The Marion Star from Marion, Ohio on February 8, 1994 · 9
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The Marion Star from Marion, Ohio · 9

Marion, Ohio
Issue Date:
Tuesday, February 8, 1994
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n Television - Page 13 D Comics - Page 14 D Classified - Page 15-16 4 ' The Marion Star Tuesday, February 8, 1994 (Sham Sparky happy to have By The Associated Press DETROIT If you know Sparky Anderson, you know he loves to talk. You probably also know he only means about half of what he says. . A week ago, the Detroit manager said theTigers didn't need Tim Belcher. "To be honest, I'm not interested in him," Anderson said. "I don't think he could help us." Yet today, Belcher is the newest member of Anderson's rotation. The Tigers, desperate for pitching, signed the free agent right-hander to a one-year contract Monday worth a guaranteed $3.4 million. For Belcher, a Morrow County native, the signi ng represented a cut of .$425,000 from his 1993 salary. He was the 70th of 97 free agents to sign. -; And, to the surprise of no one, Sparky was tapdancing deftly around his words a couple of hours later. "It wasn't anything against Belcher," Anderson said from his home in Thousand Oaks, Calif. "We were talking about Bret Saberhagen, and all I said was that Saberhagen was a premier guy and Belcher wasn't in the class of Saberhagen." 'The times are changing for free agents," Belcher said. "I was offered a two-year contract by a couple of teams. But the big, long-term deals just don't seem to beout there this year." Belcher, 32, was 9-6 with a 4.47 ERA for the Cincinnati Reds last season before he was traded to the White Sox, who were looking for help in their AL West stretch drive. He was 3-5 with Michael Former cage star AMI ( I J.? sun a long snoi By The Associated Press CfflCAGO Even ftWSh Michael, 1 Jordan may ha ve nq chance of imaking n the Chicago White Sox, general man- ager Ron Schueler felt he had no choice but to bring him to spring training. "As much improvement as he has made, it's still a million-in-one shot," Schueler said Monday after Jordan signed a minor league contract following a workout at a packed, made-for-media event. But Schueler, a former major league pitcher, said there was little doubt about inviting the world's most famous basketball player albeit a retired one to spring training next week in Sarasota, Fla. : ' " "If I don't give him the opportunity, 27 other general managers would. In a second." Why ? Jordan hasn't played baseball since he was in high school and is 30 years old, trying to play a sport that those at the highest level have been playing most of their lives. "Because of who he is and his athletic ability," Schueler said. "We're talking about the top athlete in the world." And one who would draw crowds wherever he went, as he did Monday during a 90-minute workout at the Illi Another bad day for Tonya Skater must give chase, or pay tow By The Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore. The temperature washovering around freezing when Tonya Harding, barefoot and wearing a T-shirt, came running to save her pickup truck from being towed away. Centerburg skips COLUMBUS (AP) Centerburg took advantage of an upset to former No.l Upper Scioto Valley to join Stow, Cleveland Benedictine and Lima Central Catholic as a divisional leader in the weekly Associated Press boys state high school poll released Monday. St Marys Memorial knocked off Upper Scioto Valley 48-45, opening the door for 15-0 Centerburg to take over the top spot in Division IV in balloting by a state media panel. Only two weeks remain in the 1994 poll, with both Stow and Lima Central Catholic seeking their second straight titles. Stow won last year's Division I poll crown, while LCC last year's Division IV champ could make it two in a row by winning Division III this year. Centerburg started the week trailing USV by 40 points. Now the Trojans 'The times are changing for free agents. I was offered a two-year con-1 tract by a couple of teams. But the big, long-term deals just don't seem to be out there this year, ' ' Tim Belcher Detroit Tigers a 4.40 ERA for Chicago. 4 I As part of the deal, the Tigers agreed t to allow the right-hander to become a free agent again following the World I Series. . ; . Tm confident enough in my ability that I still may land that big contract that players dream about," Belcher said. The signing of Belcher gives Tigers' ' general manager Joe Klein some breath-, ing room. It was widely reported that the Tigers might have to package a key offensive player, like Mickey Tettleton, , in order to trade for 4 top-flight pitcher. "I told Joe (Klein) it was a big gamble . for a guy like Saberhagen, because to get him you not only have to give up a 5 guy like Mickey, but a couple of kids," , Anderson said. "This way, all you j gamble with Belcher is money." Klein said the Tigers might still try s to swing a deal during spring training, keeping an eye on the waiver wire. Some of the Tigers' best deals have been made in camp, v : In 1984, they picked up reliever Willie Hernandez in the final week of Jordan to join White Sox nois Institute of Technology, not far from Comiskey Park. ' Jordan took more than 50 cuts in the . .: , a ?mjj bivjoi! sJf ' . ' 't ' ... IV, f - . . ) O ..