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September 13, 1993 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-09-13

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, September 13, 1993 - 3

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Winfield
As he approaches the 3,000-hit mark, the future
Hall-of-Famer discusses his career

Before it was fashionable to be a Yankee anda well-respected one ... but We fed them, entertained them an(
. multi-sport athlete, Dave Winfield was as ablackman, you're never going to be then we convinced the ballclub to oper
truly a man for all seasons. A native of a true Yankee." Did you agree with him, the park for practice the day before the
St. Paul, Minn., Winfield'sathleticprow- and if so, how prevalent do you think game. They opened up the doors to th
ess was so great while at the University racism is in baseball today? stadium and made it a free practice
ofMinnesota, where he lettered in both W: One of the players told me that Never before hadit been available to th
baseball and basketball, that he was and I understood it. I understood it public.
drafted by teams in professional base- growing upin anything that you do as an I see the evolution of it now; the:
ball, basketball and football. African-American, as we now call it. charge admission and then the mone
But Winfeld's first love was base- You have to be atleastas good-really goes to charity in thatparticular area. S(
ball. Having no minor league experi- better - than anybody competing for I think that's one of the more memo
ence, Winfield made his professional the same position to really get noticed rableevents, and I've seen itevolveint
*debut with the San Diego Padres in and to get the opportunity. what it is today: a big part of baseball
1973. Since then, his 19-year career Is it prevalent in baseball? It's prob- D: After playing with Cito Gaston i
has taken him to four other big league ably about the same as the wider soci- San Diego, what was it like playing fo
cities, including his current team, the ety. On the field, opportunities are bet- him when he managed the 1992 worl
Minnesota Twins. ter. It deals with talent, not as much champion Toronto Blue Jays?
While having already collectedover color. The opportunities around base- W: It was as close to an ideal situa
450 home runs, Winfield nears onefinal ball are probably the same as the rest of tion as I would get in baseball. He wa
milestone that will seal his election to society. It's probably not as good as it there already, he was a veteran, but w
Cooperstown-3,000hits. DailySports should be. roomed together at one time during th
Writer Rachel Bachman spoke to
WinfieldthissummerabouthisHall-of-
Fame career. R 4 s
Daily: While you were drafted out
of the University of Minnesota in three Y
professional sports, you said you never
regretted choosing baseball. Had you
not chosen to be a professional athlete,
what would you have done? "."
Winfield: Ireally thoughtaboutpoli-
ticsaftercollege, trying to affectchange
* inthecommunity.Butthen, at time,
there were assassinations: Kennedy,
Martin Luther King. (Politics) lost its
appealtome. That'swhatI wanted todo s
at the time. It's changed since then. =
D: I think you can affect almost as
many people doing what you're doing..
W: Yeah, and I like doing it from the ....v
economic standpoint: business, creation
of jobs, things like that. Helping people j ;
that way appeals to me more. I try to g E
influence people like that also.
D: It's no secret that you and owner
George Steinbrenner had a very rocky
relationship when you played for the
New York Yankees. How do you feel \ k =K:
abouthimbeing activeinbaseballagain? "u' ° v '
W: Well, I haven't said a lot about >a x3' £s
,NMI,& ME
I didn't start my career
thinking about milestones
and I don't play on a daily
basis looking for the x
milestones. I come out
here each day to win and .
to play up to the best of
my ability, and I enjoy D: What's your most memorable year. He was a guy who knows m
What I d . experience with your charitable organi- knows how Iplay. I could talk to him.
zation, the David M. Winfield Founda- it wasjust the best situation I've had -
that situation. It wasn't a good time in tion? manager-playersituation-in the gam
my career. It wasn't warranted; I didn't W: Well ... wow. There are two or It's unfortunate I only had it one yea
bring ituponmyself. That was his style. three things that really stand out. When But I'm okay here, and all the oth'
There are some indications that he is the All-Star Game was in San Diego in places I've been.
changing and ... it's not in my best 1978, my second All-Star Game, we D: You're currently 19 hits awa
interests to use all my time and energy had a party for all of the kids of San (Editor's Note: Winfield is now 4 hit
thinking about what's behind us. Diego and invited all the players and from becoming the 19th man in histo
D: Inyourbook, Wnfield APlayer's some of the key people of baseball, like to have 3,000 career hits. Are mil
Life, you recount a New York player the commissioner, to sign autographs stones like this important to you?
telling you that, "You can be a good and meet the kids. W: They are for me and for t
*Sampras smashes way to Open title

