Camden Courier-Post - July 24, 1980
Reds make it a 3-game sweep
By Ray Finocchiaro, Gannett News Service
CINCINNATI – Someday the Phillies will find the key to winning a series from the Reds at Riverfront Stadium. It may not come in this century, but it's inevitable.
Despite Mike Schmidt's record-tying home run, Cincinnati made it a three-game sweep of the Phils last night, winning 7-3 behind rookie Bruce Berenyi and reliever Tom Hume, that ran the Reds' record here against the Phils to 5-1 this season and 31-8 since the middle of the 1974 season.
THE PHILLIES now have lost six straight games and staggered back from a 3-7 road trip. It had been 3-1 before a doubleheader loss in Atlanta started the whirlpool of blow-the-lead losses.
Manager Dallas Green, who reread the riot act to the team after Tuesday night's loss behind Steve Carlton, didn't know what to say after last night's outing.
"You'll have to write what you saw," Green told a troop of writers. "I'm running out of things to say."
Green admitted he didn't know what to do next to turn things around.
"IF I KNEW, I'd have done it," he shrugged. "Sometimes it takes a little patience. I KNOW we're not as bad as we've played the last 10 days."
Green said he had no clue that a six-game losing streak was in the cards after the Phils won two in Houston and beat longtime nemesis Phil Niekro in Atlanta.
"There was no indication that we'd get absolutely nothing the rest of the way," Green said. "After beating those first few guys, you'd have to say that we'd roll over those other guys."
Green hopes today's off day will cure a few psyches and rest a few bones.
"AFTER A disaster like this, an off day will certainly help," said the manager, "Get things together, relax a little bit. It may be just the ticket."
Or else Green may have to consult Roget's Thesaurus.
The Phillies had Berenyi in trouble in the first inning, loading the bases but managing no runs.
Lonnie Smith, lugging a one-for-14 collar, opened the game with a single to right and went to second when Pete Rose waited out a walk.
THE RUNNERS held when Bake McBride flied out to left, which cost the Phils a run when Schmidt flied to the wall in right.
Instead of a sacrifice fly, Schmidt was only able to move the fleet Smith to third.
Greg Gross, playing center for the resting Garry Maddox, walked to load the bases but Berenyi caught Manny Trillo, the league's leading hitter, looking at a third strike.
"We had some chances to score," said Green, "But all those things are magnified when you're not hitting."
The Reds went ahead 1-0 in the second when George Foster one-hopped a ground-rule double over the wall in right center and moved to third on Dan Driesen's single to right. Foster scored as Ray Knight grounded into a double play.
BUT SCHMIDT put the Phils ahead, 2-1, in the third with his shot over the centerfield wall. In addition to tying Del Ennis for the club's all-time lead with his 259th career homer, it also was his 15th homer at Riverfront Stadium. Whether it atoned for Schmidt's lackluster play in Tuesday night's game, which included a crucial throwing error and an 0-for-four that stranded five baserunners, is moot.
"Schmitty gave us an encouraging sign," said Green. "He was swinging the bat pretty good tonight."
Larry Bowa's second single, Nino Espinosa's second sacrifice bunt and Driessen's ensuing throwing error set up the Phils' third run, which scored on Smith's doubleplay grounder.
ESPINOSA BURIED himself in the fourth, walking Foster, Driessen and Knight and watching all three of them score as the Reds regained the lead.
Catcher Joe Nolan, an Atlanta castoff who was three-for-five against Espinosa last season, doubled home the tying runs and Junior Kennedy scored Knight with a sacrifice fly.
Warren Brusstar relieved Espinosa in the seventh and ran into immediate trouble. After walking Kennedy, Brusstar watched Berenyi drop a sacrifice bunt down the third-base line.
But Schmidt elected to throw to second base for the force and threw late. Bowa's relay to first also was late, putting two men on base.
"I DON'T KNOW if Boonie told him to throw to second," said Green between bites of spare ribs, "I couldn't hear it."
