Asbury Park Press from Asbury Park, New Jersey on August 6, 1988 · Page 29
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Asbury Park Press from Asbury Park, New Jersey · Page 29

Asbury Park, New Jersey
Issue Date:
Saturday, August 6, 1988
Page 29
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- m one- Sat., Aug. 6, 1988 Asbury Park Press 2 Short Stops 4 Super Stats 6 Horse Racing Hernandez returns 5 Mets win Eiuon w Seoul now just little bit closer re. Norma Valmon of I Manchester Township finds it supremely hard keeping her pride in check these days for about 8,000 perfectly good reasons. One for each of the miles separating Ocean County, N.J. from Seoul, Korea, would about sum it up. The Games of the XXIV Olympiad will open six weeks from today in Korea and Mrs. Valmon will be there to see her son, Andrew, 23, compete in the 1, 600-meter relay for the U.S. "This will be an experience I never thought would have happened but now it is, and, to tell you the truth, I am so excited." she tells friends, neighbors and newly enrolled members of the Andrew Valmon Fan Club. She's coming off some recent major surgery but nothing that minor will keep her home. A Lakewood travel agent has. already filed a request: "Please bring me back a poster so I can put it in my window." The U.S. has sent teams to XIX of the previous XX Summer Games. All but III of the XXIII have been staged outside this country and three weren't held due to world wars. That's meant incredible, often insurmountable, difficulties economic and logistical for those wishing to sec Team USA play its road Games. In a few thousand cases spread over past Games, the grandest dream ever nurtured by a U.S. Olympian next to collecting a gold medal would have been to have a family member up in the stands to yell and scream and burst buttons spreading the message that "hey world, that's my boy" or "that's my girl." But very-vcry-vcry few of the Olympians' nearest and dearest ever did get to a Games. They stayed home with all the rest of us, glued to a TV set or a radio or a telephone, awaiting a snippet of news from another continent. The news is altogether different this time. Thanks to the immense generosity of the Seagram's Coolers people, over 500 U.S. Olympians in 23 different sports now know that there will be at least one person up in the Seoul stands dedicated to their success. Seagram's Coolers' American Team Family Fund will provide a designated family member of each Olympian with a round-trip ticket to Seoul, accommodations there for the length of the Games, and $1,000 in living expenses. This is a $2.5-million project and, although private contributions will be greatly welcomed, the great bulk of the tab is being picked up by Seagram's. For some reason, the gymnastics and basketball federations did not elect to play along. Maybe they were offended by the name "Seagram's" and its connotation of hard liquor. Maybe they just fretted that their athletes' attention would be diverted by too many moms, pops, husbands, wives or siblings on the Olympic premises. But 23 U.S. sports federations said "that's great" and so all those Family Fund delegates have been busy arranging vacation time, taking out passports and packing their bags for the trip of many of their lives. Someday, boxer Riddick Bowe hopes to follow in Mike Tyson's footsteps. He's already followed them to P.S. 396 in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, their common alma mater. Bowe is America's bright young super heavyweight delegate to Seoul. One of 14 children, Bowe, 20, has had to overcome some unbelievable obstacles in his young life. Brownsville life is a daily battle. "I have to fight my way to get in my building and fight my out because of the crack dealers," he , says. His sister Brenda, 35, was stabbed and robbed, reportedly by a drug addict, on June 14, and died two weeks later. He has dedicated his Olympic trip to his departed sister and is taking big brother, Aaron, 32, with him to Seoul. "Boxing has always been a secret dream of mine but I was the guy who had to stay home and help everyone else," said Aaron Bowe, a New York Telephone Co. employee. "It's (boxing) my fantasy, but I don't think he (Riddick) knows that." Tyson lost out in the '84 U.S. Trials but six boxing greats Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Leon Spinks and Michael Spinks did collect Olympic gold medals as preludes to pro heavyweight championships. Somewhere down the line, Riddick Bpwe hopes to be the seventh. But first things first and first is Seoul. P Elliott Denman is an Asbury Park Press staff writer. Mets' captain hits homer to beat Pirates By JOE ZEDALIS Press Staff Writer PITTSBURGH Baseball is a team game, right? It takes nine men to play the game, not just one, correct? Just checking. Then why is it that on the night Keith Hernandez returns to the starting lineup, the New York Mets get 10 hits, play flawless defense and look relatively decent in a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates? Hernandez, the Mets' captain, made a storybook return last night at Three Rivers Stadium. His two-run homer in the sixth won the game. His double in his first