Wilmington Evening Journal - April 10, 1980

Bake happy he’s staying with Phillies


By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor


CLEARWATER, Fla. – Last December, reports continued to circulate that Bake McBride was being traded. One time it was to San Diego, another time to Texas.


But such a deal was never consummated, and the Phillies' outfielder couldn't be happier. Bake will be in right field when the Phils open their season against the Montreal Expos at Veterans Stadium tomorrow night.


Manager Dallas Green has installed McBride, who has a lifetime batting average of .298, into the No. 2 slot in the batting order. And Green plans to let him hit against left-handers until he proves he cannot handle them.


When Danny Ozark was managing the Phillies he felt the left-handed McBride could not handle all southpaws, so Bake spent a lot of days on the bench. Last year, however, McBride hit .343 against lefties en route to his final .280. He hit .371 in September.


I was concerned during the winter because I kept hearing on television and reading in the papers I was going to be traded," he said. "I didn't want it to happen."


It was just about this time last year McBride signed a four-year contract estimated at $1.6 million.


When his name was mentioned in a possible deal with Texas for reliever Sparky Lyle, one report stated it was not made because Bake has a clause in his contract that gives him the power to void such a deal.


Player Personnel Director Paul Owens vows that is not true, but negotiations never went far enough for such a clause to be tested.


"The Pope has been good to me," said McBride, who turned 31 in February. "When I came to spring training, we bad a nice talk. He told me my name was passed around during the winter meetings just so he could see what might happen. He said you never can tell what some other team might offer."


"There was really nothing I could do about my situation. I had to sit back and wait It's been like that ever since I came to the Phillies (June 15, 1977 in a trade with St. Louis). I want to remain with them If I didn't want play here, I would not have signed a tour-year contract. I could have asked for a no-trade clause, but what's the sense of doing that if the club doesn't want you.”


McBride, who was hitting .333 before the exhibition games came to an abrupt halt because of the players' strike, spent much of the offseason working around his home near St Louis. He chopped a lot of wood and raked tons of leaves.


"I think my arms and wrists are stronger because of that," he said "In January and February I worked at a Nautilus center."


There was a report during the offseason that McBride and Green did not see eye-to-eye when the former farm director took over the team for the month of September.


"I read one story that was not accurate," said McBride. "I think Dallas is OK. Do I like playing for him? I really don't know yet. Time will tell. During the 30 days he handled the club last fall, I thought he was fair. I don't know him well enough yet and he does not know me well, but I think we get along.


"I didn't come up in the Phillies organization and that could make a difference. But the couple of times I made mistakes on the field last fall, I went into his office after the games and told him it was my fault. Things like that don't get put in the paper. Really, I think Dallas and I are going to get along."


McBride was hampered by little, nagging injuries last year, but did not complain.


"Bake played hurt a lot," said Pete Rose. ''I think he has been given a bad rap in the past, people saying he can't play when he's hurt. I know for a fact that he went out there last year and played when he was aching. He showed me an awful lot."


EXTRA POINTS - The Phillies caught a late-afternoon flight to Philadelphia yesterday after having their planned 1 p.m. workout curtailed by a heavy downpour... Several of the players were given permission to drive to Philadelphia... The Phillies asked waivers on Rawly Eastwick and Doug Bird for the purpose of giving them their unconditional releases.

Tim McCarver joins Phillies’ broadcasting team


By Al Cartwright


I WILL guarantee you one thing I think. My Beloved Phillies will lead the National League, and maybe both leagues, in one category: TV-radio broadcasters (5). They have as many announcers as they have coaches. They have enough to platoon ("OK, you three guys take the cliches," the producer could say. "You two handle the innuendoes.").


The Dodgers also have five announcers, but two of them handle the Spanish-speaking network. The Expos have six, but two of them work in French. Thus, those clubs do not count, because if you counted them it would ruin my angle.


Tim McCarver puts the Phillies in the lead. After 21 seasons of playing professional baseball, and almost 2,000 games in the majors, ex-catcher Tim McCarver is a rookie. A rookie in the broadcasting booth. Tomorrow night, when the Phils open their season, he will throw out bis first official superlative, or trivia, or observation, or whatever he wants to lead off with.


It might be mentioned in passing – especially since it is the reason for this gem – that McCarver will help skewer Dallas Green on Monday night at the Hotel du Pont in the Multiple Sclerosis-organized roast of the Phillies new manager.


Color him an analyst – not a color man.


"You can see that there now is a sophistication to broadcasting – I'm an analyst," he said, a typical grin lighting up his Irish kisser. McCarver is as unstuffy as Howard Cosell is stuffed. He will lend credibility to his job without burying you with self-assumed importance. This has to be one of the best moves the Phils have made since they released Ron Stone.


