"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 8-21-10
ITEM: N.Y. Mets reliever Francisco Rodriguez (K-ROD) punches out his girlfriend's Dad following a recent game at Citi Field. The response from the Mets' front office was basically that this should be considered as inappropriate behavior." WFAN host Richard Neer had a major problem with that explanation last weekend--more accurately defining the term inappropriate behavior as more like "belching at a wedding." Excellent point, Richard..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The lowly 1985 Texas Rangers--who finished with a record of 62-99 in the AL West--had only one player on the roster who drove in more than 70 runs. Can you name this former infielder? Answer to follow..........It's really tough being so technology-challenged: All this time, I thought an "Android" was an athlete named Andrew who was taking steroids..........Need some great late-summer sports reading? How 'bout the new work from Sports Illustrated senior writer Tim Layden: Blood, Sweat and Chalk. In addition to some great football anecdotes included among the book's 256 pages, it also entertains the readers with stories through the eyes of legendary coaches such as Don Coryell, Mike Shanahan, Bill Walsh, Barry Switzer, and many others. For more information on the book and/or to purchase, visit www.amazon.com ..........This week in sports history, August 24, 1963: In front of friends and family in his hometown of Miami, John Pennel becomes the first pole-vaulter ever to clear 17 feet--breaking his own world record at the Florida Gold Coast Amateur Athletic Union meet. Pennel's vault of 17'-3/4" came just a year after Marine John Uelses had cleared the magical mark of SIXTEEN feet for the first time. Pennel had set the world record when he vaulted 16 feet, 3 inches a few months earlier (in March) and went on to break his OWN record SIX times before clearing 17 feet on this late-August day. His previous best vault before the meet in Miami was 16'-10 1/4"..........Regarding the aforementioned punk Francisco Rodriguez: So this idiot goes and sucker-punches Carlos Pena--the grandfather of his children. Ah, so I assume this dolt thinks he's a tough guy, right? Just wondering, folks: Do you think there are a THRONG of guys at a place called Riker's Island--just a few miles from Citi Field--who'd eagerly like to show Rodriguez what the word "tough" REALLY means?..........*O.K.--here goes: Former Niagara basketball player Jessica James marries former NFL coach Chuck Knox, divorces, then marries Connecticut Tigers (NY-Penn League) outfielder P.J. Polk. Fans of U.S. presidential history would surely take joy in her full married name of Jessica James Knox Polk..........Answer to trivia question: PETE O'BRIEN--who had 92 RBI's (along with 22 home runs) for his last-place Texas club..........ITEM: Seneca High School (Kentucky) basketball coach Matthew Lemon is arrested for DUI and hit and run; he allegedly hit an oncoming car on Interstate 64 and then fled the scene of the accident. Sheesh--gives a whole new meaning to the term "fast-break", huh?..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former MLB pitcher Mike Boddicker--who blows out 53 candles on August 23rd. A native of Iowa, Boddicker spent 14 seasons in the "bigs" between 1980 and 1993--compiling a record of 134-116. Mike spent the majority of his career pitching for the Orioles; he also spent time as a member of the Red Sox, Royals, and Brewers. Boddicker had a fine year in 1983 for Baltimore when the O's won the world championship; he went 16-8 with a league-high five shutouts. He followed that up with another fine effort in 1984--winning 20 games and leading the American League with an impressive ERA of 2.79. Boddicker also won a Gold Glove in 1990 as a member of the Red Sox--a year in which he won 17 games while pitching 228 innings. Best wishes, Mike..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Olympic sprinter Antonio Pettigrew--who was recently found dead in the backseat of his car in North Carolina; he was just 42. Pettigrew was best-known for being part of the 1,600-meter U.S. relay team that won the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000; the International Olympic Committee later stripped the team of the medal after Pettigrew admitted to doping during a trial of a former coach. At the time of his death, Pettigrew was an assistant track coach at the University of North Carolina--where he focused on hurdles, relays, and sprints. After his admission of cheating, Pettigrew spent a great deal of time speaking to young people about the dangers of banned substances. Pettigrew is survived by his wife, Cassandra, and a son, Antonio Pettigrew, Jr. Yes, he may go down in history as the all-too-familiar "disgraced athlete," but the hope here is that his regretful actions have a positive effect on some generations to follow. Rest in peace, Antonio.