The Akron Beacon Journal from Akron, Ohio on April 7, 1998 · Page 29
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The Akron Beacon Journal from Akron, Ohio · Page 29

Akron, Ohio
Issue Date:
Tuesday, April 7, 1998
Page 29
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9 Q 'j The Beac6n Journal U Tuesday, April 7, 1998 American League & BUSINESS Daily Briefing, Page 2 NBA, Page 3 Into Believe it or not, the Indians were a major beneficiary of the designated hitter when it debuted in 1973 By Bill Liixey Beacon Journal stuff writer Former Indians manager Ken Aspromonte had every right to be excited 25 years ago. And not just because he was entering his second season as manager during a time when job security was a big concern for managers of the Indians. No, he had hope that the introduction of the designated hitter would spark his feeble offense. In 1972, the Indians had posted the third-worst batting average, had scored the third-fewest runs and sported the third-worst record in the American League. But a new era was about to begin with a rule change that was expected to increase scoring and keep high-profile hitters around for a few extra seasons. The National League decided not to adopt the rule. "I was really excited about the DH," said Aspromonte, a former major-league infielder during his playing career. "I was tired of watching pitchers embarrass themselves (at bat). Most of them didn't have any clue how to hit And a lot of them didn't even know how to bunt, either. See DH, Page C4 1973 AMERICAN LEAGUE DESIGNATED HITTER STATISTICS Entity HR RBI AVG. Cleveland 24 90 .267 AL Average 19 88 .257 CLEVELAND DESIGNATED HITTER RANKINGS Home runs 1. California 31 2. Boston 25 3. Cleveland 24 Batting Average 1. Baltimore 286 2. Boston 278 3. Minnesota 273 4. Cleveland 267 CLEVELAND DESIGNATED HITTERS Player Games in 1973 1. Oscar Gamble 70 2. John Ellis 38 3. Walter Williams..., 26 Charlie Spikes 26 4. John Lowenstein 25 5. Dave Duncan 9 High school DH: Who hits, who sits? Most area baseball and softball coaches like the rule, but admit there is at least one drawback to it By David Lee Morgan Jr. Beacon Journal staff writer Most high school baseball and softball coaches enjoy the luxury of the designated-hitter rule. They say it gives them a great deal of flexibility when trying to field the best possible offensive team. "The most unique thing about the designated-hitter rule in high school as opposed to professional Cavaliers at Pacers Time: 8 p.m., today Site: Market Square Arena TV: Channel 43 Radio: WAKR 1590-AM SI tjwL The Designated Hitter: 25 Years Later WINGING History ill I wtfr. K V ; n !ilr " vJH t . m t w,f. Associated Press In 1973, Oscar Gamble (large photo above) seemed to be a perfect fit for the role as Indians' designated hitter. A much more perfect fit, in fact, than he was for his Tribe cap. Gamble was a DH for 70 games that season. Second in the DH parade was John Ellis (above top), who held that job for 38 games. baseball is that in high school, you can DH for anyone in the lineup," said John Sarver, who is beginning his 16th year as Hob-an's baseball coach. "Usually, your pitcher is a. good athlete, and in some cases, your best hitter," Sarver continued. "So if I have a weak-hitting outfielder or shortstop, I can DH for him, which gives me more flexibility when I make out my Cavs against Pacers: This is a likely preview of first-round playoff action, and Cleveland's players kind of like that idea By Chris Tomasson Beacon Journal staff writer The Cavaliers already have gotten the attention of the Indiana Pacers. Now, they hope to send a reminder. Tonight's game between the Sports In Brief Jim Courier rallies to beat Marat Safin, giving the United States a 3-2 first-round victory over Russia in the Davis Cup. Page C2. Pro baseball Hie Chicago Cubs defeat the Montreal Expos 3-2, improving their record to 6-1 - best in the National League. Page C3. lineup." Sarver is lucky. He said he has enough talent that he doesn't use the designated hitter too often - only about a third of his games, in fact It's the same thing for Springfield head softball coach Ray Fowler, who is beginning his 19th year. Fowler said he likes the rule, but it hasn't changed the way he fields his team. Cavs and the Pacers at Market Square Arena is a likely playoff preview. The Cavs are a good bet to finish No. 6 in the Eastern Conference, while the Pacers are all but locked into the No. 3 spot "It's going be a playoff at Pro hockey The Lumberjacks might have an interest in holding on to the Eastern Conference's No. 7 seed: The Fort Wayne Komets. Page C5. Pro soccer Zoran Karic and Hector Marinaro have to kick-start the Crunch's offense tomorrow, or there may be no more tomorrows. Page C5. "When the DH first hit the high-school level, it seemed like everyone was using it," Fowler said. "Now, the kids are more athletic and they are good enough that they don't need someone batting for them. We don't use the DH and most of the teams we play against don't either." See PREP, Page C5 Plenty of statements mosphere," Cavs guard Brevin Knight