The Pittsburgh Press from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 10, 1992 · Page 12
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The Pittsburgh Press from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 12

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Tuesday, March 10, 1992
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NAMES &. GAMES History lesson A driven man Perez rebuttle Boot camp The Golden State Warriors' Jim Petersen was asked about his most memorable National Basketball Association moments. "My first year I blocked a dunk by Julius Erving and it was clean. I knocked Doc to the floor and there was no foul called. He got up and patted me and said, 'That was a good play. Congratulations.' That was unbelievable for a rookie. "My second preseason game as a rookie (with the Houston Rockets), we went to the Boston Garden and I was anticipating it like a little kid. So I walked in with Hakeem (Olajuwon) and I was in awe of the Celtic and Bruin banners. And Hakeem says, 'What a dump.' It really burst my bubble. He was seeing it with no history of the Celtics." Dave Marcis observed the 10th anniversary of his last NASCAR victory Sunday at Richmond, Va., in the Pontiac 400, but he encountered a rocky road on his return. He had to show a lot of savvy in just getting to Richmond for qualifying Friday. "We left home (Avery Creek, N.C.) late Thursday to drive up," Marcis said. "Near Statesville the alternator on my van went out and we couldn't find a replacement. "I went to a Wal-Mart and bought a battery charger and a 100-foot drop cord. We found a Shoney's with an outside plug and got permission to recharge the battery while we had dinner. "We had to stop three more places near Burlington, Henderson and some little town in Virginia for an hour each time to build the battery back up. Didn't get to Richmond till 4:30 a.m., slept two hours and came to the track." It almost wasn't worth the effort. Marcis finished 28th, 11 laps down to winner Bill These are the no-nonsense Chicago Cubs. General Manager Larry Himes and Manager Jim Lefebvre have the players on a stringent new conditioning program, are emphasizing nutrition and rules and regulations covering everything from card playing to how to behave during the national anthem. Players are forbidden to bring golf clubs or golf bags into the clubhouse. Card games are banned. And a 1 a.m. curfew is in effect throughout spring training. A two-page letter titled "1992 Spring Training Regulations" even spells out where to stand during the national anthem: "We will expect our players and staff to stand on the top step of the dugout during the playing of the anthem. This ceremony takes about three minutes and during this time the appearance we give should be respectful and quiet." Gone from the clubhouse are doughnuts and soda pop. In are sugar-free "power" candy bars, bottled water, fruit and light yogurt. The day after suspended New York Yankees pitcher Pascual Perez said he was set up by the New York Yankees and baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent in the positive drug test that resulted in a one-year suspension, General Manager Gene Michael responded sharply. Michael, annoyed by Perez' charges that the Yankees wanted him out, said he would not consider re-signing him. "No, not me. I don't want him. Look at the contract ($5.7 million) we gave him and he let us down for three years. I'm going to jump in? No way! Let someone else do it." Michael was particularly annoyed by Perez' insinuation that he was set up. "That's preposterous. He has an opinion that holds no water, especially when we need right-handed pitching. Perez said the Yankees "did not fight" for him after two tests came back positive. "There's nothing to fight,, Michael said. "How come the players association hasn't fought? They must know there's no fight." Quotable Senior golfer Jimmy Powell, on using a long and short putter in a tournament: "I'm just trying to make one jealous of the other. " it-"1 rPTT'TX Pirates from Page Bl Retooled Reds ready to rejoin race in West ''Ml!1 is " . V , . "VT Greg LanieiThe Pittsburgh Press Baseball no snap for Terry McDaniel Pirates salaries Player 1992 salary SPORTS i DIGEST r 4. Lindros rejects $55 million TT ric Lindros turned down a I HIT contract offer for more than $55 million for 10 years from the Quebec Nordiques, CJRP-Radio in Quebec City