Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 9/2/10

ITEM: N.Y. Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey admits to being ill and VOMITING before his start vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates last week. I’m now convinced that someone advised Pelfrey shortly before his “hurling” episode that the Bucs hadn’t experienced a winning season since 1992. Yes, THAT’s sickening, folks……..TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1993 Chicago White Sox–who finished first in the AL West under manager Gene Lamont–had three starting pitchers who won 15 or more games apiece. Can you name this trio? Answer to follow……….Just wondering: If New Orleans-based artist Jennifer Beach married former NFL defensive lineman Jerry Ball, would she then mind being referred to by her full, “summer-y” name of Jennifer Beach Ball?……….This week in sports history, August 30, 1991: Long-jumper Mike Powell leaps into the record books–soaring 29 feet, 4 1/2 inches at the World Track and Field Championships in Tokyo. Powell’s magnificent effort was two inches better than Bob Beamon’s previous record mark–set back in 1968 at the Mexico City Olympic Games. Powell’s record leap erased the oldest track and field record in history; it also enabled him to finally claim victory over the great Carl Lewis–who had been undefeated in 65 consecutive meets over a ten-year period……….ITEM: Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman John Gill is arrested for public intoxication after police find him passed out in a ditch on the side of a road at 4AM. My first thought? This is probably NOT what the Indy coaches are referring to when they tell their defensive linemen to “plug holes”……….Answer to trivia question: JACK McDOWELL (22), ALEX FERNANDEZ (18), and WILSON ALVAREZ (15)……….I used to think that a Jerry West jump shot was a pure thing of beauty–that is, until I saw a recent picture of actress Jessica Szohr wearing a low-cut, red-ruffled dress at a Hollywood party for the premiere of “Piranha 3D”……….After watching minor league baseball all summer long at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, the best defensive play I witnessed happened last weekend. In the 3rd inning vs. the Staten Island Yankees, CT Tigers first baseman James Robbins leaned over the tarpaulin and into the stands to make a spectacular catch on a foul pop-up. With the SI runner on second base then tagging up, Robbins recovered and threw a laser-like strike to the third baseman–completing an unlikely double play. Great play, James, and worthy of being part of ANY highlight reel……….Heartfelt well-wishes go out to Yale women’s hockey player Mandi Schwartz–who has been diagnosed with leukemia for the second time in two years and will eventually need a stem cell transplant to survive. To support Mandi and raise attention to her situation/continued fight, teammate Samantha MacLean recently ventured out on a bike ride from Toronto to New Haven–a distance of about 824 kilometers. Referred to as “The Ride for 17” (Mandi’s uniform #), monetary proceeds go directly to Mandi and her family as she forges ahead with medical treatment. More info about Mandi’s story and how to make a donation online can be obtained by visiting Checks can also be mailed to Yale Athletics, ATTN: Wayne Dean, 20 Tower Parkway, New Haven, CT 06520. Thanks for your biking/awareness efforts, Samantha, and here’s wishing Mandi Schwartz the best of health……….Happy birthday wishes go out to former MLB pitcher Jason Gilfillan–who blows out 34 candles on August 31st. A 6’5″ right-hander who attended the College of Charleston, Gilfillan pitched just ONE year in the “bigs”–2003 with the Kansas City Royals–appearing in 13 games as a reliever. His overall #’s that year weren’t pretty, folks: 16.1 innings pitched, 22 hits, 14 earned runs–an ERA of 7.71. However, Gilfillan was the winning pitcher in two of those thirteen lifetime games and never lost–thus going into the MLB record books with a career record of 2-0 (a winning % of 1.000). You’re still a young man, Jason; here’s wishing you many more birthday celebrations to come……….Yes, we lost the legendary Bobby Thomson recently–famous for his “Shot Heard ‘Round The World”; for what it’s worth, I still think it’s the most memorable home run in MLB history. However, many fans may not realize that Thomson drove in more than 100 runs FOUR times during his career and also led the NL in triples as a member of the Giants in ’52. Sincere condolences go out to his entire family. One thing’s for sure, Bobby: EVERY true baseball fan will be forever grateful for that magical moment in ’51. May you 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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