The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 3, 1996 · Page 17
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 17

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Thursday, October 3, 1996
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THURSDAY odtotefta, 1996 THE SALINA JOURNAL Sports HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL STANDINGS / D2 BASEBALL/D3 D T COMMENT T COLLEGE FOOTBALL MIKE VACARRO Mlddletow (N.Y.) Times Herald-Record Mason disappointed in defense Baseball muffs the month it should shine Utah's 476 yards passing in 45-42 victory was most ever allowed by KU through the air By HAROLD BECHARD The Salina Journal NEW YORK — Darn them, the louts. Can't they even get October right anymore? October was always a layup for baseball, a time of atonement, a moron-proof way to reward patience and combat the ill feeling and the monotony acquired along six arduous months and 162 mostly anonymous games. No matter what, October was always there to make things better for baseball at the end, the way a perfect slice of cheesecake can salvage an awful dinner. Not this time. It really isn't possible to save these jokers from themselves anymore, is it? You give them a calendar year that falls just so, that allows them to start the baseball playoffs right on .Oct. 1, and they bleed all over the blueprints. And spit in the face of even those of us willing to cut them some slack, willing to forgive and forget, willing to start over again. . You can heap all of this blame onto the cowardly shoulders of Roberto Alomar if you like, but Cyou would be missing the greater ; point. Alomar shouldn't be an issue any more. In a world governed by rules, he would already be serv- ' ing a penance for his sins, he would be silenced by suspension, forced to ponder his actions. He spit on an umpire, John Hirschbeck, then parlayed that folly by making sociopathic com. ments about Hirschback's frame ; of mind in the months since his 8" year-old son died. A world governed by rules has ways of dealing with rascals like this. But baseball exists in no such world. It lies in the pit of a vacuum of anarchy. You have a car . salesman as a commissioner. You have an invisible intellectual in charge of the American League. You have a player's union so powerful, it can enable its clients to the point that even the most wretched behavior is not only tolerated, but excused. "Sometime, somewhere, somebody has got to say something," Al Clark said yesterday afternoon. "And somebody has got to do the right thing." Clark took part in this hollow party baseball threw for itself last night, patrolling the left-field line at Yankee Stadium for Game 1 of the Yankee-Ranger Division Series. He is 20 years an American League umpire, well-respected by players, well-liked by peers. He is -furious, the way all umpires -should be furious. The way all ."right-thinking baseball fans " should be furious. - ". AL President Gene Budig sus- - pended Alomar the morning after • he mistook Hirschbeck for a spit- I toon. It took Gene Orza and the rest of the blockheads at the Players' Association about 30 seconds to appeal that ruling, which automatically lifted the suspension. Alomar played that day, hit the home run . that put the Baltimore Orioles in the playoffs. He played Tuesday, in Baltimore's shocking 10-4 thrashing of the Indians in the other AL Division Series, going l-for-4, driving in a run with a sacrifice fly. He should have been on the first plane home to Puerto Rico Saturday morning, and instead was allowed to lift his arms in triumph as he watched his playoff-clinching blast. He should have had to watch yesterday's game from a sports bar in San Juan, and instead took part in humbling the mighty Indians. Something is grossly wrong with this equation. Clark, the other umpires, they thought so too. Richie Phillips, the umpires' own bulldog union leader, spent the better part of Tuesday morning in the chambers of U.S. District Court Judge Edmund Ludwig. The umpires were going to strike. Selig the car salesman and Budig the friendly ghost and the rest of baseball's alleged ruling class sued to make them work. They worked last night, worked Wednesday and again today and .then want action. They want Alomar to begin serving a suspension by today, at the latest. They have a problem with delayed justice, and they should. You can suspend Alomar for all of next April, and it won't have send a fraction of the . ^message that three games in Octo. her will. See BASEBALL, Page D3 MASON The Kansas defense and its