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game, just to highlight and promote the
game of baseball. I didn't start my ca-
reer thinking about milestones and I
don't play on a daily basis looking for
the milestones. I come out here each day
to win and to play up to the best of my
ability, and I enjoy what I do.
But, to be recognized like this with
less than a score of people who have
ever accomplished this feat in the his-
toryofthe game? Therehavebeen some
mighty fine players. It's a real honor,
and I'll be really excited about it be-
cause I never imagined it would happen
to me.
D: After receiving a standing ova-
tion at Toronto during your first at bat as
a Twin, you went 0-for-7 in the series..
Do fans' expectations or reactions af-
fect your performance?
W: They do, but I've played so long
that you have to have thick skin in this
game, and you have to be consistent. If
you don't get it one time, you get it the
next. This is one game where you learn
to be positive and you still fail most of
thetime. Even if you hit.300, you fail70
percent of the time. That's a bad per-
centage.
D: There'sbeen a lot of talk of salary
caps and profit-sharing lately. Do you
think the business of baseball is ruining
the game?
W: It'snot ruining the game, no. It's
not good for it, but the game is success-
ful, very successful. It makes a lot of
money, brings new fans every year,
attendance records are broken. Side
money, merchandising ... all that's go-
ing well.
It's just that there's never been a
relationship between owners and play-
ers. It used to be very one-sided up until
the 1970s. The owners had everything.
Players have gained a lot, so you're
close to a pretty good balance now, as
you develop a better relationship. That
could only help to promote the game to
new heights.
D: Last year you said you'd prob-
ably play four more seasons. Has win-
ning the World Series changed your
plans?
W: No. It's made baseball a very
happy place for me, and I'm proud to
have played in it. Whenever I quit, it's
been very satisfying, gratifying to me
because that's what I worked hard for.
Took a long time, but I got that. But
while you still have the God-given abil-
ity, keep going, keep enjoying it. Every-
body around me, my family, enjoys
what I do, too. It kind of brings them
together, and we have a lot of fun with
it.

