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Star-Gazette from Elmira, New York • Page 31
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Star-Gazette from Elmira, New York • Page 31

Elmira, New York
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SUNDAY TELEGRAM, Elmlra, N.Y., Aupst 17. 197S 50 1T turf Ai'u Phils are throwing curves at third 6' ences in the world. "Not only do I get to meet a lot of great people and baseball fans, but I also have a nice view of the game." Among her duties shown here) are serving refreshments to the umpire, chasing foul balls and signing autographs. Her credentials for the job? Well, for one, she's a catching eyeful (see photo left). And she looks especially good batting her eyes.

What more do you want? PHILADELPHIA (AP) Baseball fans at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia are keeping an extra close watch on foul balls hit down the third base area these days. The reason is Mary Sue Styles, 19, of Collingswood, N.J. The third base ball girl, a 5 foot-7, 115-pound blonde with blue eyes, works at a New Jersey bank on a regular basis. She says her job with the Phillies is one of the greatest experi Does firing, hiring have an effect on team? Weaver, Dark disagree on value of the manager By BRUCE LOWITT NEW YORK (AP) Just how important is a baseball manager, anyway? Does the firing of one and the hiring of another really have any effect on the club? Does it really matter who's doing the managing? As the old line goes, when you've got a loser on your hands you can't fire 25 players so you dump the manager. The managers themselves feel they play a major role in how a club performs.

But a couple of statistics don't seem to back them up. Item: Dick' Williams, who had previously directed the Oakland A's to a pair of world championships, succeeded Bobby Winkles as manager of the California Angels in mid-1974. Under Williams the club posted a 36-48 record for a .429 percentage. Before he arrived the Angels were 32-46 for a .410 mark. And not much of a difference this year, either.

The team is still well below .500, fighting to avoid finishing last in the American League West. Item: With Alvin Dark fired twice before instead of Williams calling the shots in Oakland, the A's won their third straight title in 1974. Item: Wliitey Lockman managed the Chicago Cubs to a 41-52 record up to the 1974 All-Star break, then Jim Marshall took over and the Cubs finished at 66-96. This year they're again foundering and battling with Montreal for last in the National League East. Item: Under Eddie Mathews last year, the Atlanta Braves were 50-49, then he was fired and Clyde King took over.

Under him they improved with a 38-25 mark for the rest of the season but this year they're well under .500 and only the Houston Astros are keeping Atlanta from falling into the NL Al Dark Earl Weaver About People- Tolly Cleary wants to help athletes 0 fr fWi' West basement. Item: When Texas fired Biliy Martin on July 21, the Rangers were 44-51. They have about broken even since Prank Lucchesi took over. Item: The same thing goes for the New York Yankees, who were 53-51 before Bill Virdon was ousted on Aug. 2 and Martin succeeded him.

Item: The New York Mets were playing about .500 ball under Yogi Berra and they're doing about the same since Roy McMillan took over. The only break in the pattern is in Kansas City, where the resurgent Royals have played ball under Whitey Herzog since he succeeded Jack McKeon on July 24, when Kansas City was at 50-46. It used to be said that Casey Stengel's Yankees of 1949-60, who all but owned baseball with 10 AL pennants and seven world championships, would have done just as well with anyone else filling out those power-packed lineup cards. And it has been said that Oakland's star-studded A's could play without a manager and do just as well. Dark, whose critics have accused him of being little more than a yes-man for A's owner Charles O.

Finley, seems to that a manager might not be all that important. "I've been on the top and on the bottom as a manager," he says, "and I've known as long as I've been managing that to win you've got to have the players. The difference between managing a championshop team and a losing team is that on the championship team you've got to have championship "When Dick Williams went with the Angels last year, I heard people say he'd turn that team around. All I said was, 'Has he got the players to do Where did the 'Angels finish? Where are they now? And I'm not saying anything against Dick Williams. All I'm saying is that you've got to have the players." One of baseball's perennial winners, Baltimore's Earl Weaver, doesn't buy that: Both he and other managers say there's more to managing than just having the players, making out lineups, changing pitchers and deciding between the bunt, hit-and-run and the like.

"Dick Williams was a great manager with the A's," Weaver says, "and they could have had a disaster there if Dark hadn't come along. Dank did a great are managers who can win and there are managers who can't win even if they have the players. "When you come down to it, it's up to the manager to decide on 25 players after spring training. Then he has to make the lineup and the right moves. A manager has to have harmony with his players.

He's with them more during the season than he is with his manager is the director of the players and the difference is what thr players do." And Weaver says: "It's not for a manager to decide how important he is. That will show after 162 games or a number of years. If a club is going bad, dump the manager. In a lot of cases, it's justified. In baseball you have to win to please the fans.

If the fans are satisfied, a manager will retain his position. If the fans go sour, then the general manager has no choice." Cleveland's Frank Robinson agrees. "Sure I think a manager is important to his team. He puts it together and holds it together. If the players perform well, the manager looks good.

