Wilmington News Journal - May 24, 1980
Carlton puts all the heat on Astros 3-0
By Rod Beaton, Staff Correspondent
PHILADELPHIA – The strike may have been averted, but the heat's still on. Last night at the Vet it took the form of two very live arms, one left-handed, the other, right.
Steve Carlton was the lefty. Nolan Ryan of the Astros was firing from the right. You'd think the prospect of facing these two would have the hitters clamoring to negotiators Marvin Miller and Ray Grebey for a one-day strike – long enough to avoid these fireballers.
The Astros would have had justification. Carlton won his major league-leading eighth game in 10 decisions with a typically brilliant 3-0 four-hitter. Ryan was gone before the end of the fourth.
Mike Schmidt burned the million-a-year fastballer with a three-run, third-inning homer. On a night when his entire repertoire was overwhelming, it was more than enough for Carlton.
The lesson was clear, man can not live by fastball alone. See Ryan for references.
"I wasn't getting the breaking ball over and I was wild with the fastball," said Ryan (2-4).
"In that situation, they'll look good on the fastball."
Schmidt looked particularly good.
"He (Ryan) has one of the toughest curve balls to hit I've seen since I've been in the big leagues," said Schmidt, who tied Greg Luzinski and Milwaukee's Ben Oglivie for the major league lead with the homer, his 11th. "Tonight he didn't have control of the breaking ball. I got him 3-0 so I began looking fastball."
It helped Schmidt that with two on, Ryan certainly didn't want to walk him with Luzinski coming up.
Luzinski followed Schmidt's homer with a ringing double to right-center. He's a bullish 8-for his last-12 at bats, including four homers, a double and three singles.
"I've got a guy really hitting behind me," said Schmidt. "Ryan doesn't want to walk me with him coming up."
Carlton walked three, but struck out eight. In another masterpiece in what has become his best start ever (he was 8-3 in '76 and 77), Manager Dallas Green wasn't even awed by Lefty's stuff.
"It wasn't one of Lefty's better performances, in my opinion," said Green. "Stuff-wise, he did start out with all three pitches in pretty good shape."
That was a large part of the difference between Carlton's W and Ryan's L.
"Speed-wise, Ryan had pretty good stuff," said Green. "But if you can't get the breaking ball over, we can sit on the fastball. We've got some pretty decent fastball hitters."
Carlton had set down six Astros on strikes, all swinging, before Ryan fanned his first Phillie, Lefty himself.
Carlton set down two on strikes in each of the first three innings. The only baserunner was Cesar Cedeno, who walked in the second inning, and advanced on one of Carlton's tantalizing pickoff moves. The move froze Cedeno, who hardly moved. First-base umpire John Kibler wasn't moved either, ruling a balk.
But shortstop Ramon Aviles, starting in place of an ailing Larry Bowa, saved a run with a diving stop on Enos Cabell's drive up the middle. He threw Cabell out, and Carlton fanned Jeff Leonard and Jose Cruz.
The Phils had a threat of their own in the second. Bob Boone singled off Craig Reynold's glove at short, and reached third with one out when third baseman Cabell threw a potential double-play bal-1 into right. Cabell vindicated himself by starting a double play on the next ball, a crisp grounder by Manny Trillo.
With minimal control of his breaking pitch, and a fast ball running amock, Ryan was flirting with problems. He found them in the third, all with two out.
Pete Rose and Bake McBride drilled back-to-back singles. Then, on a 3-1 pitch, Schmidt drilled, appropriately, the Astros' emblem on the left-field tarp. The smooth-swinging third baseman ripped a belt-high fastball for the three-run homer.
Carlton has six lifetime one-hitters, but he's never pitched a no-hitter. He wouldn't get one last night. A swinging bunt by Terry Puhl with one out in the fourth decided that.
Not as overpowering as at the start, Carlton struck out none, and gave up a single an inning through the sixth. Aviles and Trillo turned double plays twice in that span to help out.
PHILS FACTS – The series that almost wasn't continues at 7:05 tonight with the Astros throwing right-hander Joaquin Andujar (0-1) against Dan Larson. The Phils called up Larson, a former Astro, from Oklahoma City where the veteran righty was 4-1 with a 4.13 ERA. "He s experienced up here. He'll be the least in awe of all of them (minor leaguers)," said Green... Carlton's eight strikeouts give him the major-league lead, 69... Houston's J.R. Richard is second... It was Carlton's 44th shutout, third among active National League pitchers... Even with a strike seemingly imminent, Pete Rose came to the Vet Thursday and had a member of the grounds crew hit him 100 ground balls.
