The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 17, 1995 · Page 15
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 15

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, May 17, 1995
Page 15
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The Salina Journal SPORTS COMMENT Chris Cobbs THE PHOENIX GAZETTE Remarks show idots are not just in Congress Until Ben Wright came along, it seemed like people in sports were falling way behind the taste-impaired nudniks in Congress in the race to see who could get off the dumbest line. ; Recently, the gang in Washington opened up a pretty good lead on the strength of thoughtless comments from Sen. Alfonse D'Amato and Reps. Dick Armey and Randy "Duke" Cunningham. ! When the Founding Fathers guaranteed free speech, they couldn't have anticipated the outbreak of late-20th Century meatheads who would infiltrate the legislative and athletic establishments. '/D'Amato imitated Judge Lance I{p with a mock "Ah-so" accent. Armey insulted Massachusetts Rtep. Barney Frank by calling him "Barney Fag." And Cunningham said backers of environmental legislation are "the same people that w6uld put homos in the military." J These were truly primitive and unmannerly remarks. Just the sort wi've come to expect from the Bieltway boors. '•Of course, it's really not fair to pick on Washington when we here in" Arizona can lay claim to Ev Mecham, who once referred to bjacks as "pickaninnies." j?6n the subject of a national holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jtf, he said: "What the blacks need is;; jobs. They don't need another holiday." It was this mind-set that helped create the image of a state trip racist to host the Super Bowl. ;:No doubt about it, the political crowd has a long and distinguished history of insensitivity. [But the sports gang has always b^en able to hold its own, and it ral- li^d nicely last week when Wright, a 'CBS golf commentator, allegedly made a slew of insulting comments, j "Lesbians in the sport hurt wom- eij's golf," Wright said in an interview published in a Wilmington, Del., newspaper. "When it gets to the corporate level, that's not going to; fly. They're going to a butch game and that furthers the bad image of the game." Taking another step toward closing the gap on the unthinking Washingtonians, Wright further insulted the gentle sex: ?Women are handicapped by having boobs. It's not easy for them to keep their left arm straight, and that's one of the tenets of the game. Their boobs get in the way." There are probably a lot of male- type people who silently agree with some of what Wright did or did not say. But the vast majority have the good sense to keep their thoughts to themselves. Common sense outweighs free speech, even among Neanderthals. Wright denied making the comments and apologized, saying the remarks were "extremely distasteful." Sorry, Ben, but I'm afraid that denial won't be enough to keep you from forever being linked with Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder, Al Campanis and Marge Schott. "The Greek" lost his job at CBS after saying blacks have succeeded in football because of selective breeding by slave owners a century ago. Campanis was fired by the Dodgers after saying blacks "lack the necessities" to be big-league managers and general managers. Schott was disciplined by her fellow baseball team owners for using words like "Jap" and "money-grubbing Jews." All of these people are guilty of ignoring the century-old advice of Mark Twain: "Get your facts first, then you can distort them as much as you please." The women of the pro golf tour were not real happy about Wright's distortions. Nancy Lopez took exception to Wright's comments on breasts, saying: "How does he know? He doesn't have any." Donna Lopiano, the high priestess of women's sports, was even more incensed. "Unfortunately," she said, "there are still some men who have trouble accepting strong, competitive and aggressive women. They have no qualms about lashing out and using the weapons of name- calling and stereotyping to devalue the worth of women athletes." She's right, as far as she goes. But name-calling isn't confined to women athletes, and it won't go away when the Wright controversy simmers down. To keep all this in some kind of perspective, it's useful to recall the further words of Twain: "In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards." If Twain were still around, he would be quick to add lawmakers, sports honchos and TV announcers to his list of idiots. NBA PLAYOFFS Young guns topple Bulls Orlando takes 3-2 series lead The Associated Press ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Magic were supposed to be too inexperienced to stay with the Chicago Bulls. Shaquille O'Neal and Anfernee Hardaway blasted that theory to pieces Tuesday night, bouncing back from a dreadful first half to beat the Bulls 103-95 and take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference semifinals. In just its sixth season overall and second time in the playoffs, Orlando can advance to the conference finals with a win Thursday in Chicago. O'Neal scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half and had 22 rebounds and five blocks to lead the Magic's dominating second half. Horace Grant, the most tested Magic player in the postseason, had 24 points and 11 rebounds, Dennis Scott scored 22 points and Hardaway 19. "It was a whole effort," Grant said. "It's what we need to win a championship. " Michael