If the players perform poorly, the manager looks bad. "It's part of the job and I agree that you can't fire 25 players. The manager's the likely guy to go when things go bad. But I'll say this: the manager is necessary. He has to make a lot of with the management in making trades and bringing people up from the minors.

"I think Stengel was quite a man. He had that great talent, but he also had to work to put it together. I don't think he just sat there and let things happen." In the unsteady world of baseball, Walter Alston is unique. He has one of the most secure jobs, yet one of the least secure. He's in his 22nd straight year of managing the Dodgers everyone under a one-year contract.

"Anybody taking a job in baseball managing has to be willing to realize he may get fired," he says. "About me being fired, well it's never crossed my mind. I've never thought about it one way or another." The manager's primary job, Alston says, is "to know his players better than anyone else. You have to know who needs a pat on the back and who needs a kick in the and that's just what you do. "Of course, it depends on the individual.

Ballplayers want to be treated as men but that can be overdone. A manager gets a lot of players at 21, 22, but if they're not mature at that age, then what?" Tom LaSorda, the Dodgers' third base coach and heir-apparent to Alston, has a definition of how to manage. "One attitude a manager has to have is to be able to handle any situation," he said. "If he's holding a dove, he can't hold it too tight because he'll kill it. But if he holds it too loose, it would fly away.

"There's only one way to manage: You have to hold the dove firmly enough but don't strangle it. But first of all yi i have to If By FRED EDELSTEIN Tony Cleary, the trainer for the Elmira Pioneer-Red Sox, believes in doing the little things. Like doing the team's laundry. Like making sure every piece of player's uniform is in its most sanitary condition. Or keeping the clubhouse so spotless it draws compliments from visitors.

"As far as I'm concerned," says Cleary, the peon jobs are as important as the so-called 'big' jobs. If you take care of the little things the big things vill take care of themselves. We're all here to benefit each other. Anything I can do to help the general condition of this baseball team-I'll doit." Tony Cleary wants to help. That's why he got started as a trainer.

To help. Biilillllii mmmmmmm 3 Elmira Pioneers trainer Tony Cleary (right) works on pitching arm of Ed Nuss. "I was the team manager for just about every sport in the school," recalls Tony. "One year in pee wee football when I was in junior high in Binghamton I kept seeing kids get I hurt and the coaches had no idea of what was needed to help them. That's when I got interested in train- ing.

But at that time there wasn't much written about the subject. I once tried to do an English report on athletic training and found out it was a foreign topic. There was nothing about it in the library." i Despite the obstacles, Cleary has taught himseL' the craft He is proud 1 of the 11 letters he earned as a trainer for teams at Binghamton '(Central. He watched experienced coaches and read as much as he could. After eight years of working with almost very athletic team in Bighamton, he came to the Pioneers.

"Binghamton Central used to 'scrimmage Southside and Elmira Academy during football's pre-Iseason, so I used to run into Bill Limoncelli. I told him I wanted to get into professional baseball and he play," said Cleary. He was a senior and it was the last game of the season and the most important thing in his life was to play that final game. After I told him I coudn't let Pioneers his trainer quit in June. Bill contacted me on June 11, 1973, and I started working June 12.

When I told my mother I was hired by the Red Sox organization she couldn't believe it. She knew I always wanted to be a trainer in pro sports. It was him play we sat down and talked it all out. He relized that his future couldn't be risked on one high school football game. But no matter what I said, the disappiontmcnt of not playing crushed him.

We both sat there and cried together." Cleary doesn't belive in letting a player on the field when he is hurl. The first responsibility a player has. he says, is to himself. The body shouldn't be ruined for the sake of one victory. Bill Walton caused a controversy last season when he said he'd see what he could do.

"When Joe Romano took over the like a dream come true." Cleary, at 25, is in his third year as the Pioneers' trainer. He says he is getting better, gaining more knowledge every year. He is going to at Corning Community College in the fall. He expects to be here for awhile, especially if school works out. After that? Well, he has his dream.

"I think everybody who gets involved in pro baseball wants to get to the big leagues. In time I think I will have the knowledge to get there. I have a destination," said Tony. When you're a team trainer you have to expect the unexpected. Players get freak injuries.

Sometimes you become more than just a trainer. "I had a kid with a broken wrist who sawed his cast off at Shop-class and came to me with the story that his doctor said it was OK for him to refused to take pain killers for his hurt leg when the Portland TraiL Blazers wanted him to play. Cleary thinks a team is stupid to push a player back into action. "When the Knicks threw Willis Reed back onto the court for the seventh gam of the 1970 playoffs I knew they were ruining him. And he was never the same after that game," said Tony.

"The Trail Blazers have a million dollar player in Walton and they're trying to endanger him in his first year. That dosn't make sense. There is no substitute for rest." Right now, Cleary dosn't want to be anything but an athletic trainer in professional sports. He always wanted to be involved in pro sports. He says he enjoys working with people who appreciate the help he tries to give.

"I love my work," says Tony. It's interesting. It's worthwhile. And it's fun." 1 if.

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