Camden Courier-Post - April 9, 1980
Phils’ order stresses team, not individual
By Ray W. Kelly of the Courier-Post
CLEARWATER, Fla. – A batting order is only as good as the hitters in it. Yet, the Phillies have always been a trifle too concerned about their positioning in the lineup.
That's why the sudden revamping of the teams's procession to the plate yesterday raised both eyebrows and ire as the Phils began putting the final touches on spring training.
A year ago, the players sat around and pretty much decided for themselves what the ideal batting order should be for 1979.
And, because of their obvious baseball know-how, combined with Danny Ozark's eagerness to maintain a happy clubhouse, the stamp of approval was quick to be used.
Dallas Green isn't going that route. He and his coaches have spent much of the winter and most of spring training debating and experimenting with various alignments – none of which was the one he'll unveil in Veterans Stadium Friday night.
Here it is, a lineup Green thinks will work best for the team, not the individuals:
Pete Rose, 1b; Bake McBride, rf; Garry Maddox, cf; Mike Schmidt, 3b; Greg Luzinski, lf; Bob Boone, c; Larry Bowa, ss; Manny Trillo, 2b; Steve Carlton, p.
"We'll go with the same lineup against both righthanded and lefthanded pitching, except in the case of specific pitchers," said Green. "I think it helps a team when your're not jumping guys all over the batting order."
When asked if he thought some of his hitters might feel uncomfortable batting in a new slot in the order, Green dismissed the importance of that, noting, "It gets back to the slogan 'WE, NOT I' where they shouldn't be thinking of how the order should help them individually... they should be thinking of how the team is doing."
Green elaborated on the order's benefits:
• It puts emphasis on speed. Rose, McBride, Maddox and Schmidt can create scoring situations on the bases and avoid double plays.
• If Rose, McBride and Maddox all go out in the first inning, you have Schmidt, who can ran and has a knack for hitting leadoff homers, starting off the next inning in front of Luzinski's power.
• The flip-flopping of Trillo and Bowa creates a hit-and-run threat at the bottom of the order. Bowa has the speed. Trillo has the bat control.
• Because Luzinski and Boone are good hitters but lack speed, it may be necessary to advance them with a bunt. Bowa is ideal for that in the No. 7 spot because his sacrifices can turn into hits.
• Trillo is better suited for the undesirable eighth spot, where a batter gets few good pitches to hit. With the pitcher coming up next, an opposing pitcher will nibble the corners with breaking pitches. Trillo is more patient and handles the breaking ball better.
• If Bowa or Trillo were hitting No. 2, rivals would intentionally walk Rose to get to either of them. McBride will make them think twice.
It isn't all positive, however. Whether Bake and Garry have the type of batting strokes to hit second and third is debatable.
"A batting order should offer a little bit of everything," said Rose. "Bake is not an ideal No. 2 man. But, he and I won't be playing hit-and-run much because I hit a lot of doubles. Hey, Joe Morgan and Ken Griffey weren't ideal No. 2 men in Cincinnati either, and you saw what they did."
Maddox said he was going along with whatever Dallas wanted. "I didn't know about it until today," he said. "I'll have to ask the guys what it's like to hit third. Maybe I'll respond to the pressure. If I don't produce, I'll be moved down again. I didn't have any complaints about hitting sixth before. Whatever they say is fine with me."
"I hit eighth all spring," said Bowa. "Now, all of a sudden, I'm hitting seventh. I never hit there all spring. There's not much I can do about the change. It doesn't matter what I think anyway. I guess it's good to get Bake and Garry together in the lineup because of their speed."
If you get the feeling Green's decision . wasn't greeted like a tax refund, you're absolutely right.
But, the inmates aren't running this institution anymore. They had their chance.
Phillies to head home
By Ray W. Kelly of the Courier-Post
CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Phillies bring their spring training camp to a close this afternoon after a 1 p.m. intra-squad game. They are scheduled to fly to Philadelphia following the game, arriving at International Airport this evening.
