Allentown Morning Call - May 5, 1980
No, Ozark didn’t cause ‘brain delay’
By Jack McCallum, Call Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA – There was some wishful speculation that former Phillie manager Danny Ozark, now the Dodgers' third base coach, had made out the lineup card that precipitated the massive confusion and subsequent protest by the Phillies during yesterday afternoon's 12-10 loss to the Dodgers. No such luck. The "faus pax" actually belonged to Dodger coach Monty Basgall.
Basgall made out several copies of the lineup given him by manager Tommy Lasorda. On the copy that went to the Phillies' bench and the copy that was hung in the Dodger dugout, Dusty Baker was listed as hitting fifth and Ron Cey was hitting sixth, as has been the order all of this season.
But on the copy that Basgall gave to the umpires – which is official – he put Cey fifth and Baker sixth.
"Monty said he was used to putting it that way from last year," said Lasorda after the game.
The Phillies also get that official copy and manager Dallas Green, coach Bobby Wine and Pete Rose all noticed Baker coming up to hit before Cey. Baker hit into a fielder's choice that produced the second out of the inning but also scored Rudy Law with the second run. (Actually, it should've been the second AND third outs of the inning but second baseman Luis Aguayo allowed himself to be mowed down on the pivot by baserunner Steve Garvey.)
The Phillies then made their appeal and first base umpire John McSherry, who at 300-plus pounds looks more like a pro wrestler than an arbiter of men's games, went to check the rulebook. Everyone knew that Cey was out automatically for the second out of the inning but no one was sure on the runners.
McSherry returned and ruled that (a.) Baker returned to the plate (b.) Law returned to third and (c.) Garvey returned to first. The Phils then made their official protest and McSherry returned for more consultation with the rulebook.
"It may have looked poor, taking all that time." said McSherry, "but we figured it was better to make the right ruling in the first place."
The entire delay lasted about 25 minutes (one reporter dubbed it a "brain delay”) and McSherry's original interpretation stood. An impatient Randy Lerch then grooved the first pitch to Baker and he hit it over the leftfield wall for a three-run home run. Ah, just what the umps wanted – a nice quiet ending to a rule that wasn't clear to begin with.
"The confusion is whether the runner is out at second," said McSherry. "I'll be the first to admit that the rule isn't too clear and that we'll be talking about that to the rules committee. There has to be a case for it.
"There is no question that Baker goes back to the plate and Law goes back to third. But there is no provision for what happens to the baserunner. Our interpretation is that you are penalizing the team twice if the runner is called out at second – you have the automatic out already. Plus, the offensive team is getting penalized by the runners going back."
At least two members of the crew (they wouldn't say who) disagreed as did, of course, every member of the Philadelphia Phillie organization.
"I think we landed up getting penalized," said Green 'and I don't see how you can penalize the defensive team for something the offensive team does."
But he was also philosophical about it. "You know how these things are," said Green. "By the time they reach the league president, it's all blown over."
The final chapter on this strange story is told by Baker. As he shuffled around aimlessly during the delay, he spoke to several people in the stands.
"One woman told me not to worry," said Baker, "because I was going to hit a home run if I got another chance. Now, that was some prediction."
It looked like Little League – but it was interesting
By Jack McCallum, Call Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA – Have you heard the news? Little League Baseball moved its headquarters from Williamsport, Pa. to Veterans Stadium.
Before the Los Angeles Dodgers put away the Philadelphia Phillies 12-10 yesterday afternoon at the Vet, the 34.027 fans were treated to a menu of the following: erroneous lineups cards (1), game protests (1), baserunner obstruction (1), wild pitches on third strikes (1), passed balls on third strikes (1), teams blowing nine-run leads (1), outfielders who can't throw runners out at home from 200 feet (2), and John Vukovich, a lifetime .161 hitter, singling home two runs in a pinch-hitting situation (1).
It was quite fitting, then, that the Phils' demise came on a bases-loaded wild pitch and a two-run double by not Steve Garvey or Davey Lopes or Dusty Baker or Reggie Smith Mickey Hatcher. It was as if the Phillie Phanatlc had somehow seized control of the game and was calling the shots.
All this is not to say the game wasn't interesting. The foibles of mankind most often are.
“I don't think I've ever been in a game where a team comes back from nine runs down," said Vukovich who stood to be a hero before Phillie reliever Dickie Noles pitched the game away in the top of the ninth. Generally, when you get that far down in a strange game like this, you are down for good."
And that is exactly how the Phillies looked after Baker's second home run of the game settled into the leftfield seats for a 7-0 Dodger lead in the sixth. And two more runs in that inning made it 9-0 before the unfortunate Randy Lerch. the victim of a first inning that shouldn't happen to the Ayotallah Khomeini (see related story C1) departed.
But the Phillies suddenly woke up before the exits started jamming. They had managed only three hits in the first five innings off Dodger starter Dave Goltz, the first player in the history of the free agent draft to be drafted by the maximum 13 teams, before banging four hits in the bottom of the sixth. One of those was a three-run homer to leftcenter by Greg Luzinski (that ended a 23-inning scoreless streak by the former Minnesota Twin) and another was a slightly shorter blast to the same general locale by Bob Boone, who followed Luzinski to the plate. Suddenly, it was 9-4.
Then it was 9-7. With one out in the seventh. Pete Rose reached second on an wild throw into the seats by hero-to-be Hatcher and Bake McBride singled to right. Rose kept coming, even though Gary Thomasson (who had replaced strong-armed Reggie Smith the inning before) picked up the ball in short right. But the weak-armed Thomasson was way off line with his throw. McBride then scored on Del Unser's triple over the head of a confused Derrel Thomas in center, and Mike Schmidt, facing reliever Charlie Hough, got in Unser with a sacrifice fly to make it 9-7.
Then it was 9-9 after eight. Rose drew a walk and went to third on a single to left by McBride. No one in his right mind would've gone to third except Rose but Baker obliged by throwing high and he was easily safe as McBride took second.
Enter Vukovich to pinch-hit because, through a byzantine number of lineup changes, the pitcher was in the third spot. And Vukovich, in just his second at-bat of the season, lined a 3-2 pitch up the middle to score Rose and McBride. In what was quickly becoming a pattern, McBride shouldn't have been able to score, either, but Thomas' throw sent catcher Steve Yeager down the third-base line and McBride stepped around him.
With the momentum in their favor and Dickie Noles, who is becoming Green's choice in tense, late-inning situations, the Phillies looked to be in good shape. But Thomas and Thommason singled and. after missing two sacrifice attempts, so did Garvey. In all probability, regular centerfielder Garry Maddox would've had Garvey ball but he is out for at least a week with a sprained ankle and Lonnie Smith couldn't reach it.
Noles then threw a low pitch that backup catcher Keith Moreland couldn't come up with. It went as a passed ball and Noles compounded the error by failing to cover home. Moreland went after Thomas himself but the Dodger runner just got In to make it 10-9. Hatcher then sent his double down the line and it was 12-9 before Tug McGraw got the last three outs.
Even in the ninth, the Phillies didn't die. Luzinski, who now leads the league in homers after hitting one in each of his last three games, singled (he was 3-for-5 yesterday) and so did Smith. But Jerry Reuss got the final three outs with only one run scoring – on a sacrifice fly by Ramon Aviles.