The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on September 30, 1997 · Page 11
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 11

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, September 30, 1997
Page 11
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SEPTEi|H|plf3Sr 1997 THE SALnWJbURNAL Sports CLASSIFIED / C4 ALMANAC / B7 FUN / B8 B TCOMMENT T MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PATRCK McMANAMON Scripps Howard News Service Seve made the biggest difference SdTOGRANDE, Spain —Thomas Bjorn and Ian Woosnam were partners IJn Saturday's four-ball round at the Ryder Cup when Bjorn put his drive on the eighth hole into the woods. SeVe Ballesteros raced to the spot.!He checked the line, the stance and whether Bjorn had any shot to the green. Then he turned to his Ryder Cup rookie and said, "Perfect. Better than in the fairway." Woosnam walked over. Ballesteros told him the ball was "like it was sitting on a tee." Bjorn put his second shot on the green and won the hole with a birdie. That scene was repeated over and over and over at the Ryder Cup. There were many reasons Europe won, but Ballesteros was one big one — maybe the biggest. '"What can I say about Seve?" European rookie Ignacio Garrido said. "He hasn't been so much a captain as a father to us. Every time I was thinking what can I do here, he'd appear out of nowhere and tell me what to do. A lot of shots have been all his. We just put our hands on the club." ••Almost everything Ballesteros tried worked. Friday he sat out three players — Woosnam, Darren Clarke and Bjorn. All got mad and came out firing Saturday to win matches. " -A year ago, Jose Maria Olazabal coulij not walk due to foot problems: Ballesteros forced him on the team'after forcing off Miguel Angel Mariuj, then played Olazabal 90 hole&X SqtrM?:of his successful pairings even^eemed torb&done with an eye to thelfiture. Lee Westwood was a rookie^from England; Ballesteros put $inj with Nick Faldo, Europe's persj)inafl Ryder Cup Rock of Gibraltar. '•'*•• ! Garrido, a Spaniard, was paired with Olazabal, who mentored Garrido the same way Ballesteros mentored Olazabal in previous Ryder Cups — and the same way Faldo mentored Westwood and Woosnam mentored Bjorn. Even the weather played a factor. U.S. captain Tom Kite said the rain and wind and chill negated any knowledge his team had gained of Valderrama during practice rounds. Ballesteros had promised perfect weather, but when serious rain appeared for the first time in 20 Septembers, it almost seemed as if Seye had ordered up the British Open style atmosphere. He also seemed to be on every fairway all weekend. Tin sure if Seve could, he would have given a lot more advice," Sweden's; Jesper Parnevik said. The Europeans seemed to feed off Ballesteros' intensity. Kite, meanwhile, was Kite, which was quiet, efficient and workmanlike. He did all he could to help his team, and though he didn't do a bad job he was overshadowed by his Spanish colleague. Ballesteros always seemed to have the right words for his team, but Kite was at a loss for words after his group did not win a match on Saturday. Ballesteros talked to his teajm, but Kite brought in a pinch-hitter, former President Geof ge Bush. Ballesteros seemed to be there on every hole asking questions or suggesting clubs. Kite was between holes as his players lined up a crucial putt with darkness approaching o>Saturday. Lee Janzen rammed a long putt by on 18 and the U.S. did not make par and did not wjn a point. Kite wanted to win; Ballesteros willed his team to win. Kite's words about not having enough local knowledge at Valderrama sounded like an excuse. His players spent four days prac- ticingi-plenty of time to learn the greens. Leonard won the British Open with less practice at Royal Troon. Europe's players were simply made the clutch shots and putts. Perhaps the difference was that slight bit of confidence and inspiration provided by their captain. Prior to the matches, Colin Montgomerie said this was "almost Seve's Ryder Cup." He was wrong. It was all Seve's Ryder Cup. Board puts Royals up for sale Glass says he won't be a bidder; Brett part of one interested group By DOUG TUCKER The Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo — The Kansas City Royals are officially for sale. Reversing its decision to wait another year, the board of directors controlling the American League club voted Monday to begin the bidding process that will lead to a new owner. Three groups are known to have an interest. One includes George Brett, a future Hall of Famer who retired in 1993 after a 20-year career as a Royals player. The others are headed by Jerry Green, a local banker and car dealer, and David BRETT GLASS Oddo, a Kansas City businessman. "The board concluded that because we appear to have three local bidders who have a serious interest in the team that now's the time to start the process," board chairman David Glass said at a news conference. In a surprise, Glass, chairman of Wal-Mart, Inc., said he would not be a bidder. It had been assumed ever since team founder Ewing Kauffman