The Kansas City Star from Kansas City, Missouri on September 18, 1991 · 31
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The Kansas City Star from Kansas City, Missouri · 31

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Kansas City, Missouri
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Wednesday, September 18, 1991
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31
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Wednesday September 18 1991 The Kansas City Star D-3 Montgomery’s season shines as rare Royals gem Jeff Montgomery had one bad week Now the KC closer pitcher has quietly piled up impressive numbers By JEFFREY FLANAGAN Staff Writer In the train wreck that has become the Royals’ season a few survivors have managed to pull away from the scene in one piece One is Jeff Montgomery whose story has been shrouded by the bigger picture of the Royals’ daily struggle to score runs and avoid the cellar Montgomery has elbowed his way into the upper echelon of baseball's closers He has 28 saves His six blown saves three in one week seem minuscule for almost six months of work Nationally however Mont- BASEBALL BEAT gomery remains virtually unknown And locally he is for the first time looked upon as the club’s primary closer “There are two things to say about Monty” Manager Hal McRae said “One he is effective and two he is the best we’ve got” Montgomery always has had to battle stereotypes simply because he doesn’t present the image of a closer He doesn’t have the bat-busting fastball of Rob Dibble or the intimidating presence of Lee Smith Montgomery merely gets hitters out the way it has been taught for decades by keeping the ball low and moving ahead in the count He has little margin for error and accepts that But at least Montgomery knows there are no other closers lurking in the Royals’ bullpen waiting for a chance to snatch his job “It’s probably been years here since they’ve had just one guy as a closer” Montgomery said “Not since (Dan) Quisenberry “And there weren’t any announcements It just sort of happened” It happened because the Royals lost Steve Farr to the Yankees by free-agency over the winter and because the club came to grips with the fact that Mark Davis may only be beneficial as a starter and long to middle reliever That has left the job to Montgomery “I think it’s made me relax a little more” he said “I haven’t had to look over my shoulder I can just focus on the job” There has even been a slight ripple of national attention “I was talking to my agent the other day” Montgomery said “and he was on the phone with a GM talking about another client The GM starts talking about this team that was looking for a closer a younger guy with some experience a ‘Jeff Montgomery type’ “That kind of made me feel good that there are some people out there that have noticed” Perhaps Montgomery would have even more national attention had it not been for his wont week in the majors a week in June in which he blew three saves gave up 1 1 earned runs and watched his ERA bulge from 3 1 2 to 497 Since then he has given up just five earned runs in more than 40 innings and his ERA has settled back to 307 “I really wish I could somehow take away that week” Montgomery said “If you take that away I only have three blown saves and my ERA is around 200" As it is Montgomery still has a career high in saves and has saved more games in a season than any other Royal in club history but Quisenberry And Montgomery who makes slightly more than $1 million a year is eligible for arbitration after this season “Whatever happens after the season happens” he said “1 think I’ve had a good season but I’m not at the point I can just cruise Come October they may decide they want someone else “I can’t get comfortable 1 still feel like I’ve got to go out and prove myself every day” Control is the key for Corbin Royals right-hander throws hard enough but has battled wildness By DICKKAEGEL Staff Writer MINNEAPOLIS — When Manager Hal McRae was considering the Royals' call-ups for September there were two hard-throwing pitchers he wanted to see: Joel Johnston and Archie Corbin Johnston has given him an eyeful with 1 1 shutout innings in four games Corbin has pitched just 21) innings allowing one