Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois on July 27, 1980 · 43
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Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois · 43

Chicago, Illinois
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 27, 1980
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t ? S 7 Door The 'new' .re Fleet sets sail for Mackinac r ; ; Page 3 salmon boom Soldier Field Tom McNally, page 7 Page 8 County (ChicaBD (tribune QflftQ besicorx available Section 4: Sunday, July 27, 1980 ' - ' " J?J Vi V . CLASSIFIED ADSj i 1 1 1 ' : '. -I Kennedy: I didn't agree with Gomez's tactics B.-.f . t . .... wil,; - -:-- - - Bob Kennedy By Dave Nightingale . Chicago Tribune Press Service LOS ANGELES Cub General . Manager Bob Kennedy, breaking a self-imposed, 48-hour period of virtual silence, said Saturday he fired Manager Preston Gomez because "it was obvious I didn't agree with the way he managed from a tactical'standpointl." in a' wide-ranging exclusive interview with The Tribune, Kennedy also: , wj Promised the Cubs would be "verv i i active" in the trade markets between now and the, end of the year, saying there was "no Question" a major deal would be made. Implied strongly that left fielder Dave Kingman would not be involved in any of the deals because "Dave and the Joey Amalfitano, the Cubs' manager for the rest of the season and maybe longer, has had two other flirtations with managing. Page 2. Bruce Sutter says he'd go to. arbitration again if the Cubs try to cut his $700,000 salary, but he' believes the club will trade him. Page 2. Bears' Walter Payton are the only two legitimate sports crowd draws in Chicago." Kennedy had been virtually incognito since he decided Thursday to replace Gomez with third-base coach Joe Amalfitano, a decision that was not fully implemented until Friday afternoon. The general manager was not -readily available to media representatives at Dodger Stadium Friday night, irking representatives of WGN-TV and WGN radio for failing to appear on the air during the game, as promised, to explain his moves. "We pay a lot of money to carry the Cubs' games and then we get stiffed like this," said a WGN representative. SATURDAY, HOWEVER, Kennedy reluctantly discussed the change in managers, prefacing his comments with "there is a lot that I could say, but I won't say it." Among the things he did say were: "I considered firing Preston at the All-Star game, but decided to wait to see if things would improve. They didnt. I could have been a nice guy and waited until the end of the year to fire him, but that really wouldn't have accomplished anything." "What can Amalfitano do with a team burdened by injuries, defeatism,' and indifference that Preston couldn't do? Well, obviously, I think Joey can manage better in most areas. Joey is ready. I want him to have the chance. ' And he can have it next year, too, if he wants it." i . r "There is no pleasant way to fire a manager, especially if he has been your friend. But you have to do what you have to do. And if it raises a storm, then you the general manager just have to put up with it. The main thing I regret is that, now, apparently, I have lost a friend because of what I had to do." KENNEDY REITERATED that hit principal dissatisfaction with Gomez was Preston's tactics. , The first major disagreement came during a May 4 double-header in Cincinnati. ' "We had won the opener and were ahead 4-1 in the late innings of the second game," Kennedy recalled. "We had Bruce Sutter and Dick Tidrow available in the bullpen to protect that lead. Yes, . Sutter had pitched a couple of innings in " the first game, but we had a day off after the double-header, plenty of time to rset. So, who gets called in to relieve? Bill Caudill. And a guy Junior Kenne- Contlnued on page 4, coi. t Cubs no kind of organization: Gomez "AFTER ALL THESE years, I figured nothing that happened m baseball would surprise me," said Preston Gomez, speaking from Santa Monica, Cal. . "I was wrong. I was surprised the Cubs fired me. I never expected it. Particularly since only a few days ago we were talking about 1981." Gomez was dismissed as manager Friday by Bob Kennedy in a Los Angeles hotel room. Prior to being called to Kennedy's room, Gomez was not aware that the Cub general manager was in Los Angeles. "I thought Kennedy wanted to discuss some possible deals, or more plans for next season," continued Gomez. "But as soon as I saw the look on Kennedy's face, I knew what it was." JUST PRIOR