Monday, August 27, 2007

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 09-01-07

South Carolina safety Emanuel Cook has been arrested on a weapons charge; in addition, three other team members will sit out this weekend's game vs. Louisiana-Lafayette due to excessive summer school absences. Ah, yes, it surely appears that coach Steve Spurrier is attempting to turn around that school's football program with responsibility and moral character as top priorities, huh?..........TRIVIA QUESTION: In N.Y. Mets team history, what batter has walked the most times in a single season? Answer to follow..........Perhaps almost as disturbing as Michael Vick's role in a dogfighting ring is the amount of people who've downplayed his actions or minimized his role in the case; there are just TOO many people out there who really haven't grasped the horrific nature of this well-publicized crime. Without getting into a full-blown philosophical discussion about the evils of our society, it's clueless enablers like THIS who are growing in numbers DAILY in our country--giving credence/evidence to the premise that pitiful, irresponsible parenting is undoubtedly the underlying cause of the majority of problems in the U.S. today..........I just saw some photos of lovely model Christie Brinkley participating in the annual Artists and Writers softball game out in the Hamptons recently. My first reaction was this: How could insurance companies allow males on the same field with the "Uptown Girl?" After all, how can these guys be expected to keep their eyes on the ball/avoid injury with THAT kind of terrific scenery gracing the ballpark?..........This week in sports history, September 2, 1972: At the Olympic Games in Munich, West Germany, American Dave Wottle captures a gold medal in the 800-meter final--edging out Russian favorite Yevgeny Arzhanov. In a major upset, Wottle was well behind the Soviet runner with 50 meters remaining, but eventually leaned past the struggling Arzhanov at the finish line to win in a time of 1:45.9..........Not to bring any additional negative attention to Virginia Tech (after the recent shootings there), but HOW did the aforementioned Michael Vick and his non-law-abiding brother Marcus ever gain entrance to that institution in the FIRST place--a place that supposedly prides itself on high academics, strict acceptance standards, and halfway-decent morals?..........Answer to trivia question: JOHN OLERUD--who drew 125 bases on balls in 1999 for Bobby Valentine's second-place club..........How 'bout LB Mike Flynt--who has made the football roster at Div. III Sul Ross St. at the age of 59? My first thought was that this guy must own CLEATS that are older than the majority of his teammates..........Did you know that the L.A. Dodgers went four consecutive seasons (1993-1996) WITHOUT having a game started by a left-handed pitcher? The streak was broken in 1997 when young southpaw Dennys Reyes started five games for Los Angeles..........Lazzari's "Cheap Win of the Week": This one goes to Padres reliever Trevor Hoffman. He enters a game last week vs. N.Y. in the 9th inning, allows the tying run on two hits and a pair of walks, and throws a whopping total of 26 pitches in just one inning of work. However, he picks up the "W" nonetheless as S.D. scores one in the tenth en route to a 9-8 victory..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league pitcher Jeff Russell--who blows out 46 candles on September 2nd. A Cincinnati native, Russell pitched in 14 big league seasons between 1983 and 1996 for the Reds, Rangers, A's, Red Sox and Indians--appearing in 589 games. Originally a starting pitcher, Russell was converted to a reliever in the mid-80's and accumulated 186 lifetime saves; he led the AL with 38 saves in '89 as a member of the Rangers. A two-time All-Star, Russell had 30 or more saves in a season four times in his career; best wishes, Jeff..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of William "Wild Bill" Hagy--who died recently in the Baltimore area at the age of 68. Baseball fans may remember Hagy as a mainstay at Memorial Stadium during the 70's and 80's--a cult hero who'd spell out O-R-I-O-L-E-S with his body while Orioles fans cheered in unison. A cab driver by day, Hagy was unmistakable with his straw hat and beard while ruling Section 34 in the upper deck; he'd often be allowed to lead cheers while perched atop the O's dugout. Thanks for your devotion and for being such a character, Mr. Hagy--back when baseball was a helluva lot more fun to follow. Rest in peace, "Wild Bill."


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