The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 28, 1996 · Page 7
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 7

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Monday, October 28, 1996
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68,1996 THE SALINA JOURNAL Sports SCOREBOARD / B2 PRO FOOTBALL / B3 AUTO RACING / B4 B V COMMENT T PRO FOOTBALL MIKE VACCARO Middletown (N.Y.) Times Herald-Record Yanks proved worthy of title as champions NEW YORK — The last out didn't come easily, and there was little surprise in that. The Atlanta Braves used to be champions, after all, and so there would be one last push, one last stand, one last warning shot fired into a hostile night sky. Champions don't walk away. Champions must be pushed aside. ' • And then this: A pop-up, • 'pushed into the night by an old October hero named Mark •Leihke, the ball twirling above Charlie Hayes, twisting, sliding 'to'ward the field boxes, then stop- 'ping. Stopping still, stopping cold, 'arid tumbling through the air, '•falling at last in Hayes' glove. • 'And now the party could begin. Now the crowd, 56,375 strong, 'could throw their voices out across the city, well behaved and '! orderly, only a handful of them •Skipping over the railings and racing toward the dense stack of ^jtiy swelling at the pitcher's mound. Somewhere at the bottom 1 was John Wetteland, the playoff MVP. Somewhere else entirely lies' the notion of another team walking into Yankee Stadium and "writing a slice of history for 'themselves. The Braves died a • Champion's death: But they died all the same. ""'"indescribable," is the way Pfc'ul O'Nell put it, and it was a fine-sounding adjective on a night where pictures meant more than words, where the happiness spilling out of bleachers and diigouts matched the poignant teardrops spilling from the eyes of the manager, the owner, the third baseman. Words mean little ~Jr1i£n the sights and smells and "sounds are so powerful. „... And this is what you had: ;•'*'Here came Darryl Strawberry, running out of a yellow memory, -Sjiiining buffrom behind torn ..pgiges of a broken past, leading the Yankees in a victory lap, reaching forhands, reaching for hearts, tugging on the threads of forgiveness and redemption that gave him this night, this moment, this team. "My life was over a few years ago," he said, "and I turned to baseball to save me, the way it had saved me before. I didn't need money. I didn't need fame or any of the other stuff. I needed something like this. I needed these fans, and I had to tell them thank you." Here came Wade Boggs, trailing behind the others, not minding it, having absently hopped on a policeman's horse and taken the view in from there. "I didn't even realize for the longest time I was on the horse," Boggs said. "It felt like I was riding 1 on air." Didn't it, though? Hasn't this whole season been a front-row seat from the front corner of a magic carpet, woven to perfection through the curiously brilliant fingertips of a manager, Joe Torre, and a collection of players that refused to be silenced, rejected their roles as supporting players in somebody else's play? This is fheir play. This is their season. Np,,one can. doubt them anymore. Nobody takes this away, ^hey won 3-2 Saturday night because that was what they needed to win by. To steal the Braves' title^away, they needed to beat Tom Glavine, Steve Avery, John Smoltz and Greg Maddux, in that order, «fter facing a 0-2 hole. There are many who believe this to be the finest assemblage of pitchers ever brought together on one staff. Leo Mazzone, the Braves' pitching coach, had said this very thing a \veek ago, had gone so far as to say, "Anybody who can get a winning streak going on us, short series or long season, well I tip my cap to 'em. Because they've beaten the best." The Yankees beat the best. They rallied when they had to, protected leads when they had to, and played smarter than the world champions every step of the way. "The same things we did to get here, we did once we got here," O'Neill said. "Get a lead in the sixth, give the ball to Mariano (Rivera) in the seventh, give it to Wetteland to close it." "This team..." Boggs started to say, before looking around, before giving in to his heart and his emotions and dissolving into tears that fell like rain. One more picture, from the best night of them all. Broncos blitz Chiefs, 34-7 Denver avenges season's lone loss behind scrambling Elway's three TD passes, stout