St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on September 1, 1991 · Page 39
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 39

St. Louis, Missouri
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 1, 1991
Page 39
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99t SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1. 1991 51 LOUIS POST-DISPATCH 3A H i m 'i mm f T i - - " j BILL McCLELLAN War Tradition Fails; Cubs Fans Stumped LABOR DAY MARKS the point in the baseball season at which the true fan can realistically assess the pennant races. For Cubs fans, it's usually a painful time, and it's even more so this year. It now appears that the Soviet Union will have come and gone without witnessing a World Championship by the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs' last title was in 1908, nine years before Lenin returned to Russia to throw out the czar. Whenever one assesses the Cubs, he is well advised to consider all aspects of this strange and wonderful team. There are the normal reasons for failure, and there are the metaphysical reasons. The normal reasons are the things that go wrong with all baseball teams. This year, for instance, the Cubs were stricken with the injury jinx. We didn't have enough of them. Most of our relief pitchers have been healthy all season. Given the caliber of the Cubs' bullpen, this has been disastrous. For years, baseball people have said, "Injuries are a part of the game." Who would have thought that our relief pitchers would have avoided injuries? Oh sure, we got a little bit of a break when Dave Smith got hurt. Smith was the high-priced free agent the Cubs signed last winter. He was supposed to be the ace of our bullpen. In a way, it was a clever move to sign Smith. The Big Bosses knew the team needed somebody like the Cardinals' Lee Smith. Because Lee was unavailable, the Cubs looked around for some other Smith. It made sense at the time. We quickly learned that all Smiths were not created equal. Fortunately, Dave was injured after losing only five games. Unfortunately, that was it. The other relief pitchers stayed healthy, and in fact, picked up where Dave left off. But the injury thing is an excuse, and Cubs fans don't go for excuses. We prefer explanations. That's where metaphysics comes in. Regular readers might recall a column I wrote earlier this year, when I suggested that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the Cubs' problems. That theory had to do with the fact that the Cubs always do well when the United States wins a war. In 1945, the Cubs celebrated the end of the Second World War by winning the pennant In 1984, the Cubs celebrated the successful invasion of Grenada by winning the Eastern Division. In 1989, the Cubs celebrated the Panamanian adventure by again winning the division. Desert Storm seemed to guarantee at least a division title. But then it turned out that it wasn't such a great victory. Saddam was still in power. There was talk that Iraq might have nuclear weapons. No wonder the Cubs aren't winning the division, I wrote. Well, events seemed to overtake that theory. The Soviet Union began to disintegrate. The Cold War was over. The United States had won the Big One! Why weren't the Cubs responding? Like most Cubs fans, I spend a great deal of time trying to figure out the supernatural forces that seem to control the destiny of the Cubs. For instance, if I'm watching a game, and I turn my head slightly to the side, something good will happen to the Cubs. If one of the kids walks in front of the television, disaster will strike. But those are little things, personal things. The relationship between the Cubs and America's victories is a big thing, and a proven thing. The year America wins the Cold War should be a big year for the Cubs. Unless, of course, the whole thing is a plot. Maybe we haven't won the Cold War. Maybe the Soviets are trying to make us relax. Perhaps the coup was a staged event, and Boris Yeltsin is actually a very clever, hard-line communist. What a frightening thought that is. But if you want to put a cheerful spin on things, there is another possibility. The season is not yet over. With a little luck in the injury department, the Cubs could still put together a miraculous finish. So this is an unusual Labor Day. It is impossible to assess the pennant race just yet. The Cubs might yet prevail. Serbia Accepts Plan For Observers From European Community Compiled From News Services BELGRADE, Yugoslavia Serbia agreed Saturday to let international observers monitor ethnic bloodshed in the neighboring republic of Croatia and promised to cooperate with a European Community peace plan. The Yugoslav army is now the only key player in the situation not to have given its decision on the EC Croatia and the Yugoslav federal gov ernment approved the plan days ago. On Saturday, Serbian Foreign Minister Vladislav Jovano-vic said his republic was lifting its opposition to outside monitoring in light of the deadline of Sunday set by EC foreign ministers. He told Belgrade television that Serbia would insist that only civilian monitors be deployed. He rejected EC statements blaming Serbia and Serbian guerrillas in Croatia for the clashes that have killed 300 people since Croatia declared its independence on June 25. But Jovanovic said the EC proposal, agreed this week, "starts from good intentions, is reasonable, well-balanced and does not favor any side." The EC plan offers the promise that a firm ceasefire can be reached, he added. Four of Yugoslavia's six republics including Croatia had already agreed to attend a conference at which EC representatives will spend two months arbitrating among them. EC leaders had warned Serbia that they would go ahead without the republic if it ignored Sunday's deadline. And Croatia had warned that it would go to full mobilization on Sunday, if Serbia and the Yugoslav army didjiot back off. But in an emergency session Saturday, Croatia's government rejected a plan to call all men to arms if the federal army did not withdraw to its barracks. "A declaration of war at this moment would not have positive international connotations," Croatian President Franjo Tudjman said after the government meeting. Yugoslav commanders of the garrison in Zagreb, the Croatian capital, warned that a mobilization by Croatia would be tantamount to war. 1,1 11 .U..J, .... ) ' f " ' ' ' - ; r j ' t .. i -V- - .3 " if V - , . ' , c . ; - 1 , -, V.