Great Falls Tribune from Great Falls, Montana on August 31, 1988 · Page 15
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Great Falls Tribune from Great Falls, Montana · Page 15

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Wednesday, August 31, 1988
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i from tie NFL............................ 23 SIT B Major league bssstosH .33 B Orympte ttckets hot In Seoul 43 B Sportsoope ..........43 Great Fata Tribune 1 Wednesday, August 31,1988 2 Vecssy George Vaeaay la a nationally tyndlcated sports columnist. Dodgers rally past Copper Kings The shoes of Shoeless Joe NEW YORK - For the young actor named D.B. Sweeney, Shoeless joe Jackson started out as a role, but turned into something of a cause. D.B. Sweeney got turned around by Shoeless Joe, both at home plate and in his heart. Sweeney plays Shoeless Joe in the fine new John Sayles movie, "Eight Men Out," based on the Eliot Asinof book. He is also a ballplayer who didn't enjoy Softball in the Broadway Show League because "you couldn't take people out at second base," meaning the infielder you dumped just might be a casting agent. When he heard there was going to be a movie about the Chicago Black Sox, he called Sayles and they sat in a coffee shop and talked baseball for an hour and a half. Then the director said Sweeney would play Shoeless Joe Jackson, who had the third-highest career average in baseball history. "I bat righty," Sweeney said. Joseph Jefferson Jackson. Batted Left. Threw Right. Born: July 16, 1887, Brandon Mills, S.C. Died: Dec. 5, 1951, Greenville, S.C. Thirteen seasons: Batted .356 with 54 home runs and 785 runs batted in. BUT JOE JACKSON was banned from baseball after the 1920 season because he was implicated in the Black Sox's loss to Cincinnati in the 1919 World Series. Jackson, who could neither read nor write, was at the mercy of baseball officials and lawyers who may have had dup-licitous motives. It would seem Joe Jackson currently has more allies than he ever did in his lifetime. Don Gropman studied the charges in a book, "Say It Ain't So, Joe," while William Kinsella wrote a novel, "Shoeless Joe," now being made into a movie with Kevin Costner, recently in "Bull Durham." , In addition, the Shoeless Joe Jackson Historical Society, based in Greenville, with support from Jim Mattos, a South Carolina state legislator, says he discovered family papers indicating Jackson tried to warn Charjes Comiskey, the bwjier of the "club, but was ignored. Ray Allen of Absecon, N.J., a member of the Jackson society, says, "We're just getting started." Sweeney, 27, a high school player who had hoped for a baseball career until a motorcycle accident when he was starting college, used to believe all eight Black Sox had let down a team, the fans, an entire pastime. "The more I learned about Shoeless Joe, the more I felt he was maligned," Sweeney said recently. "I realized he got 12 hits, batted .375, didn't make any errors. What more could he have done hit .600?" SAYLES WASNT SURE if he could offend baseball purists by filming a right-handed-hitting Shoeless Joe. It never came to that. After studying about Jackson, Sweeney decided, "As an epitaph, I would learn to hit lefty." In the summer of 1987, Sweeney received permission to work out with the Minnesota Twins' farm team in Kenosha, Wis. "so I could fail privately." Sayles was paying scale wages, and even living in Kenosha costs money. "The first week, I couldn!t do anything in the batting cage," recalled Sweeney. "But I got a batting tee and set it up in the hotel, and after a week I started to make contact. Don Leppert and Dwight Bernard were coaching there, and they helped me a lot. Cal Ermer would See VECSEY, 2B By SCOTT MANSCH Tribune Sports Writer BUTTE - According to Eddie Pye, the predicament may have seemed worse than It actually was. For when one is playing for the Great Falls Dodgers at least this season there seems always to be enough time to get It done. "We've been coming back all year," said Pye. "We Just had to relax, and do what we usually do. And that's score runs." Pye drove in a pair of runs with clutch singles as the Dodgers rallied for a 13-6 victory over Butte's Copper Kings Tuesday night as the best-of-five series for the Pioneer League championship got under way at Alumni Coliseum before 1,546 fans. Game 2 of the series is slated here tonight at 7, with the remainder of the playoff set to begin Thursday night in ureal raws. Because the Dodgers were able to battle back from numerous deficits Tuesday night, the