He will go into the season with a minimum of spring training. The ballplayers' practice strike cut short the schedule of exhibition games, so McCarver got to work only 10 of them. He can remember making only one goof, but even then he landed on his feet.


"It was at St. Petersburg," he said. "We were playing the Mets. I had the press guides of the two clubs in front of me while I was on the air. I thought I was looking at the Phillies' exhibition schedule. Instead, it was the Mets' book. So I brilliantly observed out loud that we would be seeing Danny Ozark the next day in Vero Beach, when we went over there to play the Dodgers. Andy Musser had to correct me. I said something weak like 'Well, we oughta be going to Vero Beach.' It was one of the more bulkier cover-ups of radio history.


When he returned to his Florida digs on Clearwater Beach, his wife Anne kidded him about the rock he had pulled. "But you might be going to Vero Beach anyhow tomorrow," she said. "NBC called and asked you to be there to do some interviews."


NBC and McCarver had been talking about some possible work. So the next day at S a.m. he drove across the state and saw Danny Ozark, among others, after all.


"They had set up some player interviews, and I also did a little thing on the changing image of the Dodgers," said the new Byrum Saam. The Los Angeles club for years has been short on color, they were synonymous with conservatism in their selection of athletes. Now here they are with Jay Johnstone and Don Stanhouse, who are, uh, a little different – my kind of people."


He is discovering that timing is a broadcasting must – not to bump into the lines of his fellow tonsils. "Sometimes I have to be concise, and I never was noted for that in my -speech. Harry Kalas and Andy Musser have been of tremendous help. I'm also having a problem keeping a scorebook. In the dugout, nobody keeps score. Harry and Andy told me I write too big in those little squares; if I ever get a bat-around inning, I'll be in trouble. There must be a zillion ways to keep score, so I'm about to add to that total. I'm amazed the other guys can look at their scorebook and translate it into words – especially when it's the bottom of the ninth."


McCarver could have been three years ahead of this broadcasting game. After two seasons of his second hitch with the Phillies, he got an offer from the new Toronto franchise to join its TV-radio team. He had been recommended by Gene Kirby, who used to produce the Phils air coverage and now is an executive with the Montreal Expos. He was interested, but Bill Giles of the Phils talked him into staying and eventually turning broadcaster in Philadelphia because of the promising future of Prism, which is the cable network there.


"Bill convinced me," Tim said. "I had nothing in writing, but the Phils kept their word. I turned Toronto down and kept on playing and that year, 1977, was the best I ever had and I put in two more years, too. When the Red Sox released me after the 1975 season, I thought I was through in the big leagues and I came to Philadelphia to audition as a sports newscaster for both Channels 3 and 6. But in retrospect, that really wasn't what I wanted in the broadcasting field. Anyhow, the Phillies decided I still could play and signed me. Giles was instrumental in this. He told me Steve Carlton was having some problems, that I could help the club. Danny Ozark inserted me as Steve's catcher, and my relationship with the Phillies grew from there."


Steve Silberman, who shepherds the Phils' tonsils, told McCarver that if nothing else, he should be himself on the air. Forget the voice lessons.


"I can do that," he said. "Maybe if I were Richard Speck, or David Berkowitz, it wouldn't be too good to be myself, but I can be Tim McCarver and make it, I think. I know I've never been lost for words. I had enough microphones stuck in my face when I was playing to be at ease around one, even if I now am on the other side. I'm getting better at interviews, I think – learning to feed off the answers."


McCarver still is going through some withdrawal pangs. "I do miss the fellowship of the clubhouse and the batting cage. But it's nice not to be blocking pitches, or catching batting practice.


"But you know what the best part of this new life is? Now I can take a shower by myself."

Wine, McDonald to ‘roast’ Green


The panel that will "roast" Phillies Manager Dallas Green on Monday night at the Hotel du Pont was completed last night when Bobby Wine, Phils' coach, and Tommy McDonald, former Philadelphia Eagle, accepted invitations.


The roast is sponsored by the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Delaware chapter.


Wine and McDonald will join Gov. Pierre S. du Pont IV; Tim McCarver, the Phils' new broadcaster, Jim Murray, general manager of the Eagles; Frank Dolson, Philadelphia Inquirer sports editor, Clay Dalrymple, former Phillies and Orioles catcher, Tubby Raymond, Delaware football coach, and Jim Honochick, former American League umpire, in "roasting" the new Phillies pilot.


Al Cartwright, News-Journal columnist, will be master of ceremonies. The dinner will begin at 7 o'clock. A few seats remain to be sold.