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September 24, 1990 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-24

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 24, 1990 - Page 11

c c " l ea s 'ta s Ba ct i acrd ('lids Sabo

M'

Fans:

Wake up!

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TWO former 'M' players talk about

life as Wolv
The Cincinnati Reds .ave dom-
inated the National League West
this season, never relinquishing the
top position of the division. Two
layers that have solidified the
Reds as anchors in the lineup hail
from Michigan. With Chris Sabo at
third base and Barry Larkin at
shortstop, Cincinnati sports two of
the best hitters in the league. Daily
Sports Editor Ryan Schreiber
caught up with the Reds in mid-June
during a series with the Mets at
Shea Stadium in New York, where
he had the opportunity to talk to
Sabo and Larkin about Michigan,
the Reds, and their hitting success.
Daily: Who offered you the most
influence at Michigan while you
'were there?
Larkin: (Former) Coach (Bud)
Middaugh.
Sabo: Bud. Bud Middaugh and
(former assistant coach) Danny Hall.
D: In what way?
L: Well, he was the head coach,
everything and anything that had
to do with baseball. He was the
teacher. He was the mentor at the
time.
S: In every way. They helped
give advice in every aspect of
baseball.
D: Which player did you most
want to be like when you were a
SL: Oh boy, I didn't watch
baseball as a kid. When I was in
high school, I liked Ozzie Smith and
Davey Concepcion. I wanted to play
shortstop in the big leagues.
S: I didn't want to be like
anybody. I liked Al Kaline. I was a
big Tiger fan.
D: In 1983, arguably Michigan's
best season ever, you played together
or the only time. What kind of a
elationship did you have on and off
the field?
L: Well, on the field, everybody
was together. It was a team concept.
But Chris was, at the time, kind of
quiet and to himself, and I was
young and to myself. We didn't say
too much. I didn't say too much to
anybody until I got comfortable.
S: I didn't see Barry too much off
the field. I was a couple of years
older, so I had my friends and he had
his friends as a freshman. On the
field, it was good. He's a great
player. (Our communication) was
fine, not any more or less than other
shortstops.
D: How has this affected the way
you play as teammates with the
Reds?
L: Well, you know, we had a lot
of similar background, so we had a

erines and in the majors

lot of stuff to talk about when we
both got here.
S: It makes it easier for me. I
don't think it makes it easier for him
because I don't have as much range
as he's got.
D: When both of you had
shortened seasons last year due to
injuries, you were at the peak of
your game when it came to hitting.
How has this affected your play this
season as far as attitude and as far as
your desire to repeat what you did
last season?
L: I think last year was a boost
of confidence for both of us. We're
both confident this year and both
swinging the bat pretty well. Chris
has 17 or 18 home runs, or however
many he has, and he's doing really
well. And I've been getting my hits,
so I think last year was a confidence
booster. It's a learning experience,
and you just have to take what
happened the year before, learn from
it and try to keep going.
S: I don't know if it has any
effect. It's just if you're healthy you

you were.
D: (To Sabo) You improved
from a 30th round draft choice in
1980 by Montreal to a second round
pick by the Reds in 1983. It
obviously looks like a wise decision
for you to have gone to college.
How did you make this decision and
what factors influenced you?
S: I was hurt my senior year in
high school and that's probably why
I was drafted so low. I couldn't run
because I pulled a groin muscle.
That's probably why I was such a
low pick. I was always going to go
to college anyway. Get some kind of
an education.
D: What has been the biggest
thrill or moment of your career so
far?
L: Playing in All-Star Games.
Last year, I was in the All-Star
Game but I hurt my elbow, so I
really didn't get the chance to play in
it.
S: Playing in the big leagues.
D: What is your favorite memory
of Michigan baseball?

I will try to say this without offending anyone that
-wears maize and blue 24-hours a day and puts food
coloring in their beer to turn it blue.
I think Michigan fans suck.
Sorry.
You can tell me that Michigan has sold out a
100,000 seat stadium ever since Shakespeare wrote
King Lear and for that reason, Michigan has some of
the greatest fans in the world.
Bull.
We won't delve into the lack of support exhibited at
all the minor sports. We'll just stick to the big three of
football, men's basketball, and hockey.
First football. Now, it's true that most students get
season tickets. And it is a whole lot of fun, right? But
honestly, who gives a damn about the game. As long as
a person is able to walk home,
remember a score that halfway
resembles the one flashed on the Gill
scoreboard so they can tell mom and
dad the score if they call, then it is
mission accomplished.
As one person said, "it's one big
social gathering. That's all it is."
Which is exactly right. Now, I
happen to like social gatherings. But
when you go to a football game, a 00
team is expecting support. For the
most part, people sit on their duff,
or stand aimlessly around, unknown
to what's going on down where it's
green. Sure you'll cheer a touchdown or if Jon Vaughn
breaks up the middle. That's about all you'll cheer for
in addition to the fight song. The rest of the time,
people are more concerned with where someone is
sitting and how much is left in their flask.
Again, there's nothing wrong with worrying about
either of those problems, but make some noise. Geez.
Over 100,000 people are sitting in one huge bowl, and
my toilet makes more noise when I push the lever. You
can watch the game, look for that person and worry
about your flask all at the same time. You're Michigan
students, seemingly able to do more than one thing at a
time.
Somehow, our more simple-brained friends at
Michigan State or Notre Dame or any other school I can
name know that a fun time at a football game includes

