Reading Eagle - August 10, 1980
McCarver May Rejoin Phillies
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Tim McCarver was shaking like a rookie after trading his broadcaster’s sport coat for his old Philadelphia Phillies uniform and stepping in to the batter’s box at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium.
The former Phillies catcher, who retired last October, went through his first workout on the road Friday evening to prepare for his possible return to the club’s roster on Sept. 1. If successful, McCarver will be the first catcher this century to play in four decades, and 10th player in history.
He broke in with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1959.
“I don’t expect to be the No. 1 pinch hitter or catch Lefty or anything like that,” said McCarver, who used to be pitcher Steve Carlton’s personal catcher and spokesman for the silent left-hander. “But I’d like to think I could get sufficiently back in shape to help the ball club.
“Actually, though, the real reason I’m coming back is to get back on the dental plan,” McCarver added with a grin.
Ott Fans Bucs’ Flame and Burns Phils Again
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 Saturday.
“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 RBI 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 Easler. 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 Mike Schmidt and giving up a single to Keith Moreland. Tekulve, who notched his 16th save, got Garry Maddox to bounce into a forceout 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 Keith Moreland.
Pirates right-fielder Dave Parker did not take the field in 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 the 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 Mike 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 of 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.”
Vote on DH Should Be Highlight
DETROIT (AP) – The National League decides this week at baseball’s summer meetings whether to break with tradition and adopt the designated hitter rule after seven years of rejection.
National League clubs have consistently voted against the controversial DH rule since 1973 when the American League started using a batter designated to hit for the pitcher. But baseball’s senior circuit appears closer than ever this week to approving what critics call an unsightly wrinkle on the fabric of the national pastime.
Proponents of the DH reportedly have five of the seven votes they’ll need for victory. Four clubs are against it while three teams – Los Angeles, San Francisco and Montreal – are undecided.
If the battle lines are drawn that way, DH supporters will need to win over two of the three undecided clubs.
The DH vote should highlight the two days of meetings among officials of major league baseball’s 26 teams that will focus on the financial status of the game, player relations and television and radio rights.
The sessions open Tuesday in suburban Detroit with the start of a 1½-day seminar on baseball’s financial status. Sure to be discussed will be the hot issue of compensation for free agents and the results of last Thursday’s first meeting of a special player-management committee appointed to look into the matter.
That committee consists of general managers Harry Dalton of Milwaukee and Frank Cashen of the New York Mets for management and, representing the players, Milwaukee’s Sal Bando and Philadelphia’s Bob Boone.
“The serious financial concerns of our clubs and the constant search for ways to improve the relationship between the clubs and players are major subjects these days,” said Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, who will preside over the seminar.
After the seminar concludes Wednesday, the leagues will conduct separate meetings and the National League will vote on the DH. A joint session will follow.
Those favoring the DH this time around, according to a survey conducted by the Atlanta Journal, are St. Louis, Atlanta, New York, San Diego and Houston. Those opposed: Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Chicago.