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April 05, 1980 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-04-05

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


A Daily- orts Analysis
*When pitcher Nolan Ryan packed his fastball
and departed for the Lone Star territory and
the Houston Astros, he nearly collapsed an
already shaky California Angels pitching staff.
After Ryan's departure, the ace of the Angel
pitching corps was a young unknown named
Dave Frost, who had a record of 16-10 last
season. Starters Chris Knapp and Frank
Tanana were racked with injuries through
most of the season and compiled records of 5-5
and 7-5 respectively.
CALIFORNIA OWNER Gene Autry, not one
sit still and watch his players be snatched
away from his hold, quickly went out and
signed Bruce Kison of the world champion
Pittsburgh Pirates to help make up for the loss
ofperennial strike-outlking Ryan.
Kison is a good acquisition and Frost could
very well prove that last year's record was not
a fluke. And with 1979's rookie pitching
sensation Mark Clear in the bullpen, the Angels
believe they can obtain the stability they so
badly need in the pitching department, but with
, uncertainty of the arms of Knapp and
anana, it is doubtful that they can achieve
that level.
One thing the defending American League
West champs do not need is help from an
offensive standpoint.
overall in the league with a .282 average and'
also third with 164 round trippers to their
credit. Led by Most Valuable- Player Don
Baylor, the Angels powered their way to the
division title.
Baylor had 36 homers and a league legding
138 RBI to compliment a .296 average. He was
assisted by Disco Dan Ford's and second
baseman Bobby Grich's outstanding seasons in
which the two players both knocked in 101 runs
BUT THE BIGGEST boost the Angels
received was when they swiped Rod Carew


away from the Minnesota Twins at the
beginning of last season. Carew wound up the
season batting at a .318 clip although he was out
for some of the season because of a broken
finger. Having Carew healthy for an entire
season is bound to benefit California. The
Angels also have an excellent third baseman in
young Carney Lansford. Lansford had 19 HR's
and 79 RBI last season and is labelled as one of
the future stars of the 80's.
The most pleasant surprise came when
usually weak hitting catcher Brian Downing,
led all right-handed hitters in the league with a
.326 average.
It would seem that manager Jim Fregosi
would have much to smile about but with Ford.
recovering from knee surgery, he's worried
that his rightfielder might not be 100 percent
this season. Because of this, he traded slugging
first baseman and designated hitter Willie
Mays Aikens to the Kansas City Royals, his
main adversary, for rightfielder Al Cowens.
FREGOSI HAS GOOD reason to worry about
the Royals because with the addition of Aikens,
it gives the already explosive Kansas City
attack more dynamite to work with.
In Aikens (21 HR's, 81 RBI, .280 average
before injuring a knee last season), the Royals
are getting their first true first bagger since
they traded away John Mayberry to Teronto
two years ago.
This allows new manager Jim Frey to move
Clint Hurdle to his natural outfield position..
HURDLE, THE HERALDED rookie phenom'
flop of 1978 has been tearing the cover off of the
ball this spring and looks as though he'll finally
live up to all of the hype he's received in the
Hurdle will be joined in the outfield with
steady veteran centerfielder Amos Otis and
speedy leftfielder Willie Wilson.
Wilson came into his own last season when he
led the majors with 83 stolen bases and batted
The Royals have already experienced some
problems when All-Star catcher Darrell Porter



left the team to be treated for al
Porter is not expected to return untill
Until he returns, the catching chor
divided between John Watham a
THE ACE IN the Royals' hand
baseman George Brett. Brett is thot
many as the premier player in
leagues. Last year, he slammed 23 h
drove in 107 runs and was second in t
with a .329 average. Statistics like the
him the Sporting News' Player of
award in the American League.
'Pitching is the question mark ft
City. The staff was at best mediocre 1
Sharp's Eda


Kansas City

lcohlism. California, in that it w:
late April. will decide their desti
es will be extremely potent offens
nd Jamie rely on the long ball w
doubles and singles tea
I is third them across the plate w
ught of by Royals have a slightly b
the major, should be the difference
ome runs, IN TEXAS, THEY'RE
the league in the towel. The Rang
se earned best bullpen in baseba
the Year Kern (13-5,1.57 ERA) an
Sr Kansas Sparky hyle. The off-
last season Atlanta Braves' reliev
imroved thebullpen sit
Rangers' starting rot,
severely last year
underwent elbow surge
e ames. Steve Comer be
staff with an impress
Fregie Jenkins was reb
grabbed 16 victories. To(
Jenkins again this yea
Matlack has to recover fi
games for the Rangers t
may do just that.
The Rangers have t
power to be a contender
Zisk, Buddy Bell and A
Zisk had a bad season
hit 18 homers and drovei
had 101 RBI and tied for
in game winning RBI wi
est record most consistent hitter
tarters are another above .300 seaso
(15-17) and average. Texas just rec
Oft-injured Rusty Staub from the Ex
last season NEW YORK YANK]
espectable Rivers will be with th
bullpen is season- this time arou
ction of Al sparkplug the Rangers
narket but in the mood to play.
Vartin will Texas' strong suit is
Sundbreg, without a do
tuation as catcher in the game.

