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April 01, 1979 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-04-01

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SGeof f
.a rCOlt1
Ballplayers overaid ..
are they worth it?
W W~ILL ROGERS once said, "America will go down in history as the
only country to drive an automobile to the poorhouse." Now you have
to wonder if we'll have enough gas to do even that.
However, perhaps an even more appropriate historical irony for
America would be: They paid their ballplayers more than their President.
The Pittsburgh Pirate with the golden mitt and bat, Dave Parker, will
make a cool million this season, the result of a five-year pact he signed this
winter with the Pirates. Floating along at that income clip, Parker is making
five times what Jimmy Carter makes a year ($200,000).
Seems strange.at first, doesn't it? The man entrusted with preserving
world peace makes less than someone who spends his summer afternoons
: chasing flyballs in the sun and drinking water in the dugout.
Nor is Parker alone in raking in the megabucks. Estimates put Rod
Carew's yearly salary at $900,000, with Pete Rose, George Foster, Jim Rice,
z and Vida Blue all hovering around the $700,000 level. Robin Yount of the
Milwaukee Brewers, who will turn 24 this September, is making $470,000,
while Oscar Gamble of the Texas Rangers will earn $475,000 after hitting .275
and driving in 47 runs last year.
In all, 22 players will top the $420,000 mark this year. Of course you can
joke about it as Babe Ruth did when he signed his record $85,000 contract
during the depths of the depression. When informd that he was making more
than President Hoover, the Babe retorted, "Why not? I had a better year."
Salaries are TV-inflated
Taken out of context, these salaries appear utterly absurd. That Yount
is making more than Carter boggles my mind. But the fact is, club owners
can justify these' salaries due to one factor: television. The blossoming
:n marriage between pro sports and network television has enabled owners to
a pay skyrocketing salaries to ballplayers of less than superstar caliber.
I've no quarrel with that. If sponsors find it financially beneficial to shell
out $200,000 per minute during the World Series, then the owners should pay
the players accordingly. Ballplayes are no more than a sound or a bad in-
vestment to the top brass. Dave Parker talent is easily worth a million in
season revenues to the Pirates, and you know Gene Autry feels he's made a
sound move for the Angels in paying Carew so much. If the player makes the
club a certain amount of dollars, pay him proportionately.
What bothers me is when a player signs for what he feels is an adequate
amount for a certain period, then later wants to renegotiate the contract.
The player sees those around him of lesser ability naking more money and
cries foul play.
The time for straightening out injustices of that kind is when the current
contract expires. That's why Rusty Staub's actions this spring rkle me so.
Rusty's dead wrong
Tiger GM Jim Campbell has always taken a hard line on escalating
player salaries. The free agent war isn't for Campbell, and the Tigers have
suffered in the standings because of it. Yet the man's on target in denying
Staub the chance to renegotiate. Rusty made an agreement, and he should
stick to it.
The logic here is obvious. Nobody clamored for a Mark Fidrych pay cut
when the Bird came up lame. Nor would anybody have demanded Staub
renegotiate downward had he not performed so well these past three years.
Staub is 35 and may feel that this year it would be difficult to sustain the
type of hitting he's given the Tigers. Staub batted .299 the first year he was
here, following that up with a .278 mark in 1977 and a .273 average last year.
* Staub's consistency has been amazing.
He had 176 hits in his first year with the Tigers, with 173 and 175 the next
two. That's reliability. Staub last season tacked on 121 RBI's (second only to
Jim Rice) to make him the league's best DH. To lose him just when the
Tigers are playing themselves into respectability woulti be tragedy.
You wonder if either Campbell or Staub are aware of how the fans would
be cheated if Rusty doesn't play. You have to wonder if they even care.
I think Campbell is right in his refusal to renegotiate. Yet at the same
time Staub deserves an ample reward for these past three years. Why
couldn't Campbell assure Staub that he will be well paid once this contract
expires? Even if Staub's skills erode some over the season, a raise or exten-
sion will still be called for. He's been worth that much to the Tigers, hands
down.
It's very sad these two can't reach some sort of an accommodation.
They're both stubborn men, reluctant to change the principles they've based
their careers on. Yet you'd think the absurdity of the situation would be ob-
vious to the two.
The league's best DH, working in the restaurant business, after his best
year in the majors....
C'mon guys, let's think of those of us who pay the freight a little.