KEN SUGIURA
R Close -But No Sugiura
What losing did for me -
and can do for you, too
I hope you found the game enjoyable.
Yes, Michigan lost. Yes, the team could have played better - probably
should have won. And yes, there most likely will not be a national title for
the Wolverines.
Big, fat, hairy deal.
People - myself included, sometimes - are probably a little too
wrapped up with the football team and fly a wee bit too much off of the o1'
handle on the rare instance it loses.
I guess I have this opinion because I attended numerous Northwestern
games with my dad, which probably goes a long way toward explaining why
losing isn't the biggest deal in the world to me. And the fact I love the Cubs.
I don't think I remember ever seeing the Wildcats win. Moral victories
were the only kind there were.
When Northwestern did manage to find an opponent with an ineptitude
equal to its own, and then found a way to not lose, the fans went beserk.
Just about each win was commemorated by the student body flooding the
field, tearing down a goalpost and depositing it into nearby Lake Michigan.
Sure, winning was great. But losing, well, you had to live with it. What
else were you going to do?
Hearing the boos yesterday as the Michigan offense sputtered and seeing
people truly angry and upset with the loss made me think back to those
games at Dyche Stadium.
But it wasn't because the fans there flipped out with each interception or
called for the coach's head after questionable playcalling or became angry
beyond words following another heartbreaking loss.
It was because they didn't Yes, losing was disappointing, but nothing that
broke that evening's plans. A trip to watch the Wildcats promised an
enjoyable afternoon. If Northwestern fans became as upset with a loss as fans
here do, Evanston would be little more than a pile of rubble by midseason.
Perhaps we all ought to take the same tack here.
So the Wolverines lost.
They were going to lose eventually, weren't they? They are not perfect, or
at least not Florida State. Is a national championship or a victory over Notre
Dame that desparately important?
Should it be?
We all ought to take a step back and think about it. I know I can get very
hyper over sporting events, and personally, it's pretty stupid.
While admittedly, the game is the reason why we all come to the game,
why should we let a score interfere with the pleasure of an autumn Saturday?
During my days watching the Wildcats, part of being able to enjoy a
losing day at the stadium was being able to enjoy everything that went on
besides the football. This is so easy to do here. For all that is wrong with
college sports, there is something special about a football game - particu-
larly against Notre Dame - at Michigan Stadium. Football Saturday is a
feast for the senses.
Walking around the perimeter of the stadium, I saw a bagpipe band. A
bagpipe band! At how many football games are you going to see guys with
kilts and the whole bit playing bagpipes? And even though I'm not quite the
bagpipe afficionado that everyone else seems to be, I still was able to
appreciate it.
And the walk down Hoover Street. This is one of the best parts of the day.
Thousands of students and alumni, proudly donning maize and blue and
heading toward the stadium, is always an incredible sight.
Or joining 105,000 others in the Wave, or engaging in a marshmallow
fight or flinging pizza box tops.
And we have the marching band. Okay, so Phil Collins isn't for you,
either. But you've got to admit being led in "The Victors" by a 225-piece
band is spine-tingling. We shouldn't let a bonehead call by a referee prevent
us from enjoying what is one of the best bands in the country.
As long as we're talking about the best in the country, just try appreciat-
ing the talents of this team.
Tyrone Wheatley may be the best college football player in the country.
He can do some things that few people can. Appreciate him. He might not be
here much longer.
So should Todd Collins throw an interception at a crucial point of some
game, think of this and toss a marshmallow for me.

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NEW YORK (AP) -Pete Sampras
faced only two dangers in theU.S. Open
final: popping the strings on all his
rackets and getting whacked in the head
by a wild shot from Cedric Pioline.
Other than that, Sampras had little
trouble beating Pioline, 6-4,6-4,6-3, to
follow up his Wimbledon champion-
ship with a second U.S. Open title and
punctuate his ascendancy to No. 1.
From the moment of Sampras' first
serve, a 127 mph screamer that landed
abit long but evoked knowing laughter
from the crowd, there never was a doubt
that Sampras would take home the
$535,000 winner's check.

If anything would derail him it would
have to be something strange, like run-
ning out of rackets. One after another,
Sampras' taut racket strings snapped
from his booming serves and his top-
spin shots, sending him to the sideline in
the second set with a couple of rackets
to be restrung quickly.
Pioline, meanwhile, scattered balls
all over the stadium. He knocked one
return in the first set 25 rows into the
stands, where aman in a blue suit made
a nice catch. Then in the first game of
the second set, Pioline smacked a sec-
ond serve to the left temple of a fan in
the second row.

Pioline' snext hardest shot was aball
he slapped into the crowd after he
double-faulted to fall behind 4-3 in the
same set.
When Pioline wasn't abusing the
balls and spectators, he played well
enough not to embarrass himself butnot
enough to threaten Sampras. Pioline
played almost flawlessly in beating Jim
Courier in the fourth round, but Courier
hit many more errors than Sampras.
The speed of Sampras' serves on 12
aces and many more service winners,
the power of his deep forehands and
backhands, the quicknessness of his net
game was all too much for Pioline.

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ALL '93

Final Days
BIKES MUST GO!
~ Specialized
Gary Fisher
S Works
*1 Lnivega
t Trek

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