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April 03, 1981 - Image 17

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-04-03

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THIS BUD'S FOR YOU
By BUDDY MOOREHOUSE

M

The Michigan Daily-Friday, April 3, 1981-Page 17
SPOR TS OF THE DAIL Y:
Softballers split, 2-6, 81
Bv nDREW HARP

ATTENTION
ALL RECIPIENTS OF
0 beMittigan Batt
Please return your survey response
as soon as possible.

p in arms.. .
j ; Tiger pitching improved?
TT SEEMS HIGHLY ILLOGICAL that a team can score more runs than
any other group in the Major Leagues and still finish 19 games out of first
place in its division. But that's precisely what happened with last year's
Detroit Tigers, who ended the season in fifth place, far behind the division-
jeading New York Yankees.
Obviously, it wasn't their offense that led the Bengals to another disap-
pointing finish. With superb hitters such as Steve Kemp, Alan Trammell,
Lance Parrish, Al Cowens, and Rickie Peters leading the way, the Tigers
had a splendid year at the plate. Why, then, did they finish the season with
an 84-78 record, considered mediocre in the tough American League East?
Pitching. Or rather, the lack thereof. Aside from relief ace Aurelio Lopez,
none of the Tiger hurlers had what could be called a banner year. Jack
Morris, called "the best right-handed pitcher in the American League" by
Detroit manager Sparky Anderson before last season, finished the year at
16-15. Lefty Dan Shatzeder, acquired last year from the Montreal Expos in
the infamous Ron LeFlore deal, had arm problems all season and never got
on the right track. Milt Wilcox was brilliant at times, but not-so-brilliant
other times, adding up to an inconsistent season.
And Mark "The Bird" Fidrych filled Tiger Stadium in mid-summer with
fans wanting to see the 1976 A.L. Rookie of the Year display the same flam-
boyant effectiveness he had shown four years before. But the Bird's
comeback only showed that his arm was healthy, not that it was effective at
getting batters out.
Pitching gets top priority
So when spring training time rolled around this year, Anderson decided
that the pitching corps was badly in need of repair. I had a chance to talk to
the white-haired skipper during a workout at the Tigers' cold-weather home
in Lakeland, Fla., and he spoke primarily of his pitchers.
- "We need great improvement in our pitching," understated Anderson.
'We've been working on just about everything you can work on on that
mound. We've been doing it every day, and we're going to continue to do it."
Well, if the results of the exhibition season thus far are any indicator, An-
derson's work is paying off. With yesterday's 4-3 win over the Montreal Ex-
pos, the Detroiters upped their pre-season mark to 19-10-the most wins
ever, by the Tigers in an exhibition season. And the pching staff has been
doing remarkably well.
Morris threw seven innings of no-hit pitching against the Expos two days
ago, giving cause to believe that he might be on the verge of an excellent
year. Non-roster hurlers Howard Bailey and Dave Rucker are pitching so
well that they'll probably accompany the team next week when it comes nor-
.. th for the season-opener against the Toronto Blue Jays. All in all, it appears
as thought the Bengal pitching corps will be an asset instead of a minus for
'toe team.
Can the improvement continue?
- Provided, that is, they continue to improve when the Tigers start playing
for keeps. They can win all the games they want to in the pre-season, but it
won't mean a thing unless they continue to win once the season starts. But
just because the Tigers have a history of fifth-place finishes, don't
automatically assume that the team will fall on its face once the real season
starts. The Tigers have given every indication thus far that they are a con-
tender. But the trouble for Detroit is, so have the Yankees, the Baltimore
Orioles, and the Milwaukee Brewers. At least it should make for an exciting
pennant run in the A.L. East.
'Anderson says that he'll open the season with a starting rotation of Morris,
-"Shatzeder, Wilcox, and hard-throwing Dan Petry. "I'm not even gonna
worry about a fifth starter until the end of May," said the charismatic
manager.
In the bullpen, only Lopez and Kevin Saucier, acquired in the off-season
'from the Texas Rangers in a trade for Mark Wagner, have been guaranteed
"obs. "He (Saucier) is really going to help us," said Anderson. "There's no
question. He's going to take a lot of the heat off Lopez down there."
Fighting for the other three spots on the pitching staff are Bailey, Rucker,
Dave Rozema, Dennis Kinney, Dave Tobik, and Jerry Ujdur. Anderson has
already trimmed the roster by sending Pat Underwood, Mike Chris, Bruce
Robbins, and Fidrych-all of whom spent at least part of last season in
Detroit-to the minors. It will be the last time that Fidrych gets a trip to the
Little League to practice up, because this is the final time that he can legally
be optioned to the minor leagues. If he doesn't make it this time around, it
could be the end of the Bird's career.
. The real test for the Bengals is this Thursday, when the Blue Jays visit
p betroit to open the 1981 season. Morris will be on the mound that day, and we
can all get an indication of whether or not the Tigers have cured their pit-
ching ills.
Exhibition Baseball Standings
AMERICAN LEAGUE