C -
'Columbus club stifles
Blue stickmen, 11-10

The Michigan Daily--Sunday, April 1, 1979-Page 11
DE TROIT PICKED FOR FIFTH IN AL EAST
Yakees will rule again
st ~ IA vxE inwcKTYnf

By DAVE JUHN5ON
"The measure of a ballplayer," says
philosopher and self-acclaimed Yankee
superstar Reggie Jackson, "is not what
one does when the trees are green, but
what one does when they start turning
brown."
The same most assuredly holds true
for entire teams. Just as the Tigers are
the perennial spring training cham-
pions, they're also perennial fifth place
finishers in the American League East,
thanks to General Manager Jim Cam-
pbell and his dry pen.
Likewise, the World Champion
Yankees are a dismal 5-16 this spring,
but they're still favorites to capture
their fourth consecutive AL flag and
third straight World Series.
ALREADY BLESSED with the
American League's BEST pitching
corps (3.19 ERA), owner George Stein-
brenner (with checkbook-in hand) adds
Luis Tiant and Tommy John to his "if
you can't beat 'em, join 'em" staff.
Tiant (13-8 , 3.31) and John (17-11,
3.30) join Cy Young winner Ron Guidry
(25-3, 1.74), Ed Figueroa (20-9), Catfish
Hunter (12-6), and Jim Beattie as star-
ters. AL Fireman of the Year, Rich
Gossage (27 saves), anchors the
bullpen.
1979 will be the final year for the Cat
as he winds up his illustrious 15-year
carer-five of them with New York.
Hunter goes into the 1979 season with a
222-157 record, five 20-win seasons, and
five World Championships in the past
seven years.
Although pitching has been the key to
the Yankees' success, they also possess
the other ingredients of a World Cham-
pionship club: defense, power, and
speed.,
Jackson (.274, 27, 97), Graig Nettles
(.276, 27, 93), and Chris Chambliss
(.274, 12, 90) supply the power, while
Mickey Rivers (25 stolen bases) and
Willie Randolph (36) supply the speed.
ALTHOUGH THE Yankees failed to
land superstar Rod Carew in a winter
deal like they had hoped, it may be bet-
ter that they didn't. They would have
been giving up a lot in return, and
sometimes the trades you don't make
are your best.

The Boston Red Sox, despite losing
Tiant to the Yankees and perhaps some
of their confidence, should hold on to
second place, mainly due to their offenr
sive efforts.
Jim Rice (.315, 46, 139), the league's
MVP, returns to DH as the Red Sox en-
ter the season with a healthy outfield..
Dwight Evans (.247, 24, 63) and Fred
Lynn (.298, 22, 82) hold down right and
center fields, respectively, with Carl
Yastrzemski (.277, 17, 81) back in left
Dave's Discernment
1. New York 4. Baltimore
2, Boston 5. Detroit
3. Milwaukee 6. Cleveland
7. Toronto
since George Scott's (.233, 12, 54)
resurgence at the plate this spring.
HOWEVER, CATCHER Carlton Fisk
and third baseman Butch Hobson (48
errors) are both ailing with elbow pain.
Fisk has only caught one game this
spring and may be relegated to DH,
with Rice switching to the outfield.
Meanwhile, rookie Gary Allenson,
last year's MVP in the International
League, has been donning the mask.
Nonetheless, Boston can rely on a
productive offensive season since its
regulars are all proven. In order to
compete with New York, however, the
Red Sox are going to need an outstan-
ding season from each of their pitchers.
If two reliable starters were enough,
Boston would be in great shape. Dennis
Eckersly (20-8, 2.99) and Mike Torrez
(16-13, 3.96) are all the Red Sox have for
starters. Bob Stanley (15-2, 2.60) could
be moved into the rotation from the
bullpen if Bill Campbell can regain his
form, but the situation remains doub-
tful.
DESPITE HIS pitching worries,
Manager Don Zimmer is confident that
his Red Sox will win the divison, while
remaining clearly aware of the acute
competition.
"We're good," said the Boston skip-
per, "but so are Milwaukee; Baltimore,
and Detroit. It's going to be a helluva

