THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Friday, August 12, 1977
SPORTS OF THE DAILY
et Littler paces PGA field
By Don MacLachlan
Tigers in '77 ... 4th place finish
TIllS SUMMER will be remembered as the year the Detroit
Tigers could have been so good - if Mark Fidrych had
pitched for the entire season. But The Bird probably won't hurl
again this year and who knows if he would have provided the Ben-
gals with an additional ten wins.
What about the efforts of Bob Skes and Jack Morris - a
couple of pitchers who wouldn't have seen Detroit until September
if the Bird wasn't tounded
Fidrych came off the disabled list Wednesday, but it ap-
pears manager R-lph Houk won't use him again this year. If
the Major did, it would be ridiculous. Detroit is going nowhere
in the American League East Division for the fifth consecutive
summer. Why hurry the Bird back and risk a more serious
Fans around Detroit are beginning to speculate that Fidrych
may have thrown his last pitch and his arm will never recover.
If that's the case tln the Tigers have the problem of replacing
a fan favorite and the ace of their pitching staff, a rotation that
is beginning to look respectable for the first time since the prime
of Denny McLain and Mickey Loligh
Along with the hard-throwing rookie duo of Sykes and
Morris, Houk is blessed with a splendid rookie in Dave Ro-
zema. The Rose will probably win 17 or 18 this year - just one
shy of Fidryc's total in his first campaign a year ago. Ro-
zema has exceslent control and if he avoids further arm
trouble, could have a great future in Detroit.
Milt Wilcox and Fernando Arroyo have been pleasant surprises
to the Tiger staff, and Bruce Taylo along with Steve Foucault
could comprise the nucleus of the Bengal bullpen next year. '
The veteran Jchn Hiller still has a heckuva fastball but his
hard-worked left arm just isn't really dependable anymore.
Jim Crawford turned in some good performances this summer
and could be offered as trade bait during the off-season.
INFIELD NEEDS HELP
Detroit's infield is currently its weakest spot. Jason Thomp-
son is the first baseman the Tigers have been looking for since
Norm Cash hung up his spikes. The powerful lefthander should
hit at least 25 home runs and collect 100 RBIs in his first full
major league season
Down in the minor leagues lies a capable double play
combination in Sweet Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammel. They
gained valuable experience this year and might be ready to
take the field for the Bengals next season.
However, if Whitaker isn't quite seasoned enough to face major
league pressure, Tito Fuentes can hopefully return for another
season. The 34 year old second baseman still maintains a .300
batting average - something no one expected at the outset of
the season when the Tigers signed hini as a free agent.
If Trammel needs another season to tune up in the minors
the Bengals are in trouble. Houk has given Tom Veryzer more
than enough time to prove his worth to the Tigers, and the
shortstop sure has let them down. He is solid defensively but
his offensive statistics are almost too weak to mention.
At the hot corner. Aurelio Rodriguez or rookie Phil Mankow-
ski both want a regular starting job. By swapping one of those
two, general manager Jim Campbell could get someone of value
LeFLORE NEXT LEADER?
Willie Horton, Al Kaline, Jim Northrup, Mickey Stanley
. the Tigers have always had a solid outfield. Steve Kemp's
desire and hustle have made Tiger fans forget the Horton
trade. The native Californian is stil improving and Houk sees
a very bright career for Kemp.
Ron LeFlore, now hitting .30. his proven himself a consist-
ent offensive threat and with sharper defensive play could be-
come the player the Tigers look up to.
Ben Oglivie and Stanlev have done a sufficient job in Kaline's
Houk should gLide this squad to a fourth place finish this
year and next year the pressure will really hit the Major.
With a big off-season deal, the Tigers could land that one right-
handed powerhittet or solid starter they really need. This
year's crop of rookies will have a year of experience under
General manager Camnbell has sat still long enough. Hope-
fully he can see that a Vern Ruble, Dave Roberts, Nate Colbert,
Gary Sutherland or Ray Bare will net instantly bring a pennant
to Detroit. With the Bird flying again and a big name brought into
town during the off-season, the hungry Tiger fans just might have
a right to be optimistic in :978.
By The Associated Press
PEBBLE B E A C H, Calif. -
Veteran Gene Littler, sidelined
with a bad back for six weeks,
slowly strolled to a five-under-
par 67 and a two-stroke lead
over Jack Nicklaus early in yes-
terday's first round of the PGA
THE 47-YEAR-OLD Littler,
troubled by arthritis in his lower
back, has played infrequently
since scoring his 29th tour tri-
umph in the Houston Open in
May. He hasn't played at all in
Nicklaus, recognized as the
game's greatest p 1 a y e r and
seeking a record-tying fifth PGA
title, birdied three holes in a
row on his way to a 69. The
stretch included a 45-foot putt
on the ninth hole.
"I was just trying to figure
out a way to get it down in
two and the ball went in the
hole," Nicklaus said.
Watson, the outstanding play-
er in the game this year, was
one of the late starters on the
famed layout that stretches 6,-
806 yards along cliffs and crags
of Carmel Bay. And he had to
go off with a borrowed set of
NEW ORLEANS - High-scor-
ing Pete Maravich signed a
five year, $3 million contract
with the New Orleans Jazz -yes-
terday, a package that probably
makes him the second highest
paid player in the National Bas-
ALTHOUGH terms of Mara-
vich's contract were not dis-
cussed by either the all-NBA
guard or team management, a
source close to the negotiations
said the amount is in excess of
$600,000 a year. ~
But the source said the figure
was less than the amount earn-
ed by Kareem Abdul Jabbar of
the Los Angeles Lakers.
