Escondido Times-Advocate - August 21, 1980

Jerry has a hard time winning


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – San Diego manager Jerry Coleman tried to be kind to his team – but he’s so used to losing he found it difficult.


Colemans words, however, wound up in a morass of cliches. A realist, he simply accepted the fact his team ended an eight-game losing streak by the Philadelphia Phillies losing, rather than his team winning.


Any way you slice it the Padres rallied from a five-run deficit in the first inning to win, 7-5, and spoil the Phillies chances of further tightening the National League East Division race.


Coleman’s lines went like this:


“It was like playing tennis. If you keep the ball in play long enough he’ll (the opponent) beat himself.”


He referred to the fact the Phillies made four errors and contributed four unearned runs to the San Diego cause.


Maybe the negative attitude is engendered by a team that had lost 11 of 12 and 16 of 23. Victory sometimes is hard to accept.


Then, Coleman referred to the ninth inning, when pinch-hitter Greg Gross opened with a single, and pinch-hitter Del Unser hit one high on the center-field fence that missed a game-tying home run by inches.


“How much did that Unser wall miss by, four inches?” Coleman asked.


“They go out there every day to win. We don’t often do it. I’ll wager we’ve lost more frustrating games than any team in the National League.”