TO the All-Star game on July 8. Kennedy started voicing misgivings about having signed Gomez, an old friend, to succeed Herman Franks after last season. "This guy is a wonderful person, but he can't manage," said Kennedy. "He can't manipulate like Herman did." In the Wake of the News By David Condon If it took Kennedy a half-season to conclude that Preston and the Cub organization didn't meld, Bob was weeks behind the former San Diego and Houston manager. Gomez hardly had put on Cub flannels before he had misgivings. "By the second day of spring training," he said, "I could see the situation. More unhappy players than I've seen on any team. No kind of an organization. And I said to myself: 'What in the hell am I doing here?' " Gomez had to shrug off that question and try to make the best of it because he had been forewarned he would be courting chaos to leave the Los Angeles Dodgers for the Cubs. - DODGER OFFICIALS, who liked Gomez on the coaching lines, said he practically had a lifetime job with "the first class" Los Angeles organization. They felt he would be making a mistake, that he certainly would be unhappy, going to the Cubs. "But I'd been a manager before, and once you've had a taste, it's human nature to want to take another shot at it," said Gomez, who thinks he'd still like another chance as a field boss. In his first venture as a manager, Gomez was no better and no worse than the legendary Casey Stengel was in his initial experiences managing in the majors. "But I was willing to be the sacrificial lamb as the first manager of San Diego's expansion team," Gomez recently told some Los Angeles friends. And Houston wasn't far be- f-i .'.';r- Hi " - I - ,. j "I don't think . Mr. Wrigley knows every-thing thafs going, on. He has to he more involved and do something about the situation." Preston Gomez Continued on page 2, col. l Preston Gomez 1 Ovett beats Coe in a sluggish 800 From Tribune Wire servlcee MOSCOW The first half of the Great British Duel never really came off Saturday. With Sebastian Coe avoiding Steve Ovett on the track as the pair has off the track for years, Ovett merely had to fight off the strong bid of surprising challenger Nikolai Kirov of the Soviet Union to win the 800-meter gold medal. Coe, making his move too late, did manage to nip Kirov in the final strides to take the silver. With the pace lagging for the first 400 meters, Coa still saw fit to run the race his way on the outside and from the back rather than moving up to aggressively take charge. The clocking at that point was 54.3, ending any chance of bettering Coe's world mark of 1 minute, 42.4 seconds. Ovett, who could have let the race get away early when he was almost jostled out of the race at 200 meters by Detlef Wagenknecht of West Germany, hung in ' and put on his usual finishing kick with The Summer Olympics Moscow Tribune Photo by Ovle Conor LeRoy Murphy, U.S. Olympic light heavyweight champion from Chicago, works out at Fuller Park Gym, and dreams of Moscow. Olympic hopes gone, boxer still must cope ' By Skip Myslenski LeROY MURPHY first entertained the dream four years ago. He would be in Moscow now as the light heavyweight representative of the United States boxing team, and one night he would mount the highest step of a three-tiered platform, bow, have a gold medal slipped around his neck, and then straighten up and receive the applause due an Olympic champion. This vision propelled him through four years filled with morning runs and afternoon workouts, through four years filled with toil 'and labor, sacrifice and sweat. "Since 1978 I preached Olympics, Olympics, Olympics, that's why we're here," says his manager, Jlra Strickland, and two years ago that aim wag proclaimed even more strongly. Jim Strickland had a business card printed up for LeRoy and across Its top was a simple declaration. . "Moscow the GOAL," It read, "Then the GOLD." "It drew smiles, smirks, laughs from coaches in Chicago," Strickland recalls. "But I thought that anything positive would be good. What's that saying? If you don't dream dreams, you'll never have them." That dream, of course, has been transformed into a nightmare, and so on this July afternoon during the summer of the boycott, LeRoy Murphy Is sitting in a building at Fuller Park, 4,980 miles from Moscow and the Olympic Games. Here he is composed, outwardly content with being in this place, but earlier this day his mind had wandered maddeningly. There's no boxing today, be had thought, so I would' ve been enjoying " Continued on page U, eol. 1 about 150 meters to go, finishing In . 