Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on December 6, 1984 · Page 63
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 63

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Thursday, December 6, 1984
Page 63
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DETROIT FREE PRESSFRIDAY, DEC. 7, 1984 5D Witkowski hit the ground, but not running, in debut By CURT SYLVESTER Free Press Sports Writer It wasn't exactly a dream come true. What kind of rookie quarterback dreams of being knocked flat on his face four times in three minutes and two seconds? That's what happened to Lions rookie John Witkowski in his NFL regular-season debut in Seattle last Sunday, but Witkowski is looking at the bright side of it. - "A lot of people don't even get a chance to play in their rookie year," Witkowski said. . Even better, he suffered no broken bones, no dislocated shoulders, no internal injuries. And the way the "Sea-hawks went after him, that's a minor miracle in itself. Witkowski was back at practice this week, without even a twinge of pain to remind him of the four times the Seahawks threw him for losses in the closing minutes of the game. "I felt good, excellent," he said, grinning. "It was fun. I got my feet wet, at least. "It was a lot quicker out there than I expected . . . because they knew what we were doing (passing on every down). Everything moves quicker, but I know what to expect the next time." Witkowski, the Lions' sixth-round draft choice from Columbia, started the season charting plays on the sideline. When the Lions fell out of the NFC Central Division and playoff races by midseason, Monte Clark promoted him to second string, hoping to get him some game experience. The opportunity came in Seattle, with the Lions trailing by 21 points with 6:43 to play. Not the most enviable situation for a rookie. "They didn't want to get (starter) Gary (Danielson) hurt," Witkowski said. "We've still got two games to play. They wanted to put me out and see what I could do. "He (Clark) said, 'You ready?' I said, T'm ready,' and that was about it." With the Lions trailing by three touchdowns, it was obvious Witkowski would be throwing the football and the Seahawks reacted accordingly with a heavy rush on every play. Witkowski completed his first three passes a 13-yarder to Rob Rubick, a 19-yarder to Leonard Thompson and a 25-yarder to Ken Jenkins moving the Lions from their 23 to the Seattle 20. That was the end of his success, however. The series ended with two sacks and two incomplete passes. "I was hoping to get a touchdown out of it, but it didn't work out that way," Witkowski said. He got one more Chance on the Lions' final possession, but it was even more disastrous two more sacks, a 10-yard scramble by Witkowski and a punt. "It was tough, but I think the linemen had it tougher than I did," Witkowsi said. "I was just sitting back there trying to get rid of the ball",. LIONS NOTES: The Lions had about 16,000 tickets left for the Monday night game against the LA Raiders at the close of business Thursday. Unless the game is sold out by 8 p:m. today, it will not be televised in' the Detroit area., The Lions won't be able to work at the Silverdome today and Saturdaj because of a tractor pull. Clark has made arrangements to use the University of Michigan's indoor football facility instead. Baseball's trade winds have been mostly hot air trades and talkCardinals' Sutter expected to sign with Braves today BASEBALL, from Page 1D something together." I Herzog is not alone in his inability to tut a deal. ; 0nly four trades were made in the fir't four days of the meetings, and one of them was conditional: f he Yankees triust sign Rickey Henderson by 5 p.m. today or that deal is off. There has been so little real action that when the Yankees traded Rick .' Cerone to the Braves for minor league pitcher Brian Fisher, the announcement was made in an atmosphere that rivaled a presidential press conference. $ome writers even wrote stories analyzing the deal. That's how slow things are. ; There are a couple of big reasons why bold traders like Herzog are becoming dinosaurs and journeymen like Cerone are big news: Player contracts: Seemingly any player who hits over .250 or any pitcher who wins more than seven games is working on a five-year, no-trade contract. Even if two teams agree on a trade, it takes a half-dozen lawyers to inspect the contracts to see if the deal will hold up. Usually , they find it won't. Free agency: With most of the teams wooing at least one free agent, general managers are hesitant to make any moves until they see who signs with which team. Kansas City among others thought it had an excellent chance to sign Andre Thornton, so the team didn't enter in any serious trade negotiations for the first few days in Houston. When Thornton surprised everyone by re-signing with Cleveland, the Royals announced they were open for trading business. But by then, other teams were working on potential deals that didn't include Kansas City, and the Royals had to wait their turn. The second inter-league trading period in March: This takes away any urgency to make a deal at the winter meetings. "You don't really know your exact needs in December," said White Sox general manager Roland Hemond. But Herzog said not knowing your needs is just an excuse not to trade. "It's always something with these guys," Herzog said. "You go to the playoffs and try to get something going and they tell you they want to wait until the re-entry draft. Then you go to the winter meetings and they tell you to wait and see what free agents they sign. It's always something." Last year in Nashville, the winter meetings produced 16 deals in which 34 players were traded. It didn't seem like much at the time, but compared with what's taking place this year, it would be gratefully accepted even by someone like Whitey Herzog. NOTES: The Tigers filled three of their four minor league managerial openings Thursday. Gordy McKenzie, who managed at Evansville last season, will now take over the Birmingham club in the Southern League (Class AA). Former New York Mets catcher Jerry Grote will manage Lakeland in the Florida State league (Class A). Former Tigers infield-er Mark DeJohn will manage Bristol in the rookie Appalachian League. That leaves the Tigers with one minor league manager's spot to fill at Nashville (Class AAA). SF's Lavelle holds up deal LAVELLE, from Page 1D through. It's possible the Tigers might satisfy Lavelle's desire for more money