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April 17, 1995 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-04-17

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 17, 1995 - 13

" " ;DAVE

'infield

BRETT FORREST
Forrest Fires

,0

r. Future Hall-of-Famer remembers storied and well-
traveled career
aft-
With the return of baseball comes answer that for you at this moment. doors to the stadium and made it a free been some mighty fine players. It's a
the return of baseball great Dave D: That's a very positive way to practice. Never before had it been real honor, and I'll be really excited
4 Winfield. look at it. In your book, Winfield: A available to the public. about it because I never imagined it
in He begins this season in the train- Player's Life, you recount a New York I see the evolution of it now. They would happen to me.
ig camp of the Cleveland Indians, player telling you that, " You can be a charge admission and then the money D: After receiving a standing ova-
looking tofurther establish his Hall- good Yankee and a well-respected goes to charity in that particular area. So tion at Toronto during your first at-
of-Fame credential. -He has also one ... but as a black man, you're I think that's one of the more memo- bat as a Twin, you went 0-for-7 in the
playedfor the San Diego Padres, New never going to be a true Yankee." Did rable events, and I've seen it evolve into series. Do fans' expectations or reac-
" York Yankees, California Angels, you agree with him, and if so, how what it is today: a big part of baseball. tions affect your performance?
Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota prevalent do you think racism is in D: Yes. After playing with Cito W: They do, but I've played so long
Twins in his illustrious career. baseball today? Gaston in San Diego, what was it like that you have to have thick skin in this
The following is a reprint ofRachel W: One of the players told me that playing for him when he managed the game, and you have to be consistent. If
Bachman's interview with Winfield and ... I understood it. I understood it 1992 World Champion Toronto Blue you don't get it one time, you get it the
before the 1994 season. At that time, growing up in anything that you do as Jays? next. This is one game where you learn
Winfield was playing for the Twins, in an African-American, as we now call W: It was as close to an ideal situa- to be positive and you still fail most of
pursuit of his 3,000th career hit. it. You have to be at least as good- tion as I would get in baseball. A man the time. Even if you hit .300, you fail
Daily: After being drafted out of really better-than anybody compet- who I broke in with ... he was there 70 percent of the time. That's a bad
the University of Minnesota in pro- ing for the same position, to really get already, he was aveteran,but weroomed percentage.
fessional football, basketball, and noticed and to get the opportunity. Is together at one time during the year. A D: Do you think the business of
baseball, you said you never regretted it prevalent in baseball? guy who knows me, knows how I play baseball is ruining the game? Editor's
choosing baseball. Had you not cho- It's probably about the same as the and I could talk to him ... it was just the note: This question was asked before
sen to be a professional athlete, what wider society. On the field, opportu- bestsituationI'vehad--manager-player the players' strike.
would you have done? W: It's not ruining the game, no.
Winfield: I was between - think It's not good for it, but the game is
of the times, now - I really thought Tortntroun successful, very successful. It makes
about politics after college, or trying a lot of money, brings new fans every
to change in the community. But then, are probmbly the same as the rest of year, attendance records are broken,
at that time, there were a lot of things side money, merchandising ... all
like, there were assassinations: ociety t probably not good as it that's going well. It's just that there's
Kennedy, Martin Luther King. That never been a relationship between
lost its appeal to me. That's what I shou We owners and players.
wanted to do at the time. It's changed It used to be very one-sided up
since then, but at that time, yes. until the '70s. The owners had every-
D: I think you can affect almost as nities are better. It deals with talent, situation-in the game. thing. Players have gained a lot, so
many people doing what you're doing. not as much color. The opportunities It's unfortunate I only had it one you're close to a pretty good balance
W: Yeah, and I like doing it from around baseball are probably the same year. But I'm okay here, and all the now, as you develop a better relation-
the economic standpoint: business, as the rest of society. It's probably not other places I've been. ship. That could only help to promote
creation of jobs, things like that. Help- as good as it should be. D: You're currently 19 hits away the game to new heights.
ing people that way appeals to me > D: What's your most memorable from becoming the 19th man in his- D: The season before Toronto won
more. I try to influence people like experience with your charitable orga- tory to have 3,000 career hits. Are the World Series, you said you would
that also. nization, the David M. Winfield foun- milestones like this important to you? probably play two more seasons. Has
D: It's no secret that you and team dation? Editor's note: Winfield reached the winning the championship changed
co-owner George Steinbrenner had a W: Well ... Wow. There are two 3,000-hit mark soon thereafter. your plans?
veryrockyrelationshipwhenyouplayed or three things that really stand out. W: They are for me and for the W: No. It's made baseball really a
forthe Yankees. How doyou feel about When the All-Star Game was in game, just to highlight, promote the very happy place for me, and I'm
him being active in baseball again? San Diego in '78, my second All-Star game of baseball. I didn't start my ca- proud to have played in it.
W: Well, I haven't said a lot about Game, we had a party for all of the reer thinking about milestones and I Whenever I quit, it's been very sat-
that situation. It wasn't a good time in kids of San Diego and invited all the don't play on a daily basis looking for isfying, gratifying to me because that's
my career. It wasn't warranted; Ididn't players and some of the key people of the milestones. I come out here each what I worked hard for. Took a long
bring it upon myself. That was his baseball like the commissioner and day to win and to play up to the best of time, but I got that. But while you still
style. There are some indications that such to sign autographs and meet the my ability, and I enjoy what I do. got the God-given ability, keep going,
he is changing and it's not in my best kids. We fed them, entertained them, But, to be recognized like this keep enjoying it. Everybody around
interests to use all my time and energy and then we convinced the ball club to with less than a score of people who me, family, enjoys what I do, too. It
thinking about what's behind us. open the park for practice the day have ever accomplished this feat in kind of brings them together, and we
That's the best way I think I can before the game. They opened up the the history of the game? There have have a lot of fun with it.
Water polo takes seventh straight title

