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September 17, 1971 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-09-17

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Friday, September 17, 1971


Page Nine

Fridy, epteber17, 971THE ICHGAN AIL

the dec
"Denny McLain, Denny McLain, there's never been any
like Denny McLain"
-Year of the Tiger by Ernie Harwell, Detroit Tiger broadcaster.
TRUER WORDS than the above have seldom been spoken.
The civilized world, to say nothing of Major League base-
ball, has never seen anything like Dennis Dale McLain.
McLain has trodden the paths of baseball fortune from
the heights of fame and stardom to the depths of utter fail-
ure. In 1968, Denny was the hottest thing in the world of
sports. By virtue of his 31 wins, he found himself on the
cover of Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated. Currently,
he is trying desperately to hang onto a starting job with the
lowly Washington Senators.
Last Wednesday night, The Maestro, as he was once called
by his enraptured fans, sank another step into his quagmire of
defeat. Denny became- the first pitcher in modern times to lose
twenty games in a single season after being a 30 game winner,
yet another record for The Little Red Book of Baseball.
McLain's tenure in baseball has fit almost exactly into the
tragic (sometimes tragi-comic) mold. If ever an English scholar
wants to write a modern version of The American Tragedy, he
would do well to examine the life of McLain.
The Maestro came to the Tigers from the Chicago
White Sox farm system, a true unknown in every sense of
the Word. After a few innocuous years with Detroit, Denny
began his meteoric rise to fame.
In 1965, he won 16 games, then followed that by notching
20 and 17 victories his next two seasons. And then, pow, Denny
McLain became a household word as he led millions of pant-
ing followers to a 31 victory season, a pennant for Detroit, a
Cy Young Award (given to the best pitcher in each league), and
a Most Valuable Player Award. He followed that up with 25
more wins and another Cy Young Award in 1969.
But, like all good tragic heroes, McLain had his tragic flaw.
In Denny's case, it was his unbridled egotism and, of course,
his greed. His downfall, the discovery that he had been in-
volved with gamblers and his subsequent suspension from base-
ball, came as surely as Burnham Woods travelling to Dunsinane.
The beginning of the end came for McLain in February,
1970, when Sports Illustrated published an article linking Mc-
Lain with gamblers during the 1967 baseball season. The article
alleged that McLain was part of. a bookmaking operation and
the injury he incurred that year - which caused him to miss
most of the last month of the season and almost surely cost the
Tigers the pennant,-was possibly inflicted when he failed to
pay a gambling debt.
Denny made few comments to the press about the in-
cident; mostly he just apologized for what he had done.
But a lot of the media suspected that Denny's greed over-
came his sense of judgement- that the lure of the dollar
proved too great. In any event, his tragic denouement had
Bowie Kuhn's six-month suspension was only a slap on
the wrist compared to other possible punishments he might
have meted out.,
Then came the strange part of the whole affair. When
McLain returned to active duty, he expected simply to slip back
into the same role that he played before. In other words, Mc-
Lain seemed to expect that he would still be the center of at-
tention, that he would still not be subject to the rules and
regulations of his teammates, and that life would go on as it
had before.
That might have been the case except for one thing;
McLain failed to produce as he had in previous years. The
behemoth who had terrorized the American League for so long
had become just another pitcher.
When Denny found out that his curve Awas hanging and
his deadly fastball was starting to find its way into Section 38,
his whole world seemed to collapse. He turned into a clown
and finally ended up his Detroit career by dousing a couple of
Detroit sportswriters with buckets of water who had the nerve
the write that McLain might have fallen from the ranks of
the World's Greatest Pitchers.
Anyway, The Maestro served the Tigers far better in
going than he could have by staying. Not only did Detroit
acquire a left side of an infield, they also go Joe Coleman,
who already has 18 victories this year, twice as many as
Bob Short, the Washington owner, has often been criticized
for grabbing Denny, particularly when the price was so high.
But Short really took a calculated gamble. He figured that the
addition of McLain surely would help the attendance (and it
has slightly) and that if Denny ever got back into form, he
could be a real asset.
Unfortunately for Short, a pitcher's arm is a very delicate

mechanism and Denny's seems to be nowhere near as effective
as it once was. In his recent starts, McLain has been relying
mostly on slow curves and off-speed pitches and, more often
than not, has been getting belted. McLain's year off seems to
have ruined his arm.
Now, it's almost a sure bet that McLain won't be with
Washington next year. Denny has been making with the "play-
me-or-trade-me" talk and Ted Williams, manager of the
Senators, doesn't seem willing to pitch Denny every fourth day.
There's still a few more chapters to unfold in the
Denny McLain story. Can Denny make a comeback or is he
doomed to obscurity? One thing to remember before you try
to decide is that there aren't too many sore-armed pitchers
in the major leagues, particularly ones without big-league


