Philadelphia Inquirer - October 1, 1980
Expos win to remain in 1st place
By Al Morganti, Inquirer Staff Writer
MONTREAL – More and more, they're playing as if this is their year, playing as if this will be their pennant.
Far from the snakepit of the Phillies' clubhouse, and far from the booing at the Vet, the Expos continued their love affair with the people of Montreal with a 7-2 win over the Cardinals, a win that kept them a half game ahead of the Phillies and a win that means that no matter what happens tonight and tomorrow night, the Phillies must now win two out of three here over the weekend to win the pennant outright.
"We're not thinking about anything like that," said Expos manager Dick Williams. "We're just concerned about tomorrow and we want to savor this one today. He pitched a heckuva game out there."
"He" is Bill Gullickson, who is 10-3 since the all-star break and the guy Williams has tabbed to pitch Sunday if it all comes down to that game. Gullickson threw a scare into Williams and the 30,759 fans who showed up on a cold, rainy night when he was hit by a line drive by Ken Oberkfell in the bottom of the seventh.
It was the last out of the inning, but he was removed from the game.
"I was concerned," said Williams. "I thought it hit bone, but it didn't. It's just a flesh wound above the right knee. He'll be sore, but he'll be all right."
He was all right through the seven innings last night as he fell behind, 1-0 and 2-1, due to three Expos errors before Rodney Scott, Andre Dawson and Larry Parrish exploded for key hits when the Expos scored five runs in the sixth inning, giving Gullickson a 6-2 lead.
The Expos could have fallen apart. It was drizzling; the game had been delayed 1 hour, 43 minutes; it was bitter cold and, over their shoulder, the scoreboard hung in a frozen mist with the Phillies' 14-2 victory staring down at them.
But with one out in the sixth, Scott turned a bloop single into a triple, by simply tearing around the bases as the ball bounced away from center-fielder Tony Scott.
He scored when Roland Office grounded to second, tying the game. Then, with two outs, the real explosion occurred.
Dawson (who would hit a home run the next inning) smashed his second consecutive triple to center field, and Gary Carter knocked in his 100th run with a ground-rule double to right-center, giving the Expos a 3-2 lead.
After Warren Cromartie was intentionally walked, Parrish ended starter Bob Forsch's night with a line-drive, three-run home run to right field for a 6-2 lead.
The next inning Dawson blasted his home run deep into the left-field bleachers, giving the Expos their 7-2 margin.
The Expos play the Cards tonight with a day off tomorrow. The Phils play the Cubs tonight and tomorrow night.
The worst that could happen for the Expos would be if they lost tonight and the Phils won two. That would mean, entering the final weekend, the Expos would be one game behind the Phillies.
Even at that, the Phillies would have to win two games here over the weekend to win the pennant outright. If they only won one, they would tie for the pennant, both teams with 90-72 records.
But that is all hypothetical stuff. The kind of stuff Williams and the Expos don't want to talk about.
They saw the scoreboard. They know they could use some help from the Cubbies, but they aren't counting on it.
"We can't worry about anybody else," said Williams. "We just have to worry about ourselves."
Freedom of Choice
At the Vet (7:35 p.m.), it's the continuing saga (Monday it seemed as though it might continue all night long) of the Phillies vs. the Expos, one of those late September scenes in which fans keep one eye on the action on the field and the other on the action on the scoreboard.
Across the street at the Spectrum it's the Flyers vs. the Rangers but really vs. the Ghost of Stanley Cups Past, represented in human form behind the Rangers bench by Freddie Shero. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
PHILLIES vs. Chicago at Veterans Stadium, 7:35 p.m. (Radio-KYW-1060)
FLYERS vs. New York Rangers at Spectrum, 7:05 p.m. (Radio-WIP-610)
Happiness for Dick Williams is a rip-roarin’ pennant race
These are the times that make Dick Williams' days and nights. "Beautiful, just beautiful," exclaimed the manager of the Montreal Expos, who are locked in a battle with the Phillies for the NL East title. "I'm having a ball. I just enjoy a pennant race.... It brings out such good baseball from everybody.