• Manager Dallas Green plans to hold a workout in Veterans Stadium tomorrow beginning at 7 p.m. The workout is open to the public. There ie no charge for admission. Gates A and C at the Vet will open at 6 p.m.
• Pre-game ceremonies for Friday night's National League opener against the Montreal Expos in the Vet will begin at 7:20 p.m., with game time scheduled for 8:05 p.m. A full complement of pre-game ceremonies is planned, including an appearance by Kiteman III. who Will attempt to drop in with the first ball.
• Reliever Warren Brusstar yesterday was placed on the 21-day disabled list, subject to league approval. Veteran outfielder Mike Anderson has agreed to go to Oklahoma City and join the club's Triple-A roster. The status of relievers Rawly Eastwick and Doug Bird is still unknown, but General Manager Paul Owens says he would be willing to release them if he cannot trade them.
By the Associated Press
Tom Seaver was hoping to win his first opening day game in three tries today for the Cincinnati Reds, but the Atlanta Braves' Phil Niekro and the National Weather Service might not cooperate.
The Reds and Braves open the National League season for the 96th time in Cincinnati this afternoon. The National Weather Service predicts a 40 percent chance of rain with temperatures in the low 50s by the 2 p.m. game time.
In the 80th American League opener, righthanders Mike Parrott and Dave Lemanczyk will be the starting pitchers tonight when the Seattle Mariners host the Toronto Blue Jays.
A crowd of 20,000 is expected to watch the two teams, who were created just four years ago, at the Kingdome.
ICY WEATHER on opening day last year played havoc with Seaver and the Reds committed five errors as they lost to the San Francisco Giants.
In the 1978 opener, rain delays robbed Seaver of his rhythm.
The two contests were "crazy games," said the three-time Cy Young Award winner. "I had one in New York, too. It snowed at Shea Stadium." He won six openers for the Mets when he played there.
"There's always the excitement of another season getting under way, but really the opening game is just one of 162," said veteran knuckle-bailer Niekro.
The Reds didn't make any major trades or sign any free agents over the winter and are hoping to repeat as National League West champions.
The Braves roster includes two new front-line players – first baseman Chris Chambliss and shortstop Luis Gomez. The team also obtained relief pitcher Al Hrabosky as a free agent.
… (until May)
NEW YORK (AP) – Today's start of the major league baseball season was nothing more than a day off for the negotiators in the labor dispute that threatens to halt the season just before the Memorial Day weekend.
Talks resume tomorrow between the two teams of negotiators headed by Marvin Miller, executive director of the Players' Association, and Ray Grebey, representing management.
Kenneth Moffett, a deputy director of the Federal Mediation Service, took a positive view of yesterday's 4½ hours of negotiations, the second of seven scheduled meetings over the next three weeks.
"The feeling was cordial between the parties," he said. "I'd say it was constructive. I would not suggest a tremendous amount of progress was made."
THAT SEEMED to concur with Miller's view. The union chief said the session was concerned with management's first tentative responses to altered player proposals which were placed on the negotiating table March 18.
Those altered proposals included a new ceiling on minimum salaries, dropping the players' demand from one-third of the average salary to a lower figure, and a five-year waiting period for a player becoming a free agent, down from the current six-year wait but up from the originally-proposed four years.
"Their response was 'Do you have any lower figures we might consider,'" Miller said. "Well, we made the counter proposals. It was their responsibility to reply to them, to make a counter offer to them."
Miller seemed annoyed at the slow pace of the negotiations.
There has still been no discussion of compensation for teams losing free agents. That issue is considered the major stumbling block in the talks.
"It's essential that you talk out an issue before you can agree on it," Miller explained. "Maybe you don't agree today, but maybe you moved closer to that agreement in discussions. But these are not normal negotiations. I find us going over and over the same ground again and again."
Grebey refused to talk with newsmen, referring all questions to the mediator.