reported yesterday. J Besides the $55 million, not including bonuses, the contract reportedly contained a Stanley Cup cjause obliging a trade as soon as the Nordiques won the title. - Lindros, 19, was the first choice in last year's National Hockey League draft. But even before the Nordiques chose him, Lindros, of Toronto, made it clear he was not interested in playing in Quebec. : Jean Perron, CJRP's hockey expert and a former coach with the Nordiques and Montreal Cana-diens said there were three other packages: , A one-year contract with an option year for at least $2.5 million annually, plus bonuses. After a maximum of two years, the Nordiques had to trade him. ; Three years plus an option year for at least $2.5 million, plus bonuses the first year with 10 percent increases annually. It contained a Stanley Cup clause, but presumably its main point was a clause stipulating that if the club sold him after the four years, he would receive half the proceeds. Two years plus an option year for $2 million the first year, $3 million the second and $4 million the third.- CJRP said Lindros, advised by a prominent accounting firm, asked for $4.2 million per year, plus bonuses and endorsement compensation that would make more than $6 million in his first year. Elsewhere in hockey: Goaltender Ray LeBlanc, who starred for the United States in the Olympics, was called up from the minors by the Chicago Blackhawks and will start tonight against the San Jose Sharks. Goaltender Sean Burke, who led Canada to the Olympics silver medal after playing out his option with the New Jersey Devils, signed with the San Diego Gulls of the International Hockey League. The Devils retain Burke's NHL rights. The New York Rangers traded defenseman Randy Moller to the Buffalo Sabres for defenseman Jay Wells. The Sabres traded center Dave Snuggerud to the Sharks for winger Wayne Presley. St. Louis Blues defenseman Garth Butcher will be out at least three weeks with a cracked bone in his left foot. Greensburg Central Catholic . (18-2-1) won its first West Penn Hockey League Class A title by defeating Shady Side Academy (9-10-2), 15-3, in a two-game, total-goals series. Greensburg Central Catholic, which won 8-1 last night and 7-2 Thursday, will be seeded No. 1 in the state playoffs. Basketball Duke forward Christian Laettner was named Scripps Howard's Player of the Year and leads the All-American team. Tu-lane's Perry Clark was Coach of the Year. (Team, B4). Duke finished where it started in the Scripps Howard men's poll No. 1. It received all 35 first-place votes and 875 points. Penn State remained No. 9 and West Virginia No. 11 in the Associated Press women's poll. (Polls, B4) Dallas Mavericks center Roy Tarpley, banned from the National Basketball Association for refusing to take a drug test, will suit up tonight with Wichita Falls of the Continental Basketball Association. Football Ramapo (N.J.) announced Coach Jim Miceli resigned to accept an assistant's position at Pitt. Art Parker, 41, was named coach at Avonworth, replacing 1 Tim O'Malley, who became athletic director at Moon. Parker was an assistant for O'Malley the past 11 years at four schools. Figure skating Olympics silver medalist Midori Ito will not compete in the world championships in Oakland March 24-29. Ito's coach, Machiko Yamada, told The Associated Press that Ito, 22, "has aggravated the cold she caught at the Olympics and still can't do any training." The candidates include: Cecil Espy, who played in a backup role part of last season. Albert Martin, a 24-year-old veteran of seven minor-league seasons in the Atlanta Braves' chain whose uncle is former Raiders linebacker Rod Martin and whose brother is Rick Martin, a wide receiver who was drafted in the fifth round by the Steelers in 1981 but never played for them. One-time Golden Gloves boxer Dave Clark, a non-roster invitee who signed as a free agent and has had major-league experience with the Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs and Royals. One-time Houston quarterback Terry McDaniel, picked up on waivers from the New York Mets in one of Larry Doughty's last acts as general manager. Espy certainly is the most proven commodity. With the Texas Rangers he stole 45 bases in a season, has a .241 career major-league average and hit .312 last year at Buffalo. He was with the Pirates long enough to play in 43 games, batting .244. But Martin is the