Los Angeles Times - August 30, 1980

Editorial:  Threat Is Off Base


It was a classic case of baseball at its worst. Philadelphia pitcher Tug McGraw, furious because a Dodger being intentionally walked reached out and hit a single, hit the next batter, Bill Russell, with a pitch deliberately, it appeared. Russell charged McGraw and soon several players were rolling in the dirt.


The umpires ejected Russell and his irate manager, Tom Lasorda, who got what they deserved, but blew it by not bouncing McGraw. But that's another story.


Sadly, these ridiculous rituals are common and we have deplored them as childish, dangerous and worse. We have urged the owners to toughen penalties to deter them. We have criticized umpires for not enforcing the rules they have. McGraw should have been warned after his first pitch almost struck Russell.


And now we find new grounds for complaint:


The Dodgers' Davey Lopes said, "There will be a day when McGraw hits and his ass is dead. His day will come. I don't care if it takes eight years."


Lopes didn't say whether he personally will take care of McGraw or ask a pitcher to throw at him. Although Lopes' macho spirit may be applauded by some, there is no room in sports for his inflammatory remarks.