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Names In The Game

August 25, 1996

WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) _ Taipei pitcher Cheng Chia-Ming, bypassed for the Little League World Series championship, proved he’s still a winner.

Cheng made up for it in the Pony League World Series final with a no-hitter to defeat Evansville, Ind., 4-0.

The right-hander from Taiwan came within one batter of a perfect game, using only 70 pitches to complete the no-hitter Saturday. Evansville got its only baserunner in the top of the third inning when Cheng walked Aaron Voelcker on five pitches.

``The coaches call the location of the pitches and he can throw every pitch right where we want it,″ Taipei manager Wang Tzyy-Tsann said through an interpreter.

Cheng finished with 14 strikeouts.

``It doesn’t matter if he’s throwing an off-speed pitch or a breaking ball, he uses the same motion. He doesn’t tip off his pitches,″ Evansville manager Andy Bullock said.

Evansville’s Courtney Campbell and Daniel Romain, who were a combined 13-for-21 entering the game, went 0-for-6 with five strikeouts.

Cheng was 2-0 with one save in three outings during the series. He pitched 17 innings, allowed five hits, four walks and two runs while striking out 32.


MIAMI (AP) _ Joe Robbie Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and baseball’s Florida Marlins, is undergoing a name change.

According to a published report, the stadium will soon be known as Pro Player Park.

The switch follows a nationwide trend to attach sponsor names to venues, such as 3Com Park in San Francisco, formerly known as Candlestick Park. New arenas come ready-made with sponsors, many of them airlines, such as Phoenix’s America West Arena or Chicago’s United Center.

Facilities such as Busch Stadium in St. Louis and Wrigley Field in Chicago had long ago been named for sponsors.

Stadium president Bob Kramm told the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale that the deal to rename it is ``substantially done″ with only a few details to be worked out. ``We know it’s a good organizational fit,″ he said.

Pro Player is a New Hampshire-based division of Fruit of the Loom that manufactures licensed sports apparel.

Team and stadium owner Wayne Huizenga stands to make millions, but could take a public relations hit by removing the late Joe Robbie’s name _ the man who brought pro football to Miami. Fans reverently call the teal and orange facility, ``the Joe.″

``It’s Wayne’s stadium and he’s going to do what he wants with it regardless of how anybody in the community feels, including me,″ Robbie’s son, Tim, told the Sun-Sentinel for a story published Sunday. ``It makes no difference how anyone feels about what he’s doing. No one needs to ask me how I feel. My feelings would be obvious to anyone.″

Joe Robbie’s name appeared on the stadium he built in 1987 for $115 million after Dade County rebuffed his demands for Orange Bowl improvements or a new facility. Huizenga bought 50 percent of the stadium from the Robbie family in 1990, and the rest in January 1994.


BALTIMORE (AP) _ Some people say the difference between winning and losing is minuscule. Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Terry Mathews said it’s about 1,000 miles.

Mathews, acquired from the Florida Marlins on Wednesday, sees a major difference between the Baltimore clubhouse and that of the Marlins, who long ago dropped out of playoff contention.

``When you walk in here, you see guys who want to be at the ballpark,″ Mathews said. ``In Florida, once we dropped out of the race everybody was there just playing to finish the season.″

Mathews also has a different feeling when he’s called in from the bullpen.

``Here, a three- or four-run deficit doesn’t mean you’re going through the motions. You think, `If I shut them down for an inning, I can get a win,′ ″ he said. ``That’s the attitude the guys take in the bullpen.″

And with the Marlins? ``If you came in with a one-run lead in Florida, you know you’d better not give it up or you’re liable to take a loss.″

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