"The Cardinals are busting their tails, and I'm sure the Cubs are, too. And that just makes for great baseball.
"You couldn't play with this much intensity every day because you'd burn out," Williams added. "But, when it gets to this time of year, it's just great to be part of it."
As for his young Expos, who were in the race last season until fading in the final week, Williams said: "We're a year older and a year more mature. This is a team, and every night a different guy is doing it for us. That's the way you win pennants."
Phillies have more than Expos to conquer
By Frank Dolson, Inquirer Sports Editor
There have been successful teams all over baseball that have had different images," Mike Schmidt said. "Cincinnati: straight-laced, conservative, low socks, black shoes, tradition. Yankees: bad press, tough press, Reggie Jackson, Billy Martin. Oakland: fighting in the clubhouse. Yet they were all winning teams."
The 1980 Phillies have an image, too. Not a pretty image, but a strong one that has been growing stronger with each passing day of the stretch drive, with each comment by the manager, each story in the papers, each sign of anger in the clubhouse. It's the image of an egotistical team, of a group of spoiled stars whose attitude contrasts sharply with the "We, not I" philosophy their manager has gone to considerable lengths to foster.
On Monday night the Phillies achieved a rather monumental victory in their bid to beat out Montreal. After apparently giving away the game in the top of the 15th, they scored three times to pull it out in the bottom of the 15th.
Ordinarily, you'd have expected superlatives to fly in the manager's office after a win like that. But this is no ordinary team, and no ordinary manager running it. He says what he thinks, and some of the things he thinks about the 1980 Phillies aren't all that great.
"I'd say 90 percent of these guys care, they want to win," Green said. "The rest, well, they can look in the mirror. They know if they care or not."
Shocking words to come from a manager whose team is fighting for first place with less than a week to go, and it angered more than a few of his players. "Here we are going for a pennant and he thinks he's the only one that cares," one veteran said before last night's romp over the Cubs. "I'm tired of reading that stuff. He just doesn't understand. It's as simple as that."
Clearly, it is Green's view that he does understand, and he is past caring how his veteran players – spoon-fed by Danny Ozark for the last seven years – react to his criticisms.
"I've tried to steer them right," he said yesterday. "I've tried to tell them what it's all about. I've tried to prepare them."
The Green approach has met with stiff opposition and, in some cases, outspoken resentment.
"But," said the manager, "you ask any of those guys if they want to play on the Phillies and they say yes. I wonder, do those guys really know what it's all about in the outer world?"
He meant away from that protective Phillies front office, away from a club that pays top dollar and maintains a close management-player relationship that can only be termed remarkable in this age.
"Look," said Green, "I know there are guys in there who really care and really want to do it and they're the guys we have to worry about. Let's face it, the rest of the guys we can't change in this short a time. Maybe being part of a big winner-type thing will make them feel more part of the family. I don’t know. I certainly hope they would enjoy winning."
One thing they clearly do not enjoy is criticism. But then, not many people do.
Their sensitivity, Green suggested, "is a weakness that's been engraved in this thing for seven years. It's the inability to look in the mirror, which I've been screaming about all year. They can't accept the press (criticizing them) or the manager or a coach or anybody. They hardly can accept a teammate (doing it). It's a sad state of affairs."
And yet, as sad as it may be, here come the Phillies rumbling down the stretch, heading for a weekend showdown in Montreal.
"We'll win it," said Green, matter of factly. "In spite of themselves they'll win it. They will. I really feel it."
And if some of the players are determined to do it their way – well, the manager will continue to manage, and to criticize, his way.
"I knew it wasn't going to be a picnic," he said, "but I knew I would try with my whole heart to do it my way regardless of what happened. I knew it wasn't going to come out very pleasant. I'm a guy basically that likes to be liked. But I've come to the point where I could care less. I really could care less."
