Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on August 25, 1986 · Page 67
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 67

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Monday, August 25, 1986
Page 67
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DETROIT FREE PRESS f i i . i i n II II i $ Lsndl mstsrs HcEnrce; Top-ranked Ivan Lendl scored a straight-set victory over John McEnroe in the Hamlet Challenge tennis tournament. Page 2H. Sports Phone, 1-976-1313 BASEBALL 6 TIGER CORNER 8 MOVIE GUIDE 13 Call with portt nwt: 222-6660 GO Old-Timers Page 9H The more things change, the more they stay the same Some of yesterday's heroes look as if they couid play today O The box score of the Equitable Old-Timers Game Georga Puscas Freehan, Brock replay The Play As Lou Brock, the whizzer of the old St. Louis Cardinals, reconstructs the incident, it was the perfect play. Every move was executed properly, flawlessly in a moment of rare baseball beauty. "I saw a picture of it in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., a few years ago," Brock said. "They were trying to explain it as one of the most intricate plays in baseball, where everybody makes , the perfect move, and yet " And yet, the disagreement that resulted from that play lingers. Much of the sting has gone, faded as memories fade. But the collision between Brock and the Tigers' Bill Freehan at home plate in Game 5 of the 1968 World Series echoes in baseball lore. It reversed the Series. From the moment of impact, the Tigers, down three games to one and three runs behind, swept to the championship and lighted up Detroit as never before, or since. Current Tigers fans cling to the 1984 Series champions as the best we've ever had. But never was a team built for drama as the 1968 Tigers were, who all season played a symphony of home runs off the stadium seats and enthralled the city. All of it seemed headed for a dismal ending in the World Series, but the Brock-Freehan confrontation almost magically ignited a fire that consumed the Cardinals. "That was only the second time a team had been that far down In the Series, and still won," Brock said. "So, sure, everybody remembers that play not only as controversial, but pivotal." BROCK AND FREEHAN, as trim if not as solid as they were 18 years ago, met again at home plate Sunday in Tiger Stadium, Brock as the leadoff hitter for the Equitable All-Stars, Freehan as the catcher of a 32-man squad of Tigers old-timers. Great baseball names abounded: Bob Feller, Minnie Minoso, Orlando Cepeda, Tommie Agee, Bill Mazer-oski, among others, on the one side, and a flood of popular old Tigers dating to Charlie Gehringer and including many of the '68 champions. They brought a marvelous touch of nostalgia to the old ball yard. "We've been asked about that play so many times," Freehan said, "that we've become good friends. We kid each other about it all the time." Brock and Freehan still don't agree on what happened. Prompted, they tried to re-create their collision, and they could not. "You were here and my foot came in right here at the plate," Brock said. "No, no," Freehan said. "You never touched the plate." It was sunny but damp on Oct. 7, 1968, and thousands had come to the stadium with a sense of foreboding. The day before, the Cardinals had hammered 31-game winner Denny McLain and won, 10-1, seemingly destroying what had been a season 1 i;'i.t V ffekj.U " fi$ 4i l'. 1 ' , . -Li: : - 1 II jcaa - V1 , -, -.v.;.- -. V .s ..,,. v. " " 1 VrtV-, .,.,mtf - ")'v lpi'f1' " ,-..'.' . .1 1 " - .''. I J' '""V,, '' . ' 1VW Fret Prett Photo by MARY SCHROEDER; I 5 1M World Serlei Photo by I i'- '-'f , I Frw Preti ChW Photographer TONY SPINA I , VJjs JrV J ii i j . . . And he's still out! Old-timers Bill Freehan of the Tigers and Lou Brock of the Cardinals (above) re-enact their meeting at home plate. In the fifth game of the 1968 World Series (right), left fielder Willie Horton's throw to catcher Freehan beat Brock by a step. filled with rousing come-from-behind Tigers triumphs. "We came in to close the door on 'em that day," Brock recalled, "and it looked like we were going to do it. I had led off the fifth inning with a double, and Julian Javier hit a line drive just over (shortstop) Mickey Stanley's glove. It sort of froze me for a moment. "To my surprise, Joe Schultz, our third-base coach, the best I've ever seen, gave me the sign to keep coming for the plate." JAVIER'S SHOT TO left was grabbed by Willie Horton on the first bounce, and Horton fired a strike to See PUSCAS, Page 9H , ...l.n. . . v, Mariners9 Langston frustrates Tigers, 3-1 By JOHN LOWE Free Presi Sports Writer The Red Sox lost. The Yankees lost. Dan Petry threw his best game of the season. He threw it against the Seattle Mariners, a last-place team that had won two road games all season in which it had scored less than four runs. This table of contents should have made it a hope-generating Sunday for the Tigers. But we haven't gotten to the cover man, Seattle lefthander Mark Langston. Either Langston is having the cover knocked off the ball, or he's pitching like he belongs on the front of some publication. Sunday, it was "Portrait of an Ace" all the way as Langston defeated the Tigers, 3-1, at Tiger Stadium. With a win, the Tigers would have tied the Yankees for second and would have moved