The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky on June 26, 1994 · Page 27
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June 26, 1994

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The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky · Page 27

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Louisville, Kentucky
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Sunday, June 26, 1994
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N ( ' T 'T 'V W W 9 WW W C 2 THE COURIER-JOURNAL, SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 1994 American Association averages Ronan needs his bat to catch up to his glove signs of becoming more aggressive at the plate. "I've been working with (roving hitting instructor) Johnny Lewis for a long time," he said. "He's trying to get me in position mechanically to attack the ball better." Ronan has had to adjust to another fact of hotel room looking into Busch Stadium. I tried to keep pretty cool, but inside it was something.' Everyone has a dream, and at age 23 I had achieved mine." Ronan has cut down just 22 percent of this year's base thieves, but one damning characteristic of the Redbirds' pitchers is their nearly universal inability to hold runners y' Carter, Iowa 186 23 49 2 16-SS3 Ortiz, Nashville 191 26 50 6 25 .W2 Maurer, Okla. City 194 34 50 11 3058 Rossy, Omaha 241 31 62 10 46 557 Canseco. New Orleans 223 38 67 10 43 .256 Barker, New Orleans .. 218 32 55 3 25 .252 Goodwin, Omaha 242 34 61 0 15 .252 Womack, Buffalo 251 31 63 0 10 .251 Smith, New Orleans ... 228 35 67 0 25 .250 Harris, Okla. City 213 27 53 7 27 .249 Shields, Iowa 170 20 42 4 20 .247 Thurman, Nashville .... 249 40 60 3 35 41 Martinez. Nashville .... 241 28 58 9 37 .241 Peltier, Okla. City 200 31 48 4 29 Oil, Okla. City 240 32 67 6 29 .188 Thomas, Louisville .... 182 21 43 9 30 338 Team pitching ERA H HR BB 80 SH0 8V Nashville 3.52 639 53 262 555 9m24 Indianaplis .... 3 62 657 65 210 429 3 n29 Buffalo 3.79 639 59 241 411 18 Omaha 4.33 639 71 261 412 a 18 New Orleans.. 4.81 683 70 248 457 3 '17 Louisville 4.73 692 60 255 606 "H8 Iowa 4 87 621 74 265 441 2 14 Okla City 5.30 673 62 274 463 6"f1 Individual pitching (Minimum 58 Innings pitched) IP H BB SO W-L - BRA Roper, Indianapolis .. 68 48 10 33 7-0 217 Grott, Indianapolis ... 61 67 12 32 4-2"' 51 Ruffcorn, Nashville . 108 91 21 96 9-2 2.64 Bolton, Nashville .... 99 100 32 55 6-4 2.81 Robertson, Buffalo .. 98 89 27 63 5-8 2 84 Baldwin, Nashville ... 84 78 41 82 7-4 3.31 Courtright, Indianapolis 69 55 18 29 4-5 3.53 Wlshnevski, Louisville 65 54 28 38 2-3 3.62 Bohanon, Okla. City . 94 99 30 82 5-9 3.63 Schrenk, Nashville .. 87 84 34 65 8-3 3.74 Beltran, Louisville ... 63 63 23 43 6-3 4.00 Reed, Indianapolis .. 63 78 7 33 6-2 4.26 Simons, Omaha 71 71 17 32 3-6 4.56 Boze, New Orleans . 82 85 38 40 3-4 4.74 Scudder, Buffalo .... 89 97 21 47 6-5--4.?T Taylor, New Orleans 79 96 29 61 8-4 - 513 Fyhrie. Omaha 77 80 32 32 6-3 - 6.14 Ellis, Nashville 84 100 40 62 3-7 5 23 Sparks. New Orleans 93 93 41 65 3-7 5.24 FarreH, New Orleans 63 78 21 39 6-2 6.31 Knox. Louisville 86 105 22 53 6-5 -.6.59 feel comfortable as an everyday catcher until his third pro season. "I had a lot of mechanical things to work on," he said. "I was halfway through my season in Springfield (1992) before I could say of catching, 'This is what I do.' " He said he learned to call pitches by watching Ronan pitchers and catchers work throughout his career. "I'm a huge baseball fan," he said. "My wife, Amanda, gets angry with me because she says I watch so many games on