Philadelphia Daily News - May 7, 1980
Baseball Still Strikebound
NEW YORK (UPI) – Baseball negotiations between representatives of the players and owners continued yesterday after more than a three-week recess and no progress was reported.
The Players' Association, headed by executive director Marvin Miller, as agreed to call a strike May 22 if a new Basic Agreement is not reached by that date. The major issue centers on compensation provided to clubs that lose players through free agency.
After meeting lor about seven hours. Miller said both sides were no closer to an agreement than when the recess was called April 14.
"I can never really answer a question of progress because each person las his own definition of it," said Miller. "But my definition is, did we get to the heart of the issues and resolve them? Then the answer is no. There has been no progress.
"We made a revision on minimum salaries and on split salaries," said Miller. "What we did today was review quite a few miscellaneous issues. While they have importance, they don't have the same degree of importance of major issues."
Ken Moffett, the federal mediator, agreed that no progress was made. "It's been the same as the last few times," he said. "I wouldn't say there was any progress. Today was just an exploratory meeting on some of the issues. There has been no change.
Ray Grebey, the owners' representative, was unavailable for comment. Meetings will held today and tomorrow beginning at 10 a.m.
Bud Harrelson Finds Home on the Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas (UPI) – The Texas Rangers last night signed 36-year-old infielder Bud Harrelson for the season.
Harrelson will join the team tonight night and replace injured Rusty Staub, who is on the 15-day disabled list. Rangers President Eddie Robinson said. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
The Phillies signed Harrelson as a free agent May 25, 1979, when they ran into mid infield personnel problems. At the time Harrelson was working for a commercial collection agency in New York City, playing softball and working as a baseball color commentator on television.
The switch-hitting infielder played 53 games for Philadelphia, hitting .282 with 7 RBI and 3 stolen bases. Harrelson has a .970 lifetime fielding average.
Phillies Take Braves’ Gimme
By Bill Conlin
Before Ted Turner slapped Bob Horner and Gary Matthews with game misconduct penalties – that's a hockey term, eh – playing the Atlanta Braves represented a high-risk venture.
If they scored four first-inning runs the way they did last night after Ramon Aviles booted a third-out ground ball, chances were they would score a lot more. It was a team with enough thunder to always keep you nervous.
You always respected the offense. Even when the defense and pitching were wretched, the Braves could drop some numbers on you in a hurry.
With swift centerfielder Eddie Miller doing hard time in Richmond, Horner handcuffed to the bench and Matthews in a work-release program – he gets to pinch-hit once in a while – the Braves can run but they can't hide. A rival manager can orchestrate a comfortable ballgame against them, which is what Dallas Green did last night.
WHEN ANY FLY ball to the outfield has a chance to hit the ground before it hits a glove, when any throw has a. chance to hit a box seat before it hits an infielder, when every pitcher winces when the ball is in play, a rival manager can pretty much restrict his worries to what his own team is up to.
The Phillies mangled the Braves, 10-5, turning a close game into a rout when dreadful outfield play by right-fielder Dale Murphy and centerfielder Brian Asselstine provided four gift-wrapped runs.
Green was able to putter around the garden, pruning a limb here, planting a seed there.
He gave Dick Ruthven a chance to get it together after a long first-inning struggle which began when Aviles didn't get his glove down on a routine turf-cutter by Murphy. Four unearned runs eventually poured home, three scoring on a bases-loaded double by Asselstine and one more on a single by catcher Bruce Benedict.
"I just told Dick to hold 'em and we'll get 'em back," Green said. "Once more I had a gut feeling we'd score some runs."
It is not precisely the message one delivers or the gut feeling one gets after falling behind, 4-0, to J.R. Richard in the Astrodome. But that's next week's problem. Green's current concern is getting as many things squared away as he can before the trip to Cincinnati, Atlanta and Houston.
THE PHILLIES SCORED early and often against Doyle Alexander, who left trailing, 5-4, after the Phillies savaged him for four runs in a third inning which featured doubles by Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt and Greg Gross. Ruthven, meanwhile, rebounded nicely from the first-inning trauma.
"I shot my wad in the first." Ruthven said after squaring his record at 2-2 and reducing his ERA to 6.43, about half what it was a week ago.
"I must have thrown 40 pitches, at least that's how I felt by the sixth." He was tired by the sixth, but Green tried to nurse one more inning from him. When Ruthven walked pinch-hitter Mike Lum, Dallas immediately went to Ron Reed.