Maravich was in the final
year of his contract with the
Jazz, but he had said 1se would
retire if h contract were not
Maravich led NBA scorers
last season with an average
of 31.1 points per game.
Both Maravich and general
m a n a g e r Lewis Schaffel de-
scribed the contract negotia-
tions as "difficult."
"It wasn't all monetary," said
Maravich at a news conference.
Lions grab two
OAKLAND - Oakland Raider
veterans M a r v Hubbard and
Horace Jones were traded in
straight cash deals to the De-
troit Lions and Seattle Sea-
hawks, respectively, the Raiders
HUBBARD, 31, beginning his
eigh h year in the National Foot-
ball Leagu2 sat out last season
after shoulder surgery. But a
team official said Hubbard, who
played in Oakland's preseason
40-0 victory over the Houston
Oilers Monday, is healthy this
Hubbard, a running back,
was Oakland's 11th pick in the
1968 draft after a college ca-
reer at C lgate. He ranks
third among active players in
the American Conference with
The Lions, hurt by the loss of
kicker Benny Ricardo who is
out for the season with a shoul-
der separation, also obtained
place kicker David Posey on
waivers from the San Francisco
POSEY WAS the ninth round
National Football League draft
pick of the 49ers this season.
Torrid Philies roll on, 10-5
ny The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA -- Bake McBride drove in
three runs and beltes his ninth homer of the sea-
son, and pitcher Jim Kaat had three hits yester-
day as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the
Montreal Expos 10-5 for their eighth consecutive
KAAT, WHO HAD t'vo doubles, lasted only un-
til the sixth, but had enough of a lead to lift his
record to 5-7. The win increased the Phillies'
margin over the Cncago Cubs to three games in
the National League East.
Kaat, baseball's winningest active pitcher with
252 wins, gave up two runs in the first, but the
Phillies get two runs in the first and four in the
second on McBride's two-run homer and RBI
hits by K' at and Jay Johnstone.
ARLINGTON, Tex. - Mike Hargrove and
Claudell Washington each drilled two-run home
runt and rookie Bump Wills laid down a perfect
suicide squeeze bun, to help the Texas Rangers
to a 8-3 victory last night over the Kansas City
DOYLE ALEXANDER, 12-7, gave up only two
hits but needed relief help from Roger Moret,
who pitched 3 213 innings to earn his first save.
of the year.
Old nemesis Jim Co'born, 12-11, was the vic-
tim as the Rangers jumped past Kansas City into
third place in the American League West.
Orioles nip in
BALTIMORE - Lee May's two out single in
the bottom of the ninth inning scored the tying
and winning runs as the Baltimore Orioles ral-
lied for three runs to defeat the Seattle Mari-
ners 4-3 last night.
WITH ONE OUT in the ninth and the Orioles
trailing 3-1, pinch hitter Pat Kelly walked against
starter Glenn Abbott, who then gave way to
Enrique Romo. 5-9. Billy Smith hit what could
have been a game-ending double play but first
baseman Dan Meyer threw the ball into left field,
allowing Smith to reach first base and Kelly
to go to third.
To y Muser's sacsice fly to left made it 3-2.
Ken Singleton followed with his third hit, a dou-
ble to right, which put runners at second and
third and set the stage for May. May blooped a
2-1 pitch into right fot the winning hit.
Angels trip Bosox
BOSTON - Hot-hittirg Bobby Bonds drove in
four runs, two with his 29th homer, and Paul
Hartzell notched his first complete game victory
of the season last night as the California Angels
defeated Boston 7-3, ending the Red Sox' 11-
game winiing streak.
BONDS, WHO drove in a run with a sacrifice
fly in the third, moved into a tie with Boston's
Jim Rice for the American League's home run
lead in the fifth and had another RBI, his 82nd,
witl' a fielder's choice grounder in the seventh.
NEW YORK - Mike Torrez hurled a master-
ful two-hitter last night, allowing just two singles
and permitting only one other runner in pitching
the New York Yankees to a 3-0 victory over the
The 6-foot-5 right hander hit Rodney Scott with
a pitch to start the game. Marty Perez hit into
a force out and Jim Tyrone bounced into a
double play, after which Torrez retired the side
the next three innings.
After Manny Sanguillen singled in the fifth,
Torrez retired 11 straight hitters until pinch hit-
ter Tim Hosley singled in the ninth.
It was the 13th straight loss for the A's, most
for the franchises s since the club dropped 13 in
a row while playing in Kansas City in 1959.
Tribe socks Chicago
CHICAGO - Buddy Bell smashed a two-run
homer and Rick Waits hurled the Cleveland In-
dians to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox
CLEVELAND SCORED an unearned run in the
second inning. Andre Thornton reached first
when right fielder Wayne Nordhagen dropped his
fly ball for an error. Two outs later, Thornton
scored on a single by Paul Dade.
Frank Duffy opened the Cleveland third with
a double and scored on Mil's ninth homer of
the season off loser Ken Kravec, 7-4.
Waits, 6-4, limited the Sox to three hits until
the ninth as the Indiaps swept the two game
series. Jim Kern earned his 14th save.
Chicago now leads Minnesota by only 1 game.
The Twins beat Toronto 7-3 last night.