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January 17, 1996 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-01-17

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 17, 1996

Owners meet in L.A. to
discuss interleague play

LOS ANGELES (AP)-Interleague
play, perhaps the most revolutionary
change in baseball since the lively ball,
appeared to be gaining support yester-
day as owners started arriving for the
winter meetings.
The Philadelphia Phillies' Bill Giles
had proposed a schedule in which teams
would each play 15-16 interleague
games that count in the standings start-
ing in 1997.
"It's building up momentum," At-
lanta Braves general manager John
Schuerholz said. "It's a subject that's
been talked about now for many years.
It's sort of filtered its way up to the top
of the agenda."
Under Giles' plan, each team from
the AL East would play three games
against each team from the NL East,
each team from the AL Central would
play three games against each team
from the NL Central, and each team
from the AL West would play four
games against each team from the NL
West.
Teams in the East and Central would
play their four division rivals 12 times
each and the other teams in their league
I 1 times each. Teams in the West would
play their three division rivals 13 times
each and the other teams in their league
10 times each.
"If I had to vote right now, without
hearing anybody else sneak, I'd vote in
favor of it," Chicago White Sox chair-
man Jerry Reinsdorf said. "But I'd like
to know what other people say."
Interleague play will be discussed
during tomorrow's final session. It re-
quires the approval of the Major League
Baseball Players Association, making
a final vote unlikely this week. Owners

I's building up momentum. I's a
subject that's been talked about for
many years
- John SChuerholz
Atlanta Braves general manager

r KRI SIN SCHAEFEF
Mihigan freshman Steve Basmajan wrestles at the Eastern Michigan Invitational this past November
Wrsl3 e in Vr e
W resilerS Wln, lose 3 -m Virginia

remember that when they voted in Sep-
tember 1993 to expand the playoffs the
following the year, they union de-
manded - and received - 80 percent
of the ticket money from the first three
games of each new series.
In addition, interleague play would
necessitate a decision about the desig-
nated hitter. NL owners still oppose it
and AL owners are split. Eliminating it
would require the approval of the union,
which is unlikely to give up a high-
salaried position.
"These are issues that have been dis-
cussed at the bargaining table and I
assume will continue to be discussed,"
Lauren Rich, the union's No. 3 official,
said in New York.
Owners think interleague play will
spark more interest in the game, which
experienced a 20 percent attendance
drop last season following the 232-day
strike.
"The game is still recovering in a lot
of cities," Cleveland Indians general
manager John Hart said, "This could be
a strong factor in growing."
Hart also said the idea was hard for
him to accept.
"You might have your World Series
clubs play ... during the season," he
said. "You might get away a little from
the mystique of the World Series."

on interleague play
Teams in Chicago, Los Angeles, New
York and San Francisco stand to ben-
efit the most.
"I think it will appeal to a lot of team
- particularly teams in two-team mar-
kets," New York Yankees owner Georg(
Steinbrenner said.
Schedule formats will have to change
in 1998 when Arizona and Tampa Bay
start play. Owners still haven't decided
which leagues to place the new teams
in. If one is added to each league, creat-
ing two 15-team circuits, interleague
play would be a must in order to keep
teams from having off-days on week*
ends.
There was just one minor deal on the
first day of the three-day session. San
Francisco traded infielder Chris,
Wimmer to St. Louis, completing the
Dec. 14 deal that sent pitchers Allen;
Watson, Rich Lucia and Doug Creek tor
San Francisco for shortstop Royce:
Clayton.
As for signings, reliever Bob:
Patterson agreed to a one-year contrac
with the Chicago Cubs worth about"
$500,000, infielder Juan Samuel agreed
to a minor-league deal with Toronto:
that would pay him about $325,000 if,
he makes the major league team, and
pitcher Scott Radinsky agreed to a mi-
nor-league contract with Los Angeles.:

Fom Staff Reports
The No. 13 Michigan wrestling
team split six matches at the presti-
gous 1996 Virginia Duals last week,
fiishing in sixth place. The Wolver-
i~es entered the tournament seeded
Ofth.
Senior Jesse Rawls and sophomore
Jeff Catrabone each were perfect in
the tournament, going unbeaten in six
diatches. Sophomore heavyweight

Airron Richardson won five of his six
matches.
Rawls became the third Wolverine
with 20 wins (20-3),joining Catrabone
(28-4) and Richardson (26-6).
Michigan opened the tournament
Friday with a36-9 win over Edinboro,
then lost to Big Ten rival Illinois (19-
16).
The Michigan squad started Satur-
day with two victories, defeating

Pennsylvania (26-9) and Rider (22-
12). The second half of the day, how-
ever, brought two losses for the Wol-
verines.
Lock Haven handed Michigan a23-
18 loss, then Oklahoma upended the
Wolverines, 21-15, in the fifth-place
match.
Michigan (0-1, 4-4) opens its home
season with a Jan. 19 match against
Central Michigan at Cliff Keen Arena.

