Reading Eagle - August 17, 1980
Phils’ Bats Stay Hot
NEW YORK (AP) – The Philadelphia Phillies only needed a change from Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh to Shea Stadium in New York to make a complete changeover in their offense.
In sweeping the first three games of the series, the Phillies pounded out 49 hits, 19 of them Saturday when Garry Maddox’s four safeties and Mike Schmidt’s three led them to an 11-6 romp over the New York Mets.
“I knew we weren’t as bad as we looked in Pittsburgh,” said Phillies Manager Dallas Green. “And we’re not as good as we’re looking now offensively. Everybody’s doing it, particularly the bottom half of the batting order.”
Maddox, who had been slumping, went 4-for-5 and reached base every time up, scoring two runs and knocking in two.
“Hitting comes and goes, but batting Coach Billy DeMars gave me a couple of tips which straightened me out,” Maddox said after the game.
Pete Rose, who went 2-for-4 before being rested, said, “We got chewed out good after Pittsburgh. We’re swinging the bat now. Different players are hitting and this is unusual because everybody is contributing.”
Bob Boone, who had three RBI, added, “The law of averages caught up with our batting and everyone is loose and confident now.”
Boone’s first RBI came on an infield grounder in the second inning after Manny Trillo had opened the frame with his fourth homer of the season off right-hander Craig Swan, 5-9.
New York tied the game in the second with two unearned runs off Bob Walk, 9-2. Both runs scored on an infield single by Joel Youngblood with the second coming across when third baseman Schmidt threw wildly past first on the play.
Schmidt’s homer followed a fourth-inning double by Pete Rose, capping a three-run Philadelphia fourth and knocking out Swan. Swan, making his first appearance since July 16, allowed seven runs on 10 hits before being relieved by Dyar Miller with two out in the fourth.
Philadelphia scored two more runs in the fifth on Boone’s bases-loaded single and two more in the sixth on Garry Maddox’s two-run double. The Phillies collected 19 hits off four New York pitchers.
Tim McCarver Catching On as Color Analyst
By Tony Zonca
Bob Boone, who catches for the Philadelphia Phillies, had just thrown a runner out at second base.
The throw had come to Larry Bowa on one glancing bounce off the Vet Stadium carpet.
Upstairs, Tim McCarver and Chris Wheeler were discussing the play for their Prism listeners.
McCarver is entitled. After all, for 21 years he squatted behind the batter, for St. Louis, Boston and the Phillies.
However, his arm wasn’t to be confused with that of Johnny Bench.
“You know,” McCarver innocently said to Wheeler, “on this artificial turf, that may be the coming thing, to throw the ball on one bounce.”
“Yeah,” Wheeler replied dryly, “then they might consider bringing you back.”
And so it goes each game up in the booth. Often it’s one part “Laugh-in,” one part “Saturday Night Live” and one part “Game of the Week.”
“Our performance is not unlike the performance of (rookie pitcher) Bob Walk this year,” McCarver said before a recent broadcast: “he’s not overawed by the whole situation, either.”
There is a little Huck Finn in McCarver, which makes him so likable, so believable. He is not slick, not polished, and that is part of his charm. It is what Don Meredith brought to the booth.
“I don’t want to be like everybody else,” he said. “I want to be me and I want to ask questions that I want to ask. While I will take advice, what I have to offer is what I have to offer, not what anybody tells me. I like to be different from the ordinary.”
In a Phillies’ clubhouse devoid of the slightest hint of vivacity, McCarver was the petunia in an onion patch. He also was Steve Carlton’s designated catcher and mouthpiece.
Carlton, of course, talks to the media about as much a Yasir Arafat talks to Anwar Sadat. So McCarver got a lot of practice.
“I try to be understanding on the side I am now as I was on the other side, not that I was totally understanding all the time before,” he said. “I was caught in my bad moods and when I didn’t give the exact answer that the interviewer was looking for.”
McCarver has managed to coax Carlton to appear on his postgame show a couple of times, but Carlton has turned him down on more than one occasion. Outside a couple of differences of opinion with Boone, he has had no trouble, he insists, in working with the players in his new role. Now even when he’s had to be critical of them.
“I know guys aren’t trying to screw up,” he said. “I know I didn’t try to screw up when I played. But you do and I expected it to be reported when I was on the field, and I expect the players to understand that I’m going to report it when I’m up in the booth.
“I’m going to make mistakes when I’m trying to get something across. If I’m at fault, I’m a big enough man where I’ll apologize for it. If they elect to hold that against me, well, that’s their problem, and I can’t worry about that.
“With the guaranteed contracts, sure ballplayers have changed, but not between the lines. They like to win, they’re more talented nowadays than they were 20 years ago, they’re in better shape, the conditioning programs they have are much better.
“You have exceptions now, but you had exceptions then (in the past.
“A basic characteristic of our ballclub is that it is one that overtly appears unenthusiastic. However, there are more ways to perform; there is no set formula for the way you have to do it. Those championship Oakland teams destroyed all the myths.”
McCarver says he would have no problem playing for Dallas Green, who is a holler guy.
“I wasn’t the type of player who needed Dallas’ type of motivation,” he said. “I didn’t need anybody to scream at me, because I’d be screaming at myself. Larry Bowa is not the type of guy who needs Dallas Green’s type of motivation: Bob Boone doesn’t. There are a few guys who don’t, but I think a change was necessary. Things had got to a point (under Danny Ozark) where there was a laxity there that had to be changed. The troops needed to be shocked a little bit, and they got that shock with Dallas.”
McCarver, desiring to become one of only a handful of major leaguers who have played during four decades, will return to the dugout next month. He expects no animosity from the players.
“They understand my job,” he reasoned. “I’ve tried to be honest and I’ve tried to be myself. I think it’s coming across like that. I don’t like phonies and I don’t like artificial people. I like to be sincere and honest in my life, and sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fall into the pattern that everybody else does. But I can minimize it because I’m aware of it.”