television." That isn't their only squabble over the TV set, Ronan said. "I made her watch the Orange Bowl football game (in which Florida State won the national championship) with me, and she made me watch the NCAA basketball championship game (in which her alma mater, Arkansas, won the title)." In recent days Ronan has shown I'JF"' baseball life this year. He has shared the catching duties with Erik Pappas and with Tom Pagnozzi when the latter was on rehabilitation assignment. "I believe I will become a good everyday hitter one day when I get the right approach down," Ronan said. "I thought I had a pretty good start, but then Pags came and my average dropped. I didn't panic and stayed with what I had been doing, and I bounced back. "My mind is right. I'll just keep trying to move forward and show them I'm improving." If Marc Ronan could hit', he would be a St. Louis Cardinal, not a Louisville Redbird. Ronan, a 24-year-old left-handed-batting catcher, is among several young Redbirds whom the parent Cardinals consider to be "prospects" who almost surely will end up in the big leagues. How soon Ronan makes it is up to him, GEORGE RORRER Mike Jorgensen says. All he has to do is hit a little. "Marc is an outstanding defensive catcher," said Jorgensen, the Cardinals' director of player development. "If he had hit better last year, he would be up there now. He should have his sights set on a job up there. He has learned to call a game. "His flaw is with his bat, and he knows about it. If he could pull the ball a little, he'd be all right." Ronan led Texas League catchers in fielding last season at Arkansas and gunned down 44.9 percent of the runners who tried to steal. The Cardinals thought so highly of his defensive skills that they bypassed Louisville's Ed Fulton and Barry Lyons and called him up to Busch Stadium in September. "That was unbelievable," Ronan said. "When (then-Arkansas manager) Joe Pettini told me I was going up, it took him 10 minutes to convince me he wasn't pulling my leg. One day I was in Double-A, and the next day I was in my on at Rain interrupts Birds in 4th inning (Through Thursday' gms) Team batting AB R H HR 88 Avg. Iowa 2368 343 669 60 46 .283 New Orleans 2443 395 672 42 113 .275 Louisville 2525 386 686 68 39 .272 Omaha 2459 397 664 87 76 .270 IndianapUl 2474 337 661 71 29 .267 Okla City 2331 31 S 603 68 48 .259 Buffalo 2483 297 642 48 73 .259 Nashville 2544 358 646 70 61 254 Individual batting (Minimum 197 piets sppssrsncss) AB R H HR RBI Avg. Hossy. Omaha 218 64 77 17 46 .353 Cooper, Indianapolis .. 178 35 67 9 26 .324 Battle, Louisville 281 61 91 2 39 .324 O'Leary, New Orleans . 204 41 66 8 41 .324 Jennings, Indianapolis .208 33 66 13 68 .320 Maksudian, Iowa 198 45 63 8 38 .318 Colon, Iowa 220 37 69 7 30 .314 Candaele, Indianapolis . 244 37 75 2 22 .307 Durham, Nashville 267 48 82 10 42 .307 Byington. New Orleans 251 36 77 1 42 .307 Tubbs, Buffalo 259 31 79 1 25 .305 Pose. New Orleans ... 259 34 79 0 40 .305 Ducey, Okla. City 187 31 67 10 38 .305 Lyons, Indianapolis .... 217 27 68 8 31 .304 Coolbaugh, Louisville .. 259 47 78 13 SB .301 Jackson. Okla. City ... 178 25 53 3 24 .298 Grillo, New Orleans ... 178 32 53 6 26 .298 Wehner, Buffalo 262 40 78 6 37 .298 Young, Louisville 243 46 72 2 16 .296 Bullet!, Iowa 269 34 79 6 32 .294 Aude, Buffalo 278 39 81 12 46 .293 Pegues, Indianapolis .. 215 34 63 6 28 .293 Franco, Iowa 204 37 69 9 40 .269 Haney, Iowa 251 35 72 2 27 .287 Tucker, Omaha 242 32 68 13 45 .281 Deak, Louisville 255 33 71 10 42 .278 Timmona, Iowa 199 25 55 6 20 .276 Basse, New Orleans .. 