Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 6/27/15

ITEM: Lovely actress Charlize Theron reportedly ends her engagement to actor Sean Penn. Message to Ms. Theron: Sports columnists–although most couldn’t afford to purchase the STRAP on a Louis Vuitton handbag–are very loyal and make EXCELLENT boyfriend material……….TRIVIA QUESTION: The 2001 Oakland Athletics–who finished 102-60 under manager Art Howe–had THREE players on the squad who scored 100+ runs apiece. Can you name this talented trio? Answer to follow……….The definition of “security”: We all know that Nats pitcher Max Scherzer signed a long-term contract a few months ago for over $200 million. But can anyone out there fathom JUST the SIGNING BONUS: $5 million this year and $15 million EACH YEAR in 2019, 2020, and 2021?……….Did you know that the four main starting pitchers for the 2003 Cincinnati Reds had a combined W-L record of 17-44 and a robust, collective ERA of 5.54? Suffice it to say that it wasn’t the best of years for pitchers Ryan Dempster, Danny Graves, Jimmy Haynes, and Paul Wilson–and one of the various reasons why the squad finished 24 games under .500……….I had the opportunity to chat/reminisce with former NFL quarterback Dan Pastorini last week, or as my Dad used to refer to him as: DANTE ANTHONY PASTORINI. Yes, now THAT’S Italian, folks……….So saddened to hear about the tragic death of former MLB player Darryl Hamilton–the victim of an apparent murder-suicide. I had the privilege of interviewing Darryl on “Monday Night Sports Talk” a few years ago–a true gentleman who was very generous with his time. We kept in touch–as he desired to come on the show at any time–and I considered the man a casual friend. A very talented player who batted .291 over a 13-year career with various teams, he’ll be remembered for more than just his athletic ability. My MNST co-host Tony DeAngelo commenting on Hamilton: “Darryl Hamilton was one of our first ‘major’ guests on ‘Monday Night Sports Talk’ and I’ll admit: I was NERVOUS when I called the Commissioner’s office and asked to speak with him. I was greeted by a man who could not have been more appreciative, kind, punctual, and professional–and I will never forget that.” Yes, you’ll be missed greatly, Mr. Hamilton……….ITEM: Hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs is arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon (kettlebell) after he goes after one of his son’s football coaches at UCLA–who was admonishing the kid at practice. Former NFL Pro Bowl lineman Leon Searcy chimes in with this: “Why, Diddy–WHY? You just made it harder for your kid. They’re gonna eat his %$# up in the locker room. So what if they yelled and screamed at your kid–it’s FOOTBALL. You don’t like it? I’m sure there’s a badminton team on campus that he could join.”……….Former pitcher Pedro Martinez will have his # 45 jersey retired by the Red Sox on July 28th–a well-deserved honor. His numbers in Boston were ASTOUNDING, but perhaps most impressive is THIS: Between 1998 and 2003, Pedro’s ERA was NEVER above 2.89 in a season. And yes–this was in a league that incorporated the DH and during an era when PED’s were rampant. Simply remarkable, folks……….*O.K.–here goes: New Zealand lawyer Jane Northwood marries British martial artist James Southwood, divorces, marries former competitive PGA golfer Bob Eastwood–divorces again–then walks down the aisle with current PGA player Lee Westwood. She would then be providing legal advice with the catchy, full-married name of Jane Northwood Southwood Eastwood Westwood……….ITEM: Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia keeps a 6-liter Methuselah of Ace of Spades champagne (valued at $7,000) in the Yankee clubhouse in order to celebrate A-ROID’s recent 3,000th career hit. The aforementioned Tony DeAngelo: “And to think that in the old days, these guys would simply buy a six-pack of beer and bring it back to their hotel room.”……….FACT: Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello’s salary will RISE about $8 million in 2016 from the current value of $12.5 million per year; at press time, he was 4-8 with an ERA of 5.61. And I sincerely apologize to ALL those Sox fans who just had a meal before reading this; pass the TUMS……….Answer to trivia question: JASON GIAMBI (109), JOHNNY DAMON (108), and MIGUEL TEJADA (107)……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former NFL kicker Danny Villanueva–who passed away recently of a stroke at the age of 77. One of the league’s first Latino kickers, Villanueva spent eight seasons in the league with the Rams and Cowboys between 1960 and 1967; the final game of his career was the famed “Ice Bowl” played between the Cowboys and Packers. A graduate of New Mexico State (where he remains a member of the NMSU Athletics Hall of Fame), Danny later became a pioneer of Spanish-language television–being part-owner of a chain that would later become known as Univision. He also founded an investment firm and was well-known for giving back financially to his alma mater–having donated several million dollars. One of his largest gifts went toward funding the Fulton Athletic Center at NMSU and also establishing the Danny Villanueva Scholarship endowment. May this special, giving individual 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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