Thomas Jefferson is famous for
the immensely successful institu-
tions he was instrumental in
founding, among them the United
States of America and the Demo-
cratic party. But Jefferson's re-
cord of successes is marred by
one spectacular failure. The Uni-
versity of Virginia which t h e
Squire of Monticello was instru-
mental in founding has been for
the last 20 seasons, one of t h e
nation's worst football teams.
Despite Jefferson's association
with the school, Virginia has man-
* aged only one winning season
since 1953 and has recorded two
completely winless seasons in the
last dozen. Last year the Cavaliers
had one of their more successful
campaigns winning 5 and losing
> only six, and are now testing the
Wolverines for the first time in
72 years.
Back in 1899 Michigan shut out
the Cavs 37-0 and Coach Do n
Lawrence of Virginia hopes to
avoid another such disaster. How-
ever, his Cavaliers are lacking
strong experienced performers on
either offense or on defense and
will be hard-pressed to keep even
with the Wolverines.
Last week in their 1971 sea-
son opener at Charlottesville
against the Navy, the Cavaliers
were slipped by the unimposing
Midshipmen 10-6 and failed to
score a touchdown on their rain-
rich soaked field. Against Michigan,
ick Lawrence will be starting s e v e n
Lnk sophomores, including three of the
n- first blacks ever to be recruited,
d's by Virginia.
Leading the Virginia offense



will be one of their promising
sophomores, Harrison Davis III,
a 6-3 198 pounder who has good
running ability but an uncertain
arm. Lawrence was not planning
on going with Davis as his start-
er this season until returner play-
caller Bill Troup decided to trans-
fer to South Carolina this fall.
Lawrence has said of Davis, "he
spent most of the spring absorb-
ing the offense, and will work on
execution and technique this fall."
However, with Troup's departure
Davis has been thrust into the
starting job.
Michigan's Tirrell Burton w h o
scouted the Cavaliers last week-
end admitted that Davis, "made
a lot of sophomore mistakes".
The offense Burton saw Virginia
use were the I and split b a c k-
fields with two wide receivers.
Burton said, "they are fairly
quick and pretty well-balanced
between the run and the pass
with a little more running than
Wolverine coach Bo Schembech-
ler who has only seen the Cavs
on film feels their "offense has
enough talent to move the ball"
and terms their defense "agres-

will be another sophomor'e Kent
Merritt who raced for 552 yards
in five freshman games, and com-
piled a 6.7 yard rushing average.
Lawrence says of his 6-0 170
pounder, "he takes the inside
game with the look of a fullback
and the outside game with t h e
look of a gazelle."
Providing the power in the Cav
backfield will be senior G a b b y
Helman. The Cavaliers term Hel-
man a , "bull type power runner"
and he lived up to that billing
the last two seasons, gaining 1594
yards and averaging over f o u r
yards per carry.
The Cavalier running game may
have problems moving against
Michigan's tough defense espec-
ially behind a very youthful Cay-
alier blocking line. Only one start-
er is returning, Stormy Costas, but
he has shifted positions f r o m
center to tackle.
Three of the other linemen are
sophomores but Lawrence is hop-
ing they will give his t e a m big-
ger size than in recent years.
Cleveland's Paul Ryczek,n6-3, 217,
will be at center and two more
Clevelanders, Tom Kennedy, 5-11,
205, and Dale Dickerson, 6-4, 224
will fill out the right side of the
Costas and another sophomore
Steve Shawley cover the left side.
One of the Cavaliers' offensive
strengths is in their receiving
corps, where three experienced
veterans return. Split end Dave
Sullivan grabbed 37 of Troup's
passes last season for 523 yards
and can be a dangerous man in
his junior year if Davis can be-
gin to pinpoint his tosses.