run and three hits Corbin though certainly has caught McRae’s attention “When he pitched in Kansas City one of the scouts had a radar gun and we sent a batboy over to take a look” McRae said “He was clocked at 90 91 mph and as high as 93 1 think” That’s buzzing the baseball at Bret Saberhagen speed “He unloads the ball good he’s not slow to the plate for a big guy” McRae said Corbin a long-legged 6-4 righthander was obtained late last season from the New York Mets in a trade for outfielder Pat Tabler Corbin from Beaumont Texas credits his late father Austin Corbin with his early development “He always stayed on me” Corbin said “That’s why I am where I am now because he always put me in the right frame of mind” Corbin’s cautious father wouldn't allow his son to throw breaking pitches until he was 17 years old By last season Corbin had a good curve although it deserted him early this year at Omaha Now he’s found it again “He has good stuff” McRae said “If he throws strikes he has a chance” Ah yes strikes Corbin 23 spent his first five seasons in the Mets’ organization and never climbed above Class A An elbow problem slowed his progress but so did his control problems His first two seasons he walked more than he struck out Gradually though he began improving By last year with the Mets’ club at Port St Lucie Fla he had 105 strikeouts and 59 walks in 118 innings Then this year he went to Class AA with the Royals’ Memphis club “I didn’t have a very good start” Corbin said “I turned it around in the second half and finished 500 (8-8) but I walked too many guys" For Memphis Corbin piled up 166 strikeouts in 156 innings but also walked 90 That’s an average of 52 walks per nine innings too high by major-league standards Royals pitchers this season for example have given up 32 walks per nine innings Even Tom Gordon the club’s walks leader is averaging fewer (47 per nine innings) than did Corbin So there’s still work to be done especially if he’s converted from a starter to a reliever a role that demands consistent control “I think what the organization plans is to eventually make him a closer” McRae said CORRECTION Because of a copy editor’s error the rushing totals of Houston running back Allen Pinkett were incorrect Tuesday in a picture caption in The Kansas City Star Pinkett rushed for 47 yards in 18 carries ROYALS REPORT Not yet The Twins aren't yet comfortable talking about winning the AL West though their magic number for doing so was 10 entering Tuesday night's game “This race is not over '1 right-hander Jack Morris said "By no means is it over We have to start playing better baseball again We did not play well on our last trip We can't even think about clinching " Yet one Twin was already looking down the road to the playoffs "I think one thing that could work well for this team if we do win the division is that we'll be prepared to do more work” reliever Steve Bedrosian said "When we won it my rookie year (1982) in Atlanta we made the mistake of not realizing there was a lot more work to do We didn’t play very well against St Louis (in the playoffs) I don't think that will happen to this team Day-game lineup The Royals will have a few changes for today 's 12:15 start against the Twins Danny Tartabull who played right field Tuesday night is likely to get a rest and be replaced by Jim Eisenreich Also George Pedre will catch in place of Brent Mayne Second baseman Terry Shumpert continues to recover from an injured tendon in his left hand Better days for Brett? One of the theories for the continuing struggles of George Brett is that he has been a regular designated hitter this season Brett's ailing knees may be able to recover enough over the winter to play first base next season at least two or three times a week "If you're playing the field you can relax a little bit more at the plate" Manager Hal McRae said "It's tough sitting and only playing the game once every 45 minutes as a DH does That's especially hard when you're in a slump because you have so much time to think about your slump" Walk before you run An area Manager Hal McRae would like to see improved on his team next season is the number of walks his hitters take The team before Tuesday had walked only 460 times and struck out 