The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on October 18, 1991 · Page 15
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October 18, 1991

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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 15

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Friday, October 18, 1991
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THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1991 SECTION B MMO a . m m. m UC foe not satisfiedB-3 Prep picksB-4 NFLB-5 DigestB-6 EDITOR: GREG NOBLE, 369-1917 ckey deserves more than just a chance Tim Sullivan as he's been since college. Not much more BY JACK BRENNAN I (flfliliMilErtV The Cincinnati Enquirer Too bad the Bengals aren't playing at home against Buffalo. Too bad, because Ickey Woods deserves a standing ovation from his home crowd on Monday Night Football. At Rich Stadium, Woods may be barely time, every second spent therein will remind America of the Bengals as winners, not as 0-6 losers with funny helmets. (In case you haven't noticed, the helmets always look much funnier when they're losing). Woods worked hard so we could conjure these memories he sweated and groaned and we should thank him for it. Yes, he makes a lot of money, but as much as any of the Bengals or Reds, he earned it. Woods is, in many ways, an unlikely figure for the role of Angel of Joy to soul-weary fans. Though Woods escaped the life of (Please see BENGALS, Page B-5) can be asked in effort. And do Bengals fans ever need the chance to see Woods' comeback bid. In the middle of a three-game road trip that falls in the middle of a dismal season, Woods is a 3-D trip back in time to days of Bengal glory. Ickey is January in Miami. Ickey is In-Your-Face-Marv-Levy, we can beat your whining self without the no-huddle. Ickey is Paul Brown doing a strange little dance, and everybody loving every second of it. Should ABC deem Chapter II of Woods' comeback as sexy enough for some air noticed by the paying customers. He may not do squat in the game he may be But that's just the point. He's Ickey, and Bengals fans would have rightly rebelled to see him cut loose on practice points like some WLAF free agent. Woods, who practiced Wednesday for the first time this year as a functioning part of a game plan, is getting what he richly deserves a chance. His football life has been almost constant rehab-and-practice for more than two years, and the many who questioned his character for such a grind have been silenced. He is back to try again, and he's as trim through as a player and don t think it hasn't crossed some minds at Spinney Field to release him during the past month. If he hadn't been Ickey cult-hero of 1988 his practice performance may have doomed him to the waiver wire. "Braves9 magic run reaches And the last shall be first PITTSBURGH Matthew saw this baseball season coming many centuries ago. It is forecast in his gospel, Chapter 19, Verse 30: "Many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first." Almost anyone associated with the game or the Gideons would have sworn on a stack of bibles that this parlay wasn't possible. Yet the improbable Atlanta Braves joined the unlikely Minnesota Twins in the inaugural Worst-To-First World Series Thursday night, clinching the National League pennant with a 4-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. "I think they've obviously overa-chieved," Pittsburgh center fielder Andy Van Slyke said of the Braves in the solemn Pirate clubhouse. "There's not a person in this ballpark tonight who thought the Braves would do it first of all to win their division, second of all to bear us in seven games, and third to have a chance to win the World Series. Nobody would have thought that in April." Not very many believed as recently as last week. Yet the youthful Braves persevered and ultimately prevailed, getting ungodly pitching from a staff barely old enough to shave, and making the most out of their meager hitting. John Smoltz pitched a six-hit shutout Thursday night, and it was Atlanta's third shutout of the seven-game series. This after a 162-game regular season in which the Pirates were blanked only six times. Big Game Hunter f'j World Series Smoltz deals Pirates second shutout in row E Brian (Big Game) Hunter drove in three Atlanta runs with a first-inning home run and a fifth-inning double to help the meek inherit the earth. The ( '-Wen : sv i -x r. ' ; ; ' . " X , " " f i - i TV f m 1 " ' "" jlj, I jl ,"' -III ',f : :? a, " ; ' ,. . - j f . " - '''," V '4 "' ' f j " ) I "- 2 " ' " I W m t v - - , - Ak ) , - ' t&s V - V - Game 1 WHEN: Saturday, 8.29 p.m. WHERE: The Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minn. - ' PITCHERS: Atlanta's Tom Glavine (20-11, 2.55 ERA) vs. Minnesota's Jack Morris (18-12,3.43). TV: Channels 9, 7. RADIO: WCKY-AM (1530). Braves advanced to their first World Series since 1958 behind a pair of pitchers who weren't even born when the franchise moved to Atlanta from Milwaukee in 1966. The 24-year-old Smoltz and 21- year-old Steve Avery each won two games for Atlanta, and the Pirates produced only 12 runs in seven games. Those who have pronounced pitching to be 80 of the game may BY MIKE LOPRESTI Gannett News Service PITTSBURGH The fairy tale from Dixieland moves forward. The Atlanta Braves are in the World Series, the last series in the world anyone expected to find them in six months ago. Unflappable and unyielding, the Braves threw a second straight shutout at the Pittsburgh Pirates on their own turf Thursday night, 4-0, winning the franchise's first National League pennant in 33 years, and first ever in Atlanta. John Smoltz finished off the Pirates on a six-hitter. Next come the Minnesota Twins and a World Series of 1990 doormats, starting Saturday night in the Metrodome. No late-inning drama was needed. The Braves knocked out John Smiley with a three-run first inning, led by Brian Hunter's two-run homer, and then