Jordan's 39 points and 9-for-15 second-half shooting weren't enough to resuscitate the Bulls, who looked tired by the start of the fourth quarter. B.J. Armstrong added 18 points. The same team that seemingly couldn't hit anything in the first half came to life after halftime, beating the Bulls to loose balls and controlling the boards. Leading 78-70 at the end of the third quarter, Orlando stretched the lead to 11 early in the final period. Jordan scored six straight points to cut it to 89-83 with 4:56 to play, but Chicago hit a scoreless stretch after his layup with 3:25 remaining. Hardaway's jam over Bulls center Bill Wennington gave Orlando a 95-85 lead at the 3:02 mark and took the last bit of wind out of the Bulls. Chicago called timeout, and Hardaway bounced back to the Magic bench pumping his fist in celebration. If they were dispirited by their rocky first half, the Magic didn't show it, making 12 of their first 15 shots of the third quarter. O'Neal, held to eight in the first half, had nine in the period as Orlando outscored Chicago 21-10 to lead 64-60 with 6:59 remaining in the quarter. Dominating the boards, the Magic hit 14 of 20 field goals for 70 percent, while the Bulls missed 14 of 22 shots for 36 percent. "We played very aggressive," Grant said of the Magic's big The Associated Press Chicago's Michael Jordan dunks as Orlando's Horace Grant (54) and Nick Anderson look on. third quarter. "We forced them to turn it over." It was a big turnaround from the first half, when the Magic missed layups, putbacks and open jumpers. O'Neal even botched a dunk, bouncing the ball off the rim and sending it bounding past midcourt. Orlando misfired on its first nine shots of the game, then started the second quarter 2-for- 15. O'Neal and Nick Anderson struggled the most, with O'Neal hitting only two of 12 field goal attempts and Anderson going 0- for-6. • LAKERS 98, SPURS 96, OT — At San Antonio, the San Antonio Spurs had the Western Conference finals in sight until Nick Van Exel got in the way. Van Exel took a pass from Vlade Divac after a scramble for a loose ball and hit a 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left Tuesday night, giving the Los Angeles Lakers a 98-96 victory in Game 5 of the Western semifinals. The Spurs, who would have advanced to the finals with a win, still lead the best-of-7 series 3-2. Game 6 will be Thursday night at the Forum. Van Exel also hit a 3-pointer at the end of regulation to tie the score 88-88 after Los Angeles went more than nine minutes without a field goal. The two 3-pointers were his only ones of the game after he missed his first five. Wednesday, May 17,1995 B3 Royals get past Mariners Game shortened to five innings By The Associated Press > KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On a wet < night, Chris Haney pitched a four-^ hitter. It was only five innings, i but that was all it took to get his! first complete game in two sea-; sons. "I was just trying to spot the ', fastball. I was trying to nibble; here and there," Haney said; Tuesday after leading the Kansas i City Royals to a 4-2 victory over | the Seattle Mariners. i Haney struck out three and \ walked two in his first complete ' game since Aug. 22, 1993, and his | first victory since last July 18. The game was called after a Mariners Royals wait of 1 hour, 38 minutes in the i bottom of the fifth. ; "Chris Haney is maturing as a '• pitcher," Kansas City manager Bob Boone said. "He has a plan now and he is staying with it. It is . giving him confidence and me confidence in him. He's really battling and getting over the • hump." Pat Borders and Joe Randa homered as Kansas City sent. Seattle to its seventh loss in 10 . games. Dave Fleming (1-3), who also pitched a complete game, gave up seven hits in 4 2-3 innings. "My job is to give this team the best chance to win I can. I will do what I have to do with Fleming," Mariners manager Lou Piniella said. Seattle took a 2-0 lead in the second when Jay Buhner singled, Edgar Martinez walked and Mike Blowers hit a two-run double. Kansas City scored three runs in the bottom half. Gary Gaetti walked, Borders hit his second home run and Randa hit his first career home run. The Royals got another run in the third on Vince Coleman's triple and Greg Gagne's sacrifice fly. Coleman barely beat the throw from right fielder Jay Buhner. • BRAVES 15, ROCKIES 3 — At Atlanta, David Justice assured manager Bobby Cox before the' game he was ready to play and' went out and proved it. Justice drove in four runs with four hits, including a two-run homer, as the Atlanta Braves had 20 hits in continuing their mastery of the Colorado Rockies with a vie-- tory. The four hits matched a career- high for Justice for the sixth time. the last on Sept. 12, 1993, at San Diego. Fred McGriff also had foui hits, with three RBIs. It was only the fourth victory ir the last 12 games for the Braves. Michigan selects Canas interim By The Associated Press ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Saying he did not want to be rushed into such an important decision, Michigan athletic director Joe Roberson will temporarily stick with Lloyd Carr as football coach of the Wolverines. Carr, appointed interim coach a week ago after Gary Moeller resigned in the wake of a drunken confrontation with police, will serve at least through the 1995 season. "I'm trying to reduce the pressure on me," Roberson said at a news conference Tuesday. "Putting pressure on to rush the situation