The State from Columbia, South Carolina on June 4, 1989 · 10
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The State from Columbia, South Carolina · 10

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Location:
Columbia, South Carolina
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 4, 1989
Page:
10
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4-C The StateColumbia SC Sunday June 4 1989 MAJOR LEAGUE STATISTICS AMERICAN LEAGUE bUMduai Bamng IS ar mar at ban Taam Pitching V fl NATIONAL LEAGUE Taam Batting Al I N NR RBI Ret SILoulS 1M1 1(2 427 20 172 54 San Francisco 1772 224 445 44 20 251 Jay Howell ERA of 098 Los Angls New York San Fmcsc Chicago Houston SILouis San Diego Atlanta Pittsburgh Cincinnati Montreal Philadtlph Taam ERA H ER BB SOShOSA IP HBB SOW LERA II ITH LESS TALK Doug GiknoraTha State Throwing darts: Mets right-hander Andy Reich delivers to the plate Unexpected Mets5 right-hander Reich surprisingly tough By NEIL WHITE Sports Wrtltr Andy Reich keeps showing up in unexpected places Before spring training the Mets right-hander didn’t expect to be in Columbia Once he got to Columbia he wasn't expected to be in the starting rotation Now that he's a starter he's showing up among the South Atlantic League leaders with eight wins and a 169 ERA Reich a 6-foot-3 185-pound Raleigh NC native is merely picking up where he left off last season when he posted a 9-2 record and a 264 ERA for Kingsport in the rookie Appalachian League Despite that success Reich 20 wasn't so sure he would be with Columbia this season An injured hand kept him from pitching much in the early part Of spring training and he didn't pitch much after the hand improved “When it got down to the end of spring training I kept looking for that little note in my locker telling me I was sent down to Pittsfield (in the New York-Penn League)” Reich said When Columbia broke camp without a set starting rotation another door of opportunity opened for him The Mets were rotating starts and relief appearances among eight pitchers with the starter going five innings and the reliever going four “At first I wasn’t going to be a starter If the coaches had sat down and decided who was going to be in the starting rotation I don’t think I would have been considered” Reich said “That 5-4 rotation gave me a chance to prove myself Neither of them (the coaches) had seen me throw in actual game situations I started off real well and that helped me a lot” Pitching coach Jack Fisher said although he believes that Reich’s long-term success will come as a reliever he’s been pleasantly surprised by his ability as a starter “We (Fisher and manager Bill Stein) both thought he had the kind of stuff that would be perfect for a relief pitcher” Fisher said “In fact I've talked with Andy and said that as he moves up the ladder he’ll move to the bullpen and be very effective” However nothing is set in stone especially after Reich tossed a complete-game shutout Tuesday night over Gastonia “After that game I said to Bill that maybe we both were wrong” Fisher said "School's still out and as long as he keeps winning and shows he can go nine innings there's no thought of moving him to the bullpen” Once Reich settles into a game he's proven very tough to hit In 74 innings he’s allowed 56 hits and 23 walks He is especially tough on right-handed hitters “He's got a little bit of an advantage by throwing different than most people do” Fisher said “He's almost a side-armer He's got tremendous movement on the ball It really sinks and he’s got a command over where he’s throwing” What makes Reich tough to beat as much as his ability is his determination “He’s all business and he comes at you” Fisher said “Most of the time he doesn't beat himself Here it is you hit it I get you or you get me but I'm not going to walk you or give into you “He's in command of his emotions He doesn't get excited That is almost a prerequisite for a successful pitcher” That confidence manifests itself in Reich’s attitude “To be honest I think I'm pitching right up to my ability right now” Reich said “I’m more disappointed with the three losses than I am excited about the eight wins” After the excellent start Reich has his sights set squarely on at least 15 wins and a 200 ERA for the season He admits that 20 wins aren't out of the question While that may be an unreal expectation for most minor league pitchers Reich might just add that to his listed of unexpected accomplishments this season McDonald can expect big change By AUSTIN WILSON AP Sports Wrtior OMAHA Neb Before the month is over Ben McDonald expects to be eating crab cakes and clam chowder instead of the crawfish etouffee and squirrel-head gravy he grew up chi McDonald the 8-foot-7 ace of the Louisiana State University pitching staff is expected to be the first player taken in Monday’s major league baseball draft and the Baltimore Orioles have that pick “Crawfish is probably his favorite food He'll eat it fixed any way but his mother will fix him an etouffee before every game That’s his pregame meal” said McDonald’s father Larry McDonald “Mustard sardines is his pregame snack” the elder McDonald said “But when he gets serious about eating he goes for his etouffee “His mother will probably fix it for him and mail it to him wherever he goes in the draft” Etouffee is a Cajun dish in which the crawfish are smothered in oijons bell pepper and celery well spiced with cayenne pepper and cooked in a brown gravy And that’s a lot like the recipe for squirrel head gravy “Me and Ben fight over the heads" Larry McDonald said That revelation drew disbelieving gasps from sports writers assembled for the College World Series Three