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February 03, 1983 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-02-03

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SPORTS
Thursday, February 3, 1983

The Michigan Daily

Page 9

'M' alum Boros will
run the A's in '83

Confident Copp looks to Olympics

By JEFFREY BERGIDA
During the past two baseball
seasons, the media bombarded the
public with stories about that ex-
citing new innovation known as
Billy-Ball. The Oakland A's and
manager Billy Martin made the
double steal, the swipe of home plate
and pure speed a part of the game
once again.
Martin was fired by the A's
following a disappointing 1982 cam-
paign, however, so speed and ex-
citement will be leaving the Bay
Area, right? Don't bet on it.
LAST NOVEMBER, Steve Boros,
a member of the Michigan baseball
teams of 1956 and '57, was named the
new Oakland pilot. Boros, who has

been coaching since his retirement
as an active player in.1969, has been
known as the caution-free type of
tutor; one who will help his team
develop an aggressive base-stealing
style. Boros managed a San Jose
team in Class A ball that set a
modern professional record with 372
steals in 1974. The Flint native is not
shy about taking chances on the
field. "If I've got five or six guys
who can run, I'm going to let them
go on their own.-
The management in Oakland must
have been impressed with Boros'
ideas on the game because it hired
him within two weeks of his first in-
terview for the job. He recalled the
chronology of the job offer.
"I WAS contacted on October 24 by
the A's and at that time I was quiz-
zed as to my philosophy on running a
baseball team. They have a long-
range goal to be a team like the
Baltimore Orioles or the L.A.
Dodgers. That is, to develop their
own players within the system
rather than making a lot of trades
and signing free agents.
"Twelve days later, I was in Puer-
to Rico managing winter ball and I
got a call from (Oakland owner) Roy
Eisenhardt. He asked me if I wanted
the job and I couldn't say yes quickly
enough," said the former Wolverine
shortstop.
Oakland pitchers Mike Norris,
Rick Langford, Steve McCatty and
Matt Keough suffered arm problems
throughout 1982 after setting com-
plete game records the previous
season, when the A's won their
division. Boros wants to make sure
they will be sound for his
managerial debut. "Our first
priority is the pitching staff. We've

gone a long way to getting back in
form by hiring Ron Schueler as pit-
ching coach. They've all tested out
well on the Cybex machine and,
right now, the arms feel fine."
SINCE BOROS took over, the A's
have acquired third baseman Car-
ney Lansford from Boston and shor-
tstop Bill Almon from the White Sox
to shore up the left side of the
traditionally weak Oakland infield.
Boros believes that Lansford, cat-
cher Mike Heath, second-sacker
Davey Lopes and outfielders
Dwayne Murphy and Rickey Hen-
derson will be in his initial line-up
card while the other positions are up
for grabs.
The speed-minded Boros is
especially looking forward to
managing Henderson, who set a
major league record in 1982 with 130
steals. "I'm very excited about
being with Rickey, the premier
basestealer in the game.
Everywhere I've worked, I've been
lucky enough to be working with a
great baserunner."
Boros entered Michigan in 1954 af-
ter graduating from Flint Northern.
He played two seasons with the
Wolverines and signed a $25,000 con-
tract with the Detroit Tigers
following his junior year. He noted
that "it was a foregone conclusion
that I would sign with the Tigers if
they wanted me. Many other teams
contacted me but I was always a
Tiger fan."
FROM 1957-68, Boros moved back
and forth between the majors and
the minors. He played for the Reds
and the Cubs in addition to Detroit -
where he had his best year when he
hit .270 in 1961. The infielder was
never an everyday player and he cut
his career short at the age of 32. "I
wasn't going to be the kind of player
who keeps hanging on for one more
chance," said Boros.
After managing in the minors for
four years, Boros had the (mis)for-
tune of being a major league coach
with the Kansas City Royals (1975-9)
and the Montreal Expos (1981-2) -
two teams that had all the talent
needed to win it all, but which never
won the big one.
The Royals lost playoff series to
the New York Yankees in three of
the five years Boros was with the
club. "It was a very frustrating ex-
perience, of course. Something
would always seem to happen in the
ninth to beat us."
But the new Oakland skipper is
hoping for better luck as he becomes
a major league manager for the first
time. You can be sure that he won't
sit around and wait for the big in-
ning. Boros will keep the A's moving
on the base paths and fans in the Bay
Area may not even notice that Billy-
Ball ever left.