at-bat set up the first New York run. His presence gave the Mets the look of a front-runner again. "1 didn't want to talk about it while he was away," said New York manager Davey Johnson, "but Keith's animation and inten sity is infectious. When he's out there, the intensity level is a little higher." Hernandez was out of the starting lineup for 41 days with a severe hamstring pull. Without Hernandez, the Mets were 19-17. He isn't Superman. We know that. He was on the disabled list. But he might just be a living Wizard of Oz. How else would you explain the Mets playing with brains, heart and courage all at the same time in his return? "Mex' presence is unique," said second baseman Wally Backman. "He does so much for the pitchers. He does so much for everybody." Tonight, 7 p.m. (Channel 9) the Mets play the second game of the four-game set with the Pirates. They have a five-game lead over the Bucs. But that lead looks so much safer with Hernandez than without him. "Keith being here makes me look smarter," Johnson said grinning. "Keith was excited the whole night, yelling and screaming." And for a change there was some emotion in the New York clubhouse. That, too, was missing. "I had dreams about getting the game-winning hit," Hernandez admitted. "But we all have some Little Leaguer in us. "It was nice to come back and contribute. The bottom line is, it was a big win for us in a big series." Lost in all the Hernandez hoopla was a second straight strong outing by Ron Darling (12-7). Darling, who is 10-2 against the Bucs in his career, retired the first 11 Pirates he faced. Darling went 1'h innings, striking out four, walking none while allowing just four hits. Randy Myers came on to get his 17th save. "Ronnie was just outstanding," Hernandez said. But there was no way even Hernandez could take the attention away from himself. In the first inning, he doubled Wally Backman to third and Darryl Strawberry followed with a sacrifice fly. "It was like a typical opening-day at bat," Hernandez said. "I swung at a bat pitch (before the double). I was all geared up." New York stranded three runners in the third inning and with Lenny Dykstra on third after a lead-off triple in the fifth, Backman, Strawberry and yes, Hernandez, failed to bring him home. "I was emotionally drained after that at bat," Hernandez said. "I had to slow myself down." Darling protected the 1-0 lead until Sid Bream led off the fifth inning with a home run. See HERNANDEZ, page C3 ft fiiwt-4'' - i ".at L . it Associated Press Keith Hernandez stretches before stepping into the batter's box for his first at bat since coming off the disabled list last night at Three Rivers Stadium. illlll filmic . tiff ! i I Ik V r ! I I M 11 I t I Ti It 1 : 11 ill "?- i I I .s. i Slumping 1 drop doubl Yankees ehea der to; urn ! 1 .... 5 ( ) v f Associated Press Yankees' Jack Clark grimaces after taking a called third strike from Twins' pitcher Fred Toliver in the first game of last night's doubleheader. NFL suspends four for abusing drugs By BILL MC LAUGKLIN Press Staff Writer NEW YORK Seven innings into the Minnesota Twins-New York Yankees twi-night doubleheader last night, it looked like Yanks' right-hander Rick Rhoden was in complete control. He'd survived early wildness and the stinging Twins' bats to present his mates with a chance to break a 2-2 tie. They didn't, and it would be the last time the Yankees would feel good about anything last night at Yankee Stadium. Minnesota proceeded to destroy New York by scores of 7-5 and 1 1-2. "They hit about everything we threw," said Yanks manager Lou Piniella. "We played the first game with intensity; the second just got out of hand early." Former St. John's star Frank Viola kept the Yankees at bay, scattering nine hits to win his 1 7th game of the season in the nightcap. Second baseman Steve Lombardozzi, a .230 hitter, had four RBI and both Greg Gagne and Gary Gaetti homered. The world champion Twins scored eight runs in the first four innings off left-hander Lee Guetterman, who was summoned from Triple-A farm club Columbus earlier in the day. The doubleheader didn't start that way. Rhoden survived a Kirby Puckett first-inning home run and a bizarre fifth inning in which Minnesota scored a run without a hit. Rhoden's teammates got those runs back in the sixth, when Rafael Santana walked with the bases loaded and Luis Aguayo doubled into the right field corner. At that point, the Yanks' chances of snapping their two-game losing streak were no worse than 5050, but it didn't happen. Minnesota scored five times in the last two innings to win. The double defeat dropped New York further back from division-leading Detroit and runnerup Boston, who played a doubleheader last night in Motown. The Yankees never led all night. Rhoden carried them into the eighth, even though he wasn't throwing anything resembling his natural pop. He struck out only one Minnesota batter and often couldn't find the plate, walking five. Yet the right-hander fought hard when the Twins threatened to break through. "He pitched well," said Piniella. "He was a little wild but he threw the ball well." The opener came down to the last two innings. Minnesota scored five