--1 -V - - w '': ; - AP A worn-out Croatian national guardsman holding a position in Laslovo, Yugoslavia, on Saturday following an attack by Serbian guerrillas. "If the Croatian government chooses the option of mobilization," Maj. Gen. Milan Aksentijevic said Saturday morning, "it means they choose the option of war, and we are prepared for it" Additionally, before the peace plan gained Serbia's blessing on Saturday, the Yugoslav army and Croatian forces fought a gunbattle at Zagreb airport over a plane full of arms apparently destined for Croatian forces. The firefight began after the Yugoslav air force intercepted two planes suspected of smuggling arms and forced them to land. Croatian forces attacked the control tower and blocked the airport approach roads, Belgrade television and the news agency Tanjug said. About 19 tons of weapons, including rifles, mines and ammunition, were found aboard a Ugandan Airlines Boeing 707, Tan-jug said. Although the plane was heading for the neighboring breakaway republic of Slovenia, Tanjug, quoting a Defense Ministry statement, said the arms were accompanied on the plane by a Anton Kikas, a Croatian-born Canadian who had taken delivery of the weapons in South Africa. A second plane, a TU-154 of the Romanian airline Tarom, had 20 passengers aboard who Tanjug said were crews for military transports. They and the plane were later allowed to leave. Before the Serbian announcement Saturday night, fighting flared again in Croatia. In the Danube River town of Osijek, situated in the ethnically mixed farmlands of eastern Croatia, skirmishing with automatic weapons was reported through much of the day. The long siege of the river city of Vukovar also continued, with pounding from Yugoslav army artillery, from gunboats on the Danube River and from Serbian rebel units but not while two U.S. congressmen visited. In the Serbian stronghold of Knin, in the tip of Croatian land touching the Adriatic, the Serbian-controlled radio reported that rebel Serbs had beaten off a Croatian police force controlling the mountainous national park at Plitvice. The report could not be independently confirmed. War's Toll Much Of Croatian Town Is Bombed Into Ruins By Tony Smith Of The Associated Press VUKOVAR, Yugoslavia (AP) When the Yugoslav army attacked Vukovar Hospital, Miloslav Li-povcevic's daughter Jasna was in labor. After she gave birth to a son, Hrvoje, she scooped up the infant, and rushed as everybody now does in Vukovar to the basement. Yugoslav air force jets bombed the city last Sunday, hitting the hospital. People injured in Croatia's secessionist war now are being cared for in the hospital base- Aikovar, in eastern Croatia, has been the scene since Aug. 24 of fierce fighting. ment, crammed along corridors and among makeshift toilets and kitchens. Civilians venture into the streets only In daylight. On Friday, about 50 peo ple lined up for bread, and then shared it among themselves with the quiet patience that comes of common suffering. On Saturday, air force jets repeatedly buzzed over- head as two U.S. congressmen Reps. Christopher H. Smith, R-N.J., and Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-Va. toured the city, seeking ways to end the ethnic violence. Smith, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, suggested that the U.N. Security Council might intervene. He added that he agreed with claims by the Economic Community and Croatia that the federal army and Serbia largely were to blame for the violence. Vukovar, in eastern Croatia's Slavonia region near Serbia, has been the scene since Aug. 24 of fierce fighting between Croatian militiamen and ethnic Serb militants, supported by the national armed forces. The fighting has left Vukovar's central square, market and shopping area in ruins. The city museum, a Baroque palace dating to 1750, has had a wing lopped off. At No. 86 Ive Lole Ribara Street, on the Danube River, Josip Kis is responsible for getting everyone into the basement when the air raid sirens sound. Asked about the federal army, which Croatia says is helping ethnic Serb rebels, Kis swore and said bitterly: "We paid for those grenades they're now shelling us with." Before Croatia declared independence on June 25, Vukovar had about 80,000 residents 36,000 Croats, 31,000 Serbs, and a few ethnic Hungarians, Ruthe-nians, Slovaks and others. No one knows how many remain in the city. Dr. Juraj Njavro, a Croat from the central state of Bosnia-Hercegovina, said he had been a casualty surgeon for 23 years. But his experience did little to prepare him for an attack that damaged two of the hospital's four operating rooms, shattered dozens of windows and left walls riddled with holes from bullets and grenades. ST. LOUIS CENTRE CHESTERFIELD SAINT LOUIS GALLERIA NORTHWEST JAMESTOWN SOUTH COUNTY ST. CLAIR CRESTW00D MID RIVERS 50 EN rm H F 1 tl TT"l M ens OCI Semiannual Clothing Clearance j Save On Our Entire Selection Of Men s Spring Tailored Clothing HART SCHAFFNER & MARX CRICKETEER CHRISTIAN DIOR YVES SAINT LAURENT POLO UNIVERSITY AUSTIN REED RISERVA RILL RLASS RACQUET CLUR & MORE 50 OFF SUITS Orig. 295.00-625.00 NOW $147.50-$312.50 50 OFF SPORTCOATS ong. 195.00-395.00 $97.5o-$i97.5o 50 OFF DRESS SLACKS orig. 50.00-125.00... now $25462.50 50 OFF DRESS SHIRTS ong. 26.oo-48.oo now$i3-$24 Entire Stock of Spring and Summer dress shirt styles. Year-round basics are not included. Slight charge for alterations. Sliop Saint Louis Centre, Sunday Noon-5 p. in. L Look For Our Electronics Insert In Sunday's Edition. It's Filled With Great Values On Televisions, Stereos And More, From The Best Makers. FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE we accept Discover. American Express, Carte Blanche. Diner s Club, Visa. 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