race."
Zimmer is probably right. But as they
lack the depth of the Yankees, it'll be a
hell of a race for second place.
Milwaukee, the surprise team of 1978,
is expected by many to replace Boston
as the runner-up to New York, while
others even think that the Brewers have
championship material.
But few realize that six, of the
Brewers' starting nine batted more
than 30 points above their career
average. To produce as they did last
year is highly unlikely. But if they do
come through as some expect, and the
pitching remains sound, the Brewers
could be a serious contender.
MANAGER George Bamburger, a
pretty good pitcher in his own day,
believes his staff is one of the best in the
division. Ex-Tiger Jim Sigton (17-11)
joins Mike Caldwell (22-9), former
Michigan hurler Lary Sorensen (18-12),
and Bill Travers (12-11) in the starting
rotation.
The thunderous bats of Larry Hisle
(.290, 34, 115), Ben Oglivie (.303, 18, 72),
Sal Bando (.285, 17, 78), and Cecil
Cooper (.312, 13, 54) should keep the
Brewers percentage points ahead of the
Orioles, who also have superlative pit-
ching and adequate hitting.
Baltimore seems to be the darkhorse
this year. True, they have won at least
90 games in nine of their previous 11
seasons, but like last year, they're not
really being taken seriously as title con-
tenders.
THE ORIOLES have an outstanding
four man rotation in ace Jim Palmer
(21-12), Mike Flanagan (19-15), Scott
McGregor (15-13), and Dennis Martinez
(16-11). Don Stanhouse had 24 saves last
year out of the bullpen.
Detroit seems to have the personnel to
compete with the leaders, but its
questionable pitching staff may be its
downfall.
Only Jack Billingham (15-8), Dave
Rosema (9-12), and injury-prone Mark
Frieder
to stay
NASHVILLE -- Richard Schmidt, an
assistant basketball coach at the
University of Virginia, was named head
coach yesterday at Vanderbilt Univer-
sity.
Michigan assistant coach Bill Frieder
was one of the candidates being con-
sidered for the job.
Schmidt, 36, succeeds Wayne Dobbs
who was fired at the end of the 1978-79
season after three years as coach at the
Southeastern Conference school.
Schmidt has been an assistant coach
at Virginia for two years. Prior to that,
he coached for 11 years at high schools
in Louisville, Ky.

Fidrych have , been seriously tested.
The Tigers -need outstanding years
from Kip Young (6-7, 2.8) and Milt
Wilcox (13-12) to compete.
DETROIT'S STRENGTH lies in its
infield. Jason Thompson (.281, 26, 96),
Aurelio Rodriguez (.265, 7, 43), and the
double-play combination of Alan
Trammell (.268, 2, 48) and Lou
Whitaker (.285, 3, 58) may be the best
defensive setup in the major leagues.
But the absence of DH Rusty Staub
(.273, 24, 121) will have a great negative
impact on the club, probably even
greater than Campbell suspects
First baseman Thompson predicts
that Staub's absence will cost the
Tigers ten victories, maybe the dif-
ference between a division title and fif-
th place. Without the red-haired
restaurateur, Detroit's title hopes are
quite dim.
CLEVELAND AND TORONTO will
fight for sixth place. Neither team has
an abundance of talent. Pitching and
defense aren't found in either team's
vocabulary. But they can both hit.
The Tribe acquired Bobby Bond (.287,
31, 90) and Toby Harrah (.229, 12, 59)
'from Texas in a winter deal that sent
relief pitcher Jim Kern (10-10)packing.
First baseman Andre Thornton (.262,
33, 105) and catcher Gary Alexander
(.225, 27,84) should give Cleveland fans
someting to chear about.
The Blue Jays sport imposing
sluggers Rico Carty (.280, 31, 99) and
John Mayberry (.250, 22, 70). Unfor-
tunately for Toronto fans, they have lit-
tle else.
is preserved on
OOmni WOBURNBJ~
The Michigan Daily
420 Maynard Street
AND
Graduate Library

