Blow Jays? Not with proven winners like Morris, Carter, Winfield around

The Inside Stuff

September 22, 1992|By Bill Tanton

First-place Toronto, here to play the Orioles three games starting tonight, apparently is headed for another American League East title and a playoff series with Oakland.

Nevertheless, the Blue Jays are hearing it again. They're being called the Blow Jays, and I can't imagine anything sounding sillier to the likes of Toronto's Joe Carter, Dave Winfield and Jack Morris.

Sure, the Jays have disappointed their followers in the past -- most notably in 1987, when they dropped their last seven games and lost the division championship to Boston.

Toronto and Boston have alternated winning the AL East ever since. Because the Jays have won it two of the last three years, this year it's Boston's turn, but the Red Sox are in last place.

The thing that bugs Toronto fans is that the franchise has never won a pennant.

That can hardly be blamed on the 25 Jays who will take the field at Camden Yards tonight. Toronto, after all, has a different club every year.

Least of all do Carter, Winfield and Morris have to listen to this Blow Jays stuff.

All three are contributing enormously to the club's standing atop the division and all are relative newcomers to the Jays. The 40-year-old Winfield and Morris, last year's World Series MVP at Minnesota, are in their first year with the Blue Jays.

Toronto has enjoyed 10 consecutive winning seasons. No other major-league club can match that.

The Blue Jays are 13-6 in September. Their pitching is in good shape, and they have three off-days the next two weeks.

I think Toronto, finally, is poised to win it all.

* Baltimore could wind up as the home of the Redskins, warns Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, if Jack Kent Cooke's football team does not get a new stadium in Alexandria, Va. Ain't no way.

The Redskins, who sell out every game year after year and have more than 40,000 persons on the waiting list for season tickets, are no more going to leave the Washington area (which Alexandria, just across the Potomac River, is part of) than the nightly sold-out Orioles are going to leave Baltimore. The NFL owners would never approve it.

Half of Baltimore wouldn't want the Redskins here anyway, although all of football-hungry Baltimore is getting tired of waiting for NFL expansion.

* Gordy Combs, only the third head coach in Towson State's football history, tasted victory sooner than either of his predecessors.

Carl Runk, in 1969, won in his fourth game at TSU, beating Washington and Lee. Phil Albert, in 1972, had to wait until his seventh game before beating Johns Hopkins.

* One reason Loyola High's football team is rolling along at 2-0 after victories over Washington's St. John's and Gonzaga is its offensive line, led by 300-pound tackle Joe Lombardo.

Loyola coach Joe Brune, whose Dons are No. 2 behind City in The Baltimore Sun poll, says of Lombardo: "He doesn't just block people. I've seen him obliterate them."

Lombardo, a senior, will be a Division I college player next year. Loyola this week plays McDonogh, a rising young team under second-year coach Mike Working.

* Many of the 120 golfers who played in the third annual Ciccarone Golf Classic at Eagles Nest yesterday said they felt that the advice given at the clinic by Baltimore City Amateur champion Bob Kaestner was more helpful than tips from touring pros.

Explained Lax World owner Lance Holden: "A weekend golfer relates better to tips from somebody like Bob Kaestner. He keeps it nice and simple. That's what weekend golfers need."

The $185-per-player tournament is a fund-raiser for Johns Hopkins Hospital's Henry Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, named for the former Hopkins lacrosse coach who died of coronary disease at the age of 50 in 1988.

* Baseball America, a respected publication, doesn't think that much of the Orioles' farm system. It says the Yankees and Expos have more top prospects in the minors than any other major-league club. Each has nine players ranked among the top 10 prospects in Triple-A, Double-A and Single-A leagues.

The Yankees are especially formidable with five of those players in Triple-A and ready to help the big club. The O's, with four top 10 players, are in a nine-way tie for 10th place.

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