Philadelphia Daily News - June 26, 1980
Another Payoff Homer!
By Lorenzo Biggs
Like the weather, the Daily News Home Run Payoff contest is hot.
I.M. Knowles of Philadelphia won $1,025 ($25 for the RBI) on Bake McBride's sixth-inning homer. Knowles is the third $1,000-plus winner in less than a week, the second in as many nights, and the second in less than a week compliments of McBride. Last Friday, his fifth-inning blast won $1,075 for Joe Mareno Sr.
Like Tuesday's winner, John Sakala, Miss Knowles' phone was off the hook before the Daily News could reach her. The reason...."My sister called," said Knowles, who, at the time, found the news incredible. "I was so excited, I couldn't believe it."
As it turned out, Knowles' sister wasn't the only one with the news. "This (Catholic) sister called and told me, too," Knowles explained. "She said she looked my number up in the phone book. I thanked her very much."
Knowles, 49, believed that her day would come along, but added, "I didn't think it was going to be my turn yet!"
Besides using part of the winnings to pay bills, Knowles would like to take "a little vacation" to Atlantic City, which seems to be a popular spot for recent payoff winners.
As for McBride, the man who made the bill paying and the little vacation possible. "I love him truly," she said.
"He's wonderful, bless his heart."
In the sixth inning of the Phillies-Expos game, winners of four tickets each to a Phillies game were: J.E. O'Rourke. of Lansdowne, John McGarrity and Rosemary Brady, both of Philadelphia.
So far the Daily News has paid out $8,675.
Today's entry coupon appears on Page 63.
Noles Drops Suspension Fight
Phillies pitcher Dickie Noles has dropped his appeal to National League President Charles Feeney and will begin his three-day suspension today.
Noles tossed a bat and helmet on the field in Los Angeles on June 17th. Feeney announced a $500 fine and three-day suspension Tuesday morning. Notes appealed through the Major League Baseball Players Association.
"I was upset when I heard about the suspension," said Noles. "But after talking to several people the last two days, I decided to drop the appeal and get the entire thing over with."
MANAGER Dallas Green said the suspension means he'll have to juggle his pitching plans for the weekend series with the New York Jets [sic].
"With the availability of Dick Ruthven still up in the air. I had penciled in Dickie and Dan Larson for Saturday night's doubleheader. explained Green. "Now. I'm hoping Ruthven will be able to go in one of those two games. If he can't we'll have to work out something else."
Green also said he was dropping the $250 fine he had levied against Noles.
"I simply feel the penalty he has received is enough. I don't condone that type of activity and he knows it."
Well Done, Bake
By Thom Greer
Eighth inning. One out. Phillies and Montreal Expos tied at one. The fleet Rodney Scott in the blocks at third base. The destructive Gary Carter wielding a utility pole at the plate.
Lord knows the Phils are hurtin' for certain.
And the worst fears of 31.416 Phillies fans at Veterans Stadium are realized when Carter crushes a sinking liner to right field. Their alarm is compounded when Bake McBride casually approaches the rapidly falling baseball.
Every suspicion that McBride may have a bit of the dog in him is surely magnified now. So what if he'd cracked the home run in the sixth inning to tie the game? Who cares if he's hitting for a healthy.307 average and has 41 RBI? The appearance was that Bake McBride was once again stiffing it in right field.
HELL, JUST FOUR innings earlier the man literally booted Warren Cromartie's routine single by permitting the ball to roll under his glove, kick off his shoe and to the wall as the Expos first baseman rumbled into third. OK, so McBride crashed into the wall as he hauled in Brad Mills' long drive on the next play. That's what he is paid to do. And Cromartie scored Montreal's only run, regardless. Why isn't McBride hustling to field Carter's fly to right?
"He timed it just right," Manager Dallas Green would explain after the Phillies fought off the Eastern Division-leading Expos to register a 2-1 win. "And even with a sore elbow (from his collision with the wall), he made a hell of a throw."
McBride wasn't dogging it. "I slowed up a step to catch the ball in stride," he said after the game. And when he caught it, he rifled a perfect throw to Bob Boone at the plate, who could have taken a coffee break before Scott came sliding in to be tagged out.
McBride's catch and powerful throw saved the game. Mike Schmidt's single that landed beyond the outstretched glove of Montreal centerfielder Andre Dawson with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th won the game. But Bake McBride saved it.
"If I'd had to make another throw like that, I couldn't have done it," McBride explained as he sat with his elbow strapped into a machine to relieve the pain and quell the swelling. "I couldn't even bend my arm up to touch my shoulder.
"BUT HEY, HOW about Bob Walk? The kid pitched one hell of a game. My error screwed it up for him. If I don't boot that ball. Walk wins the game. The kid pitched a hell of a game."
But by the same token, Bake McBride played one hell of a game, boot notwithstanding. He was on base three times, including the intentional walk offered by Stan Bahnsen in the 10th to load the bases for Schmidt's game-winning heroics, to kick his batting average up three points from.304 by game's end. His homer in the sixth tied the game. And his wall-crashing catch was nothing short of sensational.
"Yeah. I guess I'm having the best start of my career." added McBride. who has hit safely in 35 of his last 39 games. "But I don't think about it. I just go out and play the best I can every day. Whatever happens, happens.