seemed totally irresponsible." Roberson said the move will not Carr only allow him to search at a more leisurely pace but will give his team greater stability. Carr, 49, will be starting his 16th season at Michigan. He was close to Moeller and upset his friend was forced to resign. At that time, he assailed the media. On Tuesday, he apologized. "I have been criticized over some comments I made last week and I don't say those criticisms were unjust," Carr said. "I'm an emotional guy." Roberson had originally planned to hire a new coach before the start of the season, which opens Aug. 26 when the Wolverines play host to Virginia in the Pigskin Classic. Rain puts damper on 5A baseball By The Journal Staff Rain and wet grounds forced the postponement of Tuesday's Class 5A baseball regional at Dean Evans Stadium. Play will resume Thursday at 3 p.m. at Evans Stadium with the completion of Tuesday's regional opener matching Salina South and Highland Park. The semifinal will be completed at the point of suspension with South coming to bat in the top of the fifth inning and trailing the third-seeded Scots 2-1. The Salina Central-Seaman semifinal will follow with the semifinal winners squaring off later Thursday evening for the championship. The regional champion will ad- vance to the Class 5A state tournament set for May 26 and 27 at El Dorado. "We know exactly what we've got to do when we come back out," said South coach Tim Puvogel. After a scoreless first inning, Javier Barajas staked Highland Park (4-9) to a 2-0 lead in the second with a two-run single over the bag at third. "Game of inches played into effect again," Puvogel said. "That ball down the third-base line was a matter of inches and lets in two runs." South (12-6) got a run back in the Puvogel third against Highland Park ace Ryan Florence. Chad Holmes tripled in the left- center field gap to lead off the inning and scored on Wade Porter's safety squeeze. The Cougars got their lead-off hitter aboard again in the fourth when Chad Cutbirth singled to left. Cutbirth advanced to third after swiping second and drawing an errant throw by catcher Mike Florence, but South failed to convert. Ryan Florence, who entered the game with a 2-2 record and 1.8 ERA, escaped after wrapping a strikeout and a ground ball forceout around a two-out walk to Zach Mills "Their pitcher was doing a nice . job and we really didn't get into anj. offensive flow," said Puvogel, whose, team is seeking its fourth statt . tournament appearance in the pro gram's fifth year. South starter Scott Wallace als( pitched well, scattering just foui ,. singles before the rains came after four complete innings and washed. out play for the remainder of the, day. "At this point we just want to play ^ ball," said Highland Park coach. Steve Johnson, whose team played just 13 regular-season games due to this spring's persistent inclement' weather. Penske team still not fast enough Wet Indy track causes problems By The Associated Press INDIANAPOLIS — Two of the biggest names in racing, Al Unser Jr. and Emerson Fittipaldi, were at it again Tuesday, trying to find enough speed to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. A wet track didn't help. The two, driving for the usually pace-setting Team Penske, were hampered somewhat by rain that kept the 2'/2-mile oval closed until mid-afternoon. On Monday, wily team owner Roger Penske brought out a year- old Penske chassis for Fittipaldi to compare to the 1995 Penske-Mercedes cars that he and Unser have been trying to get up to speed without success. On Tuesday, Penske's team wheeled out a 1994 Reynard chassis fitted with a new Mercedes engine for Unser to test. The car, which had been Roberto Guerrero's backup, was purchased from Pagan Racing. Before getting into the Reynard, Unser said, "What we're going to try to do is just drive it, feel it, try to figure out what the difference is from a feel point between the Penske and the Reynard. "All I need is one day in the Reynard and we'll be right there. I just need a few laps to feel it and we'll know right away if it's got more downforce, if it goes through the corner better. Whatever it is that the Penske doesn't have at this point, we'll be able to feel right away. "I've been in a Penske for the last two years. This will give me the opportunity to feel a different car," the defending pole-winner and race champion added. "That's exactly what Emerson was doing yesterday with my '94 car, trying to get a feel for what's missing so far in the '95." Unser said he knows Penske will do whatever it takes to get in the race, even if it means using Reynards or Lolas in the weekend qualifying sessions instead of his team- built cars. "Looking at it, the Penske, the attention to detail in this car is immaculate," Unser said. "I want to go into this year's Indy 500 in a Penske, if at all possible. It's a safer race car. It fits me. Now, I'm adapting myself to fit the Reynard at this point." The Penske crew was still not smiling at the end of the practice session after Unser ran 44 laps with a top speed of 218.050 mph and Fittipaldi did 70 laps in his own race car and had a fast one of 221.141. Practice will continue each day through Friday, with qualifications resuming Saturday. The Associated Press Bryan Herta is prepared to be placed in an ambulance by emer-. gency workers Tuesday. Herta> was slightly injured in a crash;! crash during Indy 500 qualifying.'

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