Philadelphia Inquirer - June 8, 1980

Insurance eases pain for owners

 

By Allen Lewis, On Baseball

 

When a team signs a player to a long-term, multi-million dollar guaranteed contract, and the player suffers an injury that ends his career, it isn't necessarily a financial calamity for the club.

 

When the best players' salaries escalated from $125,000 to $1 million in the 1970s, owners began to protect themselves by taking out insurance in case they had to pay a player who could no longer perform. Generally, the insured were high-bracket players with no history of physical problems.

 

Although the Phillies declined to be specific about what insurance they have on their players, club president Ruly Carpenter did say, "In some cases we do, and some we don't. We do insure some contracts, but not for the full amount. And there is a lot of fine print involved when particular players have certain ailments, such as a history of arm trouble or knee problems. Then the premiums start getting pretty high."

 

One documented case of a player insured through Lloyd's of London is San Diego pitcher Rick Wise. Wise, 34, a former Phillie, signed a five-year contract before this season that pays him $300,000 this year and $350,000 in each of the next four years. He is not insured for 1980, but, if he is permanently disabled and unable to pitch after this season, Lloyd's would have to pay the San Diego club a lump sum of $1,270,463. That policy cost the Padres $57,239.

 

The Padres would then pay Wise or has estate his salary each year, investing the remainder to make up the difference between the $1.4 million and the $1.27 million.

 

When Angels outfielder Lyman Bostock was shot and killed late in the 1P78 season, the insurance claim was Approximately $1.8 million, most of which went to pay off the contractual liability to his estate.

 

Premiums for pitchers run about 10 times those for other players. If a pitcher can't pitch, he's finished, but Cartton Fisk, who can't catch because of arm trouble, may be able to play first base or serve as a designated hitter.

 

NOTES: Manager Dick Williams is asking for a five-year contract, but the Expos are balking at the length….  Ex-Phil Alan Bannister, who has played three outfield positions, shortstop, second base and third base on a more or less regular basis for the White Sox, is a frustrated young man. Although his defense isn't good enough for the infield, and his arm is suspect, he feels he could make a real contribution in left field. But he doesn't think manager Tony LaRussa agrees. "I have to play every day, and I'm not going to (with the Sox)," said Bannister, who is capable of stealing 30 ormore bases a season. "For five years, I've done everything they've asked; me to do here – including help other players who are going to beat me out of a job – and kept my mouth shut. But there's no route for me any more. It's a dead end."... Jose Morales of the Twins is the only active non-pitcher who has played more than 500 major league games without stealing a base. Braves Bob Horner is 0-for-over-200 games.... One thing Brewers manager George Bamberger and his interim replacement, Bob Rodgers, don't agree on is the worth of complete games. Says Bamberger, "I want a pitcher to be proud of working nine innings. That way, if he's in a tough situation in the seventh or eighth, he'll have the guts to work out of it. He'll develop the confidence (that) he can relieve himself."

 

The answer to last week's Trivia Question: Stan Bahnsen of the 1972 White Sox and Gaylord Perry of the 1978 Padres each won 21 games while pitching only five complete games, the fewest in history for a 20-game winner. Ronald Patton of Coatesville was first with the correct answer.

 

 

This week's question: Name the only National League player in this century to get more than 150 runs and 150 runs batted in during the same season.

Insurance eases pain for owners

 

By Allen Lewis, On Baseball

 

When a team signs a player to a long-term, multi-million dollar guaranteed contract, and the player suffers an injury that ends his career, it isn't necessarily a financial calamity for the club.

 

When the best players' salaries escalated from $125,000 to $1 million in the 1970s, owners began to protect themselves by taking out insurance in case they had to pay a player who could no longer perform. Generally, the insured were high-bracket players with no history of physical problems.

 

Although the Phillies declined to be specific about what insurance they have on their players, club president Ruly Carpenter did say, "In some cases we do, and some we don't. We do insure some contracts, but not for the full amount. And there is a lot of fine print involved when particular players have certain ailments, such as a history of arm trouble or knee problems. Then the premiums start getting pretty high."

 

One documented case of a player insured through Lloyd's of London is San Diego pitcher Rick Wise. Wise, 34, a former Phillie, signed a five-year contract before this season that pays him $300,000 this year and $350,000 in each of the next four years. He is not insured for 1980, but, if he is permanently disabled and unable to pitch after this season, Lloyd's would have to pay the San Diego club a lump sum of $1,270,463. That policy cost the Padres $57,239.

 

The Padres would then pay Wise or has estate his salary each year, investing the remainder to make up the difference between the $1.4 million and the $1.27 million.

 

When Angels outfielder Lyman Bostock was shot and killed late in the 1P78 season, the insurance claim was Approximately $1.8 million, most of which went to pay off the contractual liability to his estate.

 

Premiums for pitchers run about 10 times those for other players. If a pitcher can't pitch, he's finished, but Cartton Fisk, who can't catch because of arm trouble, may be able to play first base or serve as a designated hitter.

 

NOTES: Manager Dick Williams is asking for a five-year contract, but the Expos are balking at the length….  Ex-Phil Alan Bannister, who has played three outfield positions, shortstop, second base and third base on a more or less regular basis for the White Sox, is a frustrated young man. Although his defense isn't good enough for the infield, and his arm is suspect, he feels he could make a real contribution in left field. But he doesn't think manager Tony LaRussa agrees. "I have to play every day, and I'm not going to (with the Sox)," said Bannister, who is capable of stealing 30 ormore bases a season. "For five years, I've done everything they've asked; me to do here – including help other players who are going to beat me out of a job – and kept my mouth shut. But there's no route for me any more. It's a dead end."... Jose Morales of the Twins is the only active non-pitcher who has played more than 500 major league games without stealing a base. Braves Bob Horner is 0-for-over-200 games.... One thing Brewers manager George Bamberger and his interim replacement, Bob Rodgers, don't agree on is the worth of complete games. Says Bamberger, "I want a pitcher to be proud of working nine innings. That way, if he's in a tough situation in the seventh or eighth, he'll have the guts to work out of it. He'll develop the confidence (that) he can relieve himself."

