Monday, May 12, 2008

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 5-10-08

Looking back at last weekend's Kentucky Derby, we were reminded of the pageantry and celebratory joy so synonymous with horse racing; sadly, we were also privy to the cruel aspect of the "great sport of kings" as filly Eight Belles broke down shortly after finishing the race and was immediately euthanized. Yes, as race winner Big Brown now continues a Triple Crown quest, it's this special filly's remarkable second-place finish that I'll always remember about the '08 "Run for the Roses." Yes, she DID hang with the "big boys" and put it all on the line; my colleague Jeff Jacobs (Hartford Courant) included winning jockey Kent Desormeaux's post-race comments in a column he wrote last Sunday--with the jockey reportedly saying, "My horse showed you his heart--Eight Belles showed you her LIFE." Amen, Kent--and may this special horse's life--AND heart--never be forgotten..........TRIVIA QUESTION: What NBA player holds the league record for most 3-point attempts in a single postseason? Answer to follow..........Lazzari's "Cheap Win of the Week": This one definitely goes to L.A. Dodgers reliever Joe Beimel--who pitched 1/3 of an inning on May 1st vs. Florida and threw ONE pitch to end the eighth inning. Yes, he earns the "W" when Matt Kemp's tie-breaking RBI single in the ninth propels the Dodgers to a 5-3 victory..........This week in sports history, May 12, 1973: Led by George McGinnis' 27 points, the Indiana Pacers defeat the Kentucky Colonels 88-81 to claim their third American Basketball Association (ABA) title in four years. Indiana managed to hold Kentucky to just 11 points in the third quarter--a major reason why the Pacers claimed the Game 7 victory on the Colonels' home court, Freedom Hall..........Courtesy of John J. Buro of NY Sports Day: Although Padres reliever Trevor Hoffman has appeared in close to 900 major league games, he has NEVER started one. Perhaps even MORE surprising is that in almost 1,000 innings of work, Hoffman has NEVER committed a balk; yes, John, simply amazing..........In a perfect world, actresses Sharon Stone, Jennifer Aniston, and Charlize Theron would perform their own version of the "7th inning stretch" on my front lawn each evening for 30 consecutive days while filming a celebrity exercise video..........How 'bout goalie Michael Leighton of the Albany River Rats--who made a mind-boggling total of 98 saves recently in a game vs. Philadelphia--but witnessed his team LOSE in five overtimes 3-2? I compare that to wining and dining the girl of your dreams for a nerve-wracking 3-4 hours--only to hear her say at the end of the date, "Thanks, Bob--I now think of you as that 'big brother' that I never had."..........Answer to trivia question: DENNIS SCOTT of the Orlando Magic--who attempted an incredible 151 three-pointers (making 56) during the 1994-'95 postseason (21 games)..........I compare Roger Clemens' credibility to my bank account over these past few months: Not much there to begin with--and getting lesser by the MINUTE..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league infielder Jim Driscoll--who blows out 64 candles on May 14th. Here's why you may not remember Jim: He played just TWO seasons in the "bigs"--1970 with the A's and 1972 with the Rangers--appearing in just 36 games during his short career. At the plate, he went 10-for-52 while playing for the A's and a BRUTAL 0-for-18 while in Texas; yes, folks, Jim Driscoll left major league baseball with a lifetime batting average of .143. Hey, he can still say that he played 36 more big league games than most of us, right? Best wishes, Jim..........Finally, condolences go out to the families of two former baseball greats--Tommy Holmes and "Buzzie" Bavasi--both of whom died recently. Holmes, who passed away in Florida, set the modern day NL record by hitting in 37 consecutive games in 1945 while playing with the Braves--a record ultimately broken by Pete Rose in 1978. A two-time All-Star, Holmes played 11 seasons in the National League with Boston and Brooklyn; during that memorable season in '45, Holmes hit .352, accumulated 224 hits, scored 125 runs, and struck out only NINE times. He proceeded to work many years as director of amateur baseball operations for the Mets. Bavasi was GM of the Dodgers (in Brooklyn and Los Angeles) from 1951-1968. During his tenure, the team won eight NL pennants and four world championships; he was selected major league executive of the year in 1959 and later worked for the Padres and Angels. May these two great contributors to the game of baseball rest in peace.


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