846 times Kirk Gibson had taken the most walks with 66 Danny Tartabull was next with 50 and George Brett third with 49 McRae would like to see others take more walks including his son Brian who had only 23 walks before Tuesday Brian McRae had 561 official at-bats and has struck out 86 times "His walk-to-strikeout ratio should be almost even and it's not very close " Hal McRae said Today’ game The Royals wrap up their season series with the Twins at 12:15 pm today Right-hander Luis Aquino 7-3 faces right-hander Scott Erickson 1 8-6 The game will be on the Royals' radio network including KMBZ (980 AM) in Kansas City — Jeffrey Flanagan Royal averages Throw Monday Royals stolon basos (104) Gibson 18 McRae 18 Shumpert 17 Pecota 14 Thurman 11 Tartabull 6 Eisenreich 4 Seitzer 4 Howard 3 Benzmger 2 Stillwell 2 Brett Cromartie Macfarlane Mayne Spehr Opponents 78 Johnston ‘Gardner Magnante Aquino Montgomery Appier Saberhagen Gordon Corbin Boddicker ‘McGaffigan Pecota S Davis M Davis Gubtcza Crawford Wagner ‘Maldonado ‘Schatzeder PITCHING L ERA IP 0 0 00 11 0 1 59 5i H 5 5 1 2 11 47 45 3 2 99 138Vj 128 4 3 07 82 79 9 3 22 184Vj 179 10 8 3 24 169Vj 149 9 11 3 65 1405 115 0 0 386 2Vj 3 11 12 4 231741 185 0 0 450 8 14 4 50 2 4 4 73 1 1 2Vj 133 5 1 518 41i 40 8 10 568 120Vi 147 2 2 687 38 52 1 1 720 10 16 0 0 822 7i 11 0 0 945 6i 11 ER I 0 1 1 2 11 17 46 38 28 24 66 52 135 61 41 110 57 74 148 1 2 1 82 56 78 4 2 1 0 59 43 24 30 76 37 29 16 8 3 7 9 7 7 SO 11 3 35 70 3 0 52 28 80 34 5 1 4 Royals Opponents 72 71 3 931302 1321 568 454 867 71 72 4 081300 1302 590 460 846 Royals saves (36) Montgomery 28 Aquino 3 S Davis 2 Crawford M Davis Gordon Opponents 45 —not on active rosier Twin average Through Monday BATTING Twins stolen bases (69) Knoblauch 21 Gladden 12 Mack 11 Gagne 10 Puckett 10 Leius 5 C Davis 4 Hrbek 4 Brown 3 Munoz 3 Newman 3 Harper Larkin Pagliarulo 103 Twins saves (50) Aguilera 39 Bedrosian 6 Guthrie 2 Willis 2 Opponents 29 ROYALS CALENDAR OC 3:05 CAL k OPEN DATE 9:35 CAL OBER 9:05 CAL TVl Telsvissd 0 Home All timet pm unless Indicated ‘ TODAY IN HISTORY 1961— The Raytown Blue Jays were ranked No 1 in the first Kansas City area high school football ranking of the season De La Salle was second followed by Rockhurst Wyandotte and William Chrisman 1971— The United States defeated Great Britain l8Vi-13V4 in the 19th annual Ryder Cup competition at Old Warson Country Club In St Louie Lee Trevino Dave Stockton and Jack Nicklaus all recorded two match-play victories during the final day of competiton 1981— Willie Wilson drove in three runs and rookie Mike Jones and reliever Dan Quisenberry combined on a six-hitter as the Royals swamped the Mariners 8-2 in Seattle Jones 5-1 gave up five hits in six innings Quisenberry gave up one hit in three innings for his 1 7th save Willie Aikens and Amos Otis had three hits each in Kansas City's 15-hlt attack MONDAY'S CHIEFS OILERS 17 CHIEFS 7 Kansas City 0 7 0 0 — 7 Houston 7 0 7 3 — 17 First quarter HOU: Pinkett 1 run (Howfield kick) 3:59 Second quarter KC: Okoye 2 run (Lowery kick) 0:27 Third quarter HOU: Jeff ires 4 pass from Moon (Howfield kick) 0:09 Fourth quarter HOU: FG Howfield 23 0:21 Announced attendance: 61 058 TEAM STATISTICS OILERS STATISTICS MISSED FIELD GOALS Howfield 53 LA wins another in last at-bat Dodgers’ race for pennant includes 21 late-game comebacks The Associated Press LOS ANGELES — Never in a season chock full of late-game comebacks have the legions of fans who flee Dodger Stadium after the seventh inning missed so much As if being in a pennant race weren’t exciting enough Los Angeles beat the Cincinnati Reds the way it won 21 other games this year — in its last at-bat which rolled around sometime early Tuesday morning Los Angeles blew a lead rallied fell behind and rallied again with three runs in the 12th and defeated the Reds 6-5 moving within a half-game of Atlanta in the NL West entering Tuesday’s games In the process the Dodgers used 27 players including nine pitchers and set an NL record for an extra-inning game Nineteen 19 Reds played in the four-hour 38-minute marathon “I’ve seen games like this but I haven't seen all the situations like this” said Orel Hershiser whose strong seven innings were all but overshadowed by the tumult