defense By JOHN MOSSMAN The Associated Press DENVER •— While it hardly seems possible, John Elway actually seems to be getting better. No less an authority than Marty Schot- tenheimer — tormented by Elway for 11 seasons — says so. Reversing their only loss of the season, the Denver Broncos used three touchdown passes from Elway and a stubborn defense to crush Schottenheimer's Kansas City Chiefs 34-7 on Sunday. "John is playing better right now than I have ever seen him play," said Schotten- heimer, whose Cleveland Browns teams were twice beaten by Elway in AFC championship games and whose teams have won only seven of 19 meetings with the Elway-led Broncos. Elway completed 16 of 31 passes for 286 Chiefs Broncos 34 yards. He left the game early in the final period and thus was deprived of a chance for a fourth straight 300-yard passing game. "He was definitely hot," Chiefs corner- back Dale Carter said of Elway. "It seemed like everything was working for him. He was hard to stop." The win enabled the Broncos (7-1) to open a two-game lead in the AFC West at the halfway point of the season. "To finish the first half 7-1 is great, but we've got a long way to go," Elway said. Denver, which bowed 17-14 to the Chiefs five weeks ago, scored on its first three possessions for a 17-7 lead. Elway's third TD pass, a 25-yarder to Mike Sherrard late in the first half, made it 24-7, and Aaron Graver's 1-yard leap capped a 56-yard drive late in the third quarter. Shannon Sharpe caught Elway's other two TD throws. See CHIEFS, Page B3 T COWBOYS-DOLPHINS The Associated Press Denver Broncos cornerback Ray Crockett (39) tries to strip the ball from Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Danan Hughes as he is tackled by Broncos linebacker Allen Aldridge (57) and Bill Romanowski following a second-quarter catch Sunday. Cowboys stop Johnson's Dolphins The Associated Press Dallas receiver Michael In/in (88) is congratulated by Nate Newton (61) and Tyji Armstrong after catching a touchdown. Aikman, In/in come up big as Dallas beats former coach's team By The Associated Press MIAMI — Jerry Jones went into his grudge match against Jimmy Johnson with a big advantage: the Dallas Cowboys. The Super Bowl champions beat the coach who built them Sunday. Troy Aikman threw for 363 yards, including 12 completions to Michael Irvin for 186 yards, and Dallas dominated Johnson's Miami Dolphins 29-10. The Cowboys (5-3) won their fourth in a row, but still trail Washington by two games in the NFC East. Miami (4-4) has lost four of five games. "This was a big win, and it was a little nicer because it was the Miami Dolphins and Jinimy Johnson," Jones, the Cowboys' owner, said. "I don't think any matchup in the future will have the intensity of this one. JOHNSON This ? ne was uwrmown special because it created closure." In the week leading up to the long-anticipated showdown,' Johnson was on his best behavior while talking about the • NFL roundup / Page B3 game, possibly because he knew he was outmanned. Dallas outscored Miami 20-0 in the second half and finished with 482 yards to 221 for the Dolphins. "We got beat by a better team," said Johnson, who took only a few questions at his postgame news conference before departing. "We played well for a half, but couldn't hold on for the second half." Jones, who hired Johnson at Dallas and fired him five years later after two Super Bowl titles, watched from a skybox as their Ego Bowl turned into a rout. The game attracted 800 members of the media and a crowd of 75,283, the largest in stadium history, including two Super Bowls. "This felt like a Super Bowl from my perspective," Jones said. In the closing seconds, Dallas had the ball inside the Miami 10- yard line, and Cowboys coach Barry Switzer consulted with Jones on the sideline before or"- dering his team to run out the clock. Jones apparently wanted Switzer to run up the score. "I'm the coach; he's the owner," said Switzer, who like Jones has a cool relationship with Johnson. "I make the decisions on the field. "What good is it going to do to score down there? Jimmy would have done the same thing." T BASEBALL TEAM OF DESTINY Yankees put it all together in winning World Series Ely The Associated Press NEW YORK — The bullpen was exceptional, as expected. Jim Leyritz delivered a big home run, Andy Pettitte threw a marvelous game and Paul O'Neill made a nifty catch. The New York Yankees had it all — pitching, hitting and fielding in one of the