The Michigan Daily-Saturday, April 5,l980-Page 9
on Brett
ill be the pitching that T
ly. Both teams have The Rangers have the capacity to make the
ses. The Angels like to West division a three team race but to do so
here the Royals are a Matlack must be healthy and Rivers and Zisk
in, but both can bring must produce.
bhen they have to. The MINNESOTA MANAGER Gene Mauch
better defense and that pulled off one of the most remarkable
e dmanagerial performances last year when he
E not exactly throwing kept the Twins in the running for the title until
ers have probably the the last week of the season when they slipped to
ll with fireballer Jim fourth place.
nd lefty Yankee refugee The Twins got an unbelieveable season from
season acquisition of Jerry Koosman who went 20-13 after being
er Adrian Devine only traded from the Mets. Reliever Mike Marshall
uation for Texas. The also returned to his old groove by appearing in
ation was hampered 90 games.
when Jon Matlack Offensively the Twins have shortstop Roy
ery and only won five Smalley who led the league in hitting for the
came the leader of the first half of the season, catcher Butch
ive 17-12 record and Wynegar, who batted .270 and co-Rookie of the
iorn last year when he Year John Castino at third base.
expect that much from THE CHICAGO WHITE SOX have no one to
r is asking too much. be proud of except centerfieldler Chet Lemon.
fully and win at least 15 Lemon was one of the leading batsmen in the
ohave any hope and he league with a .318 average.
As far as pitching is concerned, the White Sox
he potential offensive ace is lefty Ross Baumgarten who had a record
with the likes of Richie of 13 wins and 8 losses last season.
L Oliver gracing their The only way that the White Sox will catch
any fire this year would be if owner Bill Veeck
last year when he only plans another disco-demolition night.
in merely 64 runs. Bell THE SEATTLE MARINERS have promising
r the league leadership pitchers in starters Mike Parrott, Rich
th 16. Oliver, one of the Honeycutt, Floyd Bannister and Jim Beattie,
rs in the game, had with Shane Rawley and Bryon McLaughlin.
)n when he hit for a .323 First baseman Bruce Bochete and
ently acquired ex-Tiger designated hitter Willie Horton both drove over
xpos. 100 runs last season and need identical seasons
;EE transfer Mickey to keep Seattle from falling into the cellar.
e Rangers for a full But wait, the Oakland A's are still here and
nd and could be the have a firm clench on last place and are not
are looking for, if he's about to let go.
NEW MANAGER Billy Martin and owner
the catching of Jim Charlie Finley, baseball's newest Odd Couple
ubt the best offensive will definitely keep things hopping in the Bay

4. Minnesota

5 .


with Dennis Leonard sporting the b
with 14 wins and 12 losses. Other st
Larry Gura (13-12), Paul Splittorf(
rookie Craig Chamberlain (4-4). (
Steve Busby attempted a comebackl
and compiled a 6-6 record with a r
earned run average of 3.63. The
another high hurdle with the defer
Hrabosky through the free agent n
the Royals hope that rookie Renie A
fill the void.
The Royals are in a similar si

Ex-hoopster Grote fights hard breaks

Finds niche in broadcasting

Steve Grote, ex-Michigan hoopster, is
welll suited for his present job as
television and radio announcer. You
, he's never at a loss for words.
"My entire career I was very
outspoken-I was quoted all the time,,"
said the talkative Grote. "I've always
got an opinion about something."
As a 'color man' for ON' TV's
(subscription) college basketball
coverage, the 6'2" former guard now
relec'ts to
play at
(Continued from Page 1)
rieder freely admits the signing of
McCormick was crucial - following
recent failures to previously sign top
players like Earvin Johnson and Clark
"It's just additioial pressure when
kids like that get away," said Frieder.
"And in addition to that, with guys like
Tim Andree and Bruce Flowers -,that
wears on you ancl you begin to wonder,
'What on earth am I doing wrong.'
"But with Timmy, I'm just elated,"
aid Frieder. "And I'm sure it's a
cision he'll never regret.
I JUST hope people don't expect too
much out of him too soon," added
Frieder. "True, he averaged 25 poin-
ts/18 rebounds per game, phenomenal
for a high school player, but he's still
only 18-years-old coming into a big time
program against some big time
players. It takes time to develop, grow
and mature into a system."
Frieder added that McCormick's
ility to adjust to the competitive
pressure of college basketball will
determine whether he will earn a spot
in the starting lineup next season.
"He's a super kid, comes from a fine
family, is a good student and has a lot of
tools to be~a great basketball player,"
concluded Frieder, "but how much he
plays or if he'll start all depends on how
fast he matures and comes along in our

voices his opinions during Michigan,
MSU, and U. of D. games.
Yet Grote's occupation might be
markedly different from his present
announcing job had things gone his way
a few years ago at the Cleveland
Cavaliers training camp. Coming off a
stellar four-year basketball career at
Michigan in which he played in and
started a record 116 games, dished out a
record 371 career assists, and scored
1330 points (seventh -on the all-time
Michigan list), Grote was picked in the

