Wilmington Morning News - May 22, 1980

Phils go out with a bang 9-8


By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor


PHILADELPHIA – The Phillies and Reds went at each other last night like there's no tomorrow. And as far as major-league baseball is concerned, there may not be.


But these Phillies and Reds played last night as if they were attempting to cram an entire season into one game.


Home runs flew out of Veterans Stadium. Spectacular plays were made, especially around first base. And when what might be the final game of the 1980 season ended, the Phils had a rousing 9-8 come-from-behind victory.


The Phils scored the winning run in their two-run ninth when Cincinnati's Dave Collins dropped Manny Trilfo's soft liner allowing pinch-runner Lonnie Smith to cross the plate.


Moments earlier, Greg Luzinski singled home Mike Schmidt, who had doubled, to pull the Phils even at 8-8.


The Phils, who have won five out of their last seven games including two out of three from the Reds in this series, are idle today but will be anxiously awaiting word from New York as to whether or not there will be a strike.


Despite the fine showing of his team of late, Manager Dallas Green was subdued last night as were most of the players.


"I'm low right now," Green said as he sat in his office. "I'm just sitting back waiting for a catastrophe to happen."


Green paused a moment, then added: "But, you have to give these players some credit. They're professionals and that's the way they played tonight. They want to win. Sure, they are thinking about a strike and they are just as puzzled as we are."


Luzinski's bat, more than any of the others, powered last night's victory. He blasted his 11th homer of the year in the second, singled in the sixth and scored after he walked in the first. In the three games, the Bull blasted four homers and in his last nine at-bats had three singles and four homers.


Luzinski admitted there was an empty feeling about the night.


"I'm in a good groove and had to see it end," he said. "What happens is out of my hands, but I believe in what they're fighting for. After all, my contract is up after next year."


As Luzinski talked other players were reading a telegram posted on the clubhouse bulletin board from Marvin Miller, executive director of the Major League Players Association. The telegram reminded the Phils of the strike vote taken in spring training and that if a new basic agreement with the owners is not signed by midnight May 22, no future games will be played.


"I still have faith that something is going to happen," said Pete Rose. "As far as I m concerned, there's still a game scheduled Friday night."


The Phils opened their ninth against Cincinnati reliever Tom Hume when Schmidt's grounder took a bad hop over third baseman Ray Knight. Schmidt turned it into a double with daring base running and was safe at second on a close play.


Luzinski followed with his single and Smith was sent in to run. Pinch-hitter Del Unser, batting for eventual winning pitcher Ron Reed, walked. After trying to bunt twice, Maddox flied out to right and Trillo came up.


The second baseman, who is hitting .364, sent his liner to Collins and at the same time Smith, apparently thinking there were two out, streaked for home.


"I didn't see Smith breaking," said Collins, who had moved from center to right field in the fourth when Ken Griffey left with a sore knee. "I never took my eyes off the ball. It was kinda glaring in he lights and at the last second it fishtailed. No excuses. I should have had the ball.


"I've never dropped a ball with the game on the line before," he added. "I guess there's a first time for everything. I'm not happy with the way I played tonight. I didn't contribute offensively and then defensively, I cost us the game."


"It all started with that bad-hop ball of Schmidt's," said Cincinnati Manager John McNamara.


Knight's bases-loaded triple off starter Larry Christenson gave Cincinnati a 3-0 lead in the first, but the Phillies rebounded against Seaver to tie in the bottom of the inning.


Garry Maddox singled home two runs with a single and the third scored when Seaver walked Ramon Aviles with the bases loaded.


Back-to-back home runs by Luzinski (with one on) and Keith Moreland – his first in the majors – made it 6-3 in the second and Aviles put the Phils up 7-3 with his first major-league home run in the bottom of the third.


The Reds started their comeback against Christenson in the fourth when Dan Driessen and Knight singled and Bench drove both home with a double. Ray Oester's single to right finished off Christenson in favor of Lerrin LaGrow, who immediately walked pinch-hitter Hector Cruz. Kevin Saucier replaced LaGrow and got a force play, but Bench scored.


