Allentown Morning Call - June 3, 1980
Unearned runs do in Phils, 9-3
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Rookie Vance Law, Dave Parker and winning pitcher Don Robinson drove in two runs each to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 9-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies last night.
The Phillies, who dropped three games behind first-place Pittsburgh in the National League East, held a 3-2 lead through four innings.
But the Pirates, capitalizing on two errors by Phillies third baseman Mike Schmidt, erupted for five unearned runs in the fifth off losing pitcher Randy Lerch, 1-7.
The Pirate fifth included RBI singles by Parker and Law, who also tripled in the Pirates' two-run first inning.
Schmidt muffed a grounder by Don Robinson as one run scored in the fifth. With two out, he made an errant throw past first base that allowed two runs to score.
Robinson, 2-1, allowed a two-run double by Bob Boone in the first inning and a run-scoring single by Bake McBride in the second. Robinson finished with an eight-hitter and singled home two runs in the sixth.
Bill Madlock, continuing to play while appealing his suspension for a run-in with an umpire, had a double in four appearances for the Pirates.
Due to a brawl last week between the two teams involving a hit batter, the National League warned both sides before the game that the first warning would be waived on brushback pitches and that such a pitch would bring immediate ejection. There were no incidents.
It is from these pitches that brawls are made
By John Kunda, Executive Sports Editor
Jim Honochick may not be able to recognize Boog Powell without his glasses, but the retired American League umpire still knows the difference between a beanball and a brushback pitch – with, or without, his glasses.
And with major league baseball taking on the look of the National Hockey League (at last count, there were nine fights), the difference should be defined.
It's very simple. "A beanball," says Honochick, "is a pitch that is thrown directly at the batter's head. A brushback is thrown tight, in on the hitter, from the shoulders on down."
Honochick didn't have to say that both pitches are very dangerous to a baseball player's health – to the giver as well as to the receiver. It is from these pitches that brawls are made.
That was not a beanball incident that Mike Schmidt, Bert Blyleven and Kevin Saucier were involved in the other night in Philadelphia. Saucier stuck the ball into Blyleven's ribs.
Neither was the Jim Spencer-Dave Rajsich incident. Spencer was hit on the elbow.
It doesn't really matter. Does it hurt any less (or any more) getting hit in the ribs or on the elbow? The fact is that the guy who is hit isn't about to take it lightly. Nor will his teammates.
There have been a number of theories tossed around as to why the sudden increase in brawls. Especially so early in the season. During the heat of a pennant race, you might expect a flareup or two. But in April and May?
Here's one man's four-part opinion: "One, the threatned labor strike had the players uptight earlier than usual. Two, because of their million-dollar contracts, more pitchers are aware of their performance, more hitters are aware of their health. Three, more pitchers are throwing inside. Four, it's just one of those things that will balance out as the season progresses."
The one about million-dollar contracts is interesting. It would be a shame, though, if the million-dollar pitcher was put on the disabled list because of some injury he got during a fight. The same holds true for the million-dollar hitter who gets hit by a pitched ball so severely that he's out of the lineup for an extended time.
Honochick can relate to a couple of incidents that proved costly. Oddly enough, the one incident involves a million-dollar pitcher, even though he wasn't a million-dollar pitcher when it happened.
"It involved Tommy John and Dick McAuliffe back in 1968," Honochick recalled. "I was behind the plate. John was pitching for the White Sox at the time and McAuliffe. a hot head to begin with, was playing with the Tigers.
"A pitch got away from John and sailed a good five feet over MCauliffe's head. It was so high that the catcher couldn't even get it. But McAuliffe thought John was throwing at his head. He thought it was a deliberate beanball.
"So, McAuliffe charges out to the mound. John saw him coming, so he hunched over to protect himself. In the scuffle, McAuliffe's knee caught John in the shoulder. John suffered a shoulder separation and sat out the rest of the season. And there was still about two months left in the season."
