Allentown Morning Call - October 1, 1980

Phils find they needn’t be happy to win


By Ted Meixell, Call Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – There is a time-honored notion that, in athletics, happy teams are winning teams – and vice versa. 


Then along came Charlie Finley, his mule and a very unhappy bunch of baseball players. And despite clubhouse turmoil and intramural bickering that were the rule rather than the exception, Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson and Co. rolled to consecutive World Series championships in 1972, 73 and 74, thus putting the old harmony theory to rout. 


What we may have festering here in the City of Brotherly Love, then, is a new baseball dynasty – born of adversity and nurtured through anything but brotherly love. Remember, if the Pheudin' Phils do go on to become 1980 world champions, there is ample precedent for it. 


Last night, the Phillies briefly took time out from their squabbles with the press, manager Dallas Green and the Veterans Stadium faithful long enough to punch across four quick first-inning runs, light up the scoreboard with their first offensive orgy in many a day and cruise to a 14-2 win over the Chicago Cubs. 


The latest chapter in the soap opera-like saga pf the Phils and public relations surfaced Monday – even before Philadelphia registered a thrilling. 6-5, come-from-behind win over the Cubs in 15 innings. 


Larry Bowa, who must be eating his heart out since he began his silent treatment of the media, finally broke loose on his regular spot on a Philly radio station.


During a 6:35 p.m. tirade, he took manager Green to task for his benching of veterans Bob Boone, Greg Luzinski and Garry Maddox, accusing Green of "talking out of both sides of his mouth." Then, after the 15-inning marathon, he screamed aloud in the clubhouse for all to hear, "These are the bleeping worst fans in the league." 


Maddox, upset at stories written after he lost a line drive in the sun . during Sunday's loss to the Expos and his subsequent benching, huddled with Philadelphia Inquirer writer Jason Stark before the game and claimed the press was responsible for his benching because, "Green manages to suit the press." 


Not to be outdone. Green got in the act after the game in a clubhouse amazingly charged with tension considering it housed a team that had just scored a dramatic – and important – victory. 


He disgustedly declared, "There are some guys (players) out there who don't want to win this thing." And he berated Bowa for his radio comments, saying, "If I'd ever get started on some of the things about Larry Bowa, he'd... never play another game of baseball in Philadelphia again." 


But now, back to last night's game: Pete Rose walked to get the fun started and was singled to third by Bake McBride, from whence he scored on Mike Schmidt's sacrifice fly. Del Unser kept it alive with a walk off loser Lynn McGlothen and Keith Moreland doubled home he and McBride.


The ever-popular Larry Bowa capped the rally with an RBI-single and the first of several salutes he would make to his no longer adoring public. 


The Phils got one run in the third (Bowa single, wild pitch, Manny Trillo single) and made it 6-0 in the fourth (Lonnie Smith single and stolen base and McBride sacrifice fly), thereby easing the way for rookie Marty Bystrom to post his fifth straight victory since coming up from Oklahoma City Sept. 1. 


Bystrom worked another strong seven innings, allowed four hits, struck out six and walked four. More significantly, he kept the Phils right on the heels of the Montreal Expos, who were playing a rain-delayed game with St. Louis in Montreal. 


By the time the Phils added four sixth-inning runs 10-1 bulge, the jayvees were playing – and the youngsters continued the fun against Chicago relievers Lee Smith and Doug Capilla. 


For the record, Green had Boone, Luzinski and Maddox firmly affixed to the pine again last night – despite Maddox' critical basehit in the 15th inning the night before. Also for the record, their subs didn't fare too shabbily.


Smith, Luzinski's surrogate, had three singles and scored three runs. His fourth-inning steal was his 32nd and tied a Phil rookie record set in 1948 by Rich Ashburn. 


Del Unser, in centerfield for Maddox, walked, hit a sacrifice fly and hit three balls right on the button. Moreland, of course, got the rout underway with his first-inning double.


Who said you've gotta' be happy to win.

Schmidt MVP if Phils win flag


By Ralph Bernstein, AP Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – This last week of the 1980 baseball season has a double meaning to Michael Jack Schmidt. 


The 31-year-old Philadelphia Phillies' third baseman not only has a chance to be on a division winner, but he also has his first crack at the National League Most Valuable Player award.


Schmidt admits the MVP opportunity has crossed his mind. 


While he's concentrating on trying to bring the Phillies home a winner in the National League East, Schmidt was quite willing to speak about his chances at the prize individual award. 


"I realize I've got a chance. I'm not ignorant to that fact. I'm havin' a pretty fair year, " Schmidt said in his matter-of-fact manner.


Schmidt, who has won his league's Gold Glove for third basemen four consecutive years, is having his best offensive season in the eight years he's been in the major leagues. 


At last glance, he led the league in home runs, RBI, total bases and slugging average. 


"This team has a chance to win a National League pennant and the (MVP) a ward usually goes to a guy on the winning team. I think I'm one of the contenders for that title," Schmidt said. 


"It would be the greatest honor of my life," said the oft-booed 203-pound infielder.


Schmidt said he was aware of the other Phillies who could be considered MVP candidates, naming Bake McBride, Steve Carlton and Manny Trillo. 


"Maybe we ought to cut it up in four or five pieces and spread it around, "Schmidt quipped. 


Schmidt has always been one of baseball's premier power hitters. His big problem has been a .255 lifetime batting average. 


That's the big difference this year. He's hitting 25 points above his career norm. What has accounted for this new-found consistency?


"I've adapted a style of hitting that has made me a straightaway hitter," Schmidt explained. 


"I don't rely anymore on just pulling the ball. I hit the inside pitch to center and right-center field," Schmidt noted. 


He credited this new approach to standing further away from the plate.


"This gives me more time to wait on the ball and spray it to different, fields," Schmidt said. "I've given up crowding the plate with a big bat and trying to pull everything." 


He also claimed a new mental aspect. 


"This has enabled me not to get down on myself after a couple of bad games," said Schmidt, who is past years has been prone to go into prolonged slumps. 


"I'm less vulnerable to those long, dry spells," Schmidt said. "I'm a more disciplined hitter than I've ever been. I'm more relaxed. I've gone up there in other years tense and nervous and trying too hard." 


Schmidt has made his usual quota of fine plays at third, although he describes his defense this year as just average. 


Philadelphia manager Dallas Green thinks Schmidt has an excellent chance to win the MVP award if he finishes the season strong. 


"He certainly can throw the necessary statistics at you, and his value to the team is no contest," said Green. 


"These ingredients add up to MVP in my mind," said the Phillies' manager.


Green's only criticism of his third baseman was the manager's feeling that Schmidt doesn't practice intensively enough. 


Schmidt disagreed with Green on this subject. 


"I think I'm a dedicated ballplayer. People don't know how dedicated I am. I work hard enough... you know, you can practice yourself to death.” said Schmidt. 


Schmidt said he believes pitcher Steve Carlton is without question the Phillies' most valuable player, but that the pitcher should be honored with the Cy Young Award. 


"I think the MVP was designed for an everyday player," Schmidt said.