said. "We'll try to make a statement They'll try to make a statement It will be a very physical game I'm anticipating and it will be well-played.'' The Cavs (43-32) made a statement in the fall when they beat the Pacers (52-23) twice in the preseason and 80-77 at Gund Arena in the first week of the regular Cleveland Chicago i at Oakland Texas 4 New York Boston at Seattle at Anaheim National League Milwaukee 8 Houston 13 Florida 5 Colorado 4 Pittsburgh 4 Chicago 3 New York i Montreal 1 NBA New Jersey 12S Orlando 113 Charlotte 115 Philadelphia 92 Portland 79 Phoenix San Antonio 75 at Seattle Mb Unas tirae nap, tiro nat Three victories over Angels are balanced by injuries to Wilson, Vizquel and Dunston. Wilson's is the worst EDITOR'S NOTE: Last night's Indians game was delayed by rain and not completed in time for this edition. For a result, call the Beacon Journal Scoreline at 330-996-3800. For a game story and other Indians information, visit our Tribe Central website at http:l www. ohio. combjsportsindians. By Sheldon ocker Beacon Journal staff writer Oakland. Calif.: The series against the Angels was tougher than it looked. When it was over, three Indians were injured seriously enough to miss last night's game against the Athletics. One of them, Enrique Wilson, will be out for several weeks after suffering torn ligaments in his left thumb. He is scheduled to undergo surgery today at Lutheran Hospital in Cleveland. "I don't expect him back until July, "Manager Mike Hargrove said yesterday. Wilson sustained the injury Friday night when he slammed head first into second on an attempted steal. Wilson had just entered the game the previous inning as a defensive replacement for Shawon Dunston. Omar Vizquel also got hurt sliding into a base, jamming the ring finger of his right hand when he was thrown out stealing third in the first inning of Sunday's game See Tribe, Page C5 Branyan's power short-circuited Aeros third baseman suspended for season's 1st five games (all at home) By David Lee Morgan Jr. Beacon Journal staff writer Aeros fans waiting to get a glimpse of Akron power-hitter Russell Branyan this weekend won't be able to see the starting third baseman play at Canal Park until at least April 15. The Aeros' open the season Friday at Canal Park but Branyan will be on the bench. He'll be serving a five-game suspension, which stems from an incident at the end of last season. Joseph McEacharn, assistant to Eastern League President Bill Troubh, said Branyan was suspended because of an on-field incident involving umpires, which took place during the last game of the 1997 season at New Haven. Branyan and Aeros first-year manager Joel Skinner could not be reached for comment The Aeros host the Bowie Bay-sox for a three-game series, then host the Portland Sea Dogs for a season. The Cavs were making a huge statement Jan. 30 when they took a 16-point third-period lead at Market Square. But without guard Derek Anderson, who suffered a knee injury in the second period, the Cavs faltered, and lost 89-83. Anderson missed nearly five weeks. But since he returned March 4, the Cavs are 12-5, including .wins in 10 of their last 12 GO Back to business K asusualat beJ Goodyear's annual meeting. Page C6. Cleveland Indians radio broadcasts will switch from WKNR 1220-AM to WTAM 1100-AM starting with Friday's home opener against the Anaheim Angels. The Indians were on WWWE 1100-AM from 1973-1991 before switching to WKNR in 1992. WTAM boasts a 50,000-watt clear channel signal that spans 38 states and half of Canada during evening hours. "We're thrilled that our games will be carried on one of the most powerful AM signals in the Midwest," said Dennis Lehman, Indians Executive Vice President of Business. "We look forward to-working with WTAM in expanding the enthusiasm for Indians baseball." WAKR 1590-AM in Akron, WQKT 104.5-FM in Wooster and WHBC 1480-AM in Canton will continue to carry the Indians. Indians at A's Time: 3:15 p.m., tomorrow TV: FOX Sports Ohio Radio: WAKR 1590-AM Pitchers: Dave Burba (1-0, 1.29) vs. Kenny Rogers 00, 5.06) The Aeros' open the season this Friday at Canal Park with power-hitting Russell Branyan on the bench. three-game series beginning Monday. Branyan could return on April 15 for the last game of the Portland series. "If there is a rainout, the only way Russell could play in Akron is if they play a double-header those first six games to make up for a rainout," McEacharn said. If Branyan doesn't finish the suspension while in Akron, he'll have to complete it on the road. The Aeros don't return home again until April 24 when they host the New Britain Rock Cats. So, it's possible that Branyan won't even see his first at-bat at Canal Park until April 24 - two weeks after Opening Day. See OUT, Page C5 to be made games. "I think we match up pretty well with them now," Anderson said "We have a deep bench and they have a deep bench. And I think we're playing well at the right time." It's quite apparent the Cavs won't mind facing the Pacers in See Cavs, Page C3 " i-iii-i-ii'ai ii r

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