The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on October 19, 1991 · Page 33
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October 19, 1991

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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 33

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Saturday, October 19, 1991
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THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19, 1991 SECTION D ( TC Cubs fire EssianD-3 Tyson-Holyfield postponedD-4 Ursuline duo in semisD-6 Cyclones win exhibitionD-6 EDITOR: GREG NOBLE, 369-1917 Tim .A Sullivan WHERE: The Metrodome, cU 4mrli: Xr Minneapolis, Minn. lWMll XSSSMIkC & X? D Soundness gives Twins the edge here MINNEAPOLIS Fresh from their triumphant tour of Three Rivers, the Atlanta Braves come to the land of 10,000 lakes for what could be a watershed World Series. It is dangerous to speak of dynasties in contemporary baseball. Foundations crumble almost as fast as they are built. But the Braves are so young, so resilient and so well-armed that they may well be the dominant team of the decade. If they can not beat the Minnesota Twins this time around, there will be other opportunities later on. By the time this bunch is finished, baseball fans will be as weary of the tomahawk .chop as the Seventh Cavalry was at Little Bighorn. Today, the Braves are a novelty act, a curious phenomenon on the cusp of a championship. Tomorrow, Ted Turner's team may be as annoying as his colorized Casablanca. Consider this: Braves pitcher Tom Glavine is considered the National League's probable Cy Young Award winner. Yet he has been the third-best pitcher on his own team since mid-season, behind Steve Avery and John Smoltz. Glavine is 25 years old. Smoltz is 24. Avery is 21, and conjures Koufax. Where there is starting pitching, there is staying power. Glavine upstaged "Coming over from the American League, the guy who got all the attention was Glavine," said Steve Buechele, the Texas third baseman who joined Pitts Series: Last shall. e last to play THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MINNEAPOLIS Last year, last place. So the last thing anyone expected to see this year was the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves as the last two teams. No matter now, because they're in the World Series and everyone else is out. They'll meet in Game 1 tonight when Atlanta surprise starter Charlie Leibrandt faces Jack Morris. chances of either the Twins or Braves doing it this season were overwhelming. In spring training, it was 120-to-l against Minnesota winning the World Series and 100-to-l against Atlanta, according to Las Vegas oddsmakers. Make no mistake, however. These teams are not flukes, at least not anymore. "If this isn't the greatest year in baseball, I don't know what it is," said John Smoltz, who pitched Atlanta past Pitts "I couldn't think of a better scenario," the Twins' Kirby Puckett said. "Last year, no one picked us to do anything, and we didn't. This year, no one picked us to do anything, and we did. Same thing for the Braves. "I want to win, don't get me wrong. But even if we lose, I think we're both winners this year because of what happened." Never in this century had any team jumped from worst-to-first. And the Locals key to TMC fortune Second-year Rebels off to . unbeaten start burgh in Game 7 of the NL playoffs. "To do what we've done, to do what the Twins have done, it's incredible." Throughout the playoffs, a sort of kin-. ship grew between the teams. While most clubs do not look ahead and talk about who they'd like to play in the Series, the Twins and Braves openly rooted for each other. "We've both accomplished something that no one has done," Minnesota reliever Rick Aguilera said. "It should be exciting." Anderson thwarts Glen Este Glen Este's bid for its first league title since 1967 was stifled by Anderson, 23-21, late Friday. Anderson tailback Lou An-dreadis rushed for two fourth-quarter touchdowns to rally the Redskins from a 13-9 deficit. Anderson (7-1 overall, 4-0 in the Queen City Conference American Division) wrapped up a share of the league title. Glen Este dropped to 6-2, 3-1. In other games: Harrison held off a furious Norwood rally to post a 21-19 victory and clinch a share of the Queen City Conference National league title. Western Hills beat Oak Hills, 32-19, to post its 14th consecutive league win and wrap up the Metro County Conference title. Tailback Larry Byndon scored four touchdowns, including a 80-yard kickoff return. Reading's Lynsey Lewis, a freshman running back, rushed a school-record 30 times for 165 yards in a 14-0 win over Finney-town. Turpin's Dennis Rusche rushed 28 times for 225 yards in a 18-7 loss to Woodward. Madeira's Ed Hauheen rushed 39 times for 254 yards in a 21-20 loss to Taylor. . Mariemont's Mike Rafter rushed 28 times for 217 yards and scored five touchdowns in a 34-14 victory over Indian Hill. More preps, Page D-5. ballcarriers "Sure, I know Eddie Edwards," Mitz said. "I guess he's about 8 or 10 years older than me, but we were around the same people some. He'd come by the high school a few times and talk to the coaches and so on. "Eddie was a heck of a player. A guy like that who's been successful, it's a big thing to a high school kid." The production Mitz has brought to Cincinnati is unusual from such a well-traveled man. "We thought he was a good player," LeBeau said. "We had scouted him and thought he could help us. You can tell a lot on film, but until you have them actually (Please see MITZ, Page D-6) BY JOHN FAY The Cincinnati Enquirer Vic Clark is rooting through a pile of papers in the big, messy office he shares with his assistant coaches. He is trying to find the secret to the success of Thomas More's football team. Clark finally finds two sheets of paper with the Rebels roster printed on them. The names of players from Cincinnati are highlighted in green, the names of Northern Kentucky players in yellow. The sheets are virtually covered in green and yellow. "We've got 46 from Cincinnati and 21 from Northern Kentucky," Clark said. "That's 76 of our roster." Greater Cincinnati has always produced a surplus of high school football players. But until Thomas More and Mount St. Joseph started