Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 4/18/09

The “Unwatchable NBA” Update:  In a recent game played in New Jersey, the Nets annihilated the Sixers 96-67; Philadelphia shot a putrid 9-for-23 (39%) from the free throw line (that’s NOT a misprint, folks) and scored a GRAND TOTAL of 28 points in the ENTIRE second half (ughhhh).  Notice to Philly fans:  At last glance, the Walgreens store on Locust Street had Pepcid AC on sale–$14.99 (reg. $18.99) for 50 tablets……TRIVIA QUESTION:  The 1983 Chicago White Sox–who lost to Baltimore in the ALCS–had four players on the team who drove in 85 or more runs each during the regular season.  Can you name these gentlemen?  Answer to follow……I used to think that Rod Carew’s swing was a thing of pure beauty–that is, until I saw a recent picture of a bikini-clad Carmen Electra taking photos for her web site in her Beverly Hills backyard……Newly-acquired N.Y. Mets reliever J.J. Putz recently told the N.Y. Post that his favorite actress is Jennifer Aniston.  Put it this way:  If Putz’ fastball this season is anywhere NEAR as good as his taste in women, then the 8th inning of many Mets games will be in EXTREMELY good hands……This week in sports history, April 20, 1981:  Running in perfect weather conditions, Japan’s Toshihiko Seko captures the 85th Boston Marathon in a time of 2:09.26–the fastest marathon in American history.  Pulling away from the pack on the famed “Heartbreak Hill,” Seko finished ahead of American Craig Virgin.  Legendary runner Bill Rodgers–who had won the past three Boston Marathons in a row–battled Virgin at the very end but finished third.  The women’s winner was Allison Roe of New Zealand–who ran the race in a time of 2:26.46……I talked to WFAN Radio’s Mike McCann the other day about pitcher Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez’ always-disputed REAL age–a man who last pitched in the majors in 2007.  McCann’s take:  “He was an extra in ‘The Ten Commandments!'”……Lazzari’s “Lopsided Score of the Week”:  In a CT girls high school softball game played last week, Parish Hill dismantled Holy Family by a score of 28-1.  My first thought was THIS:  If Parish Hill scores, say, only 25 runs or so when they meet again on May 1st, will the Holy Family coach consider the apparent improvement to be a “moral victory?”……I wouldn’t say there are any “positives” than can result from a tragedy like the recent Nick Adenhart death (Angels pitcher killed in a car crash at the age of 22).  But it CAN re-focus all of us on two things:  the dangers of drunk driving and the NEED to put things in perspective.  It’s SO refreshing to see a guy like young PGA star Anthony Kim take note–and say things like “there’s no reason to pout about a bogey or three-putt.”  Amen, Anthony, as perspective can be a WONDERFUL thing–coming from people of ANY age……Answer to trivia question:  RON KITTLE (100), HAROLD BAINES (99), GREG LUZINSKI (95), and CARLTON FISK (86)……Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league player Alonza “Al” Bumbry–who blows out 62 candles on April 21st.  A native of Virginia, Bumbry played 14 seasons in the “bigs” between 1972 and 1985–spending all but one of them with the Baltimore Orioles.  A speedy outfielder who was nicknamed “The Bumblebee,” Bumbry was named the AL Rookie of the Year in 1973–a season in which he hit 11 triples and compiled an impressive .337 batting average in 110 games.  He was named to the AL All-Star team in 1980 and was a member of the ’83 world championship Baltimore squad.  A lifetime .281 hitter, Bumbry was one of the few MLB players to have served in the Vietnam War–where he earned a Bronze Star as a platoon leader.  Best wishes, Al……Finally, condolences go out to the family of former NBA center Marvin Webster–who was found dead at the age of 56 in an Oklahoma hotel room recently; preliminary reports suggested that he died from coronary artery disease.  A product of Morgan State, Webster started his pro career with Denver of the ABA in 1975; he proceeded to play nine seasons in the NBA as a member of the Nuggets, Sonics, Knicks, and Bucks before retiring in 1987.  Known as “The Human Eraser” for his shot-blocking abilities, Webster led Seattle to the NBA Finals in ’77-’78 when he averaged 14 points and 12.6 rebounds per game.  Sadly, he was predeceased by his son Marvin Webster, Jr.–who played college basketball at Temple but died during his sophomore year at the tender age of 18 due to a heart attack.  Webster is survived by a son, a brother, four sisters, and his mother, Dorothy Webster.  May “The Human Eraser” 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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