personally picked him to head the board that Glass might eventually own the team. Kauffman died in 1993 after working out a complicated succession plan meant to keep the team in Kansas City. "I just don't think it would be in my best interests or something that would be good for me and my family," Glass said. The board set a minimum bid of $75 million. In addition, major league baseball requires that an individual or group have a net worth of $100 million, excluding the investment in the club. "If you were going to move it to another city, it's worth a lot more money," Glass said. "Without a new stadium and being a smaller market, it's not worth as much as expansion teams pay for their franchises." A committee headed by club president Mike Herman will begin screening applicants immediately. Founded as an AL expansion club in 1969, the Royals enjoyed great success from the mid-70s to the mid-80s, winning two AL pennants and beating the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1985 World Series. But the Royals have not been back to the postseason since and this year finished last in the AL Central for the second straight season. Attendance has also declined. "One of the things that initiated this process in the beginning was Ewing Kauffman's commitment to keeping the Royals in Kansas City, and any prospective buyer would be required to make a contractual commitment to keeping the team in Kansas City," Glass said. "The committee would probably tie that to the stadium lease which expires in 2015. And I think beyond that, The Associated Press Scott Fogle of the Florida Marlins grounds, crew paints the National League Division Series logo in preparation for today's opening game against the San Francisco Giants. It will be Florida's first playoff contest in Its five-year history. Divisional playoffs open today By BEN WALKER The Associated Press By all accounts, an extra round of baseball playoffs sure sounded like a good idea. More October excitement, more of the tight, tense action that fans wait all season to see. Only one problem: Except for a dramatic, five-gamer between the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees that first year in 1995, these opening-round series have been dullsville. Four of the eight best-of-5 sets have been sweeps. Three others have been over in four games. Will it be any different this time when the postseason begins today? Jeff Bagwell hopes so. He knows his Houston Astros are not given much chance against the Atlanta Braves, and he doesn't care. "There's absolutely no pressure on us. No one is expecting us to win," Bagwell, who had 43 home runs and 135 RBIs, said Monday. "We usually play to the level of our competition. We play bad against bad teams and good against good teams, and we've played good against the Braves." Atlanta ace Greg Maddux will throw the first pitch of the playoffs at 12:07 p.m. CDT in the Braves' first postseason game at Turner Field. NATIONAL LEAGUE Houston at Atlanta, 12:07 p.m. (ESPN) San Francisco at Florida, 3:07 p.m. (ESPN) AMERICAN LEAGUE Cleveland at New York, 7:13 p.m. (Fox) "I don't feel like we've got a lot of holes," said Maddux, who will oppose Darryl Kile. "We stack up well against any team in baseball." Though the Braves beat Houston 7-4 in the season series, all 11 games were decided by either one or two runs. Later this afternoon, the NL West champion San Francisco Giants visit the wild-card Florida Marlins, making their first postseason appearance. In what could be a tell-tale opener, Kevin Brown starts for the Marlins — he's 4-0 with an 0.61 ERA lifetime against the Giants, including a no-hitter on June 10. A big part of Brown's success has been his ability to shut down Barry Bonds. The Giants star is just l-for-18 in his career against Brown. "Let's just hope you're asking me the same question after Tuesday's game," Brown said. "When you do well against somebody, you're • Playoff capsules / Page B4 not sure you want to know the answer." Bonds, meanwhile, will be trying to reverse his past postseason fortunes. In playoff appearances from 1990-92 for Pittsburgh, he batted .191 with one home run. Not that Marlins manager Jim Leyland, who led the Pirates with Bonds for those playoff flops, is resting easy. "Barry is a time bomb," Leyland said. Tonight, the World Series champion New York Yankees will be home to face the Central champion Cleveland Indians. "It's a tough matchup," said David Cone, who will start Game 1 for New York against Orel Hershiser. "It's a good team matchup, and a good matchup individually." By winning the wild card, New York got to face Cleveland — a team it has handled fairly well — at home for the first two games. Had the Yankees won the AL East, they would have had to travel cross country to play at Seattle — a team that has often owned them — in the opening two games. On Wednesday night, in what could be the glamour matchup of the first round, Ken Griffey Jr. and the Mariners play Cal Ripken and the Baltimore Orioles. Randy Johnson will pitch the opener for Seattle against Mike Mussina. V HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL Abilene moves into rankings after win overWamego By ARNE GREEN The Sallna Journal Abilene coach Greg Wade knows well that playing a rugged early schedule can be a double- edged sword. But so far, opening the season against two strong Class 5A opponents has worked out just fine for the 4A Cowboys. "We're probably fortunate in the fact that we're a fairly competitive program in our league and in • This week's rankings / Page B3 the playoffs," said Wade, whose Cowboys moved into the Journal's Class 4A rankings at No. 10 this week after slipping past previous No. 10 Wamego 21-19 Friday in Abilene. "If you lose early and get beat up, then lose later, it can hurt you. But as long as you can keep improving, I think later in the year it makes you better. "We've played in the playoffs the last three years and I think it helped us get better by the middle of the year. It seems we're usually playing pretty well by then. I think the kids feel we've played some pretty tough teams and that they're ready (for district play)." The Cowboys, coming off a 7-4 season in which they reached the second round of the 4A playoffs, opened this year with a 37-9 loss at home against Salina South. But they led that game 9-6 midway through the third quarter before South wore them down. They followed that with a 29-13 loss at Great Bend, which like South now has a 3-1 record. "Last year it took us about halfway through the year before we got to playing well," Wade said. "This year 1 thought we played better in our early games against both South and Great Bend. I felt we competed pretty well. "In reality it really helped our See ABILENE, Page B3 ALLEN * KG season wrapup / Page B4 you'd have to look at keeping the team in Kansas City on its own merits, perhaps." Under Kauffman's plan, all proceeds from the sale will go to Kansas City charities. "The board's objective from the very beginning has been to find a local buyer who will keep the team in Kansas City and have a competitive team. But also to maximize the proceeds for the recipients of the funds," Glass said. "We've had very little expression of interest until very recently. "If these three bidders are qualified and serious and intent on buying the Royals, we'd be wrong not to jump on that opportunity and try to consummate this transaction." V PRO FOOTBALL Who says Allen is '. too old? NFL's oldest running back played key role in Chiefs' win over Seattle By DOUG TUCKER Tlie Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After watching ageless Marcus Allen rescue Kansas City, Dave Szott wants no more of this silly retirement talk. "I don't think we should let him retire," said the Chiefs' left guard,. "I think we should hang him on,the wall next to a fire extinguisher with a sign that says, 'Break glass in case of eme'r- gency.'" It was a dire emergency the Chiefs faced Sunday, with Elvis Grbac throwing three first-half interceptions and the secondary giving up two long scoring passes to Warren Moon. Enter Marcus Allen, who had only 16 carries the first four games. He scored two touchdowns, on a 1-yard leap and on a beauty of an 8- yard run that split and froze two defenders with a start-and-stop move that would make men 15 years his junior beam with pride. He also caught a couple of key passes. And then with the game on the line in overtime, he hurled his 37- year-old body into the teeth of the Seattle defense four straight tunes for eight tough yards, positioning Pete Stoyanovich for a 41-yard field goal and a 20-17 victory. Not bad for the oldest running back in the NFL. Old? Did somebody say old? "I don't consider myself old," said Allen, standing 6-foot-2 with a sculpted physique that still looks like something chiseled out of marble. "I know everybody laughs at that, but I really don't. It's just a state of mind. I've been blessed physically. My age and my body don't match." Neither do his age and spirit. Although he has accepted a backup role in what everybody assumes will be his final season, he never has been happy with it. "Of course, it's been frustrating," he said. "But never to the detriment of the team. I would never cause a problem. It's something we all have to deal with as we mature. You have to subordinate your desires for the good of the team. Of course I'd like to play more. But I understand I have a role to play and I just try to do the best I can." Even the Chiefs, especially young ones like Jerome Woods, seem in awe of their teammate. "On the sideline, we just knew he was going to make something happen," Woods said. "We had no doubt, no doubt." His two rushing touchdowns against Seattle extended his NFL record to 115. Almost overlooked was the fact he passed John Riggins for fifth place on the all-time rushing attempts list with 2,933. "Teams used to say once you're 30 you're done," Allen said. "If you don't go within, you go without. All my power's inside me — in my head. 1 believe that." SUGGESTIONS? CALL, BOB DAVIDSON, SPORTS EDITOR, AT (785) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT

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