Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on November 28, 1981 · Page 19
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 19

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Saturday, November 28, 1981
Page 19
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tho scoreboard The complete sports rundown. Page 4C. Today's television highlights; O noon College football: Penn St. at Pittsburgh O 3:45 p.m. College football: Alabama vs. Auburn O 4:00 p.m. College basketballrMichigan at Arkansas 3D 7:30 p.m. Piston basketball: Detroit at Philadelphia Saturday, Nov. 20, 1381 ROLLING STONES 8 CLASSIFIED ADS 9-12 COMICS 13-13 Call with iporU newt: 222-6660 Right-hand h at ft I W Gooirje 4p2,lPuscas Believe it! Hold that Tiger' isn't Campbell's theme song For those who couldn't see it before, the label was stretched out and emblazoned bold and clear Friday. The Tiger management: They are jokers, and worse. They can mask the trade of Steve Kemp in a dozen different ways, but it all comes down to the same old nonsense. They will not compete for talent in the baseball marketplace and they refuse to compete to keep their own. It is the lowest station in sports, lower than losing. If they won't compete for players, how can they compete on the field? What is left for them? What reason is there for existence? One more time, Tiger management has betrayed the fans who so loyally support their team. And betrayed, too, the players on the team. You have to wonder how Jim Campbell and John Fetzer can face Tiger fans now. What can they say to explain away the trading of Steve Kemp? They needed a right-handed hitter, so there goes Kemp? Beautiful. They will come up with some dandy words in support of the acquisition of Chet Lemon. For this last, disrupted baseball season, Lemon's numbers were bet-ter than Kemp's. ' Trade made cents for Campbell But make no mistake: The Tigers didn't trade Kemp because of statistics, or because Lemon bats right-handed. They traded Kemp for one reason, and the reason was money. Again. As in the case of Ron LeFlore Rusty Staub . . . Jason Thompson, etc. The Tiger management might try to convince Tiger fans of the absurdity of Kemp's multimillion-dollar contract demands. But the real fact is that Tiger management never came close to living up to the promise it made to Tiger fans. Campbell, remember, often has said that when the time came, when Kemp and the rest of the Tigers' homegrown farm products had matured and were ready to go after the kind of money paid elsewhere in baseball today, he would open owner John Fetzer's pocketbook and keep the players in Detroit. It was the promise he made, time and . again through the late 1970s and almost to this very moment to satisfy the fans', growing impatience with the Tigers' decade-long role as non-contenders. But, you see, it was all a joke if not an outright con job. He wrapped it in a fancy "philosophy," too, insisting that the heavy spending by some club owners would be the ruination of baseball. The Tigers would not be party to that. For the good of the game and the stability of the organization, the Tigers would develop their own players, and eventually take care of them. It was the way it was done in the days before the cussed free agents; before free spenders like George Steinbrenner and Gene Autry came along. It was the only scheme that made sense back then. It is a convenient, self-serving way of doing business now: presenting a team filled with players fresh up from the farms and way down on the pay scale. The fans keep coming out to the ball park believing it is only a matter of time before the players blossom and the team develops into a true contender. Except Tiger management never meant it in the first place. When it comes time to put up the money, they find a reason to dispose of the player. Nuts to the fans. When the snow blows away, they will be back, believing still. Tigers have dealt for lemons before I have no idea whether Steve Kemp was worth the million bucks he was demanding. I don't know whether anyone is. Players get paid big money today only because there's always somebody willing to pay it. But do not include the Tigers in that "somebody." It was only through an arbitrator's ruling, you recall, that Kemp's pay was raised from $240,000 to $600,000 last season. The Tigers had had him cheap