Doylestown Daily Intelligencer - April 13, 1980
For Defense Alone: Maddox Is Worth His Asking Price
by Paul Giordano
PHILADELPHIA-Garry Maddox took the field opening night prepared for the worst. Some of his teammates and friends told him to do it with a pair of earmuffs. Maddox, the Caesar of centerfielders, was and is unsigned, asking for, what early reports indicated, a cool five-million over five years.
Phillies fans, many who sweat bullets just to make ends meet, don't want to hear about the rich wanting to get richer. Maddox figured they came to bury him Frida night, not to praise him.
"Yes. I was wondering what it would be like," Maddox said Saturday after he was endeared by the fans for a magnificent display of offense and defense in the Phils 6-2 win over the Montreal Expos. "A lot of people led me to believe it would be harder than it was.
"Yes, there was some negative voices. I was listening for it. But overall. I was happy with the reception I got."
The reception continued Saturday as Maddox danced all over the field like a groom at an old-fashion Italian wedding. He drove in the Phils' first run in the first inning with an RBI double. His third inning home run gave the Phils a 2-1 lead. He also singled in the seventh. Defensively, he robbed Gary Carter of extra bases in the fourth inning, defensing Carter's right-center gap would-be-triple into a single, and nearly threw out Roland Office at second in the seventh, after Office lined a double off the center field wall.
"I couldn't believe how he cut off Carter's ball," Bob Boone said "He got around on that ball so fast...and did it easy."
Maddox. however, says it's all a gamble. Although he's confident about his ability, there's still a pretty big question factor. He explained what he ment when he verbally replayed the running, juggling one-handed catch he made on LeFlore in Friday night's game in right center field.
"I'll make that play nine out of 10 times and still don't know if I have it until it's in my hand."
And he was more explicit when he explained his play on Carter's ball in Saturday's game. "I try to get into a habit to run after every ball. When I do that, hold down a single, I feel I've done my job. And I know the hitters. That's my whole game, knowing the hitters."
So after two days into the regular season, all the fear of being greeted like Attila the Hun at a grad-school picnic was put away for another day.
"But before the season started,I tried to state my case. But when people see dollar signs, it's hard for them to understand."
Maddox' case states he doesn't want to be the highest paid Philliie. He doesn't want $5 million over five years. The way it comes out now he's asking $750,000 per year with incentive clauses, the Phils are countering with $650,000. They probably split the difference and Maddox will be signed. The Phils would be foolish not to do it that way. Maddox is worth that much alone just for his defense.
Fundamentals The Difference In Phils' Win
Ruthven Looks Good As Phils Top Expos
by Paul Giordano
PHILADELPHIA-After the spring training strike was concrete, the Phillies decided to stay together, play together and continue supervised workouts at their Clearwater, Fla. Jack Russell Stadium. Dare they leave and Dallas Green would have had them picked off by one of the wall-stationed guards.
The Montreal Expos did otherwise. Sixteen of them returned home.
Thus, the team that stayed together is winning together.
Again executing the fundamental skills which were kept sharp by continued spring training supervision, the Phils made it two straight over the Montreal Expos Saturday afternoon with a 6-2 win at Veterans Stadium.
Although Dick Ruthven picked up the win, his first mound appearance since last Aug. 8, fundamentally sound, aggressive baseball was the deciding factor.
-There was Mike Schmidt advancing from first to second on Greg Luzinski's fly ball to center field. Schmidt later scored on Bob Boone's RBI single.
-There was the execution of three doubleplays, two coming with Expos in scoring position, one with the bases loaded and with second baseman Manny Trillo making a super play.
-And, the defensive play of center fielder Garry Maddox.
"You have to give the team a lot of credit," Maddox said, "for sticking together and not going home. It shows we want to win. This gives us a little edge."
The edge was razor sharp. It had to be because Ruthven was a little dull. Although he allowed just one run on six hits, he did walk five in the seven innings he pitched. The defense threw him a lifejacket whenever he needed it.
"Seven innings was enough for him," Green said. "That was good enough. We got 84 pitches out of him. He had six good innings and struggled in the seventh. I didn't like the way he was throwing. I didn't want to push him, I'd rather look to the future. And that's what the bullpen is for."
For openers though, the bullpen didn't offer any relief. Ron Reed was called in to replace Ruthven in the seventh.
Reed walked the first two hitters he faced. He retired the next on an infield ground ball, but gave up a run on a sacrifice fly by Larry Parrish. Then, after walking Gary Carter, Green wasted little time in going to Tug McGraw, who retired Warren Cromartie to end the inning.
"Ronnie's experienced enough to know we're not looking for bases on balls," Green said. "That's why I went to Tug. They're the guys who are supposed to do it. We'll find out early."
On the bright side of the pitching ledger, Ruthven did have a good breaking ball and a live fastball. His main problem was location.
"I learned to pitch differently last year," Ruthven said, referring to his elbow problem of 1979. "There were so many innovations in my pitching last year. Now I'm capable of going back to the old way, but there is a mental strain wondering if I can. When I did today, I had a tendency to overthrow. I feel good doing it, but there's no reason in the world why I should walk so many."
The Expos took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a leadoff triple by Ron. LeFlore and Andre Dawson's run-scoring doubleplay ball. The Phils evened the score in their half of the first on back-to-back one out doubles by Bake McBride and Garry Maddox off of Expos starter Bill Lee.
In the third inning, with two out, Maddox stroked Lee's first offering into the left field bullpen to give the Phils a 2-1 lead. Boone followed with a double and scored on Greg Luzinski's single to give the Phils a 3-1 lead. A leadoff triple by Larry Bowa in the fourth and Trillo's RBI single upped the lead to 4-1.
Trillo's leadoff single off relief pitcher Dale Murray in the sixth, a sacrifice bunt by Ruthven and Pete Rose's RBI double accounted for run number five. Boone's RBI single scored Schmidt with the Phils' final run in the seventh.
Montreal's second run came off Reid in the eighth when Reed walked the first two batters he faced and one out later gave up a run-scoring sacrifice fly ball to Parrish.
EXTRA BASES-The Phils pounded out H hits Saturday, eight for extra bases. ...Larry Bowa's fourth inning triple tied him with Cy Williams for sixth place on the Phils all-time hits list, with 1,553. ...Ron LeFlore, who had three hits in Saturday's game and two on Friday night, left the game in the fifth inning with muscle cramps in both thighs.... Rodney Scott drew five straight walks, tying a major league record held by many. Jimmy Foxx has the major league record, six, set in 1938.... Today's 1:35 p.m. game will be televised by Channel 17, with Larry Christenson going against Scott Sanderson.... Saturday's game netted 596,964.50 for the Junior Baseball Federation.