Camden Courier-Post - April 4, 1980
Phils to stick together to prep for flag drive
By Ray W. Kelly of the Courier-Post
CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Phillies have taken some pretty harsh criticism over the past few years for supposedly being spoiled and selfish. But yesterday, they were a team worth only admiration.
In what might have been one of its finest hours since General Manager Paul Owens began assembling his "dream team," the Phillies to a man turned their backs on individuality and chose instead to embrace a common cause victory in the fall.
While members of less-dedicated teams used the stoppage of exhibition games caused by the power struggle between the owners and Player's Association to bolt out of spring training, Manager Dallas Green's troops elected to stay and work together.
"I would certainly hope Philadelphia fans would react to something like this," said Green. "If this doesn't tell them we're doing something as a team, nothing will."
No one was sure which way the play-ers would go in this matter. They didn't like the way they'd been isolated in Cocoa Beach three days ago, when the negotiating cannons began to thunder in Texas.
Yet, their predicament turned out to be a blessing. "I'm glad they had time to think about it (leaving Florida) and to let some frustrations out," said Green.
How deep those frustrations ran and how eager the players were to grasp the opportunity to take a few days off was anyone's guess.
And that included Carpenter as he arrived at Jack Russell Stadium to address a voluntary gathering of the team at 10 a.m. yesterday.
Aside from a rather tersely-worded directive that Carpenter was required by the owner's negotiating group to read to the players, much of the meeting dealt with the fate of the 1976 Phillies, which used a similar situation to get off to a strong start and ultimately win the division title.
"We've got a different type owner than with other teams," said player spokesman Larry Bowa. "We knew that if Ruly didn't read the directive, he would have received a $500,000 fine.
"We all realized that it was very important that we stay together. We asked if anybody wanted to go (leave camp). I'm glad everyone decided to stay."
When he came out of the meeting, Carpenter was asked, "Did you get a standing ovation?"
The owner cracked a slight smile and shook his head. "We aren't going to get one on Friday (opening day in Philly) either," he said. "But we're still together. Which was an important factor in the head start we got on other teams in 1976."
When asked about reports that members of the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets chose to go their own ways, Carpenter said, "I'm tickled to death about problems in other camps. They're our competition."
If any players had been planning to had north and work out at Veterans Stadium, Carpenter nixed that idea quickly. The facility would not be open until Thursday's scheduled practice.
"Spring training is here. This is where my manager and coaches are. They have a better chance of getting in their work right here."
Although attendance was strictly voluntary, Manager Green made it clear that he was running the program and that the players wouldn't be picking and choosing the things they did and didn't want to do.
"I'm not here to punish them, just to prepare them," he said. "The games have escaped us. But, what we've got to do is create game situations. We'll have our regular workouts.
"I'm pleased and proud they decided to do this. We reacted as a team."
Owens agreed, noting, "It doesn't surprise me. I would have been disappointed if they hadn't all been here.
"They're more of a team than many people thought I hear Pittsburgh and the Yankees stayed together. Knowing our individuals, they've got pride-in themselves and their team.
"They've worked hard all winter. Now they've decided to stay right with it
"Of course, the negative reaction that the fans might have over the strike thing concerns me. The players should expect some criticism, because the cloud is going to be there.
"But, our guys chose to do the right thing for themselves and for the fans. That should count for something."
Disabled list for Espinosa
By Ray W. Kelly of the Courier-Post
CLEARWATER, Fla. – Righthander Nino Espinosa, plagued by shoulder problems since late last season, was placed on the 21-day disabled list yesterday by the Phillies. Espinosa probably will remain here for further rehabilitation when the team travels north next week.
• Another sore-armed pitcher, reliever Warren Brusstar, seems destined to join Espinosa on the disabled list. Brusstar, one of the National League's most effective middle-inning relievers in 1978, spent virtuallly all of last season battling a mysterious shoulder ailment.
Brusstar seemed to be making significant progress early in camp this year, but suffered a couple of recent setbacks and now plans to travel to Oklahoma City for consultation with shoulder specialist Dr. William Granna.
• The hottest trade rumor making the rounds involves Phils' righthanded relievers Rawly Eastwick, a Haddonfield native, and Doug Bird.
• Philadelphia fans will have an opportunity to see four of the Phillies' minor league teams in action Sunday. The Oklahoma City 89ers, the Phils' Triple-A farm club, will play a team of other Phillies minor league all-stars in a nine-inning game here in Jack Russell Stadium beginning at 1:30 p.m. The game will be telecast by WPHL-TV, Channel 17.
The 89ers' opposition will include players from the Phils' Reading (Double-A), Spartanburg (A) and Peninsula (A) teams.
• The Phillies will conduct a workout in Veterans Stadium April 10 at 7 p.m. The practice session will be open to the public and no admission fee will be charged.
7 baseball meetings planned
NEW YORK (AP) – Outside, on a busy midtown Manhattan street, two models dressed as Easter bunnies handed out chocolate eggs and jelly beans while a Dixieland band serenaded New Yorkers stranded by the city's mass transit strike.
Inside, negotiators for management and the players attacked the baseball strike without benefit of those springtime goodies.
They did have federal mediator Kenneth Mof f ett, however, and he presided over two hours of meetings that he called "fruitful."
Moffett and the two sides set up a schedule of seven meetings over the next three weeks in an effort to settle the dispute that wiped out the final 92 games of the spring training exhibition season and threatens to interrupt the regular season just before Memorial Day.
The first meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday – one day before the start of the regular season. The players, who baited exhibition play starting Wednesday, have agreed to return for the openers but vowed to walk out again if an agreement is not reached by midnight, May 22.
"The mere fact that the parties have agreed to a schedule of meetings is a good sign," Moffett said. "I'd say we made progress and that it was a fruitful meeting"
But the two sides did not discuss issues yesterday, only dates and logistics for future talks.
"This was an agenda-setting day and we look forward to the bargaining," said Ray Grebey, chief negotiator for management. "You know we said way back before this all started that we felt baseball could be played and negotiations could take place in parallel and we'll go ahead from there."
Marvin Miller, executive director of the Major League Players Association, seemed hopeful. "We have seven weeks and we'll do our best," Miller said. "The action of the players in Dallas Tuesday set the stage for this."
Part of the explanation the players offered when they announced their dual-date strike was that they wanted to leave sufficient time for bargaining.
Miller said yesterday's meeting took the form of updating as well as schedule-setting.
"We reviewed where we are and gave formal notification of the action the board took," the union leader said. "There was some small discussion of what is going on in spring training now."
That seems to vary from camp to camp.
Some teams have continued informal, workouts with players who remained on hand while others are biding their time, waiting for Opening Day.
The New York Yankees, most of whom remained in the team's Fort Lauderdale, Fla., base, refused Manager Dick Howser's request that they play intrasquad games this weekend. The value of such contests is to have pitchers work in game conditions. But Howser was not upset. "I can understand their feeling," the manager said. "I never liked intrasquad games because it's hard to get enthused playing against your own team."
The 16 Montreal Expos who remained in that team's Daytona Beach, Fla., base at first refused to work out and then reversed themselves and practiced. A dozen Expos have left camp and catcher Gary Carter thought that he knew why.