Camden Courier-Post - July 8, 1980
Weaver: AL All-Star win isn’t contents of a dream
By Hal Bodley, Gannett News Service
LOS ANGELES – Baseball's 51st All-Star Game has gone Hollywood.
It will be played tonight in this land of make believe, a sprawling city of people, freeways, smog – and dreams.
And it is the beleaguered American League that is going heavy on the latter. These junior circuit All-Stars, you see, are dreaming of snapping the National League's eight-game winning streak.
"DREAMING MY foot," snapped Baltimore's Earl Weaver, the American League skipper, during yesterday's workout at Dodger Stadium. "It's about time we put a stop to that streak. We're going right at em."
Despite all the propaganda, defeating the National League will not be that easy. It has momentum, having won 16 of the last 17 and 27 of the last 33 games.
And to make matters worse, Weaver will be without three of his starters as chosen by the controversial vote of the fans. Milwaukee's Paul Molitor (.358), Kansas City's George Brett (.337) and Boston's Jim Rice (.261) had to scratch because of injuries.
Only the Phillies' Mike Schmidt, who is suffering from a hamstring pull, will not make the starting gate for the Nationals in the game which is scheduled to get under way at 8:40 p.m. (Channel 6)
WEAVER SELECTED right-hander Steve Stone, a 12-game winner for the Baltimore Orioles, to start for the American League.
Pittsburgh Manager Chuck Tanner, who is handling the National League All-Stars for the first time, will go with the flame-throwing right-hander J.R. Richard (10-4) of Houston. The pitchers cannot work more than three innings.
Weaver, in announcing his batting order, said that New York's Willie Randolph (.287) will lead off and play second base, followed by California's Rod Carew (.337), first base; Boston's Fred Lynn (.311), center field; New York's Reggie Jackson (.289), right field; Milwaukee's Ben Oglivie (.320), left field; Boston's Carlton Fisk (.300), catcher, New York's Craig Nettles (.246), third base, and Stone.
Tanner's batting order has the Dodgers' Davey Lopes (.236) leading off and playing second base. After him comes Los Angeles' Reggie Smith (.328), right field; Pittsburgh's Dave Parker (.286), center field; Los Angeles' Steve Garvey (.291), first base; Cincinnati's Johnny Bench (.280), catcher, Chicago's Dave Kingman (.264), left field; St. Louis' Ken Reitz (.282), third base; Los Angeles' Bill Russell (.291), shortstop, and Richard.
THE GAME will start at 5:40 here, a time of the day when late-afternoon shadows at Dodger Stadium make it difficult for hitters to pick up the ball.
"I'm not even thinking about that," said Richard, who is one of the hardest throwers in the majors. "I just approach every start the same way. I can't think about the stadium or about the conditions. It is a big thrill for me to be here and all I want to do is help win it for the National League.
"There have been times when I have thought about what it might be like to pitch against American Leaguers. I even wondered what it might be like to be in that league. Now, l am going to get my chance to pitch against those guys sooner than I thought I would."
Tanner said he originally planned to start the Phillies' Steve Carlton, whose 14-4 record is best in the majors.
"BUT STEVE pitched on Sunday in St Louis, so I can't start him," said Tanner.
Throughout the day – at a morning press conference, followed by the workouts – the players and managers were grilled as to why the National League has been so superior.
"I think it is because the National League has better ball players and has been more consistent," said Richard, who broke up a group of reporters when he said he knew "very little about the American Leaguers and I'm just going out there and play it by ear."
"This may sound silly," said Pittsburgh reliver Kent Tekulve, "but I think the artificial surfaces in the National League has helped.
"WHEN MOST of the National League parks put in artificial surfaces, the teams began to go for more speed. They take advantage of' the surface. The American League has not caught up in that area.”
Tekulve's reasoning may be sound, but when you look down the rosters of both teams this year, many of the speedsters are not playing.
"I think defense has been the key," said Tanner. "Over the years, the National League has made some brilliant defensive plays in these games and I think you'll see some great ones tomorrow night."
"I remember when Warren Giles (former National League president) used to come into our dressing room and get us fired up," said Pete Rose, who is an All-Star for the 15th time. "Winning the game was very important to him and he got that across to the players. Watch our bench tomorrow night. Just look at the spirit. I think that is one of the keys."
"WE'RE NOT making any excuses," said Lee McPhail, American League president. "I am advising Earl Weaver that we're here to win. If it means somebody doesn't get to play, they can complain to the league office. It won't be Earl's fault. We want to get everyone into the game if we can, but in view of our record, if we have to do something other than to play everybody, we'll do it."
"No, I don't look at this as a pressure thing," said Weaver, who managed the American Leaguers in 1970, 1971 and 1972. "Were all here for a good time, but once the game starts these athletes are going to play to win. Anybody in competitive sports will do that every time."
The last time the American League won was in Detroit in 1971.
This is the third time the Dodgers have hosted the All-Star Game, but the first time it has been in Dodger Stadium. The first was at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn in 1949 and the second at the Coliseum here.
Report says players ratify agreement
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Major league baseball players overwhelmingly ratified the new basic agreement and benefit plan, the New York Times reported today.
According to Players Association Executive Director Marvin Miller, the vote in favor of the Basic Agreement was 619-22. Miller was quoted by the Times as saying the tally did not include the vote of the Cincinnati Reds, whose player representative, Bill Bonham, did not attend the association's executive board meeting yesterday.
The Times reported that Minnesota was the only team to turn down the Basic Agreement, rejecting it by a 17-9 margin. The Twins' player representative, Mike Marshall, was recently released by the club.
The Twins also cast the only 11 "no" votes on the benefit plan, which was passed by a 749-11 margin.
The Times said the executive board also elected the association's two members and two alternates to the joint player-owner committee that will study free agent compensation. The two members are Sal Bando of the Milwaukee Brewers and Bob Boone of the Phillies. Elliott Maddox of the New York Mets and Scott McGregor of Baltimore will be the alternates. The elections are subject to the approval of major league players.