Wilmington Evening Journal - April 4, 1980

Munninghoff hurls way onto Phillies


By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor


CLEARWATER, FLA. – Scott Munninghoff got the good news today. He survived the Phillies’ final squad cut, which was announced late this morning.


When Scott Munninghoff came here in February, his chances of making the varsity were slim. It appeared likely that he would be sent to Oklahoma City. But Manager Dallas Green said, "He's going to be a big-league pitcher."


With only three years of professional experience under his belt, the side-winding right-hander, 21, became the pitching sensation of the spring. He worked In four exhibition games before the players' strike put an end to the exhibition season and allowed only one earned run for a brilliant ERA of 1.00.


With Nino Espinosa and Warren Brusstar on the 21-day disabled list and with Larry Christenson behind schedule because of his injured knee, Munninghoff could help the Phillies in the early going.


Munninghoff never pitched in a classification higher than Double-A. So now Green is doing the same thing with Munninghoff that Danny Ozark did with Christenson and Dick Ruthven in 1973?


"He's got some things to learn, but you can't deny he's been throwing super pitches here," said Green. "It was a tough decision whether to send him to Oklahoma City or keep him with the big club."


Yesterday, Munninghoff said, "It's hard to tell exactly what they are thinking at this point. I think the fact the remaining exhibition games were canceled probably confused things more. If they send me to Oklahoma City, they can always recall me if something happens. Basically, I just came here with the idea of impressing a few people. I wanted them to know who I am.


MUNNINGHOFF GREW UP in Cincinnati and after graduating from Purcell High in 1977, was signed by Phillies scout Tony Lucadello after being drafted No. 1. He first attracted attention when he pitched for Mickey Mantle and Connie Mack League teams that competed in national tournaments.


His first year in pro ball was a disaster. He was 0-5 at Auburn with a 5.52 ERA. The following year at Spartanburg, he led the Western Carolinas League with a 17-7 record and was voted the most outstanding major-league prospect in a poll of managers. Last year at Reading he tied the Eastern League high for victories with a 14-9 record.


"About the only thing I feel he needs to be a major-league pitcher is more consistency," said Green, who as minor-league director followed the prospect closely. "Look at the stats last year. He walked 94 and struck out 87. The year before he walked 84 and struck out 89. That's not a very good ratio."


"The one thing I need to work on is not rushing my delivery," said Munninghoff. "I get overanxious sometimes and release the ball too early. But everything has come pretty natrually. I guess I was born with my motion and I have had excellent success against right-handed hitters with my sinkerball."


In the spring games, he struck out seven batters.


"First time I ever saw him was in the Instructional League," said Herm Starrette, the Phils' second-year pitching coach. "He pitched two innings against a Cleveland team. Six up and six down. Four strikeouts. That's all I needed to see. He's got a heavy ball and he gets more than his share of grounders. He knows how to get hitters out."


"His fastball is really three pitches in one," says Green. "The best thing it does is sink, but he's got a riser that's pretty effective, too. I've gotten him to throw some change-ups that have made his other pitches more effective."


The best thing about Scott Munninghoff, however, is his poise and confidence.


The Phillies jury has made its decision. Whether it was correct will be one of the intriguing questions of the early season.

Phils cut 4 veterans; 5 rookies make team


By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor


CLEARWATER. Fla. – The Phillies surprised a lot of people today when they announced their final team cuts.


The Phils pared their roster to 25 plavers by waiving four veterans, all of whom were on the team last season Those cut were relief pitchers Rawly Eastwick and Doug Bird, utility infielder Bud Harrelson and reserve outfielder Mike Anderson.


In addition, relief pitcher Warren Brusstar placed on the disabled list, joining starter Nino Espinosa. who was put there yesterday.


The cuts mean five rookies – pitcher Scott Munninghoff. catcher Keith Moreland. infielders Luis Aguayo and John Vukovich and outfielder Lonnie Smith – have made the Phillies.


Of the four veterans waived, Eastwick. Harrelson and Anderson were still in a Phillies uniform this morning as Paul Owens, director of player personnel, tried to find them positions on other major league teams. Bird left the team for hi home in Ft. Myers after hearing the bad news.