Seniors Joe Smith and B i l l
Davis complete the Cav p a s s
catching combo, and each netted
over 200 yards on receptions last
The offense still appears to be
Virginia's biggest weakness and
they will need a much improved
showing to score heavily against
Michigan's rugged defense.
However, the Cavalier defense
is not one of the nation's best
either. Only four veterans return
on this unit and only one, tackle
Andy Selfridge, is rated highly.
The 6-5, 220 pounder from Cleve,
land is being touted by the Cavs
as a potential All-American.
Lawrence says Selfridge is both
"a leader and a fierce competi-
tor." But the rest of the line is
either young, small, or 'both.
The whole linebacking c o r p s
is green and so are two of the
four defensive backs. Two more
Clevelanders, Bobby McGrail and
Bill Kettunen join Robbie Gustaf-
son and 5-9 soph Gerard Mullins
as the deep backs.

-Daily-Sara Krulw
SOPHOMORE KEVIN CASEY (12) rolls out on the quarterba
option during Saturday's 21-6 victory over Northwestern in Eva
ston. It's uncertain whether Casey will start in this weekeni
home opener against Virginia.



Joining Davis

in the backfield

No.1 QB remains a problem

- ----I


Michigan's home opener is only
a day away but Wolverine coach
Bo Schembechler still has not de-
cided 'on his starting quarterback.
Yesterday both KevinuCasey and
Tom Slade led the first string
through their paces and Schem-
bechler admitted after practice
that "both Slade and Casey will
run the first group" in tomorrow's
encounter with Virginia.
Casey quarterbacked the entire
game last week against Northwest-
ern, but in practice this week
Slade and junior signal - caller
Larry Cipa got in most of the
work. Wednesday the two of them
scrimmaged for an hour while
Casey watched, and Schembechler
Yesterday's Results
Boston 10, Cleveland 7
Baltimore 6, New York 2
Detroit 3, Washington I
California 2, Kansas City 1
Minnesota 7, Milwaukee 3
Other clubs not scheduled.
Chicago 1, New York 0
Montreal 6, Philadelphia 2
Pittsburgh 6, St. Louis 1
Atlanta 4, Houston 3
Cincinnati 8, S. Francisco 1
San Diego 4, Los Angeles 1
- - -

said yesterday he would like to
play "all of them" against Vir-I
The quarterbacking slot has
been Michigan's problem ever
since the first practice in spring
and, although Schembechler has
admitted he is "a one quarterback
man," he is still undecided as to
who will lead the team for the rest
of the year.
Aside from this problem, the
Wolverines appear to be in good
shape. The defense was superb
last week against Northwestern
and although Fred Grambau still
is not ready to play, his replace-
ment sophomore Dave Gallagher,
filled in admirably last Saturday.
The offense is also in tip-top
shape, though tackle Jim Coode
was slightly shaken in yesterday's
scrimmage when he was kicked in
the head.

Three sophomore runners are all
pretty much recovered from in-
juries and could see action Satur-
day. Tailback Harry Banks and
fullback Bob Thornbladh looked
impressive this week in practice
and wingback Clint Maselrig will
be used to back up wingback Glenn
Doughty. Doughty had been both-
ered by a groin injury earlier in
the week but appears to be fully
When asked about Virginia, Sch-
embechler admitted "we'll prob-
ably be favored by 30 points," but
cautioned "it, (meaning a loss)
could happen."
"Virginia has a couple of good
players," hessaid,and showed
some concern about their aggres-
sive defense, but added, "they
made a number of (offensive)
mistakes against Navy (losing 10-
6) and they'll have to eliminate
them if they hope to beat us."


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(formerly U-M Tutorial Project)
Thomas A. Moorehead, Director
2210 Student Activities Bldg.
Phone 763-3548
PROGRAMS '71-'72
Ann Arbor Innovative Project Community
Education Project Courses
Ann Arbor Day Care Solstis Free School
Project Washtenaw Community
Black Liberation School College Project
Matrix (Resource Willis Community Action
Center) Project
Mental Health Halfway Willow Run Counseling
House Project








76-0 D

Use Daily

For the student body:
'A Levi
A Farah
4 Wright

Eastern Michigan
Mary Travers
with Livingston Taylor
Sept. 18, 191
8:30 p.m.

" Current Events and Activities
" Black Information & Events
" Check out a rumor
" Where to go to take care of
something on campus or
in town
* Recreation Areas
* Who to talk to about something

* Red Tape?
4 Legal
" Drug
" Draft


* Sound out a few ideas with
" Talk to a person instead of
4 walls
* Try a new perspective on
* Get a response
* To a black counselor
* Wont company on the phone
for awhile
" Unload something heavy


Problem Pregnancy

* Girl/Boy
* Religious

! Find nvnil.......services..nn







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