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Astros turning heads Page 20 It's a tough life Page 20 Witt ready to go Page 20 The Indiana Gazette Who stands where Page 21 Strike on horizon? Page 22 Major league boxes Page 22 Thursday, June 13, 1985 — Page 19 Tanner's debut successful as Chisox down Mariners By The Associated Press Although he didn't hit a home run, Bruce Tanner's debut in the major leagues was somewhat like his father's. "I was real nervous before the game, but I was surprised at how calm I felt out there," the son of Pittsburgh manager Chuck Tanner said after making a successful start Wednesday night in the Chicago White Sox' 6-3 victory over the Seat- -tle Mariners. When Chuck Tanner made his first major league appearance as a player for the Milwaukee Braves on April 12, 1955, he hit a home run in his first at-bat. His 23-year-old son also was effective in winning his first major league game in his first start, allowing but seven hits in 6% innings. Bruce Tanner was Chicago's fourth selection in the June 1983 free-agent draft. After a 12-4 season at Class A Appleton in 1984, he was promoted to Class-AAA Buffalo this season. The White Sox called him up earlier this week. In other American League games, it was Kansas City 3, Oakland 2 in 14 innings: Detroit 6,.Baltimore2; Boston 7, Milwaukee 2: Toronto 3, New York 2; and California 3, Texas 2. Rain washed out the Minnesota- Cleveland game for the second straight night. Tanner was charged with two of the Mariners' runs, while striking out three and walking two during his stint. He became the first White Sox pitcher to win his first major league start since Ross Baumgarten did it in 1978. Tanner replaced Richard Dotson in the starting rotation after Dotson went on the disabled list. Royals 3, A's 2 Pat Sheridan tripled with one out in the 14th inning, his third hit of the game, and scored on a pinch-hit single by Jim Sundberg, lifting Kansas City over Oakland. The Royals, after going scoreless for 10 innings, broke through in the 14th against reliever Steve McCatty, 2-3. The victory went to Mike Jones, 1-2, Kansas City's fourth pitcher of the game. Sundberg's game-winning hit, following a walk to Greg Pryor, broke a tie that existed since the Oakland seventh when Dwayne Murphy's leadoff homer made it 2-2. Tigers 6, Orioles 2 Dan Petry hurled a three-hitter for his American League-leading ninth victory and John Grubb's two- run single capped a three-run first inning as Detroit beat Baltimore for the Tigers' fourth straight victory. Petry, 9-4, struck out four and walked two, retiring 24 of the last 25 batters and the final 19. Leading 3-2, Petry got his final cushion in the eighth when Lou Whitaker hit a three-run homer, his eighth of the season. The Tigers scored all the runs they needed with three off Mike Boddicker, 6-6, in the first, capping the rally with Grubb's two-run single. The Orioles, losing for the fifth straight time, played the game amidst rumors of the imminent firing of Manager Joe Altobelli. Red Sox 7, Brewers 2 Glenn Hoffman drove in two runs in a four-run second inning, sparking Boston and Al Nipper over Milwaukee. Nipper, 3-5, allowed 10 hits, walked two and struck out five, struggling to complete his first game of the season. The Red Sox handed Milwaukee starter Moose Haas, 5-3, his first defeat since April 20 with their ninth victory in the last 10 games. Boston nailed down the decision while shelling Haas in the second inning. "This is my best game so far," Nipper said. "They got a lot of hits, but I was pretty much in command." Blue Jays 3, Yankees 2 Pinch-hitter Ranee Mulliniks led off the 10th inning with a home run, powering Toronto over New York. Mulliniks' homer, his third of the season, came off reliever Rich Bordi, 1-1, the fourth Yankee pitcher. The blow marked the second straight extra-inning victory for the Blue Jays over the Yankees and made a winner of reliever Jim Acker, 3-0, the third Toronto pitcher. The Yankees were leading 2-1 in the ninth with relief ace Dave Righetti on the mound but Toronto staged a two-out rally to tie the game on Willie Upshaw's RBI double. Acker's win gave the Toronto bullpen a record of 17-4. Angels 3, Rangers 2 Rod Carew, making his second start since coming off the disabled list, drove in two runs with his first hit since May 19 as California defeated Texas." Mike Witt, 4-6, who pitched a perfect game against Texas last year, lasted 7% innings and allowed six hits, struck out eight and walked three. A's catcher Mike Heath lost his mask, but he held on to the ball after colliding with and tagging out Kansas City's Greg Pryor in the 14th inning Wedensday at Oakland. The run that won it, however, came in ahead of Pryor and the Royals claimed a 3-2 victory. (AP Laserphoto) Is The Earl due back in a Baltimore uniform? BALTIMORE (AP) — Amid reports that he would be replaced, Joe Altobelli may have signed his last lineup card as manager of the Baltimore Orioles — just a year and a half after leading the team to the World Championship. The Orioles were set to end 48 hours of speculation by firing Altobelli and naming former Orioles manager Earl Weaver as the eighth manager in the team's history, according to today's Baltimore Sun. Orioles owner Edward Bennett Williams and General Manager Hank Peters were to meet with Weaver this morning in Baltimore to iron out details of a multi-year contract, the Sun said. As of late Wednesday night, no deal had been signed and there was still the outside possibility the job could go to Orioles coach Cal Ripken Sr., according to the Sun. The newspaper, quoting unidentified sources close' to the team, said that