by paying a signing bonus. ! THE TIGERS have pursued Lavelle for the past three years. ; Because th'ey are having difficulty dealing for a left-handed starter, the Tigers could use Lavelle in Bill Scher-njr's role of the left-handed short man i the bullpen and try Scherrer as a stflrtcr. I The Tigers also might want Lavelle as, insurance in case they are unable to sign ace reliever Willie Hernandez. i And the acquisition of Lavelle could be viewed as a signal to Hernandez that the Tigers will trade him if he continues to balk at signing the four-year, $4.5 million contract offered him. The Tigers also announced Thursday that they had named Ralph Treuel as their minor league pitching instructor, replacing Billy Muffett, who was promoted to the major league level at that position earlier this week. Juan Lopez was also named the organization's minor league instructor and general troubleshooter, replacing DeJohn. ADMINISTRATION: National League President Chub Feeney has been granted a one-year extension on his contract, through 1986. He has been president since 1970. Charles Bronfman of the Montreal Expos and N.E. Peter Hardy of the Blue Jays were elected to baseball's executive council, succeeding Dan Galbreath of Pittsburgh and Bud Sellg of Milwaukee. Bob Lurie of the San Francisco Giants was named to the NL executive committee, succeeding Peter O'Malley of Los Angeles. ATLANTA: Free agent reliever Bruce Sutter and his two agents flew to Atlanta, and sources suggested he would sign this morning with the Braves. Sutter, 31 , declared his free agency from the St. Louis Cardinals last November and reportedly was offered $7.5 million to $8 million over five years by Braves owner Ted Turner. . . . While third baseman Bob Horner prepares for surgery this month on his injured wrist, slugger Dale Murphy wants the team to find somebody else who can hit the ball out of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. "We are a lot different team without Bob, and there is no question we have to compensate for his loss," Murphy said. "You can go in one of two directions, either by strengthening the pitching staff and defense or by getting a power hitter. Our pitching is good enough to win. ... My first preference and obviously it's got to be by a trade is to get someone to help the offense." CINCINNATI: Player-manager Pete Rose is having a little fun at the expense of the Reds' long-standing policy that discourages players from displaying facial hair. Rose, attending baseball's winter meetings in Houston with Reds president Bob Howsam, said he and Howsam talked this week about the non-facial hair policy. The discussion involved two of baseball's top pitchers, Rick Sutcllffe and Sutter, who have beards. Rose said: "All I said was, isn't it funny the two top pitchers in the draft couldn't play for our team?" MONTREAL: Rose was offered the job of managing the Expos last season but turned it down because it would have involved abandoning his playing status and quest for Ty Cobb's record for most hits, Expos catcher Gary Carter revealed. Carter, who has been engaged in a war of words with Rose through the media this week, said his former teammate had been "out of line" in his characterizations. Rose was quoted earlier this week describing Carter as an immature player who didn't have the right approach to the game. rv n n n too j ft Oreol u n M OKgmteD oir tora weds ira Let's start with the car. It's an Avis Rent A Car. A Ford Fiesta or similar. II you're traveling as a party of two, it's yours to scoot around Europe for a full week. With unlimited mileage. Free. (If you're traveling alone, there's a $50 charge.) All you need to do is buy your plane tickets and book your car 21 days in advance. Travel anytime from January 1 through March 31,1985. When you pick up your plane tickets, you'll get a certificate redeemable for your free car at the Avis counter in Europe. Simply present the certificate to Avis along with your Northwest Orient boarding pass, and drive off. Now you'll notice a coupon in this ad. You'll also notice two Kodak cameras-a Kodak Pleaser instant camera and a Kodak Winner pocket camera. There's a Countdown book, too. And a Countdown membership card. The book is a handy guide to Europe, and it's filled with money-saving discount coupons. The card will get you 10 discounts at shops and restaurants throughout Europe. What you do is mail Northwest Orient the coupon (no copies, please), along with a photocopy of your plane ticket. What we'll do is send you the camera of your choice, dIus the Countdown book and card, free. A couple of things you should know. To get your free camera and Countdown materials, you must buy your plane tickets between December 1 and 31. And if for any reason you cancel your plane tickets or change carriers, we will deduct $25 for the camera from your refund or bill you. A little about Northwest Orient's service to Europe. 'Exclusive of charges tor insurance, gasoline, and applicable taxes. Wffel ZJ 119 'I I ns . T w I I MU art-- uFK3eW- -J Jki'MJb&c Siy rmru,, VjKuala Lumpur fl I l Tv "Singapore 9 We fly you at very, very competitive fares. We fly you in the spacious comfort of our all-747 international fleet, offering superior inflight service. We offer you convenient same airline service to Europe from cities throughout the U.S.A. And we fly you to these popular European cities: London Glasgow Dublin Shannon, Ireland Frankfurt Hamburg Copenhagen Stockholm Oslo. For information and reservations, call your travel agent or Northwest Orient: (800) 447-4747 (toll-free). FREE l Kodak Instant or Pocket Camera, Countdown Guide Book to Europe and Discount Card Please send me, free, the Kodak Pleaser Instant Camera or the Kodak Winner Pocket Camera (check one). Also send me the free Countdown materials. I have enclosed a photocopy ot my Northwest Orient plane ticket to Europe for travel from 1185 through 33185 (purchased between December 1 and 31, 1984). NAME (PLEASE PRINT) ADDRESS CITY STATE ZIP Mail to: Northwest Orient Airlines P.O. Box 4456, Maple Plain, MN 55393 Allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. understand that if I cancel my plane tickets or change carriers, $25 for the camera will be deducted from my refund or billed to me. Camera and Countdown offer expires 123184. Beijing (Peking) NORTHWEST ORIENT The World Is Going uurway.. WORKING HARD, DOING THINGS RIGHT, TO EUROPE AND THE WORLD. r r -" i ""ii 1, j

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