181 34 50 2 24 .278 Cromer, Louisville 229 33 63 6 27 .275 Mabry, Louisville 231 41 63 9 40 .273 Mcginnis, Omaha 154 38 42 11 31 .273 Dodson, New Orleans . 161 34 49 2 20 .271 Davis, Omaha 237 44 64 13 49 .270 Denson, Nashville 265 62 71 14 65 .268 Stephenson, Louisville . 224 29 60 6 37 .268 Randa, Omaha 237 31 63 4 24 .268 Zi j jmmm njp sWM'iMrwrM.. w Special to The Courier-Journal NEW ORLEANS - Last night's Louisville-New Orleans American Association game was postponed by rain with the Red-Joirds trailing 1-0 in the fourth inning. The game is scheduled to The Ultimate Met, Marv was marvelous j 14x6 . , ,:t STAFF WRITER bases. "We know Marc can catch and throw," Jorgensen said. Ronan's hitting is another matter. His best full-season numbers (.236, no home runs, 45 runs batted in) came at Class A Savannah in 1991. At Arkansas last year he batted just .214-7-34 in 96 games. With St. Louis he got into only six games and went 1 for 12. Ronan's batting average has been in the low .200s most of this season. Through Friday he was hitting .220 in 141 at-bats, with only six doubles, one triple, one home run and 11 RBIs. He hasn't always been a puny hitter, however. He was an Ail-American outfielder at Florida State University, largely because of his hitting and base-stealing. Part of his problem, Ronan figures, is his concentration on his education as a catcher. "I know my defense is ahead of my offense," he said. "But to catch any level, defense is the No. 1 priority. That's what they tell you from the start." Ronan said he didn't begin to be resumed at 6:35 p.m. EDT, prior to tonight's regularly scheduled game. The Zephyrs got their run in the third inning when John Finn was hit by a Kerry Knox pitch, stole second and scored on Tim Barker's two-out double. you this, but he also missed second." Marv missed bases. Marv dropped throws. Marv threw to wrong bases. Marv missed signs. But if you look it up, the record books will say that in 1962 he hit .238 with 16 homers and 49 runs batted in, which wasn't bad considering he didn't arrive until May. "I'm a sweet hitter," Marv would say. "Not a great hitter. Just a sweet hitter." Whatever that meant. Those were days when ballplayers sat at their lockers after games and talked to each other and the press. Good days. Teammate Richie Ashburn prodded Throneberry, called him "Marvelous" in front of reporters. And the fans ran with it. Marv muttered and grumbled his way through that first season, and then the Mets, prematurely antici pating respectability, shuffled him off to Buffalo. I have no idea what he did after that, but sometime in the late 1970s, long after Throne berry retired, a beer company was rounding up a rowdy band of former athletes 'for its commercials They had Mickey and Billy cavort' ing around in a manner that seemed funny at the time. They had all the stereotyping. I'm sorry, the com mercials were usually hilarious. And one of the stars was Marv, The camera would find him, and he would drawl, "I still don't know why they asked me to do this com' mercial." At the very least, it meant that one of the hip fans from the Polo Grounds had made it to Madi son Avenue and was using his 1962 Met-type humor to honor Marv Throneberry, who was, in his own weird way, a star. HYDROPLANES were Steve David in the T-Plus Engine Treatment at 152.326 and Mark Evans in Miss Exide at 150.524. All six improved their times from Friday's qualifying, which Hanauer and Miss Bud led at 155.929. The remaining qualifiers are Jack Barrie in Miss Buehler's Buy-Low at 137.329 and Mitch Evans in A2 Communications at 