Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 6/7/14

Now that actress/model Sofia Vergara has split from boyfriend Nick Loeb, do you think she'd have any romantic interest in an aging, broke, arthritic sports columnist who couldn't even afford to purchase her favorite brand of SUNGLASSES?..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The Detroit Tigers of the 1980's and 90's had a relief pitcher on the staff who appeared in almost 500 games for the team while compiling an impressive W-L% of .626. Can you name this former All-Star hurler? Answer to follow..........ITEM: Former Iowa football player Tyler Sash is arrested after fleeing from police on a scooter; a drunken Sash then apparently tried to hide behind a tree before FALLING DOWN. He also resisted arrest while being handcuffed and subsequently had to be subdued with a Taser. Call me judgmental, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that Sash was NOT an Ethics & Public Policy major while he was enrolled at Iowa..........It's almost mind-boggling that it's been close to 35 years since the baseball world lost former N.Y. Yankees catcher Thurman Munson--the victim of a plane crash. My first thought? Give me a team filled with guys like Munson, Dustin Pedroia, and George Brett and I INSTANTLY become Manager of the Year at ANY professional level..........Regarding QB Johnny Manziel, aka "Johnny Football": This guy has the possibility of changing nicknames NUMEROUS times throughout his NFL career. Some possibilities--depending on his success or lack thereof: "Johnny Cleveland", "Johnny Vegas", "Johnny Baseball", "Johnny Jump Up", "Johnny B. Goode", "Johnny Come Lately", and "Johnny Ca$h"...........Am I dreaming--or does Rafael Nadal's career record at the French Open now stand at 66-1?..........From the "He Said That??" Dept.: Color man Eric Karros--commenting on FOX last weekend about catcher Brian McCann's current struggles in New York after signing a 5-year/$85 million contract during the off-season: "Generally, I think he wants to do well." Wow, you REALLY think so, Eric? Sheesh.........ITEM: The Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League announce that Pete Rose will serve as the team's manager on June 16th vs. the Lancaster Barnstormers. My thoughts? I'd love to see the look/reaction on Rose's face if one of his players doesn't hustle. You can "bet" that it will be priceless (I know--a cheap shot, folks)..........Chinese tennis player/defending Australian Open champion Li Na has the shortest name in professional sports. You know what's ALSO very short? The time she spent playing at this year's French Open--as she was recently defeated in the first round by Kristina Mladenovic of France...........Answer to trivia question: MIKE HENNEMAN--who had a record of 57-34 for Detroit while saving 154 games between 1987 and 1995..........Two words come to mind when I think of Don Zimmer--who passed away last week at the age of 83: BASEBALL MAN. Certain people simply "dabble" in the game and some take it seriously, but Mr. Zimmer LIVED IT. Hell, he never had a job in any field OTHER than baseball, and often told people that he never earned a dime in any endeavor outside of the American pastime. In a 66-year career, he played, coached, managed, and advised--and would spend HOURS talking baseball with anyone willing to invest the time. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity of meeting/interviewing the man, but feel as if I know him WELL due to the similarities between himself and my Dad. Quite simply, they were both "pure baseball guys"; no other game compared to it as far as they were concerned. Don's resume is too expansive to mention here; suffice it to say that he experienced EVERYTHING that baseball had to offer. I believe EVERY baseball fan should feel a sense of loss without "Zip" around anymore due to his unmatched devotion to the game. I'm not ashamed to admit that I shed a few tears after hearing about his passing during a recent Yankees telecast. Don Zimmer leaves a wife, Jean, a son, a daughter, and four grandchildren. May this special individual--a true baseball "lifer"--rest in peace.


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