Page 10-Friday, March 31, 1978-The Michigan Daily
WILL RANGER ARMS SILENCE KC BATS?
Texas picked tQ dethrone Royals
THE SPORTING VIEWS
By LIZ MAC
"Gentlemen, choose your weapons.
"You may keep the ones you have,
try, something new, or pick up a used
model that no longer belongs to its
"AT THE. SIGNAL, take 162 steps
forward, turn, and fire."
And the Texas Rangers will be left
standing at the top of the American
The Kansas City Royals will finish
second in a close contest which
probably won't be decided until fall.
Trailing Kansas City will be California,
Chicago, Minnesota, Seattle, and
THE RANGERS have the power and
the pitching to take it all in the division..
Winter trading and free agent signing
have added depth to an already strong
roster, and the result is a team which
should outduel the reigning Royals.
From the re-entry draft Texas picked
up former White Sox slugger Richie
Zisk. Zisk, who hit .290 with 30 homers
and 101 RBI as an outfielder, will
probably take over the designated hitter
;Ln a major off-season deal that in-
olved four teams and 11 players, the
Rangers acquired former Pirate Al
Oliver, a .308 batter in 1977. Oliver,
Juan Beniquez, and Claudell
Washington make for a solid-hitting
outfield, and the Rangers also have
~some good back-up talent.
The Texas infield also boasts some
hot hitters. Mike Hargrove is at first
(.405). Bump Wills, with a .287 batting'
ayrage as a rookie last year, will man
second base. Veteran Bert Campaneris
will be at short and Toby Harrah at
%JIM SUNDBERG will do the cat-
shing, coming off a .291 season.
Manager Billy Hunter's pitching staff
,rovides the bullet that will fell Kansas
kCity: Doyle Alexander, Doe Medich,
Dock Ellis, and Jon Matlack.
Alexander leads the crew after
posting a 17-11 record in '77. Medich,
signed as a free agent, had a 12-7 season
overall, while Dock Ellis contributed a
10-6, 2.60 ERA season as a Ranger.
Matlack came from the Mets in the
same trade that brought Oliver.
The bullpen could be a sore spot. Hun-
ter is counting on Len Barker and Paul
Linblad to fill the gap left by winter
THE KANSASCITY Royals will give
the Rangers a run for their money. Two
With the Rangers and the Royals
fighting it out, injuries could be a
deciding factor. The California Angels
can attest to that.
Bobby Grich and Joe Rudi, the
million dollar babies who sat out last
season, are presumably healthy. And
Lyman Bostock, the league's second
leading hitter, is a new catch from the
free agent field.
RUD.I AND BOSTOCK form the basis
of the California outfield. It's up to
Manager Dave Garcia to decide who
Mac's AL West Picks
2. Kansas City
Gamble and Richie Zisk in the free
CHET LEMON, Ron Blomberg, and
Lamar Johnson are possible big bats.
Eric Soderholm at third comes off a
.280, 25 homerun season. But the
hurlers are unexceptional, and Chicago
will fall a notch from last season to
Oh, what a team Minnesota Manager
Gene Mauch would have if Rod Carew
could magically become a one-man
Carew has reported to be having con-
tract problems. Nonetheless he is
baseball's leading hitter' right now,
having tucked away his sixth batting
crown with a .388 performance.
OTHER BRIGHT SPOTS on the
Twins' roster are catcher Bruce
Wynegar, reliever Tom Johnson, and 20
game winner Dave Goltz. But these
won't be enough for Minnesota, also
hurt by the loss of free agents, to pose a
threat in the division.
Give the Seattle Mariners credit for
trying. Free agent Bruce Bochte (.301),
first baseman Danny Meyer (.273), and
DH Lee Stanton (.275, 27 home runs)
will bring some excitement to the
Kingdome, but just enough to keep the
Mariners out of the cellar.
That leaves the Oakland A's. Except
in the base stealing category, the team is
simply short on proven talent and
Charlie's A's will 'sit in last place once
divisional titles in a row say the foun-
dation is there, so K.C. Manager Whitey
3Herzog's crew will be back looking for
But even though the Royal starting
rotation is far from weak, it is not sharp
enough to catch the Rangers.
Twenty game winner Dennis Leonard
heads the staff, with Jim Colburn and
Paul Splittorff taking the second and
third spots. The fourth spot, however, is
up for grabs, and as of yet the Royals do
not have a strong pitcher to take it.