Williams and Peters were split between naming Weaver or Ripken as Altobelli's replacement. Altobelli, in Detroit Wednesday night for Baltimore's game against the Tigers, said he had not received any word that he would be fired. "I don't know if I've been fired," he said before the game, which the Orioles lost 6-2. "I'm in uniform, ain't I? What the bleep am I doing working out? If I'd found out something else. I'd have packed my bag and been on a plane." He said he had talked with Peters Wednesday and Peters told him, "You're the manager, hang tough," the Sun said. Earlier Wednesday, WBAL radio in Baltimore said that "high-placed sources." who were not identified, had confirmed that Altobelli would be removed as manager. Other sources, who also requested anonymity, told the Associated Press that Williams met with Weaver, who retired in 1982, at Williams' offices in Washington on Wednesday. There was no answer at Weaver's Florida residence. Weaver told friends Wednesday that he'd be interested in managing the Orioles only if both Williams and Peters want him, the Sun said. The Sun reported that unidentified sources said that Williams wants Weaver, while Peters favors Ripken, who has spent all 29 years of his baseball career with the Orioles. Both men could live with either choice. Telephone calls to Williams, a prominent Washington lawyer who earlier this week said he was planning some changes on the club, were not returned. In an interview published in Tuesday's Washington .Post, Williams said: "I'm not going to sit idly by and let things go on like this. We'll see what changes, if any, we can make." It was known that Williams met Tuesday with Peters to discuss possible changes- Williams wanted to fire AltobelU several times over the past year but Peters talked him out of it each time. However, Peters didn't try this time, in light of the Orioles' poor showing this year, the Sun said. The Orioles' latest loss extended their losing streak to five. The team returns to Baltimore Thursday to begin a seven-game home- stand. Baltimore remained in third place in the American League East after Wednesday's loss, eight games behind the Toronto Blue Jays, and had lost 16 of the last 27 contests after jumping in front of the division at the outset of the season with an 18-9 mark. World Series champions in 1983, the Orioles slumped to fifth in the AL East last season, 19 games behind the division-winning Tigers. During the off-season, the Orioles, noted for producing championship talent through their farm system, delved heavily into the free- agent market, spending a total of §11.4 million on outfielders Fred Lynn and Lee Lacy and pitcher Don Aase. Lacy injured his thumb in spring training and only recently returned to the club, hitting .268 in 27 games with 10 RBIs and three home runs. Lynn and Aase have played all season and done fairly well. Lynn was batting .267 with eight homers and 28 RBIs, while Aase, a relief specialist, was 4-2 with one save in 17 appearances. But the Orioles' pitching staff, the mainstay of its championship years in the 1970s and '80s, has been rocked by injuries. Starter Mike Flanagan has missed the entire season so far with a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in a winter basketball game, and another starter. Scott McGregor, was ineffective until a recent streak. Wet weather has taken a bite out of 'The Monster' Tom Watson, left, and his caddie, Bruce Edwards, joke with Lee Trevino, right, while warming up on the putting green at Oakland Hills in Birmingham, Mich., site of the 85th U.S. Open. (AP Laserphoto) BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (AP) — The forecast called for showers early today — great weather for golfers in the opening round of the U.S. Open. The rain figured to take some of the bite out of "The Monster," the Oakland Hills Country Club, by putting some bite into the greens, slowing what the U.S. Golf Association had hoped would be Teflon-slick surfaces. "I haven't seen too many courses where the greens are as difficult as they are here," said Seve Ballesteros of Spain, one of the leading contenders for the $103,000 top prize in this $650,000 tournament. Rain, which also drenched the course earlier this week, figured to help Ballesteros and Masters champion Bernhard Langer of West Germany, the other prominent European in the field. "The weather is bad, but it's not as bad as we playjn in Europe. It's much, much worse* there," said Ballesteros, a two-time Masters champion (1980, 1983) who won the USF&G Classic at New Orleans in March and then finished second to Langer in the Masters a month later at Augusta, Ga. "I think this course suits my game," said Langer, who also won the Sea Pines Heritage Classic at Hilton Head Island, S.C., the week after the Masters. "I think it suits anybody who hits the ball straight off the tee and hits good long irons to medium irons. "I haven't taken my wedge or eight- or nine-iron out very often. It's mainly a lot of drivers and three-woods off the tee ... and three- or four-irons to the green," Langer said. Fuzzy Zoeller, the defending champion, called the greens "very severe. The undulations are awesome, the worst I've ever seen. Hubert Green probably summed it up best. He said you could hit 13 of your best iron shots and you might make two birdies out of it." There are 156 golfers — eight of them amateurs — competing on the 6,996-yard, par-70 Oakland Hills course labeled "The Monster" by Ben Hogan when he won the 1951 U.S. Open. The low 60 scorers, and those tying for 60th, will make the 36-hole cut for the final two rounds, both to be televised by ABC. If two or more players are