Allentown Morning Call - August 26, 1980

It was a wild 9th – the Phils lost


By Ted Meixell, Call Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – When the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Phillies began their three-game series last night before 34.267 at The Vet, it was a meeting between two teams in interestingly similar situations. 


The Phils were in third place in National League East – 3½ games in arrears of the Pittsburgh Pirates; the Dodgers were second in the West – three back of the Houston Astros. 


By the time they'd treated those assembled to a highly unusual – and entertaining – ninth inning, it was obvious the Dodgers were no worse off and the Phils no better. 


Los Angeles broke away from a 4-4 tie in the top of the inning to score four times en route to an 8-4 victory but the manner in which it was accomplished was far more noteworthy than the mundane arithmetic. 


Oh, yes, there was routine activity, such as a leadoff walk to Davey Lopes and run-scoring doubles by Dusty Baker and Ron Cey. But there was also a touch of craziness. 




●  A very questionable ruling by the official scorer, who awarded Rudy Law a hit when Bob Boone's throw on his attempted sacrifice hit him in the back and allowed Lopes to reach third. 


●  Baker getting caught rounding second too far after his double. Law, on first, got a late start, and Baker was astounded to find him still standing at third. 


●  Dallas Green, after first bringing Tug McGraw in to relieve loser Dickie Noles after Lopes' walk, being ordered by the umpires to send McGraw back to the bullpen and bring in Warren Brusstar – the guy the umps claim Green signaled for in the first place. After a mild dispute, Green complied – and Brusstar promptly served up the doubles to Baker and Cey around an intentional walk to Steve Garvey. That made it 6-4, Dodgers. 


●  And then, the coup de grace: With McGraw now on the mound and Joe Ferguson at the plate pinch-hitting for Rick Monday, the "Tugger" began to walk Ferguson intentionally. Ferguson, however, was having none of that... so he reached out and swatted McGraw's first wide one on a line into right field to drive in Cey and Garvey with two insurance runs.


McGraw wasn't amused, though, and he responded by aiming four straight pitches at Bill Kussell s body. The fourth one found the mark – and the normally mild-mannered Russell charged the mound to chastise the Phils' ace reliever. 


He launched a right that would not scare Larry Holmes into retirement before being hogtied from behind by Phils' catcher Bob Boone. But the damage was done, and when Baker tackled McGraw ala Mean Joe Greene, both benches emptied. Most notable by his presence was Noles, who joined the fray while bare from the waist up.


When the dust cleared. Russell was ejected and McGraw was fined $50, although he was allowed to remain in the game. 


This solution failed to satisfy Dodgers' manager Tommy Lasorda, who ranted and raved at second base ump John McSherry long and loud enough to earn his own early exit. Before leaving, however, he slammed his hat to the ground and made one menacing move at McSherry… he started a left hook, but thought better of it in mid-swing. 


Not surprisingly, Lasorda had much to say on the subject. " A brushback... now that's a different goddamn thing. But he (McGraw) bleeping threw at him four times. What if he'd hit him in the eye and blind him? He was just taking it out on Billy for what Joe ( Ferguson ) did.


"Hell, Billy's played for me nine years and I never saw him do that. Hey, I knew Billy had to go, but I was just trying to tell McSherry McGraw should go too." 


When asked what he said to the arbiter, Lasorda said, "I just argued with him. Hell, McGraw can take the bleeping $50 out of his kids' piggy bank." 


"It was quite obvious he was throwing at me," a subdued Russell added. 


"It's the first time I've ever done something like that. Heck, it's the first game I've ever been thrown out of."