Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 07-28-07

So I hear that former N.Y. Islanders player Alexei Yashin has signed a one-year deal to play in Russia. My first thought was that if he needs someone to look after his "better-half" (supermodel Carol Alt) here in the States while he toils overseas, I'm FIRST in line to volunteer..........TRIVIA QUESTION: What N.Y. Mets pitcher holds the team record for most appearances in a season? Answer to follow..........If I'm writing headlines for the NBA referee betting scandal story, it appears like this: Donaghy Fingered--"Bettor" Get A Good Lawyer, Tim!..........I recently talked with golfer Olin Browne during the Travelers Championship and asked him if being a former winner at this tournament gives him a mental edge when he comes to Cromwell each year. "No, I doubt it," he told me. "I'd certainly love to be a two-time winner here...but I just love coming here. This was my first win on tour (1998) --that has a special place for me." Special in other ways, too: Browne has pocketed more than $600,000 in earnings playing at the TPC over the years. At age 48, look for him to be a very competitive Champions Tour player in the not-so-distant future..........About the ONLY similarity between lovely actress Michelle Pfeiffer and steroid bum Barry Bonds is that they have both gotten better with age..........In a society where TRUE justice is stressed and carried out, Michael Vick gets placed in a 10' X 10' room with a dozen of the nastiest, hungriest pit bull terriers one can imagine..........Can you imagine if LPGA golfer Karen Stupples married Oakland A's pitcher Danny Haren, divorced, married Rhode Island basketball coach Jim Baron--divorced again--then married former big league player Dick Sharon? She'd be teeing off with the full, married name of Karen Haren Baron Sharon..........This week in sports history, July 30, 1980: Having complained of a tired arm for months, pitcher J.R. Richard of the Houston Astros collapses during a team workout at the Astrodome. The victim of a stroke, surgery was performed immediately to correct a blocked artery in his neck. The 6-foot-8 right-hander was a 20-game winner for Houston back in 1976 and had pitched two scoreless innings for the NL in the All-Star game just a few weeks before this unfortunate incident..........I swear--I've seen better fights lately in the pits of IRL and NASCAR races than I have in any boxing ring..........Predicament: Trailing 2-1 in the 9th inning on July 15th vs. Toronto, Red Sox manager Terry Francona was forced to allow light-hitting (I'm being kind) righty Doug Mirabelli to hit vs. a right-handed reliever; would-be lefty pinch hitters J.D. Drew and Jason Varitek watched helplessly on the Boston bench while nursing injuries. My first reaction to Francona's lack of choices at that juncture was, "Hey, Terry (a former left-handed hitter during his playing days),--grab a bat!!!"..........Answer to trivia question: MIKE STANTON--who appeared in 83 games for Art Howe's fourth-place club in 2004..........Lazzari's "Cheap Win of the Week": No doubt--goes to Padres reliever Scott Linebrink. He enters a game last week vs. the Mets in the 8th inning, gives up a game-tying, three-run homer to David Wright, but gets the "W" nonetheless as San Diego scores one in the bottom of the inning for a 5-4 victory..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league pitcher Greg Minton--who blows out 56 candles on July 29th. A native of Lubbock, Texas, Minton pitched 16 seasons in the majors for the Giants and Angels between 1975 and 1990--saving 150 games in his career. Nicknamed "Moon," Minton appeared in 710 games (all but seven as a reliever) and pitched to a respectable lifetime ERA of 3.10 while winning 59 games. His best year came in 1982 with San Francisco when he went 10-4 with an ERA of 1.83 while saving 30 games. Best wishes, "Moon."..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of Indiana football coach Terry Hoeppner--who died recently of complications from a brain tumor at the age of 59. Hoeppner compiled a record of 9-14 in two seasons at Indiana; he had previously coached at Miami (Ohio) where he took his squad to consecutive bowl games in 2003 and 2004. He also coached Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger during his tenure at Miami. Rest in peace, "Coach."


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