. N Pros uring batsen....
By SCOTT G. MILLER
U NDOUBTEDLY, major-league baseball is part of
the American dream. Youngsters have visions of
playing the nation's pastime from the time they
receive their first glove. The problem with professional
baseball today is that too many get a chance at this
dream, though most will never attainit.
The baseball draft system is at fault. Unlike football
and basketball, high school seniors are eligible for the
baseball draft. If a drafted player decides to go to
college, he can be selected again at the end of his junior
year. The pro raids on college recruits and upper-
classmen are increasing.
"I think you are seeing fewer great players out
there," said Michigan coach Bud Middaugh. "As a
result more and more kids are signing professional
contracts because the pro clubs are projecting these
kids a lot more.
"Some work out, and some don't. So they have to
bring in another group."
I wanted to write a story about Wolverine baseball
recruits, but Middaugh would not reveal players'
names for fear the majors would sign them. Mid-
daugh's fears are well founded.
Seven members of the 1986 Big Ten Champions
signed professional contracts. "The situation is dif-
ficult when you lose so many, so quickly, in such a
short period of time and lose some incoming kids as
well," said Middaugh. "There are some years it can be
devastating, and that has been true in this case."
Besides losing seniors Casey Close, Dan Disher, Kurt
Zimmerman, and Chris Gust, Middaugh must also
replace juniors Hal Morris, Dave Karasinski, and Paul
Wenson. Close, a seventh-round pick, and Morris, an
eight-rounder, joined the New York Yankees. Disher, a
tenth-rounder, joined the Seattle Mariners while
Karasinski, a 48th-round pick, went to the Atlanta
Braves. Free agent Wenson joined the Tigers.
"My concern for these kids as juniors and not high
draft choices is, 'Are they really going to get an oppor-
tunity?' " said Middaugh. "What is going to happen if
things don't work out? I hope they come back to com-
plete their education."
... sysem must change
Losing juniors to the pros is not a new problem for
Middaugh. Last season, two-time All-American Barry
Larkin and outfielder Mike Watters (.417) departed a
year early. Both are performing well in Triple-A this
Recruits signing contracts compound Middaugh's
problems. When a player signs a letter of intent, a
scholarship is tied up. If the player decides to turn
professional, it is like nobody has been recruited.
The better the recruit, the less likely he will come to
school in the fall. Middaugh lost pitcher Kent Mercker
to the Braves. The Wolverine recruit was the fifth
player selected in the first round.
"My job is to attempt to go back out and find people
nobody else has recruited to this point, who can come
into the University of Michigan and play," said Mid-
daugh. "That is not going to be an easy chore.
"If I told you the amount of miles I have gone since
last week (to recruit), you would probably lock me up
in the funny house."
Should major-league baseball make Middaugh's job
more difficult? I think not.
Professional basketball and football allow players to
develop physically, mentally, and socially in college. If
an athlete is not talented enough to reach the pros, at
least he has his college degree.
Minor-league baseball players are left with nothing.
They travel between backwater towns. If they play
poorly, another player replaces them, and the cycle
Sadly, many low-round draft choices sign for a bonus
for less than the cost of a college scholarship, which
can be worth $50,000. Only five percent of baseball fir-
st-round picks make it to the majors in three seasons.
Those same years are better spent in college. A talen-
ted player will make it to the majors whether or not he
"Don't think anybody in college likes the system we
work under," said Middaugh. "But maybe it will
change. I think you have to work within the system like
we try to do here. The biggest concern is for the player
Unfortunately, the major leagues don't have that
Michigan senior outfielder Dan Disher, who signed recently with the
Seattle Mariners, has visions of the major leagues.
Schroeder races to second at Nationals
By EMILY BRIDGHAM
Sue Schroeder, the 5000-meter
genius, did more than trim her old
time in the NCAA this past weekend.
She hacked it apart, taking second.
Along with teammates Cathy Schmidt had a last spurt of energy. It was pret- ALSO PREPARING for Tech
and Thomas Wilcher, Schroeder ear- ty close." Nationals after taking fifth in the 110-
ned All-American honors for her ef- hurdles is Thomas Wilcher. Wilcher
fort. Nevertheless, Schroeder's perfor- ran a 13:57, which was just a few hun-
Clocking in at 15:44.27, Schroeder mance was fine enough to qualify her dredths off his season best 13:52.
finished close on the heels of Wiscon- for the Tech Nationals, which is in two These world-class times, like
sin's Stephanie Herbst, who ran a weeks. There she will face more than Schroeder's, would have earned him
15:42.36. just college talent. More than likely, a third-place finish in the Prefontaine
Schroeder will run the 3000-meter Classic, where the top three times
"I WAS happy but a little disap- race in that meet, and her 9:11.20 were 13:33,13:39, and 13:59.
pointed at the same time," said earned earlier in the season places Although not qualifying for Tech
Schroeder. "Near the end of the race I her among the top in her field. Nationals, senior Cathy Schmidt had
began to move up, but she (Herbst) an equally memorable performance
As a case in point, this past in the 1500 meters, earning the title of
weekend in the Prefrontaine Classic, All-American in her last college race.
which featured the nation's top run- Schmidt completed the race in
ning talent including Olympians Carl 4:21.24, taking sixth. She was not far
Lewis and Judy Brown-Ling, the behind Tennessee's Alisa Harvey,
3000-meter top finishers ran times of who ran 4:17.48.
8:57.47, 9:04.46 and 9:06.75. This "Cathy didn't get her best time, but
-proves that Schroeder will be right in it was a slow tactical race for her,"
the thick of things at Tech Nationals. said assistant coach Sue Parks. "She
beat a lot of people that I doubt she
planned on defeating."
"I thought it was going to be a lot
IT'S GREAT HAIRSTYLES faster in the finals," said Schmidt. "It
UNIVERSITY LICENSED was crazy because prelims were so
much faster and everybody was just
TOWERS BARBER STYLISTS - dying at the end. They were just com-
new creations at reasonable prices pletely different races.
Furnished Apartments "I was ninth after the prelims and
Great Location DASCOLA STYLISTS I'm just glad I have a fast kick. I en-
Corner of e. University & .. Forest ded up passing a bunch of people at
5368. Forest Ave' Maple Village ................ 761-2733 the end. I thought no way do I want to
761-2680 Liberty off State .............. 668-9329 end up twelfth out of twelve."
... an All-American