All-America teams were announced here and McDonald was on all three He was also recognized by Baseball America as the outstanding player in the college game this year Larry McDonald was taken aback at the reaction of the reporters “Is it that unusual a dish?” the elder McDonald asked “It doesn’t have a wild taste like most other game “His mother and sister won’t eat it but we eat the brains the tongue the jowels “A lot of people eat rabbit heads that way but I’ve never done that because they look so ugly cooked in the pot They look like mule heads Squirrel heads look pretty” The spicy diet may have had something to do with McDonald’s athletic prowess His fast ball is consistently above 95 miles an hour His curve ball snaps off his big hands and makes a vicious bend at the plate and he's added a changeup and a fork ball to his repertoire under the tutelage of LSU coach Skip Bertman Pro scouts compare him to Roger Clemens when the Red Sox star was a college pitcher McDonald traces his emergence as a dominant college pitcher to two traumatic experiences — a grand slam home run given up in 1987 in his first world series appearance and his decision to give up basketball Fans weather warming up to Mets By NEIL WHITE Spotto Wntof Attendance at Capital City Park is picking up after an extremely slow start The Mets ran into one of the worst springs in recent memory in terms of weather That extended period of cool wet weather resulted in only 13001 fans coming out to the ballpark through the first 17 dates an average of 765 That total was about 50 percent behind last season's pace The Mets also had four rain-outs in that stretch which equaled the total number from last season The Mets’ latest 10-game homestand which ended Thursday gave the attendance numbers a boost to 26753 an average of 991 For seven of the games over 1000 fans came out with a season high of 3861 last Sunday General manager Skip Weisman said he wasn’t too concerned about the slow start at the gate Besides the poor weather he cited five conflicts with the South Carolina baseball team “I’m happy people are starting to come out” Weisman said “It was just a matter of the weather It’s been a lot more comfortable out here and there’s been no threat of rain That makes a big difference Hopefully we’ll be able to continue the increase” q Roster shuffle: The great Lee May experiment was moved to extended spring training until the New York-Penn League season begins when May will be assigned to a short-season team for the fourth consecutive season Columbia manager Bill Stein said it would be better for May the son of former major leaguer Lee May Sr to get the additional work in St Lucie with the availability of equipment and instructors He will report to MINOR LEAGUE STATISTICS Pittsfield Ma in mid-June and hit leadoff for that team in hopes of improving his batting stroke Utilityman Mike Noelke was promoted to St Lucie of the Class A Florida State League Noelke who was hitting 253 with two home runs and 11 RBI was sent up after St Lucie was hit with some injuries Replacing Noelke was Tim Howard who was in extended spring training Howard 19 hit 280 with 46 RBI for Kingsport of the Appalachian League last season His first at-bat in ' Columbia produced a two-run single that was the difference in a 3-0 win Thursday The Mets have been playing short-handed though Outfielder Rob Lemle who has a 310 average and a team-high 18 stolen bases has not played since May 22 First he was bothered by a nagging groin pull Then he had to return to his Compton Ca home to testify in a trial Lemle was shot in the leg in an incident during the off-season He was expected back for the current Fayetteville series Numbers game: The New York Mets have retired three numbers in their history one of a player — Tom Beaver’s No 41 plus the numbers of two late managers — the 14 worn by Gil Hodges and the 37 worn by Casey Stengel Evidently the Mets don’t see that the honor is extended throughout their organization Columbia pitcher Pete Schourek wears No 41 and second baseman Doug Saunders wears No 14 Weisman a New Jersey native who is a long-time Seaver fan was stunned to see the number on Schour-ek's back at the start the season He even asked New York general manager Frank Cashen and Vice President of Baseball Operations Joe Mcllvaine about the matter when they visited Columbia but both expressed a lack of concern That seems to be a little odd con- sidering how important tradition is in the game of baseball If an organization retires a number it should be that way throughout the system Stat facta: After being shut out three times in their first 12 games the Mets haven’t been blanked in the following 45 games an indication of how much this team has improved at the plate Some of the hottest hitters include two who are being considered for South Atlantic Player of the Month James Morrisette and Alex Jimenez Morrisette hit 382 and Jimenez hit 361 in May Catcher Todd Hundley knocked in 11 runs in the recent 10-game homestand to raise his total to 30 Going home: Columbia trainer Rich Bomgardner has resigned for personal reasons to return to his home in Kansas He is being replaced by David Fricke an Eastern Kentucky University student with one year of school remaining Bring shoes and a glove: The New York Mets will hold a tryout camp at Capital City Park Saturday June 24 at 9 am The camp is for players ages 16-22 only and all American Legion players must bring a permission slip from their coach to try out New York scouts Jim Woodward and Craig Kornfield will conduct the camp For more information contact the Mets office at 256-4110 I

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