Lazzari’s Sports Roundup 5/15/09

A “must have” for the ultimate sports fanatic out there:  The 100 Sporting Events You Must See LiveAn Insider’s Guide to Creating the Sports Experience of a Lifetime–written by sports travel guru Robert Tuchman.  The author breaks down the events–which take place in more than 30 states and 15 countries–into an organized, easy-to-read list format.  Included in this terrific work are details about ticket brokers, hotels, and celebration locations; more info about the book can be obtained by visiting ……….TRIVIA QUESTION:  Who was the last Los Angeles Dodgers player to lead the National League in slugging percentage?  Answer to follow……….Call me crazy, but there’s something VERY disturbing about the world in general when the following is allowed to happen:  A guy like disgraced Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson is stripped of world records, called a “national disgrace,” and sees his athletic career go down the tubes due to his link to steroids.  On the flip side, A-ROID is cheered after hitting his first home run of the season last week, welcomed back to his team with open arms, and allowed to continue to earn GAZILLIONS in major league baseball; go figure……….This week in sports history, May 21, 1988:  Risen Star, ridden by Eddie Delahoussaye, win the 113th Preakness Stakes–finishing 1 1/4 lengths ahead of runner-up Brian’s Time.  Delahoussaye was content to let Kentucky Derby victor Winning Colors and Forty Niner duel it out at the beginning of the race, but ultimately found an opening on the backstretch–enabling Risen Star to take a lead that he wouldn’t relinquish.  The son of the great Secretariat, Risen Star finished in a time of 1:56 1/5–the slowest Preakness winner in 18 years……….Question:  If  ESPN’s Hannah Storm ever married Hall of Fame QB Joe Montana, would she REALLY want to be known by her full, married name of Hannah Montana?……….Regarding all of this Brett Favre indecision/retirement talk:  I’m truly sick of it all.  Well, maybe not.  Heck, yes I am.  Well, perhaps not as much as I originally thought.  Umm, the more I think about it, sure I am.  Nah, perhaps not– maybe a little, but not totally.  Umm, check that– I’m sick of it, but perhaps there’s room for a little more.  Oh, heck, I’m not sure……….Sad to hear about the passing of Dom DiMaggio–always overshadowed by his famous brother Joe, but a terrific player in his own right.  The man also became a very successful businessman once his playing career ended.   And in Dom’s 1990 memoir, “Real Grass, Real Heroes,” Ted Williams wrote that ‘there is no finer person on earth than Dom DiMaggio.’  Dom was also married to his wife Emily for 61 years.  Yes, although not close to being the larger-than-life legend that big brother Joe was, it surely seems that Dom lived a much HAPPIER life than his famous sibling did, for sure……….Answer to trivia question:  PEDRO GUERRERO–who led the NL with a slugging % of .577 back in 1985……….Another classic line from WFAN’s Steve Somers after learning of Manny Ramirez being busted for using a female fertility drug:  “Just Manny being MOMMY”……….I hereby challenge LPGA golfers Natalie Gulbis and Christie Kerr to 18 holes of competitive golf–with the loser/high-scorer (me, me!) owing the other two competitors full-body massages weekly for the next five years……….Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league pitcher Ben Callahan–who blows out 52 candles on May 19th.  Don’t remember this tall native of North Carolina?  You may not be alone.  Callahan spent just one season in the “bigs”–1983 with Oakland–appearing in just four games.  In just over 9 innings of work that season, Callahan surrendered 18 hits and 13 earned runs–thus rendering him with a lifetime ERA of 12.54.  Hey, they all can’t be Vida Blue, right?  Best wishes, Ben……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former major league coach/manager Danny Ozark–who died recently in Vero Beach, FL at the age of 85.   Born Daniel Leonard Orzechowski in Buffalo, N.Y., Ozark was a Dodgers coach under Walter Alston from 1965-1972; he went on to manage the Phillies between 1973 and 1979– compiling a record of 594-510 while leading his Philadelphia squad to three NL East titles.  He also returned to the Dodgers as one of Tom Lasorda’s coaches from 1980-1982.  Named Manager of the Year by the AP and Sporting News in 1976, Ozark was known for his easygoing nature and patience with young players.  An Army veteran, Ozark fought in the Battle of the Bulge; he is survived by his wife, Ginny, a son, a daughter, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.  May Mr. Ozark 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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