Clarion-Ledger from Jackson, Mississippi on June 13, 1991 · Page 31
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Clarion-Ledger from Jackson, Mississippi · Page 31

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Jackson, Mississippi
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Thursday, June 13, 1991
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Page 31
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HIGH SCHOOLS 3 GOLFTENNIS 4 BASEBALL 5 THE CLARION-LEDGER JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 1991 ltv RICK CLEVELAND Executive Sports Editor The Clarion-Ledger This ordinary Joe Whipps Generals' infield into shape . - Most Valuable Player of the Jackson Generals? Nearly halfway through the season, it's an easy call. - You're probably thinking about outfielder Joe Mikulik, who has knocked in nearly twice the runs of any other. A good choice any other year. ; Or, if you're more pitching-minded, you might opt for big Jeff Juden, whose climb to the Big Leagues is expected to be short and sweet. You could make a case for either, but I'd make mine for someone else. Meet Joe Whipps, who has the most muscular arms and hands in the Generals' organization, and has definitely needed all that power. Whipps, 59, toils as the stadium manager and groundskeeper at Smith-Wills. "Toils" is the right verb, believe me. Whipps' is an important job in any season. In this, a monsoon season of near-record proportions, his job has been critical. Jackson is setting records for rain; Whipps is setting records for sweat. Consider The Generals have had 28 home playing dates. On 22 of those days, it has rained at Smith-Wills. That's better than 75 percent. Local weathermen should take note: The Generals' pocket schedule could make your job a lot easier. Last season, the Jackson club had three rain-outs. Not halfway through '91, there have been eight. Were it not for Whipps and his tireless efforts, there could have been many more. Whipps has helped roll the tarp on and off the the Smith-Wills diamond so many times this season, he's long since lost count. The Generals have applied more Diamond Dry (a substance that helps soak water out of the infield dirt) in '91 than the last four seasons combined. "No matter when you come out here, Joe's working," said Con Maloney, the Generals' owner. "Our field shows it." ; iThe usually feuding Generals and Shreve-port Captains do agree on one issue. That is, the Generals' infield playing surface is the best in the Texas League. ; Joe Whipps smiles when he hears such praise. Thank God For Fernando The monsoon season has affected the Generals any number of ways. Attendance is up about 250 per game, yet the Generals are running nearly 6,000 total below this time last year. That translates into dollars, thousands and thousands. You've heard of T.G.I.F (Thank God it's Friday)? The Mets have a new version: T.G.F.F. (Thank God for Fernando). If not for Fernando Valenzuela's appearance and the 6,252 who came to watch the Mets' gate woes would be much worse. "Frankly, the Fernando game has been our one saving grace," Generals general manager Bill Blackwell said. On-the-field performance has been affected as well. It's hard to get into a groove when you're almost constantly interrupted by rain. "It's not just the games, either," manager Rick Sweet said. "We can't get the batting practice we need or the fundamentals work, either. We're supposed to be developing players at this level, but it's hard to develop the players when you can't practice." You can hardly blame Sweet if he feels a dark cloud is following his club around. The Generals have had rain problems on the road as well. "Heck, we're in El Paso and they've had a major drought," Sweet said. "I mean it hasn't rained there in weeks. Then we get there and it rains and hails and everything else. The people in El Paso are cheering, but for us it just means one more day without batting practice." Early bird catches the raindrops Joe Whipps is an early riser. Every day, first thing, he looks out the window and checks the skies. Wednesday morning, Whipps peered out and saw no moisture. "Good, I can have a second cup of coffee," he thought. Moments later, he checked again. Cars were goingby with both lights and windshield wipers on. Whipps put his coffee down and headed for the door. It would be another long day at the office. y w -if - r ' - - ?