The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on April 18, 1993 · 14
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The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · 14

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 18, 1993
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B2 The Ottawa Citizen, Sunday, April 18, 1993 BASEBALL It's all in the delivery for Morris r THE JAYS -wn is hard to believe that so -many blockheads have been running American League ball clubs for the past 15 TRENT Over that " long spell, it FRAYNE appears, no one peering at Jack Morris from rival dugouts spotted a flaw in his windup or delivery that tips off the sort of pitch Jack is about to deliver. But now the secret is out, apparently. Squinty-eyed sleuths in the Cleveland dugout know it, and so do unblinking spies engaged by Seattle's Mariners. Kansas City may be next. Jack starts there Wednesday. You know about Jack, of course. He's the workhorse right-handed pitcher whose current goal is to try to survive longer than four innings in any one start. At 38 next month, Jack is growing a trifle long in the tooth for a hard-throwing pitcher. So far, in three starts, Jack hasnt managed it. What he has managed is a 0-3 record, a home-run ball in the first inning of each start and a previously unheard of earned-run average of 17.18. To date, the Blue Jays have engaged only the Indians and the Mariners. Nobody likes to think of Jack in Boston, where the Fenway Park wall looms just back of third base, or in Detroit, where Tiger Stadium is larger than a box of crackers but not by much. It's not just that Jack has been raked over by the Mariners and the Indians. It is worse than that. He has been pummeled, stoned, rocked, pelted, bombarded, attacked, assaulted, assailed, pounced upon, shot at, sniped at, undressed, lanced, bayoneted, dragooned, besieged, stormed, beleaguered, scalped, battered and, not to put too fine a point upon it, strafed, shelled, blitzed and, urn, garrotted. Jack hasnt done well. Scribes who travel with the ball club and the radio announcers , who must describe every pitch have declared that when Jack winds up, he is tipping what he about to throw fastball, curve-ball or his specialty, the splitter (watch that "1"). "So hard are his pitches being hit that it almost seems as if batters know exactly what is coming," wrote Neil A. Campbell in Saturday's Globe and Mail following Jack's most recent shelling (11 hits and 10 runs in four innings in Cleveland on Friday night). Jerry Howarth, one of the play-by-play broadcasters, used this theme as the Indians made it 1(H) in the fourth inning: "Jack must be doing something that the Indians bench is picking up. The hitters seem to know what's coming." Still, if this were true, what were the bench jockeys of yore up to? How come it isn't until Jack's 16th season in the big leagues that somebody discovers he's tipping pitches? Was everybody sleeping in the AL dugouts in his 13 years with the Tigers, his World Series year with the Twins, his World Series year with the Blue Jays? Was everybody dozing until 1993? No, Jack himself may have put his finger on it the other night when he said that a former Mariner slugger, Tom Paciorek, now a broadcaster for the White Sox, once told him he was tipping his pitches. That didn't bother Jack back then; he beat the Mariners 3-0. But telling the story now he added, "Course, I probably had an extra foot on my fastball back then." Ay, there's the rub, as that old baseball writer W. Shakespeare may have noted. Baseball is a different line of work than most The millionaire serfs are paid according to last year's labors, not their current contribution. Accordingly, what appears on the record last year is not always what shows up on the field this year. Enter the human element. Years ago, when Jack Kent Cooke owned the Triple-A Toronto Maple Leafs, he hired a couple of aging big-league sluggers to cover deficiencies as he would hire a couple of bookkeepers to straighten the office books. This was in 1948, when he bought Les Fleming from the Indians and Marv Rickert from the Braves. But, lo, although both had hit big-league pitching in their primes, they were no longer in their primes. Their reputations fazed few IL pitchers, and the Leafs failed to prosper. So the problems confronting Jack Morris, 21-game winner last year, may not be a tipped pitch so much as the foot he's lost on his fastball. It's not getting to the plate as fast as it used to, and it's leaving quicker. (Trent Frayne is a veteran sports columnist who will appear