Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 05/22/10

I used to think that watching “Dr. J”–Julius Erving–dunking a basketball was a pure thing of beauty. That all changed when I saw a recent picture of the red gown actress Salma Hayek was wearing at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival……….TRIVIA QUESTION: Michael Jordan possesses the all-time highest point total in an NBA post-season–scoring 759 in 1992. Can you name the player who has the SECOND-highest point total in a single post-season? Answer to follow……….Lazzari’s “Cheap Win of the Week”: This one definitely goes to L.A. Dodgers reliever Jonathan Broxton–who recently entered a game in the ninth inning vs. Milwaukee with a 3-1 lead. Broxton proceeded to give up FOUR hits and two runs–thus blowing a save opportunity. However, he STILL picks up a “W” as the Dodgers score four runs in the bottom of the inning (on an Andre Ethier home run) during a 7-3 victory……….Here goes: Former St. John’s basketball player Kia Wright marries ex-NBA-er Phil Ford, divorces, marries Univ. of the Pacific outfielder Kyle Dodge–divorces again–then marries Metro St. tennis player Mattia Ferrari. Auto lovers everywhere would delight in her full married name of Kia Ford Dodge Ferrari……….This week in sports history, May 25, 1975: The Golden State Warriors win their first NBA title in 19 years–beating the Washington Bullets 96-95 to complete a four-game sweep (only the third in the 29-year history of the league). Behind by 14 points earlier in the game, the Warriors came roaring back as guard Butch Beard scored the go-ahead basket with 1:45 remaining and also made a pair of late free-throws to ice the victory. Rick Barry led the winners with 20 points while Beard chipped in with 16; Phil Chenier of the Bullets led all scorers with 26……….ITEM: 13-year old/8th grade honor student Brady Frazier dies after being struck by a line drive off an aluminum bat during practice at his school in upstate New York–thus continuing to fuel the metal vs. wooden bat debate. Look, folks, I understand a tragedy like this can happen when EITHER type of bat is used–but can we STOP with the pathetic garbage that there is NO difference between the two when it comes to the way the ball exits off each? I’ve used both as a player and coach; some of my fellow coaching colleagues actually laugh when they pick up one of these new metal bats–while collectively referring to them as “rocket launchers.” Yes, one can talk about cost effectiveness when comparing the two–but please STOP with the ridiculous bunk that there is no difference when it comes to safety; I challenge the political dolts out there who defend metal bats to go and COACH a few years and then report back to me. Finally, I recently had an Eastern Connecticut college player on my cable show–who’s played with both types–and asked him about the difference. He just smiled at me and simply said, “Like night and day.”……….This just in: While eating cereal recently, Nick Johnson of the N.Y. Yankees reportedly lost a tooth when the spoon he was using knocked the “pearly white” to the floor. While bending down to retrieve it, Johnson strained an oblique muscle and pulled a hamstring. Finally, while putting the spoon in the dishwasher, Johnson cut his index finger, jammed his right thumb, and sprained his wrist; he remains “day-to-day”……….Answer to trivia question: HAKEEM OLAJUWON–who scored 725 points in 1995 as a member of the Houston Rockets……….Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league outfielder Will Pennyfeather–who blows out 42 candles on May 25th. A native of Perth Amboy, NJ, Pennyfeather played parts of just three seasons with the Pirates from 1992-1994–and didn’t exactly make anyone forget Dave Parker. In 46 at-bats over the course of his brief career, Pennyfeather tallied just nine hits for a lifetime batting average of .196–a few points below the famed “Mendoza Line.” Hey–he CAN tell his grandchildren someday that he drove in a pair of runs (his career total) in 1993, right? Best wishes, Will……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former NFL linebacker Nick Rogers–who died recently in a single-vehicle car accident in Georgia at the age of 30. A former star at Georgia Tech (where he earned a management degree in 2003), Rogers spent four seasons in the NFL between 2002 and 2005 as a member of the Vikings, Packers, Colts, and Dolphins; he also played for Colorado of the Arena Football League in 2008. After his playing days came to an end, Rogers opened a barber shop and also rehabbed houses with his father. Rogers had married his longtime girlfriend Kia just a month before his tragic death; may Nick Rogers 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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