Lazzari’s Sports Roundup

Lazzari’s “Cheap Win of the Week”:  I’ll give this one to Royals reliever Kyle Farnsworth–who pitched an inning vs. Detroit last week while giving up three hits and the go-ahead run.  However, Kyle proceeds to pick up the “W” as his team scores a pair in the bottom of the 11th en route to a 3-2 victory……….TRIVIA QUESTION:  The 1989-’90 Phoenix Suns–who finished 54-28 under Cotton Fitzsimmons–had two All-Stars on the roster who averaged more than 22 points per game apiece.  Can you name these two former players?  Answer to follow……….A “must have” DVD for baseball fans:  Ball Talk:  Baseball’s Voices of Summer–produced/directed by Kevin Bender.  Hosted by Larry King, the documentary features interviews with sportscasting pioneers Mel Allen, Red Barber, Jack Brickhouse, Jack Buck, Curt Gowdy, and Ernie Harwell.  For more info about this tremendous compilation–filmed 20 years ago–visit ……….O.K., here goes–by popular demand:  Can you imagine if actress Eve Marie Saint had once married former Mets outfielder Johnny Lewis, divorced, then walked down the aisle with a MUCH younger man–New Mexico State infielder Joel Cardinal?  She’d then be sporting the full married name of Eve Marie Saint Lewis Cardinal……….Yeah–gotta love when WFAN’s Steve Somers refers to the AL team that plays in the Bay Area as the “Oakland Anabolics”……….Now that Jenny McCarthy has split with Jim Carrey, do you think she’d have any interest in an aging sports columnist who appreciates perky, pretty blondes?……….This week in sports history, April 20, 1986:  The Boston Celtics survive a playoff-record 63-point outburst by Chicago’s Michael Jordan on their way to a 135-131 double overtime victory over the visiting Bulls at Boston Garden.  Jordan eclipsed Elgin Baylor’s previous record of 61 points–which was also accomplished vs. Boston back in 1962.  Larry Bird led the Celtics with 36 points while Kevin McHale scored 27 and grabbed 15 rebounds during a game that lasted more than three hours………Congratulations go out to Eastern CT State University All-America third baseman Melvin Castillo of Danbury–who recently broke team records for career RBI’s and total bases; he already holds the school record for home runs and is currently closing in on the all-time hits mark at ECSU.  Excellent job, Mel……….Great site for the true baseball aficionado out there:  Founded by Mike Lynch in 2007, the site features approximately 65 writers–many of them published authors.  Lynch calls his writers an “eclectic staff”; it also includes multiple members of The Society For American Baseball Research (SABR).  I consider myself very fortunate to be a part of this wonderful staff/site as Mr. Lynch has posted various past columns/interviews I’ve done.  Keep up the fine work, Mike; it’s a true gem for the baseball junkie out there……….Answer to trivia question:  TOM CHAMBERS (27.1 ppg) and KEVIN JOHNSON (22.5)……….Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league pitcher Gary Peters–who blows out 73 candles on April 21st.  A native of Pennsylvania, Peters spent 14 seasons in the “bigs” with the White Sox and Red Sox–compiling a lifetime record of 124-103 along with a 3.25 career ERA.  The 1963 AL Rookie of the Year, Peters went on to lead the league in ERA twice while in Chicago (’63 and ’66); he also won 20 games in 1964.  A two-time All-Star, Peters ended his career in Boston in 1972 while being used mostly in relief; best wishes, Gary……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former boxing referee Arthur Mercante, Sr.–who passed away last weekend in Westbury, NY at the age of 90.  Mercante was the third man in the ring at more than 140 championship fights–including the famed 1971 battle between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier; Mercante also refereed the 1973 fight in Jamaica when George Foreman won the heavyweight title while handing Joe Frazier a severe beating.  A childhood friend of Rocky Marciano while growing up in Brockton, MA, Mercante graduated from NYU in 1942 and later received a master’s degree in physical education from that school after serving in the Navy.  He began his refereeing career in 1954 and retired in 2001; he later served as a boxing judge at various matches.  He is survived by his wife, Gloria, and four sons:  Arthur Jr. (a longtime boxing referee who followed in his Dad’s footsteps), Glenn, Jim and Tom.  Rest in peace, Mr. Mercante.

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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