Allentown Morning Call - August 10, 1980

Ott hero with 2 RBIs as Pirates beat Phils again, 4-1


By Gary Mihoces, Associated Press Sports Writer


PITTSBURGH (AP) – Some of his best friends are Philadelphia Phillies fans. 


But catcher Ed Ott set friendship aside and drove in two runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-1 victory over the Phils yesterday. 


"This is our state rivalry. It's been our No. 1 rivalry the last few years," said Ott. whose offseason residence in Allentown is deep in the heart of Phils' territory. 


It was the fifth straight victory for the Pirates, the eighth consecutive road loss for Philadelphia, and another big day for Ott. 


He collected his two RBI on a solo home run and a groundout. Earlier this year he had three game-winning RBIs against the Phils, including a ninth-inning single that gave the Pirates a ' June 3 victory in Philadelphia.


"He has beaten us many, many times. He's a gamer,'" said Philadelphia Manager Dallas Green. "I like him. He's a professional. '' 


Ott, enjoying his best season with a .300 average, admitted he gets a special thrill beating Philadelphia because of his eastern Pennsylvania roots. 


"They're all Phillies fans out there. They think the grass grows red... this helps me over the winter. I can throw little digs in against the Phillies, and I get the laughs instead of the Phillies fans in Allentown." 


The Pirates won behind the eight-hit pitching of John Candelaria and relief ace Kent Tekulve. 


Mike Schmidt's sacrifice fly gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Ott tied it with a solo home run in the second off loser Nino Espinosa, 2-3. 


Bill Madlock led off the Pirate fourth with a triple. After Phil Garner was walked intentionally, Espinosa walked Candelaria on four pitches to load the bases and Omar Moreno brought Madlock home with a sacrifice fly to right. 


The Pirates added two more runs in the seventh after loading the bases on a single by Tim Foli, a walk to Lee Lacy and a single by Willie Stargell. Kevin Saucier relieved Espinosa and allowed a sacrifice fly by Mike Easier. After Madlock was walked intentionally, Ott drove in another run with a groundout to shortstop Larry Bowa. 


Candelaria, 8-11, was relieved in the eighth after walking Schmidt and giving up a single to Keith Moreland. Tekulve, who notched his 16th save, got Garry Maddox to bounce into a force-out and Manny Trillo to ground into a double play. 


With the Pirates batting in the bottom of the fifth, a smoke bomb was thrown from the stands onto the right field playing area near Philadelphia outfielder Moreland. 


Pirates rightfielder Dave Parker did not take the field for the sixth inning. A team spokesman said Parker, who took himself out of a game on July 20 here after someone threw a battery onto the field, had aggravated an injured left knee. 


"Dave twisted his knee again today, and that's why I had to take him out," Pirate manager Chuck Tanner said after game. "I hope he will be able to play tomorrow."


Meanwhile, two close plays on the bases cost the Phillies potential scoring opportunities. 


In the fifth inning, Lonnie Smith singled with one out and Schmidt drew a two-out walk. 


Moreland then hit a bouncer in the hole at short. Foli made a diving stop of the ball and threw to Madlock at third base.


Smith took a wide turn around third and was tagged out by Madlock as they both scrambled for the bag. So instead of having the bases full, the Phillies were out of the inning. 


In the Philadelphia sixth, Maddox singled and Trillo laid down a sacrifice bunt. Ott darted from the plate and threw to first base, where Trillo was called out by umpire Paul Pryor.


Trillo and first-base coach Ruben Amaro argued in vain that Trillo was safe, an argument apparently supported by television replays. 


"They say umpires' decisions don't change games, but they can change games," said Green, who also joined in the fruitless argument. 


"Pryor said he (Trillo) was still in the air... I gave him a few of my choice comments," Green added. 


So instead of having runners at first and second with none out, the Phillies only had Maddox at second base. Larry Bowa and Bob Boone both popped out to end the inning.


 "That was a big play for us," said Tanner. "It turned the whole thing around. You have to give Ott a lot of credit. There is nobody in the league having a better year than him behind the plate."

Another Week:  There are two sides in every baseball game


By Liz Miller


My husband's a baseball fan. That means a lot of things to a lot of people. For me. the editor's wife. It means that from April to October I get to read the front section of the paper first while he buries himself in the sports section, nestled up to the major league scores.


