Wilmington Evening Journal - July 9, 1980

NL overcomes slow start to extend AL frustration


By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor


LOS ANGELES – The beat goes on.


Despite a slow start, the National League rallied to beat the American League 4-2 in the 51st All-Star Game last night. The victory, watched by a record Dodger Stadium crowd of of 56,088 on a pleasant evening, was the ninth in a row for the National League and 17th in the last 18.


"I had confidence this line-up would come out of it all along," said Pittsburgh's Chuck Tanner, who managed the Nationals. "You just cannot hold players like this down. (Ken) Griffey got us going with that home run. It seemed to start the whole thing. Then we just went at them."


Baltimore's Earl Weaver, who directed the Americans, was discouraged he could not end his league s frustration in this summer game.


"Losing tonight is very disappointing for me, especially since I was managing the club. We went out and did everything we could to win, but just didn't score enough runs. There's not much we can do about that."


For four innings everything went smoothly for the American League. Baltimore's Steve Stone and New York's Tommy John set the Nationals down in order while the Americans built up a 2-0 lead. But in the bottom of the fifth, Griffey hit a home run off John to put the Nationals in gear.


Griffey, who also singled in the seventh inning, was later named the game's most valuable player.


Los Angeles' Jerry Reuss, the third National League pitcher, gained the victory. John, who yielded two more runs in the sixth, suffered the loss. Chicago's Bruce Sutter, who choked off the Americans in the last two innings, gained a save.


Weaver allowed John to continue in the sixth inning, although the National League had all right-handed hitters coming up.


"John usually pitches against right-handed hitters in the American League and does very well," said Weaver. "I thought he was throwing the ball very well and I thought he would get them out.”


Two errors by New York's Willie Randolph at second base proved costly for the Americans, especially on Dave Winfield's bouncer that allowed the go-ahead run to score in the sixth.


"Winfield's ball was a difficult play," said Weaver. "If Willie makes it, it's the play of the game and may turn thins around. As it turned out, we didn't make the big play tonight and that made a difference in the outcome."


When Sutter came into the National League clubhouse, Reuss congratulated him, thanking him for the save. Then Sutter handed Reuss the game ball.


"You saved it, you keep it," Reuss said.


"You won it, you keep it," Sutter replied, making Reuss keep the ball. Reuss then asked Sutter to autograph it for him.


"I'm supposed to come in with a lead and hold it," Reuss said, referring to his victory. "That's the way it's supposed to work. It was an honor to be here and to play with these guys. It was just an honor to be on the same field with them."


For the first time since Detroit's Denny McLain did it in 1966, Stone put the Nationals down in order in the first three innings, using only 24 pitches.


"I've always been tough in All-Star Games," kidded Stone. "In 1965, I pitched in the Ohio High School All-Star Game and was the winning pitcher. I just couldn't look at the National League lineup as a group. If I had done that, it would have seemed too big a task. One by one, I was able to handle nine guys.”


The Dodgers' Bob Welch took over for starter J.R. Richard of Houston in the third and worked out of two on, two-out trouble. Welch put the American League down in order in the fourth, but in the fifth, with two out, California's Rod Carew singled to right and Boston's Fred Lynn blasted a two-run homer to the seats just inside the right-field foul pole. The homer was Lynn's third in All-Star competition. Only Stan Muslal with six and Ted Williams with four have hit more.


"I hadn't played in five days because of a hamstring pull," said Lynn. "I hit a fastball for the homer. Welch struck me out on a fastball the first time up. It seems like everytime I get a hit in the All-Star Game, it's a home run. I hit one in the first inning last year in Seattle. Richard is the hardest thrower I've seen all year, but he was up high with most of his pitches."


"My arm felt great," said Richard, who threw 32 pitches in two innings. "I felt no fatigue or tiredness. I feel like I could have gone back out there in the third, but I only work here. I was hyperactive for the game; I was rushing my pitches, trying to do too much, that's why I was wild. I was nervous all day."


"It's a lot easier to catch J R. than to hit him," said catcher Johnny Bench. "You know what's coming. He was fired up and throw ing hard. He didn't have the control of his fastball, so he threw a lot of sliders."


