"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 8/2/14
I know it's been a couple of years now, but didn't it seem like YESTERDAY when many of us were debating who was the better all-around player--Bryce Harper or Mike Trout?..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1997 Cleveland Indians--who lost the World Series that year to the Florida Marlins--had three players on the team who surpassed the 100 RBI mark. Can you name this trio? Answer to follow.........ITEM: Alabama's fall football camp opens with three players suspended for violation of team rules (one was arrested on a DUI charge last month)--along with one incoming freshman ruled not academically eligible for the upcoming season. Ahhhhh--just another day in the dirty business of "big time" college athletics, folks............*Here goes--for all the "flower-loving fans" out there: Former female wrestler Iris Smith marries PGA golfer Justin Rose, divorces, marries ex-pro basketball player Jason Daisy--divorces again--then walks down the aisle with former NFL defensive back Joe Lavender. She then possesses the "scent-illating", full married name of Iris Rose Daisy Lavender..........Did you know that, in 1982, utility players Len Matuszek, Willie Montanez, and Del Unser of the Phillies went a combined 4-for-69 (.058) at the plate? In contrast, PITCHER Steve Carlton had 22 hits that season for the Phils in 101 at-bats--finishing with a batting average of .218..........ITEM: Newly-acquired Cardinals pitcher John Lackey says he WILL honor the clause in his contract (nice of him, huh?) that will result in him earning "only" $500,000 in 2015 (for having missed significant time due to a pre-existing elbow injury). Oh, by the way, Lackey has made approximately $110 million so far in his career pitching for the Angels, Red Sox, and Cardinals. Anyone out there thinking of organizing any benefits for this guy--a man who's taken home about $15 million so far this season? I didn't think so...........I had the privilege of interviewing former World Series MVP/Red Sox nemesis Bucky Dent recently--who acknowledges that he STILL continues to possess an unprintable middle name in many parts of New England..........I used to think that a Jimmy Connors two-handed backhand was the ultimate thing of beauty. That all changed recently when I saw some pictures of 42-year-old beauty Carmen Electra modeling various swimsuits in the summer issue of Galore magazine. My goodness; some things in life are flat-out UNFAIR, folks..........ITEM: The Green Bay Packers announce that they will retire Brett Favre's #4 jersey and induct him into the team's Hall of Fame. I'm just wondering right now how many times his JERSEY will "un-retire"/come out of retirement..........Just wonderin' what the great Bob Gibson would have done had a guy like David Ortiz homered off him and then admired the blast as if it resembled one of Charlie's Angels..........Answer to trivia question: MATT WILLIAMS (105), JIM THOME (102), and DAVID JUSTICE (101)..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of a good friend, Dennis Gleason--who passed away recently at the age of 65 after battling ALS. Dennis was a retired teacher, coach, and athletic director--spending the majority of his professional career at Ansonia (CT) High School. It's funny how life comes full circle, folks: Dennis was a former umpire when I played baseball/softball many years ago; it was later in our lives when we truly connected during meetings of the Silver Sluggers baseball discussion group (Dennis was a founding member)--long after our playing/umpiring days were over. What I'll remember most about Mr. Gleason is the immense amount of common sense he possessed and the importance he put on fairness--both in sports and life in general. He was an avid NY Yankees fan, but would be the first to point out team personnel moves he didn't agree with/players he didn't particularly care for. I'll miss his candid nature and overall intelligence; he was a very well-spoken individual. Dennis Gleason is survived by his wife, Dorothy, a son, Ryan, and a brother, Colin--along with many other loving friends and relatives. Rest in peace, my friend--you'll surely be missed.