Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on January 25, 1994 · Page 8
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 8

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Detroit, Michigan
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Tuesday, January 25, 1994
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Page 8
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101 Section c Corky Meinecke, Page 3 NFL, Page 5 Scoreboard, Page 6 Scores: 1-900-370-0990, Sports: 222-6660 . (Calls to the score line are 75 per minute) Goalie might be moWfielp than other teams are willing give Wings, Page 4C. Detroit Jfrcc Vvcoo Jiuesday, Jan. x, iyy4 'jo i i Michigan stars to duel in Australia Martin, Washington in quarterfinal today Free Press Wire Reports Melbourne, Australia Todd Martin kept cool in the 102-degree afternoon heat. MaliVai Washington wanned up in the cool evening air. The two Michiganders overcame broken toenails and nosebleeds and unforced errors Monday at the Australian Open and advanced to a quarterfinal showdown. It will begin late tonight Detroit time. Martin, 23, of Lansing beat Xavier Daufresne, 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 6-3, in a languid match that lasted three hours, 24 minutes. "After the first seven or eight games, it was just a matter of staying cool and dealing with the heat as well as I possibly could," said the ninth-seeded Martin, who lost seven pounds during the match and had a nosebleed he blamed on the blazing sun. "Our games both went down a bit, and that was attributable to the heat." Washington, 24, of Swartz Creek reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal by outlasting Mats Wilander in five error-filled sets. Washington overcame early sloppiness and rallied to win, 6-7 (7-9), 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 6-1, in a center-court battle of attrition that lasted four hours. "I think I was up and down throughout "the match. There were times, especially in the two tiebreakers, where I was making a lot of errors," Washington said. "It's really satisfying to be able to grind through a match like thati' No. 4 Stefan Edberg also advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victdry over Swedish compatriot Lars JonsSon. It is the 10th straight time Edberg, a two-time champion, has reached the Australian Open quarters. Edberg' s next opponent will be No. 6 Thomas Muster, who rubbed ice on his face during changeovers while defeating No. 12 Alexander Volkov, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2. The other men's quarterfinals were determined Sunday. Top-seeded Pete Sampras will face No. 10 Magnus Gus-tafsson, and No. 3 Jim Courier, seeking his third straight Australian Open title, See AUSTRALIAN OPEN, Page 2C '.i"..v';- s - 1 ' Tilicliigaii DOWN UNDER :. MaliVai Washington of rSwartz Creek, above, faces - Lansing's Todd Martin, r below, tonight in the : Quarterfinals. Tale of the . tape, Page 2C. J "He just wasn't happy with the way things were going, and neither was I." Fired Tigers general manager Jerry Walker, right, on Mike Hitch :s ' 'You want good clear communication, and I didn't feel we had it." Tigers owner MlXE lUTCH, on Jerry Walker ILITCH FIRES WALKER; KLEIN IS NEW TIGERS GM fine nn pmmuiMuiMMi.iiJiiiiiiiJi.i n uiiuinu'.n i im wwww mm iiuilinii jih u' mmtmrn ramnm ll. "Wii ui.uuiiiiiii.ii.ii u. nil j.uiiii.iiiuiiii.iuiinwMlliwiPiliupijiiijiiiiiu4iii- i ... V . ' : . ' v, ' - . -. . ' ' . " ...... (. .: .. . " ; - o. a. -nmwiimMMii-iiflirni'iiwiiiiMiiMflrMntfa--"' iflfMiri - "n tnr-it i ---i' i ruin titi iv tit rrn hi Free Press photos by CRAIG FUJII, above; JULIAN H. GONZALEZ, top Mike Hitch indicated an impatience with the direction of the team tinder Jerry Walker. "Communication could have been better," he said. Owner cites high payroll, but no winner By Gene Guidi Free Press Sports Writer he Tigers have fired general manager Jerry Walker and replaced him on an interim basis with Joe Klein, the club's director of scouting. In making the announcement Monday, owner Mike Ilitch indicated an impatience with the direction the team had taken with Walker: "Our payroll is in the upper echelon at $38 million and we still don't have a winner." Ilitch, obviously nervous and uncomfortable as he addressed the hastily called press conference, tried to avoid specifics when pressed on exactly why Walker was fired from the job he held since September 1991. Ilitch said Walker was "a deliberate individual who takes a lot of time in decisionmaking although he usually made the right one while I'm quicker in making decisions." Ilitch said "communication could have been a little better" on Walker's part. "You want good, clear communication and I didn't feel we had it," Ilitch said. He said he didn't think Walker was "totally comfortable" with some of the people Ilitch brought in to help run the team after he bought it Aug. 26, 1992. "He never really meshed with these people," Ilitch said. "I'D tell you the same thing I told him (Ilitch)" Walker said Monday. "I agree there was a lack of communication in the organization and I will shoulder my share of the responsibility. "But I'm not totally to blame for that. The same phone line that runs from my desk runs to it, also, so if See TIGERS, Page 5C WALKER'S RECORD Highlights of Jerry Walker's 28 months as Tigers' GM: OCTOBER '91: Signed Mickey Tettleton to three-year contract worth $8.5 million, making him highest-paid catcher in baseball. DECEMBER '91: Obtained free agents Dan Gladden (outfielder) and Chad Kreuter (catcher). DECEMBER '92: Acquired