- .V ' am. .- f f Tf t t v I' I 'jH, i. , .0 Windy City team breaks through for first NBA title. Chicago beats Los Angeles 108-101. From Wlr Sarvlc Report The Associated Press Chicago's Scottie Pippin (right) passes over the determined defense of Los Angeles' A.C. Green in the first quarter. INGLEWOOD, Calif. The Chicago Bulls closed the Michael & Magic Show after just five episodes Wednesday night, winning the first NBA championship in the team's 25-year history with a 108-101 victory. Most Valuable Player Michael Jordan scored 30 points, and his supporting cast, led by Scottie Pippen and John Paxson, held its own against Magic Johnson and an unsung group of Lakers. Although Los Angeles played its best game of the series offensively, they still set a record for fewest points in a five-game Finals with an average of 91.6. Jordan, who averaged 29.8 as Chicago won the series 4-1, is the first regular-season scoring leader since Kar-eem Abdul -Jabbar of Milwaukee in 1971 to play on the championship team. Rookie reserve center Elden Campbell scored 10 of his 13 first-half points in the second quarter as Chicago led 49-48 at haiaime. Neither team led by more than five points in the first half despite the absence of injured Los Angeles starters) James Worthy and Byron Scott, who were replaced by forward A.C. Green and guard Terry Teagle. Jordan scored 12 points and Pippen 1 1 in the first half for the Bulls. i Magic Johnson had 10 first-half assists for the Lak ers. After Craig Hodges' 3-pointer gave Chicago a 30-23 lead early in the second period, the Lakers, with Camp bell hitting five baskets and backup guard Tony Smith three, took five one-point leads in the quarter. j A field goal by Teagle and Green's free throw were the first three points of the game, and two rebound baskets', a dunk and a baseline jumper by Vlade Divac in a sparj of 4:25 helped the Lakers take a 16-1 1 lead. i Chicago's next three baskets came after offensive re bounds, two by Horace Grant and a tip-in by Bill Cart? wright, closing the gap to 18-17. , A three-point play by Campbell gave Los Angeles 4 23-19 edge before the Bulls scored eight consecutive points to take the lead for the first time. Chicago settled for a 27-25 edge at the end of the period. Worthy, who originally sprained his left ankle in the fifth game of the Western Conference finals against Portland, reaggravated the injury on Sunday, missing the entire fourth quarter. Scott, a major disappointment in the series, bruised his right shoulder in a fall Sunday. He scored only 18 points in the first four games, making five of 18 shots. ' Worthy averaged 19.3 points in four games, but his sore ankle limited his speed and defensive quickness, and he grabbed just 12 rebounds in 164 minutes. , In Chicago, the Second City had geared up to be first in something for a change. Police called extras out to patrol the streets, vendors prepared for a souvenir-selling frenzy and sports fans streamed into bars hours before game time. "We're taking everything that's not nailed down and putting it in a safe place," said Rich Kewitz, owner of Gamekeepers Bar and Grill. "Anything that can move, we're taking it and locking it up." ' Kewitz said he had received calls from as far afield as Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio about the possibility of reserving tables at his bar for Wednesday night's game. He turned them all down. For the victory-starved city, the Bulls' win brought the first championship in any professional sport since the Bears won the Super Bowl in 1986. The Blackhawks of the National Hockey League last won the Stanley Cup in 1961. And for the city's two baseball teams, the drought has been even longer. The White Sox last won the World Series in 1917, and the Cubs took their last nine years earlier. Experience trumps youth in MWGA Amateur Madison's Mira Home beats Ole Miss' Niki Tutor 2-up in the opening round of match play. By Rusty Hampton Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer The younger players are favored in the MWGA State Amateur, but at least one collegian won't play for the championship Saturday at Brookwood Country Club. Mira Home of Madison saw to that during Wednesday's opening round of match play in the 58th annual tournament. Home, 47, defeated Ole Miss junior Niki Tutor of Tupelo 2-up in the championship flight. "The younger players have