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July 09, 1980 - Image 15

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1980-07-09

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, July 9,1980--Ptrge 15
Spo rtsmu

The Sporing Views
In esterday'u Daily. sportswriter Buddy oorehouse denounced Detroit Tiger
outfielder Al Cowens' attack on Chicago While Sox pitcher d Farmer. Today
sportswriter Drew Sharp takes an oppoing riew.
Detroit outfielder Al Cowens had been waiting for this opportunity for
over a year. He was to bat against his old nemesis, Chicago's Ed Farmer. It
was a Farmer fastball that broke Cowens' jaw last year when the
rightfielder was with the Kansas City Royals and Farmer wore a Texas
Ranger uniform.
It was a chance for him, in his own mind, to even the score between the
Cowens did engage in an altercation with Farmer on the pitcher's
mound in the 11th inning of that contest. Afterwards, he was immediately
suspended and fined for his actions by the American League. But more
importantly, he was labeled as a coward by many people throughout the
country, who felt it was foolish of him to hold a grudge for that long a period
of time.
My evaluation of Cowens' act is very much to the contrary. He was
within his rights to beat up Farmer that night. It was a matter of self-
Major league pitchers today are getting away with murder. They have
in their possession an object which can maim or kill someone if thrown
towards them at 90 miles an hour. And in such instances where a batter is
struck by a pitch, the pitcher can merely clear himself by saying the ball got
away accidentally or that the pitch was a mistake like the hanging curve
which was drilled into the upper deck for a home run. Baseball pitchers
should be ready to face the consequences if one of their "mistakes" should
occur toea player with a highly volatile temper.
This is not to say that Farmer had fully intended to injure Cowens with
that ill-fated pitch. Only Farmer himself knows that for sure. But it's time
for batters to stand up and refuse to be taken advantage of in this manner.
Brushback pitch the enemy
The reason for all of this fury is the use of what is known as the
brushback pitch, considered to be a pitcher's best friend. It is used when the
pitcher feels the batter is getting too comfortable at the plate. It is meant to
keep the batter honest and has come under much scrutiny.
Former Los Angeles Dodger star pitcher Don Drysdale, now an ABC
sportscaster, is an open advocate of the brushback.
He says that it is essential for the pitcher to use the brushback, in order
to maintain an advantage over the batter. Drysdale, in his playing days, was
never shy about giving a batter the high, hard one and having hin bite the
dust so it is not so hard to see where he got his views.
Well Don, here's a message for any of your fellow hurlers, who may play
by your philosophy.
Don't be surprised if after one of your eat-the-dust throws, you have to
confront an enraged 220-pound catcher, wo's charging the mound with the
ferocity of a bull lunging for the bullfighter.
The reason for the brushback pitch is plain and simple - intimidation. It
is a form of psychological warfare meant to scare the daylights out of
opposing hitters. Well, in that case, batters should have their own form of
intimidation to use against opposing pitchers, such as hitting a line drive
right past the hurler's skull. That has been known to rattle the pitcher's
nerves on occasion and also makes him aware that two can play this game of
psyching out the opposition.
It would be nice if all of the problems and conflicts we face could be
settled in a peaceful, non-violent fashion. Unfortunately, there comes a time
when the best prescribed medication is a swift kick in the butt for your
Possible court battle
In the Cowens case, his retaliation could lead to a trial in court.
Last week, a Circuit Court judge in Chicago ordered an arrest warrant to
be served to Cowens when the Tigers return to the Windy City in late August.
There is much deliberation among the Tiger top brass on whether they
should allow Cowens to travel with the team when they return to Chicago.
Cowens should go to Chicago, accept his warrant when served and set a
trial date so that he can make fools of the White Sox management, who
vehemently demanded his head on a platter three weeks ago. The chances of
Cowens being convicted are slim and none.
This case is similar to the Dan Maloney hockey trial three years ago.
Maloney was indicted on the charge of aggravated assault when he was
involved in a fight with Toronto's Brian Glennie. Maloney, who was a Detroit
Red Wing at the time, was acquitted when it was proved that Glennie
provoked the altercation with his excessively physical play.
If Cowens was to be convicted, it would give pitchers the green light to
throw at opposing hitters, knowing that they are protected by the law in case
of retaliation.
So let 'em have it, Al. Give them a fight they'll never forget.

East Germany main
benefactor of boycott

By The Associated Press
East Germany, which finished
second in the medals standings in the
1976 Olympics, is expected to reap a
solid share of the gold left up for grabs
by the beycotting countries.
The United States, West Germany
and Japan - the top competitors
among the approximately 50 countries
that are boycotting - ranked third to
fifth in nation's standings with 53 gold
medals, 53 silver medals and 52 bronze
medals amng them at the 1976
And East German athletes are expec-
ted to fill the void left by many of the
boycotting athletes, although there is
speculation in the West that they would
not want to embarrass their hosts by
finishing as the top medal winners if
they were in a position to do so.
"WE HAVE used the recent months
for intensive preparations," said Man-
fred Ewald, head of the East German
Olympic Committee, during a recent
interview, adding, "We will, together
with the representatives of the Soviet
Union, try to delight the public with
superb results at Moscow.
The East German women swimmers
in particular are expected to benefit
from the absence of the United States
because of the Russian intervention in
After dominating the Montreal
swimming events, the East Germans
suffered a humiliating setback by the
U.S. team during the last world cham-
pionships in West 'Berlin in 1978 and
were looking for yet another tight battle
with their American archrivals.
DURING THE recent East German
national championships Ute Geweniger
bettered the world record for the 100
meter breast stroke to 1:10.20 minutes
and Petra Svhneider, her teammate
from Karl-Marx-Stadt, set two new
world marks for the individual medley,
clocking the 200 meters in 2:13.00 and
the 400 meters in 4:38.44 minutes.

The East German men swimmers
also look for a larger collection of titles
after the U.S. team took 12 out of 13
possible gold medals at Montreal.
Another field where East German
athletes are sure to do well in is track
and field, with the women traditionally
providing the decisive push.
With Marlies Goehr-Celsner's world
mark for the 100 meter dash of 10.88
seconds bettered earlier this month by
one hundredth of a second by Ludmilla
Kontratjeva of the Soviet Union, the
classic sprint event should be one of the
top events at the Games.
EVELYN ASHFORD, the U.S. sprin-
ter also on the books with a time below
the 11-second mark and rated a title
contender, will not compete at Moscow.
On the men's side the boxing com-
petition also was thrown wide open by
the U.S. boycott.
The American team took five golds at
the Montreal Olympics, all of which will
most likely fall to the East Bloc now
and East Germany is ready to reap at
least some of the profits, along with the
Russians and Cubans.
While it appears certain that East
Germany will surpass the medal total
of 40 gold, 25 silver and 25 bronze they
bagged at Montreal, western sports of-
ficials doubt that they will attempt to
overtake the Soviets, even if they were
in a position to do so.
RUSSIA GAINED 47 gold medals, 43
silvers and 35 bronzes at the Montreal
Games and it is expected to emerge as
the strongest team, especially since
they are the host.
"In my opinion, the East Germans
will hold back if they should ever get in-
to the position of overtaking the
'socialist motherland' ", remarked one
ranking West German sports official.
"After all, how would it look if the
pupil walks away with more prizes than
the teacher," he said, asking not to be
"Sports relations must go on, even af-
ter the Mbscow games", he said.

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