tied after Sunday's fourth round, an 18-hole playoff will be staged Monday. Zoeller, who won an 18-hole playoff a year ago at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, N.Y., is one of 12 U.S. Open champions entered. Among them is 1983 champ Larry Nelson, 1982 winner Tom Watson and 1981 champion David Graham, who also won the 197% PGA Championship at Gretzky claims sixth consecutive M VP honor TORONTO (AP) — Wayne Gretzky, the Edmonton Oilers' scoring machine, was named the National Hockey League's most valuable player for an unprecedented sixth consecutive time at the league's awards banquet Wednesday night. Gretzky, 24, has won the Hart Trophy as league MVP in all six of his years in the NHL. He also has captured the scoring title the last •five seasons and tied with Marcel Dionne for 'hiost points in 1979-80, his and the Oilers' debut year in the NHL. He also tied Gordie Howe, his boyhood idol, for most Hart trophies. Gretzky capped the second biggest offensive campaign of his career by leading the Oilers to their second consecutive Stanley Cup. He led the NHL with 73 goals and 135 assists for 208 points, second only to his 212 points in 198182. "I felt more overjoyed than ever to win this award," he said. "I'm overjoyed to tie Gordie with six of these ... to be tied along with one of the greatest who ever played ... they can never take it away." Another center, Dale Hawerchuk of the Winnipeg Jets, finished second in the voting by 63 members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. Also receiving awards at the gala presenta- " tion — which was televised nationally in Canada and patterned after the Academy Awards — were Edmonton's Paul Coffey and Jari Kurri. Coffey, the game's best attacking defense- man, won Ms first Norris Trophy as the top player at his position. Coffey accumulated 37 goals and 121 points to finish fifth in league scoring and easily outdistanced Boston's Ray Bourque in the voting. "It's a great feeling," said Coffey. "I thought this year for consistency was my best. Every year you learn things, little things and experience makes it easier to handle the things throw at you. "You want to show not only your teammates but all of the league how good you are." Kurri, Gretzky's linemate on right wing, won the Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly play. The sharpshooter from Finland was second to Gretzky with 71 goals and 135 points and had only 30 penalty minutes. His closest competition for the award was St. Louis right wing' Joey Mullen (only six penalty minutes). Philadelphia's Pelle Lindbergh, the win- ningest goaltender in the NHL with a 40-17-7 record, captured the Vezina Trophy as most valuable netminder. Lindbergh beat out last year's winner, Buffalo's Tom Barrasso, in voting by NHL general managers. The Flyers' Mike Keenan took the Adams Trophy as Coach of the Year. In his first season of NHL duty, Keenan led the Flyers to the best regular season record in the league, then into the Stanley Cup finals. "This is a very nice honor to accomplish in one's coaching career," said Keenan. "I want to thank (Flyers General Manager) Bob Clarke for having the courage to give me a chance to coach in the NHL." Winnipeg's Barry Long was the runner-up in balloting by the NHL Broadcasters Association. ' Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux, who had 43 goals and 100 points — making him only the third rookie in NHL history to score 100 points — won the Calder Trophy as top freshman. The Selke Trophy for best defensive forward went to Craig Ramsay of Buffalo, who beat out last year's winner, Doug Jarvis of Washington.. Oakland Hills. The multiple U.S. Open winners here are four-time champion Jack Nicklaus and two-timers Hale Irwin and Lee Trevino, the latter coming off a triumph last Sunday in Britain's Dunhill Masters. Nicklaus hasn't won a tournament since taking the Memorial on his own Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, nearly 13 months ago. He is 45th in PGA winnings this year with $86,419. But this is a major and Nicklaus is, well, Nicklaus. And nobody has won more major professional tournaments than Nicklaus' 17. "It's quite obvious I haven't been playing very well for the last couple of months, "but I've worked pretty hard at my game lately and hopefully I'll start to see some improvement," Nicklaus said. Zoeller, still recovering from major back surgery last fall, can become the first champion to successfully' defend his U.S. Open crown since Hogan did it here, the year after winning in 1950 at Merion. He said it "hurts to walk. Not so much to swing the golf club, but walking is very tough on me. Most of the pressure is in the hip area whereas before it was in my lower back and the muscles were very tight. Now I have these real sharp pains that are hitting me in the hip. To turn and twist doesn't hurt but the walking, going up the hills, that's what tears you up. "I'm not feeling 100 percent, but I'm not feeling bad at all," Zoeller said. "I believe I can go out and be very competitive. If I'm walking on that first tee tomorrow, I've got a chance." Back problems knocked Calvin Peete, the Phoenix Open and TPC winner, out of this tournament. With his departure, a berth was awarded to Buddy Gardner of Birmingham, Ala. He had planned to help his wife move into their new home this weekend before the call came from the U.S. Open. "I'm in Birmingham," Gardner said. "I'm just in the wrong state." Other top contenders here are Curtis Strange, the leading money winner on the tour this year with $423,993; Lanny Wadkins, a distant second at $308,036, and "Mark O'Meara. Each is a two-time winner this year.