Allentown Morning Call - May 24, 1980

Four-Year pact signals ‘play ball’


NEW YORK (AP) – It is "Play ball" under a new four-year agreement reached early yesterday between the Major League Baseball Players Association and the 26 clubs. The agreement put aside for 1980 the controversy over the free agent system and averted a strike that would have stopped baseball. 


The agreement as announced at 5 a.m., five hours after the strike deadline had passed, and now must be ratified by the 26 clubs and the players. 


Commissioner Bowie Kuhn called the agreement "a good deal all around," adding, "There's something in it for everybody concerned." 


"I'm delighted," players' association executive director Marvin Miller said of the tentative settlement at a news conference. "This is a settlement with something for everyone," said Ray Grebey director of the Major League Baseball Player Relations Committee, Inc. 


The contract provides improvement in minimum salaries and pensions. But the key to the settlement was the free agency question, which was set aside for further study and negotiation. 


Grebey said in his statement that the current free agent system will remain in place for the rest of the year, with a four-man committee to be appointed to work out a new system. The study group will not include Miller or Grebey.


The owners' proposed compensation system, which would take effect if no agreement is reached, is known as the 15-18 system that sets up a sliding scale of compensation based the caliber of player picked in the free agent draft. 


Miller said the owners' proposed compensation system does not go into effect unless three things happen the committee fails to come up with any recommendation the parties fail to reach agreement in the next 30 days; the owners do not announce on Feb. 1 what they intend to do about the free agent draft the following November. 


Should agreement on a new compensation agreement not be reached by next Feb. 1. the players may also choose to strike at that time, but if they don't there can be no strike over compensation during the remaining three years of the Basic Agreement, the player relations committee stated.

The Key Issues


Terms of agreement to cover four years. 


Free agency question set aside for further study and negotiation. Current free agent system will remain in effect for remainder of this year, with a four-man committee to be appointed to work out a new system. The study group will meet by Aug. 1 and report to the clubs and players association by Jan. 1, 1981. Should a 30-day bargaining period then fail to produce a new system by Feb, 1 1981, the clubs may put into effect their current proposal for compensation which would run for the remainder of the four-year contract. 


Players' minimum salary increased from $21,000 to $30,000. Players had sought $40,000. 


Owners' contribution to pension fund increased from $8.3 million a year to $15.5 million. Players asked for $16.5 million. 


Increased disability benefits. 


Clause saying player on disabled list cannot be assigned to the minor leagues.

Carlton, Schmidt team up on Astros, 3-0


By Jack McCallum, Call Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – The Houston Astros would like to suggest a different settlement than the one agreed on yesterday morning – they would like Steve Carlton to go on strike. 


For the 27th time in his career, and fourth straight over two seasons, The Silent Lefthander beat the Astros and Nolan Ryan 3-0 last night at Veterans Stadium' before 27,822 who – but for the pre-dawn skull session of Monsieurs Grebey and Miller – might have been home watching "The Dukes of Hazzard." 


There was a work stoppage last night, however. Nolan Ryan, who just last week paralyzed the Phils with a four-hitter in the Astrodome, exited after just 3⅔ innings as his record dipped to 2-4. At present, he is the most inviting target for the he's-not-worth-the-money-he's-getting crowd. 


As he has so often done in his up-and-down career, Ryan played the part, unwillingly, of the protagonist in that epic baseball novel. "Man Without A Curveball." 


"Speed-wise, he was the same guy we couldn't hit in the Astrodome," said manager Dallas Green. "But he's got to get his breaking ball over to be effective and he wasn't doing it." 


By the third inning. Ryan knew hs breaking stuff wasn't working and he went almost exclusively with the quick one… and it hurt him. 


After two-out singles by Pete Rose and Bake McBride, Ryan ran the count to 3-1 on Mike Schmidt. On another night Ryan would probably go with his breaking ball but he went with the fast one and Schmidt was waiting for it. He air-mailed it over the leftfield wall for his 11th home run of the year and a 3-0 Phillies lead that turned into their seventh victory in their last 10 games. 


"There was no question that I was laying for his fastball," said Schmidt who shares the league lead in homers with teammate Greg Luzinski. "If he would've given me a curve, well, I would've either looked at it or drawn a walk because I had no chance of hitting it. "


And don't forget that it helped me that Nolan didn't want to walk me with Bull (Luzinski) coming up next. The way Bull's hitting now, it's got to help me." 


The 3-0 lead turned out to be unlawful excess for the way Carlton is pitching these days. For the best barroom argument going, who's the best lefthanded pitcher in baseball? 


a.) SteveCarlton; b.) Tommy John; c.) Ron Guidry.


Carlton struck out six in the first three innings as the normal no-hitter suspense grew. 


Terry Puhl ended it in the fourth with a hit that traveled at least 20 feet and the Astros – voted the team least likely to be confused with the '27 Yankees managed just three more singles the rest of the way. 


As Carlton's ERA dipped to 2.08, his strikeouts rose to 69 (eight last night best in the league. And with an 8-2 record, he leads the majors in wins. It is his best start since he came to the Phillies in 1972. the year he walked on water.