131.644. Hanauer, the two-time defending champion who set a course record of 165.975 in qualifying last year, wore a wraparound brace to protect his back. He fractured four lumbar vertebrae when the escape hatch tore off the bottom of his boat earlier this month at the APBA Gold Cup race in Detroit. TRADE-IN ON A SET OF 4 EURO SXP, HXP, & VXP TRADE-IN ON A SET OF 4 LEGACY PLUSTMR, & HYDRO-TRAC i m u ifv tf y By GEORGE VECSEY New York Times News Service Marv is gone. His gig was to claim he didn't understand why they asked him to be in those light-beer commercials, but he knew. He never wanted to be a lovable icon of ineptitude, but after it happened, he went along with it. He was Marvelous Marv, the Ultimate Met. By the time he died of cancer Thursday in Colliersville, Tenn., at the age of 60, Marvin Eugene Throneberry had accepted his place in history, the symbol of the worst team ever in major-league baseball: 40 wins, 120 losses and many, many laughs. If the Mets and Marv Throneberry came along as an expansion team in these hypercritical times, they would be reviled. But back then we were a more humorous and tolerant people, and there was room to enjoy a team that couldn't help doing ghastly things, and the baldish, mournful-looking first baseman w.ho seemed to perform more ghastly deeds than anybody else. "We'd do all right for seven or eight innings, but then the wheels would fall off," Throneberry said just a year ago. I More often than not, Marv was one of the wheels. . There was the day that Marv hit a two-out triple with the bases loaded but was called out for missing first. Even though nearly everyone in the Mets' dugout saw Marv miss the base, Casey Stengel, the manager, started arguing with the first-base Umpire anyway. During the exchange, another umpire walked over and said, "Casey, I hate to tell LEGAL TREAD REQUIRED ON TRADE-IN 1 SHOCKS STRUTS i geti FREE . TRADE-IN ON A SET OF 4 LIGHTNING & BIG FOOT ATXT (Size 3110.50R15 or larger) INDIANA iwtth Clarksvllle 948- 2321 Jeffersonvllle 282-2325 Corydon 738-8282 Seymour 522-6611 New Albany 949- 0736 Madison 273-5463 Jasper 482-5402 Bedford 275-3100 Columbus 372-6699 A Ail' rwn PER PAIR $10.00 OFF i WHEN YOU ! BUY 3! I I I t I I I I L, LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY MOST CARS , INSTALLATION INCLUDED Expires; 070294 i Some Restrictions Hanauer, Miss Bud pace competitive Thunder field LOUISVILLE KENTUCKY tH PIH SB Mlddletown 245-9126 New Cut at Palatka 361-3543 Shepherdsville Rd 966-3101 Fegenbush Lane 239-4040 Brandenburg 422-3977 Fadcliff 351-1133 leltchfleld 259-5755 Shepherdsville 955-6111 Ellzabethtown 737-1990 Bardstown 348-0880 Hartiinsburg 756-6211 Shelbyvllle 633-3596 Bowling Green 843-4244 LaGrange 222-4777 St. Matthews 896-8441 Valley Station 937-3885 Preston Hwy 968-5454 Jeffersontown 267-7440 Cane Run Rd 447-9633 Associated Press EVANSVILLE, Ind. - Chip Hanauer drove Miss Budweiser to a lap of 156.461 mph yesterday to lead qualifying for today's Pontiac Thunder on the Ohio unlimited hydroplane race. He leads a tightly bunched field in which six of the eight qualifiers had laps of better than 150 mph. "This race is wide open," said Nate Brown, who drove The Tide to ' a fourth-fastest 153.029. "There are a lot of boats that can win. It's going to come down to who is the most consistent and can keep the boat together on race day." Dave Villwock, driving Buehler's Presents The Pico American Dream, was second fastest at 154.739, followed by Mark Tate in Smokin Joe's at 153.371. Following Brown

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