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June 10, 1977 - Image 11

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-06-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Friday, June 10, 1977
Is Ec
special To The Daily
DETROIT - Here's an idea
to liven up this year's All-Star
game. During the seventh inn-
ing stretch, pat Frank Tanana
and Dennis Eckersley on the
mound, give each a micro-
phone, and let them argue about
who the best pitcher in the
American League is..
It's doubtful that the two
young hurlers would propose
other names beside their own.
Neither is known for excessive
Undoubtedly, Tanana would
be the favorite. First, he's
had more time to perfect the
art of bragging. He also has
the resources of the large


aPage Eleven


k good?
and powerful Los Angeles me- ECKERSLE
dia at his disposal. Finally, brought him w
you can't deny his 9-2 record an inning of CS
so far this season, old record for
But Eckersley would be able nings without
to make his case effectively. But Dennis
The 22-year old Cleveland along that he.1
righty, who won 26 games in his ent for throv
first two years in the majors "I've always b
and was the AL Rookie Pitcher er," claimed
of the Year in 1975, has recent- one of the Ind
ly pitched his way into Ameri- Stadium gam(
ca's household vocabulary. kind of pisses r
He held Seattle hitless a no-hitter fo
through the final seven innings lize it"
of a May 25 game, 'threw a no-
hitter at Tanana and the An- The only
gels on May 30, and came back Oakland nati
four days later to hold the Ma- lems was the
riners hitless again for five in- 1976 season.
niigs.the All-Star
nngs. ley possessed
record and1
early shower
"I was hor
ginning of las
Eckersley. "I
good stuff and
hard to place
Being bad
brought mec
added Eckersl
But he didn
long. In the s
season, Ecker
averaged over

Just ask him

Y'S mound feats
ithin two-thirds of
y Young's 73-year
x consecutive in-
surrendering a
has known all
had a special tal-
wing a baseball.
een a good pitch-
Eckersley before
ians recent Tiger
Ees. "In fact, -it
me off that it took
r people to rea-
time the young
ve had real prob-
first half of the
At the time of
Game, Eckers-
a dismal 4-8
had seen many
seshit at-the be-
t year," recalled
just didn't have
I was trying too
the bill.
like that really
down to earth,"
't stay down too
econd half of the
sley went 9-4 and
r nine strikeouts

per start. By the end of the
year, he had brought his record
up to 13-12 and his ERA down
to 3.44. He also racked up 199
strikeouts in 200 innings, one
of the best ratios in the league.
"I WAS THE best pitcher in
the league in the second half,"
said Eckersley unequivocally.
"It's the best I've ever pitched
for a long period of time."
Eckersley realizes that those
words have a cocky ring to
them. But he explains that it
simply is a reflection of his be-
lief in himself.
"If I seem cocky, it's be-
cause I think I know how to
pitch damn well. I've had a lot
of coaches come up to me and
tell me to do this or change
that, and I just find that most
of the time I know better than
them what's going on.
"I remember a time back
when I was in AA at San
Antonio. This coach named
Dorsch came out to watch
me warm up, and started
telling me all these things I
was doing wrong. Hell, I was
11-1 at the time and the best
pitcher in the league. I just
kept smiling at the guy and
saying yeah, yeah until he

went away."
Super self - confidence an
have its drawbacks, however.
Since Eckersley causes peo-
ples' expectations to rise so
high with his self-promotion,
losing is a lot harder to take.
"When I'm losing, all I can
really do is shut up," said Eck-
ersley. "I can't be my natural
cocky self because I'd feel stu-
pid acting that way if I was
messing up."
Though he hates to lose him-
self, Eckersley is not really a
cheerleader for the rest of the
team. He perceives the pitch-
er's role as separate from that
of the regulars who take the
field everyday.
"YOU CAN'T HELP thinking
about the team, and of course
I want Cleveland to do well.
But, as a pitcher who only plays
every four games, I don't think
that I have a regular say in
how the club should be run."
The Indians have had more
than, their share of problems
this year, on and off the field.
But Eckersley's attitude pre-
vents him from being overly
Cleveland manager Frank
Robinson has come under fire
from various directions, but
Eckersley sees Robinson as "a
decent manager - he makes
some mistakes, but he's all
Bob Farnham of Brown Uni-
versity will defend his pass re-
ceiving title this season. Last
year he caught 56 passes.
Coming June11

aseall tle quest
begins for Gophers
By The Associated Press will meet Los Angeles State, 40-
OMAHA, Neb. - Top-ranked 20, in the first round of the Col-
Arizona State and Minnesota lege World Series Saturday.
should be tabbed the co-favorites Siebert's Gophers won the
when the 31st annual College series in 1956, 1960 and 1964, but
World Series opens tonight with lost to Southern California 8-7
a doubleheader. in 1973 after leading 7-0 in the
MINNESOTA Coach Dick Sie- ninth inning.
bert, who has taken his Gophers
to the NCAA baseball title in . ARIZONA STATE, No. 1-rated
three of their four appearances in the final poll of the season by
in the College WorId Series, be- College Baseball Newspaper, is
lieves he can do it again. r i d i n g an 18-game winning
"If a super team comes to streak and eastern challenger
the front in Omaha they can Temple, 34-7, owns 17 straight.
take it all," the veteran coach
said. "Naturally, I hope we are
that team."
The Gophers, 38-10, won the
Big Ten and NCAA Mideast Re-
gional titles this spring. They

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