"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 8/27/11
N.Y. Yankees announcer Ken Singleton made an eye-opening statement on a recent telecast: He pointed out that the Tampa Bay Rays have gone more than 700 consecutive games using a starting pitcher under the age of 30. Wow...........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1993 Boston Red Sox were led in stolen bases by an individual who played for SIX different teams during his career. Can you name this former infielder? Answer to follow..........Question: With a name like Everett Teaford, shouldn't this guy be running a law firm somewhere in the midwest instead of pitching for the Kansas City Royals?..........With an assist from my good buddy Dick Graham of West Haven: Can you imagine if the great Lucille Ball had once married NASCAR driver Steve Park--divorced--then married former MLB manager Herman Franks? She would have been known by the full name of Lucille Ball Park Franks..........This week in sports history, August 30, 1987: Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson establishes himself as the "world's fastest human"--running the 100-meters in a blazing time of 9.83 seconds at the world championships in Rome. Johnson broke the previous record by a full tenth of a second--formerly held by Calvin Smith (9.93). Ironically, second-place finisher Carl Lewis tied Smith's record of 9.93 in this race, but still finished a full meter behind Johnson. Entering the world championships, Johnson had beaten Lewis--the Olympic gold medalist in L.A. back in 1984--five consecutive times........."Raven" Update: My dear friend Robert "Raven" Kraft of Miami Beach continues to, well, keep on goin'. One of the top "streak runners" in America, he has now run his daily, 8-mile route for approximately 13,400 CONSECUTIVE days (since 1/1/75); that's a total of over 107,000 total miles, folks. Anyone out there getting tired just READING this? "Raven"--you're one amazing individual..........Without question, Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard throws the "easiest" 98 mile-per-hour fastball that I have ever seen..........Answer to trivia question: SCOTT FLETCHER--who stole 16 bases for Butch Hobson's fifth-place ball club..........ITEM: South Carolina quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus is arrested in Greenville on a "nuisance" charge; police found Mangus urinating on a street curb at 1:30 AM and issued him a ticket for $470. Sheesh, in terms of finances, I suggest it now may be advantageous for Mangus to purchase his own trailer-mounted "Porta-Potty" for his car--just in case this situation arises again..........Question for Red Sox fans: Carl Crawford, John Lackey, or J.D. Drew (not to mention Dice-K, his absence, and the $$ spent on him): Which one has caused the most stomach ulcers this year among "Red Sox Nation" members? Boston-area pharmacies must have doubled their sales of Pepcid AC this baseball season compared to last year..........Happy birthday wishes go out to another good friend--former MLB infielder Carmen Fanzone--who blows out 68 candles on August 30th. A native of Detroit, Carm played five seasons in the "bigs" between 1970 and 1974--appearing in 237 games (mostly with the Cubs). One of Fanzone's greatest memories as a ballplayer was catching the last out of Milt Pappas' no-hitter in 1972 (a Gary Jestadt pop-up) vs. San Diego. Carm, an accomplished horn player, was also known to play the "Star-Spangled Banner" before Cubs games. He's been kind enough to join me on my weekly TV show a couple times and remains a true "class act." Carm is married to jazz singer Sue Raney--a four-time Grammy nominee. Best wishes, Mr. Fanzone..........Finally, condolences go out to famed CT sportscaster Arnold Dean and his family; Arnold recently lost his wife, Helen, after a valiant battle with cancer. In the sports media biz, one often comes across many "not-so-nice", non-personable individuals (Arnie would be the first to tell you that--and what an "art-form" it is to side-step them). But I can honestly say that, in my years of covering sports, I have NEVER met a more genuine, nicer man than Mr. Arnold Dean--which adds even more sadness to this unfortunate passing. Helen and Arnold were married for more than 50 years and were practically inseparable. Having never formally met Helen, I can only imagine how pleasant SHE was, too. Arnold basically stopped working altogether these past couple of years while she fought the illness that would ultimately take her life. I've heard various stories how Helen dedicated her life to helping/counseling others. Wow, what a terrific legacy to leave--and the Connecticut landscape is minus one TREMENDOUS lady at this juncture. But her selfless deeds will always be remembered by both those she assisted directly and by the countless others who simply RESPECTED her humanitarian efforts. May Helen rest in peace.