Camden Courier-Post - April 1, 1980

Bake wants to prove point to Philly fans


By Ray W. Kelly of the Courier-Post


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Bake McBride knows what many of you fans think about him. And he's here to say you're wrong.


"If there's one thing I want to accomplish this season, other than to help the Phillies win it all, is to prove to the people in Philly that I can play baseball," said McBride.


The tall, lanky right fielder doesn't just mean "play" baseball. Ever since he entered the National League as its Rookie of the Year, there has been little doubt about his ability.


Since 1974, he has hit over .300 four times and has always been among the top base stealers. The addition of McBride to the Phils during the 1977 season is still believed to be the turning point in the club's drive to a division title.


Somewhere along the line, however, some people have gotten the impression that Bake is... well...


"Go ahead and say it," said Bake.


OK, shiftless.


"That's right," he said without flinching. "I know there are people who think that about me. And it hurts me.


"I'm not a lazy guy. I go harder than people think. But it seems when I'm really going all out, nobody notices."


There was a moment of silence. For all his menacing business, Bake is not only a likable man; he also likes to deal with things in a straight forward manner.


And, although his tendency toward silence makes people wary of approaching him, McBride has never played the prima donna role or tried to protect his ego as if it were made of delicate crystal.


If you can ask him what you won't dare ask a hundred other players without fear of losing teeth or making an enemy, what the hell?


OK, if that's the case, what about the times when you ground out or hit a fly-ball and don't seem to be running hard?


"Hey," he answered softly. "It's a long season. It happens to everyone. But it's not because you don't care.


"Maybe you're disgusted with yourself. Maybe you got the perfect pitch to hit, just where you wanted it, and you popped it up.


"Let's face it, there are times when you think you're going all out, that you're giving every thing you've got. But, you're just not up to it.


"Like when Danny (Ozark) got fired. I’ll admit I was down."


That was surprising because the general belief was that Bake and Ozark didn't see eye-to-eye.


"That's what I'm talking about," said Bake. "The man was like a father to me. I cried when he told us goodbye. Yet, people think the exact opposite of me.


"The same is true of my letdowns. When I do it, nobody misses it. Nobody forgets it. They get a certain picture of me and that's it. They say that's the way Bake McBride is... But, that's not the way I am. Look at what happened the other day. You saw it."


McBride was referring to an exhibition game in which both he and Pete Rose were on base and Pete made a rare mistake by not taking third base on a fly ball to center field. Moments later, in true Rose fashion, he made up for it with a daring dash to the plate in which he dumped the catcher and scored a run. Few people noticed the mistake. Everyone hailed the success. And no one noticed that Bake showed extreme daring, alertness and hustle by breaking for home and scoring when the ball dribbled a few feet away from the catcher on the play.


The moral of story? People expect certain things from Rose and notice them. People expect to see other things from Bake and notice only those things.


Fact: In the entire National League only three players grounded into fewer double plays. Which means that if the law of averages holds true, McBride is doing more hustling down the first base line than anyone imagines.


"I know my image isn't what it should be," McBride said. "And I'm going to do something about it. By that, I mean, on the field.


"Did you know this has been the first winter since my knee problems that I worked out every day? And, I mean ' worked hard.


"Did you know I'm bustin' my tail down here. I may get hurt doing it. But, I dont care. I'm tired of being the guy that's going to be traded. And I'm tired of people thinking I don't care about things.


"I'm going to show them. And you can count on it."

Phillies drop 4th consecutive game


By Ray W. Kelly of the Courier-Post


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Phillies suffered their fourth straight exhibition baseball loss last night as they were defeated by the New York Yankees, 7-3.


Lou Piniella's two-run double highlighted a four-run third inning to lift the Yankees over the Phils for the second time in three days.


Ron Guidry pitched six innings, his longest outing of the spring, to pick up the victory for New York. He gave up two home runs to Mike Schmidt, who now has seven spring homers, but allowed only four hits.


Manny Trillo's single was the first hit off Guidry in the fourth inning and Schmidt followed with his first home run. Schmidt hit his second homer in the sixth. The Phils' third baseman now has 18 runs batted in.


Former Phillie Jim Kaat, a 41-year-old left-handed relief pitcher, pitched two scoreless innings for the Yankees to run his scoreless streak to 15 innings for the exhibition season.


In the Yankees' four-run third inning, Bob Watson and Eric Soderholm sandwiched run-scoring singles around Piniella's double. Soderholm also had an RBI single in the seventh for the Yankees. .


The losing pitcher was Phillies' ace lefthander Steve Carlton, who gave up four runs despite the fact he struck out nine during his six innings of work. Rawly Eastwick was touched for two runs in his two innings of work. Lerrin LaGrow allowed a run-scoring single to Reggie Jackson.


The Yanks and the Phillies are both 10-8 for the spring. The Phils face the Texas Rangers today, with Randy Lerch going against Ferguson Jenkins.


PHILUPS – Catcher Dave Rader was traded yesterday by the Phillies to the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later. Rader, 31, came to the Phillies a year ago in a trade involving nine players and was used sparingly. In 31 games, he hit .204. His career lifetime average is .253. The move reduces the Phillies' roster to 31 players, six above the opening day limit... Larry Christenson pitched four innings yesterday at the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater. He had some control problems but the Phillies were very pleased with the outing.

Players’ board meets today on strike date


DALLAS (AP) – The specter of what could be a long, costly strike greeted the executive board of the Major League Players Association as they gathered here today.


Marvin Miller, executive director of the union, believes management has sought a strike from the beginning of negotiations and cited a multimillion-dollar fund assembled from last season's gate receipts and an insurance policy that would pay struck owners $1 million a day as evidence.


"The owners taxed themselves two percent of last year's gate for a strike fund," Miller said. "That's about $3.5 million plus interest. We also know they have an insurance policy that pays the 26 clubs $1 million a day after the first two weeks of a strike. There's an override on top of that by Lloyds of London for $40 million."


FOR THOSE reasons, Miller said, management has engaged in strictly surface negotiations. "Their intent has been to provoke a strike," Miller said. "They see this as a time to take the players on, to dismantle the players association."


The players have voted overwhelmingly to authorize the strike action with a final count of 967-1. The lone dissenting ballot was cast by Jerry Terrell, player representative of the Kansas City Royals, who cited religious reasons for his position.


The only question that remains seems to be the timing of strike action.


"The principle subject of conversation (today) will be a date," Miller said. "I've counseled the players on the . pros and cons of different dates. I didn't make any recommendation because they didn't ask."


AND IF THEY do? Miller smiled.


"I'll sleep on that," he said at first but later he amended his position, saying, "The players have to ask themselves when it would have the maximum impact economically. I think that time would be near the end of May. If you look at April, school is still in session, there's bad weather, there are a lot of open dates, television coverage is not. as heavy as it is later on.


"But there are other factors. The. players are angry."


What has angered them, most is the management demand for compensation in the free agent clause of the basic agreement. Players fear that would restrict the market and result in the same limited kind of free agency that faces professional football players.