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August 11, 1981 - Image 11

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Michigan Daily, 1981-08-11

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, August 11, 1981-Page 11

The baseball strike .. .
THE SPORTING VIEWS ... a spoiled

season

By STEVE HOOK
Daily Opinion Page Editor
TTHEY'LL BE bitching from coast to coast
about the slipshod All-Star baseball game
played Sunday night, which marvelously reflected
the 1981 season in general.
As a news-sider for this paper, I have only at-
tempted a sports column once before, in the
crazed weeks of June 1980 when the bleacher bums
went out of coi'trol. As a fellow inhabitant of the
cheap seats during those twisted nights, I quickly
became a sports correspondent when the
rowdyism escalated into hand-to-hand combat
and the bleachers were closed.
The sheer volume of similarly-demented issues
today-in the dawn of the first second season
over-compels me to enter the verbal arena
once again.
Tony, Joe, and the NBC Hype
What's good for Major League Baseball is good
for the National Broadcasting Company. That
must explain the unceasing baseball soft-sell that
preoccupied NBC announcers Tony Kubek and Joe
Garagiola Sunday night. They fell over each other
praising the game, the fans, the stadium, the um-
pires ... the bases, the dugouts, the peanut ven-
dors:
"The romance is on again," Joe would say.
"Baseball is the sleeping giant," Tony would add,
"The fans know that the grandest of games will be
around tomorrow." Defending the city of
Cleveland, the announcers instead managed to
simply magnify its problems. "Look around the
stadium tonight and tell me this city is not alive,"
Joe said. I never said it was dead.
When they weren't incoherently hyping the Vir-
tues of Baseball, they were touting their
"priceless" camera crew. Who really cares about
the producer and technical coordinator? What we
needed was a straight-forward analysis of the
delicate season, not a heavy-handed public
relations job. Joe and Tony revealed themselves
as fools.

The Slave System Remains
Negotiating the free agent issue was supposedly
as black-and-white as negotiating the hostage deal
with Iran. There was a matter of principle in both
that could not be settled by compromise. But just
as the demand of an American admission of guilt
degenerated into a pathetic money grab, so did the
free agent issue.
"I don't care when they settle the strike," you
could hear a million baseball fans saying, "just as
long as they do settle it, once and for all." No such
luck, the institutional inequity remains; the
players are still slaves, subservient commodities
that the owners possess and control for half their
careers.
The owners' power play worked in this unfor-
tunate confrontation, which was settled not by
principle, but by expediency. The football season
was just too close for ethics to remain a con-
sideration.
How the Tigers Can Win
Listen to me, Sparky, and I'll put you in a
playoff against the Yankees.
For starters, revise your rigid platoon system.
Find yourself three solid outfielders and play
them every day. Which ones? Funny you should
ask. Steve Kemp, Lynn Jones, and Kirk Gibson, in
left, center, and right. When Gibson breaks his
wrist again, put in Ricky Peters day-in and day-
out. Trade Al Cowens for a left-handed pitcher.
Lance Parrish, the most miserable clutch hitter in
the Major Leagues, should either move to first
base or be traded (depending on the length of
'Hebner's slump), so John Wockenfuss can get an
overdue chance to play full-time.
Baseball players always perform better when
playing every day. It's that simple.
With regard to pitching, start Jack Morris,
Kevin Saucier, Dave Rozema, and Dave Tobik.
Milt Wilcox, who will retire with an exact .500 win-
loss record (something like 210-210), should be

traded to the first myopic fool that makes an offer.
Lopez, Schatzeder, and Petry can handle the
bullpen.
Call me if you have any questions, Sparky.
Qualified Record Books
The baseball strike has one effect that is per-
manent and irrepairable. From now on, strictly
speaking, the record books are illegitimate.
Had the season not been interrupted, Tim
Raines could very well be the new record-holder
for single-season base-stealing. Lou Brock's
record was in serious jeopardy as Raines stole 50
bases in the first two months of the season, but
now he'll have to wait until next year. Brock him-
self must feel cheated, now that his most
cherished accomplishment needs an asterisk.
And there were other prospective record
breakers, obvious and obscure, that will never be.
For the Tigers, who could have enjoyed a rare 20-
game winner in Morris, well, maybe he'll get 'em
next year.
The Aftermath
Tony and Joe just couldn't get over the cheering
crowds at the All-Star Game. "It certainly proves
that baseball will remain the great American
pastime," Garagiola frothed.
There is truth to this, although its application
here was absurd. Of course the 70,000-plus
customers cheered like hyenas Sunday night; if I
shelled out $25 bucks or more for a sporting event,
I wouldn't spend my time sulking about the high-
priced nonsense on the field. My very presence in-
dicates my enthusiasm for the game. Of course
I'm going to cheer.
But in the end, the bald baboon is right, the
parks will fill up and the fans will continue loving
their game. Why? Because it is the greatest of all
team sports, virtually the only one which does not
involve a simple territorial struggle and a finite
time frame. Baseball is a unique oddity, too
precious for the degenerated participants to spoil.

I I

Ex-Wolverine gridders Wangler
and Powers cut from pro teams
duigtememorable 1910 campaign
By JOHN FITZPATRICK ex-Blue gridders to be cut from pro (from an injured knee) was described
Daily sports writer teams this year, despite their im- (s an "uredkeeablesr by
pressve clleg carers.as an "unbelieveable story" by
Two former Wolverines were cut pressive college careers. yihgncahB cebclr y
Twoforer olvrins wre ut DESPITE BEING-HAMPERED by a Michigan coach Bo Schembechler.
from their respective pro football hos iTe E ing an i Powers, another oft-injured player
teams yesterday, as quarterback John host of injuries, including an injured while at Michigan, was renowned for
Wangler was released by the Dallas pound Wangler amassed a n'r , his toughness and resiliency. He played
Cowboys and offensive guard John pressive assd h nu e hurt much of last season, but in spite of
Powers was waived by the New York this he came up with a number of key
S Gat.as a Michigan signal-caller. His 105 ths"Gins <"-paicldgakefmetoep
freiaennedMihian completions last season were the third plays, including a key fumble to keep
Wangler, a free agent, led Michigan most ever for a Michigan quarterback, Michigan's scoring.drive alive against
to its 23-6 victory over the Washington dos reer .a 2,g49 q assing Notre Dame. In addition to his All-Big
Huskies last January. Powers, an and his career total of 2,849 passing Tetamslcinhewslonmd
Huskes lst Jnuay. Pwers an yards is the second best accomplished Ten team selection, he was also named
eighth-round draft pick, was named to ya isvthe eco backphed Offensive Player of the Week against
UPI's All-Big Ten team last year. by a Wolverine. The comback he had Illinois.
WANGLER WAS NOT immediately

available for comment, but his
mother, when contacted in Royal Oak,
noted that her son was "mildly disap-
pointed." "I'm sure he's not going to
call it quits from football," she added.
Wangler is expected to fly into Detroit
sometime today.
Powers was not available for com-
ment.
Wangler and Powers were the first
WELCOME TO
DASCOLA STYLISTS
0 4 Barbers
" No Waiting
Liberty off State.. 668-9529
East U. at So U... . 662-0354
Arborland........971-9975
Maple VilIage... . , 761-27433

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