"Lazzari's Sports Roundup"- - - 8-16-08
Lazzari's "Cheap Win of the Week": A no-brainer--goes to Yankees reliever Edwar Ramirez. He pitched one inning vs. the Angels recently--throwing 29 pitches, walking two, and giving up FOUR runs (including a HR to Mark Teixeira). However, he picks up the "W" nonetheless as the Yankees score six runs in the eighth inning during a 14-9 slugfest victory..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1999 Tampa Bay Devil Rays had NO pitcher on the roster with more than nine wins. Can you name the individual who led them in victories that year? Answer to follow..........My life will not be complete until I see Valley Times sports editor Bill Pucci wear one of those blue helmets--with dreadlocks attached--that the Dodgers' merchandising people are now offering after acquiring Manny Ramirez..........This week in sports history, August 18, 1992: 35-year-old legend Larry Bird announces his retirement from the game of pro basketball--citing a chronic back problem. Bird, who had taken Indiana State to an NCAA final appearance during his college days, played 13 years with the Boston Celtics--scoring 21,791 points while averaging an impressive 24.3 points per game. The 6-foot-9 forward led Boston to three NBA titles; he also was named the league's MVP three times and was an 11-time All-Star. Combining with the Lakers' Magic Johnson, the two players were undoubtedly responsible for the NBA's prosperous rise during the 1980's. Bird's retirement decision would come shortly after he played for the U.S. Olympic "Dream Team" during the Summer Games in Barcelona..........Lazzari's "Question of the Week": Which of the following can be considered the MOST dirty: The carpeting in yours truly's apartment, the bathroom in my old dormitory at Fordham, the actions of Scott Boras surrounding the recent Manny Ramirez trade, or the air quality at the Olympics in Beijing?..........Speaking of Manny, some clever individual should come out with a new Ramirez doll: When you put a red hat on its head, it complains of knee pain and sits down. When you replace the red cap with a blue one, the doll simply yells out, "Hustle, hustle, hustle!"..........Reminder to yours truly: If newly-acquired Jets QB Brett Favre decides to retire AGAIN after this coming NFL season, DO NOT write another remembrance/thank you-type column about him (as I did in March) until he turns at least 45 years old..........ITEM: The N.Y. Mets will sell all 55,300 seats for $869 a pair before Shea Stadium is leveled later this year (the price to reflect numerically the team's world championships in '86 and '69). Truthfully, it really doesn't matter to me; I'm so broke financially that if they lowered the price to just $8.69 a pair, it would STILL be about five dollars too much..........Answer to trivia question: WILSON ALVAREZ--who went 9-9 for Larry Rothschild's fifth-place Devil Rays team..........If a tree falls in the forest and doesn't make a sound, do Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens STILL continue their lying ways and say they heard it clearly and loudly?..........Can you imagine if motivational speaker Cheryl Cran married former NBA player Walter Berry, divorced him, then married baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs? Certain juice manufacturers--especially the people at Ocean Spray--would surely be happy as she'd be walking around with the full married name of Cheryl Cran Berry Boggs..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league pitcher Silvio Martinez--who blows out 53 candles on August 19th. A native of the Dominican Republic, Martinez came up with the White Sox at the age of 21 in 1977 and won a combined 24 games as a member of the Cardinals the next two seasons (including a record of 15-8 in '79). However, arm problems severely curtailed his career thereafter as he won a total of just 31 games in his five-year career; sadly, Martinez was done with big league ball at the tender age of 26. Best wishes, Silvio..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former major league catcher Russ Gibson--who died recently at the age of 69; he had been undergoing dialysis treatments weekly while battling heart problems. The Fall River, MA native was a three-sport star in high school and later became a catcher for the 1967 “Impossible Dream” Red Sox club. He also played for the Giants during his six-year career--appearing in a total of 264 games lifetime. Gibson came to bat twice in the '67 World Series vs. St. Louis--striking out both times. A highlight of his short career was catching Billy Rohr’s one-hitter at Yankee Stadium during the first week of the 1967 season--notching a pair of hits off Whitey Ford the same day. May Mr. Gibson rest in peace.