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Making Of The Pennant Races •«_. vrtmnavr AT rvttOlif AU' . ' , ' _ . * '!"""" ' •-••••••••••. American League (In order of predicted finish.) CHICAGO It is hard to conceive how the White Sox hitters can be ..as feckless as last season, when they batted .225 as a team, ninth in the league, and were ninth in runs scored. (But they've surprised before.) Tommy Davis, obtained from the Mets, will provide a lot of punch. As will Luis Aparicio and Ken Boyer, also newly acquired. Their pitching is tops in baseball, with people like Gary Peters, Tommy John, Joel Horlen, Bob Locker and Hoyt Wilhelm. This is the White Sox ..year. DETROIT . Superstar Al Kaline has never played in a World Series in'his 14 seasons. He has gotten close, like last season when the Tigers finished .in a tie for second with Minnesota, ' one game out. He'il be fingernails away again. They are "strong behind the plate (Bill Freehan), strong on the mound (Earl Wilson, Denny McLain, etc.) and strong at bat (Kaline, Willie Horton, Norm Cash). But weak in the bullpen, some glaring holes in the infield and a lack of depth. ; < BALTIMORE The Orioles were untouchable in winning the 1966 pen- "riant But last season they were often an easy touch, finishing sixth. The pitching staff, primarily, let them down. It had more sore arms than an infirmary with Army recruits. • But they still have the power, with Frank Robinson, Boog /Powell and Brooks Robinson. With Dave McNally, Wally Bunker and Jim Palmer attaining some degree of their 1966 form, the Orioles will again be menacing. MINNESOTA ••••• Ah, the talent here-JJamron 'Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat, among others. But some, of the Twins would as soon spike-wound his teammate as assist in a double play. One of the rumored trouble-makers, Zoilo Versalles, has been traded. But the Twins, still Jack the cohesiveness needed to win, that plus the abundance of competition. .:' BOSTON Overpowering the rest.of the league with their fear:' some lineup, the Red Sox still only managed to win the * pennant on the last day of the season. The pitching staff, other than 22-game winner Jim Lonborg, was not noteworthy. Now, Lonborg will start slowly due to a winter skiing injury. Carl Yastrzemski and George Scott will again be highly effective. But they won't be able to carry off another coup without good pitching. CALIFORNIA Their potential is great, and have possible superstars in shortstop Jim Fregosi and outfielder Rich Reichardt. Pitcher Jim McGlothlin and Rickey Clark are two of the finest mound prospects in baseball. But it's just a growing team, and will suffer growing pains. CLEVELAND Somehow, with all that pitching prowess, the Indians • should be able to locate a solid place in the first division. - But even pitchers like Sam McDowell, Luis Tiant, Steve Har"• gon and Sonny Siebert, as hurlers immemorial, have trouble r winning without runs. The outfield, other than newly acquired : Tommy Harper, is a question mark. The infield is also a • Question mark, though Tony Horton, Max Alv'is and Larry -Brown could make it an exclamation point. There are -more questions marks, about 20 some. E NEW YORK Ir: Where, oh, where have the Yankees gone? Answer: to ™.the dogs. Mickey Mantle is still their most potent offensive -weapon, but he's still hobbling. The outfield, with Tom -Tresh, Joe Pepitone and Steve Whitaker, could be very f. : 6trong. But it wasn't last year. The infield is troubled; the ;-i : ,pitching is troubled; the catching is troubled. Future?. • Troubled. WASHINGTON New manager Jim Lemon has not inherited a, plum. ':•.