"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 3/19/11
Question--Of the following, which/who been 'higher' lately: gasoline prices, the average N.Y. Mets fan's blood pressure, national unemployment figures, or Charlie Sheen?..........TRIVIA QUESTION: From 1985-1994, the Portland Trail Blazers had a player on the team whose free-throw percentage never fell below 80% in a season. Can you name this talented individual? Answer to follow..........Did you know that former NBA center Matt Fish played in just three NBA seasons between 1994 and 1997 but was a member of FIVE different teams? Fish was also waived, released, or traded SEVEN times over that short time frame. Question: Do you think Fish gets a bit nauseous each time he hears Peter, Paul, and Mary's version of "Leaving On A Jet Plane?"..........Interesting fact: The New York Yankees will pay JUST their infielders (A-ROID, Jeter, Cano, and Teixeira) approximately $80 million in 2011--which is more than the ENTIRE payrolls of the Padres and Pirates COMBINED..........Gotta love Mets broadcaster Howie Rose--who truly levels with the listener. He was told by partner Wayne Hagin last weekend that pitcher Oliver Perez's fastball this spring has topped out at 84 MPH (at one time, it was perhaps in the mid-90's). Howie: "If that's the case, he needs pinpoint control and absolute command--attributes NOT normally associated with Oliver Perez."..........This week in sports history, March 22, 1969: UCLA center Lew Alcindor scores 37 points and pulls down 20 rebounds--leading the Bruins to a 92-72 victory over Purdue for their third consecutive NCAA championship. Purdue had come into the game featuring the nation's leading scorer--Rick Mount--who averaged 33.5 ppg. However, the UCLA defense held Mount to 12-of-36 shooting; most of his 28 points came long after the outcome of the game was no longer in doubt. Alcindor closed out his remarkable college career with a spectacular 88-2 record..........Did you know that the 1988 Chicago White Sox had two players who tied for the team lead in runs scored--with a modest total of just 59? Dave Gallagher and Steve Lyons crossed the plate the most times that season for the Pale Hose--with Gallagher doing it in just 347 at-bats..........I used to think that the finely manicured infield at Yankee Stadium was a pure thing of 'beauty'. But that definition took on an entirely new meaning last week when I saw the dress that Jennifer Aniston was wearing at the St. Regis Hotel down in Mexico while promoting her new fragrance..........ITEM: Four Auburn football players--Antonio Goodwin, Shaun Kitchens, Mike McNeil, and Dakota Mosley--are charged with first-degree robbery; personal property was taken from a residence in Alabama with one of the perpetrators reportedly displaying a handgun. Ah--but let's not jump to conclusions: Perhaps these "student-athletes" are all Human Development/Family Studies majors at the school--and were simply doing some field work/research on how the average household would react while being TOTALLY violated..........Answer to trivia question: TERRY PORTER--whose highest percentage came during the '89-'90 campaign when he made 421 of 472 attempts (.892); he had a career FT percentage of close to 84% while playing 17 seasons in the league..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former MLB catcher Matt Sinatro--who blows out 51 candles on March 22nd. A native of Hartford who played at Conard High School, Sinatro spent parts of 10 seasons in the "bigs" between 1981 and 1992 as a member of the Braves, A's, Tigers and Mariners. Sinatro never appeared in more than 37 games in a season and he never HIT much, either. In 252 career at-bats, Sinatro could muster just 48 hits--retiring with a lifetime batting average of just .190 (well below the "Mendoza Line"). A favorite of Lou Piniella, Sinatro remained employed under "Sweet Lou" as an MLB coach in Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Chicago. Though never making it big in the majors, Matt Sinatro will always remain a personal favorite of yours truly as the two of us were born on the EXACT same day; best wishes, Matt..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Tulsa football player Wilson Holloway--who passed away a few weeks ago of cancer at the tender age of 22. A 6-foot-6, 275-pound offensive tackle, Holloway was first diagnosed in 2008 but continued working out with the team while undergoing chemotherapy; he was later declared cancer-free and actually played in six games before the cancer returned that October. Many who knew Holloway were consistent in saying that his cancer NEVER affected the positive outlook he had on life; ah, what a legacy to leave. The university recently held a moment of silence for Holloway before a home basketball game vs. East Carolina. May Wilson Holloway--a true inspiration to many--rest in peace.