THE SPORTING VIEWS
By PETER ZELLEN
We hear it all the time. From the agents, from
the players, from the sportswriters, and most of all,
from the fans. Yes, there is collusion among
baseball's owners against this year's free agents.
People are quick to point the finger at the owners
for the deadlock in baseball's "financial playoffs." In
reality the whole conflict boils down to one thing,
player greed. You may be surprised to read this
considering that such free agents as Tim Raines,
Rich Gedman, and Bob Horner remain unsigned, but
greed is still the answer.
Under baseball's new collective bargaining
agreement, players need three years of major league
service in order to be eligible for salary arbitration
as opposed to two years in 1985. The owners are
using the extra year of control to decrease salaries
raises. This way, players will go to arbitration with
lower salaries and their raises won't be as large.
SINCE 1976 the players have been hiving off
the owners' checkbook. Players having mediocre
seasons would demand $100,000-plus raises. At this
rate, a player with two very good seasons
sandwiched by three average ones could very well
end up with a million-dollar contract. It just doesn't
make economical sense for the owner's to continue
their behavior of the past.
A good example was New York Met Ray
Knight. After his comeback season of 1987 and his
World Series MVP award, Knight thought he
deserved a million-dollar contract. His demand was
downright ridiculous. He hadn't had a really good
season in a l'vhile, so there was no reason the Mets
Collusion result of
should risk that kind of money on him. They
countered with a very generous $800,000 contract.
Knight whined about it, refused to go to
arbitration, and signed with Baltimore for around
$400,000. What did Knight prove? He didn't hurt
the Mets' feelings and probably didn't hurt their
team either. Greed.
Looking even more recently, Cy Young and
MVP award winner Roger Clemens has vowed to sit
out the season if he doesn't receive the two-year,
$2.4-million contract he wants. The Red Sox have
offered $500,000 plus another $500,000 in
incentives for the 1987 season - another reasonable
What makes Roger Clemens think he's any
different than Rick Sutcliffe and Bret Saberhagen?
Both pitchers were given huge contracts after great
seasons but since then have yet to produce. Clemens
is greedy with a vengeance.
The owners are just trying to protect themselves
from giving out large salaries to one- or two-season
wonders. This is the owners' way of saying that
they will consider the big contract but only after the
player has proven himself over three or more years..
I think that's fair, but the players won't hear of it.
The owners' hard line is the only way salaries
can be reduced. It's a shame that some great players
like .Raines have to be victims of the plan, but an
example must be set. Let's hope that the players and
the owners can come together and work it out,
because the 1987 season won't be the same without
the likes of those unsigned free agents and holdouts.
The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 1, 1987 - Page 11
BIT TER RIVALRY INSPIRES INTENSITY
Netters battle Spartans
By ROB LEVINE
The Michigan-Michigan State
women's tennis match today at the
Track and Tennis Building (3:00
p.m.) is not just another Big Ten
contest. Just ask the participants.
"It's such a rivalry it tends to be
so emotional that really anything
can happen," said Michigan head
coach Bitsy Ritt.
"Michigan State always enjoys
beating Michigan and I know
Michigan always enjoys beating
Michigan State," added Michigan
State head coach Heather
"It's totally a rivalry," said
Michigan's Tina Basle. "We don't
like them and they don't like us."
MICHIGAN brings a record of
7-8, 1-3 in Big Ten play into the
match and MSU's record stands at
5-2, 1-0 in the conference.
Playing at number-one singles
for the Wolverines is junior Basle.
She is coming off strong
performances last weekend, wins at
Notre Dame and Indiana, and should
be in for a fight against freshman
Kathleen Monczka. As a 16-year-
old, Monczka was ranked number
one in the Western Michigan
Tennis Association and had a
nationally ranking of 54 for the
same age group.
"She's a really good player," said
Basle. "She hits the ball hard. It
seems she doesn't really move that
well. I'm going to try to move the
ball around. My drop shot will
probably be pretty effective."
ANOTHER expected battle is
Michigan's Leslie Mackey facing
the Spartans' Linda Pursel at second
singles. Pursel played number-one
singles for MSU as a freshman last
year and was the team MVP.
"We have a strong one and two
players," said Mactaggart. "We're
pretty strong up top. We do have
more depth than they do at this
Other probable singles players
from MSU include junior Gina
Romeo, seniors Tracy Balagna and
Marimar Alonso, and sophomore
Expected to compete for the
Wolverines in singles are seniors
Tricia Horn, Annemarie Floreno,
and Alison Miller, and junior Susie
MICHIGAN State fields exper -
ienced teams at doubles. The team
of Balagna and Romeo compiled a
20-6 record at number-one doubles
last year and have played together
for three years. Basle and Mackey
are expected to play first singles for
"Tracy (Balagna) is a good serve
and volleyer in singles and Gina
(Romeo) is very strong," said
Basle. "They're going to be good.
We have to move well to beat
"We have some pretty good
doubles combinations, but then
again, anything could happen in
doubles," said Mactaggart.
"Michigan has turned out some
good doubles wins. Those girls
could be pretty tough at any time."
Michigan and MSU played five
times last year, with the Spartans
winning each time. It's payback
time for the hated cross-state rivals.
"We all have to play well to
win," said Basle. "Everybody's
going to really be psyched for it."
"Michigan State is solid all the
way down their lineup," said Ritt.
"We're going to have to play well
and really work hard in the matches
to be competitive."
Texas has range to rule
Rent a Car from Econo-Car
By SCOTT SHAFFER
The American League West. The
mild, mild west.
It has been much-maligned the
past three years and rightfully so.
