Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut on July 5, 1995 · Page 111
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Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut · Page 111

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Wednesday, July 5, 1995
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' , - . ,.;L. '".--'Sit A ?" ,.' . I i i i . i. .11 ii, . u . SPECIAL OLYMPICS B SECTION c WEDNESDAY JULY 5, 1995 Complete coverage Pages C5-C8 5 Rivera able to come up bi for Yankees - By JACK O'CONNELL ' Courant Staff Writer .' CHICAGO Mariano Rivera gave Brian Boehringer something 16 shoot for tonight. C'The Yankees' pitching staff is so battered, minor rj -being counted to provide desperately needed 'innings. Manager Buck Showalter Would prefer the innings be quality, but he'll take quantity if he can get it. He got both Tuesday as Rivera, -25, pitched eight shutout innings rand limited the White Sox to two singles, both by Frank Thomas, in a 4-1 victory. Rivera, a righthander from Panama, threw a 92-mph fastball with movement, a superb changeup and an occasional slider, which was missing from his repertoire in his previous tour with the Yankees. He had 11 strikeouts, equaling the team's season high, and lowered his ERA as a Yankee from 10.20 to 6.65. He also gave the bullpen an-. other restful day after Jack McDowell's 8-4, complete-game victory Monday night. John Wetteland pitched the ninth and gave up a double to Thomas and a one-out single to John Kruk, allowing a run for the first time in 15 appearances and 15Vj innings since May 19. Rivera's pitch count through eight innings was 129, which Showalter decided was enough for someone who had right elbow surgery in 1993 and had pitched only five innings in three weeks at Triple A Columbus because of a muscle pull in his right shoulder. Those five innings were in a rain-shortened no-hitter June 26 against Rochester. "I had more of a decision about whether to bring him out for the eighth," Showalter said. "He was one batter from being removed that inning." After Rivera retired the side in Please see Rivera, Page C2 Abbott recognizes the pressure point By JACK O'CONNELL Courant Staff Writer CHICAGO It's hard to imagine a team that had one minor leaguer starting Tuesday and another scheduled to start tonight could not find room on its staff for Jim Abbott. Then again, the Yan-kees seem more intent on giving a recovering substance abuser a ABBOTT second chance than a pitcher who has been one of baseball's truly positive role models. Abbott takes no delight in the Yankees' rash of injuries. While Jimmy Key (rotator cuff) and Scott Kamieniecki (right elbow strain) are on the disabled list and Melido Perez (sore right shoulder) is day-to-day, Abbott is 4-3 with a 3.28 ERA in 13 starts with the White Sox, who - . signed him to a one-year contract after the Yankees let him become a free agent. "It was the first time I was on a team that said they didn't want me," Abbott said Tuesday. "Who could have predicted what would happen to those pitchers? You can't foresee these things." But he could foresee better things for himself when he left New York. Abbott, who has carved out a major league career despite being born without a right hand, described an atmosphere around the Yankees that should give pause to Darryl Strawberry or any player who expects support and encouragement. Abbott, 27, was 20-22 with a 4.45 ERA in his two seasons with the Yankees. The highlight was a no-hitter Sept. 4, 1993, against the Indians at Yankee Stadium. Most of his ' time was spent defending himself for not living up to the Yankees' expectations when they acquired him from the Angels for first baseman J.T. Snow and two minor Please see Abbott, Page C2 ' ,., ' r ,: .: -:;:r ;,7, ' h ' i- I " S ... ' - , : ... f: . , ' , m.:: v i.v' . 7!$ - j !:?-.' " w I . '.V. ' . .:'' i: "' " K J, "v '-:'-:-' 1 " V ' .-':. ..X .. : ; -1 :Si ' : ....... - - i 1 ; f ; -. ' i i 1 . " . i . '.! 1 i. . -( ; ' - : ! : ,,- . . i v. " - .(-. ) ,.W- y ' " : v ' ' ' ' .. ; . ,. , :.. ' .: "'c; ' ' i .... ' ' ' i : I i : ... ' ' Associated Press Mariano Rivera strike out 1 1 White Sox and allow only two Frank Thomat singlet. Hie eight-inning performance couldn't have come at a better time for the depleted Yankees pitching staff. Pitching ahigher ; priority? Baltimore Sun There was a time when baseball was largely a game of King of the Hill. Whoever stood tallest on the mound was all but certain to have the best team, and it was a lot easier to stand taller then the mound was 5 inches higher than today. Now, with offensive production booming and tentative pitchers slowing the game to a crawl, Major League Baseball is close to adopting . a rule change that would boost the mound closer to where it was when pitching was pre-eminent. "I think there would be an impact," said Orioles manager Phil Regan, who started his pitching career on a 15-inch mound and finished it soon after the mound was lowered to accommodate more offense. "When they lowered it, it hurt a lot of pitchers. ... To me, it was a major change. If they change it back, it will be a major change the other way." It won't be as drastic. The proposal made last month by former umpire Steve Palermo and endorsed by. major league owners June 8 calls for the mound to be raised to a height of about 12V4 inches halfway between the current 10 inches and the pre-1969 level. Still, proponents of a higher mound believe it would level a playing field that has been tilted toward hitters through two expansions and the proliferation of other professional sports conspired to dilute the pitching talent pool. They also hope that giving pitchers an edge would speed up games, because better pitching means fewer hits, fewer walks and fewer at-bats. ', In addition, pitchers presumably would become more aggressive and throw more strikes, which would make the game more exciting for the fans. "I can see where that might happen," said Oakland reliever Dennis Eckersley. "They lowered it in the first place because pitchers were taking over the game and