Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 6-28-08

Congrats go out to Connecticut Defenders (AA Eastern League) Head Groundskeeper Mike Cannistra--who recently got the "call up" and accepted the position of Assistant Groundskeeper with the New York Mets. Cannistra had spent the last year-and-a-half in charge of manicuring the field at Dodd Stadium in Norwich; he also worked for the San Diego Padres and the now-defunct New Haven County Cutters before taking the job with the Defenders. Cannistra graduated from Clemson University with a degree in turf/grass management; best of luck, Mike..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1985 Pittsburgh Pirates hit just 80 home runs as a team. Can you name the team leader that season--who hit a modest total of just 12? Answer to follow..........I talked to Rhode Island native Brad Adamonis after he shot a 68 during the second round of last week's Travelers Championship; I asked him to compare his game this year vs. 2007 (when he failed to make the cut in Cromwell): "I'm definitely hitting the ball a lot better than last year--and I'm a lot more consistent and confident," said Adamonis--who attended Miami of Ohio and won on the Nationwide Tour last October. "And being able to play here (Cromwell) in this atmosphere last year has certainly helped me out this year."..........Speaking of the Travelers tournament, at one juncture during the second round, Fred Funk and Johnson Wagner were at the top of the leaderboard. Shortly thereafter, I heard this gem from an unidentified media member: "Funk and Wagner--is that a new dictionary?"..........This week in sports history, July 1, 1951: In the first game of a doubleheader played in Cleveland, Indians pitcher Bob Feller throws his third career no-hitter--leading his team to a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers. It wasn't a "Feller-like," overpowering performance for the 32-year-old hurler (three walks/five strikeouts), but it enabled him to improve his season record to 11-2. Detroit notched its only run in the fourth inning when Johnny Lipon reached on an error, stole second, advanced to third on a wild throw, and scored on a sacrifice fly..........Lazzari's "Cheap Win of the Week": Goes to reliever Heath Bell of the Padres. In relief of starter Greg Maddux last week, he pitched one inning and allowed a game-tying home run to Detroit's Placido Polanco in the top of the 8th. However, he picks up the "W" shortly thereafter as San Diego scores four runs in the bottom of the inning during a 6-2 Padres victory..........These days, if I find myself a bit tired and dragging at certain times, I immediately think of Rafael Nadal's run at Wimbledon in 2007--where he had to play on SEVEN consecutive days, topped off by a 3 hour, 50 minute loss to Roger Federer in the final. That usually gets me up and moving without too much complaining..........I saw a picture in last week's newspaper of Will Smith nuzzling the neck of lovely actress/co-star Charlize Theron at the Paris premiere of their new movie Hancock. I haven't been THAT jealous of another guy since former N.Y. Rangers player Ron Greschner married supermodel Carol Alt back in 1983.......... Answer to trivia question: JASON THOMPSON--who hit a dozen homers to lead Chuck Tanner's last-place team; Bill Madlock and Tony Pena tied for second with 10 apiece..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league outfielder Doug Dascenzo--who blows out 44 candles on June 30th. The light-hitting Dascenzo played seven seasons between 1988 and 1996 for the Cubs, Rangers, and Padres--hitting just .234 lifetime with only 5 career home runs. In addition, he was below the "Mendoza Line" (.200 batting average over a full season) THREE times and drove in a paltry 90 runs in over 1,200 career at-bats. However, get THIS: Dascenzo appeared in four games as a PITCHER during his playing days--hurling 5 total innings without giving up a run; thus, Doug Dascenzo is in the big-league record books with a lifetime ERA of 0.00. Folks, do you think he might reconsider playing positions if he had to do it all over again? Best wishes, Doug..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Seattle Seahawks assistant coach Tom Catlin--who died recently after experiencing complications from surgery; he was 76. Catlin worked for the Seahawks from 1983-1995, mainly as their defensive coordinator; in 1991, Catlin's defense allowed just 261 points--still a franchise record for fewest points in a season. A very stoic individual, Catlin was known for his precise game plans along with having very high expectations for his players. He retired from coaching in 1996 shortly after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease; may Coach Catlin rest in peace.


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