free-agent pitchers Mike Moore, Tom Bolton and Bill Krueger; signed second baseman Lou Whitaker, pitcher Bill Gullickson and infielderoutfielder Tony Phillips to multiyear contracts. JANUARY '93: Made first baseman Cecil Fielder highest-paid Tiger in history with five-year contract worth $36.2 million. FEBRUARY '93: Brought outfielder Kirk Gibson back. MARCH '93: Purchased pitcher Bob MacDonald from Toronto. APRIL '93: Acquired free-agent pitcher David Wells. JULY '93: Acquired free-agent pitcher Storm Davis. AUGUST '93: Acquired outfielder Eric Davis from Los Angeles for player to be named; acquired free-agent pitcher Joe Boever. NOVEMBER '93: Kept free agents Alan Trammell (shortstop) and Eric Davis by signing them to one-year, $3 million contracts; signed third baseman Travis Fryman to five-year contract worth $25 million. DECEMBER '93: Signed free agent Wells to three-year, $7.5 million deal. Klein s future begins with lessons from past "It's a smart man who learns from other people's mistakes. " Mary Parker, too often to count JT jpi y mother told me this on more than one occasion. I M Now I want to share it with Joe Klein. ;j " ii In your new job as the 1 lgers interim general . ? ii manager, there are a few things to avoid at all if U costs. Jerry Walker, the man you replaced Monday, didn t, and it cost him his job. Don't be too cautious. The baseball adage goes, "The best trades are the ones you never made." That might be true in some cases. But Tigers' fans are tired of trade rumors and talk. They want action. Don't sign aging veterans. The signing of free-agent pitcher Mike Moore before last season is still a sore spot for most fans. That money could have gone elsewhere. Don't expect to be around a long time if you can't secure a frontline starting pitcher. Anybody who knows baseball knows that the Tigers could jump to immediate contenders in the American League East with the acquisition of one. Don't destroy the farm system in doing so. It's no secret the Tigers have a few kids close to making some noise in the majors. Contrary to popular belief, deals can be made without including any of them. And most of all, don't complain about how hard it is to get pitching. We know that. Every GM is looking for pitching. The good ones get the job done, and the others get fired. Walker tried to answer the Tigers' long-running problem pitching, pitching and more pitching but couldn't. The Tigers haven't improved their chances since last season. In their current state, their chances of competing with Toronto, Baltimore and the New York Yankees are slim to none. Enter Klein. With three weeks before pitchers and catchers report for spring training, Klein, 51, has his work cut out. But Klein, who will have the help of assistant general manager See Rob Parker, Page 5C ROB PARKER istons lose 9th straight at Palace Bulk, trailing by 14, call out reserves 92-86 By Corky meinecke Free Press Sports Writer You could understand if Scottie Pippen was a pain. You could understand if guard B J. Armstrong was beating you with rainbow jumpers. Or if forward Toni Kukoc was beating you with three-point jumpers and graceful drives to the basket. You could even understand if the big problem was wobbly-kneed center Bill Cartwright, one of the NBA's Grumpy Old Men. But Steve Kerr and Bill Wenning-ton? Say it isn't so, Joe. "That's a very good system for those two guys," guard Joe Dumars said after Kerr and Wennington played pivotal roles in the Chicago Bulls' 92-86 victory Monday night at the Palace. Had it not been for Kerr (14 points, 7-of-9 shooting) and Wennington (11 points, 11 rebounds), the Pistons probably wouldn't be a game away from tying the club record for consecutive home losses (10). But if it wasn't Wennington and Kerr, it probably would have been somebody else. Such is life for the Pistons, who lost their 16th in 17 games and remain on pace with the 1979-80 team that finished 16-66. For the 12th time this season, the Pistons took a lead into the fourth quarter and for the eighth time, they blew it. The Pistons were up, 36-22, in the second quarter. "I think it has to do with maturity," Dumars said after scoring 25 points, which included a club record-tying five three-point baskets in the first half. "As a team, we have to learn how to play for 48 minutes, not 12. Until we get maturity and experience, we're See PISTONS, Page 3C Super Bowl xxvm WHO: Dallas Cowboys (14-: 4) vs. Buffalo Bills (144). WHEN: 6 p.m. Sunday, Georgia Dome, Atlanta. TVRADIO: NBC (Channel 4); WWJ-AM (950). LINE: Dallas by 10. Hope is that Bills have a chance Free Press Wire Reports ATLANTA It's "Oh, no!" Super Bowl week, the buildup to the Dallas-Buffalo rematch nobody wanted. There's a slight difference this time: Didn't the Bills and Thurman Thomas look pretty good Sunday in depriving Joe Montana of that fifth Super Bowl trip that everyone wanted to see? The teams arrived Monday to begin the obligatory four days of media briefings, picture days, news conferences and the like. But what do you ask two teams that have been asked every question the Super Bowl has to offer? In fact, most of these players have so much Super Bowl experience that they're liable to ask reporters why they don't ask the obligatory, "If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?" This can be called a Super Bowl For The Record: The game is the first rematch between teams that met the previous year. The Bills are the first team to be back a fourth straight time. The Bills can extend their record See Super Bowl, Page 5C 1 i

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