Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 5/24/14

Looking for some GREAT summer reading? Check out the new book Watching The Game--written by my good friend Judy Lynn Johnson. It's a touching memoir that combines spirituality along with some wonderful baseball memories. It includes Judy's experiences of trading baseball cards as a young gal, her visits to various ballparks, and comes full circle as she shares her love of the American pastime with her own children. Written for a unisex audience (even though the subtitle is Meditations from a Woman's Heart), Judy recently told me that women could truly benefit/gain a new appreciation for the game--solely due to the female perspective that truly makes the book unique. Perhaps one of the most eloquent people I've ever come across, Judy relays the following about those interested in reading her memoir: "I will tell you my baseball story as I once lived it, and as I continue to experience it--both in memory and in dream, in the mind and in my heart." For more information on this stellar publication, please visit www.watchingthegame.typepad.com.........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1985 Cleveland Indians--who finished a pathetic 60-102 under manager Pat Corrales--had a pair of pitchers who led the team in wins that season with just NINE (and both had sub-.500 records). Can you name this hurling duo? Answer to follow..........I recently came across a picture of lovely actress Sharon Stone--wearing a black mini-dress at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Wow--let me try to convey the immense beauty of this 56-year-old using baseball terminology: She may not throw 98 miles-per-hour anymore and give you 7 good innings every fifth day. However, she STILL throws 94 with great movement and continues to possess no-hit "stuff" each and every time she takes the mound..........Regarding the Red Sox' "issue" with Tampa Bay's Yunel Escobar after he stole third base on "defensive indifference" last weekend during the 7th inning of an 8-5 Boston loss: It seems that some misguided fans felt that the Rays, being up by five runs at the time (8-3), should not have been stealing bases at that juncture--that it was "overkill" on their part. Ummm--NOT so. A five-run lead with a couple innings left to play is NOT a reason to "shut it down" in MLB these days; hell, Boston scored five runs in one inning the DAY BEFORE. The Sox even went on to score a couple in the ninth to make it a bit nerve-wracking for Tampa fans. The mini-brawl that ensued had more to do with Escobar's challenging of the Sox' dugout than the play itself; it was strictly a SOUND baseball move, folks.........ITEM: Golfer Rory McIlroy and tennis star Caroline Wozniacki call it quits as a couple; it seems, perhaps, that a global, jet-setting relationship just wasn't conducive to a long-term marriage. Look on the bright side, Rory: When the realization finally sinks in that you've just broken up with a woman as beautiful as Ms. Wozniacki, then a double-bogey will NEVER seem as bothersome from that day forward..........*Here goes: Vanderbilt tennis player Sydney Campbell marries former NFL lineman Bubba Paris, divorces, marries sports agent Rob London--divorces again--then walks down the aisle with sports talk show host Jim Rome. World geography fans (especially those of large cities) would surely enjoy her full married name of Sydney Paris London Rome..........ITEM: Nebraska Cornhuskers linebacker Josh Banderas is arrested after he and an accomplice stole SEVEN bicycles on campus. Banderas later told police that he planned to sell the pilfered bikes on the Internet. My first thought? This gives an ENTIRELY new meaning to the term "pedaling" stolen goods..........Answer to trivia question: BERT BLYLEVEN (9-11) and NEAL HEATON (9-17)..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former college basketball coach Don Meyer (one of the winningest coaches of all-time)--who passed away recently in South Dakota at the age of 69. Over a 38-year career, Meyer accumulated a mind-boggling record of 923-324 while coaching at three small schools: Hamline, Lipscomb, and Northern State. During the '85-'86 season, Meyer led Lipscomb to the NAIA national championship; he led the Bisons to the national tournament 12 other times (665 of his wins came at Lipscomb). He was involved in a near-fatal auto accident in 2008 (which ultimately resulted in a leg amputation); at the same time, he was found to have cancer in the liver and small intestine. Regardless, he continued coaching and was named the 2009 recipient of ESPN's Jimmy V Perseverance Award. After retiring in 2010, Meyer had a myriad of heart problems--which he tackled with the same aggressive nature that rendered him such a great coach. Don Meyer leaves a wife, Carmen, and three children; may this incredibly courageous man rest in peace.


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