EXTRA POINTS – If there is a miracle and no strike, Houston will be here for a three-game series beginning tomorrow night... McBride has hit in 15 of the last 16 games... Bowa was out of the lineup because of a strained rib suffered in Tuesday night's game... Ken Griffey left the game after the fourth inning because his left knee was bothering him... Griffey had surgery on the knee last August... Luzinski now has 124 Veterans Stadium home runs.

Season end draws near; both sides stand fast


By Murray Chass, New York Times Service


NEW YORK - With only one day of talks remaining before tonight's strike deadline, the negotiators for baseball's club owners and players resumed their attempts yesterday to forge a collective bargaining agreement that would keep the season going. But they made no progress.


"Somebody better take a long, hard look at the situation because we're headed pell-mell toward a strike," Kenneth E. Moffett, the federal mediator, said after the two sides had met for about two hours.


At the same time, Marvin Miller, the players' labor leader, disclosed that he had sent telegrams to the 26 player representatives making official the stand taken by the executive board of the Major League Baseball Players Association at its meeting in Dallas on April 1. At that meeting, the board voted to strike the remaining games of the exhibition season and then strike again if no agreement were reached before May 23.


Six games are scheduled for tonight and the players plan to play them no matter what the outcome of today's talks. But unless a strike is averted at today's session, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., those will be the last games.


The only new proposal made by the owners yesterday concerned their annual pension contribution. If the players continue to play while talks continue, the owners said, they would invest $6.1 million into an escrow account and add the interest earned to this Sear's contribution. That would make the total contri-ution $14.4 million plus interest.


The players, meanwhile, revised some of their proposals – "downward in important respects," Miller said – but the owners were not moved by them.


Included in the revisions were minimum salary and pension compensation.


"It was movement, and I'd say It was significant," Moffett said of the player proposals. "But the other side didn't buy it and no progress was made."


Ray Grebey, the owners' chief negotiator, said the players' proposals included "nothing that they haven't talked about before."


Both sides agreed there was no movement oii the free-agent compensation issue, the major one in the dispute over a basic agreement that expired last Dec. 31.


Failure to reach a settlement today could lead to the first in-season strike since 1972, when a 13-day strike canceled 86 games at the start of the season.


The two sides came together yesterday at the Doral Inn in Manhattan following a two-day recess that Moffett had called to give the parties time to cool down and try to develop proposals that could avert a strike.


In their previous two meetings, last Saturday and Sunday, the negotiators had met jointly for a total of only eight minutes after having become testy with one another.


As for the free-agent issue, the owners contend that the present compensation for a team losing a free agent – a selection in the June draft of amateur players – is not enough equity for a player lost, especially a high caliber player. They have proposed compensation lit the form of a professional player for a category of free agents they call premier and define as the top 50 percent of all major leaguers.


The players maintain that such compensation would dilute the advantages of free agency and effectively halt free-agent movement. If a team had to give up a player in its system, whether major or minor league, the players argue, that team would have less interest in pursuing a free agent and offering him as lucrative a contract as he would otherwise command. Neither side has budged on those stands.

Key Unresolved Issues


NEW YORK (AP) - Major unresolved issues in the baseball contract between the Major League Players Association and the club owners' player relations committee include:


•  Compensation for loss of free agent – Owners are asking that a team losing a "premium" free agent in the reentry draft be compensated by a roster player from the signing team, in addition to the present compensation, a choice in the amateur free agent draft, under the clubowners' proposal, the team losing a roster player would be able to protect a certain number of players, 15 or 18 depending on the circumstances, from selection by the team losing the free agent.


At issue is the definition of "premium player."


•  Pension plan – The players want the clubowners to increase their contribution (from television revenue) to $16.5 million from the present $8.3 million. The clubowners have offered to increase their contribution to $14.4 million.


•  Minimum salary – The players want the amount raised to $30,000 front the present $21,000. The clubowners have offered to increase the amount to $27,500.