• The Senators could be very, very good, but is more.likely -they will be very, very bad. Phil Ortega, Frank Howard, •"-'Paul Casanova and Mike Epstein could provide the nucleus X of—hold your breath—a contender. But it is not likely, primarily because the supporting cast is nondescript. Maybe next year. OAKLAND •'.." Joe DiMaggio, famous ex-New York Yankee star, Is Jttie new vice president of the one-tune Kansas City A's. -DiMaggio is a knowledgeable gentleman. That has little to •.' do with the description of the uniformed athletes, but if you can't say anything nice about the players, at least you : ' can say something nice about one of their executives. By PAT THOMPSON Associated Press Sports Writer ALBUQUERQUE; N.M. (AP) — U.S. Olympic basketball Coach Henry Iba of Oklahoma State feels foreign competition will be plenty rough and mighty %/est/ey Wants To Go Eastward . LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association have called off their campaign to sign two-time All-American Weslley Unseld and have withdrawn" their $500,000 contract offer. ;.';The Colonels had been competing for Unseld's services with the National Basketball As- ;sociation's Baltimore Bullets. The signing campaign staged fe Kentucky had reached the Joint where a half-million dollar : four-year contract offer was made to the University of Louis- .ville star—and full-page newspaper ads had been taken out urging him to sign. But it all came ta an end Saturday night. Unseld replied that he would rather play for Baltimore. At that point, the year-old Kentucky organization gave in ?JCHICAGO (AP) - Ch. Sham'•tock's Acres Light Brigade, a ^year-old Labrador retriever, •was named best in show Sunday ."night at the annual Internation- -tf Dog Show. Owned by Mrs. ffames Gets of Lake Forest, 111., ;Ught Brigade is the first re- rtriever to win the Chicags eyeot ^ROSSBURG, Ohio <AP> -Bollie Beale of Toledo, driving a ^Chevrolet-powered car, won the >»Wap USAC spring car auto .face Sunday at the half-mile El- 4onSpeedway. drawing the contract offer. By MURRAY OLDERMAN NBA Snorts Editor NEW YORK-(NEA)-While baseball preens itself for the opening of a new season, the 93rd in major league history, a dullness pervades the spring ritual. It should be a tune of optimism and anticipation—why, even Charlie Finley and the Oakland Athletics have championship aspirations. But baseball is kidding itself, The pervasive feeling of excitement you used to get with Opening Day is missing.. I mean, when the biggest story coming out of spring training was how the penalty for applying spit to a baseball was changed progressively from throwing out the pitcher to calling a balk to calling the pitch a ball, how are you going to warm up to the traditional umpire's shout, "play ball." Baseball lacks personality. The best player in the game . today is virtually unknown to the kids who: collect bubble gum cards. His name is Roberto Clemente, and he plays in the outfield for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hfe has four batting championships to his credit and he has batted over .300 the last eight seasons consecutively. _• • • • . . But the biggest fuss is still made over Willie.Mays, who is close to 37 years old and has deluded the Giants'irito thinking that his slump of last season was a momentary relapse. And Mickey Mantle, who is on his last legs at the age of 36 arid really doesn't merit his spot in the regular line-up, except that he can still pull people into the park. , When an attractive new face does come along, like Mike Epstein last year, baseball doesn't know how to market it. The men who run the sport blow smoke rings smugly behind •a facade labeled "national pastime" and shudder at anyone who makes echoes that will shake the Establishment. There is no dynamic leadership on top. A commissioner who was a general has been on the job two years and hasn't produced a single memorable idea idea or innovation when the game is crying for attention. The game itself demands revision to fit in with the pace of the times. When a progressive thought is suggested, like Eddie Stanley's idea of using designated pinch-hitters and keep a pitcher—or some other line-up regular—in the game, it's treated like a desecration of Abner Doubleday, who didn't invent baseball in the first place. Pro football changed Its rules to stimulate: the forward pass and broaden its