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July 11, 1981 - Image 11

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Michigan Daily, 1981-07-11

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TkIeIMichigan DailySaturday. July 11, 1981-Page 11

THE SPORTING )S The baseball strike .. .
... what the futul

re holds?

Daily sports writer
Remember the commercial that said that "a
breakfast without orange juice is like a day
without sunshine?" Undoubtedly, there are
thousands of baseball fans who-feel that a summer
without baseball is like a summer without sun-
shine, and I do not want to make these baseball
aficionados feel any worse. However, as
negotiations drag on and players and owners
haggle over free agent compensation, I cannot
help wondering what would happen if the strike
went on indefinitely. Thusin a parody of George
Orwell's famous novel, I would like to suggest my
scenario for the summer of 1984, threeand a half
years after the grest strike began.
While the baseball talks continue, July 4, 1984,
marks the beginning of the newly extended
National Football League season. NFL players
and team owners agreed in late 1983 to present
football fans with a new, expanded schedule.
Professional football teams will now play an un-
precedented forty games and begin a new
tradition of "kicking off" their season with an In-
dependence Day football extravaganza.
There were some technical problems, however,
that had to be cleared up by the NFL before
organizing this extended season. Because many
pro football organizations shared stadiums with
those almost forgotten major league baseball

teams, the NFL owners did not want to start an ex-
tended season if, by some slim possibility, the pro
baseball teams commenced playing again. This
problem was solved, like most problems in the
1980's, by economics. The cities and private in-
dividuals who owned the stadiums were forced to
cancel the leases that the major league baseball
teams held. It was simply too expensive to main-
tain empty stadiums year after year. "We can't
make money with vacant ball parks," said one
stadium owner.
One other problem also had to be resolved byAhe
NFL owners before the 1984 "extended season"
could get under way. The professional football
players demanded considerably larger contracts
for competing during a full forty game schedule.
The owners happily gave in, realizing that the new
system gave them an opportunity to-make three
times the money that they made in previous years.
They gave away million dollar contracts like hot
cakes. "In order to earn money, you must invest
money," said one team owner.
The football players were delighted with the new
arrangement. "We'd be crazy not to cash in on
this," said one quarterback, in response to a com-
parison between pro football players and the
almost forgotten major leaguers. "Most of us
make five tmes as much as tle President of the
United States. I really don't think that we could
ever dream up any reason to go on strike. In my

opinion, a strike is an impossibility," he con-
Many television networks looked forward to the
beginning of July, 1984. July would probably be the
biggest month in advertising profits from sports
broadcasts in the history of television. Never
would so many view such a multitude of sports. On
July 1, 2, and 3, professional tennis, which had un-
dergone an unbelievable revival, drew more
viewers than anyone had dreamed the 1980 World
Series would.
Pro tennis was the big springsport now. In May
and June, fans would swarm to the major tour-
naments to see their favorite players. Thousands
turned out to cheer on the newly formed pro tennis
teams. Instead of playing Little League baseball,
more and more children began playing on Little
League tennis teams. Autographed rackets and
balls were hot selling items in most department
With Independence Day marking the start of the
football season, one network official commented
that "there is simply no way we'll ever go back to
broadcasting baseball." He continued, "who wan-
ts to watch that stuff anyway?"
What happened to baseball? One former star
summed up baseball's future this way. "I think we
killed the goose that laid the golden egg."

Lendl tops McEnroe

NEW YORK (AP) - Ivan Lendl of
Czechoslovakia shocked newly crowned
Wimbledon champion John McEnroe
before Jimmy Connors crushed Tomas
Smid to give the United States a split of
their two singles matches on the
opening day of play in the Davis Cup
tennis quarterfinals yesterday.
Lendl outlasted McEnroe 6-4, 14-12) 7-
5. Connors, making his first Davis Cup
appearance since 1976, annihilated
Smid, the veteran of the
Czechoslovakian squad, 6-3, 6-1, 6-2.
AMERICANS Stan Smitly and Bob
Lutz will play Lendl and Smid in the
doubles today. Tomorrow's singles play
will send McEnroe against Smid and
Connors against Lendl in the best-of-
five format.
"I had my chances to win," McEnroe
said of his loss to Lendl. "I was up a
break in the first set and again in the
second set, but he kept bopncing right
back. I guess mentally I was a little
tired, especially after I lost the second
set and knew I had to win three more."
U.S. vs. U.S.S.R.

first in 48.96, edging David Lee, Moses'
replacement, in 49.01.
In the 1,500-meter, Jim Spivey of
Wood Dale, Ill., and Craig Masback of
White Plains, N.Y. finished comfor-
tably ahead of the two Soviets. Spivey's
winning time was 3:39.10, .07 ahead of
Other American men winners were:
Cliff Wiley of Baltimore in the 400 in
45.54 seconds; John Powell of San Jose
in the discus at 213 feet, six inches, and
Michael Carter of Dallas in the shot put
at 69-6.
All-Star game postponed
CLEVELAND (AP) - Baseball
Commissioner Bowie Kuhn said
yesterday the July 14 major league
baseball All-Star Game has been post-
poned indefinitely "because of the con-
tinuing strike by the players
"It is no longer practical to play the
game as scheduled," Kuhn said in a
statement issued from his New York of-
Idtr~ trn~ d~ m

LENINGRAD, U.S.S.R. (AP) - The Lavrw L&Lcte I ~IIr
Soviet Union rallied to take a 97-93 lead
over the United States yesterday in a MIAMI (AP) - The Miami Dolphins
dual meet between the track and field have tentatively worked out a trade
superpowers, their first confrontation with the Detroit Lions involving unhap-
* in three years. py linebacker Steve Towle, a club of-
The Americans got off fast with Jeff ficial said yesterday.
Phillips of Whitehall, Ohio, and Michele The source, who asked not to be iden-
Glover of Willingboro, N.J., capturing tified, said Towle would be swapped for
the 100-meter sprints in winning times a future draft choice if a contract
of 10.21 and 11.45 seconds, respectively, problem can be resolved.
GREG FOSTER of Los Angeles cap- Towle, a seventh-year pro from Kan-
tured the 110-meter high hurdles in sas, lost his starting position at inside
13.30, with Larry Cowling of Sacramen- linebacker last season. He moved into AP Phot ,
to, Calif., runnerup in 13.53. the starting lineup in 1975, but after a IVAN LENIL, A member of the Czechoslovakian Davis Cup team, prepares
Despite the absence of world record sensational 1976 season in which he to make a backhand return to Wimbledon champion John McEnroe in New
holder Edwin Moses, a last-minute no- totaled a club-record 217 tackles, Towle York yesterday during their best-of-five quarterfinal match. Lend outlasted
show, the Americana had no trouble in was slowed by injuries and in '78, the and outclassed McEnroe in the 6-4, 14-12, 7.5 match. Jimmy Connors evened
stlhe 0 merntermeiate hrdbles i as owed byg . injuriesg bll 7, the the United States with Czechoslovakia at one match apiece by defeating
the 400-meter ontermediate hurdles. DlphinS begAA . tplaoi'.mdim...iz , . ,.,
Andre Phillips of San Jose, Calif. was 9 s g. sifapns. , Tomas Smid. -

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