coordinator Mike Hankwitz were given the lion's share of the credit for last year's 10-2 bowl season. And so, the Jayhawk defenders, as expected, took the brunt of the criticism following Saturday night's 45-42 loss at Utah. Utah quarterback Mike Pouts had a field day, throwing for 476 yards and four touchdowns as the Utes rose up and stung another member of the maligned Big 12 Conference. Kansas head coach Glen Mason pulled no punches earlier in the week when dis- T MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL Orioles put Tribe in 2-0 series hole Baltimore scores tie-breaking run on disputed 8th-inning play, gains playoff command By The Associated Press BALTIMORE — First, the Baltimore Orioles used a display of raw power to beat the Cleveland Indians. Then they took advantage of a throwing error on a controversial play. Now the Orioles need to come up with just one more win, regardless of technique, in order to eliminate the defending AL champions. Cal Ripken scored the tiebreaking run on a disputed play in the eighth inning, and the Orioles defeated Cleveland 7-4 Wednesday for a 2-0 lead in their best-of-5 playoff series. Baltimore moved within one win of becoming the first wild-card team to advance while pushing the Indians to the brink of elimination. Game 3 will be Friday in Cleveland. "Anything can happen, but I like our chances at cussing his team's defensive play. "We played as poorly defensively as we have in a long time," Mason said. "That's not meant to take anything away from Utah. It was a combination of them having a good offense and a quarterback with a hot hand. "We made the defensive plays to put us in position to make a great comeback, but we couldn't put it away," he added. "So, rather than sitting here and talking about a great comeback and winning on the road against a great football team, we will talk about one that we're not happy with." The pass rush was not effective, allowing Fouts to have plenty of time in the pocket and Utah receivers to run deep routes. The 476 yards through the air by the Utes was the most ever given up by a KU defense in one game. The previous mark was 444 yards by Missouri's Kent Kiefer in 1989. "We did not put effective pressure on the quarterback," Mason said. "Even when we put pressure on him, he was able to get rid of the ball and find a receiver. "We had breakdowns. We had fundamen- tal breakdowns that just should not happen," he added. "That comes down to coaching ... I'm going to put the blame on the coaches and not the kids." Fake field goal One play that worked perfectly against Utah was a fake field goal play in the fourth quarter which resulted in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Matt Johner to June Henley. The Jayhawks lined up for a 37-yard field goal by Jeff McCord to try and tie the game at 38-38 with 4:09 remaining. Henley came to the line of scrimmage as a blocker on the right side, but McCord and Johner hollered at Henley to get to the sidelines because he was the 12th player on the field. He wasn't. As Henley sprinted toward the sidelines, the ball was snapped to Johner, who stood up and threw a perfect strike to a wide-open Henley. "We just kind of put it in .... if the situation was right, we were going to use it and I couldn't think of a better time," Mason said. "You are only worried about eleven The Associated Press Home plate umpire Greg Kosc listens to Cleveland Indians manager Mike Hargrove (right) and catcher Sandy Alomar concerning whether Oriole B.J. Surhoff ran out of the baseline during the eighth Inning of Game 2 of the American League Divisional Playoffs. Cleveland MMfcMfcy this point," Baltimore manager Davey Johnson said. "We were looking for a split but now we're up 2-0. We're in a good situation," said Baltimore second baseman Roberto Alo mar, who has been surrounded by controversy since spitting in the face of umpire John Hirschbeck last Friday. A hearing on the appeal of his five-day is scheduled for Thursday. This time, though, another Alomar was the center of attention in a play involving an umpire. • Yankees win in 12th inning to tie series with Rangers/ Page D3 Brady Anderson homered for the second straight day, helping the Orioles take a 4-0 lead. Albert Belle homered as the Indians rallied, tying it with a run in the eighth. Then Baltimore bounced back in the bottom of the eighth. Bobby Bonilla drew a leadoff walk from Eric Plunk and Cal Ripken, in his first playoff series in 13 years, hit a ground-rule double. Eddie Murray was given an intentional walk to load the bases. Paul