Allentown Morning Call - July 13, 1980

Phillies top Bucs in 9th, 5-4


By Jack McCallum, Call Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – The way Bob Boone has been hitting most of the season, the opposition could have taken players OFF the field and still gotten him out. 


But last night Bob Boone was playing against the Pittsburgh Pirates. And when the Philadelphia Phillies play the Pirates, nothing goes according to plan. So, facing a defensive alignment of three men on the left side of second base, Boone somehow punched a ninth inning single through the overloaded side that gave the Phillies a 5-4 victory before 53.254 at Veterans Stadium, the largest National League crowd of the season. 


The victory was the ninth in the last 12 games for the Phillies, and one is beginning to suspect that the ongoing drug story was planted by the Phils' public relations department as a pull-together ploy. Pending the result of the second game of the Montreal-Chicago doubleheader. the Phillies stood to gain sole possession of first place in the Eastern Division for the first time since May 28. 


The game also marked the second time this season at the Vet that the Phils came up with a dramatic late-inning win off super-reliever Kent Tekulve. Before giving up the winning hit to Boone last night. Tekulve hadn't allowed an earned run in his last 16 appearances. 


But, with the score tied 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth. Tekulve just didn't have it. Garry Maddox led off with a bloop single, a variety of hit the Phils specialized in all night. Then Manny Trillo – threatening to play both halves of the season for the first time in his career – singled Maddox to second, his third hit of the game. He had earlier driven in the Phils' second run with a single. 


Larry Bowa then made his usual reliable sacrifice, leaving runners on second and third with one out. 


Oh, the strategic possibilities were endless. But with no time to call Gene Mauch, Pirate manager Chuck Tanner ordered right-fielder Dave Parker in to play second base and moved second baseman Phil Garner over to the left side of second. 


"I've been a manager for 18 years and I'd say I've tried it maybe 15 times," said Tanner. "I did it to (Harmon) Killebrew once (when Tanner was managing the Chicago White Sox) and he tried to go the other way with it. We got him out and he was mad. That's part of it. To try and get the guy at bat to do something different, to change the way he does things." 


And for Boone to go to right. WOULD'VE been different. He has hit the ball to the right side exactly three times in the last six weeks. 


"I was just looking for the sinker down and in." said Boone, who hit Tekulve's first pitch in the hole between the third baseman and shortstop. "Obviously, he's not going to give me a pitch out over the plate where I could go to right. I'm just fortunate to get it where I did." 


Phils' manager Dallas Green was asked his opinion of the strategy.


"It doesn't work." said Green quickly. "Mauch used to try it all the time. I've seen it six times and it hasn't worked yet. And it just isn't my kind of play." 


Green didn't get his kind of relief pitching, either. Three straight hits in the eighth inning – including a bloop single by Lonnie Smith and a bloop double by Pete Rose – had given the Phils a 4-3 lead going into the ninth, and Green figured Dickie Noles should do the rest in that situation.


But Noles hit a batter and gave up a single to Phil Garner before leaving. and the Pirates finally got the tying run on a double play ball by Manny Sanguillen with Kevin Saucier on the mound. But Saucier struck out Omar Moreno for the final out. setting the stage for Boone's game-winner.


Before that, starting pitchers Steve Carlton and Jim Bibby – arguably the best lefty and righty in baseball at the moment – threatened to send everyone home before the start of the 9 o'clock movies. 


One of Bibby's few mistakes was a hanging curve that Mike Schmidt turned into his 21st home run in the second. One of Carlton's few mistakes was having Smith in left field. 


Smith is one of the few outfielders in baseball who could substitute for the disabled Greg Luzinski and fail to bring the defensive standards up. But Smith is hitting around .390 so no one's complaining too much.


Among other defensive gaffes, in the sixth inning Smith failed to come up with the carom on Lee Lacy 's double to left, allowing Bill Madlock to score from first. That gave the Pirates a 3-2 lead. 


But. then again, it was the nearly infallible Maddox who was responsible for Pittsburgh's second run. In the fourth, after Tim Foli singled and stole second. Maddox misplayed Parker's RBI single, allowing Parker to reach second. From there, he was able to advance to third on a foul popup to Rose at first, and he scored on Garner's single. 


But last night the Phils seemed able to one-up everything. 


"They're just like they were the last four years." said Tanner. "They'll fight you to the end. And the end won't be till October." 


