The Pittsburgh Press from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 16, 1973 · Page 29
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The Pittsburgh Press from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 29

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Tuesday, October 16, 1973
Page 29
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A 's Will NEW YORK (UPI) - "None whatso-ever. It would never happen." That was Reggie Jackson's reaction when asked about the possibility of the Oakland A's boycotting the remainder of the World Series over the "Mike Andrews" incident. .The A's announced yesterday that Andrews was "injured" and placed him on the disabled list. It just so happens that Andrews, a reserve second baseman and pinch-hitler, made two errors in the 12th inning of the A's 10-7 loss to the Mets Sunday, and the Oakland players are convinced that Owner Charlie Finley simply fired Andrews. n With Show D Tuesday, Oct. 16, 1973 29 "It was a bush thing to do," said pitcher Jim Hunter. Dick Green, the regular second baseman, said he took it for granted that Finley fired Andrews. "I just assume so," he said. "Most of the things on this club come from him. "Apparently, I may not make the trip back to Oakland if I make a couple of errors." Most of the Oakland players fashioned Andrews' number 17 out of tape and stuck it to the shoulders of their uniforms while taking part in a workout at Shea Stadium yesterday. Looking at the 17 on his shoulder, Deron Johnson said, "We're in mourning tor Andrews. It's like the Pirates." The Pittsburgh players wore No. 21 on their shoulders this year in memory of the late Roberto Clemente. Andrews did not accompany the team to New York and is believed to have gone to his home in the Boston area, espite n s Ana He's 'Hurting Bad' Franco Problem enous By PHIL MUSICK Franco Harris is hurting. Bad. Worse than the Steelers like to admit publicly. Possibly bad enough to require corrective knee surgery. Possibly bad enough to keep him from being of any real value to the Steelers the remainder of the season. The official club posture toward Harris' injured knees is low-key, but his teammates privately admit Harris is having serious problems. "I guarantee it," says one Steeler. "He was depressed all last week. He's getting treatments on them every day. He's hurting bad, and he's worried about it." Harris' knees were the focal point of Chuck Noll's weekly fencing session with the press, which yesterday became a study in guerrilla warfare over the condition of the second-year running back. Ultimately, the press luncheon became a no-decision affair, Noll steadily parrying, occasionally thrusting with humor when the question began to grate. "No one wants him in the game more than I," Noll said, his laughter developing a cutting edge before the sentence was out. "I'm not fighting to keep him out of the lineup . . . there's nothing sinister going on." What is going on is a consistent policy of treating Harris' knee problems as though a ballboy had sprained his toe. But, yesterday, after the Steeler running game malfunctioned in Sunday's loss in Cincinnati and Harris remained out of action, a serious inquisition was fought to a draw between coach and media. In oast weeks, Noll has said Harris "is not 100 per cent." He has said Harris has a problem with his "timing." He has spoken of Harris "not being on top of his game." Finally, further light was ghed, and Noll went beyond timing and percentages in discussing Harris' difficulties. "He's concerned about his legs; he's protecting them," Noll said. "He's worrying about his legs, about getting hit on them." Another Steeler agrees. "Heck, most running backs last only five years; they have to be worried about their knees," he said. Harris who has ligament damage in his left knee, has some history of problems with his right knee. During his senior year at Penn State, he underwent surgery on it to remove dislodged tissue. The doctor who performed the operation calls it "minor he had a bit of foreign -Press Photo by Ross A. Cotanza CETTINC OUT TICKETS for Sunday's Steelers-New York Jets game, which was transferred here from New York, are Gerry Glenn (left) and Jane Ghema. They are taking care of applications mailed by season ticket holders. Public sale of tickets opens at 9 a. m. tomorrow at Gate A, Upper Level, Three Rivers Stadium. substance removed and his knee was put in a walking cast briefly." Harris missed spring practice his senior year but returned for the regular season, although bothered by the knee. Since rushing for 1,055 yards as a rookie last year, he has been plagued by assorted injuries. He hurt his left knee early in pre-season training, then suffered a rib-cage injury prior to banging up the right knee in the next-to-last exhibition. He missed the final preseason game and the league