finest weeks in their history. But what about it, Joe Torre? Was there something else on your side? Did you think the Yankees were destined to win the World Series? "I guess I did, but I wouldn't let it happen because once you think it's fate, you stop working," the manager said after Saturday night's clinching 3-2 win over Atlanta in Game 6. "What made it happen were people like John Wetteland and Bernie Williams and Cecil Fielder. "Everybody has a piece of it," he said. "We went through a series and every player on our roster helped us win a game." The result was the Yankees' record 23rd championship and first since 1978, along with one of the most remarkable turnarounds in baseball history. New York became only the third team in 92 World Series to win it after losing the first two games at home. Wade Boggs and Fielder wound up with the first champi- The Associated Press The New York Yankees celebrate following Saturday's 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves that clinched the World Series title. onships in their long careers, while emerging stars Derek Jeter and Williams also celebrated in a pileup on the mound after the last out. At Torre's suggestion, the team took a victory lap around the outfield, with Boggs riding a police horse. Certainly a lot of casual fans found themselves pulling for the Yankees, mostly because of Torre. He'd lost his br other; Rocco, to a heart attack this season. He'd finally made it to the World Series after 4,272 games as a play- er and manager, the longest such drought in major league history. His brother, Frank, had undergone a desperately needed heart transplant at a New York hospital a day before Game 6. His sister, Sister Marguerite, is a principal at a Catholic grade school in nearby Queens. "I think the thing with my brother passing away and my brother, Frank, has taken the game and put it more on a personal playing field. I think maybe this humanized the game," Torre said. T COLLEGE FOOTBALL 'Bama, West Virginia fall; K-State climbs By The Associated Press Alabama and West Virginia, un- beatens no longer, tumbled in The Associated Press' Top 25 college football poll, while top-ranked Florida picked up support without playing. The Crimson Tide (7-1), 20-13 losers to Tennessee, fell from No. 7 to No. 10 in Sunday's balloting by the 67 sports writers and broadcasters who vote in the poll. The Mountaineers (7-1) were beaten by Miami 10-7 and dropped from No. 12 to No. 18. The Gators (7-0) remained on top for the sixth straight week with 59 first-place votes and 1,666 points. Last week, Florida had 57 first-place votes. The top six positions were unchanged from last week. Ohio State (7-0), with a 38-26 win over Iowa, was second, followed by Florida State, Arizona State, Nebraska and Tennessee. Nebraska (6-1) was a 63-7 winner over Kansas. Despite their win over Alabama, the Volunteers (5-1) remained sixth, followed by Colorado, North Carolina, Michigan and the Crim- Northwestern, a 27-24 winner over Illinois, was llth, followed by LSU, Brigham Young, Kansas State, Penn State, Virginia, Wyoming, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Utah, Washington, Miami, Southern Mississippi, Auburn and Iowa. The Top Twenty Five teams in The Associated Press college football poll, with first- place votes in parentheses, records through Oct. 26, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote, and last week's ranking: Record Pts Pv I.Florida (59) 7-0 1,666 1 2. Ohio State (4) 7-0 1,579 2 3. Florida State (3) 6-0 1,563 3 4. Arizona State (1) 8-0 1,481 4 S.Nebraska 6-1 1,404 5 6. Tennessee 5-1 1,347 6 7. Colorado 6-1 1,210 8 8. North Carolina 6-1 1,195 9 9. Michigan 6-1 1,080 10 10. Alabama 7-1 1,065 7 11. Northwestern 7-1 1,037 11 12. Louisiana State 6-1 868 13 13. Brigham Young 8-1 790 15 14. Kansas State 7-1 759'16 15. Penn State 7-2 644 17 16. Virginia 5-2 580 14 17. Wyoming 8-0 576 18 18. West Virginia 7-1 459 12 19. Notre Dame 4-2 439 19 20. Utah 7-1 412 21 21. Washington 5-2 271 23 22. Miami 5-2 265 25 23. Southern Mississippi 7-1 257 24 24. Auburn 5-2 231 22 25. Iowa 5-2 190 20' Others receiving vote* — Virginia Tech 106, Syracuse 72, Army 66, East Carolina 63, Air Force 42, Michigan State 20, Navy 13, Texas Tech 13, Georgia Tech 6, California 3, Southern Cal 3. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BOB DAVIDSON, SPORTS EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363

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