By CHRIS DINKEL
The recipe for athletic excellence on
the collegiate level consists of a positive
attitude, a worthy goal, knowledgable
coaching and plenty of hard work.
These are the ingredients that make up
the world's finest, and Michigan
swimmer Melinda Copp is pursuing a
career that includes them all.
Born in London, Ontario, Copp lear-
ned how to swim at an early age but
didn't swim competitively until she was
13. "I was just looking for something to
do so I began swimming," Copp said.

at Michigan was an easy choice for Copp,
who was looking for more than just a
strong swimming program. "I chose
Michigan not just because of my
athletic goals", said Copp, "but also
because Michigan has a good academic
standing that will be respected in
Canada. And being closer to home was
also something I needed."
COPP, A JUNIOR, excelled for the
Michigan swim team her first two
years, claiming a Big Ten title her
freshman year in the 200-meter in-
dividual medley and adding two titles
the following year - in the 200-meter
individual medley and the 200-meter
backstroke. She also qualified for
nationals both years, where as a
sophomore she finished second in the
200-meter backstroke and fourth in the
400-meter individual medley.
Despite her great success, Copp had
lacked confidence at times early in her
college career. "Melinda was unknown
in 1979 when she suddenly made the
Canadian team and competed in the
Pan American games," said Wolverine
coach Stu Isaac. "The next couple of
years she didn't make any national
teams and she was frustrated. Even as
a freshman she didn't quite know where
she was going."
COPP's CONFIDENCE steadily im-
proved during her freshman and
sophomore years, but it suffered a blow
this past summer when she narrowly
missed making the Commonwealth and
World Championship teams in Canada.
"I had to re-evaluate what I wanted to
do with my swimming," said Copp. "I
had to ask myself if the time I was put-
ting into it was worth what I was getting
out of it."
Under the guidance of Isaac, Copp
holds the fastest Big Ten times this
year in the 100-meter and 200-meter
backstroke and the 400-meter in-
dividual medley. With the NCAA
championships coming up in March,

Copp feels more sure of herself than
ever before. "I'm swimming with more
confidence," she said. "I know what
I'm doing, I believe in myself and I
know I can do it."
Copp's future goals include swim-
ming for Canada in the World Univer-
sity and Pan American games this
summer, as well as the 1984 Olympic
games next summer. To prepare for
these she currently puts in four to five
hours a day in swimming and strength
exercises. And when the season ends,
Copp will continue this strenuous pace
while 90 percent of the other swimmers

Capp
... gaining confidence
"I won a trip to a swim camp one sum-
mer, and while I was there I was told
that I had a lot of ability and that I
ought to develop it."
AND DEVELOP it she did. Choosing
to attend Pinecrest High School in
Florida because of its acclaimed
swimming program, Copp became a
four-year All-American.
Aside from high school training, Copp
also began spending summers in Ed-
monton, Alberta where she swam under
the direction of Dave Johnson, the
Canadian national coach. And the ad-
ditional training paid off in 1979 when
Copp, swimming for Canada, placed
fourth in the 100-meter backstroke in
the Pan American games in San Juan,
Puerto Rico.
Choosing to continue her swimming

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take time off.
"She's been very consistent in every
meet this year," said coach Isaac.
"She knows what she needs and how to
get it. To make the Olympics, she's got
to beat one of the two people in Canada
that have in the past two years beaten
her. I think it is well within her grasp.".
"I've always done real well with
swimming," said Copp, "but I won't be
able to live off of it. One day I'll retire,
and then my academic education along
with my swimming experience will
leave me better prepared for the
future."

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