The Anniston Star from Anniston, Alabama on July 4, 1990 · Page 16
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The Anniston Star from Anniston, Alabama · Page 16

Anniston, Alabama
Issue Date:
Wednesday, July 4, 1990
Page 16
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Page 8B flUt JVnnieimt $inx Wednesday, July 4, 1990 'St. Ryne: 9 silence is golden By Mark Whicker Orange County Register ' SAN DIEGO The Ryne Sandberg movie will be silent. Oh, maybe they'll pipe in subtle sounds. The imperceptible tick of grounder swallowed up into leather ... a skidding spike, landing softly out of a base runner's way. It won't ' be a summer blockbuster, nowhere but Chicago. Few fans realize the Cubs' second baseman is the best baseball player living. "In my 42 years of baseball I've never seen a better second baseman," said manager Don , Zimmer, who isn't immune to exaggeration but doesn't praise his players wildly. "You're talking a lot of guys I've been around. Red Schoendienst, Bill Mazeroski, Joe Morgan, Jackie Robinson. You just can't be better than this guy." In June, no one was. Sandberg hit .377 with 14 homers and 25 RBI. Since last All-Star break, he not Jose Canseco, Cecil Fielder, or Kevin Mitchell leads the majors with 43 homers, 24 this year. When he goes deep for the 30th time, he will become the first second baseman to do so two straight years. Ever. Anywhere. But his bat remains his secondary weapon. On May 19, Sandberg made a throwing error, his first misplay in 123 games and 584 chances. Excluding first basemen, no infielder ever that word again had a longer streak. On June 23, Sandberg's fielding error was his first in 156 games and 753 chances. Sandberg led the National League in homers, multi-hit games, runs, hits, total bases (by 38 over Andre Dawson), extra base hits and slugging percentage coming into this week. But if you're overdosing on St. Sandberg,, don't read this: he was featured as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world by People magazine. "I caught a lot of grief in here (the clubhouse) about that," Sandberg said, "but I told the guys I wouldn't put myself on that list." He grinned, perfectly. "Fifty-five, maybe." . Watch Sandberg at Dodger Stadium tonight, vaulting sliding runners with buttery grace. He has been on the disabled list just once since 1982. Watch the utterly confident swing that belongs on the PGA Tour. He has never had fewer than 23 doubles or 154 hits. "I think the key to my fielding has been concentration," he said. "Earlier in my career I'd just go through the motions. Now I give myself a little kick." Said Zimmer, "I can tell when he's mad when he throws the bat just a little bit. And when he does make an error, it's like the end of the world." Typically, Sandberg's shoulders wearied of the errorless string r- not of the perfection, but the curiosity. Same thing with his homers. He's at a physical peak 30 years old, 6 foot 2, 180. "The wind blows in at Wrigley sometimes," he said, "and the grass is high in the infield. So I put a line-drive swing on it, whenever I can." With all that, Sandberg has been content to let fame find him. At Spokane, Wash., he was a high school All-America quarterback. But Sandberg turned down two-sport, offers at Oklahoma and Nebraska, and signed at nearby Washington State. He told the baseball scouts not to bother. The Phillies waited until the 20th round. "I had all my classes picked out at school and everything," Sandberg said. "My brother Del had played ball at Washington State and he told me I could get Jost in college. Maybe the scouts wouldn't see me. This was before ESPN." He grinned. "I'd decided that baseball was my sport. I thought it was a lot more possible to get killed in football. So when the Phillies offered me third-round money, I signed." Sandberg spent four dogged years in the Phillies' organization, as a shortstop. He hit . 293 or better three of four years, and once drove in 79. The' Phillies were top-heavy then, bloated with superstars. Had Sandberg made the '82 Phils, he would have been one of four probable Hall of Famers, with Pete Rose, Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt. But farm director-turned-manager Dallas Green took over the Cubs after '81, and immediately offered Phils owner Bill Giles a shortstop swap, Larry Bowa for Ivan DeJesus. Just throw in Sandberg, Green urged. Done. "I've heard so many different versions," Sandberg said, still shining with vindication. "The Phillies didn't think I could hit. I guess those good minor-league years didn't convince them," j Sandberg was a third baseman in '82 and scored 103 runs. The next year he moved to second permanently and became the first National Leaguer ever to get a Gold Glove at a new position. He has won seven straight. "Jim Frey took over the ball club," Zimmer said. "He convinced Ryno to pick out a 3-and-l pitch and try to hit a homer. He never had to say anything else to him. AmocIMm rnm Cubs' superstar Ryne Sandberg Southern League all-stars named The Associated Press BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Five Southern League teams Memphis, Knoxville, Columbus, Jacksonville and Chattanooga placed five players each on the circuit's all-star teams that will play in Chattanooga July 11. One all-star team from the Class 2A league will be from the five teams affiliated with American League members and the other will be from the five teams with National League connections. Last year's winning divisional managers, Buddy Bailey of the Greenville Braves and Ken Berry of the Birmingham Barons, will manage