opener. A week ago- after Harris had carried the ball only 19 times in three games Noll indicated the 1972 NFL Rookie of the Year seemed ready to return to the world of steady employment. "We thought he was 100 per cent, but late last week he had trouble with the knees again," said Noll, who has long insisted Harris needed more work to regain his form. "You don't miss the pre-season, then come in there and throw a switch. Timing's a factor. And when you're protecting yourself, you don't run loose and you're not ready." v Noll defended both his failure to use Harris against Cincinnati which held the Steelers to their lowest rushing total in 25 games and keep-. ing him on the active roster. "The only way to get him back to par is to get him in there," Noll said. "He's not too badly hurt to perform . . . but it's bad enough to keep him from the top of his game. And we don't have another running back to replace him." Noll easily swept the last round of the Harris , debate with a remark compatible with the Steeler posture toward the big back. "I know everyone thinks if I put Franco in, we'll have a miracle happen," he laughed. The reference to Harris' Immaculate Reception to win the Oakland playoff game last year drew a relaxed laugh from the prosecution and signaled an end to the questioning. But there's nothing funny Sports On Air TONIGHT-TELEVISION Oakland at N. Y. Mets, World Series, 8:30 p. m. 6, 7, U about Franco Harris' present circumstances. SHARPS AND FLATS - The Steeler injury list grew by one when the club announced defensive end Craig Hanne-man suffered a sprained back against the Bengals . . . Noll said the seriousness of the charley-horse injury to Andy Russell could not be determined until later in the week . . . Jack Ham, who suffered a hip injury, said he is "OK." When the Steelers face the New York Jets here Sunday, defensive end Dwight White could have a big day. The Jets' offensive left tackles, Bob Svihus and rookie Robert Woods, have been responsible for New York quarterbacks being sacked nine times in the past three games. Frank Lewis' sprained ankle, which put him on the cab squad for the Bengal game, remains swollen and he may not play next Sunday either. Season-ticket holders have until 5 p.m. today to claim tickets for the Jet game. What's The Real Story? Having successfully weathered one ticklish personnel problem, the quarterback duel between Terry Bradshaw and Terry Hanratty, Chuck Noll is acting like a man who is trying to avoid another, a media-inspired benching of Preston Pearson. Is Franco Harris hurt, or is Noll coyly challenging the Steelers' Rookie of the Year to win his job back? At his press conference yesterday, Noll parried questions from writers intent on discovering why Harris, who gained more than a thousand yards as a rookie, did not play in the Steelers' 19-7 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Franco is not 100 per cent," explained Noll. 1 "He's not that badly hurt that he couldn't play," remarked Noll later. Back in the days when Noll, still undecided about his starting quarterback, planned a switch, one of" the youngsters would conveniently come up with an injury. Terry Hanratty would develop a sore hand which, while not preventing his Growing in practice, would sideline him for a game or two. A concussion that would disable a construction worker for half-a-day would bench Terry Bradshaw for a couple of weeks. Always it was a clever manipulatory device on Noll's part, one by which he Avoided the public degradation of a pfayer he might have to turn to and use again. "Hanratty will not play this week," Noll would duly report. "He's not 100 per cent." The injury became a face-saving alibi for the demotee. A thought suddenly occurred to me yesterday after leaving Noll's press conference. How would Chuck Noll, a man to eminently fair to his players, handle a t, Scoreboard By Pat Livingston Sports Editor demotion of Preston Pearson or Frenchy Fuqua just to make room for Franco Harris in the lineup? If these backs were not doing a job, it would be a simple matter to replace them. But, as evidenced by the current standings, both Pearson and Fuqua have been effective ball carriers for the Steelers, more effective even than Franco Harris has been. Noll was at his evasive best yesterday in explaining why he hadn't used Harris. "Is he injured? Is he hurt? What's the story with Franco?" Noll was asked. "He's not 100 per cent," said Noll. A wire service reporter sought confirmation of a rumor that Harris should have undergone surgery on his injured kuee several weeks ago. Noll, usually alert to the condition of his players, had to call on his guile to respond to that. i 1 "I really don't know," said the coach, uncharacteristically brushing off a mat-tr.r of crucial concern to his team. "That's up to the doctor. You'll have to talk to the doctor