The Phillies placed outfielder Greg Luzinski on the 15-day disabled list yesterday with a sore right knee and reinstated relief pitcher Warren Brusstar, who had been sidelined since the start of the season with a shoulder problem. 


Paul Owens, Phillies' personnel director, announced the moves and said Luzinski's disabled date was retroactive to July 8. The slumping outfielder last played a week ago Saturday in St. Louis. He complained of a sore right knee and, on Tuesday, fluid was drained from the knee. 


Dr. Phillip Morone, Phillies' team physician, diagnosed Luzinski's ailment as traumatic synovitis an inflammation which produces the fluid. 


Luzinski was hitting .245 with 15 home runs and 42 RBI. Rookie Lonnie Smith has been Luzinski's frequent replacement in left field. Smith is hitting .389 in 38 games. Most of his turns at-bat have been as a pinch-hitter.


Brusstar. who had appeared in relief 46 times in 1977 and 58 times in 1978. made only 13 appearances a year ago because of a strained right shoulder. He began 1979 on the disabled list, was activated June 28. and on July 25 was optioned to Reading of the Eastern League. He pitched only two innings there. 


Brusstar also started the current season on the disabled list and recently was optioned to Peninsula in the Class A Carolina League to try and work out his problem. 


He was 1-1 with Peninsula in seven games, pitching a total of 13⅔ innings. He gave up 16 hits, seven runs, walked two, struck out eight and compiled a 4 50 ERA. In his last four outings, Brusstar allowed two runs in 8⅔ innings, striking out six. 


Phillies' pitching coach Herm Starrette has encouraged Brusstar to take a longer stride, which the pitcher claims takes the strain off his shoulder. Brusstar, who has been working out daily, says he now feels no pain now.

McCarver is talkative and he always has something to say


By Jack McCallum, Call Sports Writer


Tim McCarver was driving a few of his broadcast colleagues a bit over the speed limit one day recently when he was pulled over by a state trooper. 


"I wasn't going THAT fast, was I?" McCarver asked. 


"I didn't pull you over so much because you were speeding." answered the policeman. "I pulled you over because you were talking too much. " 


No one has ever doubted Tim McCarver s gift of gab, least of all Chris Wheeler. Ins sidekick on the Phillies' Prism telecasts. 


"Does Tim McCarver talk too much?"asks Wheeler with a smile: "He talks WAY too much. He talks all the time. He's always talking.


"But you know what else about Tim McCarver? He has something to say." 


Indeed he does. And James Timothy McCarver – a former catcher with the looks of a leading man and a street-smart gabber who retains a touch of his country boy Tennessee ways – is saying it to more and more people these days. 


After retiring as an active player last season, just one year short of becoming baseball's sixth four-decade player. McCarver joined the Phillies' regular broadcast team of Harry Kalas, Andy Mussar. Rich Ashburn and Wheeler. It was a job that was waiting for him since he realized broadcasting was his future... and since nearly everyone realized his native talents for doing just that. McCarver does an inning of each game for both radio and television, and he and Wheeler handle the Prism telecasts together. 


But even before McCarver stepped into the Phillies' booth, NBC was calling. Mike Weisman. the network's executive producer for sports, asked McCarver in spring training for tapes that he had done in the offseason. They liked what they saw and dispatched McCarver to Vero Beach and Cocoa Beach to do some interviews that were shown on the first NBC game of the week. They liked what they saw again and McCarver was assigned to one of NBC's alternate Saturday games – Boston at California on June 14. Another callback, another NBC game – McCarver and Bob Costas did yesterday's Houston at Cincinnati game.


Though he lost out the position as NBC's regular backup man to Ron Luciano – a former umpire who has also been known to do a little talking – many observers feel it is only a matter of time before McCarver is a network regular. 


For fans of McCarver. perhaps the most gratifying thing about his new career is that he gets the opportunity to expound on subjects other than Steve Carlton. As the press' designated spokesman for the silent lefthander. McCarver handled a difficult, and undoubtedly irritating, role with patience and aplomb. He is still quizzed constantly about Carlton but that subject was not part of a recent interview at Veterans Stadium. Some of the questions and answers have been edited for space. 


Q: Do you have any idea of how NBC feels you did on your first telecast? 