Assenmacher relieved, and B.J. Surhoff hit a tapper back to the mound. As- .senmacher threw home for a forceout, but — with Surhoff running on the wrong side of the baseline — the throw from catcher Sandy Alomar, Roberto's brother, bounced off the glove of first baseman Jeff Kent. "He definitely blocked my view," Sandy Alomar said. "I was trying to ami the ball but couldn't see Jeff clearly. Either (Surhoff) was running close to the grass or inside the line." The wild throw allowed Ripken to score for a 5-4 lead, and brought Indians manager Mike Hargrove out of the dugout to discuss the play with plate umpire Greg Kosc. "Obviously Sandy did not make a good throw, but our contention was he had to alter his throw because Surhoff was running inside the line," Hargrove said. "In the umpire's judgment, they said that it didn't have anything to do with the way the play turned out." guys and really you only have to fool one because only one guy is supposed to adjust to that guy coming out. "Every once in a while (the play) will rear its ugly head and get someone." Henley rates high Kansas senior running back June Henley did his part against Utah, carrying the ball 41 times for 216 yards and four touchdowns. Henley currently ranks third in the country (and the Big 12 Conference) in rushing yards behind Iowa State's Troy Davis and Texas Tech's Byron Hanspard with 100 carries for 604 yards and nine TDs. When asked by a member of the media how Henley is playing this season, Mason replied tongue in cheek. "Uhh ... not too good," Mason said. "He gained 200-plus yards and got a lot of those yards after the first contact. They know he's got the ball. "Wait until he plays both ways this week. He's going to play tailback and middle guard. Do you think we would get some publicity out of that?" Braves win in 10th on Lopez HR Catcher's decisive blast, Smoltz's pitching propel Atlanta to Game 1 victory By The Associated Press LOS ANGELES — John Smoltz dominated the Dodgers for nine innings Wednesday, which was no surprise considering his terrific season and Los Angeles' recent ineptitude at the plate. Then, his catcher finished them off in the 10th. Smoltz, the major league leader in wins and strikeouts this season, allowed only four hits and Javy Lopez homered off Antonio Qsuna as the pitching-rich Atlanta Braves beat the Dodgers 2-1 in 10 innings in the opener of their NL playoff series. "Obviously, today was a big blow to them," Smoltz said. "They're not out of it, but this hurts. This is a big win for us, guaranteed going home with one victory and with Alomar decides to withdraw appeal Baseball's officials, umpires appear back on collision course By The Associated Press NEW YORK — Roberto Alomar withdrew the appeal of his five-game suspension Wednesday night and will serve it next season, putting baseball officials and umpires back on a collision course. American League president Gene Budig called off the hearing that had been scheduled for today, and the AL confirmed Baltimore's All-Star second baseman will sit out the first five games of next season. "It was a tragic event, but ma- V COLLEGE FOOTBALL jor league baseball must move forward with resolve that no such thing happens again," Budig said. Owners and umpires appear headed back to federal court in Philadelphia, where the American and National leagues have asked for an injunction that would prevent umpires,from boycotting the rest of the postseason. A hearing on the injunction is scheduled for Friday. Union head Donald Fehr, speaking during an unusual news conference at Yankee Stadium during the New York-Texas playoff game, was highly critical of the demand by umpires' union head Richie Phillips. Umpires demanded that Alomar be suspended immediately or else they would strike postseason games starting Friday. Alomar spit at umpire John Hirschbeck last week at Toronto, touching off yet another baseball controversy. "The last thing this sport needs is more confrontation like that," Fehr said. Fehr, citing past precedent and the union's expired labor agreement with owners — kept in force by a federal court order — said it would have been unprecedented and impossible for Budig to suspend Alomar for postseason games. "Gene Budig or the owners' lawyers can't go in willy-nilly because Richie Phillips wants them to and say that they're changing their agreement with the players," Fehr said. The move was announced in the second inning of the Rangers- Yankees game. Baseball officials and the union agreed not to formalize the decision until after umpires had