most interesting of the lot. Born in California to a football-loving family, he didn't play baseball until his senior year. In the spring, football practice occupied his time. But in the spring of his senior year his football days were completed and he was stuck with a 7 a.m. physical education class he didn't look forward to. As it happened, the phys ed instructor was baseball coach Ron Urabe and Martin said Urabe told him he wouldn't have to awaken up for that 7 a.m. class if he would come out for baseball. He did and ended up being chosen in the seventh round of the 1985 draft. "I fell in love with baseball. Maybe it was because I couldn't dominate and it was such a challenge." It did not come easily. He hit .232 his first year in the minors, then watched improvement come each season. Last year, he reached the Class AAA level at Richmond, batting .278 in 44 games with 11 steals in 13 tries. In Atlanta, though, he was passed over. "I was always the odd guy out. First Deion Sanders came. Then they made a last-minute deal for Otis Nixon." Eligible for free agency, he took it and was signed by Chet Montgomery, the Pirates' director of minor-league operations. "I just want a chance," Martin said. Clark is another player who has been bounced around and passed over. During the off-season, he watched the Royals obtain Kevin McReynolds from the New York Mets, leaving him on the outside looking in. Clark, 30, saw Bobby Bonilla sign with the Mets and "that made the decision easier" when the Pirates offered him a contract. He has a .250 major-league average and enough pop that he once hit 30 home runs at Buffalo. "This game is about the breaks," Clark said. "I unfortunately haven't had mine yet, but at least I can say I gave it my best." McDaniel, 25, reached the majors last summer after hitting .248 at Tidewater. With the Mets he batted .207 in 29 at-bats in 23 games. "All I can do is try to produce and let the front office make the decision," McDaniel said. "I'll just try to make things happen." With Lloyd McClendon out because of a dislocated shoulder, Barry Bonds a hamstring pull, Van Slyke out with his sore back and yesterday's trade, quite enough already has happened this spring in the Pirates' camp. But there is at least one more possible move: switching Bonds to center, where he played early in his Pirates career. "Let's just wait before we get into that," said Leyland. But Bonds said he would have no objection to moving. "Center field is no problem for me. Just don't take my Gold Glove away." If Bonds were to move to center, that would enable Gibson to play left, where he has played most of his career. NOTES The Pirates still haven't figured out how to retire Luis Quinones. Quinones helped beat them with a pinch-hit single in the sixth game of the 1990 National League Championship Series against the Cincinnati Reds. Yesterday he had four hits, including two home runs, and five RBI as the world-champion Twins defeated the Pirates, 11-2, at McKechnie Field. Bob Walk started for the Pirates and allowed one run and three hits in three innings. (Scott Newman of The Pittsburgh Press contributed to this report, as did the Associated Press) out the rotation. The Atlanta Braves, National League champions, had four starters with more than 30 starts and 200 innings in 1991. The Reds now have four men who had 30 starts and 200 innings a year ago. In four National League seasons, Rijo has won 63 percent of his decisions with a 2.59 earned run average. Browning has averaged 15 victories per season since 1985. Belcher has never had a losing record and his career earned run average is 2.99. He was not thrilled to be traded away from the Dodgers. "I'm excited now, but I was a little disappointed in the beginning. In four years with the Dodgers, we put down some pretty deep roots. It was tough to leave. Of course, a lot worse things could have happened than being traded back home." Belcher and his wife, Teresa, are from Sparta, Ohio, 150 miles north of Cincinnati. "My family, my wife's family, all 250 people in town were ecstatic when I was traded to the Reds. They couldn't figure out why I wasn't ecstatic." Belcher has come to believe the trade will be in his best interest. He figures to thrive as part of an elite starting rotation. "When I was called up with the Dodgers in '87, I was put in the rotation with Fernando Valenzuela, Orel Hershiser, Bobby Welch and