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May 13, 1971 - Image 11

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1971-05-13

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Page Eleven

Thursday, May 13, 1971

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Thursday, May 13, 1971 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Eleven

MENTOR MARTIN ANGRY:
Unhappy Horton desires trade_

_
i

DETROIT AP) - Moody Wil-
lie Horton is down on himself
again, but Detroit Tiger Man-
ager Billy Martin makes no ef-
fort to hide his displeasure at
the latest caper of his slump-
ing left fielder.
Horton was not in the line-
up in Monday night's 5-2 vic-
tory over California because, ac-
cording to Martin, he wanted
extra lefthanded batters in the
lineup.
Tuesday night Detroit lost to
the Angels 5-0 and Horton was
still not in the lineup, but this
time "he took himself out of
the lineup," Martin steamed.
"I don't know what's wrong,"
he said. "After hitting about 15
balls into the upper deck dur-
ing batting practice he went to
the trainer and told him he
couldn't raise his arm up."
"He stayed for the game but
I wouldn't use him as a pinch
hitter," the first-year T i g e r
manager said sarcastically, "not
with a terrible injury like that."

In Sunday's 6-2 loss to Kan-
sas City Gail Hopkins of t h e
Royals lashed a bases-loaded
hit in Horton's direction, but it
took a bad hop past him for a
scratch triple scoring three
runs.
Horton, who is noted for his
thin skin, was booed several
times when he came to bat and
later told one reporter: "I'm
trying too hard. I feel read good
on the road and then I tighten
up and get nervous at home.
Maybe the best thing for the
team is to get rid of me."
It was something a person of
Horton's temperament m i g h t
say in a downcast moment with-
out really meaning it. But be-
fore Tuesday's game in a tele-
vision interview the 27-year-old
veteran of nine seasons with the
Tigers said:
"Maybe I should be traded...
I've thought about it. Maybe it
would be good for me and for
the club.. . . I don't feel relaxed,
happy, joyful anymore."

Horton, who batted .305 last
season before an injury sidelin-
ed him in late July, is hitting
only .209 so far this year, with
five homers and 15 runs-batted-
in.
He has 356 career home runs
and 1,403RBI.'
"This would solve any prob-
lem," he said, when asked if a
few hits would bring him out
of his current sullenness.
Martin was- visibly angry at
Horton's request not to play.
"He has an appointment with
the doctor tomorrow," Martin
snarled. "The other day he said
he couldn't see and had fuzzi-
ness, yet he missed his appoint-
ment with the eye doctor."
"Am I dissatisfied? - Yes,
I'm a little dissatisfied."
"Why I've played this game
with the flu, pneumonia, crack-
ed ribs and a broken nose. I
played a month and a half after
I broke an ankle."
Then the fiery field boss add-
ed caustically: "But I was only
making about $20,000 a year and
I was hungry."
Horton's salary reportedly is
about $80,000 a year.
Two seasons ago the slugging
outfielder, in the midst of a
slump and resultant booing,
walked out of Tiger Stadium
and was AWOL for a few days.
He did not blame the booing and
said he had "personal prob-
lems."
Last year after an exhibition
game amidst the regular season
he complained angrily about be-
ing taken out of the lineup, as
were several other-regulars, ear-
ly in the game. Several o t h e r
times, including at least o n c e
this season, he has expressed an-
ger at being benched or the
threat of being out of the start-
ing lineup.
"I hope whatever it is it
clears up," Martin said of the
sore arm. "We need his bat."

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WEST HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.
') - The New York Nets of
the American Basketball Asso-
ciation announced yesterday the
signing of John Roche, Univer-
sity of South Carolina p 1 a y-
maker, to a four-year contract
for an estimated $400,000.
Roche had been the top draft
choice of the Phoenix Suns of
the National Basketball Associa-
tion and was drafted by t h e
Kentucky Colonels of the ABA.
The Nets recently bought the
rights to Roche from Kentucky.
The 6-foot-2 Roche, a New
York City native, scored 1,910
points in his college career for a
South Carolina record, averag-
ing 21.6 per game this past sea-
son. He was the Atlantic Coast
Conference Player of the Year

Regarding the Phoenix offer,
Roche said at a press confer-
ence: "They didn't make a fair
offer. I didn't feel like t h e y
wanted to sign me. They tried to
g e t me as cheap as possible.
There's more security in this
contract."
Ralph Caso, Nassau County
executive, also announced- that
the Nets will be a tenant in the
new Nassau Coliseum, now un-
der construction. The tentative
opening date is April 1, 1972, but
the N e t s are hoping it'll be
ready by January or February.
Ray Boe, president of the
Nets, said he would seek league
permission to change the club's
name from New York to Long
Island.

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