within six games of first-place Boston with six weeks left in the season. But they're still seven back of Boston, which lost its second straight in Cleveland. PETRY IS 0-2 in two starts since returning from the 2'2-month layoff caused by elbow surgery. He pitched into the eighth inning, when Danny Tartabull's RBI single drove in the unearned run that made it 3-1. Petry allowed six hits and two walks in 7' innings. "It was the best he's thrown all year, including before he was hurt," Tigers manager Sparky Anderson said. "Today is the best I've felt in over a year, since before I had the elbow trouble at the end of last year," Petry said. See TIGERS, Page 8H Kaline's glove is stolen There was one sour note at Sunday's old-timers game at Tiger Stadium between a team of former Tigers and a team of former major leaguers: A glove belonging to former Tigers right-fielder Al Kaline was stolen from the dugout. Lions' QB starter still uo in the air i By CURT SYLVESTER Free Preu Sporlj Writer The competition between Eric Hippie and Joe Ferguson for the Lions' starting quarterback job apparently will not be settled for at least another week. Coach Darryl Rogers has not said when he will select his quarterback, but he indicated he wants to see both Hippie and Ferguson in the final pre-season game Friday at Cincinnati before he decides. If he follows last year's precedent, that means he will announce the starter next Monday, six days before the regular-season opener at Minnesota. Last year the choice was Hippie, who held the job through good times and bad the entire season. ALTHOUGH ROGERS HAS remained non-committal through five weeks of training camp, he may be leaning toward a change this season. Hippie, 28, has started all three pre-season games but has had some bothersome injuries and has not been as sharp or as effective as he was a year ago. Rogers blamed himself for some of Hippie's troubles. "With Eric right now, he has played only quarter, quarter, quarter," Rogers said, referring to Hippie's quarter-a-game appearances. "He has not had and this is my error if you want to call it an error I have not given him enough whole halves." See LIONS, Page 4H Barney 'secondary' to none as Lions' pre-season color analyst ",: Lions TV announcer Lem Barney has a lot in common with Tigers TV announcer Al Kaline. Both were stars for the local teams they now cover. Like Kaline, Barney blends outspokenness and expertise. Like Kaline, Barney also mixes remarkable cliches with technical jargon and innovative grammar. Like Kaline, he is sure of his opinions and usually makes his points quite clearly. i- Barney was color analyst for play-by-play man Fred McLeod when the Lions made their 1986 TV debut in an exhibition game from Indianapolis on WJBK-TV (Channel 2 : ' The Uom lost, 20-13, but the highlight of the game from a Detroit point of view was the play of the defensive secondary. Baney wm om of football's great defensive backs in the .late ltS9i mi early VKk. Saturday night, he frequently discuawd this aspect the game. loo Lapointc For instance: When Detroit rookie free safety Devon Mitchell intercepted a Colts pass early in the game, Barney said: "The intended receiver tried to sell the left cornerback Bobby Watklns an out pattern and do a takeoff. Bobby didn't bite on it. There was just a little interference there." After another good play by Mitchell, Barney suggested that the holdout of fellow defensive back William Graham may cost him his job. "WilliamGraham, who is still holding out, may stick to his guns a iktle too long," Barney said. When Watkins broke up a reception with a hard collision, Barney said, "Sort of like a slice of murder at the 30-yard line. Helmet to helmet, face to face." When Mitchell forced a quick Indianapolis incompletion with a blitz, Barney said, "They threw a wrinkle into the pie." When Indianapolis scored a touchdown - on a 39-yard pass play to Wayne Capers past Mitchell Barney said of Mitchell, "It'll happen again, I'll tell you. No one who plays that position has a' cherry." (Not even if they throw a wrinkle into the pie?) When Capers scored on a two-yard passing play a "fade pattern" over Bruce McNorton Barney said: "McNorton is in a bump-and-run situation. Capers just gets to the outside. McNorton has no vision whatsoever on the ball. He's gotjjp read the intent, eye contact, of the receiver. Capers goes op high with a good vertical leap to hurl in from two yards out for the touchdown." Barney said Sunday that he discussed the play after the game with McNorton and told him the same thing. "I told him you've got to be able to read the receiver's eyes, a receiver will show you some excitement in his eyes," said Barney, a former ail-pro. Barney said the Lions' secondary has been rebuilding since the departure of players like James Hunter and Jimmy Allen. "The Lions went to a quick, young secondary," Barney said. "This year may be the year it comes together." Barney has announced Detroit exhibitions for five years and has covered college football for cable's Black Entertainment Television network for seven years. He says his strength is his understanding of secondary play and that the hardest part of the job is choosing the right vocabulary for fans who don't know much about football. Sw LAPOINTE,pVge8H

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