Monday, March 05, 2007

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" ---- 03-10-07

If anyone out there thinks that none of the current players on the PGA Tour are in good shape physically, he/she should check out Camilo Villegas lining up putts while placing all of his body weight on one hand. Geez, my arthritis is flaring up just THINKING about it..........TRIVIA QUESTION: Between 1953 and 1962, only TWO different players led the NBA in free-throw shooting percentage. Can you name these two gentlemen? Answer to follow..........Can you imagine if Louisville women's basketball player Jazz Covington married comedian Chris Rock, divorced, married former big league pitcher Pat Rapp--divorced again--then married PGA golfer Fred Funk? Music lovers of all genres everywhere would surely delight in her full married name of Jazz Rock Rapp Funk..........This week in sports history, March 12, 1966: 59-year-old jockey Johnny Longden wins the final race of his amazing, 40-year career--guiding underdog George Royal to a victory in the San Juan Capistrano Invitation Handicap. Longden truly went out in style--bringing his horse from fifth place with just a quarter of a mile to go to the ultimate winning position at the end. The victory increased Longden's career earnings to over $24.6 million as he'd retire with 6,032 wins..........Lazzari's "Non Sports-Related Tidbit of the Week": Remember the pop group called "Men Without Hats"? I say that Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, and Paris Hilton form their own group called "Women Without Gray Matter"..........Young N.Y. Mets pitcher Phillip Humber recently told the New York Post that his ideal girlfriend would be one "who can carry on a conversation besides nails and makeup." Put it this way, Phillip: I like a well-rounded woman as much as the next guy. But if Sharon Stone tells me she'll date me only as long as nails and makeup are often discussed, I start studying cosmetology IMMEDIATELY..........Anyone out there catch Chris Carlin's interview with former reliever John Franco last Saturday on WFAN? Franco actually referred to Barry Bonds as a great guy, good family guy, etc. Question: When Franco had "Tommy John surgery" a few years back, wasn't that intended solely to fix his arm--and NOT affect his brain?..........It's been reported that former heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield used the alias "Evan Fields" to obtain steroids. I find it hard to believe that Holyfield would actually use a shortened version of his own name to buy; sheesh, "John Doe" would cause less suspicion. Then again, boxing rings haven't been filled with Rhodes scholars over the past couple of decades, either..........The "Unwatchable NBA" Update: During a 77-72 loss to the Celtics last week, the Houston Rockets shot (pardon me while I lose my lunch) a PATHETIC 1-for-22 (that is NOT a misprint, folks) from three-point range; that translates to a 4.5% clip from "downtown." I swear--if the Rockets were asked to throw balls into the ocean after that game, their attempts would have hit life rafts and caromed back to shore without ever hitting water..........Answer to trivia question: BILL SHARMAN (1953-'57, '59, and '61) and DOLPH SCHAYES (1958, '60, and '62)..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league infielder Joe Moock--who blows out 63 candles on March 12th. Perhaps only hard-core Mets fans will remember Moock, who played with the team in 1967--his only season in the majors. A third baseman, Moock came to bat 40 times for New York and accumulated nine hits--thus compiling a lifetime batting average of .225. Hey, he can always tell his grandchildren that he played with Tom Seaver during "Tom Terrific's" rookie season of '67, right? Best wishes, Joe..........
Finally, condolences go out to the families of former NFL defensive lineman Lamar Lundy and ex-big league pitcher Clem Labine--both of whom passed away recently. Lundy, who was 71, spent his entire 13-year career with the Rams, where he was a member of the famed "Fearsome Foursome" defensive line--teaming with Merlin Olsen, Deacon Jones, and Roosevelt Grier. Labine died at the age of 80 in
Florida after undergoing brain surgery. Clem pitched 13 seasons in the majors, mostly with the Dodgers--where he was a member of two championship squads. Labine will be best remembered for two postseason shutouts he tossed: one during a three-game playoff series vs. the Giants in 1951 and a 10-inning gem vs. the Yankees during the '56 World Series. May these two gentlemen rest in peace.

Bob Lazzari

Reprinted by permission of the Valley Times.


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