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Tuesday, October 21, 1997

Indians go ice fishing for Marlins

AP Baseball Writer
CLEVELAND, Oct. 21 -- The Florida Marlins can expect a chilly reception at Jacobs Field. Then again, so can the Cleveland Indians.

One look at the knit stocking cap David Justice wore in the batting cage Monday left no doubt about the big story at the World Series: the weather.

Temperatures are expected to drop into the 30s tonight for Game 3. It might be even colder, with snow, the next night, conditions so bad that Game 4 could be jeopardy.

Not that anyone is complaining. At least, not yet.

But several players wore gloves -- not the kind made by Rawlings, either -- during off-day workouts held on blustery afternoon in the 50s.

Quite a change from Sunday night, when the Marlins took batting practice in T-shirts and shorts in 77-degree heat before a 6-1 loss that evened the Series at one win each.

``I grew up in Milwaukee, I went to school in South Bend, so this is outstanding weather,'' Marlins second baseman Craig Counsell said. ``I can't wait to go out and play in it, to be honest with you.

``To me growing up, this is always what the World Series was played in, weather like this,'' he said. ``It's the World Series, I don't care what the weather is going to be like. It's not going to be a factor from my standpoint. You've got to deal with it
. If you let it affect you, you're crazy.''

Charles Nagy, who will start for the Indians against Al Leiter, did not appear worried.

``I don't mind it so much,'' Nagy said. ``There's nothing you can do about it. You can't change the conditions.

``I've pitched in cold weather before, but nothing can really prepare you to go out there,'' he said. ``It's going to be cold.''

Agreed Leiter: ``The biggest problem with the cold is the slick feeling on the ball. The balls become like cue balls.''

Marlins manager Jim Leyland saw the foreboding sky, heard the grim forecast and sounded concerned. Not so much for the way it might aggravate Bobby Bonilla's hamstring or affect Leiter's grip, though.

``I'm more worried about the cold for my mom more than I am the players,'' Leyland said. ``But I'm not going to buy her a fur coat today, I can tell you that.''

Leyland's 85-year-old mother, Veronica, plans to attend tonight. Wednesday night could see the first World Series game with snow since the 1979 opener in Baltimore between Pittsburgh and the Orioles.

``I found that this kind of weather is kind of a mind over matter,'' Indians manager Mike Hargrove said. ``If you don't mind, it really doesn't matter.''

But there are adjustments that need to be made.

``Probably the major effect is the grip the pitcher will have on the ball. Cold weather tends to dry out your hands and fingers a lot more than warm weather will, obviously,'' Hargrove said.

``Hitting a baseball in cold weather is not a lot of fun,'' he said. ``If you don't hit it just right, it hurts.''

Bip Roberts, likely to be in left field tonight when Justice moves to DH and Tony Fernandez takes over at second base, is not looking forward to the frosty conditions.

``I don't think anybody is used to playing baseball in 30-degree weather. I'm from California and it is never 30 degrees there. You just have to bear with it,'' he said.

And in the end, it's the same for both sides. Even though Cleveland and Miami have different climates, it's been a while since either team felt anything close to what's in the forecast.

``Baseball is meant to be played in warm weather. Our guys like to play in warm weather,'' Hargrove said.

``I really believe that we haven't played in any colder weather, really, than the Marlins have the last couple of months,'' Hargrove said. ``This is the first time that we've run into cold weather since April, so I don't see it being an advantage or disa
dvantage for anybody.''

Back in April, the Marlins dealt with sub-freezing temperatures when they visited Chicago. Leyland said he could tell his team was preparing for a similar situation in Cleveland.

``I saw a lot of coats on the plane,'' Leyland said. ``I'll tell you one thing, I've always been straightforward with my players. It's pretty hard to tell your players, like that day in Wrigley Field, that it wasn't cold. I mean, I didn't go out there wi
th short sleeves myself.

``It's cold, so what?'' he said. ``They know it's cold, I know it's cold, the other dugouts know it's cold. That's part of the game this time of year.''

Central football title site rejected by UIL

AUSTIN, Oct. 21 (AP) -- A proposal to create a central site for the state football championships has been rejected by the University Interscholastic League Legislative Council.

The council announced Monday that a survey sent to UIL schools in September was returned with superintendents voting 508-293 against establishing a common site.

The proposal was presented by the Fox Sports Southwest television network, which offered cash, hotel rooms and other incentives to participating schools.

In other action, the Legislative Council approved a proposal that would allow two conferences in both boys and girls soccer. That change would allow classes 5A and 4A to each compete for a state championship beginning in the 1998-99 school year.

Two items will be placed on a ballot that will be sent to superintendents in early December for a vote.

The first would allow three teams to advance into the playoffs in Class 2A and 3A in all team sports, meaning the football playoffs would have a Division I and Division II, just as 4A and 5A are currently structured.

The second proposal would create a regional tournament in boys and girls basketball in Class 4A. Currently, 4A is the only class without a regional tourney.

If the proposals are approved on the ballot by a simple majority, they would be enacted.

Other proposals rejected Monday by the Legislative Council include:

-- Adding gymnastics as a UIL activity.

-- Adding rodeo as a UIL activity.

-- Allowing private and parochial schools to join the UIL.

-- Allowing home school children to participate in UIL activities.

Officials needed to work sub-varsity games

PECOS, Oct. 21 -- Officials are still being sought by Pecos Eagles basketball coach Brian Williams to work freshman, junior varsity and junior high school basketball games for the upcoming 1997-98 season.

Referrees are needed both for boys and girls sub-varsity basketball games, Williams said. Junior
high teams are scheduled to begin their 1997-98 seasons on Nov. 17, with the freshman and varsity squads starting on Nov. 18.

Anyone interested in officiating should call Williams, either at the Pecos High School gym (447-7235) or at home (447-6494).

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