Tim Leary. Pitch bad in that rotation and you stick out like a sore thumb. "Internally, subconsciously, you are intensely driven to perform up to the other starters' level. Quality people lift everybody's standards and expectations, and I think that's going to be the same here." The experience will be a change for Swindell. The standards and expectations of the Indians began and ended with him. He had a winning record and averaged 13 victories per season with a club that never finished higher than fourth. "I'm very comfortable here," Swindell said. "If I keep pitching like I have the past few years, I'll be very successful here." But Swindell knows the Reds' fate doesn't rest on his fastball. Pitching with the elite staff will help in two ways. "Pitching is contagious. If one guy throws well, the other guys start throwing well," Swindell said. "And if I do struggle now and then, I know it's not the end of the world. The other guys will be there to pick me up." The Reds scored 689 runs in 1991, nearly as many as the 691 they scored in 1990, but they allowed 94 more runs and their team earned run average dropped from second to eighth. But Rijo, Browning, Belcher and Swindell figure to solve that problem. And two-time All-Star Dibble will be in the bullpen to finish games. "We've got four starters who'll take us into the seventh inning," catcher Joe Oliver said, "and with our bullpen, we won't lose many after the seventh." By Bill Utterback The Pittsburgh Press PLANT CITY, Fla. - Randy Myers fished snakes from the pond and spilled them on the locker room floor. Todd Benzinger piloted toy cars by remote control. Eric Davis provided comic play-by-play from a picnic table in the center of the room. The preferred music was rap, played loudly. In the past two years, the Cincinnati Reds spring clubhouse was a playhouse. In 1992, Greg Swindell sits at the picnic table and works a crossword puzzle. Tim Belcher reads the papers and talks about his new computer. Jose Rijo and Rob Dibble drop to the floor for a long series of flexibility exercises. Country music plays softly in the background. Seventeen months ago, the Reds were World Series champions. They won eight of 10 playoff games, including a sweep of the defending champion Oakland Athletics. They led the National League in hitting and fielding and ranked second in pitching. Best of all, their only 30-and-over players were little-used Rick Mahler and Ron Oester. But things have changed. There are new faces and fewer toys. Davis, a two-time team Most Valuable Player, was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Myers, co-MVP in the National League Championship Series, was traded to the San Diego Padres. Jack Armstrong, starting pitcher in the 1990 All-Star Game, was traded to the Cleveland Indians. Danny Jackson, who allowed the Pirates one hit in five innings in the NLCS finale, signed a free-agent contract with the Chicago Cubs. Mariano Duncan, who batted .306 in the championship season, signed a contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. Key role players Herm Winningham, Luis Quinones, Scott Scudder and Benzinger are gone. Of the 23 players who participated in the 1990 postseason, 14 no longer are with the Reds. "I don't think the changes are so surprising," said Belcher. "Where did they finish last year? Third place? Fourth? When you don't win, you start making changes. Look at the Dodgers. They won 93 games, finished one game back, and they're making big changes." Belcher was at the center of both teams' changes. The Dodgers wanted power. The Reds wanted pitching. Belcher was traded for Davis. The Reds' rebuilding efforts center on their starting rotation. Former National League All-Stars Rijo and Tom Browning will be joined by former American League All-Star Swindell and Belcher, who ranked fourth in the National League with a 2.62 earned run average in 1991. "We now have some experience in our starting staff, and some durability," said Manager Lou Pin-iella. Piniella spent much of 1991 using relief pitchers Norm Charlton, Myers and unproven youngsters to fill Barry Bonds $4.7 million Doug Drabek $4.5 million Andy Van Slyke $4.25 million John Smiley $3.44 million Steve Buechele $2.6 million Zane Smith $2.525 million Jose Lind $2 million Mike LaValliere $1.85 million Kirk Gibson $1.7 million Bill Landrum $1.7 million Bob Walk $1.225 million Don Slaught $1 million Jay Bell $875.000 Gary Redus $725.000 Bob Patterson $650,000 Lloyd McClendon $465,000 Gary Varsho $332.500 Stan Belinda $280,000 Cecil Espy $250.000 Roger Mason $225.000 Jeff King $225,000 Randy Tomlin $180,000 Vicente Palacios $170,000 Orlando Merced $150,000 John Wehner $115,000 Total $37,132,5000 Includes pro-rated signing bonus Collier from Page Bl FYI A free seminar on common running injuries is scheduled for 10 a.m. March 21 at Pitt's Sports Medicine Institute in Oakland. It is designed to prepare runners for the Giant EagleCity of Pittsburgh Marathon on May 3. Participants will be invited to join in a 10-kilometer run through Schenley Park following the seminar. For more information, call 647-RUNN. third consecutive division championship. The Pirates' robust combination of pitching and defense was so superior to the rest of the National League's East Division a year ago that even the loss of cleanup hitter Bobby Bonilla might have been withstood, but an additional loss of a Gold Glove center fielder and No. 3 hitter would put them right next to the Montreal Expos as one of the two teams of whom it could confidently be said won't win the division. Moreover, minus Van Slyke, the strategical equation on what to do with Bonds would be drastically altered. Bonds, whose status as a free agent at the end of this year is now unknown only to certain tribes of the Peruvian jungle, was only welcome on the 1992 Pirates because it was thought his presence could produce another title. If Van Slyke's lower back precludes that, the club needs to take the rebuilding plunge immediately, which means moving Bonds for some combination of young everyday players and prospects. It remains unlikely such a deal would be possible, given that Bonds' seething desire to test the free-agent market will likely keep him from agreeing to a long-term contract, which the acquiring team would insist upon. But there are a handful of clubs the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves leap to mind with the personnel and financial resources and penchant for masochism to pull it off. The one element that could change the temperature somewhat on this issue is Kirk Gibson, who the Pirates acquired today from the Kansas City Royals. Gibson, a hard mileage outfielder, hit only .236 last year in 132 games, but ne hit 16 homers, drove in 55 runs and stole 18 bases. In any event, the Pirates need some medical answers in a big hurry, if only to see how quickly they can go from comfortable to desperate. play 11 games in the big leagues in September. Ty Gainey. Career minor-leaguer. Keith Miller. See Ty Gainey. Dave Clark. Hit .310 after the All-Star break for the 1990 Chicago Cubs in his only full season in the major leagues, when he hit .275 with five homers mostly as a pinch hitter. Perhaps the most intriguing (sort of) of the on-site candidates. Lloyd McClendon, Albert Martin, Daryl Ratliff and Terry McDaniel. Not, not, not and not. If none of that seems particularly appetizing, it's only because it's not. As Van Slyke flew back to Pittsburgh yesterday to have club orthopedist Jack Failla determine what kind of tests to do on his back never mind what to actually do about it yet one thing was even more abundantly clear than ever: If Van Slyke, who missed an average of 27 games the past three years because of varied bumps and pulls, misses double that or more, the Pirates can sjimply forget about a Baseball IT HAPPENED IN SPORTS March 10 10 YEARS AGO (1982) The Penguins defeated Washington, 7-2, for their third consecutive road victory, knocking the Capitals out of playoff contention. 25 YEARS AGO (1967) WPIAL Class B basketball champion Turtle Creek defeated Penn Cambria, 92-58, in a PIAA Western regional semifinal. 50 YEARS AGO (1942) Penn Sate was named one of eight teams for' the fourth NCAA basketball tournament. Dartmouth, the Eastern Intercollegiate League champion, was chosen, but needed to wait for faculty permission to participate. Compiled by Enzo Santilli The judge who freed Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Julio Machado Friday ruled that he must stay in Venezuela for the time being. Machado, charged with unintentional murder in the shooting death of a Venezuelan woman, must stay near his home until the judge rules on a prosecution motion that he not be allowed to leave the country until after his trj.

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