Lazzari’s Sports Roundup 2/3/11

Reader Tim Parry chimes in with this classic quip–regarding the T.B. Devil Rays’ recent acquisitions: “Well, this should help boost the Rays’ attendance figures; no doubt that Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez resonate with senior citizens.”………..TRIVIA QUESTION: Looking back at the 1985-’86 NBA season, the San Antonio Spurs had the NBA’s top two leaders in field goal percentage. Can you name these two former players? Answer to follow………ITEM: American Andy Roddick bows out of the Australian Open–losing in straight sets to Stanislas Wawrinka; he had also lost in straight sets in the final of the Brisbane International prior to the Grand Slam loss to Wawrinka. Now approaching the age of 29, one wonders if he’ll ever make it to a Grand Slam final again. However, don’t feel sorry for THIS “A-Rod”; when you’re married to Brooklyn Decker–a Sports Illustrated swimwear model/actress–losses in Grand Slam events and various other disappointments are placed on the “back-burner” VERY quickly……….Interested in a sports-related web site with a little “edge” to it? Go to –a Bob Mantz, Jr. creation that calls itself “a blitzkrieg of sports, pop-culture, and stupidity.” You’ll come across some good stories, video content, and interesting “Blitz Picks”; check it out when you can……….ITEM: Irish golfer Padraig Harrington is disqualified from the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship after he failed to replace a ball that had moved a fraction of an inch when he picked up his marker during the opening round. Wow–and they say that BASEBALL is a “game of inches?”……….This week in sports history, February 1, 1970: Backup goaltender Terry Sawchuk of the New York Rangers extends his own NHL record–posting his 103rd career shutout during his team’s 6-0 victory over Pittsburgh at Madison Square Garden. The 40-year-old Sawchuk had been acquired by New York to ease Ed Giacomin’s work load; he stopped 29 shots and recorded his first shutout since the ’67-’68 season–when he was a member of the L.A. Kings. He had started his remarkable career with Detroit during the ’49-’50 campaign and would accumulate more than 400 wins during his long NHL tenure……….I was extremely sad to hear about the recent passing of Marcia Heussler–wife of my friend/colleague Bob Heussler (sports anchor on WFAN Radio); she died of cancer at the age of 53. I never had the opportunity to meet Marcia; I’ll just say that there’s not a finer man in the media biz than Mr. Heussler–and I can only imagine the type of wonderful woman he’d marry. I DO know she was a loving mother, a wonderful nurse, and very devoted to her husband–whose job kept him on the road a lot. My condolences go out to the entire Heussler family; on the brighter side, such a special lady will leave terrific memories for years to come……….ITEM: Relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth signs a one-year deal with the Rays worth $3.25 million; this is a man who’s compiled a 34-55 record and 4.39 ERA with 27 saves over a 12-year career with five different teams. Yes, MLB–an organization where mediocrity surely DOES pay……….Just came across a picture of bikini-clad actress Jessica Biel snorkeling while on vacation in Hawaii. Sheesh–and I used to think that a Magic Johnson “no-look” pass was a pure thing of beauty……….Can you imagine if Colorado wrestler Trinity Plessinger married NFL wide receiver Antonio Bryant, divorced, married artist James Yale–divorced again–then married Washington-based banker Joseph Tufts? Fans of some highly-regarded colleges here in the Northeast would surely delight in her full, married named of Trinity Bryant Yale Tufts……….Answer to trivia question: STEVE JOHNSON (.632) and ARTIS GILMORE (.618)……….Happy birthday wishes go out to former NBA guard Robert Pack–who blows out 42 candles on February 3rd. A native of New Orleans who played at USC, Pack was undrafted coming out of college in 1991, but went on to play for seven different NBA teams in a career that lasted until 2004. Pack played in a total of 552 games during his career, but injuries seemed to always prevent him from playing a full season. He did average an impressive 18.1 ppg/7.8 apg during the 1995-’96 season while with the Washington Bullets–although he appeared in just 31 games. Pack is currently an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Clippers; best wishes, Robert……….Finally, condolences also go out to the family of former major league manager Roy Hartsfield–who died recently at his daughter’s home in Georgia at the age of 85. Hartsfield became the first Toronto Blue Jays manager ever back in 1977; players like Jim Clancy, Dave Stieb, and Ernie Whitt all made their debuts under Hartsfield–who was 166-318 in his three years managing Toronto. Previously, Hartsfield had spent many years in the Dodgers organization as a coach and minor league manager. He also spent three years in the majors as an infielder for the Boston Braves from 1950-1952–appearing in 265 games while batting .273 lifetime. May Roy Hartsfield 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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