The Michigan Daily -Tuesday, September 18,1990 - Page 11
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Fielder slams life
back into Tigers
by Mathew Dodge
Daily Sports Writer
The Silent Assassin of the Detroit Tigers.
Forty-five, forty-six... forty-seven home runs
He is a mystery man.
His voice is soft, but his bat is a baseball
Remember when you used to play whiffle ball
when you were little? Remember using that fat,
oversized plastic bat that dented the ball every
time you hit it? Every kid in America has spent
hours watching the old plastic ball soar over the
hedges and into the neighbors' yard.
That is how Cecil Fielder feels right now.
He is dominating the American League.
He arrives at Tiger Stadium, pulls on his
XXL uniform over his Charles Barkleyesque
body. His batting practice swings turn the left
field grandstand into a pinball machine. He re-
moves his hat and stands quietly during the na-
Fielder does what is asked of him. He does it
well. And he doesn't complain. This combina-
tion is rare among today's supersluggers.
Is Jose Canseco watching?
At the age of 26, Fielder is only getting his
feet wet in his first fullmajor league season as a
regular. However, his game has several weak-
nesses: he strikes out too often, and his abilities
in the field, while adequate, are far from
But who cares whether or not he wins a Gold
Glove with 47 homers, 120 RBIs, and a .290
Fielder has made a greater immediate impact
on the Tigers than anyone since Doyle Alexander
won nine straight games three years ago.
In 1989, Detroit had the worst record in the
American League. And in March, it was a con-
sensus pick to repeat in 1990.
Bill Lajoie, the Tigers' General Manager,
grabbed Fielder over the winter. No one really
noticed. Instead, the fans and the media lamented
the fact that Kent Hrbek, Mark Davis and Mark
Langston slipped through Detroit's free agent
This is an organization which seemed to lose
its direction and go to sleep immediately after
Minnesota hammered it in the 1987 playoffs.
The glory days of 1983-87 were gone. Was this
the mid-1970s all over again?
Not as long as Cecil is here.
Fielder has been a splash of cold water on De-
troit's sleepy face.
The team has been flirting with third place
most of the summer. In the spring, this thought
would have been as ludicrous as the thought that
Deion Sanders could play major league baseball.
The cause of the Tigers' surprising season is
astoundingly clear to all.
Detroit is close to the .500 mark because of
the outstanding play of Fielder and Alan
Trammell has had a solid season at the plate
and in the field. But Fielder has refreshed the
shortstop's career. Trammell no longer has to be
the main man in the Detroit lineup. He bats
ahead of Fielder in the batting order - which is
enough to make even Darnell Coles look compe-
tent in the box.
Whenever a southpaw faces Detroit, fans stand
outside on Kaline Drive - waiting for Cecil to
launch another satellite over the roof. His slug-
ging percentage against lefties has been above
.900 all year.
So pitchers tend to give Trammell one or two
good pitches to swing at. That gives him pre-
cious freedom at the plate. But these days, the
only advantage pitchers have in getting Trammell
out is that Fielder will only hit a solo shot in-
stead of a two-run homer.
The most impressive part of Fielder's game is
his consistency. He stays healthy and plays al-
most every game. Which is more than Canseco
can say. The fact that Fielder is in the lineup ev-
ery day translates into more wins for the Tigers.
Third place is nice.
It means that you're a better team than most,
and close to the two best.
But five years from now, no one will remem-
ber whether the Tigers finished, in third, fourth,
What we will remember is that Cecil Fielder
hit fifty home runs.
We will recall this season as the start of a
new Tiger era. A brief slump into the deep end of
the American League East was alleviated by the
big guy batting cleanup.
In five years, Trammell and Lou Whitaker
may be gone.
Jack Morris and Sparky Anderson will be
But not Cecil.
Wolverine swimmer Mike Barrowman, owner of the 200-meter
'breaststroke world record, competes in the NCAA men's swimming and
diving championships last spring.
Barrowman jumps ship
to prepare for 1991 Worlds
by Sarah Osburn hind Barrowman, junior E
Daily Sports Writer ,. 1 m
The Michigan men's swimming
team will be without its team cap-
tain until January because current
breaststroke world record holder and
NCAA champion Mike Barrowman
is taking the fall semester off to pre-
.pare for the 1991 World Champi-
onships, which will be held in
Australia Jan. 7-13.
Wolverine coach Jon Urbanchek
explained that Barrowman took both
spring and summer classes to be eli-
gible to swim in 'January in case he
made the world championship team
and skipped the fall term. "He dis-
cussed it with me ahead of time,"
Urbanchek said. "It wasn't a sur-
prise. The team knew about it and
they still elected him captain, every-
Mike is a very
focused person and
he can't train at that
_ high of a level and go
Vunderiich, inl teu 1meter breast
stroke; and junior Eric Namesnik in
the 400 individual medley. Barrow-
man will compete in the 200 breast-
stroke, the event in which he holds
both the world and NCAA records.
Junior freestyler Scott Van Ap-
pledorn was elected active captain to
replace Barrowman for the fall term.
"24 YEARS EXPERIENCE'
- Jon Urbanchek
Men's swimming coach;
"Mike is a very focused person'
0 and he can't train at that high of a
,.. level and go to school. Mike made
the Big Ten all-Academic team and
.-'has a 3.5 grade point .average as an
English major. He is not someone
who doesn't care about academics."
Urbanchek doesn't feel that the
absence of Barrowman, the 1989
United States Swimmer of the year,
will hurt the team in any way. "The
' only important meet he will miss is
Wisconsin," he said.
Two other Wolverines made the
World Championship team: Michi-
gan's second fastest breaststroker be-
DETROIT (AP) - The harvest
moon will have special meaning for
the Detroit Tigers this month.
The Tigers, who have taken more
than a few zings about the state' of
their farm system, have seen two
young prospects - Travis Fryman
and Milt Cuyler blossom and find
their way to the big leagues this
Fryman was expected to be here.
He seemed almost programmed for
it. He arrived in July and his first
ihajor league hit was a 400-foot
home run. After 58 games, he's hit-
*Oing .320, and he's been switched
from shortstop to third base.
But Cuyler is a surprise.
He was called up just over a week
ago, when major league teams were
allowed to expand their rosters as
they do every September.
But in just 11 games, Cuyler has
made such an impression on Tigers
manager Sparky Anderson that it's
almost certain he'll be the regular
center fielder next season.
K-In those games, Cuyler has hit
.324, driven in five runs and scored
five. But the thing that really sets
Cuyler apart from the rest of the
pack is his speed, both on the bases
and in the outfield.
"This kid, no question, puts an
aw..f.i lrnt of inice inl nr n 'tawk_" An.
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from their Oxford college: this is NOT a program conducted by a
U.S. College in Oxford. 3.2 minimum index in major required.
An alternative program which is sponsored by a U.S. Univer-
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Meet with Oxford representative at
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journalists. Similar opportunities in public policy internships
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214 Massachusetts Ave., N.E., Suite 450
Washington, D.C. 20002 (202) 547-3275
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