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March 28, 2000 - Image 9

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-03-28

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'M' softball accolades
* Michigan freshman Melinda Moulden
was named co-Big Ten Player of the
Week. For more details, check out our
website.
michigandaily.com/sports

;l(:ITS

TUESDAY
MARCH 28, 2000

9

" Openiig day
fiunfamil, r
.onfines, an
ocean away.
mT unt the relief pitcher warming
j up in the visitors' bullpen
because he's got a man-sized
gut, and his curveball's wild. Flag
down a vendor for peanuts and ballpark
franks because, after the seventh-inning
stretch, he won't come this way again.
This is my kind of baseball,.nestled
nicely between apple pie, my first car
and an old Don Maclean record on the
all-American cuisine.
Come April, if I can't make it to the
ballpark myself, I'll skip out of school
early to run home and watch my
beloved Cubs on
T\, probably.
departing on yet
another woeful,~
bone-wrenching
voyage of a sea-
son.
Only in
America, the land JACOB
of the ever-pre- W A R
sent dream, can I Behind the
root for such a Wheel
god-awful base-
ball team like the Chicago Cubs, who
haven't won a single pennant since
1945 and haven't taken the World
Series since 1908.
SOptimism is starred all over our red-
Owhite-blue banner, and that's what
gives us Cubs fans hope when the birds
chirp and green returns to the Midwest
every Spring.
But enough about the American
dream. Baseball is going global on me
this year, severely skewing my bodily
rhythms on the opening day of base-
ball.
The Cubbies don't open this season
at Wrigley Field, or even in the United
States. So much for the whisper off
Lake Michigan telling me, "this is the
year, it's a new century and the Cubs
will wipe their slate clean."
The 2000 baseball season begins at
an odd time and an odd place: 5 a.m.
tomorrow morning (Eastern Standard
Time) at the Tokyo Dome in the
Japanese capital. The game will feature
the Cubs against the New York
Metropolitans - teams from two of
,*he greatest American cities, yet polar
opposites when they take the playing
field.
The Cubs are losers, yet lovable
losers because they play in a shrine of a
ballpark, in an underrated, blue-collar
city. The Mets, on the other hand, are
-hated by the rest of the league because
they represent everything that's wrong
with professional sports.
Mets' rosters in the 1990's read more
hke prison lineups, filled with drug-
ies, fan abusers and clubhouse cancers
who couldn't win a pennant, no matter
how much money they were paid.
The Mets benefit from playing in
New York City, the richest place in the
Milky Way, and their management fig-
ured it could buy enough superstars to
launch the Mets to a World Series
Championship.
Close, but no cigar.
Baseball is about chemistry - turn-
Ong the double play with a white-hot
base stealer nearing first. It's not about
nine claustrophobic superstars all shar-
ing the field at once.
Needless to say, it's easy to get excit-

ed about the coming of baseball with
my Cubs leading off against the hated
Mets - the Boo Radley of the dia-
mond.
Most Cubs-Mets series' bring out the
worst in us lovable-loser fans.
Northwestern frat boys and other
Wrigleyville drunks pack the bleachers,
guzzle Old Style beer (which looks the
same going in as it does coming out)
and throw wieners at any East Coast
intruders.
.New York has Frank Sinatra, the leg-
end who drank himself to death.
Chicago has Harry Caray, the legend
who drank himself to death.
But this showdown between good
*nd evil has me bummed. Do Ed
Lynch and Steve Phillips, general man-
agers of the Cubs and Mets, respective-
ly, actually expect me to wake up at
five in the morning and tune in to the
land of the rising sun?
Five in the morning is nearly too

Zahn may juggle lineup
~ to spark NI' baseball

By Raphael Goodstein
Daily Sports Writer

'Topes lose.
The drubbing experienced by the Michigan
baseball team (0-4 Big Ten, 6-12-1 overall) at
the paws of the Minnesota Golden
Gophers was reminiscent of the TC
Shelbyville Shelbyvillians beating
the hapless Springfield Isotopes on RAY FzsH
'The Simpsons.' Who: Michig
The Michigan Nine were out- Westem Micd
hit, outpitched, defensively out- When:3p.n
played and outscored 34-8. On Imour
The weekend sweep left the nhanR
Wolverines in last place, and McClskey(0
with the distinction of being the Last outing: H
scrlss ani
only winless Big Ten team that in2.2inn
has entered conference play. Teoutkl
What can remedy such lousy swpinafou
play -- other than Homer Minnesoraft
Simpson dancing atop the Wolverinesho
dugout? ontrackagair
Michigan coach Geoff Zahn is MACfoe.
hoping a new lineup will. Zahn
plans on making a change before Michigan
takes Ray Fisher Stadium today at 3 p.m.
against Western Michigan (9-8 overall).
"If I see somebody struggling and some-

IER
ian
dp
Hel
fsmu
nSt

body else might have a chance to go in there
and help us, I'll play some different guys,"
Zahn said. "We have to recognize that and
know that it's going to take 25 guys."
If Michigan is to buck the Broncos --and
break its eight-game winless streak - avoid-
ing a five-error average is a:
)AY must.
Those errors led to seven
I STADIUM unearned runs and took the
(6-12.1)vs Wolverines out of two games
an(9-8) against Minnesota.
exay "We need to forget about it,"
for Michigan: freshman designated hitter
Bad Brock Koman said. "We need to
,4.32 ERA) put this weekend behind us, and
d Miami not make the same mistakes."
nn Marh S.1ee But the Wolverines have made
Atrch [8. the same mistakes all season -,
Pmeseries by one of those mistakes is fielding
Wbless errors.
:togetback Michigan has committed 54
a midweek errors this season, compared to
a combined 33 by its opponents.
While sloppy defense is often
attributed to early-season rust, the season is
more than one-third of the way finished.
"We look at any game that we can play
See BASEBALL, Page 10

Ai--
PETER CORNUE/Daily
Freshman Brad McCloskey takes the hilt today against the Broncos. The hard-throwing right hander
stuck out three in 2.2 innings in his last outing - a no decision on March 18.

