Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on November 29, 1978 · Page 3
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 3

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Wednesday, November 29, 1978
Page 3
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Wednesday, Nov. 29, 1970 SPORTS PEOPLE m0 13.131 ' COLLEGE FOOTBALL HORSE RACING DETROIT FREE PRESS COMICS Sims thanks buddies Steelers wheel Billy Sims credited his Sooner Pittsburgh has the NFL's teammates, especially roommate best mark, but coach Greg Roberts, with helping him win Chuck Noll isn't thinking the Heisman Trophy. Page 4 playoffs. Page 3' LJ Knee surgery puts Pistons' Lanier on the sidelines again Detroit Pistons center Bob Lanier underwent surgery Tuesday on his left knee and will probably miss another month of the season. Lanier underwent arthroscopy surgery at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Pistons' spokesman Bill Kreifeldt said. Dr. Lanny Johnson, described by the Pistons as one of the top practitioners of the surgical technique, removed a bone chip from the knee, Kreifeldt said. The surgery involves puncturing the skin at the knee Joint and withdrawing the chip through a fiber-thin tube. He bumped it Nov. 11 early in a game at Philadelphia, missed that game and then three more. Lanier returned for two games, but bruised the knee again while scoring 33 points in Detroit's overtime victory against Atlanta last Friday. The 6-foot-ll frontcourt man will be sidelined three to four more weeks, Kreifeldt said. Lanier is the club's leading scorer and rebounder this season. Coach Dick Vitale, In Los Angeles for the beginning of a four-game road trip, said he had not decided whether to fill Lanier's spot on the roster. Bob Lanier . . . sidelined again Reds fire Sparky Anderson 2d place not good enough "Yes, it surprised me. I didn't have any idea it would happen. But being in shock is just part of life. You never know what's around the corner." Sparky Anderson CINCINNATI - (UPI) - Sparky Anderson, who managed the Cincinnati Reds to back-to-back world championships in 1975-76 but did not meet club "standards" when he finished second the past two seasons, was fired Tuesday and replaced by California Angels coach John McNamara. And, in what added up to nearly a complete housecleaning, the Reds ousted four of Anderson's six coaches firing Alex Grammas and offering other jobs to Ted Klu-szewski, Larry Shepard and George Scher-ger. Russ Nixon and Ron Plaza were the only coaches to be retained. Two new coaches are to be named in the near future. ANDERSON, WHO got his first major league managing job when he came to the Reds in 1970, had huge success seven of his first nine years winning two world championships, four National League crowns and five NL West Division titles. But the Reds finished second to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West the last two seasons and Reds' president Dick Wagner, who personally fired Anderson, said that did not meet club standards. "The past two years have been good ones by the standards of most clubs, but we are determined to set a higher standard," he said. "It is our decision that the move we make is in the overall best interest of making the Cincinnati Reds a better team. "We feel John McNamara offers outstanding ability and strong major league experience. He is the man to take us in a new direction. "Sparky Anderson has served us well, (but) let's just say it's time to make a change," added Wagner. "Times and situations change. And, just as 1970 and the situation then may See SPARKY, Page 3D John McNamara latom rejoins the Brewers Heisman's instant fame eludes U-M's Rick Leach It is not known how large was the lump Rick Leach swallowed shortly after noon Tuesday when word came the Heisman Trophy would not be his. Some guys who have lost out in the balloting for football's most overblown award have been known to cry. Others have stomped their feet in anger, damning the award and the lack of vision of the voters. Nor have coaches and especially alumni always been gracious losers where the Heisman is concerned. They have questioned the integrity of the balloting, the balloters, and condemned the trophy itself as an evil distortion in the college game. . I would not say they are totally wrong. They might even be mostly right. But the fact is, no winners have been known to-pull a Marlon Brando and scorn the Heisman. Indeed, most winners have been elevated to instant celebrity, their names and achievements, their families and life histories becoming known to a large segment of the populace unfamiliar and uncaring about college football. Such was the case last year with Earl Campbell, the University of Texas running back. When the heart-warming story of Earl Campbell be came known, mothers across the country cried, then cheered for this unspoiled young man who labored in the dirt of a rose patch, down on his knees with his mama, his sisters and brothers, grubbing out a living. The Campbells became known among people who rarely scan the sports pages. Even now, they