"I guess too many other people don’t think about it (his excellent start this season) either. I guess since I always hit around.300, they just expect it of me. It (the lack of notice) bothers me to a certain degree. I'd be lying if I said it didn’t. Even in St. !.ouis. I didn't talk to the press that much. Maybe, that has a lot to do with it. I don’t know. But I cant let something like that affect my play."
Ironically. McBride never thought the ball that he laced over the right-field wall in the sixth inning to tie the game was going out. Conversely, he felt the towering shot he hit Tuesday night, that resulted in a triple after Dawson bobbled it off the center-field wall, would bounce off the scoreboard. That would have been typical of McBride 's four other home runs this year – the Phils lost the game. Last night was the first time this season he has hit a homer in a winning effort.
OF COURSE, THE win that pulled the Phils to within 1½ games of the Expos would never have been possible without the effort of the omnipresent Pete Rose.
Greg Gross, pinch-hitting for winning pitcher Ron Reed, walked to open the 10th. Third base coach Lee Elia's sign to Rose was to fake the bunt and swing away it the ball was in the strike zone, which it was not.
"I was supposed to do the same thing 'the next pitch." Rose explained, laughing a little, "but I missed the sign." Instead of squaring around to fake the bunt. Rose slid his hands down to just above the knob end of the bat. Pete Rose almost always chokes up on the bat. But this time the appearance was that he was going for the downs. He lashed into Bahnsen's fastball, cut loose viciously and pulled it wickedly into the right-field corner. By the time Roland Office fielded the ball. Rose was standing on second.
"There is no better guy to do it for you in that situation than him (Rose)." Green said. "He knows what to do with the bat. I have no qualms of letting Pete Rose do what he wants with the bat."
Expos Manager Dick Williams ordered the intentional walk to McBride. Then he drew his infield in and his outfielders a few yards behind them in an effort to make the force play at home plate. But Schmidt's ball, which Dawson may well have been able to catch (but "still would have had no play on Gross" tagging and going home), fell in for his 56th RBI of the season.
"We needed a good pitched game and a win," Green said with a sigh of relief, "and we got both."
PHILUPS: Manager Dallas Green shook up his batting order last night, moving the slumping Bob Boone (.229 average) into the eighth position and moving Manny Trillo and his .300 batting average into the five hole. "I felt the change might spur us up," Green said. "Boonie's not swinging (the bat) well and plus we were not getting much out of the bottom of the order." The move may have helped Boone, who managed a lazy single to right his first time at bat... Greg Luzinski did not dress because of a severe intestinal disorder. He is expected to be available tonight… Randy Lerch will get another opportunity to exhume himself from the 2-9 grave in which he is interred tonight when he goes against the Expos' Scott Sanderson (6-4) to close out the three-game series.
What’s in a Name? No Shame for Walk
By Thom Greer
The first two times out, it was as if the kid was hellbent to use his surname as a free ticket to the Hall of Shame. Bob Walk recorded 10 bases on balls faster than Dallas Green could flash an SOS to the bullpen.
The next three starts verified what everybody at Phillies Central knew already. Walk could throw a ripe tomato through the side of Veterans Stadium. Only problem was, he might not throw the ball until day after tomorrow. He gained two wins along the way. but those lapses into thoughtful meditation on the mound made Stepin Fetchit's stride seem like a 6o-yard dash. His slower-than-molasses pace was driving his teammates crazy. And after the youngster's dreary sleepwalk in San Diego last Thursday. Green had seen enough.
"IT WAS REALLY make or break for him tonight." the Phils manager explained last night after Walk had turned in eight excellent innings against the Montreal Expos, during which he gave up just four hits and a run. So he walked four. Who cares? "The boy needed a game like this to prove he can pitch up here (in the major leagues). San Diego (3 runs. 4 hits and 3 walks in 2⅓ innings) had me worried. If becomes back with another night like that, we had options."
Implied translation: Back to the farm for Bob Walk.
Of course. Bob Walk had made some decisions of his own about his future.
"A few times out. I've lost my composure... lost my intensity," the 23-year-old righthander was saying after the Phils nipped the Expos, 2-1, in 10 innings last night. "Tonight. I just said, ‘I’ll go out there and get ‘em.’"
Walk had no notion of Green's decision. Nevertheless, he refused to view his start last night as a pivotal effort. "I didn’t want to think about it that way because it would have put more pressure on me." he said. "I just went out there thinking this is Montreal and it's a game I have to win."
So Bob Walk pitched. No pauses. No meditation. He just pitched.
The ironic aspect of Walk's delaying strategy is that he never pitched that way in the minors. "I got up here and things went a little rocky and I started to think. "Oh. God. what do I have to do now.'" he explained. "In the minors. I was not too slow... never that much time between pitches."
THE MOST CRUCIAL situation for Walk came in the eighth inning, when Rodney Scott opened with a triple up the alley in right-center field. "A couple of starts ago, I'd have been think of trying to make the right pitch and probably would have walked (Gary) Carter." Walk said. Instead. "I didn't concede the run. but I didn't get upset about it."
So Walk grounded out Andre Dawson to third and Carter's shot to right was caught by Bake McBride, who rifled a bullet to Bob Boone at the plate to take out Scott trying to score from third.
On the night when Bob Walk may well have been a doomed man standing on the edge of the plank, he turned around and walked into the big leagues.