"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 10/8/11
Yes--LOTS of blame to go around regarding the Red Sox' 2011 collapse. But let's zone in on two particular individuals at this juncture: Carl Crawford (.255, 18 stolen bases) and John Lackey (12-12, 6.41 ERA)--who combined to earn over $30 million this past season. This duo certainly under-achieved in GARGANTUAN fashion. But, for discussion sake, let's just pretend that this pair hadn't under-achieved AS MUCH; Crawford hits, say, .270 and steals a modest 35 bases while Lackey pitches to an ERA of "only" 5.00. Result? Boston easily makes the playoffs. Now THAT is disturbing--and something that Sox fans will have a tough time swallowing for a VERY long time..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1988 Philadelphia Eagles--who finished first in the NFC East under coach Buddy Ryan--had three players who rushed for more than 500 yards apiece. Can you name this trio? Answer to follow..........Speaking of the aforementioned Lackey, WXLM-AM (CT) morning show host Lee Elci--whose show I'm honored to appear on each week--recently described the hurler's quality of pitches in 2011: "He was throwing nothing but SLOP up to the plate for the entire season."..........This week in sports history, October 11, 1991: At the Las Vegas Invitational, pro golfer Chip Beck shoots a sizzling 59 during third round play--tying Al Geiberger as the only golfers ever to shoot under 60 in a PGA event. Beck--playing at the Sunrise Golf Club--recorded 13 birdies and five pars on his way to sharing the tournament lead with Bruce Leitzke. Geiberger had shot a 59 at the Memphis Classic back in 1977--which included an eagle, 11 birdies, and six pars..........Lazzari's "Lopsided Score of the Week": In a college football game played down south last weekend, Washington & Lee annihilated Guilford 63-0. My first reaction was that famed GENERALS Washington and Lee (yes, how the school got its name) were never involved in military battles that were THIS one-sided..........Can you imagine if University of Michigan law professor Debra Chopp married former NFL fullback Matt Suhey? Lovers of Chinese cuisine would surely delight in her full married name of Debra Chopp Suhey..........Answer to trivia question: RANDALL CUNNINGHAM (624), KEITH BYARS (517), and ANTHONY TONEY (502)..........Cowardice personified: Thumbs down to Mets SS Jose Reyes for going 1-for-1 in the early stages of his final game this year--then sitting down solely to protect his league-leading batting average. In fact, the Mets organization should now be selling #7 jerseys with a yellow streak going down the back. My friend/colleague Phil Mushnick of the New York Post said it best last weekend--writing the following in his Sunday column: "He would have been more admired--and nobly recalled--had he finished in second place while PLAYING than finishing first while SITTING"..........I came across a photo the other day of actresses-turned-directors Jennifer Aniston and Demi Moore at the premiere of their Lifetime movie anthology "Five." Let's just say that these two lovely ladies aged a HECKUVA lot better in 2011 than major leaguers like Jason Giambi and Matt Stairs..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former NFL linebacker Chris Spielman--who blows out 46 candles on October 11th. A two-time All-American at Ohio State, Spielman went on to play ten seasons as a member of the Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills between 1988 and 1997. While in Detroit, he went to four Pro-Bowls and was First Team/All-Pro in 1991. In his post-playing days, Spielman has done a variety of broadcasting work; he also coached the Columbus Destroyers--an Arena Football League team--back in 2005. Best wishes, Chris..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former NFL offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger--who passed away last week in Mexico after a nearly year-long battle with cancer; he was 58. Heimerdinger coached for the Broncos, Titans, and Jets; he helped Denver win back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1997 and 1998. He was also part of three playoff teams while in Tennessee and was very instrumental in helping the late QB Steve McNair win NFL co-MVP honors (with Peyton Manning) back in 2003. Mike was first diagnosed in November of 2010 and had been undergoing experimental treatments for a rare form of the disease while in Mexico. He is survived by his wife, Kathie, a son, and a daughter; may Mike Heimerdinger rest in peace.