a definite advantage on the par-5s, but it evens up around the greens," said Home, who plays out of Colonial Country Club's Deerfield Today's matches 10 a.m. Lou Hart vs. Rowena Vance; 10:05 Pam Posey vs. Louise Davis; 10: 10 Mara Whitfield vs. Gail Taylor; 10:15 Christi Sanders vs. Mira Home; 10:20 Kristi Coats vs. Sue Knipp; '10:25 Samanatha Mayo vs. Carrie Coco; 10:30 Re-nee Spencer vs. Helen Stodghill; 10:35 Carla Pierce vs. Jean Mur-pny- , Course. Home won holes No. 1, 3, 9 and 10. Tutor, 19, won Nos. 4, 7 and 12. They halved 13-17, then Home won 18 with a par to close out the match. Home, who plays to an 8 handicap, didn't make any birdies, but made just four bogeys for a round of 4-over par 77. That's nine shots better than her qualifying score. Home said part of the reason for her high score Tuesday was that she knew she didn't need to shoot a really low number to make the 32-player championship flight. She was right. Two players who shot 15-over-par 88s Joan Bowen and Alene Lingle made the championship flight and were quickly ousted Wednesday. Lingle lost 9 and 8 to former Mississippi State player Renee Spencer, while Mississippi State coach Christi Sanders eliminated Bowen 7 and 5. There were some other similarly lopsided scores in the championship flight. Defending champion Lou Hart beat Mary Winkley, who qualified with an 89, 6 and 4. Mississippi State's Mara Whitfield beat Beth Tucker 8 and 7, and medalist Kristi Coats of LSU beat Jan Lacy 5 and 4 in a match between Hattiesburg residents. Some of the players say the difference between the high and low qualifying scores dictates a 16-woman championship flight. Helen Stodghill of Jackson, who qualified 14th with an 81 and won her first-round match, called the current format "ridiculous." "I'm not going to play anymore unless they change it," Stodghill said. "A lot of us just feel like fill-ins for the top players to beat. I know a lot of players who don't play anymore because of that." ', MWGA president Nell Bradford of Jackson, who lost 1-up Wednesday to GaiJ Taylor of Hattiesburg, expects a change for next year's tournament. "It's obvious we'd be better off with 'a (championship) field of 16," Bradford said,' TH2 hot conn:-n Milwaukee roughed up Fernando Valenzuela for five runs in two innings as the Brewers beat the California Angels 8-0 on Wednesday at Anaheim Stadium. Signed by California May 20 after being released by the Los Angeles Dodgers in March, Valenzuela, 0-2, lasted just 1 innings against the Brewers, allowing five runs on five hits, three walks and no stikeouts. 5C Forty-one Mississippi teams will compete for state titles beginning Friday in the USTA League Tennis-Senior Division District Championships at Gulfport. 6C BY THE NUMBERS ' M V1-J-MM i Major Leagues Cubs 6 Giants 1 Expos 10 Reds 9 Braves 6 Mets 1 Astros-Phillies n Cardinals-Padres n Blue Jays 1 Indians 0 Twins 6 Yankees 3 Royals 9 Orioles 8 Rangers 4 White Sox 2 Brewers 8 Angels 0 Mariners 5 Red Sox 3 Athletics 3 Tigers 1 Pirates 2 Dodgers 1 Texas League El Paso-Midland n San Antonio-Wichita n Shreveport- Jackson n Tulsa-Arkansas n cm Hogan Money Leaders I.Tom Lehman $81,382 2. P.H. Horgan III $50,101 3. LonHinkle $41,379 4. Olin Browne $41,071 5. Stephen Ames $40,484 6. Jerry Foltz $35,867 7. Jeff Gallagher $33,056 BEST BET The semifinals of the Mississippi Pepsi Junior Qualifying Closed Tennis Tournament are scheduled to be played today at Parham Bridges Tennis Center. The semifinals are scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Consolation matches are also being played today and Friday to determine who qualifies for the Southern tournaments June 23-29. The top nine finishers in each division (12s, 14s, 16s and 18s) qualify for the Southern tournaments (12s at Columbia, S.C., 14s at Macon, Ga., 16s at College Park, Ga., and 18s at Mobile, Ala.). The Qualifying Tournament is the largest junior tennis event in the state. TV TODAY The tension, the high rough, the anxiety that is the U.S. Open golf tournament begins today. ESPN will have coverage beginning at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Can Seve win his first? Can Curtis Strange win his third in four years? Can Jack come back? p3 In baseball: San Francisco-Chicago, 1:20 p.m., WGN; Atlanta-New York, 6:35 p.m., TBS: Chicago-Texas, 7:30 p.m., WGN. , r. j-

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