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September 12, 1989 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-09-12

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Tuesday, September 12, 1989 - The Michigan Daily -- Page 9

vIews * th Baseballgstatistics can FOOTBALL
. SX S I C CContinued from Page 1
On offense, Heisman tro
4 toss fans a curveball didate Tony Boles wiil start
ppr wseason on the bench, as Mo
SUort jna VOWS - r Rose Bowl MVP Leroy Hoa

phy can-
the 1989
eller said
ird would

By Howie Epstein
Daily Contributor
It's a given that statistics are a very important tool
in the world of sports, and baseball utilizes these
numbers more than in any other.
Statistics can be used to tell the manager what the
best lineup is for a certain game or tell the pitcher
whether his "bread and butter" will work against the
top hitter in the league.
However, these same stats often do not tell the fan
the entire story when it comes to evaluating a player's
For example, Darryl Strawberry of the New York
Mets has 27 homers. Impressive, right? Maybe. It all
depends on the angle from which you look at them.
A FAN may ask, "How many of those home runs
came with runners on base?" or "How many of those
home runs tied the score or gave the Mets the lead?"
Rocketing a shot off the clock in right-centerfield in
the second inning is exciting, but a two-run shot with
two out in the ninth is by far the most crucial type of
home run to a game.
Another example is Mark Davis of the San Diego
Padres. Davis has notched a major league-leading 38
But questions arise. How many blown saves does
Davis have? How many inherited runners has Davis
allowed to score? Pitching three innings to get the
save in a 12-3 win is something Calvin Schiraldi can
handle; striking out the side with the bases loaded in
the ninth is something else. The.statistics that we see

in the paper, on TV, or on the scoreboard fail to show
us anything except raw numbers.
What the media should do is relay the meaningful
statistics to the fan so that when they watch the game,
they can see the action from a more sophisticated per-
There have been many statistics created by baseball
experts, like Bill James, that have revealed a player's
real value to a team in a specific situation or a team's
ability to perform at certain levels at different times.
Organizations such as the Elias Sports Bureau pub-
lish statistics of this type and make them available to
the front office of each club along with the media.
WHY CAN'T the media present these stats to us
when it matters, such as during a game? When
Milwaukee Brewer Robin Yount is hitting with men
on second and third, the media should immediately tell
the viewer his average with men in scoring position.
Baseball fans seem to grow continuously more
knowledgeable and sophisticated regarding their sport.
It is rare to see a viewer casually watching the game,
not really caring who wins or not knowing what is
going on. The more educated spectator wants to know
what goes on inside the manager's head and wants to
become more involved when it comes to his favorite
Batting average with runners in scoring position,
runs- created, quality starts, blown saves - these stats
and more have additional meaning in certain situations
than merely batting average, RBI's, or ERA.
These unrevealed stats are the ones that add the real
flavor to the game.

probably start at tailback.
"One of them will start," Moeller
said. "We don't necessarily want to
rotate, but that's qoing to happen.
Who will be the first guy in? Maybe
Leroy Hoard."
Moeller added that Steve Everitt
had edged ahead of Matt Elliott at the
center position, while redshirt frosh
Joe Cocozzo is listed ahead of Marc
Ramirez at right guard.
Moeller addressed the media yes-
terday, in place of Schembechler.

Schembechler has been travelling
back and forth between Ann Arbor
and his hometown of Barberton,
Ohio where his mother remains
Betty Schembechler, 86, is quite
.ill with an undisclosed ailment.
Schembechler flew to Ohio, Sat-
urday, after taping his television
program, and returned to address the
team. He was expected to depart
again yesterday after practice.
But in the meantime, Michigan is
gearing up for a game the players
have been waiting for since last year,
when the Fighting Irish defeated
Michigan, 19-17.
The Irish are vying to become the
team to beat a Schembechler-coached
team three consecutive times.
Moeller sees Notre Dame having
played and destroyed Virginia, 36-13,
in the KickoffClassic as giving
them a slight edge..
"A game like that is practice for
the rookies, for the new guys who
haven't played for us before,"
Moeller said. "They've had a dress
rehearsal. I'd like to have a game

under our belt to calm us down"
Notre Dame did not have to give
Michigan copies of game film, a
common.practice between oppon-
ents, since the Wolverines had none
of their own to provide.
Blue Banter
- Fifth-year seniors J.J. Grant and-.
Derrick Walker have been named cow'
captains for the 1989 season. Grant
posted a team-leading 77 tackles
from his linebacker position last sea-
son, despite missing the final three
games of the season witha knee
injury. Walker, slated to start at-
tight end, is considered among the.
best blocking tight ends in the,
- Alex Marshall returned to practice
after missing over a week with a
bruised kidney.
- During the '80s, Michigan is 1-1
in home openers against defending:
national champions. The Wolverines'
beat Miami, 22-14, in 1984, and'
lost to the Hurricanes, 31-30, last

The U-M Office of Major Events presents
from Ireland,
with Special Guest, PHRANC

Washington State 'disappointed'

Washington State beat Brigham
Young last week, first-year coach
Mike Price jokingly suggested the
Cougars deserved to be ranked No. 1
because thel were 23rd in the
Associated Press college football
"I'm disappointed," he said,
tongue-in-cheek. "Our 24-hour rank-
ing as No. 1 didn't come through
While traditional powers Penn
State and Florida State dropped out
of the rankings, Washington State,
which beat BYU 46-41, moved into
* the Top 25 along with Washington,
now 15th in the poll.
Washington coach Don James,
whose 1984 team finished runner-up
to national champion BYU, was
happy after his team's 19-6 opening
season victory over Texas A&M in
Seattle Saturday.

But he said experience has
showed him that rankings are only
important at the end of the season.
"It's a little bit early to worry
about polls," he said. "If we would
have lost, we wouldn't have been
He said it was understandable the
nation's voters took notice of
Washington. A&M defeated Louisi-
ana State in its own opener the
previous week.
"We beat a highly visible team
that had a great win under their
belts," he said.
Price took over a Washington
State team that went 9-3 and beat
Houston in the Aloha Bowl last
season under Dennis Erickson. Er-
ickson left after the season to go to
Price said the Cougars didn't need

a national ranking to think highly of
"This team is self-motivated
enough," he said. "We have to play
better and we can play better than we
did last Thursday."
Notre Dame and Michigan re-
tained the top two spots heading into
Saturday's showdown in Ann Arbor.
Neither team played last week.
The Fighting Irish received 37
first-place voted, 22 more than
Michigan. Third-ranked Miami was
No. 1 on five ballots, with the other
three first-place votes from sports
writers and broadcasters going to No.
4 Nebraska.
Rounding out the Top 10 are
Auburn, Oklahoma, Clemson, Colo-
rado, Arkansas, and Illinois.
Miami, playing its first game
under Erickson, routed Wisconsin
51-3 on Saturday. Nebraska pounded
Northern Illinois 48-17 and Auburn
crushed Pacific 55-0 in their openers.

(Women's Varsity
Softball Tryouts)
September 14 and 15
Varsity Softball Diamond
Contact: Carol Hutchins

Tuesday, Sept. 26 8:00pm
Power Center


To charge by phone 763-TKTS
Tickets available at the Michigan Union Ticket Office
and all Ticketmaster outlets.

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