in the Citizen throughout the major-league baseball season.) OTTAWA LYNX HOME OPENER J jJ fyy .. .: i . ..J. J' ' -' -- ' ' -- ----- - k 1 Freeloaders enjoy view from afar MICHAEL PRENTICE David Chan, Citizen Lynx second baseman Todd Haney bobbles ball in early innings In the good old days, people would vatch the Ottawa Rough Riders from the Bank Street bridge. Then the new clubhouse at Lansdowne Park blocked their view. Now there's a new vantage point for watching professional sport for free in Ottawa. It's the chain-link fence beyond the outfield wall at the Ottawa Lynx baseball stadium. At least 50 freeloaders had a great view of the Lynx home opener from a spot less than 400 feet from home plate, with an uninterrupted view of the field. Among them was Claude Legendre, who explained that he was able to get tickets for today's game but was too late to buy tickets for Saturday night's opener. "It's a great spot, and the chance of a lifetime to see the return of baseball to Ottawa." Just as the game was about to begin, a fan with a spare $630 ticket offered to sell it to Legendre, but he decided he was well enough off where he was. Coventry Road is going to be a popular spot with baseball fans who don't want to spend the price of admission, even at minor-league baseball prices that, in the Lynx' case, range from $420 to $8.40. Besides a free view of the game, there's a good chance of catching a home-run ball, which will frequently land outside the stadium, down the VOICE IN THE CROWD left-field line. At the moment, the area beyond the stadium fence is muddy. But, within a few weeks, it will be a pleasant spot to bring a lawn chair and have a barbecue while watching the game. It's almost no further from the action than the stadium picnic area, where admission will be $2 once the section is landscaped, probably next month. Those watching for free Saturday night had a better view of the game than some of those who paid an $8 surcharge for the privilege of watching from the stadium restaurant. The restaurant has a minimum charge of $20 $12 of which is a food credit. The other $8 is in lieu of an admission ticket. Some tables in the restaurant offer a wonderful view of the field. Others, at the back, have very restricted sightlines. Capital Foods, which operates the restaurant, says it would be impractical to charge different viewing fees at different tables. So, when making a reservation for the restaurant, fans should make sure they get a table next to the window. Fans who can't get tickets to a Lynx game may want to try the box of fice about 90 minutes before game time. A few good tickets went on sale at that time Saturday for the home opener. They had been kept, for dignitaries and the visiting team. Even when a game is a sellout, there are usually some tickets available at the last minute. And, in the case of the Lynx, if you can't get a ticket, you can always watch the game for nothing from Coventry Road. LYNX NOTES Flight problems hold up umpires If you got caught in the pre-game traffic outside Ottawa's baseball stadium, you were in good company. The opening night umpiring crew of chief Brian O'Nora, Jim Paylor and Darrel Mason was also held up. The three worked Friday night in Columbus, Ohio, and were scheduled to fly to Ottawa via Syracuse with plenty of time to spare. Getting to Syracuse was easy. Not so the final leg, normally a 35-minute jaunt. Engine problems delayed the plane, and the umpires didn't arrive at their dressing room until 7:10 p.m. "It was even tough finding our dressing room," said O'Nora. Convoy to airport It was nearly a similar tale for the Lynx. A charter bus never showed up to take the Lynx from their Norfolk, Va., hotel to the airport at 5:30 a.m. Saturday. Instead, the Lynx took a procession of 10 cabs to the airport, making their 7:10 a.m. flight by about 20 minutes. It was a rather fitting way for the Lynx to end their four-day stay in Norfolk. While in the city, their charter bus to and from the ball park was a school bus. Fewer bus trips? Yeah, right To players, the best news about reaching Triple-A is fewer bus trips. But tell that to the visiting Charlotte Knights. They finished a rain-delayed game Friday night in Rochester at 11 p.m. It was 6:30 a.m. before the Knights checked into the Chimo Inn. "I remember (managing) Double-A in Orlando, Fla., six-hour and 14-to-15-hour trips through the Southern League," said Knights manager Charlie Manuel. "But I thought those days were behind me." Knights infielder Mark Lewis said you never get used to long bus trips. "I had forgot how bad they