Wilmington Morning News - April 4, 1980

Striking Phils unite, rally ‘round Ruly


By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor


CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Phillies – those striking Phillies – rallied around their employer yesterday 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, of course, 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 exhibition 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.


"My intent right now is to get the pitching staff ready for the first three games with Montreal. Steve Carlton will pitch the season opener, but I have not chosen the next two pitchers.


"Look, I told them I am not here to punish them and I am not here to say the hell with you. We're going to work just like we did at the complex. I'm not here to do anything except prepare them."


EXTRA POINTS - The Phils placed relief pitcher Nino Espinosa on the 21 -day disabled list yesterday, reducing the squad to 30 players... Assuming Warren Brusstar also will eventually be placed on the disabled list, that leaves four players Green must cut before the team breaks camp next Wednesday... Brusstar had extensive tests performed on his ailing shoulder and they were all negative... He now will be examined by Dr. William Granna. an orthopedic surgeon in Oklahoma City, next week.

Future Phillies to be broadcast


PHILADELPHIA – Phillies baseball fans will have a rare opportunity to see future Phils in action when Channel 17 broadcasts an exhibition game between two minor league teams Sunday at 1:30.


The game, to be played in Clearwater, Fla., will match the Oklahoma City 89ers and the Phillies' Minor League All-Star team. Oklahoma City, the Phils Triple-A club, won the 1979 Western Division Championship. The All-Star team includes players from the Reading, Spartanburg and Peninsula minor league teams.