team is looking good in its quest for the Pioneer League pennant. "It's amazing," said Dodgers manager Tim Johnson, who watched his team rally from a 6-5 deficit with three runs in the seventh and five more Insurance runs highlighted by Jerry Brooks' two-run homer in the ninth. "Butte came out and played very well. But they made a few mistakes and we capitalized. You can't give us more than three outs." With the Dodgers clinging to an 84 advantage and two out in the ninth, Butte reliever Tim MacNell walked the bases loaded before Inducing Emie Carr to loft a lazy fly ball to left field. But Kings outfielder Trey McCoy dropped the ball and all three runners scored. Brooks followed with a line-drive homer to left and the Dodgers had a victory that was actually much more difficult than the final score indicated. "We've been in that situation before," said Pye, when asked about the Dodgers' attitude while trailing early on. "We didn't panic." Great Falls trailed early by margins of 3-1 and 4-2 as Butte's hitters pounded lumps on Dodgers ace right-hander Sean Snedeker. The curve-balling Snedeker allowed 13 hits and five earned runs in six innings, but gained credit for the victory because the Dodgers took the lead for good with three runs in the top of the seventh. Brooks and Brett Magnusson crashed doubles in the frame, and catcher Lance Rice, normally a switch-hitter, delivered a key RBI single while hitting right-handed against Butte righty Jim Hivizda. . "Right now I'm a better hitter right-handed,", said Rice, whose single put the Dodgers ahead 7-6. "This is the playoffs so we've got to do what we do best. It was about time I did something to help out." Pye, the Dodgers unsung but steady second baseman, followed with an RBI single. "I was just trying to see the ball and hit It hard," he said. Reliever David Dawson worked one-plus innings before giving way to lefty James Wray with one out See DODGERS, 2B Off and rolling OMAT FALLS (II) oarkM owrmantt Corr X Brooks II ' Karros lb Moanussondh Boddlacl Morrow rl Rlcoc Pvtfe Totals i 1 0 4 a i e I 40 J 4 5 J I 1100 4 111 1111 i 1 1 1 It II M II UTT1 (4) Word low lb Morris ri McCoy II Mourtr lb Floret 41). twain cf ' Lowe Frvt2b Colon st Total! MrkM 411 u I 00 1 1111 4010 1141 4 0 10 4 110 41 4 It i OrwtFalM MO 111 H U utM 101 111 MO- 4 E Colon, met, McCoy 1. OF Croat Fallt 1. Butts 1. LOB Ortal Falls , Bull 11. 2B Wardlow, Mognutton 2. Morrow, Brooks. IB Karros, Losa, Morrow. HN Lota (I), Brooks (II. SB Otsrmon I Morris, Bo44k. waraiow. Ortal Fallt Snodtktr W.1-0 Dawson Wray 1,1 Built IF 4 1 1-i 1 1-1 S1-1 I SO I I 1 I 7 14 4 4 TomorlU0-l I 13 111 Hlvlida 1-1 1 0 0 0 0 MacNttl 1 110 0 1 WP-Ntn, Sntdtkor. HBP Rico, Matnutton by Ntn, Swan by Snodokor. T-3:45. A 1,344. r if . , -ipt .-; . "f "' l""""IL ' '" ' ' I 1 v- x--JJ- y M cEnroe opens with easy win ' APPhoio Argentina's Gabriela Sabatini follows through with a serve during her first-round U.S. Open match against fellow contryman Bettina Fulco. NEW YORK (AP) - John McEnroe, a four-time champion turned underdog, breezed to an opening-round victory at the U.S. Open Tuesday while Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg moved a step closer to a Swedish Grand Slam. McEnroe, whose last Grand Slam title came at the 1984 Open, beat Leonardo Lavalle of Mexico 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 at the National Tennis Center. "It could have been 6-1, 6-1 (in the last two sets) but instead it went 6-4, 6- 4," said McEnroe, who is seeded 16th, his lowest ranking at the Open since 1977. "That's a great waste of energy, especially in a major like this when you want to get off the court as quickly as you can." In a night match delayed for 25 minutes when the stadium lights went out, fifth-seeded Boris Becker, beat American Todd Nelson 6-3, 6-0, 7- 6 (7-5). In women's play, Martina Nav-ratilova opened her bid for a third straight Open title with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Catarina Lindqvist. NAVRATILOVA, seeded second behind Steffi Graf, played aggressively as she eliminated Lindqvist in 55 minutes. "I've been playing a lot of matches this year not to lose, and I'm determined not to do that at this tournament," she said. Wilander, the Australian and French Open winner, beat former NCAA champion Greg Holmes 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 in a match that was suspended by rain Monday. Wilander, who lost to Ivan Lendl in last year's final, was leading Holmes 6-2, 6-1, 1-2 when the match was suspended. After play resumed Tuesday, the Swede