the teams, Bailey the National League all-stars and Berry the American League all-stars. League President Jimmy Bragan also announced Tuesday that the American League all-stars will be coached by Ron Gardenhire of the Orlando SunRays and Jeff Cox of the Memphis Chicks. The National League all-stars will be coached by Jim Tracy of the Chattanooga Lookouts and Rick Sweet of the Columbus Mudcats. Pitching for the American League will be Scott Centala of Memphis; Steve Chitren, the Huntsville Stars; Carlos Maldonado, Memphis; Will Schock, Huntsville; Woody Williams, the Knoxville Blue Jays; Doug Simons, Orlando; Greg Johnson, Orlando; and Rob Wishnevski, Knoxville. Chitren leads the Southern League in saves, getting his 19th in Monday's game against Chattanooga. Scott Erickson of Orlando also was selected to pitch for the American League squad but was called up to the Triple A league. American League catchers will be Jorge Pedre of Memphis and Lenny Webster of Orlando. Matt Stark of Birmingham is the designated hitter. He is second in the Southern League with 65 RBI. Pitchers for the National League squad are Brian Barnes, Jacksonville Expos; John Kilner, Greenville; Blaise Ilsley, Columbus; Fernando Zarranz, Charlotte; Harold Allen, Columbus; Doug Banning, Chattanooga; Kent Bottenf ield of Jacksonville; and Heath Slocomb, the Charlotte Knights. Ilsley leads the Southern League with an ERA of .194 and Barnes leads the league with 130 strikeouts. . Chris Nabholz of Jacksonville and Kevin Coffman of Charlotte were to pitch for the team but were called up-National League catchers will be Greg Colbrunn of Jacksonville and Tony Eusebio of Columbus. Adam Casillas of Chattanooga will be the designated hitter. His batting average is .318. The league's top two hitters, Jeff Conine of Memphis (.372) and Frank Thomas of Birmingham (.322), are on the American League team. Both are first basemen but Thomas was named as a utility infielder. Other American League players are outfielder Brian McRae of Memphis; second baseman Williams Suero, shortstop Ed Zosky and outfielder Mike Maksudian of Knoxville; third baseman Stan Royerand outfielder Darren Lewis of Huntsville, outfielder Kenny Morgan of Orlando, and outfielder Will Magallanes and designated hitter Matt Stark of Birmingham. Other National League choices are first baseman Luis Gonzales and second baseman Andy Mota of Columbus; outfielders Jeff Forney, Benny Colvard and Jerome Nelson, and designated hitter Adam Casillas of Chattanooga; shortstop Will Cor-dero and outfielder Terrell Hansen of Jacksonville; third baseman Tom Redington and utility infielder Mike Bell of Greenville; and outfielders Chico Walker and Fernando Zarranz of Charlotte. McKeon to yield man ager 9s du ties The Associated Press SAN DIEGO Padres manager Jack McKeon says he has notified team chairman Tom Werner that he would like to give up his job as manager and work solely as the club's vice president of baseball , operations. "I told him my desire is to do just one job," McKeon said. "Manager was never a longtime goal of mine, anyway. I think a lot of people realized I wouldn't be managing here after this season. "I was happy to help out and I always said when a time came that I didn't feel like managing, I'd let them know." Werner did not make any promises to McKeon during their meeting Monday, but he said he would evaluate the situation and consider the request. "Obviously, things are not going like we want, but we don't want to be forced into making a decision, either," Werner said. "We'll see what happens and go from there." McKeon's decision comes on the heels of the Padres' worst slump of the season, in which they've lost 14 of their last 19 games. Pittsburgh's 4-3 win in 14 innings Monday night was the Padres' sixth straight loss and dropped them 11 Ms games be hind the division-leading Cincinnati Reds. "Right now, I'd say I'm going to be the manager for the rest of the year," McKeon said. "Then, at the end of the year, we'll decide what happens. You can put it this way, though. I don't want both jobs next year." Midway through a tough season, however, McKeon has decided that if San Diego's new ownership wants him to return to the dugout next year, he's ready. "Just because we hit the skids doesn't mean I have to get out," he said. "I just think it's time. It's still going to be tough leaving this office. I've got a great bunch of guys here and have great rapport with them. "There's no reason we still can't win here. It's a good club. It's a damn good club. I know I'm not ready to give up on it." McKeon previously managed the Kansas City Royals from 1973 through July 1975 and the Oakland A's during parts of the 1977 and 1978 seasons. He joined the Padres' front office in 1980 and returned to managerial duties on May 28, 1988, replacing the fired Larry Bowa. The Padres finished the 1988 season 67-48 under McKeon, who was rewarded with a three-year, $1.2 million contract that extends through the 1991 season. IJfS i TW Si SUMMER Souped! M pecrai n mm m m m m.,,. m mr jr m mm t m Ttut mm W?"&j $l5799 &?: I iow3o.S SLUMP vTW Motor oil (; . ' ' ' Motor Oil Auto Stores HURRY! SALE ENDS JULY 10TH Most Popular I....J Applications impon Starters & Alternators REG. UP TO 29.95 NOW ONLY.., ALL OTHERS $5 OFF J7 W Rockh!.T Premium Gas Struts BCIGRKL7 IMPORT PARTS HEADQUARTERS Ignition Parts Brake Parts Engine Parts Filters Belts Chassis Hoses Exhaust Spark Plugs Windshield Wiper Blades Accessories. IMPORT 'oucHur '" M ' Turtle Wax Silicone SprayJ Minute Wax. 12 oz. 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