"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 6/2/12
Sad news that the legendary Jim Nabors couldn't make it to the Indy 500 last weekend in order to sing his traditional version of "Back Home Again in Indiana" due to health reasons (he's done it for more than 30 years); instead, race organizers played a previous Nabors recording. I've said it before and I'll repeat it: Folks, it really doesn't matter if you can't distinguish an Indy car from a BUMPER CAR; if you listen to that song prior to the race--and don't get a lump in your throat--please check your pulse and see a doctor IMMEDIATELY..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 2005 Detroit Tigers were led in stolen bases by an outfielder who ended up playing a total of only four years in the league. Can you name this former player? Answer to follow..........ITEM: University of Tennessee tight end Cameron Clear is dismissed from the team after allegedly stealing a MacBook Pro laptop from a campus dorm room. When approached by an officer while using the laptop in front of Neyland Stadium three days later, Clear immediately closed it before the serial # was traced/matched to the stolen one in question. My only question is THIS: What are the chances that Clear was studying/researching some scholarly material--i.e. the religious themes of Ingmar Bergman film scripts--at the time he was ultimately apprehended?..........This week in sports history, June 4, 1974: "Ten Cent Beer Night" is held at Cleveland's Municipal Stadium during a game between the Texas Rangers and the hometown Indians. Yes, 8-ounce beers were sold for a dime apiece as over 25,000 fans were in attendance. However, chaos reigned as numerous inebriated fans ran onto the field and also threw various objects at players. Realizing that a riot-like situation was escalating and order would not be restored in a timely manner, umpire crew chief Nestor Chylak forfeited the game to the Rangers while a riot squad from the Cleveland Police Department ultimately arrived in order to calm down a very unfortunate situation..........Surprising revelation by color man Hubie Brown on a recent NBA telecast. His favorite player in the game right now? Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat. Why? "A TOTAL team guy," remarked Hubie, "who sacrifices everything for the good of the TEAM."..........Call me crazy, but I have WAY too much fun pronouncing the full name of Cleveland Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo..........Scenario: Singer/songwriter Fiona Apple marries major league outfielder Coco Crisp. Fans of a decadent, fruity dessert would truly savor her full married name of Fiona Apple Crisp..........If Colorado Rockies first-baseman Todd Helton had aged HALF as well as lovely actress/model Christie Brinkley, I'm convinced his team would be at least a .500 team at this juncture.......... SHIN-SOO CHOO (I just laughed)..........Answer to trivia question: NOOK LOGAN--who stole 23 bases that season but was later named in the Mitchell Report due to his use of Human Growth Hormone (HGH)..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league pitcher Steve Smyth--who blows out 34 candles on June 3rd. A native of Brawley, CA, Smyth was taken in the fourth round of the 1999 amateur draft by the Chicago Cubs. Smyth made it to the "bigs" in 2002; at the time, no one surmised it would be Smyth's one and ONLY major league season. It wasn't pretty either, folks: Starting 7 games that year (8 appearances in all), Smyth pitched 26 innings and gave up 27 earned runs (including NINE home runs)--thus going into the big league record books with a lifetime ERA of 9.35. Hey, they all can't be Fergie Jenkins, right? Smyth DID earn one major league victory and later spent time playing independent ball (i.e. the Golden Baseball League) before leaving baseball a few years ago and becoming a firefighter. Best wishes, Steve..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Indiana player/coach Lou Watson--who died recently at the age of 88. Watson was named first team All-Big Ten and All-American in 1950 and ended his college career as IU's all-time leading scorer in basketball; he also earned two letters in baseball, and played on the school's only regular season Big Ten championship team in 1948. He later became head basketball coach of the Hoosiers from 1966-1971--leading Indiana to a Big Ten co-championship in 1967. He also served in various administrative capacities for the IU athletic department before retiring in 1987. A native of Indiana, Watson was inducted into the IU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989. May Lou Watson rest in peace.