are revisted occasionally, Earl having continued on to remarkable success with the Houston Oilers.' Winners usually cash in So you see the Heisman carries considerable weight publicity-wise. It carries weight elsewhere, too. As often as not, Heisman winners become. wealthy young men, their fame being viewed as a real asset not only in football, but in other businesses as well. It was the case with O.J. Simp son, with Archie urwin ana most recently with Campbell. Texas-born, Campbell came into professional football with a name familiar in households everywhere. Taking note of that, the Oilers laid- upon him a $1.5 million contract and promise of more, if he continues to do well. . When a contender loses out in the Heisman balloting, it is understandable then that he will gulp, fall briefly into despair, and maybe kick whoever or whatever is within reach. Rick Leach confesses he felt a bit like that when the news first came that this year's Heisman had escaped him and been awarded to Oklahoma's Billy Sims. "It was a blow at first," said Leach. He suspected the odds were against him, but there was the private hope that electors would consider his long career, his many records over four years, and be swayed his way. In Norman, Okla., Sims told The Associated press he believed Leach had the best chance. Sims, at least, recognized Leach's achievements. ; "I thought maybe I would be in the middle of it," he said, "but I thought Leach would win it because he's had four years there, he did a lot of tremendous things and he had a good game Saturday on national television. Geography favored Sims If Sims controlled the balloting, you suspect Rick Leach might have won the Heisman. Indications were, though, that the 1,250 ballots spread among sports writers and sports broadcasters had been voted with geographical preference, Sims gaining his heaviest support in the southwest and far west, Leach controlling the midwest, and Chuck Fusina, the Penn State quarterback who was runnerup in the voting, claiming heavy support in the northeast, mid-Atlantic and southern regions. It turned out the way Michigan coach Bo Schembechier had suspected the largest region naming the winner. The have been exceptions in that regard, Ohio State s Griffin winning twice in a row just a few years ago. But in a fairly tight race, Schembechler's rule would seem valid. Whether accustomed to snubs or not, Leach admitted his disappointment, then added: "I realized it was an honor just to have been a candidate, to be able to play at Michigan and accomplish all we have." So it was done, with no stomping on sour grapes. .It was time already to move on and think of other things. He said the Michigan team had a meeting with Schem bechier the other night, they determined that on this coming trip to the Rose Bowl they will be "a little more loose, less restrictive, m preparing tor soumern lai. If they lose again out west, they intend to have more fun doing it. I It is the way football players bounce. Rick Leach W tt'4 ft' ,--,T f ' . , r t'KV 'w ' - : AP Photo. Oklahoma's Billy Sims wears a Red Sox cap at his press conference. "The B stands for Billy now," he said. Sims wins Heisman; Leach 3d NEW YORK ( AP) In the second closest vote in history, Billy Sims, Oklahoma's record-setting running back, won the 44th annual Heisman Trophy Tuesday although he received 12 fewer first-place votes than Penn State quarterback Chuck Fusina. Michigan quarterback Rick Leach finished third behind Sims and Fusina with a point count of 89-58-52435 and Charles White, Southern California's junior tailback, was fourth with 36-74-98-354. Sims, a 6-foot, 205-pound blend of power and speed, came to Oklahoma from Hooks, Tex., in 1975 as one of the most heavily recruited players ever, but suffered a string of nagging injuries and was redshirted while missing almost all of the 1976 season. This year, however, he is the nation's leading rusher and scorer and smashed the Oklahoma and Big Eight Conference single-season records by romping for 1,762 yards in 11 games and averaging 7.6 yards per carry while scoring 20 touchdowns. During the season, he tied a national record by rushing for 200 or more yards in three consecutive games. "I NEVER THOUGHT I woufd win it, but I thought I was going to be close," said Sims, only the sixth junior ever to win the Heisman. Sims received 151 first-place votes, 152 second-place ballots and 70 for third place and totaled 827 points on a 3-2-1 point system. Fusina's total was 163-89-83750. The only closer Heisman voting than this year's 77-point margin occurred in 1956 when Notre Dame's Paul Hornung edged Johnny Majors of Tennessee by 72 points. This year's voting was so close that the New York accounting firm of Harris, Kerr, Forster & Co. recounted the ballots following Tuesday's 9 a.m., EST, deadline. Besides receiving more first-place ballots, Fusina also carried three of the six Heisman voting regions the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and South. Leach took the Midwest while Sims led in the Southwest and Far West. Sims finished second