"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 7-19-08
University of Tennessee punter Britton Colquitt will spend 24 hours picking up litter as part of a guilty plea to drunken driving charges. I swear--if this guy secures a million dollar endorsement deal from the Hefty trash bag people down the road, yours truly gives up following sports once and for all..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1982 Toronto Blue Jays' pitching staff was led by Dave Stieb and Jim Clancy--who pitched 288 and 266 innings respectively. Can you name the third busiest pitcher on that squad--with a total of 249 innings? Answer to follow..........Message to A-ROD: Just wondering if the principles of Kabbalah have taught you anything about fidelity, common sense, and/or hitting in the clutch..........This week in sports history, July 22, 1990: American Greg LeMond wins his third Tour de France--finishing in an overall time of 90 hours, 43 minutes and 20 seconds. Riding for the American Z team, LeMond won for the third time in five years; he finished 2 minutes, 16 seconds ahead of runner-up Claudio Chiapucci of Italy. LeMond's heroics came just three months after he was forced to drop out of a bike competition due to a viral infection that had affected his training..........Having watched each of Red Sox P Daisuke Matsuzaka's 16 starts this season, I now have a better idea of what childbirth truly feels like..........How 'bout former Auburn swimmer Eric Shanteau--who has qualified for the Olympic Games (200m breaststroke) in Beijing after learning he had testicular cancer? He will have surgery in Atlanta when he returns from China and will undergo weekly blood tests until then. Give it your best shot, Eric, and may you take comfort in knowing that you're ALREADY a hero to many--regardless of how you fare in Beijing..........Question: Now that Christie Brinkley is a single woman, do you think she'd be in the market for an aging, broke, arthritic sports columnist whose memory is fading? Hey, Christie, you gotta admit one thing: honesty is one of my best attributes..........A TRUE broadcasting pro? Bill Patrick--who currently does the Lincoln Financial updates on NBC's weekend sports coverage. The man is truly smooth and "no-nonsense"--one of the best anchors in the business. I'm glad he left ESPN a decade ago and wasn't swept into the abyss of "shock anchoring" at that network. Listen to him, folks, if you have the opportunity.......... Lazzari's "Cheap Win of the Week": Without question, goes to K.C. Royals reliever Joakim Soria. In a recent game vs. Tampa Bay, he struggled mightily--throwing 36 pitches in two innings of relief; he allowed the tying run to score in the 9th inning and gave up two home runs along the way. However, he picks up the "W" as his Royal teammates score four runs in the 10th inning during a 7-4 Kansas City victory..........Answer to trivia question: LUIS LEAL--who went 12-15 in 38 starts while pitching to a 3.93 ERA..........From the "How 'Bout That" Dept.: After just 4 2/3 innings of last Sunday's Red Sox/Orioles game, TWELVE batters had drawn walks--but the score stood only 2-0 in favor of the Red Sox..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league reliever Al Hrabosky--who blows out 59 candles on July 21st. A cult hero due to the way he psyched himself up before pitching, "The Mad Hungarian" pitched 13 years in the "bigs" between 1970 and 1982 for the Cardinals, Royals, and Braves. The Oakland, CA native compiled an impressive lifetime record of 64-35 with 97 saves; his career ERA was 3.10. Without doubt, Hrabosky's best year came in 1975 while in St. Louis--a year in which he went 13-3 with 22 saves while pitching to a sparkling 1.66 ERA. Thanks for the fond memories, Al, and best wishes..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former boxing champion Mando Ramos--who died recently at the age of 59 after going into respiratory arrest; he was a diabetic. Having turned pro at the age of 17, Ramos first won the lightweight title in 1969 with a win over Carlos Teo Cruz; he soon lost the title, then regained it in 1972 with a split-decision victory vs. Pedro Carrasco. Sadly, he was plagued by drug/alcohol problems for a significant amount of time in his life until finally checking into rehab in the early 80's. He proceeded to start a program called "Boxing Against Alcohol and Drugs"--aimed at youngsters. All told, Mando Ramos amassed a ring record of 37-11-1 with 23 knockouts; rest in peace, "Champ."