Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 6/20/10

ITEM: Florida sophomore wide receiver Frankie Hammond is arrested on a DUI charge; he failed a couple of sobriety tests while two open bottles of Crown Royal were found inside his vehicle (by the way, at least 28 Gator players have been arrested during the Urban Meyer era). Could it be that Meyer had already instructed his team that Royal Crown (cola) should always be the team’s beverage of choice–and the young receiver simply misunderstood him?……….TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1993 Houston Astros–who finished third in the NL West under manager Art Howe–had three pitchers on the staff with 15 or more wins. Can you name these three individuals? Answer to follow……….Some people remain rather critical–in a negative way–of the amethyst/lilac gown worn by actress Charlize Theron at the 2010 Oscars. These people must be the same individuals who STILL think that Mets pitcher Oliver Perez is a bargain at $12 million per season………..This coming week, the 2010 Travelers Championship gets underway at the TPC in Cromwell; primary beneficiaries of the tournament are The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and the Greater Hartford Jaycees. Once again, tournament director Nathan Grube and his staff have done a terrific job assembling an impressive field of players–despite the tournament being played one week after a major golf event (U.S. Open). Ticket prices and more tournament information (including history, records, etc.) can be obtained by visiting ………Call me crazy, but I’m still reminded of “Hogan’s Heroes” every time I think of former major league reliever Joe Klink……….This week in sports history, June 22, 1937: 23-year-old Joe Louis becomes boxing’s first black heavyweight champion in twenty-two years–knocking out James J. Braddock in the eighth round in a fight held at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. The 31-year-old Braddock was making his first title defense and actually sent “The Brown Bomber” to the canvas in the early moments of the bout. However, Louis dominated the rest of the way–finally putting Braddock away with a powerful right to the jaw that required him to be carried out of the ring. Jack Johnson had been the last black heavyweight champion–having ruled the boxing world from 1908-1915……….Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing former MLB pitcher Milt Wilcox–who played with many terrific players during a 16-year career spent in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, and Seattle. When the question of the toughest/most competitive teammate he ever played with came up, Wilcox said it was a “no-brainer”: None other than Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry……….O.K.–here goes, by popular demand: New Jersey lawyer Karen Venice marries former NFL defensive back Bo Orlando, divorces, marries martial arts expert Ken Melbourne–divorces again–then walks down the aisle with PGA golfer Keith Clearwater. Fans of “The Sunshine State” would surely delight in her full married name of Karen Venice Orlando Melbourne Clearwater……….Answer to trivia question: MARK PORTUGAL (18), PETE HARNISCH (16), and DARRYL KILE (15)……….I know one can bet on almost ANYTHING in Las Vegas–but I’m now wondering if wagering has commenced yet (i.e. over/under date) on when the N.Y. Yankees will ultimately land Stephen Strasburg……….Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league catcher Jorge Brito–who blows out 44 candles on June 22nd. A native of the Dominican Republic, Brito spent just two seasons in the “bigs”–1995 and 1996 with Colorado–and didn’t exactly take advantage of Coors Field’s comfy surroundings. Brito came to bat 65 times in his major league career and tallied just 12 hits–resulting in a lifetime batting average of just .185 (anyone remember something called the “Mendoza Line?”). Hey–they all can’t be Joe Mauer, right? Best wishes, Jorge……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Louisiana-Lafayette football coach Nelson Stokley–who died recently from complications of Alzheimer’s disease; he was 66. A native of Texas, Stokley guided the Ragin’ Cajuns from 1986-1998–coaching such notable players as Brian Mitchell, Jake Delhomme, and his son, Brandon. After his team endured a 2-9 season in 1992, Stokley guided the Cajuns to one of the best turnarounds in Division I college football history–going 8-3 in 1993 and capturing a share of the Big West Conference Championship. He also served as the school’s athletic director from 1988 until 1992. Stokley was a pretty impressive player himself (a former LSU quarterback)–leading the Tigers to the 1966 Cotton Bowl and the 1968 Sugar Bowl. May Coach Stokley 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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