Former Dodger John put the Nationals down in order in the fourth and got the first two outs in the fifth before Griffey blasted a 1-2 pjtch to the pavilion in right-center.


The Nationals wiped out the American League lead with two runs off John in the sixth.


With one down, the Reds' Ray Knight singled to left and stopped at second on Phil Garner's single off Randolph's glove at second. The Cardinals' George Hendrick ripped a single to center, with Knight easily scoring. John was then replaced by the Chicago White Sox' Ed Farmer. Randolph's error on Dave Winfield's grounder let Garner come in from second with the third run. After the Cards' Keith Hernandez beat out an infield single, the Phillies' Pete Rose was sent up and bounced into an inning-ending doubleplay.


The Nationals upped their lead to 4-2 off Toronto's Dave Steib in the seventh. Griffey singled to right, but was forced at second by the Reds' Dave Concepcion. With Montreal's Gary Carter batting, Concepcion raced to second on a wild pitch, took third on a passed ball and scored on another wild pitch.

Grifffey wakes up National League


By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor


LOS ANGELES – The sleeping giant just sat there, yawning at every pitch.


Three up and three down. Three up and three down. Three up and three down.


Two up and two down, then...


Heck, for the National League last night it looked like a Sominex commercial.


Ken Griffey had been sitting on the padded bench yawning lust like all the other National Leaguers. When be was sent to left field to replace Dave Kingman to start the fourth inning, Griffey began to get the cobwebs out of his thinking.


So, in the bottom of the fourth inning, with a record Dodger Stadium audience of 56,014 having its own problem staying awake, Griffey woke up the whole mob with one swing of his bat.


The Cincinnati outfielder sent a Tommy John 1-2 fastball screaming to the pavilion in right-center and the American League was on the run.


The National League went on to win the 51st All-Star Game 4-2 and Griffey, who woke up the sleeping giant, was named the game's most valuable player.


"With this talent we have, I knew sooner or later we'd come to life," said Griffey in his soft spoken voice. "We have a lot of pride. The National League is always supposed to win these games, so I figured it was about time to get things going.


"Griffey's home run obviously woke them up," said Baltimore's feisty Earl Weaver, the American League skipper. "That turned the whole thing around in some respects."


Weaver left John in during the sixth inning and the former Dodger left-hander gave up two more runs and was to take the loss.


"Even after he gave up the home run, I thought Tommy was still throwing well," said Weaver. "That's why I sent him back out there in the sixth."


"I used to always have good success against John when he was in the National League, said Griffey, who is hitting .314 with seven homers and 48 runs batted in for the Reds so far this season. "The moment I hit the ball, I knew it was gone. Even though I'm a left-hander, I have gotten some good swings at John."


Despite those credentials, Griffey finished 14th among 16 outfielders in the fans' voting. As a comparison, Pittsburgh's Dave Parker received 2,896,643 votes to Griffey's 886,491.


"But he was on my team no matter what," said the Pirates' Chuck Tanner, National League manager. "I've seen Ken Griffey win so many fames with just one swing of the bat and tonight I think be really brought us to life. I'm not saying we would not have won had he not homered, but there's nothing like a home run to get you going after the first 14 batters have gone down in order.”


For Griffey, the All-Star Game was his third. He was on his way to one of his finest seasons last year when he was forced to have knee surgery in August. He did not play again last season, ending with a .316 average.


Then, during the off-season, be was involved in a contract hassle with the Reds' front office. During spring training it appeared certain he would be traded, but just when it looked like there was no way to settle the impasse, the Reds' signed him to a multi-year contract.


"There was a time when I didn't think I would be with Cincinnati this year," said Griffey, who had just one single in his only other All-Star at-bat before this year. "Once we came to terms, it was a load off my back. It would have been difficult to start the season not knowing how long I would be there."


The 30-year-old Griffey, who comes from Stan Musial's hometown of Donora, Pa., has a .388 batting average in the National League playoffs and his .310 career batting average placed him fifth among all major-league hitters in the previous decade.


"I guess I'm a genius," said Tanner in the crowded clubhouse. "It has to be a stroke of genius to insert a player in the game at just the right time.”