- ' J$ APUserCotof INVITE EXTENDED Basketball great Michael Jordan ponders a question during a news conference in Chicago Monday. Jordan signed a minor league contract with the White Sox' Class AAA team, the Nashville Sounds, and was invited to spring training. Irritation and distraction fill Harding's world theseMays. Still, in spite of everything, she skates on. 1 There are times the pressure shows on the 5-foot-l figure skating champion, who may be booted from the U.S. Olympic team and might face criminal charges in the Jan. 6 attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan. ' Monday morning was one of those times. i The owner of a parking lot across the street from the apartment where Harding is staying got fed up with the number of unauthorized vehicles parked there and past USV in poll own a 64-poi nt bulge over second-place Findlay Liberty-Benton, which started the year No.l. USV dropped to third, with the rest of the top five holding the same spots as last week: Bristolville Bristol was fourth and Crestline fifth. There were no changes in the order of the top four teams in the other three divisions. Stow, ahead by 71 points in the big-school division, was followed by North Royalton, Cleveland Heights, Toledo Scott and Dayton Colonel White. In Division II, Benedictine leads Bellevue, Wauseon, Bellaire and Minerva. The top four teams in Division III held their position. LCC was followed by Versailles, Bellbrook and Belpre. Columbus Hartley slid around Lore City Buckeye Trail and into the No.5 spot. Belcher spring training. Last seasonthey picked up David Wells as a free agent on April 3, after he had been cut by the Toronto Blue Jays. Belcher will join Wells, Mike Moore, Bill Gullickson and John Doherty in the Tigers rotation. "I fully expect these five guys to pitch 200 innings," Klein said. "If they do, that will take a big load off our bullpen, and make them better, too." Detroit pitchers combined for a 4.65 ERA last season, allowing 837 runs. The Tigers compiled an 85-77 record and finished tied for third in the AL East, 10 games behind the Blue Jays. In other baseball news, four players in arbitration agreed to one-year contracts. New York Yankees first baseman Kevin Maas and Houston right-hander Tom Edens also had their hearings. Thirty-seven players remain in arbitration, which runs through Feb. 18. Three Minnesota Twins settled: pitchers Kevin Tapani and Scott Erickson, and outfielder Pedro Munoz. Tapani, a 29-year-old right-hander, agreed at $2,575,000, a raise from $2 million. He was 12-15 with a 4.43 ERA in 36 games last season, leading the Twins in wins, starts, complete games, strikeouts and shutouts. " . Erickson,a26-year-oldright-hander, signed for $ 1 ,325,000, more than double the $535,000 he made in 1993. He was just 8-19 last year, but has a 49-43 record in three-plus seasons. Munoz, 25, agreed at $590,000, more thandoublehis 1993 salary of $253,600. He hit .233 last year with a career-high 13 home runs. batting cage and hit only several line drives. He also fielded grounders and shagged fly balls in, of all places, a ordered them towed away. One of them was Harding's pickup truck. The tow truck driver was hooking up to Harding's truck when the pickup's security alarm went off. A sleepy Harding wandered out from her apartment to see what was going on. When she realized what was happening, she let out a yelp and ran toward her truck. "Move ! Out of the way 1" she shouted at photographers who were in her path. As she confronted the tow truck driver, the photographers closed in again. " - "Can't you guys just go away?" she said, adding a profanity to emphasize her point Eventually, she convinced the tow truck driver to let her truck go. When she climbed into the driver's seat, she dropped her head against the steering wheel in apparent despair. But the low spirits didn't last long. She was joined by John Quintero, who lives in the apartment where Harding is staying with her best friend, John's wife Stephanie. After the two parked the truck in a legal spot, she climbed on his back to relieve her cold feet and he carried her inside. Behind the closed curtains of No. 32 at Valley Park Apartments in suburban Beaverton, Harding watches movies on TV and plans her trip to the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. She and those around her won't say when she plans to leave for Norway. 7 , - AP LaserColOf DETROIT BOUND Free agent pitcher Tim Belcher smiles as he stands in front of the Detroit Tigers logo during a press conference Monday. Belcher, who pitched for the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds last season, signed a one-year contract with the Carlos Quintana and the Boston Red Sox agreed at $450,000, a raise of $90,000. Quintana, a first baseman and outfielder who missed the entire 1992 season because of injuries in an automobile accident, hit .244 in 101 games last season with five doubles and 19 RBIs. gym. ' ; Baskets that he reached so easily in leading the Chicago Bulls to three straight NBA titles, were raised to the roof. And the baseball made a strange thud as it hit the wood floor. One grounder AeiiaziiiaLts ", legs. yyiift&vX SSSfyW But it's hitting that will determine how far Jordan wij go in this improb-ablequest. ; ; "He can hit pitches in the mid-80s," said Ed Gottfried, an Illinois Institute of Technology pitcher, who threw to Jordan on Monday. "I don't know about