Names In The Game
MONTREAL (AP) _ When Cecil Fielder strides to the plate, he’s swinging a Made in Canada label.
The Detroit Tiger uses a black C271 Cooper model, 35 inches long and 33 ounces, manufactured in Ontario, with select white ash from Quebec, New York and Pennsylvania.
″Cecil’s our top client in the major leagues. He uses Cooper exclusively,″ said Dave Binder, a Cooper sales representative. ″By the time October rolls around this year, Cecil will probably have ordered 180 to 190 bats. Last year, he ordered 144 bats.″
When a slugger like Fielder hits 51 homers, seldom does the bat get any recognition.
″When he hit those 51 homers, that was a big help to us,″ Binder said. ″Will Clark came up to Cecil at the All-Star game last year and asked him why he was using Canadian bats. Cecil held up a bat and said: ‘I have 51 reasons why I’m using the bat.’ ″
″Now, we have 248 players who order bats on a regular basis,″ Binder said. ″Last year, we sold about 9,800 bats. We’ve penetrated about 40% of the major league market.″
Other exclusive Cooper users include Roberto Alomar, Matt Williams, George Bell, Tim Raines and Kevin Reimer. Part-time Cooper users include Jose Canseco, George Brett, Rafael Palmeiro, Tony Pena, Dave Winfield, John Olerud, Kelly Gruber, Devon White, Delino DeShields, Marquis Grissom and Ivan Calderon.
″We have a reputation in the majors for having a bat that is very, very hard compared to our competitors. Each company uses the same kind of wood but our manufacturing process makes it somewhat harder than the others.″
PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) - Two men face manslaughter charges in the traffic death of Kristin McLain Sutherland, daughter of former Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McLain.
Warrants were issued against a 46-year-old truck driver and a 22-year-old Milford man. The Milford man was also charged with responsibility for a traffic death while under the influence of alcohol and driving with a suspended license.
The charges stem from the March 20 death of Sutherland, 26. The trucker’s semi-trailer was backing into a driveway and allegedly blocking Michigan 59 when Sutherland’s vehicle struck it broadside.
Seconds later, the Milford man’s pickup truck allegedly slammed into the Sutherland vehicle from behind.
Sutherland died an hour after the crash as rescue workers tried to free her from her vehicle. She was living with her parents while her husband of six months, Air Force Sgt. Richard Sutherland, served at Wurtsmith Air Force Base.
Her father pitched for the Tigers from 1963 through 1970, winning 31 games in 1968. He now is a commentator on a Detroit radio station.
″I understand what the process is all about, and I don’t want to see anyone have to go through the process,″ McLain said. ″But lessons have to be taught during life. You accept a certain responsibility when you get behind a steering wheel. You have to be aware of what you’re doing.
″Unfortunately, they weren’t.″
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Andy van Hellemond is widely thought to be one of the NHL’s best referees.
Someone who doesn’t agree with that assessment is Pat Quinn, president, general manager and coach of the Vancouver Canucks.
When the Canucks season ended Tuesday night in Edmonton with a 3-0 loss to the Smythe Division-champion Oilers, Quinn took a piece of gum out of his mouth and threw it.
″You know who I was throwing it at,″ said a still upset Quinn Wednesday.
Although none of the Oilers’ goals came on a power play, Quinn was incensed at a slashing call at 16:01 of the third to Canucks’ defenseman Ken Hammond - with Vancouver behind three goals.
″We couldn’t have drawn a worse draw in my opinion,″ he said of the referee.
CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago Cubs shortstop Shawon Dunston underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back Wednesday.
The operation was performed by Cubs orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael Schafer.
″Shawon is doing well. Everything went as we expected,″ Schafer said. ″There was a disk pressing on a nerve, and we removed the disk without difficulty.″
Dunston will be hospitalized for a few days, and then begin a walking program, the first phase of his rehabilitation.
Dunston injured his back during the off-season. Tests earlier this month revealed the herniated disk.
Dunston, the Cubs’ starter at short since 1985, was batting .315 in 18 games this season, but is not expected to play again until September.
ROME (AP) - Boris Becker is not ″100 percent sure″ he will be in shape for the French Open May 25 because of a thigh injury.
Becker flew to Rome for a medical exam required of players who withdraw from tournaments after the draw.
He was seeded No. 3 in the Italian Open when he called from Germany to pull out.
The ATP said Becker was examined by an Italian doctor and given a certificate saying he was ″suffering from second degree injury to the thigh muscle and should not partake in athletic activity for seven days.″
Becker noted, ″the injury is a bit worse than I first imagined.″
He said it occurred during a rain-interrupted match with Karel Novacek in Hamburg. ″I got cold and felt the muscle twinge,″ Becker said.