broke Holmes in the seventh game and then held serve the rest of the way. "It wasn't that bad," Wilander said of the overnight wait. "When you're up two sets, you don't feel threatened." Edberg, the reigning Wimbledon champion, posted a routine 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Libor Pimek of Czechoslovakia. If Edberg or Wilander wins the Open, it will give Sweden a sweep of the men's Grand Slam titles this year. "It's a possibility," Edberg said. "Mats and myself have a good shot here, but there's no pressure to do it and 1 don't even think about it." McEnroe, fined $17,500 and suspended for two months following an obscene outburst at last year's the Open, was well behaved Tuesday. "My attitude is a lot better," he said. "WHEN I CAME BACK the first time, I was still bitter about the goings on on the circuit and I was losing any sort of control I had ... I was driving myself nuts." In the first big upset of the tournament, 183rd-ranked Kim Steinmetz shocked eighth-seeded Natalia Zvereva 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. "Definitely, all the pressure was on her," Steinmetz said. "She made a few errors today that really helped me." Steinmetz, who had to win three preliminary matches to qualify for the main draw, figured to be an easy first-round opponent for Zvereva. But the Soviet teen-ager played erratically against her 30-year-old opponent from St. Louis, who has never won a title on the main women's tour. Zvereva, a finalist at the French Open, took a 3-2 lead in the final set after breaking Steinmetz' serve in the third game. But Steinmetz came back and broke Zvereva twice to win the match. , Wyatt is the key at Northern Arizona ir a - rn a rr a -i a vtv t Li A ! . . am FLAGSTAFF. Ariz. (AP) - Northern Art zona University football coach Larry Kentera says his Lumberjacks should be serious contenders for the Big Sky Conference title this season, providing record-setting quarterback Greg Wyatt can stay healthy. Wyatt, a junior, completed 65 percent of his passes last year (268 of 412) and threw for 3,002 yards and 24 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Phoenix native is the first player in NCAA history to complete a combined 500 passes in his first two seasons with 518. He hit on 250 of 394 passes for 2,862 yards and 17 touchdowns as a freshman in 1986. Wyatt suffered a cracked bone in his left hand his non-throwing hand while playing in a pickup basketball game in June, but Kent- Blg Sky Sixth In a series era said his star athlete is healed and ready for the season. "He's had two great years for us and we expect another great one from him this year," Kentera said. "He's done a lot for our program and he's made for the kind of offense we're running. He continues to improve and as he does, we'll continue to win ballgames." Northern Arizona finished 7-4 overall and 4-4 in the Big Sky last season, good only for a three-way tie for third place. The Lumberjacks return 37 lettermen, including eight offensive and nine defensive starters off a club that led the conference in total defense and was second in scoring offense in 1987. Back is senior wide receiver Shawn Collins, who caught 61 passes for 653 yards and nine touchdowns last year. Collins needs just three receptions to break the all-time school record of 149, set by Pete Mandley from 1980-83. Also returning is senior tailback Charles Matthews, who had 451 yards and four touchdowns on 74 carries in 1987. "We don't want everybody to think all we do is throw the football," Kentera said. "We ran the ball last year more than we did two years , ago and hopefully we'll do more of that this year. Running the ball should take a little of the pressure off of Greg." On defense, Kentera said his secondary re-See NAU.2B IAIIMN I ' WAMWtGTON .L 4MNMNA JBAMOl , MONTANA ... . ) L HAII t IDAHO SOW HWt SlATf Wftfl OA ' iW MNO JNr Arizona Have pity for L.T.? Truth is, Giants should be furious with him (Editor's Note: Mike Pratt Joined the Tribune In July from Whittier, Calif., where he was sports editor of the Whlttier Daily News. Pratt Is working primarily on the sports copy desk, but will be writing occasional columns and feature stories for the Tribune.) . Nobody asked me, but... Please pardon me if I don't shed any tears for New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor. He has been hailed as the best defensive player in the National Football League, yet for the second time in his career, he appears to be battling a "substance abuse problem," which is a fancy way of saying he can't keep his nose