THE BULLPEN is well stocked with
the likes of Al Hrabosky, acquired in a
trade with St. Louis over the winter,
and bullpen ace, Doug Bird, 11-4 last
year. Handling these pitchers will be
Darrell Porter (.275) at catcher.
Speed and hitting will be the
trademark of the Royal infield this
season with first baseman John
Mayberry (23 home runs) and George
Brett (.312, 22 HR) leading the way.
In addition, the Royal lineup will in-
clude the double-play combination of
Freddie Patek, who stole 53 bases last
year, and second baseman Frank
White, another speedster.
SLUGGER AL COWENS (.312, 112
RBI) will take right and Amos Otis cen-
ter. Left is a toss-up between Joe Zdeb
and Tom Poquette, who shared the job
last season. Herzog also has strong
reserves in Willie Wilson and Clint
The DH role is more than adequately
handled by Hal McRae (.281).
will take over the third slot: Gil Flores,
Don Baylor (who may move to DH), or
minor league standout Ken Landreaux.
Besides Grich at second, the infield
includes newly acquired Ron Fairly at
first (Rudi can also fill in here), Rance
Mulliniks at short, and Dave Chalk at
Perennial superstars Frank Tanana
and Nolan Ryan head the pitching staff.
Tanana's 2.54 ERA was tops in the
league and Ryan repeated as strikeout
-king. Help comes from Don Aase and
Chris Knapp thanks to a couple of con-
One of those trades sent hard hitting
Bobby Bonds to Chicago White Sox.
Although Bonds hit 37 homers last year,
it doesn't make up for the loss of Oscar
Multi -player deal puts
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP)-The
Boston Red Sox, admittedly going all
out to dethrone the New York Yankees
as American League champions, lan-
ded a top-shelf prize Thursday by
acquiring right-hander Dennis Ecker-
sley in a multi-player trade with the
The Red Sox also received catcher
Fred Kendall in exchange for right-
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LET'S BE HONEST!
A Pirgim study of Ann Arbor leases found that 95%
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handed pitchers Rick Wise and Mike
Paxton and two rookie prospects, in-
fielder Ted Cox and catcher Bo Diaz.
ECKERSLEY HAD a 14-13 record
and 3.53 earned-run average with the
lowly Indians last season, including a 1-
0 no-hitter against the California Angels
last May 30. He struck out 12 in that
game. Only 23, he has a major league
record of 40-32.
"I'm delighted," Boston Manager
Don Zimmer said. "We gave up an
awful lot, but we felt we needed Ecker-
sley. I compare what Eckersley will do
for us to what Tom Seaver will do for
Wise,a 32-year-old veteran and
owner of two no-hitters in the National
League, pitched four years with the
Red Sox, where he had a 47-32 record
including 1-5 and a 4.77 ERA last
COX, 23, PLAYS both third base and
first base. He was the International
League's' Most Valuable Player when
he hit .334 with 14 homers and 81 runs
batted in for Pawtucket last season.
Called up to Boston in September, he
batted .362 in 13 games and set a major
league record for rookies with hits in
his first six at bats.
IDiaz, 25, batted .263 with seven
homers and 54 RBI at Pawtucket last
season but is considered an outstanding
receiver with a rifle arm.
Pressure in spor's.. .
.. an unjust ingredient
By BILLY NEFF
A LL THE INGREDIENTS were there-the drama, the excitement, and
the pageantry of a true championship game.
And the two teams generated even more interest. They provided quite
a contrast-it was power against finesse, strength versus quickness, youth
matched with experience.
On the one hand, you had the classic underdog and on the other, the un-
beatable foe, ranked number one for almost the entire season.
All in all, this NCAA championship game between Duke and Kentucky
would make anyone a believer in the true competition of college athletics,
everyone, that is, but me.
Sure, the contest had all the earmarks of a superb championship game
and I enjoyed it immensely, but two items reduced my satisfaction substan-
tially. First, there was the threat on the life of Duke freshman sensation
Gene Banks and the pressure to win placed on Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall.
Duke, the cinderella team of the final four, was quite a human interest
story. They did not have a senior among their first eight or nine players.
Their starters included two freshmen, two sophomores (one was a transfer
and the other graduated early from high school and should have been a
freshman) and a junior, who served as the captain.
