"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 6/25/11
Here's some info/#'s that will raise an eyebrow: Randy Jones won the NL Cy Young Award in 1976--winning 22 games and pitching a mind-boggling 315 innings. His entire strikeout total that season? Just 93--which came out to only 2.7 K's per every nine innings pitched. Simply amazing; it's all about making the baseball MISS the bat, folks.........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1991 Detroit Tigers were led in victories by a pitcher who had the only 20-win season of his career that year. Can you name this former right-handed hurler? Answer to follow..........ITEM: University of New Mexico football player Deshon Marman is arrested at an airport in San Francisco after wearing saggy pants onto a plane; he was busted on trespassing, battery, and obstruction charges. Question: If this guy was playing for a school like Hawaii--in a state where the expression/lifestyle slogan "Hang Loose" is so popular--could he then have at least a semi-legitimate reason for the low-riding trousers?..........During last Saturday's game vs. the Cubs, Yankees broadcaster John Sterling called A.J. Burnett's pitching performance that day "GREAT" (not "good"--but "GREAT"); the guy basically struggled through 5.1 innings--giving up a couple of runs while walking three--and threw 104 pitches before being removed. If guys like Sterling and others involved in the game are going to continue "lowering the bar" in regard to player performances, then why not change the name of the game to "limbo" instead of BASEBALL?.........This week in sports history, June 28, 1976: Before a crowd of close to 48,000 at Tiger Stadium, Detroit Tigers rookie pitcher Mark "The Bird" Fidrych allows seven hits while beating the New York Yankees 5-1. The victory raised the young phenom's record to 8-1; "The Bird" made two curtain calls for rabid fans following the game. The colorful Fidrych--who talked to the ball and groomed the mound between innings--was backed by home runs from teammates Rusty Staub and Aurelio Rodriguez while the lone Yankee run came on a solo homer by Elrod Hendricks..........Did you know that former MLB catcher Steve Swisher was named to the NL All-Star squad in 1976--a year in which he would ultimately finish with a .236 batting average with just five homers? When you look back on it, those HAVE to be some of the worst final yearly #'s ever for any player who appeared on an All-Star roster earlier in a season............Answer to trivia question: BILL GULLICKSON--who went 20-9 for the Sparky Anderson-managed Detroit club that finished 2nd in the AL East that year..........Maybe it's all the rain we've had this spring: I had a dream the other night that I was sitting at Yankee Stadium with the lovely Jennifer Aniston during a LONG rain delay--staring into her lovely eyes. I recall her asking me at one point, "Hey Bob--do you think this game will ever resume?" My response: "WHAT game?"..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league first baseman Ron Witmeyer--who blows out 44 candles on June 28th. Can't remember this West Islip, NY native who attended Stanford? Me either. Perhaps it was due to the fact that Witmeyer played in just 11 games during his career--all in 1991 with the Oakland A's. In 19 at-bats that season, Witmeyer garnered just ONE hit (a single)--thus going into the MLB record books with a lifetime batting average of just .053. However, he CAN tell his grandchildren that he handled 35 chances in the field during his short MLB tenure WITHOUT making an error. Best wishes for many more celebrations to follow, Ron..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Duke basketball player Tom Emma--who died recently in New York City in an apparent suicide near Central Park. Emma was the captain of the 1982-'83 Duke team that featured talented players such as Mark Alarie, Jay Bilas, and Johnny Dawkins. Overall, Emma averaged 7.1 ppg for the Blue Devils while appearing in 110 career games; he was taken in the 10th round of the 1983 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls but never played in the NBA. He later became president of Power Performance, Inc.--a company devoted to training young athletes--and also wrote a book entitled Basketball Player's Comprehensive Guide to Strength Training. May Tom Emma rest in peace.