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May 10, 1979 - Image 13

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-05-10

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, May 10, 1979-Page 13
EYES SPOT ON FLYERS
Morrison's solid defense is path to majors

BY BILLY NEFF
Special toTheDailyy,
NEW HAVEN - When you mention
"minor leagues" to the average sports
fan, several images come to mind.
There are the long bus rides, the pits
that serve as arenas, the ticket
manager who also serves as coach, and
for the player, the privilege of toiling in
obscurity before at best a handful of
fans. For Gary Morrison, a former
Michigan right wing now performing
for the Maine Mariners of the American
Hockey League (the top farm club of
the Philadelphia Flyers),, this has not
been the case.
"In Maine, it's the only major league
attraction, the only thing in town (Por-
tland, Maine). You walk down the
street and people recognize you. They
stop you in the street," said the Far-
mington Hills native.
Morrison would disagree with the
average fan's perspective of the minor
leagues. "Here in Maine, this is great.
Everything's first class. They treat you
like a pro," added Morrison. "There's a
lot of money in the organization."

However, Morrison has had some
taste of what they call the "minor
leagues". "We traveled over 3,000
miles in a week on a bus," Morrison
said.
Morrison, therefore, readily admits
there are places he'd rather be. "It's
not exactly the big leagues. It's like put-
ting in your dues, though. We want to go
to the big leagues."
His ticket to the major leagues will
probably not come from his offense, but
rather his defensive play. "I'm more of
a checker; I try to play good defense.
It's my job to do the mucking," injected
the congenial right-winger.
His coach at Maine, Bob McCammon,
who also coached the Flyers for half of
the season, had this to say about
Morrison: "Barring an injury, he'll get
a good shot with the Flyers next year.
He's going to be a good National League
hockey player. He can play
somewhere."
Morrison seemed to think his chance
with the Flyers should come fairly
soon, due to their dismal performance
in the playoffs against the Rangers.

"We've heard that they're not happy
with the players there (at
Philadelphia)," he commented..
The former Farmington Harrison
High star conceded that he still has a
ways to go before making the grade in
the NHL. "I have things to work on or
else I wouldn't be here. I have to work
on my scoring a lot, my stickhandling
and my passing."
Presently, Morrison perseveres for
Maine, a team that is two games away
from winning the Calder Cup, symbolic
of the AHL championship. During the
year, Maine also vanquished a touring
Russian team.
Last year, Morrison tallied 21 goals
for Milwaukee of the International
Hockey League, more known for its
roughouse play than its finesse. "In the
International League," he said,
"everyone was out to kill each other.
Here (in the AHL), a lot of guys are
really tough but they don't run around
and show it.
"There's a lot more finesse here.
They just skate and skate. You're just
flying all the time," Morrison added.

This year, Morrison banged in 14
goals while totaling 78 minutes in
penalties in what he termed "a pretty
good season." These statistics will not
have the NHL flocking to his door, but
his defensive play might. So far he has
effectively neutralized New Haven's
top left winger in the championship
series.
If not, the former Wolverine will take
the recognition he has received from
the "minor leagues", put it in the
proper perspective and "pack it in".
Jokingly, he continues, "Then I'll let
my degree work for me."
Young sent
to Tiger
farm club
DETROIT (AP)-Detroit Tiger right-
hander Kip Young, who said he was
having trouble with his concentration,
was sent down to the Tigers' Evansville
farm club yesterday.
Officials of the American League
team said pitcher Jack Morris was
called up to replace Young.
MORRIS HAS been with the Evan-
sville club all season and sports a 2-2
record with a 2.38 earned run average.
Young started Tuesday night for the
Tigers against the Chicago White Sox
but lasted less than two innings as he
was tagged for four runs and eight hits.
"I am still confident I can pitch up
here," Young said.
The 25-year-old Young had worked 15
innings for the Tigers to date with a 9.60
ERA.

SPORTS OF THE DAILY:
Guidry offers arm to outfield

By the Associated Press
NEW YORK-The bullpen is more
challenging but the starter's role brings
greater reward, says Ron Guidry, the
New York Yankees' "volunteer
fireman" whose unselfishness has
pricked the imgaination of the baseball
world.
"I don't care what I do as long as I
hlep the team to win-winning is the
important thing," added the 1978 Cy
Young winner who elected to become
the team's reliever after a freak injury
had sidelined the world champions'
Rich Gossage.
"I've even told them I would like to
play outfield, but nobody would listen."
Guidry, 28-year-old lefthander known
as "Louisiana Lightning" whose 25-3
record was the best in baseball last
year, was honored by The Sporting
News yesterday as "Man of the Year."
In three relief appearances, he has
two saves and one victory. His ERA is
0.00.
Magic decision
EAST LANSING - Earvin Johnson,
All-American superstar of Michigan
State's NCAA basketball champions,
will announce Friday whether he'll
return to school next year or play in the
National Basketball Association.
Friday is the final day Johnson, a
sophomore, can make his decision if he
wants to be eligible for the May 25 NBA
draft.
The 6-foot-8 playmaker has been
reported leaning toward a pro career.
The Los Angeles Lakers, who have
-the No. 1 pick in the draft, have already
expressed an interest in Johnson,
nicknamed "Magic" for his deft ball-
handling.
Reds 7, Cubs 4
CHICAGO - George Foster ripped a
two-run double in the seventh inning to
snap a 4-4 tie yesterday and carry the
Cincinnati Reds to a 7-4 victory over the
Chicago Cubs. x

With two out and nobody on base,
reliever Lynn McGlothen, 3-3, walked
Junior Kennedy and Dave Concepcion.
Foster then smacked his double high off
the left field wall. Dave Collins' RBI
single in the eighth ended the scoring.
The Cubs had rallied for two runs in
the sixth to tie the score. Steve On-
tiveros led off with a single and went to
third on Jerry Martin's double. On-
tiveros scored on Tim Blackwell's
sacrifice fly. Pinch-hitter Larry Buit-
tner drilled a line drive that took a short
hop in front of rightfielder Ken Griffey
and bounced to the wall for a single and
a two-base error, scoring Martin.

Yanks 5, Mariners 0
NEW YORK (AP)-Ed Figueroa
silenced Seattle on five hits and Reggie
Jackson hit a three-run homer last
night to lead the New York Yankees to a
5-0 victory over the Mariners.
Figueroa, 3-3, walked three and
struck out two en route to his first
shutout and third complete game of the
season.
Glenn Abbott, 1-3, matched Figueroa
until the fourth inning, when Graig Net-
tles beat out an inflield single with one
cout and came around on singles by
Jackson and Lou Paniella.

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