Wilmington Evening Journal - April 1, 1980

Phillies’ pitching continues to be a large question mark


By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor


FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Phillies' pitching staff continues to be a large question mark.


It crumbled again last night as the Yankees exploded with 14 hits to trounce the Phillies 7-3 in the first game of a scheduled three-game trip to the East Coast.


Dallas Green keeps using the word scary to describe the Phillies' pitching, then in another breath the manager says it's early and to be patient.


“There's not too much I can say about of pitching tonight," said Green. "I thought Lefty (Steve Carlton) started off in a good groove," said Green. "He had a bad third inning. He kept falling behind in the count and that's a difficult way to pitch."


Carlton gave up eight hits and four runs over six innings and struck out nine. The left-handed ace of the staff has pitched 23 innings, allowing 26 hits and eight runs. He has walked six and struck out 18 for a 3.13 earned-run average in five games.


"I thought Lefty's breaking ball was not as good tonight as it was earlier this spring," said Green. "He really didn't throw any differently in the third inning than he did the others, but like I said, he got behind in the count and they guessed right on his slider."


Rawly Eastwick and Lerrin LaGrow divided the last two innings. Green wasn't too pleased with Eastwick, who has struggled his last two times out after pitching fairly well this spring.


"It's going to take time," Green kept repeating. "It's too early to start worrying about the pitching. Sure, it is not where I hoped it would be, but it takes time. I have talked to Herm Starrette by the hour about it. Because of the complexities of pitching, these kind of problems are not solved overnight."


Had it not been for another awesome batting show by Mike Schmidt, the Phils' fourth straight Grapefruit League setback would have been even more difficult to stomach.


Schmidt blasted two homers and drove in all three Philadelphia runs. The third baseman has now collected seven homers and driven in 18 runs in 12 exhibition games.


Lou Piniella's two-run double in the third keyed the Yanks' four runs in the inning, while Eric Soderholm's single off Eastwick in the seventh accounted for two of his three RBI. New York's seventh run came at the expense of LaGrow.


Ron Guidry was the winning pitcher even though two of his spring streaks were ended. When Larry Bowa walked in the third inning, he became the first batter to whom Guidry issued a walk in 21 consecutive innings. When Manny Trillo singled In the fourth, it was the first hit given up by the lefthander in 9 innings. Schmidt followed, blasting a 1-2 pitch over the left-field wall. His other homer came in the sixth, an opposite-field shot with nobody on.


"That one in the sixth is what I have been talking about," said Schmidt. "Because I am stronger this year, even when I don't hit the ball that well, it has a chance to go out. I put on 12 pounds with that weight program and I think eight of them are muscle. Last year, that ball to right field might not have gone out."


The Phils saw a familiar face on the mound in the seventh, former teammate Jim Kaat.


The 41-year-old lefty came to spring training as a non-roster player, but has won a spot on the Yanks' pitching staff. He blanked the Phils for two innings last night to run his scoreless string to 12 innings, the only member of the Yanks' staff who has not given up a run this spring.


EXTRA POINTS - Before the Phils left for this trip, they traded catcher Dave Rader to the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later... "It's a good break for Dave." said Green, who has indicated all along he plans to go with only two catchers, Bob Boone and Keith Moreland... Rader came to the Phils a little over a year ago in the deal with the Chicago Cubs for second baseman Manny Tnllo...

Long strike looms as meeting opens


Associated Press


DALLAS – 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. He cited as evidence a multimillion dollar fund assembled from last season's gate receipts and an insurance policy that would pay struck owners $1 million per day.


"The owners taxed themselves 2 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 remained seemed 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 said, smiling.


"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 ould 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.


"They (the owners) liked it better when they had a monopoly," Miller said. "I can understand that. But when they propose paying a three-year man a maximum of $90,300 in negotiations while the Chicago Cubs offer Bruce Sutter $350,000, well how can we take that seriously? That's not good-faith bargaining."


Sutter, a four-year player, took the Cubs to arbitration and won a $700,000 contract. The owners subsequently withdrew the salary scale proposal.


Miller said that in his tour of training camps he has had informal conversations wi.a owners or man agement representatives of five clubs.


"They say, 'We can't control our own people,'" said Miller, citing free- agent bidding that had driven player salaries to astronomical heights.


"They want me to control them by accepting restrictions and I say, 'No, thank you.'"


The owners he talked to had one other message for Miller.


"They kept looking over their shoulders," he said. "They said 'You know, I can be fined $500,000 for talking about negotiations if they see me talking to you, it could be $1 million.'"


Miller said most of the negotiating time has been spent dealing with the demands of the owners, not the players.


"I'd say 95 to 98 percent of the time has been spent talking about what they want, not what we want," he said. On Sunday, when a federal mediator, summoned by management, entered the talks, Miller said more than nine hours of meetings had accomplished nothing.