times on a three-run homer by former Columbia star Gene Larkin in the eighth and a two-run single by Kent Hrbek with two outs in the ninth. Hrbek's bouncing ball was just beyon-the reach of New York second baseman A varo Espinosa. It turned out to be a huge play, because the Yankees rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth on Claudell Washington's home run. Don Mattingly followed Washington with a double, bringing the tying run to the plate. Right-fielder Jack Clark fanned on a slow curve and designated hitter Ken Phelps lined deep to right for the last out. As Phelps went back to the Yankees' bench, he was showered with Bronx cheers. They were not the last to be heard on an agonizing night on 161st Street. "We'll be back out there (tonight)," Piniella promised. Rickey Henderson had his 15-game string of successfully reaching base when leading off in the first inning stopped. Henderson bounced to third in New York's first at-bat of the opener and flied to center leading off the nightcap. . . . Yankees optioned IF-OF Hal Morris to Columbus and recalled Guetterman, the nightcap starting pitcher. Morris was 0-1 Wednesday in Milwaukee after pinch-hitting successfully in his major league debut, singling off Duane Ward July 29. . . . Phelps faced an overshift in first game last night, with three Twins infielders stationed to the right of second for the dead-pull lefty swinger. . . . The first game's winning pitcher Fred Toliver, now 3-1, was 1-1 with 5.64 ERA with Phillies in 1987. Toliver was a Yanks' draft choice. The Associated Press NEW YORK Four more players, including running back Robb Riddick of Buffalo and defensive end Greg Townsend of the Los Angeles Raiders, were given 30-day suspensions for drug abuse by the NFL yesterday. The suspensions bring to seven the number of players, including former All-Pro Dexter Manley of Washington, who have been ordered by the NFL to be placed on their teams non-football-related injury lists for violating the league's drug and alcohol abuse rules. The seven suspensions is by far the most in any training camp by the NFL. NFL spokesman Joe Browne, however, noted that suspensions normally apply to second offenders and noted: "This is just the third year of the testing program, so it's the first time there has been an accumulation of previous tests." In addition to Riddick, a starter until he was injured last year and Townsend, one of his team's top pass rushers, trie others suspended yesterday were defensive lineman Richard Reed of Denver and offensive lineman Pat Saindon of Atlanta. Also included on the list released by the NFL yesterday were two players whose teams announced their sus pensions Thursday running back Doug DuBose of San Francisco and offensive lineman Kevin Gogan of Dallas. Browne said those six won't be allowed to report back to their teams until Sept. 2, two days before the opening games. All must also remain away from their teams' training facilities until then. Manley, who was suspended two weeks ago, can return in late August. Browne didn't specify the substance involved in any of the cases although Dallas newspapers reported yesterday that Gogan had been seen smoking marijuana. And coach Mike Shanahan of the Raiders said "small traces of marijuana" were detected in Townsend's routine pre-camp urine test. "Because it was a second offense, Greg had been suspended for 30 days and will not be able to participate in any preseason games," Shanahan said. Riddick, a seventh year player from Millersville State, led the Bills in touchdowns last season with eight. Townsend, who was suspended for a game two years ago after a fight in Kansas City, is a six-year veteran from SMU. Saindon is a third-year guard from Vanderbilt who was signed by the Falcons as a free agent last year. Reed is a free agen I from Oklahoma. Wk ; , DAVID T. GAMBLE Asbury Park Press Jeff Hostetler seen very little action. ' Hosteller finally gets his chance By JON GELBERG Press Staff Writer THE GIANTS begin their long march back to respectability tonight (8 p.m., Channel 11) when they take on the Green Bay Packers in the opening game of the team's four-game preseason schedule. Unlike last year at this time, the Giants are not the defending Super Bowl champions, nor are they defending playoff champs. Instead, the Giants enter the preseason as a last-place team with a lot to prove to themselves and their fans. While they finished last season with many questions that have lingered through the offseason, very few of them will be answered tonight. Instead, coach Bill Parcells will be focusing on the positions where the competition is not just alive, but intense. The main focus will be on the quarterbacks, where Jeff Hostetler will be given the spotlight for the first time in his five-year career. Hostetler, who has played a grand total of five downs in his first four years in the league, will be the starting quarterback and play the entire first half. Hostetler is coming off of an excellent performance in last week's scrimmage, where he passed for three touchdowns. But this week is a lot closer to the real thing. See HOSTETLER, page C7

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