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April 22, 1997 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-04-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Uft Lid Jim]Dk

t ate n CAPS
BASEBALL Kansas City 5
Detroit 7, Philadelphia 10,
BOSTON 4, Chi. Cubs 6.
Baltimore 2 N.Y. METS 4
N.Y. Yankees 4, PRO
Toronto at Buffalo 3,

Buffalo leads, 2-1
Philadelphia 5,
Flyers lead, 3-0
N. Carolina 5,
N.C. Asheville 2
S, Carolina 12,
Wofford 1

Massachusetts 17.
Fordham 8
Vermont 8.
Maine 4
Maine 6,
Vermont 4
Quinnipiac 9,
S. Connecticut 2
Assuiption 1,
American Int'l. 0


April 22, 1997


- .. -


So long, MicA zan,
t's been afun tnp
ve years is a long time. And you know what? It's been almost that long
Fince I first walked into the Daily. But strangely, it seems no longer ago
tnan yesterday afternoon.
Sports are a huge reason I came to Michigan. Not that I ever had any hope of
competing at the varsity level, but the Fab Five first went to the Final Four my
senior year in high school, as I was deciding between Michigan and Montreal's
McGill University. It didn't take me long to realize they don't know what basket-
ball is in that part of Canada. My decision was made.
It's only fitting, then, that the crowning accomplishment of my five-year Daily
career was covering the men's basketball team. After all, it was that very team
that lured me here in the first place.
And covering the basketball team couldn't have been more fun, really. I've
roamed all over the Big Ten, from State College to Iowa City, and even got to go
to New York. The experience means more to me than any class I've taken, any
assignment I've done.
One thing I've noticed about the Daily's sports coverage,
particularly of the major sports, is the lack of respect and
credibility the newspaper seems to get, at least from the
coaches involved. Not that I'm criticizing these people,
though. There are reasons why this is so.
The Daily is a student newspaper, and there is a huge
turnover every year. As you advance through the ranks, you
WILL are generally rewarded with higher-profile beats. It makes
McCAHILL sense. You can't have freshmen covering the football team,
Whatcha talkin' but also you can't have someone covering that team for years
'bout Willis? at a time.
And therein lies the problem. The reason Steve Fisher or
Lloyd Carr don't take the Daily as seriously as they take the
big Detroit papers is because they have to deal with different people every year.
While Jim Spadafore covers the Michigan basketball team every year for The
Detroit News, Fisher never knows who he's going to get from the Daily. He sees
the same mistakes being made each year, the same process of adjustment. I know
that if I were to cover the basketball team again next year, I'd do a much better
job. But the Daily really doesn't have that option. It's a year and out.
There's one thing that comes from having to scratch and claw to get even the
slightest crumb of respect from coaches like Fisher. What ends up happening is
that, in an effort to assert our credibility, in an attempt to gain the respect of those
we're covering, we become that team's and coach's harshest critics. Because we feel
we are treated as mere mouthpieces, any positive take on the big teams becomes
nigh on unacceptable. And while that can be unfair to those involved, it must be
said that negative results - losses and scandals -- do make it easier to criticize the
team we're covering. An unfortunate way to earn respect, perhaps, but it doesn't
often seem that good writing and thorough coverage achie e that goal.
(The fact that the big programs operate under more secrecy -- and lately, with
much less success - than the Manhattan Project doesn't score any points with the
media either, but that's another story.)
Not that I'm saying the Daily automatically deserves the same measure of
'respect as the big newspapers with which it competes. But it certainly deserves
more than it gets. It's the best college newspaper in the country, as shown by the
number of Gold Circle Awards (the college version of the Pulitzer Prize) we
pulled in this year. Hell, we had an alumna win the Pulitzer Prize this year (the
second to do so in the last decade). We have alumni covering Michigan hockey for
the Ann Arbor News, the Pistons and Red Wings for The Detroit News, and even
one who's a SportsCenter anchor. That's not too shabby. It's something for coaches
and administrators to keep in mind.
Anyhow, I couldn't make this column complete without some thanks. I would-
n't be writing with the confidence I have today if it hadn't been for some great
editors who were here when I started writing for the news staff in the fall of 1992:
Henry Goldblatt, Melissa Peerless, Bethany Robertson and Andrew Levy. Almost
every single friend I've had here has been made through some connection to the
Daily, and what great pals you've been. Thanks in particular to Barry, a great
writer, editor and friend (not to mention dog-walker). And to the Canucks, particu-
larly Andrew, Shawn, Anne-Marie and Angela -- thanks for everything. To say
what you guys mean to me would take many, many more words, if such things
were even possible to put in writing.
This column is dedicated to Mark Jackson. If I can make even half as many
people smile as you did, I'll have lived a worthwhile life.
I miss you, man.
- This is Will McCahill'final column for The Michigan Daily. He can be
reached over e-mail at wmiccfCewnich edui.