SPORTS OF THE DAILY

Tigers lose,

4-0

By the Associated Press
LAKELAND-Left-hander Richard
Wortham gave up just five singles in his
eight innings and ran his exhibition
baseball record to 5-0 yesterday as the
Chicago White Sox shut out the Detroit
Tigers 4-0.
Wortham entered the game with a
1.50 earned run average, best for the
White Sox.
Eric Soderholm of Chicago hit a
three-run homer in the seventh off star-
ter Milt Wilcox, now 3-1-designated by
Tiger Manger Les Moss before the
game to be the opening day pitcher
Thursday against Texas. Detroit's
exhibition record is 13-9.
Soderholm's homer came with two
outs after Wilcox intentionally walked
Ralph Garr to get at Soderholm. Lamar
Johnson had singled earlier.
The other run .for. Chicago, 11-13,
came in the fourth inning when Harry
Chappas walked, Claudell Washington
singled him to third and Chet Lemon's
double-play grounder drove home
Chappas.
* * *
Rangers 8, Royals 6
FORT MYERS, Fla.-The Texas
Rangers cracked 16 hits, including 12
off Kansas City starter Dennis Leon-
dard, in posting an 8-6 exhibition vic-
tory over the Kansas City Royals
yesterday.
Oscar Gamble was 4-for-5 with two
runs batted in as the Rangers struck for
four runs in the second, added another
in the third and finished off the Royals'
ace hurler with two runs in the fith.
Kansas City rallied for four runs in
the second on four hits off Dock Ellis.
The Royals added a run on four hits off
Ed Farmer and scored once on three
singles off Jim Kern,
Hal McRae slugged a double and two
singles for the Royals.

Texas' Bill Sample, Buddy Bell,
Richie Zisk, Mike Heath and Nelson
Norman had two hits apiece. Pete
LaCock, Clint Hurdle and John Wathan
each had two hits for Kansas City.
* ~* *
Orioles 2, Yanks 0
MIAMI-Scott McGregor and Tim
Stoddard combined to blank the New
York Yankees on two hits last night as
the Baltimore Orioles scored a 2-0
exhibition victory on Al Bumbry's two-
run homer in the third inning.
Bumbry's first homer of the spring,
an opposite-field shot over the left field
wall, came after a single by Rick Dem-
psey off Ron Guidry.
Guidry, the American League Cy
Young Award winner when he won 25
games last season, is now 0-3 in
exhibition competition with an earned
run average of 6.64.
McGregor retired the first nine New
York batters before the Yankees loaded
the bases without scoring in the fourth,
and set down the last 10 batters he faced
before being relieved by Stoddard in the
eighth.
The Yankees are now 5-18 in
exhibition play, worst in baseball. The
Orioles are 8-14, including 3-0 against
the Yanks.

,
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* *
Wings clipped

*

By TOM STEPHENS
A furious Michigan comeback was
thwarted last night when Paul Eldridge
of the Columbus city lacrosse club
drove in from the left side, was stopped
short only inches in front of Wolverine
goalie Rico Silvera, and slammed the
ball into the bottom of the Michigan net
to provide the winning goal with only 45
seconds remaining in Columbus' 11-10
victory on the soggy Tartan Turf.
Columbus, overcame a 7-6 first-half
deficit in the third quarter to run up a
10-8 lead at the beginning of the final
period. Michigan then got two goals in
the torrid fourth quarter from Bill
Kalbfleisch and John Kovanda, both
assisted by Bobby Fleischman on
beautiful feeds from behind the net, to
set the stage for Eldridge's showstop-
per-
"I'm not unhappy with the way we
played," commented Michigan coach
Bob Di Giovanni. "That was a very
deep and talented team and I think our
record will show a lot of improvement
from here on." The loss was the second

Mike Waring opened the scoring after
only 51 seconds of the first quarter, and
Michigan staged a similar blitz in the
first two minutes of the second as
Simon tallied twice with the help of
nearly identical Fleischman feeds from
behind the net, followed rapidly by an
unassisted Anderson goal from far-
outside in the slot. But the speedy
Columbus attack and a very tight
defensive zone at both ends of the field
kept such Blue spurts from becmong
runaways until Columbus could wear
down the Wolverines with their ex-
perienced, precision passing.

DETROIT-Mike Murphy scored
with 15 seconds to go as the Los Angles
Kings rallied to defeat the Detroit Red
Wings 5-4 yesterday and clinch a
National Hockey League playoff berth.
The Kings, who trailed by two goals
three times in the game, came alive
late in the final period after Errol
Thompson had given Detroit a 4-2 lead
earlier with his 22nd goal of the season
at 12:36.

DISCO n' ROCK.
737 N. Huron
(at Lowell, just east of the E.M.U. Campus)

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