Honochick said everybody in the ballpark was stunned with McAuliffe's sudden move to the mound. "Even I was shocked," he said. "The pitch was so high it didn't come close to hitting anybody. You can usually sense these kinds of things (brushbacks as well as bean-balls). It doesn't happen without warning. But this one did."
Honochick says that while most melees develop between pitcher and hitter, there have been other incidents "when they just start fighting out in the field."
He remembered one like that involving Walt Dropo, a big man, and Enos Slaughter, a small, but gutty man. Dropo was the first baseman for the White Sox on this particular day, and Slaughter was with the Yankees.
"Slaughter was on first base," said Honochick, who was working third base at the time, "and we noticed the two exchanged some words. Then, all of a sudden, they started swinging at each other. Dropo tore the uniform right off Slaughter. Nobody got hurt, but I can still remember Slaughter going off the field with his shirt in shreds."
Baseball people agree that a brushback is part of the game. Just another move to keep the hitter guessing. Keep it close, but don't touch.
But a beanball? That's why they came up with helmets. That's a no-no, and pitchers, the million-dollar variety as well as the average variety, will find that out from time to time.
Madlock’s fate in Kuhn’s hands now – showdown with umpires likely
NEW YORK (AP) – The suspension of Pittsburgh's Bill Madlock was appealed to Commissioner Bowie Kuhn yesterday, increasing the likelihood of a showdown between the Pirates' third baseman and the major league umpires association later this week.
Less than two hours after learning that National League President Chub Feeney had upheld Madlock's original 15-day suspension and $5,000 fine, the major league players association appealed the ruling to Kuhn. Such an appeal to the commissioner is allowed under Article 10C of the major league basic agreement.
Marvin Miller, executive director of the players association, said he expected that Madlock would continue playing until Kuhn rules on the case. "I don't see how you can suspend a man while an appeal is pending," he said.
In Pittsburgh, Pirate Manager Chuck Tanner said Madlock would play last night against the Philadelphia Phillies.
"Bill Madlock and his attorney, Steve Greenberg, have appealed the decision to the commissioner, and Bill will be in the lineup tonight," said Tanner.
How quickly might Kuhn render a decision?
"I don't have any idea, but this is the direction we've decided to go," said Tanner, who already has starting shortstop Tim Foli on the 15-day disabled list.
Madlock declined comment on the matter before joining his teammates in batting practice.
But Phil Garner, the Pirate player representative, said Madlock had the right under the contract to take his appeal to Kuhn.
"It's the players association's position that Bill is free to play until Kuhn renders his decision and we know what's going to happen with the appeal," Garner said.
After the appeal arrived at Kuhn's office, the commissioner released a short statement.
"The (Pittsburgh) club has been advised that this office will stay the suspension until a decision on the appeal," Kuhn said. "A date for hearing the appeal will be determined tomorrow."
Richie Phillips, attorney for the major league umpires association, sent a telegram to Pirate Manager Chuck Tanner last weekend, threatening that Madlock would be ejected from games beginning Friday unless the suspension begins by then. The umpires association is angry over the delay in imposing the suspension and fine which resulted from Madlock's confrontation with umpire Gerry Crawford on May 1 in Pittsburgh.
Madlock and the players association immediately appealed the punishment and a hearing was held in Feeney's office a week later, on May 8. Final disposition of the case was delayed while the National League president awaited an affidavit from Madlock and a brief from the players association. Both arrived late Friday and Feeney announced his decision yesterday.
By then, though, Phillips' patience had expired and he wired Tanner, informing the manager that the umpires would impose their own suspension of Madlock in the form of ejections from games beginning Friday.
"It is unfortunate the president of the National League has precipitated this action by constantly extending the deadline for decision on Madlock's appeal," Phillips' telegram said. "There is no appeal from this decision," it concluded.
At first, it appeared that Feeney's announcement denying the appeal and imposing the suspension and fine immediately might halt any planned action by the umpires. But the appeal to Kuhn changed that.
The Pirates played last night and have games scheduled tonight and tomorrow. That means any hearing of the case by Kuhn could not come before Thursday.