Allentown Morning Call - August 22, 1980

What a day for the Phils!


By Dan Shope, Call Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA - Bake McBride could only follow yesterday's show by parting the Red Sea, walking on water and burning bushes. 


It was a miracle. If you're a nonbeliever, just ask any of the 36,201 fans who attended the Businessperson's Special at Veterans Stadium. 


In the 13th inning, McBride threw his batting helmet while protesting a call. Home plate umpire Ed Vargogave McBride the thumb, tossing him out of the game. But four innings later, the very same McBride tripled in the winning run to give the Philadelphia Phillies their 22nd hit and a 9-8 victory over the San Diego Padres. 


"I had planned to go out for dinner," McBride said as he bathed happily in the accolades of the press and spoke to reporters for the first time since what seems like the dark ages. "But now I just plan to sleep." 


Vargo would have gladly given him time for dinner. But the veteran ump reversed his decision when Phils' Manager Dallas Green pointed out a new league rule, which states that a player may not be ejected from a game solely for throwing equipment. 


So McBride was still in the lineup in the bottom of the 17th inning when Mike Schmidt singled with one out. In his ninth and final trip to the plate, McBride connected on a Dennis Kinney pitch for a liner to deep right field. 


By the time game ended, nearly 5½ hours after the 12:30 p.m. start, most of the people in Vet Stadium had missed their dinner. But they'll be talking about this game for some time. 


The second longest game ( they played 20 innings against Atlanta in 1973) in stadium history began with Lonnie Smith crashing against the left-field wail in an attempt to catch a fly ball during the Padres' three-run first.


After lying on the warning track with a cut lip for nearly five minutes. Lonnie arose to hit two doubles and a single while scoring three runs in his next three at-bats.

Ump seething over a rule he doesn’t like


By Dan Shope, Call Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – An umpire is paid to enforce the rules. But that does not mean he always agrees with them. 


Yesterday 21-year veteran National League ump Ed Vargo was seething over a rule he was forced to enforce. 


If he had his way. Philadelphia Phillies' outfielder Bake McBride would have never been batting in the 17th inning, when he tripled in the winning run of the Phils' 9-8 win over the San Diego Padres.


Vargo wanted to send McBride to an early shower. But new National League rules set by President Chub Feeney said he couldn't. 


"It's a blank-blank rule, Feeney's rule, " said an angry Vargo as he dressed after the game. "He should have been out of the game. Print it." 


McBride caused the commotion in the 13th inning after he attempted to bunt, was hit by the ball and walked toward first base.


Vargo called him back, saying the ball hit the bat first. 


The Phils' rightfielder seethed, went after Vargo and slammed his batting helmet at home plate. Of course, the ump won the first argument, but not the second. 


"When he threw the helmet. I did throw him out." Vargo said. "It was a quick reaction on my part because I'm from the old school. But because of Feeney's new rule, I had to reverse myself. That's blankblank. That's embarrassing." 


And Feeney's rule states that a ballplayer cannot be ejected from a game for throwing equipment. He must be hit only with a $100 fine.


"He didn't dare curse at me (which would have cost an ejection and, ironically, only a $50 fine)," said Vargo. "There ain't no blankblank in the world who could curse at me and get away with it. 


"No way would this happen (five years ago. before the rule change t. Now they want to keep the ballplayers in the game." 


Of course, Padres' Manager Jerry Coleman sided with Vargo's first decision. 


"The ump threw him out and then changed his mind," Coleman said. "I wanted to protest, but he wouldn't allow it. He said I'd have to talk with Feeney." 


Green and McBride had a different view. 


"He put up the one finger, which is the $100 fine," said Green."Bake went back to the dugout when I told him to cool off." 


"I thought I was gone," McBride said. "Later he told me he fined me, so I went back into the dugout to get another helmet." 


Vargo believes the rule lets players get out of hand. And he wants some protection. 


"If they want to complain, let them fire every umpire and just let the ballplayers play," Vargo concluded. "Then let them see how far the game would go." 


Vargo has a point.