Th's Michigan Daily-Friday, July 27, 1979-Page 15
'SURPRISING' TEAMS IN TOP SLOTS
Tactics differ in division leaders
By The Associated Press pitchers J. R. Richard and Ken Forsch THINGS HAVE changed in known free agents.
I drove different roads, hut and relief ace Joe Sambito came baseball," said Buzzie Bavasi, "BASEBALL WILL be better offi
More California and through the farm system. Joe Niekro longtime baseball executive who is vice soon as all clubs discover that it's n
Montreal, amso t d and Joaquin Andujar came in trades. president of the Angels. "Years ago devastating when you lose a player
Sall reached the same spot - "When I came back here in 1975, we money wasn't a factor, except if you put the re-entry draft," said Hank Peter
n lead - after approximately were 431 games out. We had only won it into the minor league system. Today executive vice president and geher
in this surprising baseball 64 games," said Smith. "With that it's very important. Mr. Autry has manager who has lost, without at
hbase, one of two moves won't help you spent a lot of money. Only one of our compensation, free agent stars Regg
vision leader has a different out much. So we decided to bite the regulars is home grown." Jackson, Grich, Baylor and Ross Grii
hou t huildg wrin; yt s bullet, rebuilding with young players He's third baseman Carney Lansford, sley. "Nor is it the greatest thing in t
oahseems Itohbe working this __ __- 1_-
Houston never pursued a free-agent
star player and traded for most of its
starting lineup. California has heen the
most active team in the free-agent
marketplace, filling in the holes with a
couple of big trades. Montreal has
combined a couple of pivotal free agen-
ts with young players off the farm,
while Baltimore has the most produc-
tive minor league system in baseball.
"FOR THE most part, we built this
team through trades for young,
unheralded players and our own
development program," said Tal
Smith, president and general manager
of the Houston Astros, leaders in the
National League West. "We have the
youngest club in age and experience in
On Houston's roster, 16 were
acquired by trade, nine were signed
..d developed by the Astros and three
were ticked up on waivers or the like.
,-thy: starters, Houston traded for Art
howe, Craig Reynolds, Julio Gonzalez,
Enos Cabell, Jose Cruz and Alan Ashby.
The Astros' home-grown starters are
Cesar Cedeno and Terry Puhl. Starting
How they stand
Baltimore .......... 66
Boston ............. 60
California .......... 58
Minnesota .......... 53
W L Pct.
Montreal ........... 54 39 .581
Pittsburgh -......... 53 42 .558
Chicago ............ 52 42 .553
43 .574 -
44 .546 3
45 .541- 3%
ast night's games
and moving the older veterans who we
didn't expect would be front-line
players when our supporting cast of
youngsters was ready."
The California Angels, on the other
hand, have dug into owner Gene
Autry's saddle bags and bought them-
selves the lead in the American League
Houston ............ 58 '44 .569 -
Cincinnati-.......... 53 49 .520 5
San Francisco-...... 48 53 .475 9t2
and he sticks out because of the Angels'
star-studded array of free agents -
Bobby Grich, Joe Rudi, Don Baylor,
Rick Miller and pitcher Jim Barr. The
Angels traded for the other four
regulars - Rod Carew, Dan Ford, Bert
Campaneris and Brian Downing - and
four pitchers - Nolan Ryan, Chris
Knapp, Don Aase and Dave Frost.
"Free agents are useful if you feel
you can win the pennant the next year,"
said Bavasi. "I'm still a firm believer
in the farm system, even though ours is
terrible. I think Baltimore has a great
Of the 27 players on the Orioles'
roster, 15 developed through their.
minor league system, 10 were acquired
by trades or purchases and two- Steve
Stone and Billy Smith - were lesser-
world when you sign one.
"There's a place for the re-entry if he
fits a certain need on the ballclub and
can be signed for figures that are com-
patible with the salary structure of the
club. Basically, I think it's better to
build the old-fashioned way with home-
grown talent and astute trades. You can
build a better club with a better at-
The Montreal Expos, leaders in the
NL East, also have a mixture, although
the blend is heavier on free agents than
the Orioles in the AL East. Of their
everyday players, the young outfield of
Ellis Valentine, Warren Cromartie and
Andre Dawson was plucked off the Ex-
pos' farm. The All-Star trio of pitcher
Steve Rogers, catcher Gary Carter and
third baseman Larry Parrish all are
graduates of the Montreal minor league
Key trades were for first baseman
Tony Perez, pitcher Bill Lee and in-
fielders Chris Speier and Rodney Scott.
The Expos went shopping in the free-
agent marketplace for pitchers Grim-
sley and Elias Sosa and second
baseman Dave Cash. And they offered
Jackson more money than any other
"I don't think the farm system can
raise all the players anymore," said
John McHale, president of the Expos.
"The temptation is to go for the big
names, even if they don't necessarily fit
into your winning blueprint. But I think
the basis has to be the soundness of
your farm system."
SPOR TS OF THE DAILY:
By The Associated Press
NEW YORK - Jeff Torborg, fired
Monday as manager of the Cleveland
Indians, was hired as a coach by the
New York Yankees yesterday.
Torborg, who will join the Yankees
next week, will work with the club's pit-
Torborg managed the Indians from
June 19, 1977 until his firing.
"I'm happy to have Jeff as a member
of my staff," said Yankees manager
Billy Martin. "I've admired him for a
long time. He's a thorough teacher, a
detail man and a good fundamentalist.
He will be a tremendous help to our pit-
chers and catchers."
Coach for the Lakers?
INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Jack McKin-
ney, an assistant with the Portland
Trail Blazers, will probably be named
the head coach of the National Basket-
ball Association's Los Angeles Lakers
early next week.
McKinney and the new Lakers owner,
Jerry Buss, huddled for the second time
yesterday. The Associated Press lear-
ned that as long as they can agree on
contract terms, the job is McKinney's.
Surgerv for Skladanv
ROCHESTER, Mich. - DetroitLions
punter Tom Skladany will undergo
back surgery today at Ford Hospital in
Detroit to repair a ruptured lower disc.
Head Coach Monte Clark, in making
the announcement yesterday, said he
hopes Skladany can return to the
National Football League's team in six
Skladany, the National Football Con-
ference's leading punter last year in his
rookie season, has a history of back
problems, Clark said, adding that the
star kicker showed few, if any, back
problems last fall.
Currently, the Lions' only healthy
punter is Terry Joyce, who was ob-
tained Tuesday in a trade with San
Carlton sits out
PHILADELPHIA - Pitcher Steve
Carlton will miss "One, maybe two"
turns with his injured right knee, ac-
cording to Dr. Phillip Marone, the
Phillies' team physician who examined
the lefthander yesterday afternoon.
Carlton injured his knee Monday
night when he slipped on the floor in the
clubhouse area at San Diego Stadium.
Carlton, 34, is the Phillies' leading
pitcher with an 11-9 record and 3.63
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