Reading Eagle - May 19, 1980

Gloom Hovers Over Majors


NEW YORK (AP) – Just four days before a strike deadline, talks have been suspended in the baseball contract dispute with no new negotiations scheduled in the gloomy picture than threatens to interrupt the season Thursday.


“We have recess negotiations subject to my call,” said federal mediator Kenneth Moffett, who returned to Washington, D.C., following Sunday’s fruitless talks.  “I met privately with both sides and there was no movement as far as either side was concerned.  Then I decided to call the recess because there had been no movement in either separate or joint meetings.”


Sunday’s joint meeting lasted no more than two or three minutes, although the two negotiating teams held morning and afternoon sessions.  Moffett, who has been involved in these talks since March 31, seemed depressed.


“The chances for averting a strike are not god,” he said.


Moffett said he would remain in touch with both sides and expected to summon them back to talks before the midnight Thursday deadline.  It was expected the recall would not take place before Wednesday.


“There has been no progress and the climate is highly charged,” Moffett said.


The free agent compensation issue continues to block the talks.  Management wants relief in the form of replacement players for free agents who sign with other teams and the players association has balked at that idea.


On Friday, each side rejected proposals from the other and the negotiations have been stalemated since.  Management turned down a union bid that the rest of the contract be settled while the free agent issue is placed on hold for a two-year study.  Then the players rejected the owners’ pledge to maintain terms of the expired 1976 agreement until spring training of 1981 while bargaining continues on a new contract.


“A comprehensive proposal was made to the players,” said Ray Grebey, chief negotiator for management.  “It is still there and the clubs have pledged to maintain the status quo in all respects while bargaining toward a new agreement.”


Marvin Miller, executive director of the union, rejected the latest owner proposal, objecting particularly to the criteria that defines premium free agent players for whom compensation would be due.


“Under their criteria, batters who hit .222 and pitchers with an earned run average of more than 6.00 would be classified as ‘premium players,’” Miller said.

Ryan’s Speed Blinds Phils


By The Associated Press


Nolan Ryan is finally starting to look like a million.


Ineffectual for the most part this season, Houston’s fireballing right-hander finally pitched a game Sunday worthy of his million-dollar-a-year contract:


A four-hit, 3-0 beauty over the Philadelphia Phillies.


Ryan’s intimidating fastball was working at full blast – 98 mph on some pitches.  And so was his sweeping curve, which he used liberally to tame the slugging Phillies.


“Sometimes your reputation precedes you,” said Ryan.  “If somebody’s expecting my fastball and my breaking stuff is working, it might cause them trouble.”


Ryan was in command all the way, striking out a season-high 10 batters and allowing only one runner to reach third base, on a fifth-inning triple by Manny Trillo.  He walked pinch-hitter Greg Gross and yielded a single to Pete Rose to start the eighth inning but then ignited the crowd in the Houston Astrodome by striking out the next three batters.


“I’ve always been better in the latter parts of the game,” Ryan said.  “I get in a groove and for some reason I don’t get tired.”


In other National League action, the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0; the San Diego Padres edged the Chicago Cubs 4-3; the San Francisco Giants turned back the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 and the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 2-1 in the opener of a doubleheader before dropping the nightcap 2-1.  Cincinnati at Montreal was postponed because of rain.


Ryan got all the support he needed with three runs in the first two innings to post his second victory in five decisions.


Jeff Leonard’s run-scoring single gave the Astros a 1-0 lead in the first and then Rafael Landestoy and Terry Puhl hit run-scoring singles in the second.