For a change,
State leads 'M'
By Josh Kleinbaum
Daily Sports Writer
It's the civil war of Michigan softball: Michigan versu
is Michigan State.
The two Big Ten rivals will battle for state bragn
rights at 1 p.m. today at Alumni Field.
f . . The matchup is typically a David vs. Goliath fight -
Michigan, winner of four of the past five conferenc
EYEr - -mP'z kn}"fir*r-wr2 . '....r titles, against Michigan State, whichtypically dwells i
the lower tier of the Big Ten standings.
But the Spartans have something else in mind for thi
d° . year's game. Michigan State enters the contest holdin
;...::.. . second place in the conference -- above the Wolverine.
"It's a big rivalry, just like it is in all sports," Michiga
pitcher Kelly Holmes said. "But this year, it's even
+rger, because of how tight the (Big Ten) race is right now
Usually we're in first place, and they're vying for a tour
nament spot."
But this game transcends standings and statistics. Iti
not about who is on top of the Big Ten when the game i
over. It's about winning.
Because sitting in the other dugout is not som
stranger who is only seen on the playing field. It's
w "My best friend is on the (Michigan State) team,
Holmes said. "Everyone on our team has friends on.i
team. It makes it exciting, because we've played WWI
some of the players."
But not all Wolverines see the game as any differen
}. :from any other game.
Melissa Gentile, Michigan's third baseman, i onfy
freshman. She has only played in one Michigan
Michigan State game before - the 5-0 whipping th<
Wolverines gave the Spartans on March 9 in the -semifi
nal game of the Speedline Invitational.
Gentile doesn't know State's players off the field"Shi
r g-rew up in O'Fallon, Mo., a long way from any pam
a a Michigan.
And she sees this as just another game.
"I hear all this stuff about the big Michigan State rival
ry and how we need to beat our in-state rival, but to me
Michigan State is just another Minnesota," Gentile -said
But Holmes sees a lot more than Minnesota --th
MARK FRIEDMAN/Dady team Michigan swept this past weekend--in the green
Sophomore Tammy Mika was out at second base on this play, but the Wolverines had more suc- See SOFTBALL, Page 2!
cess than she did - they swept a three-game series with Minnesota over the weekend.
'M' needs pitching to pick up pace tonight

By Kevin Kasiborski
Daily Sports Writer
As most students eagerly antici-
pate a summer break away from
classes, the Michigan baseball eam
is also looking forward to a break
a break from games.
The Wolverines will play Notre
Dame at 7 p.m. tonight in Grand
Rapids at Old Kent Park, and
because of final exams, they origi-
nally didn't have another game
scheduled until May 1 against
[astern Michigan. Michigan has
added an April 27 home doublehead-
er with Siena Heights, but will still
do more practicing than playing over
the next two weeks. And that is
something Michigan coach Geoff
Zahn is grateful for.
"We've got some pitchers banged

up; we'd like to get them back," Zahn
said. "'We haven't been swingin= the
hats very well, and we've had some
lapses defensively.
ISo this period when we arc iot
playing could not have come at a bct-
ter time, because it will give is a
chance to practice and work on
Practice time is rare during the
conference season for the
Wolverines. They play Big Ten
games on Friday, Saturday and
Sunday, and usually play nonconfer-
ence opponents on Tuesday and
Wednesday. Zahn gives the players
one day off each week, which leaves
only one day for practice.
"For us to get the number of games
in we have to play two mid-week
games." Zahn said. "And we have to

gie the kids a day off, and that all
adds tip to no practice time. When
guys go in slumps, they don't have a
chance to work out of it.
"Now we have a chance to work
and practice and get reorganized."
The Wolverines' pitching staff is
happy not only for the chance to
practice, but the chance to heal.
Freshman Bryce Ralston has pitched
just three innings all season, and
sophomores Luke Bonner and J.J.
Putz have missed most of the month
of April with injuries.
Saturday, the Michigan staff was
depleted by one more when sopho-
more Pete Martay felt something pop
in his elbow while warming up for
his start against Indiana. Zahn said
that although the injury has not been
fully diagnosed, it appears serious.
and Martay may miss the remainder
of the season.
"Four guys that we counted on to
pitch a lot for us aren't pitching,"
Zahn said. "Some guys have to bring
their level up and start contributing

One of the pitchers who shoul
start seeing more action is senio
Marlon Wright; who is scheduled t
start for Michigan (12-6 BigTen, 23
17 overall) tonight against -Notr
Dame (10-4 Big East, 29-13 overall)
Last year the Fighting Irish upende
Michigan, 8-2.
Notre Dame is a team on a01
The Irish have won their last sever
games, 14 of their last 15, and 20o'
their last 22. Last weekend,.they
swept a three-game series from' con
ference foe Villanova by scores of 4
3, 14-3, and 10-8.
Notre Dame boasts two pli er
with batting averages above .400
Senior Mike Amrhein is hitting
healthy .430, has eight doubles,-(
home runs and leads the team -
57 RBI. Sophomore Jeff Wagner has
a .401 average, 17 doubles anda
team-best 12 home runs.
"I told our kids, if you come to
Michigan, and you can't get up for
Notre Dame, or Ohio Stato, om
Michigan State, then you had nc
See BASEBALL, Page 25





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