 

 

The answer to last week's Trivia Question: Stan Bahnsen of the 1972 White Sox and Gaylord Perry of the 1978 Padres each won 21 games while pitching only five complete games, the fewest in history for a 20-game winner. Ronald Patton of Coatesville was first with the correct answer. This week's question: Name the only National League player in this century to get more than 150 runs and 150 runs batted in during the same season.

Phils beat Cubs for 3d straight

 

Schmidt’s three hits help Lerch win, 5-2

 

By Danny Robbins, Inquirer Staff Writer

 

Trade winds have been swirling around the Phillies lately like cups and wrappers around the Vet before a storm. But suddenly, maybe only momentarily, the Phillies have hit a calm stretch.

 

They beat the Chicago Cubs, 5-2, last night at the Vet for their third victory in a row, a victory that moves them one game out of first place, behind the Pirates and Expos, in the National League East. They also saw some key parts mesh at a time, just before the June 15 trading deadline, when any weakness is magnified more than usual.

 

Primarily, they got a good job from Randy Lerch, the No. 1 whipping boy of the starting rotation who is this team's major question mark.

 

Lerch gained his second win of the season, the second in his last three starts, by giving up just five hits and two runs in the 6 innings he worked. Lerch stomped out of the clubhouse without speaking to reporters, perhaps because he didn't like being yanked from the game when he was.

 

Still, you couldn't argue with the way Dickie Noles came in to neatly tie down his fourth save of the season.

 

Meantime, Mike Schmidt had three hits and added his 46th RBI of the season, and catcher Bob Boone – he of the .226 batting average and questionable arm behind the plate of late – provided a double and a run-scoring single and threw out the Cubs' swift Ivan DeJesus trying to steal in the first inning. He would have cut down another Chicago steal, by Jerry Martin, had his on-the-money throw not dribbled through Manny Trillo.

 

"He (Boone) threw a seed down there tonight," Dallas Green said of the play on DeJesus, the first batter of the game. "That'll keep 'em from running."

 

The major area of concern last night for the Phillies was, in fact, Pete Rose's broken little toe on his right foot, an injury he picked up when he was hit by a Mike Krukow pitch on Friday night. Of course, Rose started last night's game, got a single and a double and scored a run before Del Unser replaced him at first base in the seventh.

 

"It's a chipped bone in my little toe," Rose said later. "It hurts right now with street shoes on, but that's OK. I was surprised he (Green) took me out tonight, but I didn't say anything to him.

 

"It (the toe) might bother me if I was batting righthanded. But, like any injury, it doesn't bother you when you win."

 

Lerch, now 2-7, pitched five scoreless, three-hit innings before the Cubs came up with a run in the sixth and seemed poised to add a few more in the seventh, when the Phillies were holding a 5-1 lead.

 

Mike Vail opened the seventh by hitting a home run that plopped just over the fence in right-center field, and then Lerch issued a walk to Martin. Steve Ontiveros' grounder forced Martin at second, and Tim Blackwell fanned for the second out. But when Lerch walked pinch-hitter Ken Henderson, Green was at the mound calling for Noles.

 

"I thought he (Lerch) had super stuff for five innings anyway, especially with his fastball," Green said.

 

It wasn't long after that comment, however, before somebody asked Green about the big picture – the Phillies' starters, June 15 and the rest of the season.

 

"Randy Lerch has to be a part of this staff," Green said. "And if he keeps throwing like he did tonight, he'll be a big part of this staff."

 

Last night was a flashback to a Randy Lerch near his best, as a pitcher and a hitter. He helped himself with an RBI single in the Phillies' two-run sixth, an inning that won't be preserved for managers who do everything by the book.

 

Larry Bowa and Trillo greeted Dick Tidrow, who came on in relief of starter Rick Reuschel, with singles – runners on first and third with nobody out. Instead of having Lerch put down the standard bunt to get another man in scoring position, Green let Lerch, batting .375, swing away, and Lerch lined his single. Then it was Rose who was bunting to move Trillo over to third.

 

"There were no outs, and I think he (Lerch) will get a piece of the ball," Green shrugged. "And even if they get two (double play), we'll get a run somehow."

 

"I don't think anyone is too good to bunt if the occasion is right," Rose said.

 

At any rate, Bake McBride walked to fill the bases, and Schmidt poked a 1-2 pitch into shallow left to get one run home. It would be the Phils' final run, because Greg Luzinski struck out and Boone flied to left with the bases loaded to end the inning.

 

The Cubs had the Phillies in a slight hole in the seventh, of course, with Noles coming in to face pinch-hitter Bill Buckner with runners on first and second. Buckner lashed Noles' first pitch on a line to left, but Luzinski hustled in to make the catch to end the inning. And Noles set down the Cubs, allowing only Dave Kingman's looping single, the rest of the way.

 

The Phils had pieced together three runs off Reuschel, including a pair in the fifth. Boone singled in one of the runs, but only after Rose hit his double and raced home on McBride's ground single to right. Vail charged the ball and threw to the plate. But the peg was just on the first-base side, and Rose – the 39-year-old guy with the cracked toe – slid in safely by an eyelash.

 

 

"They added a little piece to my shoe so the toe has more room," Rose said. "That's why I was safe. 1 touched the plate with the part of the shoe they cut out for me."