"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 8-09-08
Anyone out there see the picture last week of Joe Torre posing with lovely actress Nicollette Sheridan before she threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium? I haven't seen Torre smile THAT much since the Yankees beat the Mets in the 2000 World Series. I just hope--for Joe's sake--that he smiled THAT much on the day he married his current wife, Ali, back in 1987..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1983 Oakland A's team leader in RBI's had a modest total of just 75. Can you name this individual? Answer to follow..........I'm now wondering if a certain online auction company is hoping Red Sox newcomer Jason Bay makes many miscues while playing the outfield at Fenway Park. Why? For every error Bay makes, the company would then receive free advertising when "E-Bay" is posted in the subsequent box score..........Dallas Mavericks F Josh Howard has been arrested in North Carolina after police said he was drag racing--going 94 mph in a 55-mph zone. Question: Do you think his coaches told him to work on increasing his speed during the off-season--and he chose to do that inside a CAR rather than in a GYMNASIUM?..........N.Y. Jets quarterback Kellen Clemens recently told the New York Post that he doesn't visit NYC often because he gets claustrophobic. Trust me--if the Jets offensive line falters a bit this coming season and Clemens finds himself at the bottom of a pile composed of a few 350-pound defensive linemen, then Kellen will TRULY know what claustrophobia is all about..........This week in sports history, August 11, 1984: Carl Lewis wins his fourth gold medal at the Los Angeles Olympic Games--anchoring the American 4 X 100 meter relay team to a world record performance. Teaming with Sam Graddy, Ron Brown, and Calvin Smith, Lewis blazed around the track while helping his squad post a time of 37.83 seconds as over 96,000 people at the L.A. Coliseum cheered wildly. Lewis' other gold medals had come in the 100-meters, 200-meters, and the long jump..........I'd love to see LPGA golfer Ji Young Oh hook up with N.Y. Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum. If they ever tied the knot, Christmas carol lovers everywhere would surely enjoy seeing her strolling around various golf courses with the full married name of Ji Young Oh Tannenbaum..........Yes, now that the smoke has cleared, it truly appears that the Red Sox would have traded Manny Ramirez for a dozen maple bats--even ones that had ALREADY been shattered..........How 'bout middleweight boxer Joey Gilbert--who tested positive for an incredible SIX banned substances (including steroids and methamphetamine) after beating Charles Howe last September in Reno? The ironic/funny part? Gilbert happens to be a practicing attorney in addition to being a boxer. Look on the bright side, Joey: If you can talk your way out of THIS mess (he has an upcoming hearing) while keeping your boxing license intact, you'll soon have a would-be client list even larger than baseball's DISABLED LIST..........Answer to trivia question: DWAYNE MURPHY--who led the team in RBI's but hit only .227 for Steve Boros' fourth-place ball club..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league pitcher Ismael Villegas--who blows out 32 candles on August 12th (yes, still a young man!). Here's the reason why he wasn't a household name, folks: He pitched in just ONE big league game in 2000 with the Braves--going 2 2/3 innings and giving up four earned runs--including two homers. Thus, the native of Puerto Rico goes into the MLB record books with a career ERA of 13.50. Hey, they all can't be Maddux, Glavine, or Smoltz, right? Best wishes Ismael..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former major league pitcher Chuck Stobbs--who died recently of cancer at his home in Sarasota, FL at the age of 79. A highly-recruited, three-sport athlete in high school, Stobbs was best known for once giving up a 565-foot home run to Mickey Mantle. He was the youngest pitcher in baseball (17) when he came up with the Red Sox in 1947; he also pitched for the White Sox, Senators, Cardinals, and Twins during his 15-year career. Stobbs' best year came in 1956 with the Senators when he won 15 games; his career record was 107-130 and he pitched to a lifetime ERA of 4.29. Known for his kindness and great sense of humor, he volunteered at the Bee Ridge Presbyterian Church in Sarasota over the past 35 years--where he was involved in many humanitarian activities. Rest in peace, Chuck.