Camden Courier-Post - August 11, 1980
Pirates strike down Phillies for sweep
By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post
PITTSBURGH – Between lightning bolts and thunderclaps – not all of which emanated from the stormy Western Pennsylvania sky – it all unraveled for the Phillies.
In an atmosphere made surreal by lightning ripping over head, thunder cannonading in the background and bellicose fans taunting players with the blessing of security guards, the Phillies floundered through a 7-1, 4-1 doubleheader loss to the Pirates.
The thin thread from which the Phils had dangled within reach of a pennant race was severed – perhaps permanently – yesterday by the Pirates, who completed a four-game series sweep.
IT WAS not a clean, clinical cut. The surgery the Pirates performed on the Phillies' pennant hopes was messy and will surely leave scars. At the very least, it provoked Phillies Manager Dallas Green into a between-game tirade that scorched paint from the lockerroom walls. Green's stormy meeting, however, had little – if any – impact on the second game, which left the Phillies six games behind the Pirates and Montreal Expos in the National League East Division standings.
This series was supposed to have been a showdown between two of the East's three primary contenders. But what it amounted to was a showcase for the Pirates, who used it as a springboard to vault into a first-place tie with Montreal.
"This series means no more than the Cubs (whom the Phillies play next)," said Pete Rose. "What happens if the Mets beat them (the Pirates) three? It ain't the end of the world because you lose a series. It's the end of the world if we don't start playing good, but four games don't make a year.
"YOU DONT want to come in here and blow four games, but what can you do? Cry on the way to the airport? We're still only four out in the loss column. So what's the big deal?"
Those sentiments were echoed by Green, who watched Pirate pitchers Jim Bibby and Don Robinson lull an already drowsy Phillie offense to sleep with, respectively, an eight-hit complete game and seven innings of four-hit ball.
"I never have thought that this was a make-it-or-break-it series," said Green. "Sure, it's important. But every series in the National League East is important. A week ago, people were worried about the Pirates (because they lost six straight).
"They play tough all the time. We knew that when we came in here. I'm disappointed; I'm sure our guys are disappointed. The worst part of it is we just didn't play good baseball. And that's what hurts more than anything else."
YOU NEED only survey the wreckage of the doubleheader to understand how poorly the Phillies played. Bake McBride, who homered in the seventh off Robinson for the Phillies' only run in the second game, and Manny Trillo were the only members of the team to get more than two hits during the twin-bill... A catchable fly ball by Willie Stargell was played into a triple by Lonnie Smith... Randy Lerch, whose record dipped to 3-13 in the first game, balked a runner into scoring position with Bibby due to hit... Trillo dropped a routine throw from Mike Schmidt.
PHIL UPS – Tim Foil's bases-loaded double in the sixth, off reliever Dickie Noles, broke the first game open... A double by Robinson, Trillo's error and a sacrifice fly by Mike Easier gave the Bucs an unearned run in the third of nightcap against Dan Larson, a hard-luck loser again... Rain delayed the second game 49 minutes... Pirates scored the second game's deciding run in fourth on a walk, a stolen base and a single by Dale Berra... Pirates stole six bases in the doubleheader... Phils have now lost 10 straight on the road, six in a row and 15 of 20 at Three Rivers.
Angry Green lashes Phillies for lack of hustle
By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post
PITTSBURGH – Dallas Green had some harsh words for his team between games of yesterday's doubleheader against the Pirates.
No sooner had a desultory 7-1 loss been completed than Green exploded in an emotional tirade that made the periodic eruptions of Mt. St. Helen's seem tame by comparison.
Green's voice, which booms even in the most mellow of times, thundered through an open lockerroom door and reverberated through the corridors of Three Rivers Stadium. Most of the words Green yelled at the Phillies are not fit for public consumption. But the essence of his fire and brimstone message was clear: hustle or sit.
He invited his players to – again – look in the mirror. He told them that they give up; that if they didn't want to play, let him know. It is true the topics of Green's blistering monologue have been covered before – but not with such ferocity.
“…Get off your butts and go beat somebody," Green screamed. That statement and those that will follow is edited, with some unprintable words removed, others altered.
"... Just be the way you can because your a good baseball team. But you're not now and you can't look in the mirror. You tell me you can do it, but you give up.
"Look in the mirror! If you don't want to play, get in my office and tell me because I don't want to play you."
Later, a more composed Green, towel draped around his neck, discussed the third straight loss of what was to have been a four-game showdown series with the Pirates.
He greeted reporters with a crisp "Okay, what do you guys have?" and kept his clubhouse door closed. "I don't want anybody in there," he said, pointing toward the lockerroom door.
Nobody had to ask why not.
"If we bounce back in the second game and take them, we can hold out heads up," Green began. "But they got us down pretty good right now."
It was difficult to measure the impact of Green's words during the second game, a 4-1 loss that moved the Phillies six games off the pace in the National League East.
"This meeting I think was absolutely right," Pete Rose said after the embarrassment was finally finished. "It takes some time to sink in sometimes. I understood what he was saying, but I can't speak for the other guys.
"Just because we got beat 4-1 don't mean it didn't sink in because there's a good possibility it may have. There was a lot of commotion, a lot of chatter, on the bench on the second game. Just because a manager has a scream out, it doesn't mean you go out and score 10 runs."
Half the number would have satisfied Green who did everything he could – short of lighting a cathedral candle – to salvage something out of this series.
"I'm just not going to let them quit on themselves," Green said. "The fans in Philadelphia haven't quit, so we're not going to let them quit, either. I may not be doing it the right way, but I'm doing it the only way I know how. That's the way I've gone through my career in baseball. It's the way I've gotten to where I've gotten in baseball... It's the only way I know, and I think the other (unemotional) way was tried very unsuccessfully.
"The results aren't always as pleasant because you hurt tender feelings. I've explained I'm not a grudge bolder. I don't think I've ever held a grudge against a ballplayer. I say what I got to say, then forget it.
"If the ballplayers would do the same, I think we'd be in pretty good shape."
Green's anger had given way to self-examination, the same kind of self-examination he asked his players to make a year ago; the same kind he emphatically reminded them of between games yesterday.
And, right now, there is no reason to believe a majority of the players will take Green's advice. For, if one of them should, perchance, glance in Green's mirror, he would surely point a finger... in any direction except straight ahead.