In the previous year, the Blue Devils from Durham, North Carolina, had
completed'a shaky 14-13 season, finishing dead last in their conference. The
school had built up quite a basketball tradition in years gone by but had not
entered an NCAA tournament since 1966.
Academics are the prime concern for the fine institution that likes to call
itself the "Harvard of the South." Dick Enberg of NBC toldus there were
four honors students on the Duke squad. In fact, star center Mike Gminski,
the early graduate from high school, has straight A's in their intense
Thus, basketball may have been the farthest thing from most Duke
students' minds, until Gene Banks arrived on campus. Banks enchanted the
Duke student body so much that when they held their first practice in Oc-
tober, the arena virtually sold out.
Before the finals, they packed Cameron Indoor Stadium for practice.
According to Dan Michaels, the photo editor for the Duke Daily Chronicle,
"people would crowd around the bus for at least a half hour before the team
was to leave the arena after practice. The band would be like the pied
piper-everyone would just follow them."
Banks was the key though. Rated the premier high school basketball
star in the nation last season ahead of Earvin "Magic" Johnson, he just drew
crowds aroud him. People just loved watching him and even more so,
meeting him. The Duke student body was no exception. "They just love him
and think he's an outstanding guy; they respect him for what he is," noted
Dke assistant basketball coach Bob Wenzel.
Banks' high school team won over 50 straight games and was the num-
ber one prep cage quintet in the' entire country. Interestingly enough, most
observers would have expected Banks, the star of that team, to choose a high
powered basketball institution. Nope, he was a little more farsighted than
that-he chose Duke because of carefully thought out reasons-its academics
and especially its atmosphere.'"There is a genuine realness about the people
here," said Banks.
So these youngsters came to St. Louis with the spirit and enthusiasp that
college athletes and athletics are supposed to have. However, some'crazy
and very nearsighted prankster tried to blunt that enthusiasm with his
threat on Banks.
Why pick on this particular individual, obviously a fine young man. Or
better yet, why threaten or add pressure to any collegiate athlete's life-they
are just amateurs. That is why I often question why Crisler Arena fans boo
the Michigan basketball teams.
So if you can't boo or pressure a player, the next best person to attack is
the coach, right? Well. indeed, that was the situation that Joe B. Hal faced at
Kentucky this season.He may even resign dueto this pressure.
His Wildcats were rated at the top of the nation throughout the year. And
in Kentucky, it was a foregone conclusion that.Hall's- five would capture the
NCAA title this time around. They had better or else, since their entire front-
court would be graduating.
Ever since Hall had taken over the reins at Kentucky from the legendary
Adolph Rupp, he was expected to win and more importantly, to deliver
championships to Lexington. Well he did deliver, but not an NCAA cham-
pionship. However, he has produced one NIT title, and in each of his other
four years at Kentucky, his teams made the NCAA tournament. In 1975, they
ended up in the finals but they have never been victorious.
Partisan Kentucky fans forget that it wasn't Joe Hall who missed clutch
shots in the final game against UCLA in 1975, but instead Kevin Grevey and
his cohorts. Joe Hall, unfortunately, couldn't stop Marques Johnson then
Whenever a coach takes over a pressure cooker like Hall did, or Dan
Devine at Notre Dame, or Gene Bartow at UCLA, he can't possibly perform
up to expectations. But why should he have to perform to any expectations,
or even, why should there be any expectations?
Joe Hall and Gene Banks had pressure on them that was totally uncalled
for and extremely frightening. They are both involved in college athletics,
amateur sports, fun and games. Although there is certainly more to it than
that, no one should ever take the fun away from these games or students by
putting pressure on them. Remember games really are just games! But it
had all the ingredients.
DON'T LET THE UNIVERSITY
SCREW YOU AGAIN!
YOU TOO CAN LET IT FLY ON THE FOLLOWING COM-
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ACADEMIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
CIVIL LIBERTIES BOARD
OFFICE OF STUDENT SERVICES POLICY BOARD
UNION BOARD OF DIRECTORS PLUS MANY MORE
Apply at MSA Office - 3909 Michigan Union
Deadline: April 5, 1978, 5 PM
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INOUE ENRYO: STRUGGLE FOR SURVIVAL THROUGH
A MODERN TRADITIONALISM
Alan Grapard, The University of Colorado