making noise and watching the game.
When Notre Dame comes in to Michigan Stadium,
their small contingent makes more noise than the home:
team's for the majority of the game. That is ridiculous.
Notre Dame draws 6000 to a pep rally. Michigan gets
60.
Enough on football. Now we go to basketball.
Crisler Arena sold out dozens of times in the past. Yet
sometimes I think I'm guarding Lenin's tomb instead of
watching a basketball team. This team averaged less.
than two losses at home each year.
Now there is a student section, which improved the,
situation slightly. But the rest of the arena is reading
the latest AARP newsletter, and you can hear a.
pacemaker tick. If you ever want to see what a real;
basketball crowd is like, go to Iowa. Or Indiana. Of
Michigan State. Or.... People make noise for an entire
game, regardless of the score and it doesn't take a 100
home-team run to get them going.
Then we come to hockey. As a season ticket holder
last year, I can tell you how frustrating it is. Yost Ice
Arena's acoustics aren't made for noise. Yet, it's as if;
the hockey team is out there skating in a soundproof,
dome.
Best place to watch a hockey game? Bowling Green.;
When you walk into that arena, which holds sound lile
a ziploc bag, you get shivers up your back. It is loud.{
But it's not just because of acoustics; it's because fans
are continuously making noise, chanting, singing, and
rattling the opponents confidence. Find me a CCHA
hockey player who says it is not difficult to play in
Bowling Green because of the crowd and I will showv
you a liar.
So wake up. There's plenty more football games at
home. And a whole season awaits basketball and
hockey. Quit your snobby whining. Become a real fan,
like the ones at other Big Ten institutions.
POST SCRIPT: To all those who have called or
written the Daily to ask about a true fan, Joe "The
Brow" Diroff, thank you. He is still in the hospital.
Send get well wishes to Joe Diroff, Room 4514, Sinai
Hospital, 6767 West Outer Drive, Detroit 48235.
P.S. II: Let's hear your opinions on what is wrong
with Michigan fans or if there is anything wrong.
Responses will be published in later editions. Write to
"Fans," The Michigan Daily, 420 Maynard, Ann Arbor,
MI 48109.

'Bud Middaugh was good to me. I had a good
time there and he taught me an awful lot. I
think it's a shame what really happened, but I
guess if you break the law you have to pay.
And like I said, Bud did great things for me
and I'm very happy I went to Michigan, and I
wouldn't change the experience.'
-Barry Larkin
Cincinnati Reds shortstop

.vavi.

-READ SHERAN MY THOUGHTS-

can play better and we're both
healthy this year and we're doing
alright. Last year we were hurt most
of the year and it's hard to play when
you're hurt.
D: What was it like to play in
the 1988 All-Star Game in front of
the hometown fans in Cincinnati?
L: It was enjoyable. It was my
first All-Star Game and it was in my
hometown.. I don't know if many
guys get the chance to do that. I was
playing with my home team. So, it
was a good experience for me.
S: It was fun. We had a great
time, a real good time.
D: (To Larkin) At every level of
play, from college to the minors to
now, you have posted blistering
hitting numbers. Does Barry Larkin
ever get cold, and if he does, how
does he get out of a slump?.
L: I do get cold. Hard work is the
way you get out. You continue to
go and try to approach it and be
consistent, the same way every day.
You try to do the same thing, then
it's kind of easy to get back to where

L: My favorite memory is going
to the College World Series. That
was the best time I had.
S: Going to the College World
Series and winning the Big Ten
Championship.
D: How do you feel about the
Bud Middaugh situation at Michigan
knowing he was charged with
embezzlement, and eventually
acquitted, and with the Michigan
baseball program being placed on
probation?
L: Well, Bud Middaugh was good
to me. I had a good time there and he
taught me an awful lot. I think it's a
shame what really happened, but I
guess if you break the law you have
to pay. And like I said, Bud did great
things for me and I'm very happy I
went to Michigan, and I wouldn't
change the experience.
S: Well, it's unfortunate that Bud
got involved in a situation that
obviously wasn't very good. But,
the Michigan baseball program will
bounce back. What do they have,
one more year on probation? They'll
be fine.

Mike Barrowman maintained his status as the top men's swimmer in the nation by edging out teammate Eric
Namesnik in the balloting.

* BARROWMAN
Continued from page 9
the NCAA's last spring, he
destroyed the nine-year-old NCAA,
American, and Open records in the
200-yard breaststroke by more than a
second. Just this past summer, he
bested himself, breaking his year-old
200 breaststroke standard at the
Goodwill Games in Seattle.
"Mike is truly a talented athlete

That helps not only himself but
others around him."
Two of those have been
Namesnik and another junior, Eric
Wunderlich, who will join
Barrowman and Lang at the World
Championships this winter.
"I've seen Eric stay in the water
much longer than everyone else a lot
in the last year," Noetzl said. "He
has really come into his own. He

Let's hear
your opinion
on 'M' Fans

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