The Michigan Daily-Thursday, October 29, 1987- Page 9
'k Champion TwinAs...
THE SPORTING VIEWS
By MICHAEL SALINSKY
A team with an 85-77 record, a
measly .525 winning percentage,
during the regular season.
A team whose third starting
pitcher in the playoffs was named
A team whose catchers couldn't
bat over .200.
A team that lost 52 of its 8 1
games played outside the Hubert H.
Champions? A lot of people are
having a hard time accepting that the
Minnesota Twins are the World
Champions of baseball.
THE ARGUMENTS are
numerous. They would have finished
in fourth place in the National
League East, fifth in the American
League East! Heck, they didn't even
deserve to be in the playoffs.
WRONG. The primary goal of
every team when they begin spring
training is to win their division.
That, nothing more and nothing
less, gets you in the playoffs. The
Twins accomplished that goal.
It is irrelevant that they played in
a weak division. It is also likely that
their record was influenced by the
mediocrity of their division. I
haven't seen any analysis of this in
the statistical literature, but it seems
logical that a team's play would be
affected by the standings. In other
words, you do what you have to do
to keep up. And in the AL West this
year that wasn't much.
As Whitey Herzog said, "It's a
shame that one team wins 98 games
and the other wins 85 and the one
with 85 wins (the pennant)." This
sentiment was echoed all over
campus after the Tigers' demise,
unworthy of title?
years as an injury-prone player. The
fact that he played so much this
year, as opposed to last year, is a
major reason for the Cards' good
fortune this season.
The Cardinals, of all teams,
should not be harping on their "bad
luck." The injuries to St. Louis
during the season were eclipsed by
injuries to the Mets' pitching staff
that enabled the Cards to win the
BEFORE ANYONE accuses
me of sour grapes, let me
acknowledge that the Cardinals were
deserving division champs, just as
the Twins are deserving World
White Sox manager Jim Fregosi
sociated Press spouted a Herzogism during the
postseason when he said of the
d Champion- Twins, "They are a hot ballclub
right now...but this is the same
team that was four games under .500
I don't know after the All-Star game."
pid." They were not the same team.
ly known as This is a team that went 17 games
established over .500 after the All-Star break to
st misquoted clinch the division before losing the
the most last five meaningless games. This is
-nth game of a team that made the Tigers, with
rd him - so the best record in baseball, look bad
misquote - with a capital 'B'. And this is the
ns' accomp- team that made the pitching-rich
ng on the Cardinals dizzy watching Twins
round the bases.
say that the Said Twins DH Don Baylor: "So
won it all if many people will say this was not
the best World Series, was not the
maybe not best matchup, but we were the final
njuries are a two, and after all is said and done,
t like weak we're the World Champions."
re part of the That's right Don, you are, and
Clark has don't let anybody tell you that you
r the past few didn't deserve it.
Gary Gaetti helped the Twins extend their season into a World
with calls being issued for the
abolishment of the playoff system.
WRONG. If any series can be
used as an argument for the playoffs
it was the Twins' demolition of
Detroit. Whatever the reasons, the
Tigers just weren't there come
crunch time, and did not show at all
that they deserved to be in the World
Series. Even the last week of the
season impressed me not as the
Tigers winning the division but as
the Blue Jays losing it.
Splitting a crucial series with the
pathetic Orioles the last week of the
season does not a champion make.
Twins' third baseman Gary Gaetti
responded to Herzog much as I
would have. "I mean what does he
want us to do," Gaetti said. "We did
what he had to do to get here. He's
grasping at something.]
what. It's brutal. It's stu
the "white rat," has
himself as either the mo
man in baseball or
arrogant. After the seve
the World Series, I hea
it couldn't have been a
subtly demean the Twi
lishment by dwellir
A LOT OF people
Cardinals would have
not for injuries.
wrong but irrelevant. I
part of the game jus
divisions are. Injuries a
player also. Jack
established himself over
Sidney Green and Patrick Ewing will both play for the Knicks this season.