through all but the final months of his career here, and now that it was time to pay they got out. Somebody else can pay. I just hope for Chet Lemon's sake that the deal turns out okay, or at least better than some of the other trades like Dan Schatzeder for LeFlore, Al Cowens for Thompson made to enhance the Tiger ledger books. Lemon has been around and is a capable hand. Campbell was even bold enough to declare he was a better fielder than Kemp. He might even be better looking. That would be fine. You just hope the guy doesn't mention money soon. v Hockoy fights: Tho fans' viow There's an old ioke that savs. "I vent to a tlohi and a hockey game broke out," But to manv who care ahnut tUe onmo tU hiit!-! . Hockey League's brawling image is no joke. They wonder wny nocney, atone among norm American pro sports, condones fights. For part of the answer, the Free Press went to the people who tav thr UnrLvu (nut W n11J tU snn customers at a recent Red Wings game about their sports. You tan read their antwevt mUlrU tfutv cuiAn' t usm and much more about fighting and hockey in a special Inside P . n f tr k vj oporis report in ounaay s tree tress. Jim Campbell wt pleases Sparky 1 w A Fre Press Pholo "It'll be awkward to leave ... I love Detroit," said former Tiger Steve Kemp, who was traded to Chicago for Chet Lemon (inset). By JOE LAPOINTE Fret Preti Sports Writer For Tiger manager Sparky Anderson, Friday's trade of Steve Kemp for Chet Lemon adds a right-handed hitter to his predominantly left-handed lineup. - "Oh, yeah, I'm very happy," Anderson said by phone Friday night after he heard the Tigers had traded left-handed-hitting Kemp to the Chicago White Sox for center fielder Lemon. "We needed a right-handed hitter, a premier right-handed hitter . . . "It was a question of what side I wanted to look at (from home plate) from a pitching point of view. Last year, we looked at about 42 percent left-handed pitching" because Detroit has so many left-handed hitters. (Statistically, left-handed hitters have a more difficult time hitting against left-handed pitchers, as do right-handed hitters against right-handed pitchers). BUT THE TRADE brought disappointment to Kemp. "It's just weird," he said. "I put in five years in Detroit, and we went through hard times, always losing. Now the club has a chance to go somewhere, and I'm not going to be a part of it. But that's possible in Chicago, too . . . "People have different opinions of me. It'll be awkward to leave, but at least I'll have the opportunity to return to Detroit Lemon, the newest Tiger, is a hustler Chet Lemon, Chicago's one-armed bandit, must be the most anonymous outfielder ever to make the All-Star team twice. He has been astounding Comiskey Park fans (and offending purists) for years with his one-handed catches in center field. He has gained a reputation as Charlie Hustle's younger brother, Chet Hustle, by repeatedly sliding into first base to try to beat out infield hits. He has hit .300 for the White Sox more than once and frequently has touched off Bill ' Veeck's exploding scoreboard with frozen-rope homers over the picnic grounds in left nilro field. (A dead pull hitter, Lemon hits to right field about twice a month.) DESPITE HIS, accomplishments, though, Lemon never has been one of the more celebrated outfielders in baseball, and La- 'Bama Bryant: He's not your average Bear By JIM HAWKINS Free Pres Sporti Writer It began as a recruiting ploy, really, ol' . Paul Bryant's, pursuit of ol' Amos Alonzo Stagg. At the time, even the Bear himself didn't particularly care about that ol' coachln' record. But some rival coaches from those other darn-shucks Southeastern Conference schools were spreading nasty rumors that the Bear was ready to retire. "Why would you want to go to Alabama?" those snide fellows would ask the blue-chip recruits. "You don't even know who your coach is going to be in a couple of years." Well, one day one of those raw recruits had the audacity to raise that very question in a telephone conversation with the Bear. "WHY, HELL, son," drawled the Bear, "I'm going to be here forever. I'm going to break Mr. Stagg's record." That was enough to convince the kid to join the Crimson Tide and enough to convince the Bear that he had stumbled upon quite a gimmick. Soon he was leaking the story of his bid to catch Stagg to reporters