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The Press. (Cortland, N.Y.) 1972-1990, April 01, 1988, Image 19

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• ' t I i i I j The Press/Fridav. April l, 1988/NINETEEN Yankees and Billy make the grade By ROB ADAMO Sports Editor Imagine being fired four times and then being rehired for a fifth time. Well, Billy Martin has accomplished this most unbelievable feat. Yes, Billy the Kid is back in town and is better than ever. Okay, the other four terms that Billy reigned as Yankee Skipper inadvertently shed too much steam. He got in- volved in one too many bar room scuffles with flagrant reporters. Also, Billy was always known as a hot tempered man who seemed to love arguments. Times have \:hanged and so has Billy Martin. The new Billy Mar- tin has emerged as a most respectable person; he too would openly admit that this ti~round there is no more room for fussing and fighting. Martin is con- \:entrating heavily on a winn- ing balldub. Personally, I feel getting Martin back was a smart move on the part of Yankee principal owner, George Steinbrenner. Why? Some might question. Beside the fad that l think Martin'-. team leadership qualitie~ and per-.onal ba ... eball background give him a lot of ba.,eball knowledge to \hare with hi.., players, he ..:arc!-. for hi~ team and want~ them to perform one hundred per- .:elll. Abo. from looking at a ... tati!-ttkal point of view at the vear.., 1975, '79, 'R3, and 'HS, the four year~ in v .. hkh Martin managed the Yankee~. the Yankee~ always came out with winning seasons and an overall winn- ing percentage of .591. All other Yankee managers had a .558 winning percentage. Even Steinbrenner will agree with the fact that Martin is the cure to what so heavily ails the New York Yankees. Finally, Billy has more baseball talent, better organization strategy, and this is why the Yankees and Billy will go places in '88. Let's get down to the basics of a deep position analysis, along with a grading analysis and a com- mentary of the New York Yankees '88 roster. Last year, the Yankees finished fourth place in the American League East with an 89-73 record. One of the major weaknesses plaguing. the Yankees over the past !->everal years and especially in '87 wa~ the lack of ade- quate pitching from both the starters, relievers, and so- l:alled middle men. Although Yankee pitching staff was ranked fifth in the American League with a combined 4.36 ERA and had a 62-54 record in '81, there is still much need of improvement. This '>cao.,on, Steinbrenner, Mar- tin. and new General Manager Lou Pinella have Jevi-.ed a !-.U\:Ce!->~t'ul solution tn this dreadful ~ltuation. STARTING PITCHERS - With 44 year old Tommy John leading the Yankee rit- cher'> in ·s7 with a 4.03 ERA and a 13-6 re!:ord, you know there i~ trouble ~omewhere_ But one can only learn from his mistakes and this is why the Yankees acquired two veteran pitchers: Rich Dot- son and John Candelaria. Dotson will prove to be a valuable starter for the Yankees. The 29 year old is well known for his speedy fastball, curveballs, and changeups. The good thing about Dotson is that he can go the distance giving the Yanks six or seven solid inn ings. . The one loss that will hurt the Yankees is captain Ron Guidry. Guidry underwent shoulder surgery on a torn rotator cuff and is not ex- pected back until sometime in May; at the age of 35 he's beginning to lose some of his Lou-isiana lightning. Hopefully, the gator will make it back and pitch some vital games for the Yankees in the remainder of the season. The number one starter for the Yanks has to be 34 year old Rick Rhoden who went 16-10 with a 3.86 ERA in '87. If Rhoden's shoulder does not create problems for him, he will be the key to the Yankee wins that they need. John Candelaria, if he paces himself early, can be another key starter who will also be needed for the Yankees success. Also, well known starter Tommy John will start and should have a ~uperb season in what might · be his last year in the majors. So now, there are four healthy starters: Rhoden, Candelaria, John, and Dot- ~on. Who will be your fifth ~tarter? First, let's see who the Yanks have available. AI S.A.B. (Student Activities Board) presents Comedy and llypnotisnr with TOM DELUCA as featured in Rolling Stone Magazine T.UBSOAY, APiliL, 5, 8:00 PM Corey Union function Room SUCC Studen(s- $2.00 S{JCC Faculty/Staff- $3.00 . ~.·- . ~, '·' ' '. ·l· i~~ -' . : . . ·. Leiter and Lee Guetterman. My pick, the 22 year old youngster Al Leiter. Leiter has much acquired talent and an overwhelming fastball that has impressed me a great deal; it was clocked just shy of 100 mph. But in order for him to prevail, he has to be able to go the distance; 2 or 3 innings just won't suffice. On the other hand, if the Yanks are looking for ex- perience and someone with good control who can throw strikes they might pick Guet- terman. Guetterman was picked up from Seattle where he boasted an 11-4 record, with a 3.81 ERA. He has sometimes been criticized for his super loftiness and rather slow speed. But still, Guet- terman could prove to be a . big hit for the Yankee starters. For success, the Yankee starters need to work hard and be able to go the distance in the stretch. GRADE: B- RELIEF PITCHERS - The big question is whether or not Dave Righetti belongs in the bullpen or the starting rotation. He began as a starter and ended up a reliever, and quite a good one indeed. He had 46 amazing saves in '86 and 31 in '87. In actuality, Righetti accounted for almost 44 percent of the 89 Yankee victories in '87. For this reason, I feel Righetti belongs in the bullpen. Perhaps Charlie Hudson could answer this task; so could Cecilia Guante who throws a nice fastball for strikes. Then there is powerful righthander Tim Stoddard. His success is mostly against righthanders. In '87 righthanders hit a meaily .207 against the six foot seven big man. Still, there is talented lefthanded Pat Clements. Clements is just the opposite of Stoddard. His power is against lefties who batted a meekly .179 against him. Martin can use these two as an equilibrium. He has to know who's com- ing to bat and what the lineups are in a game situa- tion. Usually, teams will stack the lineup with mostly left or righthanded hitters. Also available in uniform are Neil Allen, who might pro- vide some good relief, as well as Pete Filson and Steve Shield who are newcomers. GRADE: B CATCHING The Yankees have to get good of- fensive as well as defensive play from Rick Cerone and newly acquired Don Slaught from the Texas Rangers. The two are vying for a starting role. Personally, I would go with Cerone most of the time mainly because he has been with the Yankees before, he finished up with them last season, and he knows his pitchers very well. We must not also forget his fantastic relief appearance in which he almost overthrew a What the Yankees do need is an effective middle man who can set the stage for Righetti and relieve some of the burden placed upon· him. Continued.on.page 21 r :4 : STUDENT HOUSING Available for 2,3 and up to 8 Students. Reasonable CALL 753-1086 and leave message. A dirty campground is no picnic ... Clean up before you leave. Give a hoot. Don't pollute. FDrest Service, U.S.D.A. ~ Furnished Apartment For 4 Students Heat Electricity Cable washer Dryers No pets 9 mtb Lease $955.00 Security Dep. Call 753•1334 '~. 1

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