Allentown Morning Call - May 21, 1980

Phillies play ‘good baseball’ – but lose to the Reds, 7-6


By Jack McCallum, Call Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – Dallas Green's concept of "Phillie baseball" briefly defined as a blend of banging away at the top and chipping away at the bottom may soon be a relic of 1980 before it had a chance to be a reality. And that's what bothers Green the most. 


"We're playing good Phillie baseball right now," said the Phillies' manager last night, "and I'd hate to quit. We have a good blend of things going on here and a strike obviously wouldn't be good for us." 


And Green managed that summation after a loss the Reds beat the Phils 7-6 last night before 25,202 Veterans Stadium fans, one of whom solemnly held a sign aloft which read: "Give Fans a Break. Don't Strike." 


"Phillie baseball" manifested itself in the first inning when, in short order, Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski turned a 2-0 deficit into a 2-2 tie with bases-empty home runs off Reds' starter Charlie Leibrandt. The Phils have used that particular back-to-back shortcut three times in Veterans Stadium this season and the fans are going to miss it. 


Then, the chip-away part of the Phils' game took over in the second. Garry Maddox doubled (a ball that the Reds' uncertain leftfielder George Foster should've caught I and Larry Bowa moved him along to third on a sacrifice. Dallas Green loves successful sacrifices since he has only a few players on the team that are capable of doing it.


Manny Trillo, who in the early season can be stopped only by kryptonite, then tripled home Maddox and scored himself on a suicide squeeze by starting and eventual losing pitcher Dick Ruthven. If there's one thing Dallas Green likes better than a successful sacrifice, it's a successful suicide squeeze. Trillo, by the way, is hitting .385 as is his wont before, say, the middle of June. 


That inning gave the Phils a 4-2 lead which they could not hold. The dark and unmentioned side of "Phillie baseball," you see, also includes uncertain pitching which Ruthven provided last night. He gave the Reds two runs in the third to tie the score at 4-4. then two more in the sixth and one more in the seventh before departing. 


It wasn't all his fault, though. "Phillie baseball" has traditionally included bouts of uncertain managing (take a bow, Danny Ozark, wherever you are) and Green had one last night which helped undo Ruthven.


With two out in the sixth and the Phils still leading 5-4, Schmidt committed a two-base error on a grounder to put Johnny Bench on second. 


Green then elected to intentionally walk reserve shortstop Ron Oester, who lugged a .200 average to the plate, somehow figuring that the Reds would still send reliever Paul Moskau up to bat. 


"At the time they didn't have anybody warming up." explained Green, "so I figured they wanted to keep Moskau in there." 


But they didn't. Reds' manager John McNamara sent up Cesar Geronimo and Ruthven walked him to load the bases for the top of the order. Ruthven then grooved an 0-2 pitch to Dave Collins and the Reds' leadoff hitter singled to center to drive in two runs and put the Reds ahead to stay 6-5.


Ruthven departed after a double by Junior Kennedy 4-for-5 and a single by Foster in the seventh put the Reds ahead 7-5. Dickie Noles and Tug McGraw mopped up after that and did well; McGraw retired six in a row in the eighth and ninth. 


"Phillie baseball" showed itself one more time in the eighth as Luzinski hit another bases-empty home run. the 17th time in his career he's hit two in the same game and the first time since July 28. 1978. He and Schmidt now lead the majors with 10 each in a home run derby that could end with tomorrow night's game. 


Maddox kept things interesting with a two-out triple after Bull homer but Greg Gross, whose struggling .125 season has been painful to see. left him stranded with a groundout to short. Perhaps Green should've gone with Del Unser in that situation Unser singled in the ninth he was also stranded to bring his season pinch-hitting performance to 5-for-9.

Baseball’s Average Joes may be looking for work Friday


By Jack McCallum, Call Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – Somewhere far, far south of Pete Rose and just north of you and me, lies the salary scale of baseball's Average Joes – the rookies without big reputations, the untested players who have bounced around from farm team to farm team and the veterans who have just managed to hang on. Baseball's proletariat. The men without the 7-Up commercials. 


Such an Average Joe is Kevin Andrew Saucier, a second-year relief pitcher for the Phillies who may make it big… but who may not make it at all. And guess what Saucier was talking about before last night's game against Cincinnati at Veterans Stadium? Getting a job.


What? A job?  “WORK!” as that sneakered philosopher Maynard G. Krebs used to shriek fearfully to Dobie Gillis. But if the Major League Players Association votes to go on strike tomorrow at midnight, Joes like Kevin Saucier may indeed be carrying lunchpails. 


"A couple of us guys ain't got much choice," drawled Saucier, a good ol' boy from Pensacola, Fla. ''The pay is gonna' stop coming and guys like myself don't have much saved up." 


Saucier's plan is to go back to Pensacola and work in a warehouse, a job he's done in the past. He sure would be hell-on-wheels on the company hardball team. 


"I'm gonna' try to do some umpiring in the senior leagues down there, too," said Saucier, "and maybe I can throw to some of them. Naturally, I'll do all the throwing I can on my own but it's just not the same unless you're throwing to a batter." 


Saucier, who's pitched well this year with a 1-0 record and a 3.27 ERA, is planning to leave Philadelphia for Pensacola on June 1 if things aren't settled. 


"That's when the lease on my apartment is up." said Saucier. "Guys like me get a month-to-month lease 'cause you never know what's going to happen." 


Now, no one should rush to send a Care package to Saucier. Sources for the Phillies say he is still making "more than $30,000." That is substantially more than the current major league minimum of $21,000 (the Phillies have earned their reputation of being more than fair with the checkbook but would still not make a cleat on Pete Rose's left Adidas. In a strike of any duration, it is reasonable to project that a person in the bracket would need to find other work, particularly if that person had not had the means to make big investments in the past, as Saucier hadn't. 


Saucier's right-handed reliever counterpart, Dickie Noles, is probably getting paid about the same. And he, too, is thinking about a nice, cushy job – logging. 


"A friend of mine who used to be in the Phillies' organization, Rod Dawkins, is in the business out in California and if I went anywhere for a job I'd probably go theres" said Noles. "I'll wait a while to see if things get settled but if it went too long I'd have to get work. 


“Logging would certainly keep me in shape.”


One of the few Phillies getting paid close to the $21,000 minimum is rookie outfielder George Vukovich. He is in a true Average Joe situation. 


"I would definitely be in trouble financially with a strike, any kind of a strike," said Vukovich. "I'm not going to go right out and look for a job but if it goes a long time, I'm going to have to – what do you call it? – keep food on the table."