SD -July 11, 1976 Sunday Coiette-Mail -------Â·-"- Charleston. Wwl Virginia By Dave Anderson (C.),\.Y. Timt, Service NEW YORK-The argument for the All- Star game is argument itself. Nothing else in baseball guarantees such controversy and conversation. No matter which starting players the fans elect, debate develops over some. No matter which pitchers and other players the rival managers select, debate develops over some. That's healthy. At the Olympics, for example, there is more talk of politicians than athletes. But the most unusual All-Star argument this year involves Mark Fidrych, the Detroit Tigers' rookie who may be the American League's starting pitcher, and Thurman Munson, the New York Yankees' catcher who was knighted by the fans for the opening lineup. Nearly two weeks ago Thurman Munson grumbled at Mark Fidrych's antics after "The Bird" had stopped the Yankees, 7-1, while talking to the baseball and smoothing the mound as if he were a gardener. "If he pulls that stuff in New York " the Yankee catcher growled, "We'll take care of him." Informed by newsmen of Munson's unkind words, the 21-year-old rookie remained in character, as a character always should. "Who's Thurman Munson?" the rookie asked. "He's the Yankees' catcher," he was told. "Did he play tonight?" the rookie asked. "No," he was told. "He's got a bad leg." "Then the hell with him," Fidrych said. But now Fidrych and Munson might be the American League battery in Philadelphia Tuesday night, possibly with the Tigers' rookie as the starter. Fidrych professes not to know all the hitters he faces, which would explain his ignorance of Munson's identity. But if Munson is his catcher, an introduction and an armistice would be appropriate. With a 9.2 won-lost record and a 1.78 earned run average, Fidrych would appear to have earned the nomination as the starter from Darrell Johnson, the Boston Red Sox manager who will be the resident genius in the American League dugout. * * * FIDRYCH would be only the second rookie pitcher to start a All-Star game. The other was Dave Stenhouse of the Washington Senators in 1962 when there were two All-Star games. He started at Wrigley Field in the second game that year. He had a 10-4 record and a 2.73 earned run average then, but he finished with an 11-12 record. He followed with records of 3-9 and 2-7 and disappeared from the majors. Darrell Johnson has only four other established starting pitchers to choose from-Catfish Hunter, Luis Tiant. Frank Tanana and Bill Travers. Johnson selected four relief pitchers--Sparky Lyle. Rpllie Fingers, Dave LaRoche and Rich Gossage of the Baltimore Orioles. Naturally, an argument ensued. Palmer called Johnson and "idoit" and Garland expressed "disappointment," but Johnson can't satisfy everybody. Neither can Sparky Anderson, the Cincinnati Reds manager whose brainwaves will be bouncing off the National League dugout. Anderson is being criticized for not choosing any of the Philadelphia Phillies pitchers, notably Jim Lonborg and Jim Kaat of the Eastern leaders. But both managers were restricted by the rule that requires each team to be representative. Johnson also neglected to name Henry Aaron, the man with 753 home runs who had been on All-Star teams for 21 consecutive seasons. Perhaps each manager should be permitted one sentimental choice with at least 15 years' experience in 61,000 Fans To Watch PHILADELPHIA ( A P ) - The largest All-Star Game crowd in more than 20 years is expected to jam Veteran's Stadium Tuesday night for the 47th renewal of baseball's midsummer dash of the American and National Leagues. More than 61,000 fans will watch a new- look American League team try to shake off an All-Star slump that has seen the Nationals win 12 of the last 13 meetings. The last time the All-Stars drew that many fans was 1954 when 68,751 turned out at Cleveland to watch an 11-9 AL victory. Those were the days when the Americans dominated this series. But the Nationals have reversed that trend with winning streaks of eight straight and a current four in a row for an over-all series lead of 27-18. The 1961 game ended in a tie. Randy Jones Will Start For N.L. Club CINCINNATI (AP) - Randy Jones of the San Diego Padres, the winningest pitcher in the major leagues this year with a 16-3 record, w i l l be the N a t i o n a l League's starting pitcher in Tuesday night's All-Star Game, NL Manager Sparky Anderson of the Cincinnati Reds said Saturday. Anderson said the only thing that would keep him from starting the Padres' ace lefthander would be if San Diego Manager John McNamara uses him in Saturday's or Sunday's games. McNamara has said he would consider using Jones as a reliever if it would help him gain his 17th victory, which would tie the major league record, held by Oakland's Vida Blue, for the most victories by a pitcher prior to an All-Star Game. Most Unusual All-Star Game Dispute Involves 'The Bird 9 Fidrych and Munson board, the American League is entitled to try to win. If it's a show of stars, perhaps the players should only take batting practice. But in its obsession, the American League office has intruded unfairly on the pennant race by directing that All-Star pitchers not start the previous Sunday's games in order to be rested for an All-Star appearance. When the Atlanta Braves announced that Henry Aaron would not be used at Cincinnati in the opening series of the 1974 season in order that he might tie and break Babe Ruth's homerun record in Atlanta, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn intervened. The Braves were tampering with the integrity of the pennant race. So is the American League in its directive. Billy Martin of the Yankees isn't the only manager who disagrees with the directive. "And if I were picking the team," Martin says, "I'd pick two starters and the rest relief pitchers. I don't think starting pitchers throw, as hard in the All-Star game as they do during this regular season. They're afraid to get hurt. But relief pitchers are used to throwing hard for one or two innings. That's what you want anyway. You couldn't pay me to go to an All- Star game, but if I'm the manager, I'll try to win it." If the Yankees qualify for the World Series this year, Billy Martin will be the American League manager at Yankee Stadium in next year's All-Star game. Stand by for a few even louder arguments. Thurman Muoson May Team With'Bird' addition to the 28-man squads. That surely would prompt another argument. * * * IN FORMING his pitching staff, Johnson has been accused of trying to win, as if that were wrong. But for the American League, showing off the stars went out of style as the National League won 12 of the last 13 games. As long as there's a score- AMERICAN TRANSMISSION FREE ROAD TIST TRANSMISSION CHECK Â· FREE TOWINCÂ«ONE DAYS SERVKE,FINANCING ARRAKED LIFETIME GUARANTEE* AVAILABLE... " Rebuilt Transmission Guaranteed For As Long As You Own Your Cor and Hove It Serviced Annually At Our Centers. ( 1 PHONE 343-8931 205 VIKIMA STRUT. WEST Blocks West of 1-64 Va. St. Interchange at SilverBrandQothes INCREDIBLE SAVINGS ON FAMOUS MAKER MENSWEARNOWIN PROGRESS! HURRY! 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Sliver 5TMTM* wand Ckthe* USEYOURS8C (MS ACCOUNT Produced and Edited by GENERAL ADVERTISING DEPARTMENT CHARLESTON NEWSPAPERS The Charleston Gazette (Jbarttflon jBailp JBail CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA 25330 .FHGUSON.
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