clean. Two years ago, Taylor checked Into a drug rehabilia-tion program after he admitted he had a problem with cocaine. To his credit, Taylor didn't wait for someone else to discover his problem. On Monday, someone else did discover his problem, and the NFL suspended him for 30 days. It is unclear whether or not Taylor will also lose the $60,000 he makes for each week he toils for the Giants, but its a certainty he'll miss his team's first four games of 1988. Coach Bill Parcells has already gone on record as saying the Giants will do all they can to help Taylor straighten his life out, or something like that. It's the traditional "we feel sorry for this poor guy and we don't care how much of the season he'll miss as long as he gets his life back in order" speech. Sure, Bill. Poor LT. But fess up, will you? Instead of . giving us the traditional sob story every coach or Mike Pratt Pratt is a Tribune sports reporter general manager gives when one of their players hits the skids because of drugs, why don't you really speak your mind. I'll bet it would sound something like this: "Lawrence really messed up this time. You'd think a guy that's got it all going for him would be smart enough not to get involved with this stuff. But no. LT put himself before the team, and now we're all going to suffer. So much for the Super Bowl. Thanks, LT. You really made my day." Gee, I wonder if Taylor will be able to make ends meet on the remaining $700,000 or so he will get for playing this year? Gonna be rough, eh Lawrence? You poor guy, you... Scott Mansch's dissertation the other day on Dodger Bashing hit particularly close to home with me. It wasn't so much the fact that Scott likes to lambaste the Dodgers as much as the potshots he took at my native Southern California. I may have had the good sense to leave, but I haven't forgotten my roots, and I feel a rebuttal is in order. Yes, Scott, the Beach Boys are cool. The beaches are filled with surfer boys and the valley girls are everywhere. Shoot, I married a valley girl, fer shur. But most importantly, Southern Califomians do have a special gift. We are unique unto ourselves. In Montana, you see shotguns in the back windows of pickup trucks; in California, you see them pointed out the windows of cars on the freeway. In Montana, you can smell the smoke of distant forest fires several months out of the year. In California, you smell the smoke of not-so-distant factories and millions of automobiles that travel the freeways daily and you get it year round. In Montana, you get snow. In California, if you know where to go, you can get lots of snow, but you'd better be prepared to pay for it. In Montana, you can buy a lottery ticket and hit the jackpot for a few thousand dollars. In California, you can buy a lottery ticket that might yield you a few million bucks, and you can even charge it at your local 7-Eleven store. In Montana, you can go to your local Dairy Queen and ' get a shake. In California, you don't even have to leave the house for a shake. Mother Nature brings them to you. Some real humdingers, too. In Montana, you've got the Great Falls Dodgers. A . - t fun bunch, indeed. But in California, you've got the Los Angeles Dodgers, replete with Fernando and Tubby Tommy Lasorda. And by the way, Scott, the Dodgers are the greatest organization in baseball... Some parting shots... The Dodgers acquisition of Kirk Gibson was the best free-agent signing since the California Angels signed Reggie Jackson in 1982... Why is it that every cable system in America seems to get Chicago superstation WGN but ours? It's not so much that I like to listen to Harry Carey or even watch the Cubs. Actually, I like not listening to Harry. But I sure miss all those reruns... Add TV: is there a logical explanation as to why last Saturday's Kickoff Classic wasn't offered on television to Great Falls viewers? Those of us with Big Red ties (I spent six years in Nebraska one week) should ask for a grand jury investigation on that one... Why does the NFL say the aforementioned Taylor will be subject to "permanent" expulsion from the league if he's caught again doing drugs? The truth is, he only has to wait a year before he can ask to be reinstated... Brian Bosworth would have made a great villian in the old "Batman" series, and he would have saved tons of money for the producers, who wouldn't have had to worry about special makeup or costumes for the Seattle linebacker. They could have called him Mr. Kiss and Tell. Holy haircut, Batman...

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