Lazzari’s Sports Roundup

The “Unwatchable NBA” Update”: How ’bout Denver’s 121-63 blowout victory over New Orleans last week–yes, in a PLAYOFF game, folks! The home-team Hornets made just 17 field goals during this fiasco and scored a pitiful 24 points in the ENTIRE SECOND HALF. If I’m a Hornets fan, I could have used TWO paper bags that evening: one to put over my head in order to NOT be recognized and another for regurgitation purposes……….TRIVIA QUESTION: The lowly 1985 Pittsburgh Pirates–who finished 57-104–had only one hurler on their ENTIRE pitching staff who finished with an above-.500 record. Can you name this individual? Answer to follow……….My idea of the perfect sports afternoon: Watching a pro surfing competition at the Banzai Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore along with NESN’s Heidi Watney–while some bikini-clad Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders practice some new dance routines on the sand just a few feet away……….If you didn’t get choked up and/or develop goose bumps when “My Old Kentucky Home” was played before last Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, please check your emotional health IMMEDIATELY……….This week in sports history, May 11, 1968: The Montreal Canadiens win their eighth Stanley Cup in 13 years–beating the St. Louis Blues 3-2 for a four-game sweep of the championship series. Down 2-1 at one point in Game 4, the Habs got third period goals from Henri Richard and J.C. Tremblay to seal the victory. Shortly after the game, legendary Canadiens coach Toe Blake–whose run in Montreal included five straight titles from 1956-1960–would announce his retirement on Canadian television……….Classic line from WFAN’s Steve Somers last weekend while live at Citi Field: “How can the Mets NOT have an ‘edge’ with a Razor (Shines) in the third base coaching box?”……….Lazzari’s “Lopsided Score of the Week”: In a Connecticut boys high school baseball (NOT football) game last week, Lewis Mills defeated Wamogo 35-0; the winning squad pounded out 30 hits during this mismatch and scored a combined NINETEEN runs in the fourth and fifth innings. If I’m the Wamogo coach, I inject a little comforting humor while addressing my players after the game; while using football references, I offer this: “Well, guys, we DID give up five touchdowns and five extra points during this nightmare–but NO field goals!!”……….Can you imagine if Jensen Beach High (FL) softball star Christen Moon ever hooked up with former major league pitcher Bob Walk? If they ever tied the knot, fans of Michael Jackson would surely delight in her full married name of Christen Moon Walk……….Answer to trivia question: Starting pitcher RICK REUSCHEL–who went 14-8 with an impressive 2.27 ERA for manager Chuck Tanner’s last-place club……….Yes, what a difference a few years can make. In April of 1999, PGA golfer David Duval achieved the #1 spot in the World Golf Rankings; altogether, he won 13 tournaments from 1997 to 2001 and also shot a record 59 in the final round of the 1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. After failing to make the cut at Quail Hollow last weekend, Duval’s ranking is now in the 800’s–with only FOUR top-25 finishes in the last FIVE years. In addition, he’s made the cut just 23 times out of the 80 tournaments he has entered since 2005. This was a guy who, along with Phil Mickelson–was expected to be a major rival of Tiger Woods for a LONG time to come just a decade ago; now, at age 38, his athletic downfall is mind-boggling. Does the name “Steve Blass” come to mind, anyone?………. Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league outfielder Kevin Bass–who blows out 50 candles on May 12th. A native of California, Bass spent 14 seasons in the “bigs” between 1982 and 1995 as a member of the Brewers, Astros, Giants, Mets, and Orioles–hitting .270 lifetime. Bass’ best season came in 1986 while with Houston when he garnered 184 hits with 20 HR’s and 79 RBI’s; he was a member of the NL All-Star squad that year. Best wishes, Kevin……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former University of Kentucky basketball player Mike Casey–who died recently of congestive heart failure in Nashville at the age of 60. A former “Mr. Basketball” as a high school player in Kentucky, Casey averaged over 20 points per game as a sophomore at UK in the ’67-’68 season. Having once appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, the former guard/forward was UK’s 13th all-time scorer with 1,535 points. Casey had been awaiting a heart transplant, but was taken off the list shortly before his death after becoming too ill for the procedure. Once called by legendary coach Adolph Rupp as the best money player he ever coached, Casey is survived by a daughter and sister; 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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