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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan • Page 4

Location:
Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Page:
4
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

A Sfction Tuesday, September 2, 1998 Detroit Jftee Vtc WSJ CHASING 61 ROGER MARIS In 1961, the year he set the record of 61 home runs, Maris hit his 57th homer in his 151st game and hit No. 58 in his 152nd game. Homered twice at Did not homer Florida; went 3-for-5. against Cincinnati. Games 139 Games 139 57 Homers 55 Pace 64 Homers Pace 67 Ml I Sf mam I 1 1 "Things could have been better between the two of us." Randy Smith "We kind of got tired of each other." Buddy Bell 1M i HANS DERYK Associated Press Mark McGwire crosses the plate after his second homer, a 472-footer in the ninth inning.

Mac passes Hack; 2 HRs give Card 57 Free Press News Services MIAMI With two mighty cracks, Big Mac passed Hack. McGwire homered twice Tuesday night, raising his season total to 57 and breaking Hack Wilson's 68-year-old National League record with an electrifying performance that led the St. Louis Cardinals over the Florida Marlins, 7-1. a pretty awesome feat," McGwire said. "I'm totally excited." McGwire homered against Livan Hernandez leading off the seventh inning, hitting a 1-1 pitch an estimated 450 feet over the centerfield wall.

"It hung up there so long, I wondered if it was ever going to come down," McGwire said. Two innings later, he hit the first pitch from Donn Pall over almost the same spot. This time the estimated distance was 472 feet It was McGwire's seventh multi-homer game this season and the 50th of his career, leaving him four short of Roger Maris' record with 24 games left. He began the day tied with Sammy Sosa at 55 homers in their race for Maris' 37-year-old record. McGwire is on a pace to finish with 67 homers.

This is a great thing happening in baseball," he said. "We don't know if it'll ever happen again." Please see MCGWIRE, Page 4C MAIN STORY; PAGE 1A I fa i''' 'I V', f' 'fV lis "rfii'i leaving a Leading single-season home run -hitters of all time: 61 Roger Yankees SS ii 1 60 Babe Ruth, '27 Yankees Photos by JULIAN GONZALEZDetrolt Free Press Above, Tigers president John McHale, left, and general manager Randy Smith answer questions during a press conference announcing Buddy Bell's firing. The man in the middle is interim manager Larry Parrish. Top, outfielder Bobby Higginson shows his allegiance to Bell on his hat amid a crowd of reporters before Tuesday's game. 59 Babe Yankees 58 JimmieFoxx, '32 A' 58 Hank Greenberg, "38 Tigers 58 Mark McGwire, '97 A's, Cards 57 Mark McGwire, '98 Cardinals SO MUCH FOR THE BUDDY SYSTEM Smith merely Etch's triggerman in firing Parish's chance arrives, but will it include '99? ings prepare for the weeks without Scotty I he conversation probably went something like this: "Randy, I've got to know where I stand with this organization.

I keep reading that Mr. Hitch refuses to endorse me. What's Gentry has coached the Pistons for 37 games, and Bobby Ross starts his second season with the Lions on Sunday. That was Back in the spring, Tigers owner Mike liitch was pleased with the job Bell was doing. "Overall, I'm happy, "he -said.

"I think Buddy has done a great job. There's nowhere I to go but up with our team. We might run into a few bumps, and people will say, 'I thought this was the team that was going to do it; I thought this was the "But knowing sports, it doesn't always go the way you plan it." That quote ran in the Free Press on April 1. going on?" "Well, Buddy, you knew this was going to be a tough job when you took it I think he'd like to see a little more progress in our young players." "But Randy, we've got 10 rookies on this club. That's too weighted toward youth.

We need some real major-leaguers in here next year. Going out there every day outmanned like this is a strain on me and on the Parrish: Grand start Larry Parrish won his first game as Tigers interim manager Tuesday night, replacing fired Buddy Bell. Shortstop Delvi Cruz's grand slam was the key hit in the 12-8 victory over Texas. Details, Page 4C. What'snext? The Tigers can play out the string this season, and then general manager Randy Smith can shop for a new manager.

Or they can give the job to Parrish on a permanent basis, a popular move in these parts. Lloyd Carr won a national football title at Michigan after replacing Gary Moeller on an interim basis, and Steve Fisher did the same thing in basketball after replacing Bill Frieder. Now U-M is trying its luck with Brian Ellerbe and the Pistons with Alvin Gentry. On the downside, Wayne Fontei was the Lions' interim coach after Darryl Rogers. Hired to be fired Did Bell get a fair chance? Probably, if you consider how fast the managerial merry-go- By August, Hitch was still endorsing Smith but refused to do the same for Bell.

