2B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 19, 2005
ANAHEIM, Calif.(AP) - After grinding out anoth-
er critical victory behind Paul Byrd's solid pitching, the
Los Angeles Angels were in a somber mood. They were
mourning the death of their team chaplain, Chuck Obrem-
ski, who fought cancer for two years.
"I think it was amazing that he died the minute we took
the field," Byrd said yesterday after beating the Detroit
Tigers 5-3. "I usually take the field at :03, :04, and I was
getting ready to go. But Darin Erstad wasn't ready, so it
kind of threw me off a little bit.
"We took the field at :05, and that was the exact minute
he died. Maybe it was a coincidence, maybe not, but it
was powerful. It was nice that we won and were able to
dedicate the game to him."
Obremski, 48, presided over the regular Sunday chapel
services in both clubhouses during Angels homestands
for several years, right up to the final game of the previous
homestand. After the Angels won their only world cham-
pionship in 2002, they gave him a World Series ring the
following Easter Sunday.
Everyone around the league knew how weak he was
and how difficult it was for him to do his job, but they all
marveled at the way he never gave in to his illness.
"His goal was to last through the season - and in my
mind, he did," Byrd said. "He had battled cancer for a
couple of years, and he didn't feel sorry for himself. He
finished strong and went out with a lot of courage and
went out fighting, and that's what we want to do as mem-
bers of the Angels. We want to finish strong on the field."
Tigers in close game
Athlete of the Week
Erstad and Juan Rivera each drove in two runs and
Vladimir Guerrero hit an RBI double, helping the first-
place Angels maintain their two-game lead over Oakland
in the AL West.
Byrd (12-10) allowed a run and seven hits in 6 2/3
innings, striking out six and walking one. The right-hand-
er worked with runners on base in each of the first five
innings, giving up his only run on a double-play grounder
by Brandon Inge with the bases loaded in the fifth.
Byrd is 3-1 with a 0.91 ERA over his last four starts
after going 0-4 with a 5.40 ERA in his previous seven
"I love the pressure, and I love that every game counts,"
he said. "I've been on last-place teams and first-place
teams, and this is what it's all about. Coming down the
wire, every pitch means something and you can't take
anything for granted. It's very exciting. I think all of our
guys have really turned it up a notch."
Detroit center fielder Curtis Granderson, batting lead-
off so that second baseman Placido Polanco could rest a
sore right shoulder, was 5-for-5 with a first-inning double
to set a career high for hits.
"I haven't had enough time up here to go ahead and say,
'Hey, yeah, I belong.' I've only had a little scratch of the
surface," Granderson said. "I was put in the leadoff role a
little more this season in Triple-A in about 50 percent of
the games. At first it was more of a mental thing. But then
I just start to think, I'm only going to lead off one time."
In Thursday's 8-6 victory- over the Angels, the 24-
year-old rookie hit a three-run, inside-the-park homer
and robbed Bengie Molina of a home run. In 33 games,
Granderson is hitting .318 with six homers and 16 RBIs.
"He's an incredible young player," Byrd said. "I was
unfamiliar with him, but I threw everything everywhere,
and he was on it."
Scot Shields came on in the ninth for his 72nd appear-
ance this season, tying the Angels' record set in 1967 by
Minnie Rojas. He gave up a two-run single to pinch-hitter
Dmitri Young before Francisco Rodriguez got two outs
for his 38th save in 43 tries.
Matt Ginter (0-1) allowed five runs and 10 hits over 4
1/3 innings in his first start for the Tigers after 13 relief
appearances. He got the assignment in place of Nate Rob-
ertson, who is 0-4 with a 9.41 ERA in his last four starts
and 6-14 overall. Robertson complained of fatigue in his
shoulder after giving up seven runs and seven hits over
three innings in a 9-3 home loss to Minnesota last Tues-
Ginter was a full-time reliever with the White Sox
before the Mets converted him into a starter last year. The
right-hander did both this season with Detroit's Triple-A
Toledo club, going 4-3 with a 5.09 ERA in 10 starts for the
International League champion Mud Hens.
A couple days ago, Tigers manager Alan Trammell
said Ginter was best suited for middle relief, as opposed
to starting. The Angels helped drive that point home with
a three-run first, including Guerrero's RBI double, a run-
scoring groundout by Erstad and Rivera's RBI single.
Name: Therese Heaton
Hometown: Wheaton, Ill.