Griffey's Cincinnati teammate, Ray Knight, who was ia the middle of the National League’s two-run rally off John in the sixth, said Grlffeys fourth-inning heroics are typical.


"Ho deserved to bo MVP," laid Knight "I've seen him do things like this time and time again for the Reds. We knew we had too many good players to not be hitting. It was only a matter of time for us. When Griffey hit the home ran, it seemed to pick us ap on the beach. I was just proud to be here and proud that Griffey got that home run. It turned us on.


Griffey is the third member of the Reds to be named MVP and only the third non-starter to get the award. Joe Morgan (1972) and George Foster (1976) are the other Reds.


“Funny thing," said Griffey. "George Foster called me before the game. He's a former MVP, you know, and he wished me luck. I kept thinking about that. Winning it is a wonderful feeling right now. I wasn't sure I would get MVP. Sure, I thought about it, tut the big thing was I waited to get out of the game with the win."


Griffey says in his mind the victory was typically National League.


"Well, tonight we just played a solid game and took advantage of their mistakes. We have a great team and lots of depth. I figured John would come inside with a fastball and that's just what he did."


Griffey was slowly putting his equipment la a bag when somebody asked him what he was going to do.


"Well, I'm going to celebrate a little, then get some sleep."


Sleep? That's what the. National League did for half the game last night.


"Yeah, but we woke up," said Griffey.


"That's right," some guy said. "And you were the alarm clock!"

Rose and Schmidt deny pill report


Associated Press


LOS ANGELES – Philadelphia Phillies stars Pete Rose and Mike Schmidt denied published reports that they illegally obtained amphetamines, with Schmidt labeling the the allegations "totally ridiculous."


Rose, in an interview shortly before the start of the All-Star Game last night, denied a report published by the Trenton (N.J ) Times that he and several teammates may have received illicit drugs from a Reading, Pa., physician.


"I don't know anybody in Trenton," the first baseman said. "I don't know anybody in Reading. I don't even know any doctors in Pennsylvania, the whole state."


Schmidt, also here for the All-Star Game, said, "I have no comment whatsoever about that. I have no idea about it."


Dick Weatherbee, Drug Law Enforcement director in Harrisburg, Pa., refused to confirm or deny the report that Rose, Schmidt, Greg Luzinski, and Larry Bows were among eight professional athletes who state narcotics agents want to question.


Of the players named, all but Rose played for the Phillies' Reading farm team of the Eastern League. The Trenton Times, quoting unnamed sources, did not identify the other four players.


Narcotics officials also plan to question members of the Phillies' minor-league franchise in Reading about alleged improper drug receipts, according to a source in Reading.


Dr. Phillip J. Marone. the Phillies team physician, told the Philadelphia Bulletin yesterday: "To my knowledge, they (the Phillies) do not take this medicine.


"We do not have them (amphetamines) around," he said. "I have never given them to the players, and I have no knowledge of this report at all."


Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn told the Philadelphia Inquirer his security people had been notified of the allegations.


No criminal charges have been filed against players, or against the doctor and a "runner" who allegedly distributed the medication for him.


The doctor allegedly dispensed prescriptions without the state-required physical or oral examinations, the sources said. ' The names of several Phillies players and their wives appeared on the doctor's records, according to law-enforcement sources.


Phillies owner Ruly Carpenter described to the Courier-Post of Camden, N.J., the ball club's position on drug use:


"Our policy has always been to urge the players to be extremely careful in the use of any kind of drug, be Mid. "Our team doctor, Dr. Marone, has spoken to the players on numerous occasions cautioning the athletes about (the dangers and effects of) drugs.


"The trainers have been instructed not to dispense any kind of drug without specific instructions and a prescription from the doctor. We take every precaution we can, but we can't control what happens after the players leave the clubhouse."

Players Association picks Boone, Bando


Associated Press


LOS ANGELES - The Major League Baseball Players Association has named Bob Boone of the Phillies and Sal Bando of the Milwaukee Brewers as its representatives to a four-man committee, which will study compensation for free-agent players who sign with other teams.