I I

Wolverines run to
glory at Stanford Invite

Upset City: Crew
shocks No. 2 Virginia

By Ron Garber
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's track and field
team was in Palo Alto, Calif. last week-
end, competing in its second outdoor
meet of the year - the Stanford
Invitational. The non-scoring event pro-
vided tough competition that pushed
Michigan's first two NCAA provisional
qualifiers of the season and prodded
several others to personal records.
Senior Steve Lawrence and junior
Mike Wisniewski both qualified for the
NCAA Championship in the hotly-con-
tested 10,000 meter run, despite finish-
ing 19th and 20th respectively.
Wisniewski set a personal record by
over a minute, while Lawrence narrow-
ly missed a personal record of his own.
That Lawrence even ran in Palo Alto
was a feat in itself. Only a week before,
he was in Portugal representing Canada
in the Senior World Cross-Country
Championship. In addition to fighting
off jetlag, Lawrence had to fight off
several top club runners, two of whom
have Olympic experience.
"Without those guys in the race they
probably would have finished 12th and
13th," coach Ron Warhurst said. "They
just missed qualifying automatically by
about two or three seconds."

The 10,000 meters also marked the
much-anticipated return of sophomore
Mark Pilja, who missed the entire indoor
season due to illness. Pilja topped his
previous career-best time by over a
minute, en route to a 39th place finish.
For the second consecutive week,
sophomore Derek Applewhite ran a
personal-best in the 400-meter hurdles,
finishing in a time of 52.52 seconds.
"He can still improve a lot," Warhurst
said. "He stuttered over the last hurdle
and it cost him about a second."
The Wolverines also fared well in
two of the sprint events, as junior
Josh Sellers (400 meters) and sopho-
more Ike Okenwa (200 meters) both
took home 10th place finishes.
Okenwa's time of 21.50 seconds
served as proof that he is well on his
way back from an ankle injury that
nearly held him out of the Big Ten
Indoor Championships a month ago.
Michigan's success on the track was
complemented by some big perfor-
mances in the field events. For the sec-
ond straight week, junior Charles
DeWildt was victorious in the pole
vault. After DeWildt won. Sunday
morning's "Second Section" event,
Michigan entered him in the tougher
Top Section. He responded with a
strong fifth-place finish. clearing a

MARJORIE MARSHALL/Daily
Michigan sophomore Jason Hoyner
winds to deliver in practice.
height of 16'10 3/4". Sophomore Brent
Sheffer was not far behind as he cleared
16'4 3/4", placing a spot behind
DeWildt in the Second Section.
Michigan was almost as successful in
the throws - senior Patrik Johansson
placed third in the hammer throw and
junior Nick Rogers finished sixth in the
shot put.
Not only did the Stanford Invitational
afford Michigan an opportunity for an
impressive performance, ii also gave a
pair of recovering Wolverine seniors a
weekend of much-needed R&R.
"We left John Mortimer and Jay
Cantin at home for the weekend,"
Warhurst said. "They've been training
real well, though. These meets are just
like spring training for us. We just run
different guys and try to find the right
combinations."

By Albert Kim
Daily Sports Writer
In the biggest upset in women's row-
ing so far, No. 6 Michigan started the
season with a bang by shocking No. 2
Virginia Saturday afternoon in Chapel
Hill, N.C. The Wolverines jumped in
front early in both the varsity and JV
races, and never looked back. The much
talked about depth and desire of the
women showed in the convincing nature
of the wins. The rowers proved that they
are a team to be reckoned with.
"Our team showed up ready this
weekend, and this sets the tone for the
rest of the season," All-America Kate
Johnson said.
Going into the matchup, the
Wolverines knew they needed their best
to compete with Virginia. Being the
underdogs worked to the Wolverines
advantage. The team focused on rowing
to win, not 'rowing not to lose.' This
brought out the best in the rowers.
"The team's mentality and attitude
was the best I've seen since coming to
Michigan," Johnson said.
It didn't matter that the back-to-back
national champion Virginia JV squad
had not lost a single race in two years. It
didn't matter that its varsity boat did not
lose once to Michigan last year. The

Wolverines were determined to itake
this race different, and they did: _
The Michigan JV boat, guided by
freshman coxswain Helen Dalis, led
wire to wire for the win. Dalis, in her
first collegiate race ever, showed maturi-
ty beyond her years. She counteracted
Virginia's moves perfectly, keeping the
rowers intense. This paid off in the sec-
ond 500 meters, when Virginia mounted
a comeback. The women fought it off,
and pulled away in the third 500.
The varsity boat followed suit with an
inspired win, avenging losses to Virginia
in previous years. Admittedly, the varsi-
ty did not race its best race, but the fact
that it still managed to beat an elite team
like Virginia really spoke volumes about
the heart of the Wolverines.
"We didn't row our best, but it's excit-
ing to know that we have room for
improvement," Johnson said.
The combination of the JV and var-
sity wins really shows the talent and
depth of this team. The Wolverines
showed the mental toughness needed
in a champion, and showed the desire
to give it their all.
Michigan fans shouldn't expect a let-
down at San Diego next weekend. Even
in the glow of the biggest win-for the
rowers in recent history, the team was
See CREW, Page.10

The
Michigan
Daily.
Kurt Vonnegut
wanted to write
for us.
Do yoU?
76 - DAILY
sportsdesk@umich.edu

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