So this strangest of teams careens through this weirdest of stretch drives. Even while steamrollering the Cubs, 14-2, last night, there was the sound of boos at the Vet the fans' way, apparently, of getting back at Larry Bowa for calling them "the worst bleeping fans , in the whole league."
It's crazy, what's happening here, and the craziest part of all is that for all the unhappiness, for all the fuss, for all the boos, Green's prediction of a Phillies title may turn out to be correct.
"At times," said Mike Schmidt, "we're out there trying to beat the other team, trying to beat the mood of the crowd, trying to beat all kinds of external forces that we shouldn't have to be trying to beat in our own minds. The only way to put a damper on this stuff is to scrape out a divisional title and a playoff title and a World Series title, and all you've got to do is do it once."
That – and only that, Mike Schmidt knows – would change the image. That – and only that – would turn the Phillies from a club of spoiled stars, a club that can't win the big game, to unqualified heroes.
The present image, Schmidt was quick to say, "burns me up, if you want to know the truth."
The manager's remarks following that 15-inning victory didn't exactly thrill him, either. For all his "cool" approach to the game, and to life in general, the man who deserves strong consideration as the National League's most valuable player cares a lot about the fortunes of the 1980 Phillies.
"I think that's a ridiculous statement (to suggest some players don't care)," Schmidt said. "There ain't a guy in here that doesn't want $30,000 (for winning the World Series). But I guess he feels there shouldn't be a negative vibration about anything – from lineups to making you bunt to not putting on the hit and run sign."
In the end, though, only one thing will stop those negative vibrations.
"It's going to be the same old Phillies if we dont win," the big league's No. 1 home run hitter knew. "Or it's going to be the team that conquered everything there was to conquer if we do win."
Stick around. The image that the 1980 Phillies carry into the history books is still subject to change.
Phils catch fire and burn Cubs, 14-2
Rookie Bystrom now 5-0
By Jayson Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Phillies stopped pointing fingers last night and tried pointing a few guys toward home plate. Now there was a novel development.
One 14-2 win over the Cubs didn't exactly drum all their internal problems away. But it did keep them a half-game back of the Expos. It did get some assorted Bob Derniers and Tim McCarvers in there by the ninth inning. It did beat having to score three runs in the 15th inning. So it wasn't all bad.
"We should be past all our problems now," said Dallas Green, a day after threatening to unload the 10 percent of his players he said "don't care" even if his team won the World Series.
"Those kinds of little frustrations and blow-ups should cease. We should get one thought in our minds, and that's to win. There are enough guys out there who want to do that and make it a team effort."
On the other hand, Green didn't back off from his iceberg-tough words of the night before, either.
He said he told Paul Owens yesterday that "I have to do it my way or I'm not gonna do it." He said he told owner Ruly Carpenter that "he (Carpenter) doesn’t totally understand what's going on here."
He repeated his threat to trade the guys he views as subversives. "I'll make every effort to make sure Paul Owens knows about the 10 percent," he said. "They won't be around."
Ah, yes. Just another lighthearted night at the Vet, 12-run win or no 12-run win.
It was a night when 24,349 people at the Vet booed their favorite shortstop, Larry Bowa, as though he were Sirhan Sirhan. But Bowa responded with an RBI single and a gut-busting tear up the first-base line to beat out an infield single that led to the sixth run.
He also snared a Dave Kingman line drive, was booed lustily and responded by waving his cap.
"He can rip me on the radio every night if he plays like he did tonight," Green said.
One guy who has managed to stand above the din is Marty Bystrom. But then, anybody who would boo him these days would also boo his grandmother.
The guy is 5-0, with a 1.50 earned-run average. He has started 37 innings in the big leagues and has been scored upon in only five. He has been dropped from the wilds of Oklahoma into the jungle of the pennant race. And yet he has felt about as much tension pitching as he does breathing.
"I don't let things bother me," this 22-year-old scourge said matter-of-factly. "Never did. That's the key to my success.
"I've seen a lot of guys get out there, maybe give up a couple of runs and they're walking around, ticked off at themselves. Then it's all over. If somebody makes an error behind me or I give up a couple of hits, I don't let it bother me. I just try and work out of it."