that followed “It’s unbelievable to have all these situations in one game Eddie Murray hit his first triple of the season and Eric Karros got his first hit ever rallying the Dodgers before Jeff Hamilton drove in the winning run That’s the type of game you see in a pennant race “I would describe that game as one of the most exciting interesting unbelievable games I have ever been involved in" Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda said The Reds scored two runs in the 12th and took a 5-3 lead Chris Jones hit his first major-league homer off Tim Crews and John Wetteland walked in the other run In the bottom of the inning Cincinnati reliever Ted Power allowed Murray’s triple in between walks to Darryl Strawberry and Mitch Webster Karros hit a one-out double off Milt Hill the sixth Reds pitcher After Jose Offerman became the ninth LA batter to walk Hamilton drove in the game-winning run Ageless Wonders make finals Living up their name the Ageless Wonders were the talk of the Senior Olympics softball tournament last week at the Longview Recreation Center The Ageless Wonders a team composed of players living in Johnson County made two incredible comebacks in reaching the tournament finals In one game they were trailing 10-1 but scored 1 0 runs after two were out in the seventh inning and won 11-10 The Wonders accomplished the feat with 1 4 straight hits In another comeback the team overcame a 1 3-8 deficit with six runs in the seventh for a 1 4-1 3 victory The Ageless Wonders ran out of miracles in the championship game and lost to top-seeded United Van Lines of St Louis 19-12 “We lost our first game and had to come back through the losers’ bracket” said outfielder Harry Clifford 62 “We played two games on Friday two on Saturday and three on Sunday After all that I was looking for a whirlpool” The lineup of Ageless Wonders who went in as the fifth-seeded team included former major-leaguer John Gabler Walk of Star uqqetion Last Saturday Len Dawson George Brett and Tom Watson became the first inductees into the Walk of Stars in Overland Park A caller to the sports desk of The Kansas City Star agreed that those were three good choices but wanted to know whether only athletes would be honored in the future He suggested Ewing Kauffman Lamar Hunt and the late Dick Howser as candidates AROUND KC BILL RICHARDSON Rick Hall sponsorship coordinator for the Walk of Star said non-athletes are not excluded “Basically it would include anyone who had an impact on sports in Kansas City" Hall said “Howser almost made it this year I’m sure those names will be on ballots in the future" Polo benefit For the 1 0th straight year the Kansas City Polo Club will play a match to benefit the National Kidney Foundation of Kansas and Western Missouri The match against Wichita is scheduled for Sunday Sept 29 at Blue River Park in South Kansas City Starting time is 2 pm Tickets cost $3 for adults Children 12 and under are admitted free The event has raised $ 1 22000 in the last nine years for the kidney foundation “We had a rainout last year and didn't have many people when it was rescheduled” said Tammy Hudson development associate TODAY ON SPORTSLINE 3 PM -7 PM Jeff Kemp Seahawks Quarterback NEWS TALK 980 AM KMBZ for the kidney foundation "But we had rain insurance and cleared $26000” Top in aoccer With a 1-0 victory over Rockhurst Sunday the Park College women’s soccer team improved its record to 6-0 Park is ranked fourth in the NA1A “We have a young team with only four seniors but we’re very good” Park Coach Ben Popoola said “We’ve scored 32 goals and given up only two" Park’s top players have been Laura Fox and Jenny Moore of Albuquerque NM Jenny Harrell and Julie Churchich of Omaha Neb and goalkeeper Brandie Brobst of Lincoln Neb Carhartt Brown Duck Rugged As the ' men who -I — 1 wear them j' vJ WORK CLOTHES 1 COMPLETE STOCK nbOVUta Vsti Jaduta (SSttpLtMrf) Load Shad kaul Cawnfc DOG TAGS Made 6°° 2 Tags 1 chain Mens Leather Motorcycle jf v i j :ii9- enulne Vietnam and Gl Speed lace Parstroop Boots 39” MICKEY’S SURPLUS 2601 STRONG KC Ks 831-1493 MON SAT 9-6 Famous BAJA SHIRTS 10“-M2W fffl Genuine Marine Corjx BDU Camouflage PANTS 1 JACKETS eco‘26’

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