Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 3/13/09

Talking to my “Monday Night Sports Talk” co-host Tony DeAngelo on Thursday of last week, I mentioned to him that it was the 36th anniversary of the famous “wife swapping” incident between N.Y. Yankees pitchers Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson. His response: “Hey, at least they weren’t INJECTING one another.”……….TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1987-’88 Chicago Blackhawks had three players on the squad who each scored more than 40 goals. Can you name these gentlemen? Answer to follow……….ITEM: JetBlue Airways is offering a $99 Manny Fan Fare for southern California residents to welcome back Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers–the #99 representing the player’s uniform number. Question: If/when Manny quits on the team when they are 10 games back come September, will JetBlue similarly cease operations for a week or two?……….My idea of a perfect afternoon: Having lunch with LPGA golfer Natalie Gulbis at a Hooters Restaurant–while a Christie Brinkley fitness infomercial is showing on a nearby television……….This week in sports history, March 17, 1973: The Philadelphia 76ers set an NBA record for losses in a season–losing 120-115 to the Baltimore Bullets in a game played in Philly. Elvin Hayes led the victors with 43 points and six blocked shots as the 76ers’ record fell to a dismal 9-68 with five games left in the season. Despite 39 points from Fred Carter in this game, Philadelphia could not avoid yet another defeat. The previous record of 67 losses in one year was shared by the ’67-’68 San Diego Rockets and the ’70-’71 Cleveland Cavaliers……….Lazzari’s “Lopsided Score of the Week”: In a Connecticut girls Class S state tournament basketball game played last week, home team Bolton destroyed Holy Family 51-9–with the winning squad having led 28-2 AT THE HALF. In addition, only TWO girls scored for Holy Family–who put up ZERO points in the first AND fourth quarters of this nightmare. If I’m the Holy Family coach, I comfort my team after the game and offer this: “Hey, girls, look on the bright side; we could have been playing in Bolton, VERMONT–and then be forced to endure a four-hour bus ride after taking such a beating. Yes, SMILE–we’ll be home in 20 minutes!”……….ITEM: The New York Jets urge team employees to take two weeks of unpaid leave this offseason in order to avoid job cuts. My first thought was that if the Jets hadn’t traded for Brett Favre last summer, these same employees may have been asked to work OVERTIME this offseason–and be handsomely compensated for doing so……….Answer to trivia question: DENIS SAVARD (44 goals), RICK VAIVE (43), and STEVE LARMER (41)……….Can you imagine if former pro boxer Erica Sugar married ex-big league pitcher Jim Ray–divorced–then married PGA golfer Justin Leonard? Fans of the “sweet science” would surely delight in her full, married name of Erica Sugar Ray Leonard……….N.Y. Mets new setup man J.J. Putz recently told the N.Y. Post that his favorite actress is Jennifer Aniston. Putting the reasons for his admiration aside (ahem), I’ll go out on a limb and say that Putz had absolutely NO trouble passing an eye exam shortly after he was signed by the club……….Happy birthday wishes go out to former NBA player Terry Cummings–who blows out 48 candles on March 15th. A native of Chicago who played at DePaul, Cummings spent an amazing 18 seasons in the NBA between 1982 and 2000–playing for seven different teams. He was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 1983 while playing for the San Diego Clippers; he averaged more than 20 points per game in seven different seasons on his way to scoring over 19,000 points in his impressive career. Cummings was a two-time All-Star and averaged over 16 ppg for his career. An ordained Pentecostal minister, Cummings is a single father of three boys; best wishes, Terry……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former major league pitcher Tom Sturdivant–who died recently in Oklahoma City at the age of 78. Sturdivant went a combined 32-14 for the Yankees during the 1956 and ’57 seasons and pitched a complete game victory for New York in the ’56 World Series vs. the Dodgers. However, arm problems plagued Sturdivant in the late ’50’s–limiting him to only 59 wins in a 10-year career spent with seven different teams. Nicknamed “Snake” due to his effective curveball, Sturdivant was a native of Kansas; may he rest in peace.

About the Author

Bob Lazzari

Bob Lazzari is an award-winning sports columnist for both Connecticut's Valley Times and NY Sports Day--where his "Sports Roundup" column is featured weekly. He is a member of the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance and host of "Monday Night Sports Talk" --a cable television show on CTV/Channel14 in Connecticut. A Fordham grad, Bob is a regular contributor to ESPN Radio's "Inside Yankee Baseball"; he can also be heard weekly every Tuesday morning on WXLM/104.7 FM in New London, CT. He has a popular blog where many of his past columns have been archived.

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