about that." "You're" not aware of that," the questioner persisted, "I'm not aware of that." replied Noll. "I don't think an operation is necessary." "Your answer to the question about the operation seems to leave open the possibility that an operation was considered," suggested Myron Cope, a media cynic. "We always consider that when there's a problem," retorted Noll. "That's one of the first things a doctor looks into. It's part of the whole examination." Somebody else wanted to know it there was any physical evidence of a knee injury, an accumulation of fluid, draining, obvious ligament or cartilage damage. "There has been swelling at times," said Noll, a rather acute observation of a relatively minor ailment by one professing total ignorance of a major surgical problem. "Did he say anything to you Sunday?" Noll was asked.- "He didn't say anything to me," said Noll. The Steeler coach couldn't reveal when Franco Harris got hurt or vvouldn't reveal it. "I don't know when it happened," he said. "All I know is that he didn't play much in the pre-season because of injuries. They were different injuries. One . time it was a thigh. Another time it was a knee. I can't pin-point it." Chuck Noll's responses gave me the distinct impression that he is perfectly satisfied with the play of Frenchy and Preston, that he has not lost confidence in Franco, but that he is not going to tamper with his winning combination. I also get the impression that if Franco is not hurting and docs break into the lineup, it will he Fuqua or Pearson who suddenly start suffering from a strange malady. although his bags, placed on the chartered flight before the game, currently rest in the lobby of the downtown hotel where the A's are staying. A statement that Andrews was injured was issued by the team physician, Dr. Harry Walker, and Andrews' name was signed at the bottom after a sentence reading, "I agree to the above." Jackson, the A's player representative, said that the first the players knew about the incident was when Andrews didn't show up on the team bus heading for the airport. They knew that Finley, Manager Dick Williams and Dr. Walker had been together behind closed doors in the clubhouse and they smelled something fishy. They began stamping their feet on the bus and shouting: "We want Mike! We want Mike! We want Mike!" Jackson said most of the players were furious at Finley's action, but "most of the guys have families to feed and can't speak out about how they really feel over the situation." Jackson was asked if the A's were going to wear the 17s taped to their uniforms tonight and replied "Dick Williams (A's Manager) says we shouldn't and I'll do what he says because he's not involved in this." Williams denied the charge that Finley had fired Andrews. "To my knowledge, he hasn't been fired by Mr. Finley." Jackson claimed the Oakland players are so annoyed at Finley that they may " conduct a mass holdout next spring. "There's a possibility of something like that happening," Jackson said. "A bunch of guys on the club are close to that point. But I think he'd just field another team. It wouldn't bother him at all." A's Request Denied NEW YORK (UPI)-Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn today denied a request by Oakland A's owner Charles O. Finley to place infielder Mike Andrews on the disabled list and replace him .with another player. Kuhn said, "A letter from the A's team physician indicates that Andrews has a chronic shoulder disability but there is no suggestion that this condition has changed or worsened since the Series began." rews rmng -v. , . v . I- if i - ;-.'.;;,?. , . XUfXij-'-:- If , IP '0 f W '4 f 'j (J v (I f , , .. ' 14V "'its J fl M "'S ' & - A's Dick Green 'mourns' for No. 17, Mke Andrews Battle Lines Are Drawn: Oakland A's Vs. Met Fans By BOB SMIZIK Press Sports Writer NEW YORK - The battle lines are drawn. Baseball's rowdiest team meets baseball's rowdiest fans as t h e World Series between New York and Oakland resumes tonight at Shea Stadium. All that's needed to make the scene complete is Pete Rose to throw out the first ball. The Shea fans became infamous with bottle-throwing, field-charging tactics last week when the Mets defeated Cincinnati in the National League playoffs. The A's have been making headlines for several years now for their unharmonious behavior. They criticize each other, their manager, their owner, the fans and their coaches. They also win with great frequency so little is done about their grumblings. "We're a team that says whatever we feel like," notes superstar Reggie Jackson. But the A's aren't going into Shea looking for a fight. They are looking to win a ball game as the teams' aces, the Mets' Tom Seaver and Oakland's Jim "Catfish" Hunter, pitch in the third game of a Series that is tied, 1-1. "We're not here to provoke anything," said Oakland's