appeal. Pro basketball injected a time element, the 24-second clock, to speed up its action. Baseball's biggest move was making the fielders bring in their gloves between innings. A clock is needed on pitchers to make them serve up the ball in a specified time, like 30 seconds. There's merit in a Texas League experiment a couple of years ago which gave a team 90 seconds to make the transition from batting to fielding, after the third out. The double-header, an instrument of the depression years, is archaic and can't keep crowds rooted for seven hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon when most guys today can afford a boat or a set of golf clubs. .. Baseball in its present form is not an exciting television spectacle. The most crushing symptom of the doldrums is that on Opening Day there now is even a paucity of grandmas who once came up mysteriously sick and freed the office boy for an afternoon at the ball park. • Iba Expects Rough Time For Olympians George Charles tall. A 12-man U.S. team was named Sunday, banking more on quickness than on size. The Olympic trials ended Saturday night with the NAIA All- Stars whipping a cold-shooting AAU team 64-59 in the title game. More than 80 players were considered in the three- day tournament in Albuquerque. A 45-man committee picked this team: NAIA-Glynn Saulters, 6-fopt- 2, 175 pounds, Northeast Louisiana; Don Dee, 6-7, 205, St. Mary of the Plains, Kan. AAU-Calvin Fowler, 6-1, 170, Akron Ohio, Goodyear; James King, 6-7, Goodyears. Junior College All-Stars- Spencer Haywood, 6-8, 230, Trinidad, Colo., Junior College. Armed Forces-Mike Barrett, 6-2, 155, U.S. Navy and former West Virginia Tech collegian; John R. Clawson, 6-4, 200, U.S. Army and Michigan; Mike. Silliman, 6-6, 225, U.S. Army and U.S. Military Academy. UUNJ uisaiuMuu.1 6 ="> u , NCAA-Ken Spain, 6-9, 22 issued a statement with- Houston; Jo Jo White, 6-3, 194, Oklahoma; Rick Mount, Purdue; and Joe Hamilton, Southwest Christian, Tex. Iba.said the 12 first-team -selections will gather at Alamosa, Colo., in early September and four weeks of high-altitude training before exhibition games against professional teams niNew York's Madison Square Garden, Cincinnati and possibly Albuquerque. Kansas;' Bill Hosket, 6-7, 228 Ohio State Charlie Scott, 6-4, 180 North Carolina. Alternates—Don Issel,.. Kentucky, Tom Black, Goodyears, Carter, Paulk, U.S. Army; Northeastern Cage Pros By THE ASSOCIATES) PRESS NBA Saturday's Results . No games scheduled Sunday's Results Eastern Division Finals Philadelphia at Boston, postponed to Wednesday night Westem Division Finals San Francisco at Los Angeles, postponed to Wednesday night Monday's Games No games scheduled Tuesday's Games BLYTHEVILLE LEGION ARENA WRESTLING Tuesday, April 9 MAIN EVENT TAG TEAM MATCH 1-Hr. Time Limit - Best 2 Out of 3 Falls DON CARSON & RED SHADOW Vs. KEN LUCAS & DENNIS HALL First Match 1-Hr. Time Limit Best 2 Out of 3 Falls Jackie Forgo vs. Buster Gordon National League (In order of predicted finish.) • . ST. LOUIS : '.The: Cardinals fcave^all'the experience, depth, power and pitching that they..had last year when; they, won the pennant by WA games, the biggest winning margin in. the league since 1955; A teanvwith guys like MVP Orlando Cepeda, three-game World Series winner Bob Gibson, Roger Maris, Tim McCarveri Dick Hughes, and Julian' Javier can't be' ail bad. Stiffer competition and a bit of overconfi- derice may hurt them, though. They may win the pennant by only five games this year. . CINCINNATI The Reds were the early leaders of the '67 race, but injuries laid them low, and they, finished fourth. They have one of'the strongest'pitching staffs in baseball, with Jim Maloney, Milt Pappas, Gary Nolan, Mel Queen and reliever Ted Abernathy: If any team is capable of embarrassing the high-flying Cards, itVthe Reds. LOS ANGELES : With a history of "bounce-back" seasons, the Dodgers are again in position to demonstrate their resilience. From their pennant-winning season of 1966, they dropped to eighth