really are." Is there a doctor in the stadium? He's doctored Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships. He's treated every ache and pain from the Ottawa Rough Riders and there have been many for almost a decade. Now Ottawa's Dr. Mark Aubry will oversee the Lynx, as part of a local medical team responsible for the Lynx and the visiting teams. "In football, more injuries occur during a game than the other sports," said Aubry. "I think in baseball, it's going to be more small things like pulls and strains. I'm really looking forward to it." Aubry will work closely with Montreal Expos team physicians Larry Coughlin and Bob Broderick. Fanning attends Lynx opener Deposed Expos jack-of-all-trades Jim Fanning was a welcome sight in the Lynx dugout before the opener. No matter how high Fanning rose through the executive ranks in his 25 years with the Expos, he never got too "big-time" to offer a friendly hello or pick-me-up to minor leaguers. Several Lynx players don't think the parent club did itself any favor unloading Fanning from the payroll just before Opening Day in Montreal. Other major-league clubs honor their long-time employees. Not so in Montreal. Laker downplays excitement Understand catcher Tim Laker's understated excitement at playing in the home opener. After being sent down by the Montreal Expos, Laker only joined the Lynx Saturday afternoon. "It's not quite the same as when you start in front of 80,000 at Denver's Mile High Stadium," he said. "Even on the second day, 67,000 people showed up. On the third day, 65,000 more. It was wild." Laker drove in a run in his first Lynx at-bat and doubled and scored in his second. Hey, isn't that whatshisname? Who says minor-league ballplayers toil in anonymity? Even at a mall in Virginia, Lynx reliever Tim Fortugno was spotted as a famous athlete. There is a catch. The famous athlete Olerud's blast propels Jays Blue Jays 8, Indians 1 The Associated Press CLEVELAND John Olerud realizes you can't hit a three-run home run without a little help from your teammates. Paul Molitor broke up a double play Saturday to extend the first inning for Olerud, who hit a three-run homer that helped the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Cleveland Indians 8-1. "It's little things like that that might get you a few extra runs, give somebody else a chance to drive in a run," Olerud said. "It takes a little extra effort, but it's worth it. It also makes them think about it the next time, and you might get a wild throw out of it." Hot-swinging Joe Carter also homered for the Blue Jays, who bounced back from Friday night's 13-1 loss. Carter's home run off Tom Kramer in the eighth was his fourth in the past seven games. He has hit safely in eight of nine games and is batting .387. Winner Pat Hentgen (1-1) pitched five scoreless innings in his fourth major-league start. The right-hander, who had thrown 65 pitches in a relief appearance three days earlier, limited Cleveland to three hits, striking out three and walking two despite pitching with a sore hip. The Indians entered the game leading the majors with a .338 team average, 69 runs, 127 hits and 17 home runs. "My arm rebounded fine," Hentgen said. "I just need to nurse this hip back to full health." Galarraga haunts Expos Rockies 9, Expos 1 BY TERRY SCOTT The Canadian Press MONTREAL His services may no longer be required in Montreal, but Andres Galarraga continues to leave his calling card. The Expos former first baseman went 3-for-5 and drove in three runs with a pair of doubles as the Colorado Rockies dealt Dennis Martinez his third straight loss and humbled the Expos 9-1 in a National League game Saturday. "My agent called Montreal last winter," said Galarraga, who was a free gent after playing for St. Louis last year. "They told him they weren't interested. "I wasn't mad, but I was disappointed. What have they used, eight or 10 first basemen?" Charlie Hayes also had three RBI, on a sacrifice fly and two-run home run, as the Rockies, a first-year club, boosted their record to 4-6, with three of the victories coming against the Expos. The Rockies have scored 40 runs in five games against Montreal pitching. Galarraga, who is sizzling with a .439 average, set the tone by providing the Rockies with a 2-0 first-inning lead. He smoked a one-out, two-run double into right field off Martinez (0-3), who had surrendered a lead-off single to Eric Young and Alex Cole's walk to start the inning. "I'm just feeling more relaxed, more patient at the plate," said Galarraga. "I'm trying to use all three fields, instead of pulling