"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 5/7/11
I can just picture these general managers/team representatives at last week's NFL draft--and the checklists they were utilizing: 1) good speed? 2) coverage ability? 3) vertical jump measure? 4) 40 yd. dash time? 5) any pending felony charges?..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The lowly 1989 Detroit Tigers--who finished 59-103 under Sparky Anderson--were actually led in victories by a RELIEF PITCHER. Can you name this former hurler? Answer to follow...........There are MANY things to admire about former NBA superstar Karl Malone, i.e. his MVP awards, 19 seasons in the league, his yearly durability, etc. But did you know that "The Mailman" put together a staggering 17 consecutive seasons averaging more than 20 points per game? This occurred between 1986 and 2003 with his lowest average during that stretch being 20.4 ppg in the '02-'03 season--his last year in Utah. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also went 17 straight seasons while never averaging less than 20 ppg; Kareem's stretch spanned from 1969-1986 as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks and L.A. Lakers..........I used to think that watching the Dave Concepcion/Joe Morgan double-play combination was a pure thing of beauty. That all changed last week when I checked out the hip-hugging dress that Kate Middleton's sister Pippa was wearing at the royal wedding. My goodness.........This week in sports history, May 11, 1974: At the Tom Black Classic held at the University of Tennessee, Ivory Crockett becomes the world's fastest human--covering 100 yards in 9 seconds flat. Crockett shaved 1/10th of a second off the previous record of 9.1 set by fellow American Bob Hayes back in 1963 (and matched five times). A 150-pound marketing representative for an Illinois-based computer firm, Crockett set the record on a wet track--with no wind affecting the legitimacy of his memorable sprint..........Did you know that the 1996 Kansas City Royals were led in RBI's by Craig Paquette with a modest total of just 67? The topper? Paquette accomplished this while appearing in just 118 games--accumulating a total of 429 at-bats for the season..........ITEM: Southern Mississippi basketball player Darnell Dodson is dismissed from the team after his arrest for allegedly stealing items from a USM fraternity house; this is the SAME dolt who was kicked off the Kentucky team last summer only to be arrested for disorderly conduct a few months later. Not to be judgmental, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that Dodson will NOT be enrolling at a nearby school like Ole Miss in the very near future in order to study biochemistry...........Answer to trivia question: MIKE HENNEMAN--who went 11-4 while appearing in 60 games; starter Frank Tanana was second on the team with ten wins..........Classic quote from Chris Mascaro--one of my fellow co-hosts on Blog Talk Radio's "View From The Lone Red Seat"--after Carl Crawford's batting average dipped to .155 last weekend: "I think Crawford's new nickname should be 'The Priest' because he wears a COLLAR every day."..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former big league pitcher Marino Santana--who blows out 39 candles on May 10th. A native of the Dominican Republic, Marino may not have been one of the more popular Santanas to ever grace a major league roster as he spent just two seasons in the AL; he was a member of the Tigers in 1998 and Red Sox in 1999. In only 10 big league appearances (all in relief), Santana pitched 11.1 innings--allowing 17 hits and 10 earned runs while walking 11. Yes, folks, Marino Santana's career ERA was an inflated 7.94. I guess one can say that Santana's "claim to fame" was that he fanned 14 batters over the course of his short career--yes, an average of more than one per inning. Best wishes, Marino..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former major league infielder Reno Bertoia--who died recently in Windsor, Ontario after a battle with lymphoma cancer; he was 76. Bertoia was born in Italy in 1935 but his family moved to Canada when he was an infant. Reno spent a total of ten seasons in the "bigs" between 1953 and 1962--mostly as a member of the Tigers. Bertoia was only a .244 lifetime hitter, but actually led the American League in batting for the first half of the 1957 season. Among his favorite baseball memories was hitting a home run on opening day at Yankee Stadium in 1961 during a 6-1 Detroit victory over New York. After his baseball career ended, Bertoia spent 30 years teaching in Windsor Catholic schools and was also elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988. He was a very good friend to Tiger great Al Kaline; the two remained close long after their playing days had come to an end. He is survived by three children as well as three stepchildren; may Reno Bertoia rest in peace.