Wilmington Evening Journal - May 20, 1980

Rose wants to keep playing, winning


By Tom Tomashek, Staff Writer


PHILADEPHIA – He has the deputation of being able to do it all. However, Pete Rose, by himself, cannot stop the pending baseball strike.


He would like to. He admitted as much last night in the Phillies' locker room after Philadelphia's 6-4 victory over Cincinnati. But he expressed a profound faith that the strike, which will begin Friday unless there are some drastic changes in the attitudes of both the players and owners, will be averted.


"I wanna play baseball," said Rose. "It's been my life and I'm not going to be able to play that many more years. I don't think there will be a strike, but maybe I'm wrong. I'm only one of 600 guys.


"If there is (a strike), I just hope that it doesn't last too long. I know that somebody is going to get a lot of my quarters until it is. I'll be spending them in one of those batting cages around town.


“I plan to stay in condition. In fact, I think a strike would be to my advantage because I'd work hard. A lot of guys have trouble pushing themselves, but not me.


"Until they tell me that I'm not to dress on Friday, though, I can't worry about it."


Rose's hitting and baserunning in the seventh inning played a big part in last night's Philadelphia victory before 25,109 fans at Veterans Stadium. Rose first contributed an RBI single in the Phils' three-run inning to tie the score at 4, then scored all the way from first on Bake McBride’s soft single to right to put his team ahead to stay.


"He can make things happen," said Manager Dallas Green, who certainly wishes one of those things would be the ability to head off the strike. "Nothing Pete Rose does surprises me. He knows how much he can get away with. A lotta guys are often afraid to take that gamble, but not him."


In this case, Rose's gamble was going for broke on the basepaths to help save a victory for lefty Steve Carlton (7-2), who was lifted in the seventh for pinch-hitter Del Unser with the Reds leading 4-2.


His heroic came with two out in the inning. Before he came to bat, Manny Trillo and Unser had doubled back-to-back for one run. Rose singled to drive in Unser and then was set into motion by McBride's third hit of the game.


"You don't see someone score from first like that very often," said Rose. "Maybe if the ball goes deep off the wall, but not on a hit like that."


Rose did have an excellent start. First baseman Dan Driessen played deep enough to give him an extra step or two off the bag, then he got an early start after McBride worked the count to 3-2. Rose knew he had third base when he saw how slowly the ball was moving toward Ken Griffey in right, then a quick look back at Griffey's throw told him he could go all the way home.


"I knew when the ball skipped over the cutoff man (Junior Kennedy) that I should go," said Rose. "I don’t think I even broke my stride."


Reliever Ron Reed protected the Phillies' lead in perfect fashion and even received eighth-inning home-run support from Greg Luzinski off Tom Hume, who pitched the last 1 innings in relief of loser Frank Pastore (4-2).


Despite the victory, Green found himself having to present a mild defense for Carlton, who long ago stopped courting the press. The lanky veteran struck out nine batters while becoming only the second lefty this season to beat the Reds – San Francisco's Bob Knepper was the other – but he also yielded 10 hits, including a two-run homer to John Bench in the fourth inning.


"Lefty didn't have good breaking stuff tonight," said Green, "and so he stuck with his fastball. It so happens that their people who got hits tonight were the guys who aren't supposed to hit the fastball.


"But even Lefty has to win a game like this now and then... he deserves it," added the manager. "Reed? He did an excellent job. And it's time for Ron Reed to get back in the flow of things and help this ballclub."


Rose and Green were both impressed with the effort of 22-year-old Pastore, who gave up two runs on four hits in the third, but then settled back in to hold the Phils to one hit over the next 3 innings.


Rose went as far as to call Pastore "the best young pitcher we've probably faced so far this season." Green, however, offered some moderate criticism along with his praise.


"He sat on the outside of the plate," be said. "I guess that's his pattern, but I'm still a believer that you have to use both sides, unless, of course, you're the Nolan Ryan of yesterday.


Gradually the discussion with Green worked its way from the game to the pending players' strike with Green solemnly admitting that to him a walkout would be very disappointing from both a personal and professional standpoint.


"But I can't dictate what happens," he said. "All we can do is just play 'em one at a time and hope we can win 'em all until whatever happens happens."