The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 8, 1985 · Page 9
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 9

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Monday, April 8, 1985
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Sports The Salina Journal Monday, April 8,1985 Page 9 Royals open against tough Blue Jays By DOUG TUCKER AP Sports Writer KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays, teams with reason to hope for big things in 1985, open their seasons today on the shiny new artificial turf of Royals Stadium. Right-hander Dave Stieb, 16-8 last season when the Blue Jays finished 89-73 and in second place in the American League East, will pitch for Toronto. The Royals will launch defense of their AL West title with Bud Black, 17-12 last year. Forecasters were predicting football-type conditions for the game. The weather is epected to be partly cloudy with the high temperature about 50. Game time is set for 1:35 p.m. The Blue Jays, who have made what could be key additions to their bullpen corps, finished 15 games behind the Detroit Tigers last year, despite some pitching deficiencies in their relief corps. The addition of relievers Bill Caudill and Gary Lavelle could make the Blue Jays one of the league's most formidable teams, said Royals Manager Dick Howser. "We didn't play 'em in spring training. But the report I got out of Florida was, 'Watch out for those guys.' They really did shore up their bullpen," Howser said. Caudill, a 28-year-old right-hander, had 36 saves, a 9-7 record and an earned run average of 2.71 for the Oakland A's Kansas City Royals' 1985 roster PITCHERS JOE BECKWITH, BUD BLACK, MARK GUBICZA, LARRY GURA, DANNY JACKSON, MIKE JONES, MIKE LaCOSS. CHARLIE LEIBRANDT, DAN QUISENBERRY. BRET SABERHAGEN. CATCHERS JIM SUNDBERG, JOHN WATHAN. INFIELDERS STEVE BALBONI, BUDDY BIANCALANA, GEORGE BRETT, ONIX CONCEPCION, DANE IORG, GREG PRYOR, FRANK WHITE. OUTFIELDERS LYNN JONES, DARRYL MOTLEY. PAT SHERIDAN, WILLIE WILSON. DESIGNATED HITTERS HAL McRAE, JORGE ORTA. last year. Lavelle, a 36-year-old left-hander, saved 12 games and had a 5-4 record last year for the San Francisco Giants. "They're for real," said Howser. "We're opening against one of the. best teams in the league. They lost a lot of games last year in the late innings. They'd have a lead going into the late innings and just not hold it. But that won't happen to them this year." Losing late-inning leads has been the least of the Royals' problems the past five years with Dan Quisenberry in the bullpen. But Howser is hopeful that Quisenberry will have even more leads to protect from his five-man rotation of Black, Danny Jackson, Charlie Leibrandt and second-year men Bret Saberhagen and Mark Gubicza. The Royals' only major off-season acquisition was veteran catcher Jim Sundberg, who figures to help anchor the youthful pitching corps. "I think we've got five starters who are above major league average," Sundberg said. "We'll be in a lot of games. We're going to go out and play and try to do the best we can every game." The Royals got their first look Sunday at the new $1.7 million artificial turf. The bright green Astroturf also has a new pad. "It feels nice and bouncy," said Kansas City second baseman Frank White. "We'll probably give up our home turf advantage for the first month or so of the season until we learn how it's going to play." Rose in spotlight on Opening Day Pete Rose will be trying to lead his Cincinnati Reds back to respectability this season. The Reds open the 1985 season today against the Montreal Expos. By The Associated Press Pete Rose takes aim on one of the most hallowed records in sports. Baseball's best division, now better than ever, takes aim on the World Series champions, the Detroit Tigers. The carefree days of spring training are over; the regular season awaits. Monday, it's Opening Day, 1985. In Cincinnati, where the National League has started its season for the past century, player-manager Rose leads his Reds against the Montreal Expos before a sellout crowd of 52,000 at Riverfront Stadium. Another 52,000 fans are expected at Tiger Stadium, where Detroit meets the Cleveland Indians in one of four American League openers. The other AL games are at Baltimore, where.the Orioles play the Texas Rangers; at Boston, where the Red Sox face the New York Yankees, and at Kansas City, where the Royals meet the Toronto Blue Jays. "There's nothing like a home opener, whether it's at home or on the road," Yogi Berra, the Yankees manager, once said. The rest of the 26 major league teams play Tuesday. By April 19, every team will have opened at home. The crowd in Cincinnati should be lively, anxious to see what Rose can do in his first full season since returning to his hometown. The Reds have fallen on hard times since the Big Red Machine glory days of the 1970s, and Cincinnati fans hope Rose's enthusiasm can rejuvenate the team. For now, an even bigger story will be Rose's pursuit of Ty Cobb's Sindelar to Masters after Greensboro win GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) Joey Sindelar won his way into the Masters, but said he'll go to : Augusta, Ga. by way of Horse- r heads, N.Y. , "I'm not a " negative think- -er," Sindelar .said after his " surprise victory Sunday in .wind and rain ' and cold at the jtf Greater ' Greensboro Sindelar Open, his first on the PGA Tour. ; "But I only came here with : clothes for one week. I've got to . go home and regroup," he said. ; Sindelar, who collected $116,528 last year as a Tour rookie, hadn't expected to be making the trip to Augusta next' week. He'd planned on a week at home in upstate New York. But, with the extreme weather conditions sweeping away the hopes of some of the game's more glamorous names, Sindelar climbed over 15 players with a