Green, a Brooklyn native, was traded from the Pistons to New York yester-
Pistons won't dish out
goreen; send Sidney toNY
PONTIAC (AP) - The Detroit
Pistons traded Sidney Green to the
New York Knicks yesterday for
rookie forward Ron Moore and a
second-round pick in the 1988 draft.
The Knicks had signed Green to a
$2.3 million offer sheet nearly a
month ago, only to have the Pistons-
The Pistons cleared the path for
the acquisition of Moore by trading
forward Kurt Nimphius late Tuesday
to the San Antonio Spurs for a
Moore, the 25th pick in the draft,
averaged 27.6 points and 10.1
rebounds at West Virginia State last
year. He averaged 5.5 points in the
Knicks' four exhibition games.
Green, a 6-9 forward, came to
Detroit from Chicago for Earl
Cureton and a second-round draft
choice in 1986. In four years in the
NBA, Green has averaged 22.4
points per game.
SPORTS OF THE DAILY:
Auburn QB out of
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Senior
Auburn quarterback Jeff Burger, the
leading passer in the Southeastern
Conference, was declared ineligible
Wednesday along with teammate Jim
Thompson after the NCAA said they
broke a rule by taking a free trip to
go hunting with a Thompson family
Their eligibility could be restored
by the NCAA on appeal in time for
sixth-ranked Auburn's S E C
showdown with No. 10 Florida on
Saturday night, but it was uncertain
when, or how, the NCAA might
David Housel, Auburn sports
information director, said the school
was notified yesterday morning that
an Oct. 11 trip to south Alabama on
a small, private plane was considered
a violation of the "extra benefits"
rule by the Nat-ional Collegiate
"Both players have been declared
ineligible by Auburn University
pending an appeal for restoration of
their eligibility by Auburn," Housel
said. "Auburn officials are in the
process of making that appeal."
The decision conies as Auburn, 6-
0-1, heads into the final four games
against four top 20 teams, beginning
with Florida at Auburn's Jordan-Hare
Stadium. Also ahead are No. 4
Florida State, 12th-ranked Georgia
and No. 16 Alabama.
Burger, who has had two other
brushes with ineligibility this year,
has made up for a weak Auburn
running attack by completing 105 of
154 passes for 1,314 yards and 10
touchdowns, with only three
Thompson, a junior offensive
tackle, was a starter at the beginning
of the season but has been out
several weeks with a knee injury.
Burger almost did not get to play
at all this season when the Auburn
Academic Honesty Committee
suspended him for two quarters after
he allegedly plagiarized parts of a
term paper. But that suspension was
lifted by Warren Brandt, the school's
vice president for academic affairs,
who said Burger had suffered enough
because of intense media coverage.
ROCHESTER HILLS (AP) -
Detroit Lions defensive coordinator
Wayne Fontes stood silently at his
arraignment Wednesday in the 52nd
District Court as a plea of innocent
was entered on his behalf on a charge
of cocaine possesion and t w o
drunken driving charges.
Judge Robert Shipper set
preliminary examination for Nov. 5
at 8:45 a.m. before Judge James
Sheahy. Fontes was released on
$7,000 personal bond, $5,000 for
the felony possession charge and
$1,000 for each of the two
misdemeanor drunken driving
The cases involving Fontes
stemmed from an Oct. 21 incident,
the Oakland County Sheriff's
Fontes apparently drove his car
into a ditch before his wife brought
him a second car and he later was
stopped by deputies, police said.
Police said they found a small vial
of cocaine in the first car.
Fontes, in his third season as a
coach with the Lions, denied that he
had cocaine in his car.
"No sir, I didn't have an y
controlled substances," Fontes said
Tuesday. "I didn't have any cocaine."
A breathalyzer test showed Fontes
was legally drunk, sheriff's Sgt.
Douglas Molinar said.
Lions' officials and players were
dismayed after learning of the
"He's my friend and he's more
than just my coach. I would talk to
my friend before I said anything
about him," said William Gay,
Lions' defensive end and co-captain.
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