Friday, ,liy 12, 197'
FVER SINCE I was old enough to tell
the difference between a catcher and
a second baseman, I have been a loyal
Tiger fan. Many are the hours I have
wasted listening to Ernie Harwell and
George Kell broadcast the adventures of
my heroes, and no one was more ecstatic
than I, when the Bengals brought the
pennant home, where it belonged, in 1968.
So it was a shock when, while watch-
ing the Tiger-Twin telecast Wednesday
night, I found myself rooting for the
Twins. And as the Twins sent Detroit
down to its fifth straight defeat, 11-6, I
came to this conclusion;
Every true Tiger fan should hope for
a complete collapse of the club on the
field for the rest of the season.
Traitorous thoughts like this deserve
full explanations, and one is forth-.
coming. As everybody knows, the Tigers
are on old ball club. Twelve players on
the current roster are over thirty, with
most of this number are approaching or
SOONER or later, the Tigers will have
to undergo substantial rebuilding. It
would be less painful for the club to
start rebuilding now, breaking in the
fan wants osses
young players while the veterans are
still good enough to keep the team from.
plunging all the way down in the stand-
The team won't win any champion-
ships while this is going on, but the
foundations will be laid for future suc-
cess. The Phillies, for example, paid
their dues by- sticking with the young-
sters, and are now an exciting, contend-
ing ball club.
But the Tiger management seems to be
:n no hurry to introduce new blood. And
indeed, why should they be? Tiger fans
seem perfectly content to see the club
as it is.
Detroit is one of the top baseball towns
in the country, and the Tigers seem des-
tined to draw at least a million and a
half customers to Tiger Stadium this
year. With John Fetzer's pockets lined
with money, there is no really urgent
cause to improve the club.
This is where the disasterous season
comes in. If the Bengals come through
with .500 ball, General Manager Jim
Campbell will have an excuse to continue
the stand-pat policy he has followed
throughout the last few trading seasons.
But on the other hand, if the Tigers
limp home in last place, well below .500,
there will be no hiding the fact that
changes will have to be made. And even
the conservative Campbell will be forced
to mak « them.
JIM CAMPBELL has an incredible
amount of either inertia or patience, de-
pending on your point of view. Aurelio
Rodriguez has been with the Tigers for
four years now, and he has yet to hit
over .230. (He is currently batting .212.)
Yet Campbell patiently waits for him to
develop as a hitter.
But Rodriguez is a phenom compared
with Jim Northrup. The 35-year-old
outfielder has been with the club for
10 years, and they are still waiting for
him to come into his own as a hitter.
Northrup keeps them hanging on by
going on hitting streaks (one last week)
that stand out like Everest from the
plain of his feeble batting prowess.
A Tiger collapse would send Northrup
into the waiver list and make Rodriguez
trade bait, both to the benefit of the
It would also serve to finish off the
Miracle Major. Ralph Houk was a tired
old failure when with- the Yankees, and,
if anything, he has gone downhill since.
A new manager (Frank Robinson?)
would helpXspark the rebirth of the
But there is a lot that could be done
now to rejuvenate the team. First base
for the Tigers has been manned this
year by Bill Freehan (.280, 3 HR, 13
RBI) and Norm Cash (.224, 6 HR, 10
RBI). Twenty-three RBI's is an in-
excusable number for any team's first
MEANWHILE down in Evansville, a
young first baseman named Reggie
Sanders is hitting .286, with six homers
and a club leading total of 41 RBI's. It
certainly would not hurt to bring up
Sanders and see what he can do. Hand
him the position on a regular basis, as
the Yankees have done with Otto Velez,
and if he fails, he equals the accom-
plishments of the veterans.
It is with people like Sanders, Tom
Veryzer, Marvin Lane, and Dave Le-
manczyk that the future of the Tigers
belongs. Let them prove what they can
The Tigers will attempt to break their
losing string at Kansas City tonight, with
Mickey Lolich going against Steve Bus-
by. Go get 'em Royals.
WFL Sharks rip Stars, 14-7
From Wire service Reports
JACKSONVILLE - Guard
O. Z. White's TD fumble recov-
ery with 2:08 remaining in the
fourth quarter gave the Jack-
sonville Sharks a 14-7 victory
over the New York Stars last
night in the first WFL game
celebrated in this metropolis.
A boisterous crowd of 59,112
saw Florida grad Tommy Dur-
rance fumble at the goal line,
only to have White fall on it
in the end zone for the decisive
THE WINNING touchdown
was set up when Shark Ike Las-
siter's blocked a punt at the
New York 20 and linebacker
Rich Stulman subsequently ran
to the Stars' 7 with 2:50 to go.