and influential alumni, knowing full well they, too, would spread the word. So the gilt-edged recruits kept coming, and the Bear kept winning, year after year. Now he is there, one win away from the record that once seemed unattainable: 315 victories. All Alabama has to do is overcome arch-rival Auburn Saturday (3:45 p.m. ABC-TV, Channel 7 in Detroit), and Free PressDICK MAYER Bear Bryant's record is a monument to his longevity: 37 seasons at four schools. Bear Bryant will be the winningest college football coach of all time. IT TOOK Stagg 57 autumns to win his 314. He lost 199 and tied five along the way. Bryant is 314-80-17 through this, his 37th season. Of course, the game has changed. Schedules have been expanded. Teams now play 1 1 games a year instead of seven or eight. That's why Bryant refuses to get involved in comparisons between his record and Stagg's. See BEAR BRYANT, Page 2C mar Johnson thinks he knows why. Johnson, Lemon's teammate for as long as both men have played in the majors, had this to say Friday after hearing of his friend's straight-up trade to Detroit for Steve Kemp: "It's kind of difficult to get publicity when you're with a losing team," Johnson said. "The White Sox have really gone no place the past four years. When you don't win, you aren't seen in the playoffs and you aren't seen on national TV. So it's twice as tough to get noticed." Johnson thinks the attention is overdue. Asked about Lemon's strong points, his response was: "He has so many, it's difficult to list them. He's great defensively, great offensively . . . he's really a complete player. And he really goes hard. Nobody in baseball plays any harder than Chet Lemon." A free-agent first baseman who was bypassed in the recent draft, Johnson said he would not be returning to the White Sox (he also served as their player representative) and would not be opposed to joining Lemon -in Tiger Stadium, but wondered, "Why didn't Campbell take anybody?" Jim Campbell, the Detroit general manager, chose not to pick a single player in the draft. See CHET LEMON, Page 2C Neither slugger hits homers in new park Neither player In Friday's big trade is headed for familiar territory where the long ball is concerned. White Sox fans, for in stance, have never seen Steve Kemp hit a home run. Since breaking into the big leagues in 1977, Kemp has posted annual home run totals of 18, 15, 26, 21, and nine the last figure in the strike-shortened 81 season. Not one of those homers was hit in his new digs, Comiskey Park. Chet Lemon shows a little more promise in his new home, Tiger Stadium, which is more accommodating to sluggers. Since he first came to the majors in 1976, Lemon has poked four, 19, 13, 17, 11 and nine home runs. Three of them one each in '76, '77 and '81 were hit in Detroit. Tom Ferguson when the White Sox play there. I love Detroit, and I enjoyed playing with the players there. The people overall were good to me." Kemp batted third in the Tiger lineup. But Anderson hasn't decided where Lemon will hit. "I'm kicking around the idea of leading him off," he said. "We'll start that way and see how it works out. Lemon hit .335 leading off for Chicago in the last half of last year. He can bat first through sixth in our lineup." ANDERSON ALSO hasn't decided whether Lemon will play center field. Kemp played left field. "We'll kind of leave that till spring to make a decision," he said. "It's no problem. Chet is an outstanding outfielder. With his arm, he's probably ahead of Steve as a fielder." The Tiger manager added that he was aware of Lemon s reputation for "over-aggressive, ragged" base running, often div ing into first base and being thrown out at other bases. Anderson said he hoped Lem on's speed and hustle could translate into increased base stealing. "Chet is a faster base runner (than Kemp), so I want to work toward why he doesn t steal more, Anderson said. "Chet Lemon is a helluva ball player," Kemp said. "He can help the Tigers a lot. Moro on Hemp for Lonsosa: The main story on the Steve Kemp-for- Chet Lemon trade is on Page 1A. Do you think the trade was a good one for the Tigers? bee bound Off, I'age JA. The major-league statistics for both players are on the Scoreboard Page, 4C. Kemp's trade stuns fans By CHARLIE VINCENT Free Prest Sports Writer Friday's late afternoon announcement that the Detroit Tigers