make the team."
Grote also had some bad luck trying
out for a couple other hoop
squads-namely, the 1976 and 1980
Olympic teams. In 1976, after a
"decent" junior season and a "real
good 'NCAA tournament" (Michigan
lost in the final game to Indiana), Grote
was invited along with 61 other
hoopsters to try out for the Montreal-
bound United States contingent. For a
'while, things were looking good for the
hustling Wolverine.
was in the Besf shape of my life,"
said Grote. "I ra the fifth fastest mile
in camp. I was ean Smith's (UNC's
head coach, the Olymic coach that
year) type of player-he was always
saying 'we're looking for people to play
hard and to play some defense.'
"After the first three practies, I was
on the team, no question about it. Hey, I

guarded Phil Ford in a scrimmage for
eight minutes and he did not get off a
shot. I mean, I was playing my ass off."
But then disaster struck. "After the
third practice was over I went over to
take a bite to eat, and all of a sudden I
started getting these cramps across my
chest and I couldn't swallow and I
started choking." A day, four checkups,
and alot of pain later, Grote's problem
was- finally discovered: he had a
collapsed lung, and his '76 Olympic
hopes were dashed.
"It was a big disappointment," said
the mustachioed 25-year-old. "It was
the hardest I've ever worked to get in'
Earlier this year, Grote wanted
another shot at the Games, and was
encouraged by Smith and Dave Gavitt
(head coach of' Providence and
Olympic coach this year) to try out for
the 1980 team. But according to the
International Olympic Committee,
Grote need not have bothered, for, they

said, he is'no longer an amateur.
"The international rules say that as
soon as you sign a professional contract
you're a professional,"' said the
Cincinnati native. "I didn't know at the
time signing a contract was going to
effect my amateur status. But even so,
it's a dilemma, because you can't go to
an NBA camp without a signed
contract, but if you sign a contract you
forfeit your international amateur
"It's such a farce, though," added the
admittedly opiniated Grote. "I mean
it's common knowledge 'that the
Russians are professional athletes."
Despite such setbacks, Grote is rot
dissatisfied. "I've had a whole hell of a
lot of exciting good things happen too.
The disappointments don't even stand

Poid Political Advertisement
2id Ward,
Mondary,.April 7
"It's Time for a Change"
Paid for by The Committee
to Elect Toni Burton

Michigan nine fece
Wayne State today

First in a two-part series

thw Gourd


... outspoken athlete
third round of the 1977 college draft by
the Cavaliers.
But the pro game simply wasn't his
cup of tea. Besides the fact that
Cleveland had little room for him after
they acquiredEddie Jordan, Terry
Furlow, and Walt Frazier, Grote "just
didn't feel like (he) belonged.
"I needed an atmosphere where
everybody was just interested in the
team, and I just didn't find it there,"
explained Grote. "I ran into too many
ego problems-the NBA seemed more
like an ego' game than anything else.
You don't feel anything like you feel
when you play grade school, high
school, or college ball, which are team
oriented and there's a lot of
enthusiasm-it's just not there in the
pros, and that was strange for me.
"It just wasn't a good situation. I
wasn't happy, I wasn't enjoying myself,
and that's the big reason I didn't play
well, which is the big reason I didn't

The Michigan baseball team realized
yesterday the trouble with playing their
games in April. Yesterday's scheduled
twinbill against the University of
Toledo was called on account of cold
"It was just too cold and the field was
in really bad shape," explained
Wolverine Coach Bud Middaugh. "If we
had played, it would have turned into a
pitchers' duel, and the first team to
score probably would have won."
SO ALTHOUGH the rain stayed away
yesterday, the caravan of Rocket fans
who made the trek to Ann Arbor had to
return to the Buckeye state disappoin-
Middaugh is hopeful that the twinbill
against Toledo can be re-scheduled
"sometime late in May, after school
gets out." Hopefully the sun will get
out, too.
In the meantime, the Wolverine bat-
smen are readying themselves for
today's doubleheader against the Tar-
tars of Wayne State. That news may
come as a shock to followers of the
Michigan nine who expected them to be

playing Bowling Green down in Ohio.
YESTERDAY Bowling Green called
the Michigan Athletic Department and
informed them that their playing field
was in bad shape due to bad weather
lately. It was then agreed that the twin-
bill would be played in Ann Arbor.
Then, later in the afternopn, the
Falcons called up and said that they
wouldn't be able to make it. That left
Michigantwithout an opponent for this
afternoon. Middaugh then got on the
phone and invited Wayne State in for
the day, and they told him that they'd
be happy to comply.
Middaugh said that he knows
"nothing at all" about today's opponen-
ts. "I really don't know anything about
their record or anything, except that
we're scheduled to play them later this
month," said the Wolverine skipper.
He also indicated that Mark Clinton,
who pitched a beautiful shut-out last
week against Grand Valley, would start
in the first game, and freshmen Steve
Ontiveros would hurl in the second.
Let's just hope the sun makes an ap-

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