Doylestown Daily Intelligencer - October 14, 1980
Both Royals, Phils Have 'Heart' Needed to Win
By United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) – At least lack of character is no longer an issue in discussing the relative merits of the Philadelphia Phillies and Kansas City Royals.
The two clubs both shed their image as "losers" by winning their respective league playoff series, so that intangible quality called "heart" beats rapidly on both teams..
So. let's get down to basics and compare the overall talent and depth of the two squads.
This is an unusual World Series in that it is the first one in history which will be played entirely on artificial surface.
Yet, both teams have geared their clubs to the fast terrain of the artificial surface so neither team will have an advantage.
The Royals steal more bases than the Phillies, but that's because of their style of play, not because they have a greater number of faster runners.
No one in baseball is faster than the Royals' Willie Wilson, bat the Phillies have plenty of speed with the likes of rookie Lonnie Smith, Garry Maddox and Bake McBride.
The Phillies' image of a powerhitting team also is misleading.
True, Mike Schmidt (48 homers) and Greg Luzinski are among the National League's premier sluggers, but they are the only two who can be considered legitimate home run threats.
The Royals can certainly match the Phillies for power. Kansas City hit only two fewer home runs than the Phillies and they play in a park which is not as conducive to the long ball.
"People think we have a speed club only." points out Royals manager Jim Frey, "but we play in a tough park to hit home runs. We've got four or five guys that can hit homers. I think balls fly out of Veterans Stadium better than in Royals Stadium.''
Here's a capsule comparison of each position.
First base — Willie Aikens of Kansas City vs. Pete Rose of Philadelphia. Aikens has power (20 homers. 98 RBI) but is slow afoot and is only average defensively- Rose is still one of baseball's best hitters despite a .282 average and is an incomparable team leader. Rose also has become an accomplished first baseman. Edge — Rose.
Second base — Frank White of the Royals vs. Manny Trillo of the Phillies. Both players were voted MVPs in their respective playoffs and both are regarded as the premier defensive players in their respective leagues. Trillo is a better hitter but White can hurt you. Edge — White.
Shortstop — U.L. Washington of the Royals vs. Larry Bowa of the Phillies. Both are outstanding defensively and both are switchhitters who make contact and can move runners along. Edge — Even.
Third base — George Brett of the Royals vs. Mike Schmidt of the Phillies. Brett is baseball's best hitter this year and is coming off a hot playoff against the Yankees. Schmidt led the majors in homers but has a reputation of not hitting well in postseason competition. Defensively. Schmidt is among the best but Brett has improved greatly. Edge — Brett.
Left field - Willie Wilson of the Royals vs. Greg Luzinski and Lonnie Smith of the Phillies Wilson, who led the American League in hits (230) and runs scored (133) is the Royals' catalyst and because of his great speed is an added danger on the artificial surface. Luzinski has power but is slow in the field while Smith hits and runs well but is prone to rookie mistakes in the field. Edge — Wilson.
Center field — Amos Otis of the Royals vs. Garry Maddox of the Phillies. Both played well in the playoffs in all facets of the game. Maddox is probably a better hitter over the long haul, but Otis has a way of getting himself rolling in postseason competition. Both are good fielders who cover a lot of ground. Edge — Maddox.
Right field — Clint Hurdle and John Wathan of Royals vs. Bake McBride of Phillies. Hurdle and Wathan can both hit but are only average defensively. McBride had his best season at the plate (.309. 87 RBI) and covers a lot of ground in right. Edge - McBride.
Catcher — Darrell Porter ana Wathan of Royals vs. Bob Boone of Phillies. Porter has lost some of his
competitive desire following his bout with alcohol and drug addiction and had a disappointing season. Wathan is a better catcher than he is right fielder. Boone is one of the better defensive catchers in the NL but slumped badly at the plate. Edge — Boone.
Pitching — The Royals don't have anyone who can match the Phillies' Steve Carlton but Kansas City's trio of Dennis Leonard, Larry Gura and Rich Gale is solid, if not spectacular. After Carlton, the only starter the Phillies can count on for consistency is Dick Ruthven. In the bullpen, the Royals' Dan Quisenberry tied for the major league lead in saves (33) and Paul Splittorff, who most likely will operate out of the bullpen for the World Series, will add some quality long relief for Kansas City. Tug McGraw, a short reliever, is really the only reliable pitcher the Phillies have in the bullpen. Edge — Kansas City.
Bench — With Smith, Del Unser, Greg Gross and Keith Moreland, the Phillies have a lot of versatility. Philadelphia pinch hitters batted .266 this season compared to .255 for the Royals. Edge — Phillies.
Leonard to Face Hard-Hitting Phils
By United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) – The first game of the 1980 World Series shapes up as a battle between one of baseball's top power pitchers and a fastball-hilling team.
Dennis Leonard, who picked up his third 20-win season in 1980, will be on the mound for the Kansas City Royals Tuesday night for the opener against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The 29-year-old right-hander will be facing a lineup that includes Mike Schmidt, the top home run hitter in the majors this year with 48. and a proven power source in Greg Luzinski.
But Leonard says he isn't changing his style to neutralize a free-swinging team like the Phillies.
"I haven't seen them too much and I'll have to go over the scouting reports." he said. "But I have to pitch the way I pitch. I have to pitch where my strength is. I can’t alter my style to suit them. If they're a fastball-hitting team, then it will be strength vs. strength.