It also means that once a season I get to go to a ' major league game – whether I need it or not. I just had that pleasure this past week and once again I find myself pondering that which transforms normal human beings into pennant-waving, hot-dog munching maniacs. 


It seems to me that only the slightly crazed would drive to Philadelphia in an air-conditioned car, chattering gleefully about the prospect of sitting in 95-degree heat with 30.000 others – also slightly crazed – to watch 18 guys bat around a ball I can't even see. 


My husband's role in this expedition was to buy the tickets through the Phillies press office. He paid for them, but we all assumed the inside connection would land us prize seats.


Some of my best friends belong in left field, but I never felt I belonged there with them. But that's where the seats were, tucked neatly into a corner as far from the action as possible. So much for the power of the press. 


The next endurance test was a pre-game soltball farce between some cable television people and a group known as the Penthouse Pets. Whether these girls were centerspread rejects or just too dumb to buy the right size uniform I don't know, but I do know that even from our remote location you didn't need binoculars to appreciate their "charms." Sex and baseball – our national games. 


Finally the game started, and so did the food ritual. And ritual it is. If you skip a beat – or a bite – the experience isn't complete. It goes like this: Hot dog and beer in the first inning: another hot dog and another beer in the second: popcorn in the third: pizza in the fourth, and ice cream in the fifth. Then, if you live to talk about it, you get another beer in the sixth. Eddie should be as ecstatic about my crab souffle as he is about a Veterans Stadium hot dog. 


The game itself was a real loser. Despite my protestations, I do like baseball and occasionally find myself caught up in the game – if, indeed, the game is a game. This one wasn't. The first half of the first inning lasted 25 minutes while the St. Louis Cardinals piled up five runs. My odd-man-out husband has been a Cardinal fan since his youth, so . he was delighted. Neverthelessout of concern for personal safety, he was somewhat restrained in exhibiting his excitement among all the disgruntled Phillies fans. 


During the third inning! one member of our group decided to go for another hot dog. After all, the Phillies had just put in a new pitcher and we t igured it would take a few minutes for him to warm up. While our friend was putting mustard on his hot dog, those guys from St. Louis slid in six more runs. 


No, it was not your average baseball game. It got so boring I began looking forward to the flashing messages – the Happy Birthdays, etc. – on the. electronic scoreboard. Even the staunch fans in our litt le group got weary of the whole thing by the top of the ninth and decided we should leave to beat the traffic. 


We should have known. Everyone else thought they'd leave to beat the traffic, too. so to top off a scintillating evening af the ball park, we sat for half an hour on the Schuylkill Expressway. That's an experience reserved only for the strong of heart.


But so it goes with baseball fans. Their fervor never wanes, despite the adversities of a night like that. Shutout or not. they're ready to pick themselves up. dust themselves off and come up cheering again for their favorite team. As for me, I still have two months to read the A-section first. In my book that's like batting 1.000. 


The Minority Report 


By Ed Miller, Editor.


Now she's gone too far. She can make fun of my flute playing, my liberal politics or my messy sock drawer, but ridiculing my affection for the St. Louis Cardinals is too mucn. 


Her perceptions carry the bias of a sore-loser Phillies fan. The fact of the matter is the game was a delight. The play of the visiting team was splendid, the crowd was polite and refined, the food was three-star and the five-mile traffic jam was no more than a modest inconvenience.


Just because she got no dinner, spilled mustard on her dress, suffered the profanities of the slob in the row behind her and watched her team lose 14-0 doesn't give her the right to spoil it for the rest of us. 


And to think I was ready to treat her to a doubleheader next year.

Talk you ear off?  No danger of that from this dour duo


At least George Hendrick’s bat is speaking up


By Marc Markowitz, Call-Chronicle Sports Writer


Since everyone is always writing that George Hendrick let s his bat do the talking," this reporter decided to let his bat do exactly that. 


After all. it's the bat that's doing all the hitting, isn't it? Put the bat in the hands of John Vukovich and the Phillie utility inf ielder could hit .328 with 21 home runs and 81 RBI, couldn't he? 


Well, let's find out. 


