Reading Eagle - August 9, 1980

Alexander A Showman


PITTSBURGH (AP) – Matt “The Scatt” Alexander said it was just showmanship.


But the Philadelphia Phillies didn’t applaud after the Pittsburgh pinch-running specialist danced backwards across the plate with the winning run in the Pirates’ 6-5 victory Friday night.


“I don’t think it was very professional,” said Philadelphia Manager Dallas Green.


“I don’t have any comment on it,” said Phillie catcher Bob Boone, who glared at Alexander.


Alexander, who has done the same on other occasions, skipped backwards the last few feet to the plate as he scored in the eighth inning off Lee Lacy’s deep sacrifice fly off losing reliever Tug McGraw, 0-4.


“If I had tripped or gotten out, they would have laughed,” Alexander said after the Pirates’ fourth straight win moved them within a game of first-place Montreal in the National League East.


“But since I scored, they are mad. That’s the way the game should be played. It should be relaxed and fun, not all serious.”


The Phillies didn’t take it that way.


“He (Alexander) seems to think he has to do those things to be part of the team,” Green said. “I wonder what they would feel like should somebody do that to them.”


Had Boone ever seen such a thing? “It’s not the kind of thing I file in my memory bank,” he said.


Pirate Manager Chuck Tanner said, “I’m glad to see him touch the plate. I don’t care how he does it… All I know is Matt has helped up win five games this year and tie a few others.”


Alexander noted that Philadelphia’s Pete Rose likes to spike the ball into the turf at first base after the third out.


“That’s something he does, and this is something I do,” said Alexander.


With the score 5-5, Mike Easler led off the eighth with a double, and Bill Madlock was walked intentionally. After Ed Ott sacrificed, Phil Garner was given an intentional pass to load the bases. Lacy batted for winning pitcher Kent Tekulve and flied to center to score Alexander.

The Baron’s Corner: Curfew, DH on National League Agenda


“Now batting for the Phillies, designated hitter…”


Pardon me, can you run that by me again… a designated hitter for the Phillies?


Major League baseball owners will be convening in Detroit later this month for the annual summer baseball meetings. In addition to joint meetings, there will also be separate confabs for each league.


There are a couple of interesting items on the National League agenda. One is the designated hitter and the other is a curfew for raid delayed games.


The American League has been using a designated hitter since 1973. The senior circuit has always been against it. Several times the subject has come up at these summer meetings only to have N.L. owners vote the same way – no designated hitter!


“Three or four years ago, we put the subject on the agenda because of selfish reasons,” revealed Phillies president Ruly Carpenter. “We had guys like Jerry Martin, Dave Johnson and Jay Johnstone sitting around.


“It was defeated, 10-2. Houston was the only other club voting for it.


Closer This Time


Rumors around the league indicate it is going to be much closer.


“All it takes is a simple majority, a 7-5 count,” added Carpenter.


What are his feelings on the DH?


“Well, I’m really caught in the middle this time. There are a lot of ‘pros’ and a lot of ‘cons,’” continued Ruly. “I’m going into that meeting with a neutral attitude. It’s my guess that clubs will vote according to their current situation and make-up.”


St. Louis has suggested the topic, officially stating action on the designated hitter as a “permanent rule” in the N.L.


Carpenter sees another debate right there.


“The word permanent will be argued, I’m sure. I foresee discussion on making the DH an experimental rule,” he added.


There are plenty of arguments for and against the DH… more offense, greater attendance, takes away strategy, keeps one-dimensional players in the game, baseball is a game for offensive and defensive players, one dimensional players shouldn’t be in the game… are just a few comments.


As far as more offense, the N.L. averaged 8.43 runs per games while the A.L. was 9.34. Average attendance per game: N.L. 21,180; A.L. 19,850.


Curfew Proposed


The discussion on a curfew centers around a 12:45 a.m. cutoff point.


Any game in progress at that time which is being delayed by rain, will be ruled a suspended game and completed the next time the two clubs meet. That’s providing the game has gone at least 5 innings or a legal game.


“That’s the proposal right now,” explained Executive Vice President Bill Giles. “I’m not sure if the 12:45 time is the right thing. We’ve been tossing around a proposal where a game halted by rain five hours after the start, would be considered suspended.

Normally, not much substance comes out of the summer baseball meetings. This year it could be an exception.


Circling the Bases


Now’s the time of the year contending clubs beef up their rosters for the September drive… Reggie Jackson has 13 straight years of 20 or more homers, a streak accomplished only by Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Eddie Mathews, Willie Stargell and Billy Williams… St. Louis owner Gussie Busch Jr. has recommended a change in the All-Star voting. “Allocate the same number of ballots for every major league city.”… Roger Freed, let go last month by Phils’ Oklahoma City farm club, has been signed by Blue Jays’ Syracuse team… Ex-Phil Jim Morrison has been making so many errors he’s hung an “E-4” sign on top of his locker, a reminder to himself that most of the errors were “stupid”… Another ex-Phil Denny Doyle is now running a baseball school in Winter Haven, Fla.