And, according to Green, he didn't even have his best stuff last night. 


"Believe it or not, it wasn't one of Lefty's better performances," said Green. "He started out with all three pitches but he lost the slider a little in the sixth and seventh and had to go with mostly fastballs." 


NOTES: Green dropped somewhat of a bombshell when he announced that righthander Dan Larson would start tonight 's 7 05 game against Joaquin Andujar. 


Larson's contract was purchased by the Phils from their Oklahoma City farm club in the American Association after they optioned Luis Aguayo to O.C. two days ago. Larson was 4-1 with a 4.13 ERA down on the farm…


Dick Ruthven will start Sunday's game but Green is holding back on announcing his rotation for the four-game Pittsburgh series that begins Monday or whether lefthander Randy Lerch (0-6) will be in it…


Going into last night's games. National League attendance was up 139.758 and the American League was up 58.344. So much for a fan boycott.

Phillies, to a man, relieved they’re back at work


By Jack McCallum, Call Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – Greg Luzinski found out from the radio. Mike Schmidt found out from a mother-in-law and John Vukovich found out from a father-in-law. Manny Trillo found out while he was lacing up his golf shoes. Dallas Green found out from the horse's mouth in the middle of a dream. Garry Maddox found out from another horse's mouth and didn't even believe him.


And, thus, did the Philadelphia Phillies discover yesterday that they were once again part of America's jockstrap force instead of a chapter of labor history. 


And they were relieved. 


"There's no question you have to feel good," said Luzinski. "I don't know any-I body who doesn't. No matter what you thought of the settlement, everybody's first thought is they're glad to be out here tonight." 


Yes, even the prospect of facing Nolan Ryan didn't seem as unpleasant as usual.


"Ordinarily, I might be thinking about that," said Maddox, "but tonight I'd face anybody and be happy." 


The Phils were all the more pleased because, almost to a man, they went to bed on Thursday night thinking Veterans Stadium would be the last place they'd be last night. Only Luzinski, who got a late-night phone call from teammate Bob Boone, the National League player representative, held out any hope. 


"Boonie called me about 12 30 and told me there was some stuff happening," said Luzinski. "Before that, I was just Uke everybody else. I was pessimistic. I know Boonie himself was surprised when he got some good news. Then I heard it on the radio myself at about 8 o'clock." 


Boone brought the message to Maddox by phone in mid-morning but he found a most unbelieving subject. 


"My wife handed me the phone and I said, 'Well, I guess you got it settled, huh?’ I was saying it sarcastically because I thought there was no chance. But Boonie thought I had already heard the real news and we continued on like that for a couple of minutes at least. 


"Finally he said something about the game tonight and I said, 'Wait a minute, you're serious, aren't you’


“"I held out absolutely no chance of a settlement. I can't believe we're here." 


Neither could Green. 


"Ruly (Carpenter, the Phils' owner) called me about 10:30 at night and said there was nothing new," said Green. "There was nothing to do but go to bed. Next thing I knew it was 4 in the morning and Ruly told me we were going to play ball. I was so happy I forgot what I was dreaming." 


Trillo spent the entire morning in dreamland and, thus, could've been the last baseball player in America to hear the news.


"I don't get up too early, you know?" said Trillo. "I went right out to play golf with a friend around 1 o'clock and when I was in the clubhouse lacing up my shoes another guy came up and told me." 


Shoot, Schmidt's mother-in-law had already been on the job for hours. 


"I knew she didn't have the terms of the settlement," Schmidt said wryly. "My first thoughts? Well, I was glad I'd get a chance to go to the park, I was glad I'd be getting a paycheck, I was just glad for baseball." 


And John Vukovich was glad for John Vukovich, too. Vuke (who got a 6 a.m. wakeup from his father-in-law) is just 15 days short of the four years necessary to qualify for a major league pension and this might be his last shot. 


"Sure, it was tough coming here every day and getting behind the strike 100 percent," said Vuke who has only three at-bats this season in his role as utility infielder and third-string catcher, "but I've got 24 mates here to think about, too. No, John Vukovich is not going to be a free-agent out looking for a big contract, but there was a time when guys like Tim McCarver and Deron Johnson stuck up for me. But it's a great feeling for me to know that there's 162 games. That number has a nice ring to it." 


Alone among the Phillies, Pete Rose had remained a bit optimistic over the last week. And, so, he was wearing an I've-seen-it-all-before look on his face before last night's game. 


"It was the same way when I'd negotiate my contract year after year," said Rose. "For three weeks before spring training, nobody wanted to hear nothing. Two weeks, there'd be some talk. Finally, with about two days to go, they'd call me and we'd settle the damn thing.


It's that pressure that does it." 


And it was pressure that for the last three weeks has taken its toll on Boone. After a good start, Boone came into last night's game with a .212 average, getting just one hit in his last 26 at-bats. It was understandable, though somewhat ironic, that of all the Phils only he didn't want to talk about the strike before the game. 


"I've got a lot of work to do on my post-strike stroke," said Boone. And even he was smiling.