Detroit's Darrel Evans is
congratulated at the plate by Alan
Trammell and Lance Parrish after hit-
ting a three-run homer in the first in-
ning of yesterday's home opener at
Tiger Stadium. The Tigers beat Texas
5-1 for their sixth straight victory.
Tigers tear Rangers
in home opener, 5-1
By MIKE McGRAW THAT SET the stage for Darrell
Special to the, Daily Evans' first plate appearance at Tiger
DETROIT - Another American Stadium and he made it a memorable
League team has now had a first-hand one by jacking the ball well into the up-
look at what Detroit baseball fans are pe deck for a three-run homer to put the
so excited about. Yesterday, the Texas Bengals on top to stay.
Rangers became the Tigers' sixth Later in the inning, after Kirk Gibson
straight victim of the 1984 season, had singled, Stewart walked Larry
losing 5-1 at sold-out Tiger Stadium. Herndon, Chet Lemon and Howard
Detroit hurler Dan Petry was the key Johnson to give Gibson an easy pass to
performer in the win, limiting the home plate and himself an early trip to
Ranger bats to only four singles while the showers.
striking out seven as he went the- In the third, the Tigers sent their fans
distance for his second triumph of the even more deeply into a case of
year. premature pennant fever when Larry
THF, OPENING-day crowd of 51,238 Herndon doubled to the wall in left-
barely had a chance to recover from the center field and first baseman ,Dave
pre-game ceremonies before the bulk of Bergman followed with a single that
the day's scoring occurred, sent Herndon around with the final tally
In the top of the first inning, third- of the afternoon.
baseman Buddy Bell singled for Texas The win moves Detroit's record to 6-0,
with one away and then moved to its best start since 1911 - a year the
second on an infield bounce-out. Larry Tigers finished second.
Parrish, brother of Tiger catcher Lan-
ce, followed with a single to left to ' Scores
knock in Bell with the first run of the
ballgame. NHL Playoffs
But the Tigers quickly nullified that Islanders 3, Rangers 2
score with four of their own. Ranger Minnesota 4, Chicago 1N
pitcher pave Stewart, a big righthan- Boston 96, Milwaukee 95
ler acquired from Los Angeles last American League
season, encountered a streak of wild- Baltimore 6, Kansas City 3
ness and walked Lou Whitaker and NewYork4, Minnesota eg
Alan Trammel leading off the Detroit New York 4, Atlanta 2
half of the initial frame. Philadelphia 3, Houston 1
By PA UL HELGREN
After years of patience...
... Tiger fans get a winner
0H HOW WE Tiger fans have waited for this season.
Twelve long years we've waited. We waited through Ralph Houk and Les
Moss. We waited through 19-game losing streaks and 102-loss seasons. We
waited through Nate Colbert and Charlie Spikes. We waited through Ray
Bare and Steve Foucault. We waited through three Mark Fidrych
comebacks (or was it four?). And all along we heard the same, sad song.
Patience. Be patient and someday you will have a winner.
We patiently listened as George "Sparky" Anderson, the white-haired
sage of baseball gab, made promise after lavish promise. Sparky promised
lots of things. Things like 90-victory seasons. Things like a pennant by 1984.
We waited and watched as Sparky's "my way or the highway" philosophy
sent Ron LeFlore, Jason Thompson, Rusty Staub, Steve Kemp, John
Wockenfuss, and Glenn Wilson packing. In return he brought us Chet Lemon.
Dan Schatzaeder, Al Cowens, Larry Herndon, Darrel Evans, and Willie Her-
nandez. On balance, the moves looked good. But still we waited.
We waited as young players like Alan Trammell, Lance Parrish, Lou
Whitaker, Dan Petry and Jack Morris blossomed into stars. We waited for
others - Rick Leach, Schatzaeder, Fidrych, Wilson - who did not fulfill our
expectations or, we are told, were not a part of the grand scheme.
And in 1984, the year of George Orwell, the official (you fill in) of the L.A.
Olympics and the brothers Jackson (Michael and Jesse) - our patience will
finally be rewarded. Nineteen-hundred and eighty-four will be our salvation,
our redemption, our justification, our reward for suffering through players
like Jack Pierce and Luis Alvarado. In short, 1984 will be the year of the
It's been a long time since a fourth-grader from Westland watched an
aging group of Tiger veterans with names like Kaline, Horton, Cash,
McAuliffe, Northrup and Lolich fall to a mustachioed bunch from Oakland in
the 1972 American League East playoffs. It's been even longer since that
crisp October afternoon in 1968 when a skin-headed five-year-old wondered
why everyone was putting toilet paper in trees and honking their car horns.
I'd say that kid is just about ready for another pennant. Early indications
say the Tigers are, too.
The Tigers' start has been more than even Sparky could hope for. After
yesterday's home-opening victory against Texas, the Bengals have won
their first six battles. And three of those wins came against arch-nemesis
and A.L. West champ Chicago.
And, acting as an omen of good things to come, Morris no-hit the Chisox
last Saturday. If you'll remember, Milt Wilcox's bid for perfection was
frustrated by the Sox and pinch hitter Jerry Hairston last season. If you're
superstitious, you have to like the difference.
In fact, you have to like everything about the Tigers this year. I admit I let
loose with a "Sparky sucks" when I heard we gave up Wockenfuss and
Wilson for Hernandez and Dave Bergman, but once again it looks like the
man who was born old-looking was right. Look at the Tiger pitching staff.
There isn't a bad arm there. But until they acquired Hernandez, there wasn't
a lefty on the Tiger staff, either. Now there is. And a damn good one.
And the lineup. Hell, it's one of the best. What offense in either league can
claim to better Detroit's? Okay, so Gibby is weak out in right field and third
base is a question mark at best. But with three gold gloves up the middle the
Tigers shouldn't be hurting for 'D.'
But what about Baltimore, you might be asking. Sure the Birds are tough
but the old Oriole mystique will be grourided by superior talent in the Motor
City. Baltimore, too, is weak at third and won't get anything near the offense
Detroit will get out of second base and catcher. And Oriole manager Joe
Altobelli can juggle the outfield until his hands are sore and he still won't
match Tiger production there. Pitching? Surprise. From one to nine Detroit
and Baltimore are equal.
As for the rest of the East, well, sorry. You'll just have to wait your turn.
But don't worry Blue Jay, Yankee, Brewer, Red Sox and Indian fans. Your
day will come. But in the meantime, take a cue from us Tiger fans. Be
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