Baseball / Highlights : Sparky Anderson Might Miss Detroit’s Opener

<i> From Times Wire Services </i>

It hasn’t been determined yet whether Detroit Tiger Manager Sparky Anderson will be allowed to go to Tiger Stadium today. But the defending world champions will be there to open their 1985 season against the Cleveland Indians.

Anderson was hospitalized late Saturday night with a swollen, inflamed leg and was still undergoing tests Sunday to determine the origin of the inflammation.

If Anderson does miss today’s game, it will mark the first time in his long career as manager that he will miss an Opening Day. He did miss one in 1979, but he was between managerial jobs then, having been fired the previous fall by the Cincinnati Reds.

The Tigers, meanwhile, will receive their 1984 championship rings during pregame ceremonies. Then, in a matchup of 19-game winners, Cleveland’s Bert Blyleven will face Detroit’s Jack Morris.


The Cleveland-Detroit game is one of four American League games scheduled for today.

At Kansas City, the Toronto Blue Jays, who are given a good chance to dethrone Detroit in the Eastern Division because of improvements in their bullpen, will play the Royals on a new artificial surface at Royals Stadium.

Right-hander Dave Stieb, 16-8 last season, will start for Toronto against Bud Black (17-12), one of the talented young pitchers the Royals are counting on to help them repeat as Western Division champions.

At Baltimore, a 20-foot inflatable bird will greet fans as they enter Memorial Stadium for the Orioles’ home opener against the Texas Rangers. After Jim Palmer throws out the first ball, Storm Davis, who has never lost to the Rangers, will oppose 37-year-old knuckleballer Charlie Hough, who has never beaten the Orioles.

A weather forecast of light snow is predicted in Boston, where John McNamara will make his debut as the Red Sox manager against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park.

In one of professional sports’ top rivalries, knuckleball pitcher Phil Niekro, who turned 46 on April 1 and is 0-6 in opening-day games, will start for the Yankees against Dennis (Oil Can) Boyd, 25, of the Red Sox.

Yankee Manager Yogi Berra had planned to start veteran left-hander Ron Guidry, but Guidry has a stiff neck and will not pitch in the series.

Only one game is scheduled in the National League. The Cincinnati Reds, baseball’s oldest franchise, will play host to the Montreal Expos in the traditional league opener at Riverfront Stadium.


The game will start Pete Rose’s first full season as manager of the Reds and will renew his pursuit of Ty Cobb’s all-time hit record of 4,191. Rose needs 95 hits to break Cobb’s record.