Q – Tell me, bat, since Silent George doesn't talk to the media, could you tell me...


(The question has been cut short because the bat has taken on the personality of Hendrick and threatened to slug the mild-mannered reporter. The reporter, however, is a digger along the lines of Jimmy Olson. He decides to go to the bat shared by Hendrick and Keith Hernandez in batting practice. Hernandez, after all, is one of the more accommodating Cardinals.)


Q – Er, tell me, b-b-bat…


A – Take it easy kid, I'll tell you anything you want to know. Be cool. 


Q – Thanks, you couldn't be any relation to the other bat. After all, he's ash colored and 34 ounces. You must be heavier. With a name like Tennessee Thumper 8, you "ping" when hitting a ball while the other bat "thwacks." 


A – Yes, but we're both Adirondacks. I'm Adirondack Bill and he's Adirondack Ike. We're both from Tennessee, but he's got a bad temper. He's been soaked in alcohol a few too many times. Did I ever tell you what happens to bats soaked in alcohol. Why, they can…


Q – Tell me, bat, what is Silent George doing differently this season? 


A – Well, switching to Adirondack Ike was a step in the right direction. Cousin Gerald, who Silent George used successfully the past few years, was sawed in half by a James Rodney Richard fastball.


Silent George switched to Cousin Wayne, who's related to the corked bat George Foster uses. But Wayne was so nervous a bout being caught by an umpire that he would perspire around the handle. It got so bad that one day Silent George had to go for the pine tar 18 times during his four at bats. That's when Silent George decided to do things conventionally. And then...


Q – Fine. I understand Silent George stuck his thumb up a teammate's nose for talking to him. Any truth about Silent George not talking with teammates? 


A – Absolutely none. Why. the other day Silent George stepped out of the batting cage after standing there for 20 minutes and actually let Tom Herr swing at two pitches. Jes kidding. Silent George is one of the guys. By the way. this kid Herr... 


Q – Has this self-imposed moratorium on talking to reporters had anything to do with the great season Silent George is having? 


A – You'd have to ask Silent… Whoops, I forgot... Well, my feeling is that Silent George is hurting his chances for the Most Valuable Player Award by keeping a clamp on his feelings. After all, he's matching Steve Garvey almost identically in every offensive category, but because Garvey is so popular with the media and the fans, he's got a better chance at it. 


But let me tell you, Silent George has improved immeasurably in that category. After all, he's allowed me to talk to you. If he'd seen me even say "boo" to you last year, he'd have aimed me for the water cooler or your head at the very least. You remember what happened to Mike Marley when he dared to come within breathing distance of Silent George. 


Marley, a baseball reporter for the New York Post, had the audacity one time last year to ask Silent George a question. Instead of a polite "I'm not talking," Silent George threatened Marley. 


Q – One more personal question. Any hints as to why Silent George is silent around the media? 


A – You have to realize his background. Silent George is a "travelin' man who's made a lot of stops all over the world, and in every port ..." 


Q – Don't get carried away. Are you trying to say that because Silent George has shuffled from Oakland to Cleveland to San Diego to St. Louis, he feels he's gotten a bum rap as a troublemaker? 


A – Well, sort of. Actually, Silent George feels you (media) have labeled him a loafer, which he was at times early in his career. He still looks like he does things in slo-mo. but that's Silent George. Nice 'n easy is his style. And another thing... uh oh... 


"Don't you ever shut up?" It was the unrecognizable voice of Hendrick. "If you want to spill your guts, tell it to the baseballs. And don't try to talk to people who try and pass themselves off as fans. They may be reporters in disguise." 


Q – I'm getting out of here. Silent George is really hot. See ya, Thumper. Good luck and keep strokin.

Talk you ear off?  No danger of that from this dour duo


Big fantasy about Carlton just a dream


By Ted Meixell, Call-Chronicle Sports Writer


I have this fantasy, see. No, no – not THAT kind! I can't put THAT in a family newspaper. 


My fantasy is job-related. I've had this persistent feeling that I'd be the first guy to break through and interview Steve Carlton.


Now, stop laughing. I mean, I figured I'd get him with my sincerity and the trustworthy face I had the good fortune to be born with. "He'll trust me," I thought. "He'll know immediately I won't burn him, do a poison-pen job on him." 


