Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 10/21/09

Terrific cause: Join big league pitcher Craig Breslow and others on Saturday, November 7th at the Omni Hotel in New Haven for the Strike 3 Foundation’s First Pitch Celebrity Gala. Proceeds will benefit pediatric cancer research and those in attendance will have the opportunity to meet Andrew Bailey, Jack Cust, Rajai Davis, Shea Ralph, and others; guest speaker will be Nomar Garciaparra. More information can be obtained by visiting ……….TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1993-’94 Boston Bruins–who finished second in the NHL’s Northeast Division–had three players on the team who scored more than 30 goals apiece. Can you name this talented trio? Answer to follow……….Can you imagine if legendary Canadian skier Nancy Green Raine married Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe, divorced, then married former MLB pitcher Steve Trout? Fish lovers everywhere would surely delight in her full married name of Nancy Greene Raine Bowe Trout……….College football: How ’bout Navy annihilating Rice 63-14 last weekend? Speaking of Navy–and water-related vessels in general–I guess Rice’s ship never came in during this game. In fact, it appears that the Owls’ ship had sunk long before this game even STARTED……….This week in sports history, October 19, 1957: At the Montreal Forum, Maurice Richard of the Canadiens scores the 500th goal of his illustrious career–leading his team to a 3-1 victory over Chicago. “The Rocket’s” milestone goal was a 20-foot slapshot at 15:32 of the first period and was scored against Chicago goalie Glenn Hall. The 36-year-old Richard leaped into the arms of teammate Jean Beliveau shortly after the historic goal while more than 14,000 fans at the Forum delivered a long, standing ovation……….I hate to second-guess anyone–especially Red Sox manager Terry Francona–but NO WAY can you walk Torii Hunter to get to a talented, feared hitter like Vladimir Guerrero last weekend in Game 3 of the ALDS; I seriously cringed as soon as the decision was made and was vocal about it to the people viewing it with me. Yes, it ended up sending the Red Sox off to the golf course. Folks, I don’t care WHAT the #’s said about Hunter’s success vs. Papelbon–or the fact that Guerrero has done little in his career during the postseason. With the bases loaded, it was a ‘no-brainer’ that the overdue Guerrero–a dead-fastball hitter (and a .321 lifetime hitter)–was going to get a decent pitch to hit. He wasted no time in depositing the FIRST PITCH into center-field, and the Angels AND Guerrero finally had the “monkey” off their backs. Bottom line? I want Torii Hunter beating me in that situation rather than one Vlad Guerrero………Speaking of the Red Sox: Just thinking that if catcher Jason Varitek and DH David Ortiz had aged HALF as well as actress Diane Lane has over the past few years, Boston would have won the AL East this season by 5 games or more……….Answer to trivia question: CAM NEELY (50 goals), ADAM OATES (32), and BRYAN SMOLINSKI (31)……….How ’bout Cleveland Browns QB Derek Anderson last Sunday vs. Buffalo? He played the ENTIRE game–completing 2-of-17 passes for 23 yards (ughhhh–that’s NOT a misprint, my friends)–and his team WINS. This reminds me of the loud, obnoxious, smelly kid in high school who’d show up at dances halfway through and leave with the prettiest girl……….Happy birthday wishes go out to former NBA center Brad Daugherty–who blows out 44 candles on October 19th. The seven-footer–who played at North Carolina–spent his entire career with the Cleveland Cavaliers between 1986 and 1994; sadly, his career was cut short at the tender age of 28 due to recurrent back problems. Daugherty averaged an impressive 19 points and 9.5 rebounds per game during his pro career; he was a five-time All-Star and was a unanimous selection to the “All-Time Cleveland Cavalier” team back in 2000. He has done broadcasting work in various capacities for ESPN since his career ended; best wishes, Brad……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former NFL offensive lineman Bob Kowalkowski–who died recently in Michigan at the age of 65 following a brief illness. Kowalkowski was a guard for the Detroit Lions from 1966-1976; he started every game for the team during his final five seasons in the Motor City. Kowalkowski was traded to Cleveland in 1977 and would later finish his career playing four games for Coach Bart Starr and the Packers in ’77. A tireless worker, Bob was very active in charity work while playing AND in retirement; he founded the “Kowalkowski Open” golf tournament in 1973 with friends in order to help the blind and was also very active with the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. His son, Scott, was signed by the Lions in 1994 and played with the team through 2001; may Bob Kowalkowski 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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