The manager has gone out of his way to use the veteran reliever in meaningful situations. This time he handed Ron a 6-4 lead. There have been enough lusty shots hit off Reed this year to obscure the fact that he has not always pitched with the best of luck. This was no exception. Avlies, who started a brilliant fifth-inning double play, just missed turning another one on swift Jerry Royster.
"In fairness to Ronnie, we didn't turn the double play." Green said. "Royster runs real good and we just missed turning it. The one we turned in the fifth was the pivotal play of the game." Larvell Blanks singled to left and Murphy followed with a single to center and it was 6-5, time to get nervous.
"RONNIE'S STRUGGLING right now." Dallas said. "I've tried to use him in situations where he's got a one or two-run lead to hold and he hasn't been able to do it."
No other stats are relevant once you get past Reed's eight walks-to-three strikeouts ratio.
Dickie Noles. a Green idea whose time has come, shut the Braves down the rest of the way. He wriggled out of the seventh with a called-strike breaking ball that froze Jeff Burroughs. And he struck out Royster with runners at first and third to end the eighth. By the time Alexander's Ragtime Band batted in the ninth, the game was history.
Braves games are often rerun in their entirety in the wee hours of the morning after being seen live on Turner's cable TV network. It is eerie laying in bed at 2 a.m. in St Louis and watching Horner miss a pop foul by 10 feet in the Astrodome. If Turner watched the Phils' eighth on the tube live, it is doubtful he stayed up for the rerun.
Noles led off the inning with a single to center off Al Hrabosky. They used to call Hrabosky the Mad Hungarian. But how mad can a guy be after signing a contract worth more than the gross national product of Liechtenstein?
Pete Rose, who was 3-for-4 with two doubles, singled Noles to second. Bake McBride, a quiet, productive presence in the No. 2 spot, fouled off a bunt attempt before hitting a high drive to right. Murphy went to the fence and leaped majestically. Trouble was, the ball went under his glove about head high. Noles waited near second to see how it would come out. so McBride settled for a 370-foot single.
That loaded the bases for Mike Schmidt, whose good swing of the night produced an RBI double in the third. With a so-so swing, Schmidt drove a ball to deep left-center. Asselstine's glove and the ball were in close proximity when both arrived at the fence. They failed to connect. Three runs scored on the triple and Schmidt circled the bases when Royster's relay throw got past third.
Game, set, match.
SCHMIDT ENDED THE evening leading the league with eight homers and 20 runs. He also has 22 RBI. Schmidt will have to resign himself to not getting his 100-plus walks this season – not if Greg Luzinski keeps hitting.
"I'm pretty much resigned now I'll only walk 35-40-50 times," he said. "But that's 35-40-50 times I'll have a chance to hit the ball somewhere."
Which should enhance his chances of hitting 35-40-50 homers and driving in 100-105-110 runs.
Everything you've read about Schmidt being stronger this year is true. "I want to give a little plug to Gus Hoefling," Schmidt said after the crowd dispersed from his locker. "I did a lot of talking tonight about all the work I did at the Vet all winter. Gus made it possible by being there at 7 a.m., ready to work with anybody who showed up. He is totally dedicated to helping you increase your efficient strength and flexibility. I know -he's helped me.
"I decided to get into it pretty good because I'm 30 years old now and figured it would be good to start paying special attention to areas that I've injured in the past."
So move the Phillies one notch over.500. Give them 43 runs in their past five games.
And leave a little room for error tonight. Professor Niekro will be conducting mid-semester exams.
PHILUPS: Here's an upset: The National League office threw out Dallas Green's batting order protest... Good news on the injury front: Garry Maddox and Manny Trillo are almost ready to play. Maddox, who has recovered rapidly from a nasty ankle sprain, should be ready to play Friday in Cincy. Bad news is that when Trillo comes off the DL, Ramon Aviles, a terrific little guy, probably will be shipped back to Okie City. The only thing that could change that would be an executive decision that Luis Aguayo has such a bright future that he should play every day. Luis is recovering from a strained hip... Nino Espinosa will pitch a simulated game tomorrow before the Phils leave for Cincinnati and start an exhibition in Okie City next Thursday... Larry Christenson vs. Phil Niekro tonight... The Phils have 18 errors, the Braves have 40... The intentional walk to Larry Bowa in the seventh was the Phils' first of the season.
4 More Win Phils Tickets
There were four winners last night in the Daily News Home Run Payoff contest. In the fifth inning of the Phillies-Braves game, winners of four tickets each to a Phillies' game were Gloria Frazier of Camden, Raymond Doaty Jr. of Birdsboro, N.J., Dorothy Ruderick of Philadelphia and Al Raymond of Broomall.
So far the Daily News has paid out $3,835. Today's entry coupon appears on Page 60.