provoking manager, Dick Williams. "We're here to play baseball." Williams, in fact, went out of his way to praise the New York fans. "The interest they show here is good," he said. "You leave out the throwing things and them going on the field, and they're good fans." Jackson, who had four hits in the Mets' 10-7, 12-inning win Sunday, had some thoughts about playing before the Shea mob, but most of them weren't serious. Concerning his first Shea appearance, Jackson said, "It'll probably scare me. I've never seen a big crowd like that in the American League. Really, though, I guess Detroit fans are comparable to the Met fans. They're a tough crowd." Jackson added that he thought the crowa at Shea would be "stimulating." The A's, who can take care of themselves, aren't really worried about the fans, but the Mets have some serious problems like their outfield. Oakland has discovered that neither Willie Mays nor Rusty Staub can throw properly. Staub injured his shoulder while crashing into the fence in the fourth playoff game and was out of the starting lineup for the finale with Cincinnati and the World Series opener. He did start Sunday, but it was obvious he could not make a strong throw. He also had difficulty swinging the bat. Time may heal Staub's injury while time is Mays' problem. The all-time great is a fraction of what he used to be and Oakland is certain to take liberties if Mays is in the outfield. Against the right-handed Hunter, however, Mays probably won't be in the lineup even if Staub is unavailable. Manager Yogi Berra more than likely will use Ed Krane-pool as his third outfielder along with Cleon Jones and Don Hahn if Staub isn't ready. Both Hunter and Reaver will be rested. Seaver pitched last Wednesday and Hunter on Thursday. Both won the playoff clincher for their teams. Seaver was 1-1 in the Mets' 1969 World Series win over Baltimore. Losing the opener and winning a 2-1, 10-inning complete game-Hunter, who has won 21 games for three straight sea sons, was 2-0 in Oakland's World Series win over Cinchv! nati last season. Hunter and"..' Seaver were the starting 3 pitchers in the 1973 All-Star" game. '- When asked about Seaver, Jackson exclaimed, "Seaver; 1 he's the greatest. People,. M i China have heard about Torrf' Seaver. Blind people comg',2 (Continued on Page 30.) f if" r rif f I & "h ' r SV ' S i ' t ' .- 4 V , , I r V V ttJ f ' ' J " Yf S,s 7 '' ' - ' " iK v : Cleveland's Ben Da vis upends Dolphins' Paul Varfield. Dolphins Dunk Browns CLEVELAND (UPD-Mer-cury Morris' 70-yard run and Mike Ko 1 e n 's interception were cited by Miami Coach Don Shula as the big plays in the Dolphins' 17-9 victory over the 'stubborn Cleveland Browns. "Morris' run was an exceptionally big play because it came when we were deep in the hole,". said Shula, whose Dolphins were trailing 6-3 late in the third quarter last night and had the ball on their own 20. Morris, who carried the ba1.! 13 times for 94 yards, burst through a gaping hole in the line and dashed 70 yards before Clarence Scott tackled him from behind at the Cleveland 10. "We just used the play once all night and that was it," Morris said. "But once is enough if it works. 1 "It should have been a touchdown. I didn't know I was that close and that Scott was catching up with me. I just tried to pick up blockers on the way and they were there." Larry Csonka took over and three plays later went in from the two to put Miami ahead 10-6 with 4:39 remaining in the third period. Don C 0 c k r 0 f t kicked his third field goal, a 35-yarder with 59 seconds left in the period, to put Cleveland within a point. But Kolen's 29-yard interception return of a Mike Phipps pass with 6:41 left set up the touchdown that put the game out of reach. Csonka, who ran for 114 yards in 21 carries, scored his second TD four plays later when he burst into the end zone from two yards out. "The two mistakes killed us," said Browns' Coach Niclev Skorich. "We just missed of tackles on Morris, a great s runner. We had him hemmed" in, but when the pursuit got r; behind him he was well on his ) way and Clarence was luckyw 1 to have caught up with him",? ! . ,'. ' M". The Miami victory put the--; Dolphins into a first-place tie-;.: with the Buffalo Bills in the!;:?; AFC East, both with 4-1 rec-' -ords. The Browns, now 3-2, are - 3 tied for second place with Cin; cinnati behind Pittsburgh in V ; the AFC Central Division. -".'-r 1 5-1: M oml O J Cleveland O Mia-Fg Yfoieniian 36 '1 Clc-Po Cockrolt JO ' Of-f-a Cerkrcft u "! Mla-CsonKa 2 run (Yeoremlon kicKt'j Cle-Fg Cockrof! 35 ,: .t Mm-Csonko 2 run (Ypnremlnn klfkl .i Attendance -72,00. MIAMI CLtEVEuXNO II . First dowrm t 40-212 Rushes -varcK 3bC 3S Passing voids '''v' ' Rf turns vends 1.1 3 112 Passes 8--l Stl . Punts 4-M 0-0 Fumbles-tost I 0 SS7 Penolliej- yards i-5?

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