Last year, the seven teams
combined for a won-loss record of
56 games under .500.
When scanning the rosters before
writing this column, I noticed that
only two teams had proven, quality
catching. Never have I seen a
division with such consistently
poor starters at one position. Only
Chicago, with Carlton Fisk and
Rbn Karkovice, and Texas, with
Don Slaught and Darrell Porter,
don't have glaring weaknesses
behind the plate. As a matter of fact
that's why I chose Texas over the
Twins and Royals.
Here then are my picks, in order
Texas - I hesitate before
picking the Rangers to win the
division because they have a
reputation for wilting under the
Arlington heat in August. But
Texas has the best talent - young
but experienced. Facing the speed of
pitchers Bobby Witt and $d Correa
with Charlie Hough's knuckleball
sandwiched somewhere in between
will make them even tougher. The
bullpen is strong as well.
The outfield will be manned by
Oddibe McDowell, Pete Incaviglia
and Ruben Sierra, whose ages range
from 21 to 24. You want power?
Incaviglia, DH Larry Parrish and
first baseman Pete O'Brien
combined for 81 round trippers last
year. The only hole is at second
Minnesota - The recent
acquisition of stopper Jeff Reardon
makes these guys contenders even
though they dropped the "TC" logo
on their caps for an ugly "M". With
Reardon putting out fires for Bert
(best curve in baseball) Blyleven,
Mike Smithson and lefty Frank
Viola, this will be a tough team,
especially on the road where the
Homerdome's absence will allow
pitching to be more of a factor.
But this team can hit, too.
Check out the heart of their order
- Kent Hrbek (.267 average, 29
home runs, 91 RBIs), Gary Gaetti
(.287-34-108) and Tom Brunansky
(.256-23-75). Put Kirby Puckett
(.328-31-96) ahead of these guys
and you have an exciting and highly
potent offense. Catching is a
weakness, however. Mark Salas and
Tim Laudner are no threat to the
memory of Yogi Berra.
Kansas City - My senti -
mental favorite because of Dick
Howser, but ailing ex-managers
don't win pennants for you. I also
like this team because they are one
of the few clubs in baseball that
worried itself mlore with improving
than with lowering salaries.
Juan Beniquez, who has four
straight .300 seasons, and Danny
Tartabull (.270-25-96) were acquired
to help the offense. George Brett
should return to his usual
Cooperstown-bound self and Dan
Quisenberry will rebound somewhat
Catching will hurt the Royals'
playoff drive. Recent trades leave
the Royals with Jamie Quirk and
ex-Met Ed Hearn as the starting
backstops. And I have a gut feeling
that KC will go with Bo Jackson in
right no matter how poor his
average is, just to keep him from
California - This was a
team that was one strike away from
going to the World Series last year.
This year, they are a lot farther than
that. Bobby Grich has retired and
Reggie Jackson is now an A. With
Bob Boone gone, the catching is
left in the shaky hands of Butch
Wynegar, who left the Yankees in
August claiming mental exhaus -
tion. The fact that he was hitting
.206 and had lost his job had
absolutely nothing to do with it, of
On the plus side, Wally (World)
Joyner should post numbers similar
to his rookie stats (.290-22-100)
while center fielder Gary Pettis and
shortstop Dick Schofield are
excellent defensively and improving
at the plate. Brian Downing and
Doug DeCinces are getting a bit
long in the tooth, but are still
Chicago- When a team feels
that it has so much pitching that it
can release Bob Gibson, you'd
think they had a Hall-of-Fame
mound corps. However, the only
similarities between the Bob
Gibson who the White Sox released
earlier this week and the ex-Cardinal
are the name and the fact that they
once pitched in the majors.
Otherwise, the pitching is not
bad, led by two solid starters, Floyd
Bannister and Neil Allen. Two of
the other starters, Jose DeLeon and
Rich Dotson, are talented enough to
win but are question marks. In the
pen, Bob James should develop
another pitch to go with his fastball
instead of further developing his
already ample midsection.l
Harold Baines will anchor the
hitting, but he needs a better
Oakland - Well, Reggie
returns to the fold, and Mr. October
will spend the autumn of his career
firmly entrenched in the bowels of
the worst division in baseball. Too
bad, Reggie, but that's what
happens when the owners are
content to go with Mickey Tettle -
ton and Jerry Willard at catcher
instead of pursuing Lance Parrish or
the still-available Rich Gedman in
the free agent market. Jose Canseco
and Dwayne Murphy will hit some
homers, but they probably will,
strike out 300 times between them.
Seattle - The vultures are
already circling over the Kingdome.
Thanks to the incompetence of
owner George Argyros, Seattle is
virtually assured of its twelfth
straight losing season. Even worse,
if the Mariners draw fewer than 1.7
U of M departments
13 issues (excluding
June 26th & July 3rd)
Write TODAY to renrew
Include your name
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Send to The Michigan Daily,
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million fans, the team may very
well use the escape clause in its
lease to make like a tree and leave.
Every year, the Mariners make at
least one atrocious trade. This year
will be no exception. Tartabull for
Scott Binkhead and Mike Kingery
is the leading offender. The Matt
Young deal to L. A. for Dennis
Powell was no gem, either.
The Mariners still have some
young talent left. Phil Bradley is a
legitimate .300 hitter and Jim
Presley, Ken Phelps and Alvin
Davis can all hit 20-30 homers .
But this team is a bunch of hackers
who whiffed 1148 times last year,
the most in the league.
Pitching? When the Best pitcher
(Karl Best) goes 2-3 with a 4.04
ERA, you need help, swift (and not
Billy Swift who was 2-9).
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