a guy like Roger Clemens. But I think he has a better than average shot of making it." The prevailing feeling is that Jordan will not be able to handle the 90 mph pitches in the majors, despite his athletic ability. But the challenge for Jordan is proving those who doubt him wrong. . "It's going to be tough reacting to the ball. But he can learn," said White Sox second baseman Joey Cora, who has worked out with Jordan the last two weeks. ' "I've never been afraid to fail," said Jordan, who retired from the Bulls last October.claiminghehad nothing left to prove and wanted to spend more time with his family and away from the spotlight. "That's something you have to deal with in reality. You're not always going Harding has practice time reserved at a suburban shopping mall rink through Friday, and more time could be added next week. "She's going to be practicing every day until she leaves," her lawyer, Bob Weaver, said. "She wants to focus on her skati ng. We want her to focus on her skating." Harding discontinued her public workouts this week and is practicing after the mall is closed. . The flashing cameras of onlookers and unrelenting media attention proved too distracting. "Itjust got to be too much," said Bob Sachen, the rink's manager. At the apartment where she has lived since her celebrated breakup with Jeff Gillooly three weeks ago, escaping from the press is a daily challenge. She never . answers questions that are always asked as she leaves. Instead, she walks directly to whatever vehicle she's in that day and drives away. Photographers and reporters try to follow her but lose her as she zips in and out of traffic, runs red lights and speeds toward the horizon. Harding denies Gillooly' allegations that she gave the final go-ahead for the Kerrigan attack, but the criminal investigation continues. A grand jury considering the case should finish hearing testimony and evidence this week. - In Lillehammer, the U.S. Olympic Committee is deciding whether to throw her off the team. (t 1 . 1 Also, right-hander Bret Saberhagen of the New York Mets was suspended for the first five days of the season with pay because he sprayed bleach at reporters last summer. Saberhagen, who missed the final two months of the season because of injuries to his left knee and right elbow, already had paid at spring to be successful. I think I m strong enough as a person to accept failure. But I can't accept not trying." Not that Jordan expects to fail at his newest venture. I think I've improved, tremen- dd$sly,",jsaiii Jordan, who'sbeen wprk-J 7 felni out ancjerneath Comiskey Park "for" theiasttwo months with some White ' Sox players and personnel. "My motto has been, 'It's no gimmick." Jordan told a gathering of 200 reporters and photographers he would consider going to the minor leagues if the White Sox thought he had the potential to make it to the majors. "The level of competition will dictate how far he goes, whether he would make the big league club or has to go to the minors," said Schueler. Jordan's contract is with the Nashville Sounds of the Triple-A American Association. He is still being paid by the Bulls this season, a salary reported to be $4 million. "I chose to try to play baseball just to see if I could," said Jordan, whose father was slain last summer. "I'm not doing it as a distraction and I'm not doing it as a media hog or looking for the media exposure from it. It's one of the wishes my father had and I had as a kid." . The White Sox know about distractions. They had to deal with Bo Jackson's comeback from hip replacement surgery last spring. Jordan, like ' 17 APUMfColM GIDDY-UP Figure skater Tonya Harding is given a ride by her friend, John Quintero, back into a Beaverton, Ore., appartment where she is staying after saving her truck from being towed Monday morning. She faces a possible worse fate at the hands of the usoe. pvrV '. ' 1 Jl Tigers. a fine of $ 15,384, one day of his 1993 pay. And the California Angels said Joe Magrane needs arthroscopic surgery on his pitching elbow. Magrane, reT leased by the Cardinals, was given a $3.5 million, two-year contract last fall by then-Angels boss Whitey Herzog, a move roundly criticized by other clubs; training Jackson, will not be given any special treatment. ; "He'll have to earn it, nothing's going to be given to him," Schueler said.. "We're going to go north with the best 3mtiy.H mcl or.t c " ' ' . A Jordan can expect some Qitchiht ''close to his 'Chiti Men' he takes the plate. It's baseball's way of testingplay- ers who haven't been around. "The pitchers will make it awfully tough on him. I don't think anybody will say, 'I'm going to throw it down the middle and let Michael get a hit.' He's going to get worked over and they are going to come after him." . Irish on the road Marion Catholic's varsity and junior varsity boys will have a makeup game tonight with Worthington Christian serving as the host team. The games will be held at the McCord Middle School gymnasium on Hard Road in Worthington. The JV game begins at 6 p.m. OU's Trent honored .: TOLEDO (AP) Akron's Torrey' Kershaw and Ohio U.'s Gary Trent share; the men's honors and Bowling Green's; Lori Albers was the women's pick for playerof the week in the Mid-American-' Conference. I lit hi' ( ,J. y vj s If 'U' , 7 A v - v. . H V . ... )

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