Players label agreement ‘solid gold’
By Ed Schuyler Jr., AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK - 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 was 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," Marvin Miller, the players' association executive director, said of the tentative settlement at a 3:30 p.m. 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 appinted to work out a new system. The study group, which will not include Miller or Grebey, will meet by next Aug. 1 and report to the clubs and the 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, Grebey's statement said.
The owners' proposed compensation system is known as the 15-18 system that sets up a sliding scale of compensation based on 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.
However, the players' union may offer, before March 1, 1981, to waive their right to strike with a request that clubs permit a substitute strike in 1982, not later than June 1, Grebey said. He added that the clubs are not obligated to accept such a request.
Miller said at his news conference that he planned to retire from his post early in 1981 but "if there is a strike, I'll be here."
The 15-18 system provides that a team which selected a free agent would be able to protect 15 to 18 players on its roster and the team that lost a "premium" free agent would select a compensation player from the remainder.
Under the present free agency arrangement, which has produced million-dollar salaries, a player who has had more than six years in the majors and whose contract has expired can declare himself a free agent. The club picking up the player has to surrender a selection in the amateur draft to the player's former club.
Miller called the agreement reached in the early morning hours "solid gold."
This parade should start on cool note
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
There's joy in Mudville today, but before its residents start shouting in the streets they should examine all the details of their reasons for happiness.
Maybe they should cool it a little.
This isn't to rain on the parade, but even though a players' strike against baseball was averted early yesterday morning, that threat still remains for any of the three years after 1980.
The agreement between baseball and the Major League Players Association calls for the current free-agent system to be continued this year. That means there will be a re-entry draft in November, with clubs receiving nothing but an amateur draft choice as compensation.
But for the remaining three years a new agreement over the ticklish free-agent issue must be reached. Under the plan established yesterday morning, a four-member committee of owners and players will be formed to propose a new free-agency system by the end of the year.
A 30-day bargaining period will then re-open that part of the contract and if no substitute proposal is agreed upon the owners will have the right to put in to effect the system that they last proposed during contract talks.
In essence, this will make the owners' proposal part of the basic agreement for 1981. But if the players do not accept this, they will have the right to strike if they do not accept it or a compromise can not be reached before Feb. 1, 1981.
Under the current basic agreement that was signed in 1976, a player who has more than six years in the majors and whose contract has expired can declare himself a free agent.
The owners, who staunchly held out for more compensation during the current negotations, favor a system where they can protect from 15 to 18 players on the roster and that the team losing a "premium" free agent would be able to select a compensation player from the remainder.
The bottom line is that the players have been able to keep the existing free-agent scheme for at least one more year. The owners have given in to this, avoiding the catastrophe a strike would cause.
So, both sides have bought time. And with emotions of a crisis cooling, there is the chance for complete agreement.
The fact that the study group will consist of only players and owners is encouraging. I felt all along as a strike seemed unavoidable, that a panel of this type might have a better chance of solving the problem than Ray Grebey and Marvin Miller.
"Essentially what we gave them is what we proposed last week," said catcher Bob Boone, the National League player representative. "It was so logical. I don't agree the main issue is not solved. There's a way out of it. The compensation thing can be worked out."
"The important thing is the strike was avoided," said Phillies' owner Ruly Carpenter. "Obviously, I'm pleased that baseball will continue. I'm not totally familiar with every detail, but I have all the confidence in the world in the Player Relations Committee and will stand by the decision."
It was the owners who are members of the Player Relations Committee who remained in contact with other owners Thursday night and yesterday morning. Hundreds of long-distance phone calls were made.
Carpenter said he was fearful that if there had been a strike what it would have taken to win back the fans. Already, attendance at Veterans Stadium is down about 10,000 per game and advance ticket sales had almost stopped as the midnight May 22 deadline approached.
Manager Dallas Green, who was watching his Phillies finally show signs of jelling, was extremely depressed after Wednesday night's exciting 9-8 come-from-behind victory over Cincinnati.
He said then he saw no way for a strike to be averted.
"The news from New York is not good," said Green. "It's going to take a miracle."
Yesterday, Green was functioning with very little sleep.
"I think it was a miracle," said Green. "I'm just happy for the game of baseball. Selfishly, I'm happy for the 1980 Phillies because I've seen a a lot of good signs lately. I ' would have been greatly disappointed because mainly this is an opportunity that might only come along once or twice in a lifetime.
"We got a good thing going. I would hate to see it dissipate now . right in front of me. More than that, I think it would have been a blow to the organization and this ball club. I think 1980 might be the last chance we have to have this ball club together as a whole.
We're starting to approach a team age where we have to start looking and freshen up a little bit. If we had not played baseball in 1980, it would have hurt."
"I had faith all along something would happen," said Pete Rose. "People kept coming up to me and asking what I was going to do. I told them I thought I would be in uniform on Friday night and that we would be playing the Houston Astros."
And that's the way it was on May 23, 1980.