spent the rest of the night fielding all those outs from all those futile Pirate bats. It was a Smoltz smothering. A near-repeat of what series MVP Steve Avery did to the Pirates here in Games 2 and 6. "You don't know how it feels to lose consistently," Smoltz said. "Baseball's a great game and the salaries are great. But you can throw all that out the window if you're losing. , "I can't say enough about what this team has done when it comes to a big game. The last two days typifies the year we've had. The odds were against us." "It's almost impossible," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "They led the league in hitting. It looked like we led the league in pitching. You wish for shutouts, but that's awfully hard to do to a ballclub like the Pittsburgh Pirates." "We showed we could throw the ball a little bit out there," Avery said. "I don't think any team in the league can match our pitchers right now." Pirates manager Jim Leyland wish to adjust their estimates. "All through the years of baseball, Twins .280 140 733 95 67 3.69 Braves .258 141 704 94 68 3.49 Avg: HR: RBI: Won: Lost ERA: good pitching will beat out good hitting," said Atlanta manager Bobby Cox. "Their pitching shut us down also." "We just didn't get the hit," said Pittsburgh manager Jim Leyland. "Getting shut out three times says it for you. After the Braves scored three runs in the top of the first inning, the Pirates appeared intent on turning the series finale into a slugfest. Or lando Merced and Jay Bell opened the Pittsburgh first with singles, and then Van Slyke hit a drive to right field he thought might carry over the fence. didn't try to hide his disappointment. "I'm not going to sit here and be a martyr and credit everyone on . the other side. It's tough. I really thought we could do it and would do it." Then he praised the Braves. . "You tip your hats to the Atlanta Braves. That's the only way to handle it. They're definitely the legitimate champions. "What a great performance, and what a great story for baseball. From last place to the National League pennant." When it was over, the numbers of Pittsburgh's frustration at the (Please see BRAVES, Page B-4) David Justice caught it against the wall. On his next at bat, Van Slyke hit a deeper drive to center field. This, too, was caught. "I just find it very tough to figure out why you hit a ball 395 feet, another ball 355 to 360 feet, and have nothing to show for it," Van Slyke The Associated Press Atlanta Braves catcher Greg Olson jumps into the arms of pitcher John Smoltz as second said. It was a very frustrating series. baseman Mark Lemke looks on after the Braves aeteatea tne nnsDurgn Pirates, 4-u. That was the apex of my frustration." Atlanta's remarkable young arms virtually paralyzed Pittsburgh's slugging outfield. After the third inning of Neighborhood rivals to contend for QCCA title Game One, Van blyke, noDDy uoniua yards). and Barry Bonds were collectively l-for-36 with men on base. Pittsburgh did not score a run in the last 22 BY KEN ROBINSON Enquirer Contributor innines of the series. Glen Este head coach Dennis Ashworth "We had some game plans and stuck to them and they worked," searched for reasons behind his program's transformation from a winless embarrass Smoltz said. "To be real honest, I ment a year ago to a league contender in didn't think we would shut them down 1991. that completely." Experience, his coaching staff, weight Nearlv as baffling as Pittsburgh's -ii.- ui.iiiim.uiipnii 1MB iui i Jjgl 1 M.f-jQk- rr yy i -ft M A. LiJw & I , ,lJ J offensive impotence was the work of conditioning and even an overhauled football stadium were some he offered. Then the real answer came to Ashworth. 20-came winner John bmiley. Knocked out of Game Three after "The biggest key of all, I really believe, nnlv two innines. Smiley failed to was we just got tired of losing," he said. survive the first Thursday night. He totaled 223 innings in two starts, "I don't think we match well with them physically," Ashworth said. "Speed-wise and kicking we're even. We have to score and match every time they get on the board." Three other league outcomes ride this evening, too. Norwood (6-1, 3-0) hosts Harrison (6-1, 3-0). Indians' running back Marc Edwards (1,328 yards) and Wildcats' quarterback Mike Huff (1,022 yards) headline an interesting offensive showdown in the Queen City Conference National Division. Oak Hills (4-3, 3-0) challenges Western Hills' (5-2, 3-0) 13-game league winning streak and back-to-back Metro County Conference crowns. Ross (6-1, 4-0) is at Springboro (7-0, 3-0) in a decisive Fort Ancient Valley Conference encounter. Prep football weekendB-4. "We knew 1990 would be tough but not that bad." allowed eicht hits and eight runs. "I couldn't settle down," Smiley said. "I let my team down again and I'll have to hve with it. The Associated PressJohn Smith "He was trying to be aggressive and ended ud walking the tirst hit The lowlight of the Trojans' 0-10 season a year ago was a 57-17 pounding, dealt out by Anderson. Glen Este, 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the Queen City Conference American Division, seeks retribution at 7:30 p.m today when it hosts the Redskins (6-1, 3-0) with a share of the league championship guaranteed to the winner. "I was embarrassed going to school that next Monday. We have to pay them back some way," Trojans quarterback ter." Levland said. "That threw him off. He just tried too hard." Glen Este coach Dennis Ashworth readies his team for title game. Mike Ayers said. in passing, spearheads an offense that has Glen Este has not won a championship scored 218 points (31 ppg.). Co-stars since 1967 in the defunct Clermont County include halfbacks Ryan Grimmett (seven League. touchdowns) and Brian Conley (eight Ayers, who's rated seventh in the city touchdowns) and flanker Scott Fahey (431 Tim Sullivan is Enquirer sports col umnist. 1 i

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