Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 6/6/09

Great job by the PGA Tour–designating last Saturday as a “Pink Out” day at the Crowne Plaza Invitational in Texas–urging all those in attendance to wear something pink in support of Amy Mickelson (wife of Phil) and to raise awareness for breast cancer research. Having lost my Mom to breast cancer in 2007, I urge all my female friends to PLEASE have regular mammograms done; early detection can truly save your precious lives……….TRIVIA QUESTION: The lowly 1986 Chicago Cubs–who won just 70 games–did NOT have a player on the team who drove in more than 80 runs. Can you name the team’s RBI leader that season? Answer to follow ……….This just in: David Ortiz just tried to nail a fly with a swatter at his home in Massachusetts; sadly, he swung and missed……….This week in sports history, June 9, 1979: Thoroughbred Spectacular Bid falls short in his quest for horse racing’s Triple Crown–finishing third at the annual Belmont Stakes in New York. Jockey Ron Franklin–who had previously guided Spectacular Bid to wins at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes–ran the horse to an early lead and held onto it until 1/8th of a mile remained. However, Coastal–undefeated as a 3-year old–would surge past Spectacular Bid at that point as well as eventual runner-up Golden Act–leaving all Triple Crown hopes behind. Coastal–with jockey Ruben Hernandez aboard– would finish in a time of 2:28 3/5……….This just in: Brett Favre just ordered a hamburger at McDonald’s, then changed the order to a cheeseburger; he then changed his mind when he realized the cholesterol content of the cheese, so he ordered a chicken sandwich instead. Still not comfortable with his selection, he cancelled the chicken while pausing for awhile as customers behind him became angry–then decided to cancel his order altogether………..Readers out there–please do me a favor: Remind me to ask my doctor during my next check-up if watching Dice-K and Tim Wakefield pitch on a regular basis will most likely take years off my life expectancy……….Best wishes go out to Yale women’s crew captain Christina Person–who will soon be heading to Quantico, VA for training to become a Marine. Yes, folks, some sports-related stories like this–at times–are a bit more impressive than a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth……….ITEM: The NCAA has charged the Memphis basketball program with major rules violations dating back to the 2007-08 season. Put it this way: The people out there who believe that John Calipari truly ran a “squeaky clean” program during his tenure there are the same people who believe that the lovely Priscilla Presley never stepped foot near a plastic surgeon’s office………. Answer to trivia question: KEITH MORELAND–who drove in a modest total of 79 runs to lead the fifth-place Cubs that season……….This week’s definition of the “perfect sports day”: Playing a round of golf with Christie Brinkley at the Ala Wai golf course in Hawaii, followed by lunch with her at the Shore Bird Restaurant on Waikiki Beach, topped off by a private showing that evening of her re-enacting her most memorable SI swimsuit issue covers……….From the “Anything Can Happen” Dept.: If Rafael Nadal can lose on clay at Roland Garros–like he did last weekend to Sweden’s Robin Soderling–then there’s still hope that yours truly can be dating actress Charlize Theron by the end of 2009……….Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league pitcher Britt Burns–who blows out 50 candles on June 8th. A Texas native, Burns pitched eight seasons for the White Sox between 1978 and 1985–winning 70 games lifetime. Burns won 15 games for the Sox in 1980 at the age of 21; he was named to the AL All-Star team in 1981 and put together an impressive 18-13 record in 1985. However, a chronic, degenerative hip condition ultimately ended Burns’ major league career at the tender age of 26. Burns is currently the minor league pitching coordinator for the Astros in his hometown of Houston; best wishes, Britt……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former major league pitcher/scout Bill Kelso–who died recently in Kansas City at the age of 69. Originally signed by the Dodgers in 1962, Kelso spent just four years in the “bigs” between 1964 and 1968–pitching for the Angels and Reds. Used mostly as a reliever, Kelso compiled a 12-5 record in 119 career games–pitching to a respectable 3.13 lifetime ERA. As a scout for the Angels, Phillies, and Astros, Kelso was credited with discovering players such as Bob Dernier, Lance Berkman, and Roy Oswalt. He ultimately started the Kelso’s restaurant chain–which grew to include approximately 15 locations scattered across the state of Missouri. May Bill Kelso 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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