Reading Eagle - August 11, 1980
Pirates’ Praise Smacks of Eulogy
PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Philadelphia Phillies have dropped six games out of first, and they’ve been chewed out by their manager.
But they’re not being counted out of the National League race by the Pittsburgh Pirates, winners of seven in a row, who took a doubleheader Sunday to complete a four-game sweep of Philadelphia.
“The Phillies are a great ballclub. They aren’t going to let this get them down,” said pitcher Don Robinson, who got the victory as Pittsburgh’s 4-1 win in the second game moved the Pirates back into a tie with Montreal atop the division.
“They’ll get their feet back on the ground. The hits will start dropping. And they’ll start winning again,” Robinson added.
The Pirates won the opener 7-1 as Jim Bibby notched his 14th pitching triumph, but Manager Chuck Tanner said that even that game was no breather.
“Not to me it wasn’t,” said Tanner. “Even when the score is 7-1, you look at the hitters they’ve got and it shakes you up… You’re always worried about the Phillies. They are a solid team, just like we are and Montreal is.
“Our pitchers just did a great job today. Anytime you hold a team like that to one run, you’ve done a tremendous job,” Tanner added.
Flattery aside, Philadelphia Manager Dallas Green gave his team a stern lecture in a closed clubhouse between games.
“Get up off your rear ends and beat somebody,” Green yelled, loud enough for reporters outside to hear every word.
“If you don’t want to play, come into my office and tell me, ‘I don’t want to play,’” he added, spicing his remarks heavily with profanity.
“… You’ve got to stop being so cool, and if you don’t get that through your minds you’re going to be so far buried it won’t even be funny.”
After the second game, Green was calm as he met the press.
“We didn’t play good ball. That’s what hurts more than anything else,” he said.
“I’m just not going to let them quit on themselves. I won’t quit on them. I’m sure the fans in Philadelphia won’t quit.”
Last season, Green replaced easy-going Danny Ozark as Philadelphia field boss.
“I may not be doing it right,” said Green, “But I’m doing it the only way I know how to do it… I think the other way was tried very unsuccessfully.”
Pete Rose, who direct an obscene gesture at a few fans who taunted the Phils from behind their dugout in the second game, was asked about the clubhouse meeting.
“I’ve heard a lot of good managers at a lot of good meetings,” said Rose. “Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t… just because we got beat 4-1 doesn’t mean it didn’t sink in.”
In the opener, the Pirates took a 2-0 lead in the second off loser Randy Lerch, 3-13 on an RBI single by Bill Madlock and a sacrifice fly by Phil Garner.
Lee Lacy singles home another run in the fifth. Tim Foli rapped a three-run, bases-full double in the six off reliever Dickie Noles and Garner doubled home another run in the Pirates’ seventh.
Bibby, 14-2, scattered eight hits and allowed an RBI single by Keith Moreland in the sixth.
“When Bibby’s pitching, there is a certain confidence on our team,” said Lacy. “You can see it out there.”
In the nightcap, Easler’s sacrifice fly off loser Dan Larson, 0-5, gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead in the third.
Dale Berra drove in another Pittsburgh run in the fourth and Easler added an RBI double in the seventh off reliever Ron Reed.
After the one-out double by Easler, Reed was directed by the dugout to yield an intentional walk to Willie Stargell.
Reed stepped off the mound, looked into the dugout and kicked the dirt on the mound. Then he gave up the intentional walk.
The strategy proved wise when Madlock then bounced into a double play. But Reed and Manager Green apparently exchanged words as the Phillie reliever returned to the dugout.
Was there a problem? “Not for me,” said Green.
Winning pitcher Robinson, 4-5, allowed a solo homer in the seventh by Bake McBride, but Lacy countered with a solo homer in the eighth.
Left-hander Grant Jackson replaced Robinson in the eighth and needed relief help in the ninth from Kent Tekulve, who got his 17th save.
In the top of the ninth, a fan climbed atop the Phillie dugout and exchanged hot words and gestures with shortstop Larry Bowa.
The fan was out of reach, but Bowa took an angry swing into the air before guards removed the heckler.
Running off the field after a later groundout, Rose made his own graphic gesture to the stands.
The Phils, losers of 10 road games in a row, left here for Chicago. The Pirates meet the New York Mets here tonight.
“This ain’t the end of the world,” said Rose.
“What are you going to do? Cry all the way to the airport? That’s what is good about this game. You come back tomorrow.”