Monday, September 24, 2007

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 09-29-07

Perhaps CBS' Mary Carillo said it best at the recent U.S. Open when talking about watching the great Roger Federer's tennis game on a regular basis: "It changes your idea of what excellence IS."..........TRIVIA QUESTION: What San Diego Padres pitcher holds the team record for most lifetime victories? Answer to follow..........ENOUGH of Barry Bonds already, folks. I swear--if a team like the Yankees gives this "sideshow star/steroid freak" $10 million next year to play 100 games, I may move to a deserted island, take up basket-weaving, and never gaze at a newspaper sports section again..........How 'bout last week's Red Sox game vs. Toronto? That evening, NESN TV cameras panned in on at least 15 burnt out light bulbs at the Rogers Centre--used to illuminate the playing field. At times, I thought I was watching an old episode of "Dark Shadows" and NOT a baseball telecast..........A great quote by ESPN's Mike Tirico last week--talking about the Redskins' penalty-filled, first half performance vs. Philadelphia: "The Redskins shot themselves in the foot so often that the GUN was empty!"..........This week in sports history, October 1, 1975: Boxer Muhammad Ali retains his world heavyweight title as a battered "Smokin'" Joe Frazier fails to answer the bell for the 15th round in a fight billed as the "Thrilla in Manila." Ali, abandoning his usual boxing style, slugged it out from the outset and built up an early lead in the bout. A game Frazier made a valiant comeback--taking control midway through the bout; however, fatigue ultimately took its toll as the champ punished the badly-bruised challenger from the 12th to the 14th rounds before finally claiming victory..........Yes, in all honesty, Tiger Woods has rendered golf boring once again--being TOO good. NBC's Johnny Miller hit it right on the head at the recent BMW Championship--remarking the following: "When Tiger hits fairways, it's NOT a fair fight."..........Answer to trivia question: ERIC SHOW--who won an even 100 games while pitching for San Diego between 1981 and 1990..........Speaking of the aforementioned Roger Federer: In addition to winning a GAZILLION dollars at this year's U.S. Open, he was also presented with a new Lexus. C'mon, this guy needs a new car like yours truly needs another arthritic body part..........Did you know that, in 1992, St. Louis Cardinals hurler Bob Tewksbury pitched a total of 233 innings and walked only TWENTY batters? He finished that season with a 0.77 walks-per-nine-innings ratio--the lowest in baseball since Reds pitcher Red Lucas' mark of 0.74 in 1933..........N.Y. Yankees pitcher Ian Kennedy recently told the New York Post that his favorite actress is Jessica Biel and his favorite entertainer is Carrie Underwood. While I can question his Hollywood preferences, one's thing's for sure: There's NOTHING wrong with his eyesight..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major leaguer Isaiah "Ike" Blessitt--who blows out 58 candles on September 30th. Not a household name--I know. Blessitt played in a total of just FOUR big league games--in 1972 with Detroit--going 0-for-5 with two strikeouts; thus, his career batting average was .000. However, he DID play one game in the outfield that season--making two putouts and no errors--rendering him with a perfect 1.000 lifetime fielding average. Sure, he never made anyone forget Al Kaline in Detroit, but he DID make it to the "bigs," right? Best wishes, Ike..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Maloney (Meriden, CT) High School football coach Rob Szymaszek--who lost his six-year battle with brain cancer recently at the age of 57. Szymaszek coached the Spartans from 1976 to 2001--compiling an overall record of 160-90-13; he was the winningest coach in Meriden football history. "Coach Smaz" was very active as a member of the CT High School Coaches Association and also worked as a guidance counselor. Having met Rob in the past on a few occasions, I found him to be a personable gentleman. Those who knew him are most likely to say that few coaches worked harder at what they did and cared MORE about kids than Mr. Rob Szymaszek. Rest in peace, "Coach."


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