling once--thus retiring with a lifetime batting average of .500. Here's to you, Guido--best wishes..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former major league infielder Chris Brown--who died recently from burns received in a fire at his home outside Houston; he was 45. Brown, a third baseman, played six seasons between 1984 and 1989 with the Giants, Padres, and Tigers--hitting .269 lifetime; he made the All-Rookie team in 1985 while in San Francisco when he hit 16 homers and drove in 61 runs. He is survived by his wife, Lisa, and two children; may he rest in peace.

Bob Lazzari

Reprinted by permission of the Valley Times.


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