Allentown Morning Call - May 2, 1980
Mets’ Falcone ties strikeout mark but Phils win on Aguayo HR
NEW YORK (AP) – Luis Aguayo hit his first career homer to account for both Philadelphia runs as the Phillies survived a major league record-equaling strikeout performance by Pete Falcone to post a 2-1 victory over the New York Mets last night.
Falcone. 1-2, struck out the first six hitters he faced at the start of the game to become only the second pitcher in modern National League history to accomplish that feat.
Falcone permitted only three hits in seven innings and finished with eight strikeouts. Two of the hits came in the fifth inning when Larry Bowa singled ahead of Aguayo's home run.
New York collected eight hits off Philadelphia lefthander Steve Carlton, 4-1. who became the third four-game winner in the National League this season, and reliever Tug McGraw, who collected his second save.
McGraw came on in the seventh after Carlton had issued a bases-loaded walk to Elliot Maddox, forcing in the only Met run.
Falcone struck out Lonnie Smith, Pete Rose and Garry Maddox on a total of 20 pitches in the first inning. In the second inning. Falcone retired Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski and Bob Boone on swinging third strikes, using 14 pitches.
Bowa snapped the streak when he tapped weakly to the mound on Falcone's first pitch of the third inning. Falcone retired the side in order in the third but did not record any strikeouts.
Since 1900, four other pitchers had opened a game by striking out the first six men they faced. The feat was most recently performed by Andy Messersmith of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1973, the only other National League pitcher to do so.
Previously, John Hiller, Ray Culp, and Bert Blyleven had done it in the American League.
Q&A: Ozark’s ready to manage again
By Jack McCallum, Call Sports Writer
There will be more than the usual amount of attention directed at the third base coaching box tonight when the Los Angeles Dodgers open a three-game series against the Phillies at Veterans Stadium. For standing there in Dodger Blue will be the much-maligned former manager of the Phillies, Daniel Leonard Ozark. It will be the first time Ozark has faced his former charges since he was fired on August 31 1979 and replaced by Dallas Green.
We talked to Ozark during spring training when the Dodgers came to Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg for a game against the Mats.
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Q: With all that you went through in Philadelphia for seven years, would you be willing to get back in the managerial meat-grinder?
A: Well, for now I'm here as a third base coach period. Naturally, if some other position should come up as a manager I'd probably accept that position. But I think a lot of people are saying that I'm here to put pressure on Tommy Lasorda (the Dodger manager) and that isn't so. I'm a third base coach working for Tommy and that's as far as I go.
Q: But the Dodgers understand that you are interested in a head job?
A: I made the stipulation to Mr. (Al) Campanis and Mr. (Peter) O'Malley (the vice president of player personnel and the president of the organization, respectively) that if a manager position should come up, they would let me go to it.
Q: Since you're an old Dodger man (Ozark spent 28 years in the Dodger organization before coming to manage the Phillies in 1973), would you have gone only to the Dodger organization as a third-base coach after you were fired, or would you have considered another position?
A: Well, that's hard to say since I got the offer here. There's a lot of things I like here. Having our own airplane for one thing. We don't have to hustle and bustle through airports. It's a great convenience.
Plus, this is a contending ballclub and that helps a lot. And knowing the ballplayers has helped me tremendously. Having the Dodgers say we would really like to have you back helped a lot. Generally, when you leave an organization, they don't ask you back. But they were really nice in telling me they needed me here and that's one of the reasons I did accept the position.
Q: You appear extremely healthy. What's the difference for you personally coining down to spring training in a situation that is nearly pressure-less?
A: Well, pressure isn't only negative. I enjoyed coming down to spring training with pressure and, contrary to what most people think, I enjoyed Philadelphia tremendously. It's a great city and they've got some great fans there. Sure, there's a lot of boos there but basically they're great baseball fans. I enjoyed it (Philadelphia) thoroughly. I would've liked to stay there another five years, or another 10 years for that matter.
There are a lot of differences being just a third-base coach, sure. For right now I'm willing to let Tommy do the thinking and I'll do the relaying the signs to the players and things like that. I think in my position you have to eliminate yourself from everything and just say, "Let's think about this one play." I have to think about what I'm going to do on the ballfield and forget about running the club.
Q: Was there ever a time after you were fired that you said, "That's all. I'm out of this game forever?"
A: Yeah, especially for about a week after it happened. I went back to Philly (Ozark was fired in Atlanta and saw a lot of people and we talked. I told them, "Gee, I don't think baseball really wants me any more." I didn't even attend the World Series or the winter meetings. I was really disgusted with the whole thing. But my wife (Ginny) and I talked a little bit and finally decided we'll give it another shot.
Q: Shortly after you were fired you were on the radio during a game and you mentioned the possibility of the Phillies hiring you back after Dallas Green had finished up the season. Did you ever have any indication of that?
A: I did mention that, yes, but I never had any indication. In fact, I was just joshing. I know a lot of people took it serious. What I mentioned was how George Steinbrenner took Billy Martin back and maybe Ruly Carpenter would do the same for me. I was just kicking it around. But the thing that perhaps made people think I was serious was the fact that they (the Phillies) came out and said that Dallas was only an interim manager.
Q: Did you personally think Dallas would be back?
A: No, I didn't. I think their plan was to just let him last out the season and get somebody else. But I don't think they found the somebody else they thought could handle the job so they went to Dallas. I really don't think they were thinking along the lines of keeping Dallas at all.
Q: How much contact have you had with Dallas, Paul Owens or Ruly Carpenter?
A: I was up in Philly for a couple of banquets and I talked to Paul and Dallas. I just happened to miss Ruly but I talked to him over the Christmas holidays. Ruly and I are the best of friends and I wish him the best of luck.
Q: Baseball's an unusual business, I guess? I have to believe you when you say you remain good friends, but there's not a lot of other businesses where a guy gets canned then exchanges Christmas greetings with the guy who canned him.
A: Well, I have nothing but respect for the Carpenter family. They're very highly thought of in baseball. What he did, what the organization did, is something they had to do. They had their reasons for it. I think all baseball managers understand the saying that you're hired to be fired. And some managers go back to the places where they were fired. Who knows? Maybe I'll be back to the Phillies in a couple of years.
Q: If the Phils would go out and win the division this year, I'm sure a lot of people will say it has something to do with the managing change. In light of the fact that you did win three divisional titles over there that would have to bother you, wouldn't it?
A: Well, no, it wouldn't because of the injury thing. If we hadn't had them, there's ho question in my mind that we would've won it. But you can't overcome the kinds of problems we had last year. Nobody can.
Q: But a manager can make some difference. Is the Dodger way of doing things closer to the Ozark way, or closer to the Dallas Green way of more discipline, more toughness, things like that?
A: Well, everybody is talking about the difference in spring training. I never understood that because my spring training must've been pretty good if we won three division titles. I just don't understand what spring training has to do with the outcome of the regular season.
Q: Are you looking forward to coming back to Veterans Stadium on May And what do you think the reaction at the park will be?
A: Well, I don't know. I'll probably fill it up again, (Laughs). I don't think anyone but my friends will really come out just to see me. But if there's 60,000 there, I'll have to ask Ruly for a cut of the gate.