See HEISMAN, Page 2D Tigers back out of big-money bidding By MICK McCABE Free Press Sporlt Writer Righthander Jim Slaton has agreed to a five-year contract worth over a million dollars to pitch again for the Milwaukee Brewers. , Slaton was acquired by the Tigers from the Brewers last winter when he made it clear to Milwaukee management that he would play out his option in order to play for a contending club. Before accepting the Milwaukee offer, Slaton's agent, Ed Kleven, contacted Tigers vice president Bill Lajoie and offered the Tigers a chance to keep Slaton, who had a 17-1 1 record with a 4.12 record with Detroit last season. "What Jim and Ed did was say we have an offer of such and such, but it will cost you $ 1 .4 million to keep Jim Slaton," said Lajoie. "The $1.4 million was substantially more than their other offer. They asked us for more than they probably signed for and I think if he wanted to play here he would have signed for less." Slaton and Tigers general manager Jim Campbell were reported to have verbally agreed that Slaton would give the Tigers the chance to match the best offer he received. THAT AGREEMENT was claimed by the players association to be illegal. The agreement, however, was never in writing. "According to the letter we got from (players association boss) Marvin Miller today (Tuesday), there was nothing wrong with the agreement," said Lajoie. Slaton said he was surprised that he is going back to Milwaukee. "I was shocked when they drafted me in the free agent draft," Slaton said. "It was the furthest thing from my mind that I would ever sign with Milwaukee. Then when we started negotiating they acted like they were really interested in signing me. "Bud Selig (Milwaukee owner) and Harry Dalton (general manager) overwhelmed me. It came down to a couple of teams. Detroit was in it, so was St. Louis, California and Boston." THE BREWERS were one of the surprise teams in the American League last year, finishing in third place, only 6'2 games behind the Yankees. "I guess the new manager, George Bamberger, did a lot of good there. And some of the younger players came into thwir own. They picked up Larry Hlsle in the free agent draft and Mike Caldwell surprised a lot of people. They've got a lot of good talent. "I feel Milwaukee is a contender, but just avbout every team in the division is a contender, Miklwaukee, Detroit, Boston and Baltimore. With the Yankees, they're just in the wrong division. "But it was a hard decision. I've got nothing against Detroit. I had a lot of fun there this year, it's a good organization and a See SLATON, Page 4D r II "I was shocked when they drafted me in the free agent draft," Jim Slaton said. "It was the furthest thing from my mind that I would ever sign with Mth waukee. Then when we started negotiating, they acted like they were really interested in signing me.' Kansas City makes late run for free agent Rose KANSASCITY (AP) Ewing Kauffman, who built a multimillion-dollar empire on a flair for salesmanship, turned his powers of persuasion on Pete Rose Tuesday and said he may have found a way to lure the celebrated free agent to the American League and Kansas City. "I told him I knew he had a little girl and a little boy, that he was a great baseball player and that he only needs 1,068 hits to break Mr. Ty Cobb's record," Kauffman, owner of the Kansas City Royals, said following a 2 '2-hour meeting with Rose and his attorney. " "His eyes sort of lit up and he said, 'I didn t know that.:" Kauffman said the Royals "have a 50-50 chance of signing Rose," and added, "the only thing that might stop us from getting him is the National League thing." ROSE. 37, HAS said he wants Stan Musial's NL hit record of 3,630 and speculation has been that he would sign with a National League club to get it. Kauffman said he told Rose that by playing as a designated hitter in the American League after he reaches his early 40s he might overtake Cobb's record in five or six years. "We don't intend to use him as a DH at first," Kauffman added. Indications were that the Royals would use Rose in the outfield or at first base. "I'm really Impressed," Rose said in a jiews conference. "Kansas City made me a tremendous offer. It's something I'm going to have to talk to my attorney about. It's a first-class operation and a tremendous team that wins its division often." If ( " "SI Mi V s9 if 1 v. &k 4 - IB! i.-.i MKT . s, ; , , , m,..J X Free Prti Ptioto All-Stale football team on its way The 50th Free Press All-State football team is in the works. The team will be featured in all editions of Sunday's Free Press. Six leading Michigan high school football coaches met with scholastic writer Hal Schram during the past weekend to name the official All-State, recognized by the 3,000 members of the Michigan High School Coaches Association. At work are (left to right): Ron Labadie, Marshall; Budd Tompkins, Frankenmuth; Gerry Nielsen. Big Rapids; Chuck Skinner, Birmingham Seaholm; Kelly Hileman, Lake City; and Andy Rio, Detroit Osborn. T T

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