Shark speed-demon Alan Wy-
att romped 87 yards with a punt
return in the second quarter for
the game's first score.
But the Stars knotted the
count, with 1:41 left ip the first
half on an 8-yard TD pass from
quarterback Tom Sherman to
end George Sauer, formerly of
the New York Jets.
Both teams' "action points"
failed, and they retired to the
lockerrooms at halftime tied,
In the fourth quarter, the
Sharks, led by quarterback Kay
Stephenson, initiated a strong
drive only to have Grant Guth-
rie's 36-yard field goal attempt
blocked by New York tackle
The game was well-received
by the fans and may be indica-
tive of a prosperous WFL fu-
ture. To make the evening per-
fect, the patriotic halftime
show was cut off by a power
KANSAS CITY (P) - George
"Doc" Medich allowed seven
hits and Bobby Murcer doubled
home one run and scored the
other in the first inning, lifting
the New York Yankees to a 2-1
victory over the Kansas City
Royals last night.
Medich, 10-7, yielded four of
the Royals' hits in the first two
innings. He struck out eight and
Elliott Maddox doubled for
the Yankees with one out in the
first. Murcer followed with his
run-scoring double and went to
third when Hal McRae bobbled
the ball in right field for an
error. Ron Blomberg then drove
in Murcer with a ground ball.
Maior League Staodinas
W L Pet. GB
Boston 47 38 .553 -
Baltimore 46 38. .547 Y
Cleveland 45 38. 542 1.
Milwaukee 43 41 .512 3Y!
Detroit 43 42 .506 .4
New York 42 43 .94 5
Oakland 48 37 .565 --
Kansas City 42 42 .500 5
Chicago 41 43 A90 6%
Texas 42 46 .477 7 e
Minnesota 40 47 .460 9
California 32 56 .364 171/
Boston 12, Texas 3
Minnesota 5, Cleveland 2
New York 2, Kansas City 1
Chicago 4, Baltimore 3
Other clubs not scheduled
California (Figueroa 04-1) at Bos-
ton (Moet 2-I), night.
Oakland (Holtzman 9-10) at New.
York (Dobson 6-11), night. '
Detroit (Lolich 10-9) at Kansas
City (Busby 11-8), night. ,
Cleveland (J. Perry 8-7) at Min-
nesota (Corhin 5-2), night.
Texas (Jenkins l0-9) at Milwau-
kee (Wright 7-10), night.
Baltimore (Alexander 4-4) at Chi-
cago (Kat 9-6), hight.
W L Pet. GR
St. Louis 43 41 .512 -
Philadelphia 43 42 .506 !
Montreal 40 42 .48 2
Pittsburgh 37 45 .451 5
Chicago 37 46 .446 5
New York 36 48 .429 7
Los Angeles 6o 28 .682 -
Cincinnati 49 37 .570 10
Houston 4¢ 41 .529 13
Atlanta 46 42 .523 14
San Francisco 39 49 .443 21
San Diego 38 53 418 23%
Cincinnati 4, Chicago 3, 10 innings
Other clubs not scheduled
Cincinnati (Carroll 5-2 ad Go-
lett 9-6) at Pittsburgh (Rooker 5-6
and Demery 0-3) 2, twi-night.
Atlanta (Capra 9-3 and Harrison
6-10) at It. Louis (Gihbsn 5-8 and
Forsch 0-1), 2, twi-night.
Chicago (Reuschel 8-6) at Hous-
ton (Wilson 5-6), night.
Montreal (McAnally 6-9) at- San
Diego (Jones 5-13), night.
New York (Seaver 66) at Los An-
geles (John 13-2), night.
Philadelphia (RUthven 3-7) at
San Francisco (W'Acquisto 7-7),
Promising Tiger rookies?
Sick of the same old tired faces in the Detroit Tiger lineup day in and day out? Folks like Bill
Freehan, Ed Brinkman, Jim Northrup, and Mickey Stanley. So is Daily columnist John Kahler,
and he writes about it on this page.
Here are some suggestions for Manager Ralph Houk in an effort to provide the ancient Bengals.
with some new blood. All these new men have well-earned reputations.
The new lineup: Leading off in center field is Kleindienst, followed by s e c o a d baseman John
Dean, designated hitter H.R. Haldeman, third baseman Fred La Rue, leftfielder Sears, short-
stop Liddy, first sacker E. Howard Hunt, rightfielder Sneed and the stubby catcher, L. Patrick