I I

A

West-fail: Phoenix is

now 100-percent Cotton

PHOENIX (AP)- Hailed as a hero
for guiding the Phoenix Suns to the
INBA Finals three years ago but la-
1 eled a loser when his team of walk-
ing wounded fell below .500, coach
Paul Westphal was fired yesterday.
Westphal, dismissed by Suns presi-
dent and owner Jerry Colangelo, may
be the only NBA coach in history to
replace, and be replaced by, the same
man - Cotton Fitzsimmons.
Fitzsimmons, a senior executive
vice president and color analyst for
the Suns, was glad to return to the
bench.
"Jerry took my sign off my desk,"
laid the peppery, talkative
fitzsimmons, who will be the team's
coach for the third time. "It said, 'Vice
President of Nothing,' and he very
politely removed that sign."
Fitzsimmons warned reporters not
to ask him about alleged bad coaching
by Westphal, saying each coach had
his own style.
"If any of you want to ask me any

negative questions about Paul and his
coaching ... don't do it with me," he
said.
Colangelo said he could wait no
longer to make a move, coming on the
heels of the Suns' fifth straight loss at
home, an 89-74 loss to the Cleveland
Cavaliers on Sunday night.
The team, playing without injured
stars Charles Barkley, Danny Man-
ning, John Williams and Kevin
Johnson, shot 38 percent, matched
the franchise one-game low of28 field
goals set in 1990 and scored the few-
est points since the record low of 68 at
Kansas City in March 1981.
Meanwhile, Dan Majerle, the player
traded to Cleveland for Williams dur-
ing training camp, got a three-minute
standing ovation from Phoenix fans
before the game and scored 20 points.
The Suns are 14-19 and have lost
seven of their last 10 games.
Colangelo told Westphal a month
ago he was unhappy with the team's
play, and said yesterday he had been

considering a move since the Suns
took a 2-0 lead in Houston in the
second round of the 1994 playoffs,
then allowed the Rockets to eliminate
them in seven games.
The Rockets also ousted the Suns in
seven games in the same round last
year.
"I've been concerned about the path
we were taking the last couple of
years, and I was just biding my time,
hopeful that things would take a turn
for the better. It didn't happen that
way," Colangelo said.
Ironically, Fitzsimmons groomed
Westphal as an assistant for four years
before turning over the reins on July
1, 1992 - only to take the reins back
yesterday.
When the Suns acquired Charles
Barkley in June 1992, it set the tone
for the team to reach the NBA Finals
before losing in six to the Chicago
Bulls. Along the way, Barkley earned
the league MVP award and the Suns
set a franchise record with 62 victo-
ries.
They won 56 games the next season
and 59 games and the Pacific Divi-
sion title in 1994-95, but Barkley was
hurt each time the Suns met the Rock-
ets. He has missed five games this
season, is shooting a career-low 46.7
percent, and has been rumored to be
trade bait.
Colangelo said Barkley asked him
where he stood, and he told Barkley
he wouldn't trade him except for an-
other superstar.
"That flat-out isn't going to hap-
pen," Colangelo said. "The calls you
get from teams are from those that are
looking to steal a talent because they
think we are looking to get rid of
Charles Barkley.
"That is the furthest thing from the
truth. It makes a lot of these teams

U

Cotton Fitzsimmons (left) is introduced as the Phoenix Suns' coach by owner Jerry Colangelo.

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look good when they say they are
trying to get Charles Barkley."
Fitzsimmons, 65, was 97-67 with
the Suns from 1970-72 and 217-111
from 1988-1992, successes which
helped him to an 805-745 record in a
19-year coaching career with the At-
lanta Hawks, Buffalo Braves, Kansas
City Kings, San Antonio Spurs and
Suns.
Colangelo acknowledged
Fitzsimmons' reputation as a
pepperpot who coaxes maximum ef-
fort from his players. The poor defen-
sive record of Westphal's team has
been attributed to his laid-back style
and lack of emotion.

"I am not promising anything,"
Fitzsimmons said. "I don't ever say
that we are going to win. I would say
that we will play hard, we'll play
together, and we'll outhustle our op-
ponents."
He said he has no problem with the
roster, which has been down to the
league-minimum of eight players in
uniform for the last four games.
The Suns host Orlando Wednesday
and then play nine of their next 10
games on the road. Colangelo said
Barkley, Johnson, Wiliams and Man-
ning, who tore up his left knee last
Feb. 6, should be available by early
February.
Other injured players are rookies
Mario Bennett, John Coker and
Stefano Rusconi.
Center Joe Kleine told The Phoenix
Gazette before the first practice under
Fitzsimmons:"Paul's aguy who gave

a lot of responsibility to the players.'
So, we have to take some responsibil;
ity for what has happened to him. But
something had to be done."
The Suns have one of the league's
biggest payrolls. Barkley gets $11.5
million over three seasons, Manning
$40 million the next six, Johnson $l
million for two and A.C. Green $20.
million over four seasons.
Westphal, 45, was given a; two-
year, $3 million contract extension
last spring, and Colangelo said he
will still be paid.
A four-time All-Star, Westphal
played six of his 12 seasons in Phoe-
nix, where his No. 44 was retired irt
1989.
He has never had a losing season in
his coaching career, on the cplleg@
level (82-27 at Grand Canyon) or in
the NBA (19r1-88 in 3 1/2 seasons,25
19 in the playoffs).

FALL, 1995
STUDENT CAMPAIGN
ends January 22
Saint Mary Student Parish
The Roman Catholic Community at the University of Michigan
Thank you to the 242 students who pledged $9,290 toward our goal of
300 students and $10,000! Contributions for the Fall, 1995 Student
Campaign will be accepted through January 22. All gifts support the
new elevator which allows access for the physically challenged. If you
attend St. Mary's, please consider a gift to help us reach our goal.
Thank you! 1995-1996 Student Campaign Committee
Hop On the Band Wagon!

dot&

4* 4*

PS - g l. 'b '' - ~ ..

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