closing round of 69, then waited around for more than an hour for the rest of the field to finish and confirm his first victory. It was achieved on a 285 total, three under par for four trips over the wind-scoured Forest Oaks Country Club course. "Unbelievable. I'm so excited I can hardly talk," Sindelar said. The victory was worth $72,000 from the total purse of $400,000 and pushed his money winnings for the year to $87,044. Perhaps more importantly, it qualified Sindelar for the Masters at Augusta, Ga., this week, and such exclusive events as the Tournament of Champions and the World Series of Golf. "I'm thrilled to be going to the Masters. I never played there as an amateur, and it's a big thrill. But my first victory ... " Japanese veteran Isao Aoki and former Masters champion Craig Stadler tied for second at 286. Stadler had a 71 in the fierce winds, occasional showers and increasing cold. Aoki, winner of 44 international titles, matched par 72. "Well, second is better than third, but nowhere close to first," Stadler said. "It was a good week instead of a real good week." Corey Pavin was the only other man to break par for 72 holes in the most extreme weather conditions encountered on the Tour this season. Pavin got in with a 71 and was alone at 287. The group at 288, par, included Ed Fiori, Jeff Sluman, Doug Tewell, Dan Pohl and Bill Kratzert. all-time hit record of 4,191. Rose needs 95 hits to break the mark. Rose will turn 44 on April 14, and he played sparingly during the exhibition season — in the games he did play, he hit a mere .611. "I'm not going to worry about the record until I'm close enough that I can break it that day," Rose said. "No one has ever gone 95-for-95 in a game." Mario Soto will start the opener for the Reds against Montreal's Steve Rogers, trying to rebound from a 6-15 record during an injury riddled 1984 season. The game will be the Expos' first under Manager Buck Rodgers. The last time the Detroit Tigers played at home was Oct. 14, 1984, when they beat the San Diego Padres 8-4 to win the World Series in five games. Detroit got off to a 35-5 start last year, finished the regular season with a 104-58 mark, swept Kansas City in the AL playoffs, then routed San Diego. Along the way, the Tigers became only the fourth team to stay in first place every day of the season. The Tigers will send ace Jack' Morris against Cleveland's Bert Blyleven in a matchup of 19-game winners in 1984. However, there was a chance that Detroit Manager Sparky Anderson would not be at the game — he was hospitalized Saturday with a blod clot below his left knee and his status for the opener was uncertain. Although the Tigers dominated the AL East last year, winning by 15 games, many teams in the division have improved themselves with off-season acquisitions. New York added Rickey Hender- son, one of the best leadoff hitters in baseball. Baltimore spent million of dollars to sign free agent outfielders Fred Lynn and Lee Lacy and pitcher Don Aase. Toronto, which blew more leads after the seventh inning than any team in the majors last season, got relievers Bill Caudill and Gary Lavelle. And Detroit, not to be outdone, traded for pitcher Walt Terrell. "Detroit ran away with it last year. That happens once in a blue moon ... this year, it'll be a dogfight," Henderson said. Henderson won't be able to get New York off to a fast start. He's on the 15-day disabled list, nursing a sprained ankle. The Yankees will have 46-year-old knuckleballer Phil Niekro on the mound in the opener against their traditional rivals, the Red Sox, who have a new manager in John McNamara. Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd is scheduled to pitch for Boston. Last year, the Orioles went into season as the defending World Series champions. But the Orioles slipped to a fifth-place finish in the AL East, becoming "lackadaisical" during the regular season, said team president Edward Bennett Williams. The Orioles went through spring training with a renewed vigor, although they were hurt when Lacy suffered a hand injury that will sideline him until mid-May. Storm Davis of Baltimore and Charlie Hough of Texas are the scheduled starters. Toronto, optimistic after finishing second in the AL East last year and now having strengthened its bullpen, will send Dave Stieb against Kansas City's Bud Black. Miller claims Shore crown RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — Alice Miller said some personal "brainwashing" helped her forget the pressure and win the LPGA's $400,000 Nabisco Dinah Shore tournament Sunday. "I tried to keep the possibility of winning off my mind," she said after she fired a final-round, 5-under- par 67 to hold off a late bid by Jan Stephenson. "I tried not to think that it was Results in Scoreboard, Page 10 the Dinah Shore, a major tournament, on TV, and worth a lot of money," she said after her three- stroke triumph. "I sort of brainwashed myself." Miller wound up three shots in front of Stephenson with a 13-under- par total of 275 at Mission Hills Country Club. Stephenson, who had trailed by four strokes heading into the final round, shot a closing 66. "Jan had a real hot hand putting, but so did I," said Miller. "I just wanted to stick with my game plan; hit greens and wait for putts to go in. "Fortunately, Jan was far enough back when we started the round, her 66 wouldn't do it." Stephenson, who has apparently rediscovered her putting touch after two years of frustration on the greens, said, "I really thought a 66 would do it, but Alice just kept coming right back. "I think she's the best putter on the tour." Stephenson was attempting to be- Harold Bechard JOURNAL SPORTS EDITOR Alice Miller come the first "grand slam" winner of all four of the LPGA's major tournaments. Miller, who collected $55,000 for the victory, had