Team: Women's soccer
Why: Heaton led the Wolverines to a 5-3 win over Western
Michigan on Friday with her first career hat-trick. She scored her
first goal 2:15 into the game, and, in the second half, netted two,
including the game-winner.
Volleyball at Michigan State
M Tennis Tom Fallon Invitational
Field Hockey atiOhio State
W Soccer at Ohio State
M Golf-Wolverine Intercollegiate
W Golf-Lady Northern Invitational
M Cross Country Roy Griak
Football at Wisconsin
Volleyball at Indiana
Field Hockey at Kent State
M Soccer vs. Northwestern
W Soccer at Oakland
Detroit falls hard to the Bears
CHICAGO (AP) - The points came
from all areas - offense, defense and
special teams - in rapid procession as
the Chicago Bears trampled Joey Har-
rington and the Detroit Lions.
Chicago's 38-6 victory Sunday in
the home opener was emphatic.
The Bears intercepted Harrington a
career-high five times and battered the
Lions along the way.
"We were resilient this week,"
Bears wide receiver Muhsin Muham-
After a 9-7 loss at Washington in the
season opener, the Bears looked more
like the playoff contender they have
claimed to be since the start of training
camp. The 38 points were their most
since a 47-17 victory over Tampa Bay
in September 1993.
Nate Vasher intercepted Harrington
twice and Mike Brown returned one 41
yards for a touchdown. Brian Urlacher
added two sacks.
Thomas Jones rushed for 139 yards
and two touchdowns on 20 carries, and
quarterback Kyle Orton was 14-of-21
for 150 yards with no interceptions.
Bobby Wade returned a punt 73
yards for a score in the second quar-
ter and Brown added that intercep-
tion return in the final minute of the
half as Chicago took a 31-6 lead to
the locker room.
"We did what we said we were going
to do," Urlacher said. "We got in (Har-
rington's) face, and we got some pres-
sure on him and got him to throw the
ball sometimes when he didn't want to.
And we got some takeaways - what we
got to do every week."
And what the Lions weren't able to
Detroit's defense, which sacked
Brett Favre four times and held Green
Bay to its lowest point total in 13
years in last week's 17-3 victory, had
trouble breaking through the Bears'
line, and Chicago's offense sprang
to life after being held to 166 yards
Harrington, meanwhile, looked lost.
He struggled against the pressure, com-
pleting 19 of 37 passes for 196 yards.
Detroit managed just 12 yards rushing
in the first half - and 29 in all on 18
"We made a lot of mistakes, and I
compounded it," Harrington said.
Harrington's troubles started on the
opening possession, with an intercep-
tion by right tackle Ian Scott. The Bears
drove 43 yards for a touchdown, with
Jones running it in from the three.
The Lions immediately responded.
After a 41-yard kickoff return by
Eddie Drummond, Harrington found
an open Roy Williams, who beat
Charles Tillman on the right for a 51-
yard touchdown that made it 7-6.
The Bears blocked the extra-point
attempt by Remy Hamilton, signed
Friday to the practice squad and acti-
vated before the game with Jason
Hanson nursing a hamstring injury.
That ended Hanson's streak of 209
games, the third longest among active
The rout was on from there.
Chicago's Doug Brien kicked a 48-
yard field goal on the ensuing drive to
increase Chicago's lead to 10-6. It grew
to 17-6 early in the second quarter when
Wade, inactive last week, returned a
punt 73 yards up the left side.
Harrington, who had thrown four
interceptions in a game twice, contin-
ued to struggle.
Vasher intercepted a fade in the
left corner of the end zone intended
for Williams, and that led to an 80-
yard scoring drive. Orton zipped a
28-yard touchdown pass to Muhsin
Muhammad, who held on despite
being sandwiched by cornerback Fer-
nando Bryant and safety Kenoy Ken-
nedy, to make it 24-6 with 1:14 left
in the half.
Muhammad was fine, but Bryant left
with a shoulder injury.
On the next play from scrimmage,
Brown intercepted Harrington as he
was hit and ran it in from 41 yards.
Besides Bryant, the Lions lost defen-
sive end James Hall (groin), backup
free safety Vernon Fox (left elbow) and
tight end Marcus Pollard (concussion),
who took a helmet-to-helmet hit from
Brown in the fourth quarter.
Brown said he's "prepared" for a
fine by the NFL, but wanted to make
it clear the collision of helmets was
"I saw the ball in his hands," Brown
said. "I was going for the ball first. It
happened so quick out there."
