ITEM: The Texas Rangers will offer a ONE POUND hot dog to fans this season at the Ballpark in Arlington (for $26)--one that is nearly two feet long while containing approximately 3,000 calories. Two questions: 1) Will it be served along with a warning label from the American Heart Association? 2) Shouldn't any patron finishing one (and keeping it DOWN) be awarded with a season ticket/permanent luxury box?..........TRIVIA QUESTION: Who was the last member of the Philadelphia 76ers to lead the NBA in rebounding? Answer to follow..........This week in sports history, April 4, 1988: Danny Manning of Kansas converts four free throws in the final 10 seconds--leading his team to an 83-79 victory over Oklahoma for the Jayhawks' first NCAA championship in 36 years. In a closely contested game throughout, the Sooners built up a lead of 65-60 at one point in the second half due to the heroics of Stacey King and Dave Sieger. But once the game was tied at 71, Manning was the difference--hitting clutch shots while finishing with 31 points in a terrific Big Eight match-up played in Kansas City..........Did you know that the 1970-'71 Cincinnati Royals (NBA) averaged 116 points per game and had five players who scored more than 1,000 points apiece--but still finished with a poor record of 33-49 in the Central Division? Tom Van Arsdale, Norm Van Lier, Nate Archibald, Johnny Green, and Sam Lacey each passed the 1,000 point plateau playing for Bob Cousy. The problem? DEFENSE; they gave up 119.2 ppg--second worst in the league that season..........Just doing a little math here (I'll admit--I used a calculator): Alex Rodriguez of the NY Yankees will earn $29 million in 2012. Let's say he makes 500 plate appearances this season (which would be more than he's averaged over the past three-year period). This means that A-ROID will earn approximately (ready for this?) $58,000 PER PLATE APPEARANCE in 2012. Putting this in perspective, Rodriguez earns WAY more for just ONE plate appearance than the average Connecticut worker earns in ONE ENTIRE YEAR. Ummm, I hope none of my readers consumed a large meal prior to absorbing that little tidbit of financial information..........Answer to trivia question: MOSES MALONE--who led the league during the 1984-'85 season with an average of 13.1 rpg..........Anyone out there catch a glimpse of the stunning black outfit worn recently by lovely actress Charlize Theron at the Human Rights Campaign gala in L.A.? Put it this way (and I'll use a sports term): Approaching the age of 37, the woman has lost NOTHING off her fastball..........ITEM: Old Dominion guard Kent Bazemore is arrested IN UNIFORM just minutes before his team's tip-off vs. Mercer in the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament in Norfolk; apparently, he did not attend court-ordered alcohol-education classes stemming from his DUI arrest last summer. Taking into consideration this young man's recent decision-making, I'll go out on a limb and say he won't be attending classes at the University of OXFORD anytime soon, either..........Happy birthday wishes go out to current Atlanta Hawks coach/former NBA player Larry Drew--who blows out 54 candles on April 2nd. A first-round pick of Detroit in the 1980 draft, Drew played 10 seasons in the league between 1980 and 1991 for the Pistons, Kings, Clippers, and Lakers; he also spent the '88-'89 season playing in Italy. A 6'1" guard, Drew's best season came in '82-'83 while in Kansas City when he averaged an impressive 20.1 ppg while shooting 82% from the free-throw line. He later became an assistant coach with various NBA teams before securing his current gig. Best wishes, Larry; hope there are many more birthdays in your future..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former major league pitcher Mel Parnell--who passed away last week at the age of 89 after battling cancer. Parnell spent his entire 10-year career with the Red Sox from 1947-'56--compiling a record of 123-75. Amazingly, this lefty was a sparkling 70-30 at Fenway Park; he still holds the club record for games started, innings, and victories by a left-handed pitcher. Without a doubt, his best season came in 1949 when he went 25-7--throwing 27 complete games and pitching to an ERA of 2.77. A two-time All-Star, Parnell no-hit the Chicago White Sox in 1956--the first no-hitter thrown by a Sox pitcher in 33 years (Howard Ehmke). Altogether, Mel pitched 113 complete games and tossed 20 shutouts. Following his playing career, Parnell did some managing in the minor leagues and was a member of the Sox' broadcasting crew during the 60's. May Mel Parnell rest in peace.