had traded Steve Kemp to the Chicago White Sox for center fielder Chet Lemon brought expressions of disbelief and even outrage from area fans. And the similarity between this trade and the one that sent Ron LeFlore to Montreal in exchange for Dan Schatzeder two years ago was not lost on them. "I think they just did the same thing here they did when we got Schatzeder for LeFlore," Kurt Rundel of Livonia said. "I don't think they know how to trade." Ayman Mustafa of Dearborn felt the same way. "The Tigers could have traded somebody else for Chet Lemon. He was unhappy over there, but they didn't have to give up Kemp. They just didn't want to pay Kemp the money. It's the same as the LeFlore deal." Some young fans who called didn't even want to discuss the deal. "They what? That's stupid," said 12-year-old Sam Ferguson of Allen Park. "That's the dumbest thing I ever heard. I hate it." Greg Penfield, a 13-year-old from Ply mouth, was even more succinct: "Kemp's better than Chet Lemon." KUININU. M1LLLK ol southiieid was among the more incensed of the adult fans. "You're kidding," he said. "They've got to be crazy. We should boycott the Tigers. That's terrible . . . What are they going to do when Wilcox and the other guys want more money?" See TIGER FANS, Page 2C Silverdome show crowns season By HAL (SWAMI) SCHRAM Famed Gridiron Seer High school football with all its trimmings big hometown crowds, bands and cheerleaders will light up the Silverdome for the better part of 14 hours Saturday. The seventh annual Michigan prep championships will "lure some 50,000 fans to the 'Dome for a four-game show starting at 10 a.m. and ending sometime around 1 1 p.m. The feature of the morning-afternoon session sends Fraser against Escanaba, the hope of the Upper Peninsula, for the Class A title at 1 p.m. Detroit St. Martin dePorres plays Crystal Falls Forest Park for the Class D title at 10 a.m. The afternoon-evening session, starting at 5 p.m., will offer championship games in classes C and B. Muskegon Catholic in Class I B is the only defending state champion still in the running. Admission to each session is $3.50. Here's how the Swami calls Saturday's finals: Class A Fraser (11-0) vs. Escanaba (11-0), 1 p.m.: Escanaba proved its merit by beating Fordson. The Eskymos will put the freeze on Fraser. Frco Pross AU-Uotro: Today, the Free Press presents the 1981 All-Metro Team, the top high school football players in the Detroit metropolitan area. Pictures of the first team, plus the second 4eam and honorable mention lists and coach of the year, are on Page 6C. ' Class D Muskegon Catholic (11-0) vs. Farm-' Inflton Harrison (10-1), 8 p.m.: A rugged matchup and a tough one to call. The Swaml sticks with the champs: Muskegon Catholic by six. Class C Elkton-Plgeon-Bay Port (11-0) vs. North Muskegon (11-0), 5 p.m.: The, Lakers will finally win one for the Thumb to the cheers of 5,000 supporters. Class D Detroit St. Martin dePorres (10-1) vs. Crystal Falls Forest Park (10-1), 10 a.m.: You'll have to arrive early to see the dePorres machine rub out Crystal Falls. The Eagles by 20 points. Pistons give up 2-point thriller to Hawks in OT By CHARLIE VINCENT Free Pre$ Sports Writer Isiah Thomas found out why Wayne Monte Rollins' nickname is Tree, and along with the lesson Friday night went a 1 14-1 12 overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks. It was Detroit's second straight overtime game, but unlike Wednesday's win in Kansas City, the Pistons were unable to play over their mistakes before the second-largest crowd ever to see them play at home, 20,128 fans who rocked the Silverdome to its foundation when it looked as if the Pistons would rally to win. But In the end, they simply let too many opportunities pass them by. And Thomas was the first to admit the final mistake was his. With 25 seconds left in the overtime, Detroit trailed, 114-112, when Ron Lee had forced a Hawk turnover under the Atlanta basket. Thomas tried to drive to the hoop, but the 7-foot-1 Rollins calmly batted the ball away, into the waiting arms of teammate Dan Roundfield. That, for all practical purposes, ended Detroit's chances. "I should have taken the little shot from outside," Thomas admitted later. "But he was out of position, and I thought I could get See PISTONS, Page 2C

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