'That's up to Randy," Ilitch said. "Randy hired Buddy and if Randy is happy with Buddy, that's fine. I don't envy Buddy, let's put it that way. He's had a hard job." Parrish is Hitch's third manager with the Tigers, and Bowman is his sixth coach with the Wings. What they said Gloria Bell, Buddy's wife: "They lost a good person.

I feel bad for the players. I think they'll miss him a lot. He spent more time with them than his own family. He was so attached to them. Buddy put his heart and soul Into it." Tigers relievej Todd Jones: "Buddy Bell was not the reason this team struggled.

Nobody says anything bad about Jim Leyland struggling in Florida, and nobody should say anything bad about Buddy here. You know why? You do your best with what you've got. Anybody can drive a Cadillac." Cleveland Indians manager Mike Hargrove: "I thought Charlie Vincent rf players, too." "You worried about next year, Buddy?" "Yeah, I am. What can we expect in the way of better players for 1999?" "I can't promise you anything, Buddy. You might have to go with what you have right now." "Randy, I don't think that's reasonable.

We can't field a major league club that way." "Well, Buddy, if you're unhappy with that prospect, ByGeneGuidi Free Press Sports Writer Larry Parrish was pulling into the Tiger Stadium parking lot at 2 p.m. Tuesday when the guard at the gate stopped him. "You're supposed to go up and see Randy Smith in his office right away," the guard told Parrish, the Tigers' bench coach. I That's when Parrish figured he was about to replace Buddy Bell as manager. "After talking with Buddy on Monday night, I had a feeling this might happen," Parrish said.

"He was upset with some of the comments that were made about him during the past week or so. And I knew he was going to try to find out once and for: all today where he stood with the organization." 1 Parrish won his major league managerial debut Tuesday night as the Tigers, powered by Deivi Cruz's seventh-inning grand slam, beat the Rangers, 12-8. Parrish, 44, was hired as bench coach and Bell's right-hand man in November 1996, and is in his seventh season with the Tigers, Unlike Bell, Parrish has minor league managerial experience. He managed at Falls in the New York-Penn League in 1992-93 (winning a league championship in the second season), Toledo of the International League in 1994, and Jacksonville in the Southern League in 1996 (again winning a title). "The last three times I've been a manager Toledo in 1994, Jacksonville in 1996 and now here in Detroit I've taken over for another manager during the season," Parrish said.

"That's not the most ideal of situations, but I do like the challenge" of Please see PARRISH, Page 5C -1 1, ByJasonLaCanfora Free Press Sports Writer i The Red Wings began preparing Tuesday for the temporary absence of coach Scotty Bowman. Associate' coaches Dave Lewis and Barry Smith met with general manager Ken Holland at Joe Louis Arena, and they discussed how coaching responsibilities would be handled while Bowman recovers from a knee replacement and heart surgery. Bowman, rehabilitating at his home in Buffalo, N.Y., faces another six to 10 weeks of recovery. Training camp in Traverse City is 11 days away. It's uncertain whether Bowman will travel to Traverse City, though he is expected to continue his rehab in Detroit with trainer John Wharton in the coming weeks before returning behind the bench.

"Certainly we'll miss him he's a tremendous bench boss but in the short term we'll get by," Holland Said. "In all of my discussions and communications with Scotty, he has never indicated to me that he's not coming back. Every conversation I've had with him indicates at some point In time hell be back. "You can't put a timetable on it, hut anyone could figure out that at some time in late October or November given the recovery time that's when he would probably first be able to come back. A lot depends 'in how he heals." Bowman had angioplasty in July and knee surgery in August He would be returning to a team Please see RED WINGS, Page 3C round has been spinning in Detroit.

and still think that Buddy is a very good manager. I thought he did a very good job. This kind of surprises me. His three-year stint was second only to Scotty Bowman's ive-going-on-six with the Red Wings among local pro coaches. vn nviaiiam, ci i.

I maybe you should resign." "I won't quit." "OK. You're fired." It probably went something like that Tuesday when Buddy Bell former manager of the Detroit Tigers met with Randy Smith, the general manager who is not so dumb as to stand up for his manager when the difference in philosophies revolves around how much money his owner is willing to spend. So Bell is out. And the Tigers have made one of the biggest mistakes in an Ilitch-owned regime that has been riddled with mistakes. We thought we had a savior when Mike Ilitch bought the Tigers from Tom Monaghan.

We were wrong. The first knee-jerk reaction is to fault Smith for the nasty end to Bell's less-than-three-year term as Tigers manager. It was Smith who fired Please see CHARLIE VINCENT, Page 6C Tigers fan from Royal Oak: "If I don't produce at myjob.lget fired. Thus, he should get fired." Buddy Bell, right, is out as Tigers manager three years into general manager Randy Smith's five-year rebuilding program. V' Details, Pages SC-6C..

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