Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 8/16/14

Here's an interesting tidbit for everyone: Minnesota Twins pitcher Scott Erickson led the American League in victories in 1991 with 20--a year in which he was an All-Star and finished second in the Cy Young Award voting to Roger Clemens. However, did you know that just two years later--in 1993--Erickson led the AL in LOSSES (19), pitched to a robust 5.19 ERA, and gave up the MOST hits in the league (266)?..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1985 Pittsburgh Pirates--who lost 104 games under manager Chuck Tanner--were led in home runs by a former infielder with a paltry total of just TWELVE. Can you name this former big leaguer who spent 11 years in the majors with four different teams? Answer to follow..........ITEM: Florida State wide receiver Isaiah Jones is ruled academically ineligible and will not play during the 2014 season. Put it this way: To be ineligible to play at a "football factory" like FSU, one has to REALLY mess up in the classroom--or perhaps he just couldn't find his way to the Seminoles' practice facility..........Steve Lyons may have been considered a tad "flaky" when he played in the majors (after all, he WAS nicknamed "Psycho"), but he truly knows the game--and provides some very keen, well-delivered insight whenever he's given the opportunity to provide color commentary on Red Sox telecasts. Funny guy, too.........Just the other day, I was thinking to myself how beautiful it is watching Baltimore Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones going back on a fly ball. A couple hours later, I witnessed lovely TV host/model Daisy Fuentes doing a commercial for hair extensions, and my definition of "beauty" took on an ENTIRELY new meaning (no offense, Adam). My goodness--and I used to think that Mariano Rivera aged well..........Try to fathom THIS, folks: The New York Yankees STILL owe "past their prime" players A-ROID and CC Sabathia approximately $120 million over the next three seasons. If that doesn't make any Yankees fan out there a bit nauseous, then consider yourself as possessing a very strong gastro-intestinal system; I'm not sure the same can be said about current NY general manager Brian Cashman..........*O.K.--here goes: WNBA player Kayla Alexander marries New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham, divorces, then walks down the aisle with Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell. Fans of telecommunications history would surely delight in her full married name of Kayla Alexander Graham Bell..........Based on pitcher Mickey Lolich's 1971 season with the Detroit Tigers (376 IP/29 CG/25 wins), I'm going to make THREE assumptions: 1) Manager Billy Martin was NOT concerned with his pitch count 2) Pitching coach Art Fowler was NOT concerned with his pitch count, and 3) If the team doctor WAS concerned with Mickey's pitch count--and had publicly voiced concern about it--he probably would have been looking for new employment within 24 hours of doing so...........Speaking of baseball broadcasters: I've always respected Paul O'Neill's ability ON the baseball field. But as a color commentator on Yankees telecasts, he's prone to talking WAY too much--which sometimes resembles a monologue rather than good, periodic insight..........Answer to trivia question: JASON THOMPSON--a first baseman whose career spanned from 1976-1986 with the Tigers, Angels, Pirates, and Expos..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Duquesne basketball coach/NBA scout John Cinicola--who passed away recently of cancer at the age of 85. Cinicola--who led Duquesne from 1974-1978--was the last coach to take that school to the NCAA tournament (1977). One of his prized recruits during his tenure at the Pittsburgh school was Norm Nixon--who would experience a long, successful career with the Los Angeles Lakers. John would later do some scouting for the NBA's New Jersey Nets. He was an avid fitness buff, too--competing in several Boston Marathons while running 100 miles per week at certain junctures of his training. Cinicola is a member of the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame, the Duquesne University Hall of Fame, and the Italian Sports Hall of Fame. John Cinicola is survived by two sons, two daughters, and 13 grandchildren; he was predeceased by his wife, Eileen, in 2012. Rest in peace, "Coach."


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