Reading Eagle - August 13, 1980
Schmidt Powers Phillies
CHICAGO (AP) – It’s his kind of town, Chicago is.
“I don’t know about Wrigley Field. I hit good in other ballparks. When you get right down to it I guess I just control my adrenalin a little better here,” said powerhouse Mike Schmidt after collecting a pair of home runs and five RBI as the Philadelphia Phillies registered two victories Tuesday over the Chicago Cubs.
Schmidt, the National League long-ball leader, increased his total to 29 by hitting one home run in the Phillies’ 8-5 suspended-game victory Tuesday and then another in the 5-2 regular game win picked up by left-hander Steve Carlton. Schmidt’s two home runs brought his Wrigley Field total to six this season and 28 in his career.
Bob Boone drilled an eighth-inning homer in the regular game to snap a 2-2 tie. Earlier, in the completion of a game suspended Monday by darkness after 10 innings, Bake McBride singled in the 15th inning to send Larry Bow home with the tie-breaking run.
“I’m hoping the wins will relax us, and these guys know what they have to do for us to make a pretty good push,” said Phillies Manager Dallas Green.
The fortunes of the two clubs passed like ships in the night. The Phillies entered the suspended game with 10 straight losses on the road, while the Cubs sought to halt a tailspin that has been boring them progressively deeper into the NL East cellar.
But Green feels the Phillies’ ship may finally have found its course.
“Yeah, it does get frustrating. In that first game, the Cubs were lying all over the ground, and we’re hitting shots and we just couldn’t scratch a run,” he added. “One we busted through that, I think we showed we’re ready to go.”
Carlton, 18-6, went the distance to register his eighth complete game of the season. He yielded eight hits, walked one and struck out five, reaching the 200-strikeout plateau for the sixth time in his career.
Boone led off the eighth in the regular game by slamming a 2-0 delivery off loser Mike Krukow, 7-12, for his eighth home run of the year. Two outs later Pete Rose ripped a single and came home as McBride tripled into the alley in rightcenter field. McBride then scored on a single by Schmidt.
The Phillies notched two runs in the fifth. Schmidt, whose 15th-inning triple in the first game produced two RBI, led off with his homer. Manny Trillo followed with a single and moved to third one out later on a single by Bowa. Trillo scored on a passed ball by Chicago catcher Barry Foote, but Carlton hit into an inning-ending double play.
What Has Happened To Good Old Baseball
By Hal Bock
Understand first of all that you are dealing with a traditionalist, a man who believes that baseball is supposed to be played on grass, not some manmade rug, by nine guys who carry around gloves in their equipment bags as well as bats.
So from the start, you know that baseball gimmickry like artificial surfaces and designated hitters will not receive a warm welcome from the keeper of this corner.
When Abner Doubleday, Alexander Cartwright and Casey Stengel invented baseball, they designed it as leisurely recreation for a hot summer’s afternoon with no great concern about producing enough runs to compete with the scoring pyrotechnics of football and basketball. If a game ended 2-1, well, then that was the score. There were enough wrinkles – strategy, moves, close calls and the like – in every game to satisfy most true fans. You didn’t need the artificial excitement of 10 runs a game to make baseball interesting.
And if it rained and the field turned muddy, well then you had a rainout and came back the next day to play again. There were no vacuum cleaners roaming through the outfield, sweeping up the water, creating five-hour rain delays like the one in Philadelphia a couple of months ago. Zambonis were for hockey rinks, not baseball outfields.
You know all that has changed. The American League has had a designated hitter for the pitcher ever since 1973. There are more magic carpets around National League infields than you’ll find in the Arabian Nights. Call it better baseball through chemistry.
Now the National League, that bastion of baseball conservatism, is being asked to add the designated hitter to its games. The St. Louis Cardinals are spearheading a drive to introduce the 10th man to NL lineups and the subject was on the agenda of today’s league meeting in Dearborn, Mich.
A simple majority of seven of the 12 teams would be sufficient to take the bat out of the hands of pitchers and add an extra hitter to NL lineups. The last time the subject was discussed in 1976, NL teams rejected the idea 9-3.
Undecided Will Decide
Besides St. Louis, four NL teams – Atlanta, San Diego, Philadelphia and the New York Mets – like the DH idea. Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Chicago are solidly opposed. The issue seems to sit in the hands of the undecided – Los Angeles, Houston, San Francisco and Montreal. Two of those four must join the pro-DH group, unless one of the teams opposed to the rule suddenly switches.
John Claiborne, the bright, young, executive vice president of the Cardinals, heads the pro-DH forces. He believes the rule belongs in the NL now.
“The key is that it generates more offense and the fans are more offensive-minded,” Claiborne says. “That, and the fact that we have two different sets of rules right now, are the reasons why I think the National League should adopt the DH.”
Don’t argue with Claiborne on the basis of numbers. “I don’t care what the statistics say, although I’m sure they support me,” he said.