Newspaper Page Text
BASEBALL SPORTS OF ALL SORTS-BOXING
WHITE SOX LEAVE COTTON BELT FIT TO OPEN SEASON By Mark Shields Eight exhibition games" ia as many cities remain on the White Sox schedule before they pry open the American league season in St Louis, April 11. After today's combat against a college team in Norman, Okla., the class of opposition will im prove and Rowland . will give his pitchers two full games each to put them in shape for the first tussles of the campaign. No Sox team in years has been bet ter conditioned at this period than are the 1917 White Sox. Every reg ular is physically strong, and batting eyes are sharp, as averages against curve-ball pitching of Texas flingers prove. The fielding is smooth, and Risberg, Collins and Gandil have rapidly shaken into a near perfection of teamplay. Right field is still disputed ground, with Nemo Liebold and Brick Eldred putting up a merry battle for the reg ular assignment Eldred has a slight charley horse, which has given Lie bold a chance, and the midget has seized on it with avidity. His hit ting has been an important feature of the Sox work and a number of his safeties have been for extra bases. On paper Manager Rowland will start the season with a team that should fight on even terms with any outfit in the Johnsonian circuit. He has hatting, fielding and pitching. The only liability is baserunning, a failing which was costly to Sox hopes last season. The men must curb a tendency to run the paths wila and with their heads in the dust. There are some brains in operation on the club and the wise heads should have a steadying effect on the fellows giv en to running amuck. x Risberg is certain of the berth at short, at least at the start of the sea son. The Californian's fielding is tight and sensational and his batting is much stronger than that of Terry. If the Swede can hit the . ball for something around .220 and( do his fielding efficiently, nothing more will be desired. In practice he has indicated an av erage against real pitching of near er .250, which boosts the stock of the club. Eddie Collins Js better satis fied with his surroundings than he was in 1916, and the result is at once apparent hi his playing. Eddie never was a fellow to loaf on the job, but it stands to reason that a player does better when conditions are to his lik ing. Faber and Cicotte have shown ex cellent form in the box, and Scott looks to be the comeback of the year. The southpaws, Russell and Wil liams, are not as far advanced as the fellows who throw correctly, but they will be able to take a whirl at the best by April 11. Russell has a Mnky arm which is yielding to treatment, and Williams i;eeds plen ty of work. In "reserve strength the locals are better fortified than any team in the league, with Terry, McMullen and Jourdan for infield duty, Lynn to act as Schalk's first relief, Eddie Murphy ready to step into an outfield job, and Jack Pournier on hand to pinch, hit at the psychological moment As the Cubs draw hearer to big league confines their game improves and there is still a chance for Man ager Mitchell to start the esason'with a fair fighting front Today the club plays Wichita, and good diamonds will be found from now until opening day. Good diamonds me.an Larry Doyle will have an opportunity to play. Doyle is the major "if of the club. If he is able to use his wounded an kle the Cubs will start well'. Remove Doyle and anything can happen, and.