Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 9/4/09

How ’bout 13-year-old Luke Ramirez of the Chula Vista, CA baseball team–who slugged two MONSTROUS home runs in the LL World Series last weekend vs. the Kentucky team? Rumor has it that Ramirez met with agent Scott Boras shortly after the game and will soon demand the following from his parents: an extension of his bedtime from 9 to 10PM, delivery of the newest Xbox games to his bedroom within 24 hours of their release to the general public, and a 500% increase in his weekly allowance……….TRIVIA QUESTION: The lowly 1991 Houston Astros–who finished 65-97 under manager Art Howe–had only ONE full-time starting pitcher with an above-.500 record. Can you name this former hurler? Answer to follow……….My good buddy Abe Knaster’s “Gem of the Week”: As far as sports are concerned, if practice makes perfect–and NOBODY’s perfect–then WHY practice?……….Folks, I’m fed up with these idiotic people/”do-gooders” (let me translate that–“enablers”) who say Plaxico Burress was too harshly punished for his recent gun possession charge. Just TWO years for carrying a LOADED, UNLICENSED gun in a public place–especially in New York City?? The guy should be doing more celebratory dances now than he ever did in any end zone. I also heard that Plax’s wife is a lawyer. Ummm–nothing personal, Mrs. Plax, but I have to question the judgment of an attorney who obviously was once attracted to a clueless, rule-breaking, non-team oriented, cocky street-thug who’s always thought he was above the law. Yes, my friends, just the kind of legal counsel I’d want representing me!……….This week in sports history, September 1, 1983: Frenchman Thierry Vigneron sets a world pole vault record–clearing 19 feet, 1 1/2 inches at the Golden Gala track and field meet at Rome’s Olympic Stadium. After missing on his first two attempts, Vigneron finally broke the record of 19 feet, 1 inch–set by his fellow Frenchman Pierre Quinon just five days earlier in West Germany……….Count WFAN’s Mike Francesa among those who believe that dolts like the aforementioned Burress will never “get it.” His remarks during a monologue last week: “What we DO learn in life is that some people NEVER learn.”……….A guy from Pittsburgh told me last week that he considers “Cash For Clunkers” to be the money he’s spent this year to watch his hometown Pirates play baseball. I still say that it’s a term for the cash put out by anyone who’s purchased a boxed DVD set of Madonna’s movies over the past 20 years or so……….With a slight assist from my colleague Norm Bender: Former Olympian Carol Lewis (sister of Carl) marries former Steelers WR Louis Lipps, divorces, marries PGA golfer Stewart Cink–divorces again–then marries Florida builder/developer Peter Shipps. Her full married name winds up being Carol Lewis Lipps Cink Shipps……….On an all-sports radio station last week, I heard sultry Carmen Electra doing a commercial for a cruise line. My first reaction was, “Why RADIO?” I say that if Ms. Electra does a similar TV spot–complete with the stunning beauty decked out in cruise-themed garb–the company sells at least TEN times as many cruises as it does over the radio airwaves……….Answer to trivia question: PETE HARNISCH–who went 12-9 for the sixth-place Astros that year……….Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league outfielder Von Hayes–who blows out 51 candles on August 31st. A native of Stockton, CA, Hayes played 12 years in the ‘bigs” between 1981 and 1992 for the Indians, Phillies, and Angels–hitting .267 lifetime. Nicknamed Von “Purple” Hayes by ESPN’s Chris Berman, Hayes’ best year came in 1986 while with the Phillies–a season in which he led the National League in doubles (46) and runs scored (107) while hitting .305. In 1985, Hayes became the first player in MLB history to hit two home runs in the first inning of a baseball game–doing it vs. the Mets. An All-Star in 1989, Hayes became a minor league manager once his playing days were over; best wishes, Von……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Louisiana Tech basketball player Lavelle Felton–who recently died from a gunshot wound he suffered while leaving a Milwaukee gas station; he was just 29. Felton averaged 13.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game for Tech in 2002-2003; he then spent time with a Turkish team before playing in Greece and France. Last season, Felton played for Paderborn–a team in Germany–and helped his team reach the playoffs. At the time of his death, his agent had been negotiating with several teams interested in signing Lavelle for next season. Yes, another young man taken away from us WAY before his time; rest in peace, Lavelle.

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.

Get connected with us on Social Media