The Phils unsuccessfully tried four times to pick off Kennedy at second on the rotation play before Brusstar retired the next two batters on fly balls to left.
But just when there was some light at the end of the tunnel. Ken Griffey hit a gapper to left center that scored both runners and made it 6-3.
Game, set and match to the Reds.
PHIL UPS – Bake McBride's 12-game hitting streak was snapped, but Bowa has hit in seven straight... Winner Berenyi, called up from Indianapolis on July 4, is the nephew of former major-leaguer Ned Garver, for those interested in family trees... The Atlanta Braves, who won three of four from the Phils last weekend, arrive at the Vet for four this weekend, starting with tomorrow night's 5:35 doubleheader... Dick Ruthven and Dan Larson will pitch against Atlanta's Larry McWilliams and Tommy Boggs.
A future full of what Phillies threw away
By Ray W. Kelly of the Courier-Post
PHILADELPHIA – It's sad to think that in a year or two, the current Phillies team will be no more. And, all that will remain of this marvelously talented group of athletes will be a legacy of what might have been.
A trip to the playoffs this season could change all that, of course. When you finish first, all sins are forgiven, shortcomings are overlooked and love abounds.
But, so far the club has demonstrated that it would prefer to continue wrapping itself in righteous indignation and risk failure, rather than give in to the attitudes and emotions that once made them so vulnerable and so successful.
Owner Ruly Carpenter and general manager Paul Owens put together a "dream team," only to discover to their utter frustration that, at times, winning in the clubhouse has been as important to the players as winning on the field.
If one athlete isn't battling Carpenter over money, another is having a showdown with manager Dallas Green over practice procedures. When a war isn't being waged with the press, a verbal struggle with umpires or fans is taking place.
Not that internal strife always breeds defeatism. Championship teams in Oakland and New York proved that guys don't even have to like each other to make it to the top.
The difference, however, is that both those clubs were able to forget and forgive their troubles once they took the field. They had problems, but they also had enthusiasm. They had fights, but they also had fun.
It was that way with the Philly teams that almost made it to the World Series under Danny Ozark. They had all kinds of problems, but were somehow able to shake them off and return to the ballpark the following day eager to make things better for themselves and those around them.
They weren't as talented as the current club. Nor were they coached as well. They were, however, hungry to prove themselves, eager to please and far less self-centered.
Perhaps some players have simply been around so long that they now have a headful of past grievances and unhappy experiences. Third baseman Mike Schmidt's favorite saying used to be, "turn the page... forget it." Surely it was the best advice anyone in that clubhouse ever uttered.
You get the feeling nowadays that most guys are keeping a running tally of their own personal grievances, whether it be a story someone wrote about them, the spot Green has placed them in the batting order or a rumor that Owens bad tried to trade them during the winter.
Sure they've been victimized, belittled, blamed unjustly, treated unfairly, talked about, persecuted, ridiculed, lied to, slandered, ignored and misunderstood. But, who the bell hasn't in this world?
Why act like this is the most miserable time of their lives when it should be the most glorious?
This one hides, that one sulks, another undercuts the manager while across the room, another teammate delights in a lockerroom that needs a few belly-laughs almost as much as it needs a leader to step up and tell them all that giving their great talent to the common cause isn't the end of their obligation. It's only the down payment.
The team that once rallied around a cute, little slogan like, "Yes We Can," has become too dignified, too mature and too established for such nonsense. Now, too many of the players concentrate on the big things, like how everything and everybody affects them personally.
They grumble about the manager, hate the press, barely tolerate the fans and lack so much affection for one another that the clubhouse has the feel of a funeral after victories. Too bad Owens can't make a trade for a little more caring and sharing.
It's disheartening to think what it is going to be like a few seasons from now, when a number of the players look back on their days witti the Phillies.
Some will be playing for bad organizations with nitwit managers, second-class accommodations and last-place talent. Others will be out of baseball wishing it hadn't ended. And all of them will realize that they allowed the grandest of opportunities to pass them by. They will be the real losers.