Harrington hopes he never has anoth-
er game like this. He has extra time to
think about it, with the Lions off next
week before visiting Tampa Bay.
"It's going to eat at me, but it could
be a good thing to kind of clear your
head," he said.
Michigan alum Braylon Edwards scored the Browns' second touchdown in their 26-24 win over the Packers.
Edwardseds past Packers
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - They
lived up to Reggie White's legacy on
the day his number was retired, playing
with a menacing mix of passion, poise
Not the Green Bay Packers, the
Trent Dilfer won for the first time
in nine trips to Lambeau Field, guid-
ing Cleveland over the mistake-prone
Packers 26-24 for new coach Romeo
Crennel's first win. Dilfer threw an
80-yard touchdown pass to Braylon
Edwards and a game-icing 62-yarder to
Steve Heiden with 1:50 remaining.
Dilfer, who lost six times as a
starter at Green Bay, completed 21 of
32 passes for 336 yards - the sec-
ond-highest total of his career - and
three touchdowns. His 62-yarder
to Heiden, who slipped a tackle by
safety Mark Roman, made it 26-17,
too much for the Packers to overcome
even behind Brett Favre.
The Packers wanted desperately to
honor White with a win. So did Dil-
fer, who like so many others, counted
himself a friend of the "Minister of
Defense," who died unexpectedly last
year at age 43.
"I guarantee you, he and my son were
watching the game together today,"
said Dilfer, who lost his 5-year-old son,
Trevin, to a rare infection in 2003.
Dilfer recalled White's "kind words
after football games when they beat us
up. That meant the world to me."
"I think I'm third all-time on his
sack list. Reggie and I got to know each
other pretty intimately on the football
field," Dilfer added. "What a special
day for his family to honor him that
way. In my 12 years, by far the classiest
person I've ever met in this league. He
had a huge influence on me personally,
Favre broke John Elway's single-
stadium NFL touchdown record of
180 with a 4-yard toss to Tony Fish-
er with 4 seconds left, but Brodney
Pool recovered the onside kick for
"I've been 'Favre'd' twice up here,"'
Dilfer said. "So, I was a wreck on the
sidelines. It was big to erase some of
The Browns were backed up and
facing a crucial third down after Favre,
who also joined Dan Marino and Elway
in the 50,000-yard passing club Sun-
day, pulled the Packers to 19-17 with
a 19-yard TD to Robert Ferguson with
With the crowd chanting "Reg-gie!
Reg-gie!" in honor of the late White,
whose number was retired at halftime,
Dilfer calmly hit running back Reuben
Droughns for a 12-yard gain on third-
and-5. Then, following the 2-minute
warning, he found Heiden over the
middle to put the game out of reach.
"We blew the coverage," Roman said.
"But I still have to get the guy down."
The Packers (0-2) looked at first like
they wouldn't miss Javon Walker, their
star receiver who went down with a
season-ending knee injury last week.
They went ahead 7-0 on their first pos-
session when Donald Driver caught a
short pass over the middle and raced
past Ray Mickens and Chris Crocker
for a 42-yard score.
The Browns (1-1) responded with an
80-yard drive capped by Dilfer's 1-yard
throw to Heiden.
Phil Dawson added field goals of
21 and 39 yards to give the Browns
a 13-7 halftime lead. His first field
goal followed the first of Favre's two
The Packers came out of the locker
room early to watch White's No. 92
unveiled beneath the north end zone
alongside those of Don Hutson, Tony
Canadeo, Bart Starr and Ray Nitschke.
White's widow, Sara, spoke to the
crowd, and highlights were shown of
White sacking quarterback after quar-
terback and holding the Lombardi Tro-
phy aloft after the Packers' Super Bowl
win following the 1996 season.
Then, it was back to 2005, and the
Packers continued their sloppy play in
losing their home opener for the third
"A loss is a loss, I don't care what
day it is," Packers linebacker Nick Bar-
nett said. "It hurts regardless of if it's
Reggie White's day or Brett Favre's day
or Bart Starr's day."
Two plays after Gary Baxter
intercepted a Favre pass in the end
zone, Dilfer hit Edwards, who split
split defensive backs Joey Thomas
and Nick Collins and raced 80 yards
for the score.
"It's very disappointing that we lost
in front of Reggie's family," corner-
back Al Harris said. "We didn't give
him much of a tribute today."
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