they wanted more offense." No one has stood taller on the mound than Randy Johnson, 6 feet 10, so the thought of the Seattle Mariners' ace getting 2V4 inches taller has to be frightening for opposing hitters, but he also wonders whether raising the mound is necessary. "I'm in favor of anything to speed up the game," Johnson said, "but I don't see how raising the mound a couple of inches is going to make pitchers more aggressive if you're not aggressive to begin with. All that needs to be done is open the strike zone up to where it is supposed to be in the official rule book." Mlbury again on the move Becomes Islanders coach today Associated Press UNIONDALE, N.Y. Mike Milbury is back coaching hockey. This time, the New York Islanders hope he stays around awhile. . Milbury, who walked away from his past two coaching jobs, will be introduced today as coach of the Islanders. i .. He replaces Lome Henning, who was fired after one season as the Islanders finished last in the Atlantic Division. It will be the second NHL coaching job for Milbury, a former defenseman who played 11 seasons with the Bruins. He coached the Bruins to consecutive 100-point seasons and Adams Division titles in 1990 and 1991, losing in the Stanley Cup finals in his first year and in the semifinals the next while compiling a 90-49-21 regular season record. MILBURY Milbury became the Bruins assistant general manager after the 1991 season, saying he wanted to try something different. After three seasons, he left, saying he was fed up with contract negotiations, and was hired to coach at Boston College. Milbury was at BC two months, leaving because he said he and athletic director Chet Gladchuk couldn't agree on how the program should be run. He spent last season as a hockey analyst for ESPN. "I think he has a desire to coach. He has a bit of a wanderlust in him," Bruins president Harry Sinden said. Tuesday, Milbury said , "I missed coaching." He returns to the NHL with a team that had the second-worst record in the league. The Islanders' 15 victories in the lockout-shortened season were fewer than every team except Ottawa (9-34-5). After general manager Don Maloney fired Henning, Milbury was prominently mentioned as a candidate, although there was some question whether Maloney, with one year left on his contract, would be willing to hire a high profile coach who has front office experience. The Islanders, who won four consecutive Stanley Cup championships from 1980-83, have finished higher than third once in the past 11 years. ., , ," - "" . -,. V: tsad mm I ' f " V " , 7 ' 7 ...... Kbj , Associated Press Jana Novotna reaches the Wimbledon semifinals with a straight-set victory over Kimiko Date. Next up is Steffi Graf, who hasn't lost a match this year. Martinez fends off a charging Sabatini Combined wire services WIMBLEDON, England There was Gabriela Sabatini, hopping back and forth getting set to charge the net. Down a set and 5-1 Tuesday to defending Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez, Sabatini scrapped her normal game the passive groundstrokes with heavy topspin and started to charge. And she began knocking off volleys. Forehand volleys. Backhand volleys. Half-volleys. For the next seven games, she and Martinez played the best women's tennis at this Wimbledon. Sabatini used her backhand to slice deeper and deeper and then come to the net. Sometimes the volleys were winners, sometimes they were into the net. The only disappointment was that Sabatini, the No. 8 seed, couldn't quite overcome her bad start in the second set, and Martinez, the No. 3 seed, won the match, 7-5, 7-6 (7-5). This match was by far the best of the women's quarterfinals. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, the No. 2 seed, got behind a service break to Bren-da Schultz-McCarthy in each set but beat the No. 15 seed, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4). Jana Novotna, the No. 4 seed, beat No. 6 Kimiko Date, 6-2, 6-3. And top seed Steffi Graf, who has not lost a match this year, played a self-described "perfect" second set to defeat the last American women in the tournament, No. 13 seed Mary Joe Fernandez, 6-3,6-0. Martinez, who didn't think she would win on any surface but clay until she beat Martina Navratilova in the Wimbledon final last year, has been cruising this year. That's how she likes it. She is not like Graf, who enjoys being tested. Martinez likes to win quickly. Sabatini had squandered a 4-1 lead in the first set, pushing balls wide and long. Martinez almost had put her away in the second set. But Sabatini scrapped her game. The change of tactics had immediate results. Sabatini had two volley winners in the seventh game of the second set. In the eighth, Martinez had two match points, but Sabatini forced her into errors by making her hit passing shots. When Sabatini tied the set with another winning volley, Martinez slammed her racket to the ground. But that bounce seemed to kick Martinez into another gear. Her backhand passing shot, the crosscourt one-hander that had knocked Navratilova off the net last year, began hitting the sidelines and forcing Sabatini back to the baseline. "The only thing I can tell you right now is that I'm incredibly happy to be in the semifinals," Martinez said. "Sud- Please see Graf, Page C2 GOMZALEZ Gonzalez dies B Tennis great Pancho Gonzalez, who won the U.S. Championships In 1948 and '49, dies of cancer in Las Vegas. He was 67. Page C2 N3A labor hearing NBA players seeking to decertify their union have a hearing before the National Labor Relations Board today in New York. Page C2 Indians fall short Cleveland loses a one-run game at Jacobs Field for the first time this season as the Texas Rangers rally for a 7-6 victory. Page C3 Braves beat Dodgers Atlanta defeats Los Angeles 3-2 for its fourth consecutive victory and moves into a first-place tie with Philadelphia in the NL East. Pag C3 In the new C2 Ontnaair C2 Sid LinM C2 Baseball report....... C3 Eaattm Lragua C4 Local notebook C4 Racing, jai alai C4 Scoreboard C4

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