last year. But they have talent, especially in two new acquisitions from Minnesota, pitcher Mudcat Grant and shortstop Zoilo Versalies. Hopes are bright in sunny California. PITTSBURGH Position for position, the Pirates are as strong as any team in the league. It has been that way for the past few seasons. However, they just can't seem to steal off a pennant. This season, despite people like Roberto Clemente, Maury Wills, Bill Mazeroski, Bob Veale—the new manager Larry Shepard,.the story appears the same. No booty on the horizon. CHICAGO ' For the first time In some 20 years, the Cubs are a legitimate preseason threat for the first division. They startled the baseball universe in 1967 by battling the Cards for first place much of the summer. Star young pitchers like Ken Holtzman and Ferguson Jenkins will help keep them near the top. But the other clubs will be a lot more wary of the Bruins this season. SAN FRANCISCO There are hard feelings and hardening arteries among the Giants. Dissention and old age are sapping them of their former prowess. Willie Mays is going downhill, Juan Marichal is considered a malingerer by some and Mike-McCormick, Cy Young award winner, won't measure up to last year's effectiveness. The Giants finished second last season. There -is little chance of them doing as well in '68. ATLANTA The Braves also had a combativeness in the dugout thai hurt the club on the field. Maybe new manager Lum Harris can solve, the problem. Henry Aaron can't do it alone. Sonny Jackson acquired in a trade from Houston, may plug up a shortstop deficiency. That's a start, anyway. . HOUSTON Potential to startle the league'is here. Outfielders Jim Wynn and Rusty Staub are two of the'finest hitters in the league. Don WUson,"Mike:Ciiellar,:Dave Giusi.and Denny Lemaster; obtained from Atlanta, could form an 'awesome pitching rotation. But the infield and.catching are deep problems. So, once again, the: biggest attraction about the Astros may bs the Astrodome. PHILADELPHIA It is still a question whether Richie Allen, star third baseman, can come back from the hand injury that sidelined him the latter part of last season. The Phils' hitting is just medioere. And their pitching staff, headed by Larry Jackson, Rick Wise and Ghris Short, is not strong enough to carry the club. Tough times ahead. NEW YORK - Gil Hodges is the new Met manager. He did a fine job with the Senators, taking over a last-place club in 1963 and leaving them last season in a tie for sixth. In New York, he ' has some good young talent, like Bud Harrelson, Ron Swoboda and Tom Seaver, and some good proven talent, like Tommie Agee. He also has high hopes. And that's all. National Hockey League By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Saturday's Results Eastern Division Montreal 5, Boston 3, Montreal leads "best-pf-7 series 2-0 Western Division . ' Semifinals ... .. Philadelphia 4, St. Louis 3, best-of-7 series tied 1-1 Los Angeles 2,.Minnesota 0, Los Angeles. leads best-of-7 series 2-0 .. Sunday's Result* Eastern Division Semifinals Chicago at New York, postponed to Tuesday night, New York leads best-of-7 series 1-0 ••• 'Monday's Games Western Division Semifinak Philadelphia at St. Louis, postponed to Wednesday night Los Angeles at Minnesota postponed to Tuesday night Tuesday's Games Eastern Division Montreal at Boston Chicago at New York iiuiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinuiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiuiniiiitiiHi COURIER NEWS PAGZ TEN Monday. April 8, 1968 No games scheduled NBA Saturday's Result Eastern Division Finals . Minnesota 187, Pittsburgh 123, best-of-7 series tied 1-1 Sunday's Results Eastern Division Pittsburgh at Minnesota postponed to Wednesday night Western Division Finals Dallas at New Orleans postponed to Tuesday night at Dallas Monday's Games No games scheduled Tuesday's Game Western Division MURR Your Frtmtdfy Thtetn OSCEOLA •••*•••••••••••••••••• •Mon. •Tins. «W«d. 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