Isy UIL.T W at1I
Michigan's softball team had to settle
for a split in its doubleheader against
GrandsValleysState yesterday. The
Wolverines took it on the chin in the
opening contest, losing to the host
Lakers, 6-2, but bounced back for a
resounding 8-1 victory in the nightcap.
In the first game, Michigan pulled out
to a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning when
Diane Puhl ripped a two-run homer.
The lead was safe until the bottom of
the sixth when Grand Valley advanced
five runs across the plate on the merits
of one walk, four singles, one error, and
a double. Pitcher Julie Zyjewski took
the loss for the Wolverines.
IN THE FOLLOWING game,
however, Michigan was in control all
the way. The Wolverines scored four
times in the first on Judy Humphries'
bases-loaded triple, and Tammy San-
ders' sacrifice fly. The Wolverines put
the game away in the next inning by
bringing four more runs home.
The softballers next game is today
against Ohio State at Veterans Park.
Hoop rules changed
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - The
NCAA Basketball Rules Committee has
decided to decrease the number of
jump balls and to hold coaches respon-
sible for all bench personal fouls begin-
ning in the 1981-81 season, the head of
the committee announced yesterday.
SCORES
NHL
Detroit 1, Pittsburgh I
Washington 3. Boston 2
NY Islanders 3, NY Rangers I
NBA Playoffs
Philadelphia 96, Indiana 85
Exhibition Baseball
Pittsburgh 2, Philadelphia 1
Detroit 4, Montreal 3
Texas 5, Atlanta 3
Minnesota 6, St. Louis 4
Torontoit,. Chicago White Sox 9
California 9. Cleveland 8
Chicago Cubs 14. San Diego 6
San Francisco 8, Milwaukee 7
SPERY TOP-S/DERĀ®l
BEST

Starting this fall, at all levels of
NCAA play:
THE ONLY JUMP ball will be at the
beginning of the game and overtime
periods. In any other jump ball
situation, teams will alternate taking
the ball out at midcourt.
All fouls called on the bench will be
assessed to the head coach.
Two defensive players must enter the
midcourt area and "continuously and
aggressively" attempt to gain control
of the ball when an official finds there is
a lack of sufficient action.
TO CAUSE EITHER backboard to
vibrate during a shot or tap is a
technical foul.
Purposely faking a free throw is a
violation.
Tigers 4, Expos 3
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) Lou
Whitaker's single in the ninth inning
drove in Al Cowens with the winning
run yesterday as the Detroit Tigers
defeated the Montreal Expos 4-3 in
exhibition baseball.

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A t1

W
California ....................... 14
DETROIT ....................... 19
. Cbicago ......................... 15
Oakland ......................... 14
New York ....................... 12
kansas City .....................10
Minnes~a ....................... 13
C[eveland ....................... 13
Boston....................... 11
Texas ...........................11
Toronto .........................11
Milwaukee ......................11
Baltimore ....................... 9
Seattle ..........................10

L
6
10
8
8
9
8
12
13
11
11
11
12
11
4

Pct.
.700
.655
.652
.636
.571
.556
.520
.500
.500
.500
.500
.478
.450
.417

NATIONAL LEAGUE
W L
Pittsburgh ...................... 12 9
Cincinnati....................... 11 9
Montreal ........................ 12 10
San Francisco ................... 12 10
New York ....................... 10 11
Atlanta .......................... 11 14
Chicago ......................... 11 14
Philadelphia ................... 8 12
San Diego...................8 12
Los Angeles ..................... 8 3
Houston ........................ 7 12
St. Louis......................... 7 14
Late games not included

Pet.
.571
.550
.545
.545
.476
.440
.440
.400
.400
.381
.368
.333

DO0 YOU HA VEAN INTEREST?

-IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
- IN GRAPHICS?
-IN BUSINESS?

-U
* U

,_4.

"I'M A COLLEGE
GRADUATE'.
THAT HASA NICE
RING TO IT.

-IN WRITIN
If you do, we want
you to work for the
1982 MICHIGANENSIAN
New Staff Meeting:
Wed., April 8, 7:00 p.m.
at Student Publications

IG?

.
M
,.M
iq

i

It's been tough. A lot of work. But you'll make it.
And nothing tells the world "I made it" better than
a Jostens College ring on your finger. It's your
lifelong symbol of achievement and your constant
remind~er of ur total nolle- Pxnm-.cn tA

-i I

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