Monday, September 29, 2008

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 10-4-08

How 'bout Cleveland Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona--who threw a whopping total of 51 pitches in the first inning during a game vs. the Red Sox last week? That may not sound earth-shattering to many of you, but consider the fact that Red Barrett of the Braves threw just 58 in an entire nine-inning GAME back in 1944! At the rate Carmona was going, he would have thrown 459 pitches had he pitched all nine innings that evening. If THAT kind of performance didn't force Indians manager Eric Wedge to reach for any pain relievers and or/antacids, then the Cleveland skipper is sure to live well into his 90's..........TRIVIA QUESTION: In the 1987 World Series between Minnesota and St. Louis, the eventual-champion Twins were led by Kirby Puckett's ten hits. What player was second on the team in hits with a total of nine? Answer to follow..........I used to think Bert Blyleven's curveball was a thing of beauty--that is, until I saw a picture of the lovely Christie Brinkley in a form-fitting gown at the Metropolitan Opera's 125th season opening last week..........This week in sports history, October 6, 1980: Highlighted by Joe Niekro's six-hit pitching and four RBI's by Art Howe, the Houston Astros defeat the L.A. Dodgers 7-1 in a one-game playoff to decide the National League West title. The Astros had come into the final series vs. Los Angeles needing only one victory to clinch. However, the Dodgers won three consecutive one-run games--forcing the tiebreaker. Howe hit a two-run homer in the third inning and added a two-run single in the fourth--allowing Niekro to win his 20th game of the season..........I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the passing of the great Paul Newman--an avid race car driver and sportsman as well as a tremendous actor. As a student, I recall being denied entrance to Fordham's Duane Library one day in the early 80's while he was filming there; I also was fortunate to meet him at the Lime Rock race track a few years later when he graciously said "hello" and shook my hand. A class act, Mr. Newman was--in fact, in a class of his OWN..........Answer to trivia question: DAN GLADDEN--who went 9-for-31 in the series with a home run and seven RBI's..........Here's a couple of scores for the ages: In a recent Olympic qualifying women's hockey game, Slovakia beat Bulgaria (ready for this?) 82-0 (I kid you not, folks)--with Slovakia out-shooting the Bulgarians 139-0 during a game played in Latvia. Janka Culikova led Slovakia with 10 goals, while Martina Velickova scored nine; fourteen different players scored at least one goal during this fiasco. Also, in a college football game played two weeks ago in the Midwest, SW Baptist annihilated Bethany (KS) 83-6; the Bearcats generated 677 yards of total offense--a school record--and held a 49-6 lead AT THE HALF. But my main question deals with the aforementioned hockey blowout: If that same group of Bulgarian women plays a future game and "only" loses, say, by a score of 24-0, will the team's handlers consider that a stellar effort?..........There may be more popular/talented fullbacks throughout the country, but no one possesses a better name than Yale University's own Shebby Swett..........Speaking of the Elis, I'd like to see a college romance bloom between Georgia equestrian team member Allie Hush and Yale DB Adam Money. If they ever tied the knot, she'd be sure to keep quiet at certain times while walking around with the full, married name of Allie Hush Money..........If lovely Red Sox/NESN reporter Heidi Watney ever loses that gig and decides to become a New England Patriots cheerleader, yours truly becomes a season ticket holder in Foxboro IMMEDIATELY..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league pitcher Steve Kline--who blows out 61 candles on October 6th. Not to be confused with "the other Steve Kline" (a more recent, big league reliever), this Kline pitched in parts of six seasons between 1970 and 1977 for the Yankees, Indians, and Braves. Kline's career as a starting pitcher showed great promise when he won a combined 28 games for the Yanks in '71 and '72--posting fine ERA's of 2.96 and 2.40 during that two-year stretch. However, arm problems would follow--limiting Kline to just 43 lifetime victories. A native of Wenatchee, Washington, Kline was done with big league baseball before the age of 30. Best wishes, Steve..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Colorado football coach Eddie Crowder--who died recently at the age of 77 from complications of leukemia. Crowder was Colorado's coach from 1963 to 1973, and also served as the school's athletic director from 1965-1984. One of his biggest wins as coach came in 1970 when the Buffaloes ended Penn State's 31-game unbeaten streak; altogether, he was 67-49-2 in 11 seasons as Colorado's coach. Back in his own playing days, Crowder was a quarterback at Oklahoma--playing under the legendary Bud Wilkinson. Rest in peace, "Coach."


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