built a five-stroke lead by the turn, but saw that trimmed to just one shot heading into the final three holes at Mission Hills Country Club. Then, playing in 95-degree heat, she rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 16 to go 12-under-par for the tournament, and Stephenson moments later missed a 6-foot putt for par on No.17 tc drop back to 9-under. Stephenson birdied No.18 to again cut the difference to two strokes, but Miller came along moments later to ram home a 20-foot birdie putt for a convincing victory. Judy Clark, tied with Patty Shee- han one stroke off Miller's pace starting the final 18 holes, shot a closing 70 to finish four shots back of the winner at 279. Beth Solomon had a final round of 68 that included an eagle and four consecutive birdies on the back nine to finish at 281, along with Denise Strebig, who shot 69. Sheehan, who has won more tournaments than any other woman golfer over the past two years, faded to a 75 that left her at 284 for the tournament. It was the fourth tour victory for Miller, who joined the women's circuit in 1978. The former Arizona State golf star from Marysville, Calif., had won twice last year after notching her first victory in 1983. The triumph in the Dinah Shore, one of the richest women's tournaments, was her first win of 1985, but she had come close before — finishing second, third fourth and fifth while playing in the eight previous LPGA tournaments this year. Miller, 28, who carded seven birdies and two bogeys during her final round, finished the 72-hole event with cards of 70-68-70-67 during what were hot, but otherwise ideal golfing days at Mission Hills. Her 13-under-par total matched the tournament record set by Donna Caponi in 1980. The winner's share catapulted Miller to the top of the tour's earnings ladder this year, with $131,625. Stephenson, who snapped a two- year winless string with a victory in the LPGA's Glendale, Calif., tournament two weeks ago, earned $36,000 for her second-place finish in the Dinah Shore. Logic shouldn't be used for '85 division races When you sit down to analyze the 1985 Major League baseball season, the logical thing to do is pick the Detroit Tigers to win it all again. But that's why the Tigers won't win it. If there ever was a year when logic was thrown out the window, 1984 was it. For instance: Who would have thought the Chicago Cubs would go from bums to beasts in one year and win the National League East with 96 victories; that the Los Angeles Dodgers woujd limp home with just 79 wins; or that 84 victories would be enough to win the AL West? Who could have predicted the Chicago White Sox would go from 99 wins to just 74 in one season; that Philadelphia, St. Louis and Montreal would not be factors in the NL East; or that San Diego would be the only NL West team to play better than .500 ball? And who could have known that Rick Sutcliffe would win 16 of 17 games in Chicago after starting the season in Cleveland; that Dwight Gooden would become a star at 19; or that Kansas City would survive a drug scandal and an early injury to George Brett? But, that was 1984 — a topsy-tur- vy season. A year which saw Wrigley Field and Shea Stadium come alive again; Detroit win 35 of its first 40 games; Pete Rose become a player-manager for the Cincinnati Reds and journeyman relief pitcher Willie Hernandez turn in a CY Young and MVP season for Detroit. This season could be just as exciting and unusual. Can the Phillies, Dodgers and White Sox bounce back? Are the Cubs and Mets for real? Has Whitey Herzog turned the Cardinals into a pretender instead of a contender? Will Toronto finally win a division title? Will Rose reach Cobb's unreachable record? Will the Royals' young pitching staff continue to get better? The answers to the above questions will be answered in the next six months. And by Halloween, thanks to a new seven-game league playoff format, we should know if the Tigers will be the first team to repeat since the 1977-78 Yankees. Here's one guy's picks for the division titles. American League East Prediction — Toronto, Detroit, New York, Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Milwaukee. Toronto helped itself a bunch by getting relievers' Bill Caudill and Gary Lavelle. The Blue Jays, a green club three or four years ago, have all the ingredients — speed, power, pitching and experience — to win it all. The Jays should be pushed to the limit in baseball's toughest division by the Tigers and Yankees. And don't be surprised if the Orioles are there in September. American League West Prediction — Kansas City, Chicago, Minnesota, California, Seattle, Texas, Oakland. The AL West is still the weakest division in baseball, but the Royals may be ready to join the Majors' elite once again. They should improve on their 84 wins of a year ago and 90 will be enough this season. If the White Sox regain their 1983 form, they could give KC all it wants and then some, but no other team looks ready to challenge. National League East Prediction — New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Montreal, Pittsburgh. The Mets, with the addition of Gary Carter, could be the best team in the National League. The Cubs will contend, but there's many who think 1984 was a fluke. The best of the rest are not good enough. National League West Prediction — San Diego, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Cincinnati, San Francisco. The Padres improved themselves after winning the division by 12 games last year. The Dodgers are smarting after last season's 79-83 record and could be in the thick of things at the end. Atlanta now has Bruce Sutler but it won't be enough. The playoffs — Toronto over Kansas City and New York over San Diego. Toronto over New York in a six-game World Series.

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