the ball every time." Galarraga collected his 14th RBI by doubling in the fourth inning behind a Dante Bichette single. Hayes's sacrifice fly later in the inning made it 4-0. Martinez, the Expos' ace, has allowed 12 runs in his first 18 innings this season, a 6.00 earned-run average. He left after the fifth inning, having allowed the lead-off batter to reach base in four of the five innings. BRIEFLY Fireworks at Candlestick There were fireworks everywhere at Candlestick Park late Friday night on the field, in the air and deep in the bowels of the stadium. After John Burkett and Rod Beck pitched the Giants to a 1-0 win over Atlanta, some Braves confronted the umpiring crew in the hallway and began a shouting contest. The umpires had no security escort off the field, and they needed it after one of the truly weird nights in Candlestick Park history. Two Braves manager Bobby Cox and third baseman Terry Pendleton were ejected. And there were three wildly controversial plays that involved plate umpire Bruce Hirschbeck. What angered the Braves were three separate incidents. In the fifth inning, Terry Pendleton was thrown out from his seat on the bench. Hirschbeck said he had warned Pendleton earlier for mouthing off about strike calls. Cox said Pendleton did not say a word after the warning. Another argument erupted in the sixth when Burkett struck out and catcher Greg Olson dropped the ball, then thought he tagged Burkett, but the pitcher kept running. Hirschbeck said Olson missed the tag and Burkett was ruled safe at first. The big blowout came in the ninth with Beck pitching. Left-fielder Ron Gant tried to check his swing, but the strike was called. Gant angrily walked off into foul territory and Hirschbeck instructed Beck to throw the ball. It was called a strike. Two pitches later, Gant flied out to end the game. Another Kinerism Our favorite broadcast hero, Ralph Kincr, is back with a Kiner Klassic that may just be his greatest ever. Late in a spring-training game between the Mets and the Yankees, Ralph left the booth between innings, only to discover upon his return that the Yankees had made some defensive changes. Which would have been OK, except that he wasnt too sure what they were. Not that that stopped him. SATURDAY RESULTS National League Rockies 9, Expos 1 Cubs 6, Phillies 3 Braves 2, Giants 0 Mets 4, Reds 1 Marlins 9, Astros 4 American League Blue Jays 8, Indians 1 Red Sox 5, White Sox 1 Tigers 20, Mariners 3 Rangers 9, Yankees 0 Angels 7, Orioles 5 Brewers 6, Athletics 3 Fortugno was thought to be was tennis player Brad Gilbert, who bears a striking resemblance to Fortugno. Chicken pox update Third baseman Hector Vargas wore a Lynx uniform for the first time Saturday, but like fellow chicken pox sufferers Dave Rosario and Bill Risley, he is still several days away from game action. "I lost eight pounds the first night I had them. I've only been able to play a little catch and some pepper this week," said Vargas, who has spent the past 10 days quarantined in an east end hotel room. "I had them bad, I couldn't eat much. I had them inside my mouth." Official opening May 28 The Lynx will mark the official opening of the stadium May 28 when the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Barons come to town. Lynx owner Howard Darwin hopes to have pitching legend Ferguson Jenkins, . the only Canadian ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY., on hand for the "official" ceremonial first pitch. Also, by that date, construction on Coventry Road and the accesses to the stadium are expected to be completed. (Compiled by Citizen staff.) "I see the Yankees have made some changes in the outfield." he reported. "They've put Bernie Williams in left field. And now plaving centre field . . . uh . . . " Kiner looked up at the scoreboard, hoping for help. What he found up there, though, were results of fan balloting to decide which song would get played on the P.A. system before the next half-inning. And fortunately for Kiner watchers, the winner of that balloting was a famous number entitled Centre Field, by-John Fogarty. So ... anybody want to to guess what happened next? "And in centre field." Ralph announced, finally, "that's John Fogarty." We can only imagine the scream that erupted up in the booth after that fascinating bulletin. But it went something like: "Nooooooooooooo that's Gerald Williams in centre. Gerald Williams." "Sorry," Kiner said. "Correction. That's Gerald Williams in centre field and John Fogarty in right." (Citizen news services.)

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