A: Well, they must've liked it or otherwise I wouldn't have been given another opportunity. I'll tell you, it's very difficult in this business to get an objective critique. Most people are inclined just to tell you that you're good instead of what's wrong. It's always. "Great, just great. I'll get back to you." As David Brenner says, it's so exciting for somebody in California to say they 'll get back to you AND THEY DO. It's an excruciating business along those lines but so far I've been pretty lucky. 


Q: Even for a person like yourself, who doesn't appear to lack self-confidence, this network thing must've happened pretty fast. Were you ready for it? 


A: Well. I didn't come in with a cocky attitude but I didn't come in with a standoffish attitude, either. I obviously thought I was cut out for this business years ago and I planned toward it. No, quite frankly I didn't expect to be doing an NBC game in June and neither did I expect to do as well as I did. I wasn't apprehensive. I said exactly what I thought. I didn't leave the'game looking back over my shoulder wondering why I didn't say this or that. It was kind of like a ballgame. you know. You're on edge – "Come on iet's get this thing started, let 's get it on" – but once it starts it comes kind of natural. 


Q: Were the things you were most apprehensive about before you went on the air the things that have proven to be the most troublesome?


A: Yeah. I guess timing was the big thing. Not overlapping the other guy. When you're working with someone new.


like I was with Bob Costas on NBC. you really have to watch him. There has to be a lot of eye contact in the booth. I think we worked together real well, though. 


When I didn't get the job Luciano got in the beginning of the season, I really don't think I was ready for it. But now l am. Two months can make a lot of difference for somebody who has worked hard. And that's one thing I've done 


Q: It seems to me that certain of the Phillies have reacted angrily to some of the most simple things you've said on the air. Is that an accurate reading of your former teammates or not? 


A: Oh, no. I don't think it is. I don't think it's even close. Part of that is that inverse relationship. They think as a former teammate how would I ever have the right to say ANYTHING that would infringe upon their sacred ground, and I just tell them. ---- ---! And that's exactly what I tell them. 


Q: You mean your relationship with the players has not changed at all? 


A: No. not one iota. Now. some of the players have reacted to some of the things I've said. I've said some things on the air about Boonie's (Bob Boone's) knee, for example. In spring training I said that it looks like Bob's favoring his knee, and the next time I saw him he said. "My knee's all right, dammit, so don't be talking about my knee on the air." And I told him I said those things out of concern. Why would I sav it out of malice? Was I trying to imply that I should still be catching? I told Bobby he knows me better than that and I think he understood. 


Then, there was another situation where I thought Boonie should've been on second after he singled and the throw went to the plate. He was a bit miffed the next day but we talked about it and there was no problem. 


A lot of the mistakes I'll make my first year will be because I don't necessarily know how to phrase what I'm trying to say. Being concise in a certain amount of time. I'm getting better at it but I'm going to make mistakes, things that don't come out like I meant them. And if upon hearing a tape I realize I made a mistake about a guy. then I'll apologize to him, just like I did when I was playing. If the guy doesn't accept it. then that's tough.


Q: How has broadcasting changed your perceptions of the game? 


A: Two ways. Number one, the game truly looks easier from upstairs. And I'm not just saying that because I used to be a player. And number two, I can't call pitches as easily as I thought I'd be able to. I'm probably better than most guys, being a former catcher, but I do get confused now and again between, say, a slider and a curve. 


Q: What do you miss and what don't you miss about playing? 


A: I really do miss being in uniform. I miss hitting in the cage. I miss the camaraderie in the clubhouse, the fellowship that does on. I don't miss catching and getting hit in the throat with a foul tip and diving after balls in the dirt and being used as a dartboard back there. 


But after all is said and done it's nice to be able to shower by yourself after 20 years. Richie (Ashburn) heard me say that and he said, "How was it?" 


Q: How hard was it for you not to go after the four-decade thing? And what options were open to you to pursue it? 


A : It was very hard. I had a chance to go with a National League club – I'd rather not say where – as a second or third catcher and a lefthanded pinch-hitter. And I turned it down because... well, because I didn't want to do it. 1 wanted to get into this business. Four decades was important to me but not to the point where I was going to jeopardize my future career. I make mistakes like everybody else but when it comes to me I don't make quite as many. 


Q: Had the situation here been different that is, if the Phillies had not wanted to bring Keith Moreland up to back up Boonie this year would you have stayed on the Phils' roster to get four decades? 


A: Yes. probably. If I had gone away from this town it wouldn't have been a prudent move on my part. There's a unique advantage in a player going right into the business in the town he played in.