Camden Courier-Post - May 14, 1980
Phillies beaten by Braves’ big plays
By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post
ATLANTA – Capturing the essence of the Phillies' 7-3 loss to the Braves last night in Fulton County Stadium requires the isolation of specific plays that occurred through the course of nine innings.
This game, touched as it was by fire and fury, did not describe a linear path to its conclusion. Rather, it rose and declined like a stock market report.
Its zenith – or nadir, if you will – was in the fifth inning. Down, 4-1, the Phils had pitcher Randy Lerch on first and one out Pete Rose smoked the ball towards shortstop that scorched the tips of the infield blades of grass. Considering the Braves had been their usual bumbling selves till then, making two errors that cost Doyle Alexander a run in the first, it seemed safe to assume Rose's ball would speed past Luis Gomez en route to being a double.
ONLY, GOMEZ somehow intervened, backhanding the ball on a short hop as he fell, then flipping to second baseman Jerry Royster, who completed the double play. The importance of the brilliant play was this: The Braves, who had accumulated 43 errors prior to last night's game, would go on to turn two more double plays, including one in the eighth with the tying run at second base.
Royster was the pivot man again in the eighth, turning the inning-ending double play despite a high, hard takeout slide by Mike Schmidt.
"He got rid of it (the ball) just enough (to get it to first in time to double Bob Boone)," said Schmidt "You can't take him out any better."
THE SECOND point on which the fortune of the Phillies turned was not a play at all. It was a first-inning at-bat by Chris Chambliss. The Phils had taken a 1-0 lead in the top half of the inning when Rose reached first on an error by Chambliss, stole second and went to third when catcher Bruce Benedict's throw skipped into center field. Rose scored when a ball hit by Schmidt bounced off the glove of newly-returned third baseman Bob Horner and rolled into left field for a double.
Lerch, who pitched because Larry Christenson developed some soreness in his right elbow, had given up a single to Royster, but threw a double-play ball to Horner. Gary Matthews, Horner's partner in exile, bounced a more-than-routine chance towards Schmidt that went for a two-base error.
That brought the lefthanded Chambliss to the plate. Chambliss fouled off an incredible six two-strike pitches before ripping a double to left-center. The first baseman would score on another double, this one by Jeff Burroughs.
"IT MAY be one of the all-time at bats," said Lerch, who is now 0-5 and wondering what it's going to take to win. "He fouled off a lot of balls that I threw inside and waited until I made a mistake."
The significance of Chambliss' stubbornness became apparent an inning later, when the Braves reached Lerch for two runs on four consecutive two-out hits, including a bloop RBI single to right by Horner, who is now 3-for-42 for the season.
There would be another such inning against Lerrin LaGrow in the eighth, when Matthews beat out an infield hit and Chambliss popped a ball that rolled down the left field line for a triple.
SCHMIDT, THE cutoff man on the play, thought be had a chance to nail Chambliss at third. But his throw skipped past Ramon Aviles for another error and Chambliss scored. That transformed the score from 4-3 to 6-3, Dale Murphy providing the finishing touches with a home run.
If you get the impression what the Braves gave to this game was not really fire, you're right. It was more like they rubbed two sticks together and got just enough spark to put the Phils back under .500.
The fury, however, was genuine, shortstop Larry Bowa going jaw to jaw with home plate umpire Steve Fields. Bowa had complained about a called strike before flying out to center field. Bowa said something as he headed for the dugout and Fields ejected him, making Bowa the first Phillies to get the thumb this season. Bowa stormed from the dugout screaming and was finally pushed away from Fields by Manager Dallas Green.
PHIL UPS – Christenson's problem is not serious, according to Green... The righthander is scheduled to pitch Saturday in Houston... Steve Carlton goes tonight against Larry McWilliams... The Phils obtained infielder Stan Papi from the Boston Red Sox yesterday. Papi, was the player to be named later in the Dave Rader deal and was assigned to the Oklahoma City farm team.
Owners present new offer on issues
NEW YORK (AP) - A new proposal covering the key issues in the baseball contract dispute has been presented by management negotiators to the Major League Players Association.
The offer was made during two hours of talks yesterday. The two sides then adjourned so Marvin Miller, executive director of the union, could study the package proposed by Ray Grebey, chief negotiator for the owners.
A management spokesman acknowledged the proposal deals with the most serious issues in the talks – compensation for teams who lose players to the free agent draft and the percentage of television revenues to be paid to the players pension fund.
In a story in today's editions, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported what were said to be highlights of the management proposal.
• Substantial revision of the proposal covering selection rights for clubs losing "ranking players" in the free-agency reentry draft.
• A 70 percent increase – to $14.4 million from $8.3 million – in the clubs' annual contributions to the player pension and insurance plan.
• Increases in player allowances, for regular season and spring training expenses.
The newspaper also said there was a change in the contract language.
A "ranking player" would be defined as one who is selected by more than seven clubs in a limited number of rounds, to vary according to the number of players in the free agent pool each year, and one who ranks among a certain upper portion of the leaders in his league, with pitchers, relief pitchers, catchers and infielders-outfielders in separate categories.
For a player selected by three or fewer teams, there would be no compensation to the team losing the free agent.
For a player selected by four to seven clubs, the compensation would be a choice in the draft of amateur players, as is the case now.
The talks resume today with the negotiators facing a May 22 strike deadline set by the players, who are demanding a new basic agreement by that date.
Miller, in a memorandum sent Sunday to all players, warned that the players could expect "a few crumbs" from the owners in return for an agreement.
"The current problems result from; the attitude of the clubs," Miller said in his memorandum which The Associated Press obtained yesterday. "They offer no indication of any intention or desire to conclude an agreement with the Players Association, and the club owners have never had any such intent."
The memorandum continued: "The players will not allow an unsatisfactory agreement to be forced down their throats, and neither the negotiating committee nor the executive board will recommend a sell-out agreement. But the owners seem bent on testing the unity and resolve of the players."