taken the field in the final playoff game of the day. Phillips could not immediately be reached for comment. Hours earlier, Alomar would not comment on the possibility of dropping the appeal. Alomar, l-for-4 with an RBI Baltimore's Game 2 victory over Cleveland, said he wasn't having any problems over the continued controversy. "I'm going to sleep the same way I sleep my whole life," he said. "I have nothing to worry about." K-State assistant coach Cope hospitalized Wildcats' co-defensive coordinator experiences complications after being diagnosed with cancer By BOB DUTTON Kansas City Star MANHATTAN — Kansas State defensive coordinator Bob Cope has been hospitalized because of complications arising from cancer. Cope, 59, spent Wednesday at St. Mary Hospital in Manhattan. Hospital officials declined comment on his condition or timetable for release. Even before the latest complication, Cope contended his prospects were "not good." He said the disease had already spread to his bloodstream. Cope first learned he had cancel- late last week when he consulted a doctor because of a persistent pain in his neck. A series of tests in Manhattan and Topeka revealed the disease. "I was in shock," he said. "Still am, for that matter. I wasn't ready for that kind of news." At that point, he was scheduled for a series of 14 radiation treatments at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Topeka. He was then scheduled to undergo further tests Oct. 22 at the Anderson Clinic in Houston. While receiving treatment, Cope had planned to continue his coaching duties with the Wildcats, who take a 4-0 record into Saturday's home game against Nebraska, 2-1. It's uncertain how his hospitalization will affect those plans. It's equally uncertain how the Wildcats will react to news of his latest setback as they continue preparations for the Huskers. Cope is highly popular among players. His folksy approach quickly won him a following once he joined the staff last February as the replacement for departed co-coordinators Bob Stoops and Jim Leavitt. Atlanta Los Angeles BAM 2: Today (Greg) Maddux going tomorrow." Maddux (15-11), the four-time Cy Young Award winner whose streak will likely be stopped by Smoltz, will pitch for the NL East champion Braves in Game 2 Thursday night. Ismael Valdes (15-7) will start next for Los Angeles in the best-of-5 series. "It's a must-win tomorrow for us," said Dodgers manager Bill Russell, who lost in his first postseason game as a manager. "We'd hate to go to Atlanta down 2-0." As expected, the matchup between the teams with the top two ERAs in baseball was a classic pitching duel. There were a total of just nine hits — four by Atlanta. "Low-scoring, whoever catches the break," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "I thought we caught it today." Smoltz, 24-8 this year, retired his final 13 batters. He struck out seven, walked two and threw strikes on his last 17 pitches in improving his lifetime mark to 6-1 in postseason play. "It was a great-pitched game all day," Smoltz said. "I think that's what everybody expects all series. We play some dull games in the postseason because of our pitching." Mark Wohlers, who had a club-record 39 saves, worked around a one-out single by Greg Gagne in the 10th to preserve the victory for the defending World Series champions. "How can you get more out of Smoltz that we did today? The only thing else he could have done was throw a no-hitter," Wohlers said. "He made big pitch after big pitch. He's been doing this all year, and he's been doing this in the postseason since he's been with us." Ramon Martinez matched Smoltz for eight innings, giving up just three hits. But his bullpen did not do the job as the Dodgers lost their fifth straight game, .a streak that cost them the NL West title, left them as the wild card team, and put,s them in great jeopardy now. Lopez, who had grounded out in his only previous at-bat against Osuna this season, fell behind 0-2. He then worked the count full and fouled off three pitches before hitting a drive far over the fence in right-center field off a 92-mph fastball. Lopez will be rewarded with a spot on the bench Thursday night, in favor of Eddie Perez, who frequently catches Maddux. But Lopez said he didn't mind. Martinez, who struck out six and walked three, said he knew he had to be near-perfect for the Dodgers to win. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BOB DAVIDSON, SPORTS EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363

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