Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 6/1/09

Lazzari’s “Cheap Win of the Week”: Goes to Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton–who pitched the minimum five innings vs. the Reds recently–throwing 97 pitches while giving up five runs. However, he benefits from a strong Philadelphia offense–including four home runs–during a 12-5 Phillies victory………TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1987 Cleveland Indians–who finished dead last in the AL East–did have three players on the team who hit more than 30 home runs apiece. Can you name these individuals? Answer to follow……….From the “How ‘Bout That” Dept.: Through the Red Sox first 45 games this season, outfielder Jason Bay had more than TWICE as many total bases (98) as teammate/designated hitter David Ortiz (46). Simply unbelievable………This week in sports history, June 3, 1932: Due to health reasons, legendary N.Y. Giants manager John McGraw announces his retirement–surprising many of his players and baseball rivals alike. McGraw made his shocking revelation after a scheduled doubleheader with Philadelphia–to be played at the Polo Grounds–had been postponed due to rain. The 59-year-old guided the Giants to four consecutive pennants from 1921-1924 while accumulating 2,836 victories in his renowned managerial career……….Column reader Peter Terranova of New Jersey–weighing in on the “launching pad” now known as Yankee Stadium: “Sheesh, the team moves across the street and all of a sudden they’re in Coors.”……….Thumbing through the newspaper the other day, I saw a picture of actress Sharon Stone decked out in a stunning black dress as she attended the Cannes Film Festival. Let’s just say that if the aforementioned David Ortiz had aged like Ms. Stone did over these past few years, the Red Sox would have a 10-game lead in the AL East right now……….ITEM: Omir Santos of the Mets hits a two-run homer off Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon last Saturday–leading to a 3-2 New York victory. Question: WHY did Pap throw NOTHING but fastballs to the five hitters he faced that afternoon? Why not throw in a split finger or the new slider he’s been working on in order to make the Mets hitters think just a LITTLE bit? Again, in the current major league game, those who live by the fastball WILL die by the pitch if not using it cleverly……….Congrats to Helio Castroneves on winning his third Indy 500–an amazing feat. However, I STILL say that dancing cheek-to-cheek with Julianne Hough is MUCH more enjoyable than sweating profusely in a cockpit for 3-4 hours……….Just imagine if LPGA player Michelle Wie married New Britain Rock Cats VP/GM John Willi–divorced–then married former Clemson tennis player Ian Keeler. Fans of old-time baseball would surely delight as she’d be strolling the golf course with the full married name of Michelle Wie Willi Keeler……….Question: With a name like Will Power, wouldn’t this Indy race car driver be better-suited to sell weight loss/dieting products?……….Lazzari’s “Lopsided Score of the Week”: In a CT girls high school softball game last week, Wilcox Tech dismantled Whitney Tech 29-1; the winning squad scored EIGHT runs in the second inning, EIGHT in the fourth inning, and EIGHT MORE in the fifth inning while Whitney made TEN errors during this shortened contest. I haven’t seen anything THAT ugly since a friend of mine tried to karaoke Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen” after drinking a half-dozen whiskey sours back in the early 80’s……….Answer to trivia question: CORY SNYDER (33), JOE CARTER (32), and BROOK JACOBY (32)……….How ’bout White Sox pitcher Jimmy Gobble–who allowed a pair of home runs–and SIX runs overall–in one inning during a 20-1 loss to Minnesota last week? I’m just wondering if any of the hometown Chicago fans were yelling “Turkey!” at him as he was exiting the pitching mound……….Happy birthday wishes go out for former major league relief pitcher Bryan Harvey–who blows out 46 candles on June 2nd. A Tennessee native, Harvey spent nine seasons in the “bigs” between 1987 and 1995 as a member of the Angels and Marlins–accumulating an impressive 177 saves in his career. Harvey’s best year came in 1991 while with the Angels–a year in which he saved 46 games while giving up just 51 hits in more than 78 innings pitched (1.60 ERA). He also saved 45 games for the Marlins in 1993 with an ERA of just 1.70. A two-time All-Star, Harvey was plagued by arm problems later in his career–causing him to be done with major league baseball at the age of 32. Best wishes, Bryan……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former professional soccer coach Julio Mazzei–who died recently of Alzheimer’s disease in Brazil at the age of 78. A renowned physical trainer in South America, Mazzei was very influential in bringing the legendary Pele to the New York Cosmos from 1975-77; Mazzei later had two coaching stints with the Cosmos from 1979-1983–guiding the 1982 team that featured Giorgio Chinaglia to its fourth NASL title in six years. May Coach Mazzei 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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