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In the final analysis,
it's all just a game
A nother Michigan football season was shattering as I sat
open-mouthed on the couch, gaping at the television.
Spartan Stadium was in a frenzy.
Michigan State was adding insult to what was fast becoming one of
the dreariest Wolverine gridiron seasons in ages.
My stomach pounded. My head ached.
Suddenly, I heard an alarming crash from above and gargantuan
shards of glass rained past my window. I ran closer to the scene and
separated the blinds. More fragments poured south.
Looking further, I discovered that my neighbors - apparently
serious Michigan backers - had smashed their 20-foot long bay
window in Wolverine rage. The aftermath traveled five stories to its
resting place on the ground below.
The incident lends a sort of perspective to the entire thing and makes
me reflect on my four years at Michigan in a tempered manner.
As a sports writer and student in Ann Arbor, I realize I've beert
privy to several enchanting moments in sports.
Desmond Howard's catch against Notre Dame. The Fab Five beating
Indiana at Crisler during their freshman year and Purdue at Mackey last
season.
Remy Hamilton's kick in South Bend and Michael Westbrook's
catch in Ann Arbor. David Roberts' overtime goal that kept the hockey
season alive in 1993 and a trio of extra-session goals that killed the last
three Wolverine NCAA tries.
But through all the crescendos and chasms, I found one constant. No
matter what happened to "my" team, life moved on unabated.
Hard to believe, huh? Even harder if you listen to the many all-
sports radio stations that blare their rancorous rantings always a decibel
too high.
It's all so much hot air.
We all know the guy who rejoices with his team, wagers on his
team, weeps for his team. Enthusiasm is the lifeblood of our existence,
but often this brand of devotion is given at the expense of more
consequential concerns.
Don't misunderstand me; sports certainly have their place. But it's a
limited one.
A friend, a most sagacious fella, once told me he chose to attend
Michigan over several other top schools because of the Wolverine
athletic program's overall excellence. Sound reasoning for an offensive
lineman, but this guy was your basic econ major.
Astounding.
Tune in to CNN during prime time and view reports of war, hunger
and suffering that span the globe. All the while, a board in the lower
portion of the screen scrolls scores of sporting events, undercutting the
images above it.
Appalling.
Our age has become so utterly dominated by athletics. Indeed, most
of my choice memories of Michigan are tinged with the competition of
the school's intercollegiate teams.
But people have forgotten what sports, especially the college
variety, are meant to impart. The virtue of competition, the sacrifice of
team play and the excitement under the lights are what sports should
mean to us.
A little anxiety in the waning moments of a tight contest isn't so bad
either.
But it's only a game and should be treated as such in the final analysis.
So the next time Michigan loses a big matchup, don't break
anything.

By Dan Stillman
Daily Sports Writer
For the seventh straight year, the
Michigan women's water polo team
has won the Big Ten championship in
convincing fashion.
The Wolverines won the confer-
ence title yesterday with a 12-5 vic-
tory over Michigan State in the tour-
nament title match.
Michigan defeated Northwest-
ern, Illinois and Indiana by a com-
bined score of 60-6 to reach the
final.
Fifth-ranked Michigan (11-0 Big
Ten, 17-8 overall) has now won 70
consecutive games against Big Ten
opponents.
"We played tremendous defense
this weekend," coach Scott Russell
said. "Every member of the team was
outstanding."
Carrie Lilley led the Michigan
defense with 19 steals.
"We're trying a new defense this
year," Lilley said."The key to (the new
defense) is steals from my position."

On the offensive sidejunior Julie
Chmielewski dominated the tour-
nament with 21 goals and seven
assists. Senior co-captain Candice
Russell contributed 16 goals and 13
assists.
"Teamwork was the key,"
Chmielewski said. "Everyone has
been so dedicated to training in and
out of the water."
The Wolverines' closest contest
in the tournament was the title game.
According to Russell, however, the
seven-goal margin of victory is mis-
leading.
"We took it a little easy on them,"
Russell said. "Since it was the cham-
pionship, we wanted it to be a little
more interesting.
"We also wanted to let a lot of our
younger kids play."
Michigan advanced to the final by
defeating Indiana, 15-1, in Saturday's
semifinal.
The Wolverines host the Midwest
Regional at Canham Natatorium this
weekend. Michigan has won five in a

row and is confident heading into the
regionals.
"We're not too worried about the
regionals," Lilley said.
Combined with a likely regional
championship, the Wolverines hope
their outstanding play this season will
earn them one of the top four seeds in
the NCAA Championships, May 12-
14 at Maryland.
Michigan finished sixth at nation-

als last year. UC-San Diego and Slip-
pery Rock finished first and second,
respectively.
After defeating Slippery Rock
earlier this season, the Wolverines
are optimistic about this year's
NCAAs.
"People from other teams (at the
tournament) said it was amazing how
well we've come together as a team,"
Lilley said.

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