1:45.4, three seconds short of Coe's record, but sufficient to top his country- man's 1:45.9 and Kirov's 1:46.0. THE DUEL off' the track continued unabated. The two, who are expected to meet again next week in the 1,500-meter final, didn't say a word to each other before the race and didn't look at each other or shake hanks when it was over. At the medal ceremony there was a brief, quite formal, handshake, as each looked at the ground. Ovett then strode off the rostrum, made an end run on the waiting press, and went back to Olympic Village. Coe, by contrast, stood before 300 newsmen, telling them frankly that he had been badly beaten. "Some days you run well and some days you don't," he said. "I didn't run well today." Ovett? "What can I say about Ovett The guy won." WITH A CAPACITY Lenin Stadium crowd of 103,000 roaring for the British for a change with Soviet athletes dominating medals ceremonies, another Briton gave them even more reason. Daley Thompson, at XI, became the youngest winner of the decathlon since American Bob Mathias won at that age in Helsinki in 1952. Thompson, a native Nigerian who lives In London, finished with 8,495 points, leading the two-day competition all the way. Yuri Kutsanko of the Soviet Union took the silver with 8,331, and countryman Sergei Zhalanov the bronze with 8,135. ' Thompson, who will be 22 next Wednesday, would have needed a 4 minute, 17.2 second finish In the 1,500 meters, the final event, to beat German Guldo Kratschmer's world record of (,649 set June 13-14. Thompson, however, managed only 4:39.9, finishing last In his It . 1 " - w-y,-, -iZ? - - . . .... SK v't f'lifV ' M.. Soviets stunned in basketball ' " Story on' page 5 group heat. He also missed American Bruce Jenner's Olympic record of 8,622 set at Montreal in 1976. IN PERHAPS THE weirdest turn of events in these games, the machinations of women's gymnastics judges aside, a Soviet fencer making his debut in the' epee event was pierced through the chest by a foil and taken to a hospital where his condition was described as satisfactory. Vladimir Lapltsky was dueling with Poland's Adam Robak when they attacked simultaneously. Robak's foil broke against the side of Lapltsky's mask. As the Soviet turned away to avoid a collision, the broken foil went through the protective clothing at the back of his arm and emerged through the front of his chest He was taken off unconscious, but offi cials said V. was believed the foil had been deflected by his rib cage and did not damage his heart. It was the first time in Olympic history that anyone had been hurt Id the fencing competition. France went on to beat the Soviet Union by eight hits to win the gold medal after the teams were tied 8-8. THE EAST GERMAN women continued to boil the waters of the pool, with Petra Schneider solidifying her position . as the world's best all-around swimmer. Her electrifying performance in the final of the 400-meter Individual medley, 4 minutes, 36.29 seconds, gave the East German women their ninth gold medal of the Games. She not only won the event by 10 seconds over Sharron Davles of Britain, but shattered her own world record of 4:38.44 and the Olympic record of 4:42.77 Britain's Steve Ovett . crosses the. finish line and then raises a fist in a victory salute after taking the gold medal in the 800-meter run, beating pre - race favorite Sebastian Coe' (254), whose own late finishing kick' barely beat Soviet Nikolai Kirov for, the silver. j UPI Teloptwtot by Ulrike Tauber of East Germany In! 1976. Tauber finished fifth Saturday. , East Germany's other swmming gold Saturday was by Ute Geweneger Un the; 100-meter breaststxoke with 1:10.22. '' AND, IN THE DAY'S saddest story. flyweight Alberto Mercado, who lost his job with the Puerto Rican Parks and Recreation Department for insisting that he compete in the Olympics, suffered a heart-breaking loss in his first fight Mercado, the Pan American Game and World Cup champion, was cut on the right eyelid by a butt early In the first round of his 112-pound bout with Roman Gilberto of Mexico. The referee summoned a doctor to the ring and the bout was allowed to continue. A short time later the doctor again was called and stopped the fight at 1:32 of the round. "I feel very sad," said Mercado, who had cried In the dressing room. "I put In all my efforts. I took care of myself. From now on my mission Is to help my teammates."

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