programs last year, most of the players simply went on with their lives after high school. "Cincinnati's a hotbed for athletes," said Thomas More quarterback John Paul Case. "You get a lot of guys who just want to stay home and play." All the home-grown talent that Thomas More has attracted to Crestview Hills has made the team an instant success. The Rebels have played a total of 13 games in their football history. They've won seven of them. This year's team is 4-0 and has out-scored the opposition, 133-33. The Rebels try to make it five straight today (1:30 p.m.) when they take on Wilmington (0-5) at Dixie Heights High School. "I'm a good coach when I have good players," Clark said. "And I'm not such a good coach when I don't have good players." No one doubts Clark or his theory. But success in football is not supposed to come so quickly. "It's really funny. I hear all these coaches talking about playing with young players," Clark said. "We've never said that at Thomas More. With young players, if you coach them hard and make demands on them, you'll get the same results as you get from seniors." . Clark came to Thomas More from Morehead State, where he was offensive coordinator. Before that, he had coached at Montana and Kentucky Wesleyan. He spent a couple of summers coaching part time in the Canadian Football League. So he had a lot of ideas on how to build a program from the foundation up. "In a lot of ways, it's good to start from scratch," he said. "You don't worry about stopping (Please see CLARK, Page D-4) Today's games, Page D-4. burgh for the pennant drive. He was the guy who got so much publicity. But Avery and Smoltz just took it to us. I think they fed off one another's success." Atlanta manager Bobby Cox has elected to start Charlie Leibrandt in the Series opener tonight against Minnesota's Jack Morris, but the Braves' chances will hinge on whether his three young starters can sustain their post-season success against the Twins. Minnesota manager Tom Kelly will go with a three-man, all right-handed rotation of Morris, Kevin Tapani and Scott Erickson. "It's going to be a pitchers' World Series," Buechele said. Were pitching the only consideration, the Braves would be mighty hard to beat. But most of the other meaningful factors favor Minnesota. THE HOME DOME ADVANTAGE: Should the Series go the full seven games, four of them will be played in the Metrodome, the echo chamber that passes for a ballpark in Minneapolis. The building is known for bizarre bounces and unnerving noise, and it requires some attitude adjustment on the part of the visiting team. In 1987, the Twins won the World Series against St. Louis by winning all four of their home games. The Braves demonstrated their mettle in the playoffs by producing three straight shutouts in Pittsburgh, but the Metrodome is unfamiliar and treacherous territory. TO WIN, YOU HAVE TO SCORE: Good pitching did not merely beat good hitting in the National League Championship Series; it held it up to ridicule. While the Pirates took most of the heat, the Series exposed serious holes in the Atlanta lineup. When you get past Ron Gant and David Justice, the bottom half of the Braves' order is pretty limited. First baseman Sid Bream and catcher Greg Olson can't run, and shortstop Rafael Belliard can't hit. If the Pirate outfield played any more shallow against Belliard, they could have smelled his after shave. The Twins, who hit .280 as a team, are much tougher top-to-bottom, and will be stronger still at home because of the availability of designated hitter Chili Davis (29 home runs, 93 runs batted in). Even without him, the middle of the Twins order should be mightier than was Pittsburgh's in the playoffs. Twins center fielder Kirby Puckett hit .406 against left-handed pitching this season, and figures to fare better against Glavine and Avery than did Andy Van Slyke, Bobby Bonilla and Barry Bonds. DUMB DEPARTMENT: Where you see the Braves' inexperience is in their heedless throws, their missed signs, and the baffling things they do on the bases. The Twins' single greatest strength may be how that they are sound. Minnesota committed only 95 errors all season (compared to 138 by the Braves), and has demonstrated nearly flawless fundamentals. In a series of this sort, training can be as important as talent. THE PREDICTION: Minnesota in seven games. Tim Sullivan is Enquirer sports columnist. V f Vic Clark has his start. The Rebels The Cincinnati EnquirerKevin J. Miyazakl Thomas More team off to a surprising 4-0 play Wilmington at Dixie Heights today. Bengals finally able to get Mitz on ered a fumble, intercepted a pass, deflected a ball for David Grant to intercept and logged 16 tackles. "He's helped us a lot in all phases of defense. He's a good pass rusher, he has good hands, he's real active," defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said Friday. Mitz is an NFL journeyman, 30 years old, now playing with his fourth professional team. Seattle drafted him in 1986 and let him go to Washington after four seasons. He was among the final Redskins cuts in 1990, sat out that season and survived until the last round of cuts this summer at San Francisco. He's from Fort Pierce, Fla., which sent another defensive lineman of considerable renown to the Bengals a few years back. from inside to outside and Alonzo Mitz became the starting left defensive end after being waived by San Francisco. It's made a difference. Even losing Kevin Walker for the season, as Zander's inside compatriot, wasn't a noticeable factor last Alonzo Mitz week against Dallas. Adding Mitz has been. Mitz, known as "Zo" to his teammates, became a starter one week after the Denver game and one week after joining the Bengals. In five starts, he has recov- New defensive end makes difference BY JIM MONTGOMERY The Cincinnati Enquirer In the opening game of 1991, Denver's Gaston Greene rushed for 116 yards against Cincinnat. A week later Allen Pink-ett of Houston got 101. No Bengal foe has reached triple figures since then, and the rush defense steadily improves. Three reasons for this are obvious. The club signed veteran Carl Zander after a long holdout, and he reclaimed an inside linebacker's slot; James Francis moved -

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