He didn't have a whole lot to work out of last night. By the start of the fifth inning, he had a 6-0 lead and a no-hitter in progress. But Steve Dillard bounced a a one-out single into left. That was followed by a Mike O'Berry single, a walk to Jesus Figueroa and Ivan DeJesus' RBI single.
Suddenly, it was 6-1, bases still loaded. And you had to wonder whether this was where the kid finally blows apart. Nah, he fanned Mike Tyson with a big breaking ball for the second out. Then up came Bill (.322) Buckner.
"I know he's one of the best hitters in the league, but I can't give in," Bystrom said. "I just can't let these guys bother me. I threw him two fastballs. He took the first one. The next one he popped up. And that was it."
That was it, all right. Bystrom allowed only one more hit through the seven innings he worked. Dickie Noles had a 12-run pad to work with in the eighth and ninth. And the big question facing Dallas Green is when – or if – Bystrom will pitch again.
The options are: 1) starting him Sunday in Montreal if the Phils have a one-game lead and saving Sieve Carlton for bigger things, or 2) possibly starting Bystrom in the one-game playoff Monday if the Phils and Expos are still tied Sunday.
Green wouldn't commit himself to either option. But Bystrom vowed, "I wouldn't be scared. I'd love to get that chance."
He would love to get the same kind of offense he got last night, too. The Phillies' 15 hits were their most since Wrigley Field. Their 14 runs were almost as many as they had scored in the previous six games combined. They hadn't scored more than three runs in an inning since Sept. 14. They did it three times last night.
They did it with the same Smith-Moreland-Unser lineup they had used the night before. Smith responded with three hits, three runs and his 32d stolen base (tying Richie Ashburn's 1948 club record for rookies). Moreland drilled a two-run double in the four-run first. Unser kept the first inning alive with a big walk after being down 0-and-2, then thumped a sacrifice fly in the four-run sixth.
"I don't feel like I'm on the spot," said Smith, who has been on base seven times in 12 trips since replacing Greg Luzinski. "If he keeps playing me, I'll be happy about that. But if he doesn't I won't feel bad, just as long as we keep playing our type of game."
Presumably, he meant the type of game where they point guys toward home plate, not the one where they point fingers.
NOTES: It's never been easy to be a Phillies fan. But it was especially tough yesterday. First, they had to pick up the paper and read that Larry Bowa thought they were "the worst bleeping fans in baseball." Then they read Dallas Green saying that not many Phillies "would be willing to say they want to win this for the fans." Green also said the fans had "given up" and that he was disappointed that only 40,000 people showed up for Sunday's game with Montreal. But take heart, folks. At least Phillies vice-president Bill Giles likes you. "Despite what Dallas said, I was quite happy with the attendance this weekend (a near-record 144,250 for the three games)," Giles said yesterday. He said that this year figures to be the third-biggest attendance year in club history, and if it weren't for the strike threat in May, "it probably would have been our best year ever."... Giles also said the glare problem that caused Garry Maddox to lose the ball in the sun Sunday can be eliminated by hanging tarps beyond the 300-level seats. Giles said that will be done in any future games starting in the mid-or late-afternoon.... It was incorrectly reported that if a one-game playoff between the Phillies and Expos was necessary, it would start at 1 p.m. Monday. The game actually would begin at 2 p.m. Tickets will go on sale at the Vet immediately after Sunday's game in Montreal if the Monday playoff is needed....The 45 players the Phillies and Cubs used Monday was six short of the major-league record for an extra-inning game. The Phillies and Cardinals used 51 in a 17-inning marathon in 1974. The 14 pitchers the clubs used were one short of the record. That mark was set in another Phillies-Cardinals game in 1954.... Because the Cubs had to use Dennis Lamp in relief Monday, they probably will move up rookie Rudy Martz (1-2, 2.25) a day to pitch against Steve Carlton tonight. Lamp likely will go tomorrow against Bob Walk.