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April 11, 1994 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-04-11

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 1, 1994 -17

The Cincinnati Reds' All-Star discusses
his ups and downs in baseball

'Master' Olazabal
claims first major

Cincinnati Reds' shortstop Barry
Larkin has experienced success at
every level of his baseball career.
,Aftera brilliant careeras a high school
baseball star in Ohio, Larkin moved
on to Michigan, where success fol-
lowed him throughout his stay.
Larkin was named Big Ten Player
of the Yearin both his sophomore and
junior years and was also voted to the
All-Americanfirst team both years by
the American Baseball Coaches As-
Larkin's junior year was his final
year in a Michigan uniform as he took
his.361 career collegiate batting av-
erage on to the professional level
with the Cincinnati Reds. Larkin has
I'az career average of .298 after eight
years in the majors and was a mem-
ber of the surprise 1990 World Series
champion Reds team that swept the
Oakland Athletics in four games.
After leading the team with 78
RBIs in 1992, injuries limited the
perennialAll-Star to only 100 games
in 1993. However, despite spending
'52 games on the disabled list, Larkin
*did manage to hit .318 and collect
his 1000th career major league hit
in an otherwise disappointing year.
Recently, Daily Sports Writer Tom
Seeley caught up with Larkin as he
talked about his memories of Michi-
.gan, the turmoil that surrounded the
*Reds last year and his role models as
a youngster.
Daily: How do you feel about the
Reds' chances for success this year?
Larkin: Well, we've got a couple
of holes. With Rob Dibble being out
, think it's really important for some-
body else to step up and fill that closer
role. Our starting pitching has been
good. Jose Rijo had a tough first out-
ing, but you know that's not going to
happen very many times. John Smiley
looked like he's back in form and
Browning kind of pitched the other
*day, but it wasn't the best of condi-
tions, so I think we're alright.
D: How do you feel about what
the league has done with the restruc-
turing of the divisions?
L: I think it will lead to more
divisional play, and I think that they
are going to change the schedules.
First of all, I think that they are going
to expand on the West Coast and add
*a team to that Western Division so
that every division has five teams,
then change the schedule so that we
play the teams in our own division
more than the other two divisions so
that at the end of the season there will
be a true division champion.
D: Looking back on last year, how
frustrating was it to be on the disabled
list for one-third of the season?
L: That was very frustrating. It
*was very difficult not being able to go
out and play for the team. I am on this
team to contribute my abilities and it
is very frustrating for me when I am
not able to do that. My job is to play
every day and last year I wasn't able
to do my job.

D: What was your response to the
relatively quick firing of Tony Perez
last year and then his subsequent re-
placement by Davey Johnson?
L: I was very disappointed with
the whole thing.I was disappointed in
both when it happened and how it
happened. (Perez) got a call early in
the morning one day, and they told
.? 4

injured, Chris was a real positive fig-
ure both on the field and in the club-
On the field, he was constantly
hustling and giving it his all, and it
was good for the team because when
you look over and see someone work-
ing as hard as Chris did, it makes you
want to work that much harder. In the

D: What are your memories of
playing at Michigan?
L: Well, first of all, it was the first
time I was away from home, so that
definitely sticks out in my mind. Also,
we got an opportunity to play in the
College World Series which was very
exciting for me.
D: What do you see as being the
highlights of your baseball career?
L: I have had a lot of highlights in
my career, but one that is first and
foremost in my mind was being able
to represent my country as a member
of the 1984 Olympic team. That was
during my days at Michigan and it
was an experience that I will never
The highlight of my professional
career would have to be getting a
World Series ring.
D: What would you like to do in
the future when your baseball career
is over?
L: Particularly, I would like to go
into the finance field and get into the
financial aspects of things a little more
than I am right now. I'd like to deal
with money when my playing days
are over. Money has always inter-
ested me, and I'd like to have the
opportunity to go into that area.
The field of communications also
interests me, so I would anticipate
myselfentering one of those two fields
when my playing days are over.
D: What players in the league,
past and present, do you admire the
L: My biggest childhood idol
was always my dad. The players
that were role models to me and
ones that I looked up to as a kid were
players like Ozzie Smith and Dave
Concepcion. I mean, look at Ozzie.
He just turned forty and he is still
putting up the numbers and doing
the job out there.
There are a lot of guys who carved
the way for what we have right now -
guys like Dave Parker who have
worked hard for the players and helped
make the Players Association into
what it is today. It's guys like him that
made everything that players now
have a poss'ibility.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - The
Masters. Another foreign champion.
A player of enormous talent finally
realizing unfulfilled promise.
The story line held up. Just substi-
tute the name Jose Maria Olazabal for
Greg Norman.
This was to be the Masters that
Norman finally won, but it became
the major Olazabal finally won. The
Spaniard stumbled over the last two
holes, but so did Tom Lehman and
Larry Mize.
Olazabal's solid closing round of
69 on Sunday gave him 279 for 72
holes, two strokes ahead of Lehman
and three ahead of Mize, the winner
here in 1987.
Playing in the same group with
Lehman and just behind Mize,
Olazabal scrambled when he had to,
tamed the tricky Augusta greens and

never cracked in the pressure down the
stretch. He didn't make a bogey until
he hit a poor chip on the 17th.
Olazabal all but closed it out by
rolling in a40-foot eagle putt on the par-
5 15th after his second shot just barely
cleared the water and didn't roll back
into the pond as others had all week.
Olazabal, who started the day 6
under, one stroke behind Lehman,
birdied Nos. 2 and 8 on the front nine
- both par 5s-and then ran off six
consecutive pars before his eagle.
It was the sixth time in seven years
a non-American walked off with the
championship. It was the 10th victory
by a foreign golfer here since Gary
Player started the streak in 1978, a
streak that includes Seve Ballesteros,
Bernhard Langer and Nick Faldo-all
of whom won twice - as well as
Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam.


-him that he was no longer managing,
and for someone who had given so
much time and so much effort and so
much loyalty to this organization, I
just didn't feel that he was given the
respect that he deserved.
D: What do you think it will be
like this year without Chris Sabo play-
ing next to you?
L: Recently, Chris hadn't been
the same as he had been before he hurt
his hand and his back. Before he got

clubhouse, he was areal positive pres-
ence and his attitude and personality
will be missed.
D: Do you keep up with Michigan
baseball at all?
L: I try to. Ijust spoke to a few of
the guys on the team down in Florida
when they were on a trip down there
and I was at spring training. I follow
how the team's doing whenever I
can, but sometimes it gets a little
tough with the schedules that we

Jose Maria Olazabal flashes the OK after winning the Masters yesterday.


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