Yesterday, the striking Phillies displayed unity when they rallied around their employer and said they were dedicated to preparing in every way possible for the National League season.


The entire team, after first meeting with owner Ruly Carpenter and later with Larry Bowa, their player representative, agreed to remain here at the players' expense through next Wednesday and get ready for the April 11 season opener with Montreal.


On Tuesday, the Major League Baseball Players Association's executive board voted to strike the remaining exhibition games, but open the 1980 season on time. At the same' time the board said if a new basic agreement is not reached with owners before midnight on May 22, there will be a full-fledged strike.


Late Tuesday night, Ray Grebey, a spokesman for the owners, said that the spring-training camps would remain open and that the players were free to work out voluntarily A set of guidelines was sent to each club official and included in this was an edict that the players would not be able to work out at ballparks such as Veterans Stadium.


Yesterday morning, the entire Phillies' team listened to Carpenter read the guidelines to them, followed by a session with Bowa.


"All I did was remind them how they worked out on their own in 1976 when the camps were closed to them," said Carpenter. "I reminded them that that was the first year we won the Eastern Division and made some comments about how, important it is for them to stay together. I have read in the newspapers where there are some problems in some of the other camps between players and the coaching staffs and I am tickled to death to see that because they are our competitors."


Carpenter said the team voluntarily attended the meeting and that no one was missing.


Though players' $53.75 per-day expense money ceased when they voted to strike, the Phillies had received their allowances through next Monday.


"A lot of the clubs had been giving out expense money on a daily basis, but we didn't believe in doing that," said Carpenter. "They will be able to keep the money and it will be deducted from their pay later."


So, in essence, the Phillies will be in Florida only next Tuesday and Wednesday without expense money.


Some of the players were grumbling about some of the points in the guidelines, such as the fact the club will send all their individual spring-training luggage to Philadelphia, but charge them. Normally, the club ships it back at no cost.


It seemed almost a contradiction for the Phils to turn out yesterday in such an enthusiastic manner.


"Everyone's staying," said Bowa. "Ruly talked to us and I talked to my teammates and we all agreed it is very important we stay together. The players understand that we have a different type owner than many of the teams. Everyone takes into consideration who our owner is. He had to do some things and we understand. We understand if he didn't read the guidelines to us he would have been fined $500,000.


"We can't do anything now about what is happening. That's up to Marvin Miller and Ray Grebey now. , All we have to worry about is Friday night; we open up against the Expos. We have to get ready. No one can force anyone to stay here. We told them that they can leave, but if they stay they have to follow the program set up by Dallas Green."


Bowa said that when he ended his meeting he asked if anyone wanted to leave.


"No one uttered a word," he said. "I was glad to see that guys thought about the Philadelphia Phillies organization.”


Green, who was bitter when the strike was called on Tuesday said he was happy the players chose to remain here and work.


"I think it's super," the manager commented. "It shows me that our guys have some dedication to what they have set out to do. We said we had a goal in 1980, to win the National League Eastern Division. This is something they have done personally. I was not allowed to have that much input.


"I told them before they had their meeting what my thinking was and what type of a program I have planned. It basically will be the same thing we did before the exhibi tion games started. It's preparing them as baseball players to play winning-type baseball which involves going back to fundamentals. There's not much else we can do. The game situations have escaped us, but we will create our own situations."


Green said there would not be squad games, but that there will be game situations with live pitching.

Baseball talks called ‘fruitful’ by mediator


Associated Press


NEW YORK – 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 Moffett, 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 set-tie 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 halted 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 meet ings 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.


"It was a confusing time for everyone because I don't think any of us thought the strike was going to occur like this," Carter said. "I guess a lot of them had predetermined plans. They had made up their minds that if a strike broke, they were going to go home."


Injured Andre Thornton and Gift Johnson were the only Cleveland players to pass up that team's workout.


"I can't see coming to spring training for four weeks and then having everything go down the drain," said Wayne Garland, the Indians' player representative.


The Chicago White Sox were missing two regulars, outfielder Claudell Washington and lnfielder Jim Morrison, as well as reserve outfielder Thad Bosley, for their workout.


Manager Gene Mauch talked the Minnesota Twins into staying in camp as a unit. "There were no theatrics," said Mauch.