So, when I got my turn at covering the Phils and the Cards Thursday night and I saw Carlton was scheduled to pitch, I thought, "Oh, boy. This is my chance." And all the way down the Northeast Extension and the Surekill Expressway, I was in high spirits. 


The heck with the game. I couldn't wait for it to be over. I was so confident of success, I thought I'd go for the parlay of the year, just dispense with the Carlton thing quickly, take a run down the hall to the Cards' clubhouse and talk to George Hendrick, too. 


Boy, was I naive! Not only did I fail to interview Stevie, I never even SAW him – except from the press booth away up on the fourth level. As is his wont, Carlton ducked quickly into the players' lounge – which is strictly off-limits to the press. 


Either that, or he took advantage of the fact he was relieved with one out in the ninth by Tug McGraw, set a world record for showering and dressing and already was motoring home by the time the media invaded the Phils' inner sanctum, (I wondered why he offered no resistance when Dallas Green gave him the hook.) 


My confidence was shattered, and I dropped the Hendrick idea. Heck, leave him to the St. Louis guys.


I've never been one to quibble about settling for second best, so I decided instead to describe my fantasy interview the one that hasn't happened yet. (Notice, I still haven't given up.) To wit: 


Despite yielding only six hits, Carlton hadn't appeared to be his overpowering self, managing only four strikeouts. So I asked him to assess his stuff. (By this time I'd won his confidence and got right to the meat of the matter.) 


"Gee, Ted, you're right," Super Steve did not say. "I didn't have the old zip on the heater tonight, my curve was flat, and I couldn't get the slider out of the dirt. And those Cardinals, you know, they're darn good hitters. I get a lot of strikeouts when guys swing at sliders in the dirt, so when the Cards laid off them, I had to put the ball in the strike zone." 


I warmed to my task and asked him to comment on the fine defensive plays Manny Trillo, Mike Schmidt, Garry Maddox and Pete Rose made in his behalf. 


"Weren't they something?" Carlton didn't reply. "Mike and Garry, well, they just make those tough plays look routine. I've reached the point where I just take them for granted. Manny means so much to us. He's solidified our infield. We really missed him when he was hurt. 


"Pete is just something else. For a guy who should be planning to sign up for Medicare, he's a marvel. He's probably the only guy in the major leagues who would've attempted that catch in the seventh inning." (Rose made a sensational diving catch on pinch hitter Keith Smith's foul pop. doing a bellyf lop almost into his own dugout and earning a standing ovation.)


Carlton is about the fastest-working pitcher alive, so I wanted to know when he got into the hurry-up habit. 


"Tell you the truth, Ted, I just started that about four years ago. Come to think of it, that was about the time I stopped talking to you guys. I wanted to establish a quick tempo, figuring I could carry it over when the game was over and get into the lounge before the press could catch me. Guess I wasn't quick enough tonight, though, right? Ha ha." 


I sensed his increasingly good humor and moved in for the kill: "Weren't you burned up when Green pulled you tonight with just one out to go?" 


"Oh, heck no, Ted. This is a 25-man effort, and I certainly wouldn't put personal achievements ahead of our primary objective, which, of course, is winning. And Tug's done a great job for us all year. I had complete confidence he'd get that last guy out for me." 


I could see Carlton was getting fidgety, so I closed the interview with a two-part query. "Do you feel you can catch the Pirates down the stretch and. ultimately, get to the World Series? And how much would another Cy Young Award mean to you?" 


"I'm glad you asked that, Ted. No doubt about it. we're going to win it all this year. This club is all jacked up." he didn't answer. 


"With Tug in top form, with Nino (Espinosa) and Warren (Brusstan healthy again and with Larry iChris-tenson) ready to return, the pitching staff should be solid. And Randy's (Lerch) ready to put it all together just when we need him most. 


"Bull (Luzinski ) will be coming off the D.L. (disabled list) soon, so we'll be super-ready in the stretch.


"Another Cy Young Award would be a simply great thrill. But it would signify to me the way we came together as a team. It would be the high point of my career." 


"Thanks a lot for your time. Steve." I said. "And have a good road trip." 


"No problem, Ted. Any time ". 


Sure. But... wouldn't it be nice?