“You think of the Phillies having the power and us having the speed. But "(teammate) Hal McRae pointed out to me that they only hit two more home runs than we did. They're a lot like the Yankees in that you have to neutralize their power — and that's Schmidt and Luzinski."
Even though Leonard doesn't know too much about the Phillies' hitters and vice versa, Leonard feels he has an edge.
"In that case, the pitcher has some kind of advantage" he said. "A hitter never knows what the pitcher is going to throw him. A pitcher can throw four different pitches."
Leonard worked in Game 2 of the Royals' three-game sweep of New York in the American League Championship Series. He worked eight innings, allowing seven hits, and picked up the decision in a 3-2 win.
Kansas City manager Jim Frey said he decided to go with Leonard over left-hander Larry Gura, His starter in the championship series opener, because of the Phillies' right-handed power.
"The only way to describe him is a power pitcher," Frey said of Leonard. "He throws a fastball, slider and changeup but he's a good power pitcher."
The matchup against Phillies rookie Bob Walk will give Leonard an opportunity to show the nation how he has become one of the most consistent pitchers in the American League.
From 1975 to 1978, the Sarasota, Fla. native compiled records of 15-7, 17-10, 20-12 and 21-17 before slipping to 14-12 in 1979, a year where he suffered elbow problems early in the season.
"I guess you could say I do it quietly." Leonard said of his successful seasons. "People in baseball know what I've been doing. I feel really good when the opposing team I pitched a good game. It doesn't matter what is written."
Pennant Makes Phils' Dreams Come True
By United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) – When the Philadelphia Phillies last went to a World Series 30 years ago, 14 players on the current team weren't even born.
But they've been dreaming about what they've been missing. "It will be the biggest thrill of my life," said Ramon Aviles, 28, who grew up in Puerto Rico and whose Series images revolve around Roberto Clemente m 1971, when it was Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore.
"I always dreamed of signing a professional baseball contract, of playing in the major leagues, of playing in a championship series and then the World Series. All my dreams have come true," said Aviles.
Rookie pitcher Marty Bystrom, 22, grew up in Miami and hadn't even seen a regular season major league game until the Phillies brought him up from the minor leagues to finish out the season.
"I used to dream about pitching in it (the Series)," said Bystrom, who went 5-0 and made the postseason roster because of the shoulder problems of Nino Espinosa. "I could picture myself pitching in it and winning a ballgame."
Larry Bowa, 34, the man ahead of Aviles in the lineup at shortstop, has been a Phillie since 1970. He was just a tot in 1950 and seems like a little boy still as he discusses his dream with sparkling eyes.
“It's probably the ultimate, every ballplayer's dream. That's what it's all about,” Bowa said.
"I always watched them (Series games) even if it meant staying home from school," he said. "I used to love the Yankees all the time. I loved the Yankees."
Not all the Phillies, however, are youngsters.
Pete Rose, now 39 and the oldest player on the roster, won a World Series ring when the Cincinnati Reds beat the Boston Red Sox in 1975. The following year, the Reds beat the Yankees, and in 1980. Rose will be starting in his fourth World Series.
Not many of his teammates have shared the experience. Relief pitcher Tug McGraw made it in 1973 when he went with the New York Mets, who lost to Oakland. He also was on the 1969 Mets World Champions squad but did not see any action.
Ace starter Steve Carlton played in two Series with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards won in 1967 against Boston, but lost to Detroit in 1968.
Phillies broadcaster Tim McCarver, a temporary Phillie when he was activated in September to play in his fourth decade, played in the 1964, 1967 and 1968 World Series with the Cardinals.
"It's the General Motors of your career," McCarver said, in summing up the culmination of the baseball player's dreams.
Phils Face Royals' Galaxy of Stars
By United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) — Frank White doesn't have the reputation for being brash, so it was surprising when he approached teammate Paul Splittorff before the start of the American League Championship Series with a prediction.
"The only time I ever made a prediction in my life was before the playoffs." the Kansas City Royals second baseman said Monday while working out in preparation for tonight's opening game of the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
"I told Split I want to beat the Yankees so bad and wanted to play a big role. That's the first time I actuallv said what I wanted to do, and did it." White said.
All White did in the Royals' threegame sweep of New York was go 6-for-ll and contribute several dazzling defensive plays to win recognition as the Most Valuable Player of the series in leading his team into its first World Series.
But White wasn't the only second baseman to have an outstanding championship series. Manny Trillo hit .381 while showing equally flashy glove work to gain MVP honors in the Phillies' gut-wrenching playoff victory over the Houston Astros.
So the World Series will showcase two of baseball's finest second basemen. White, who played with Trillo in winter ball in Venezuela in 1974, doesn't mind all the comparisons.
"I've always been compared to players," he said. "I hate to be compared. I don't like it normally. But being compared to Trillo doesn't bother me. He's recognized as the best. The only people I like to respect me are the people I play against and the people I play for."
The 30-year-old second baseman isn't making another prediction, but he thinks the Royals can finish on top if they continue to play their game.
"If we play this series like we did against the Yankees we'll be all right," he said. "As far as I can see. the game boils down to pitching and defense. Both teams have a strong relief pitcher. We'll be OK as long as we don't beat ourselves."
White is just one of a galaxy of stars Kansas City will parade tonight before an anticipated Veterans Stadium sellout crowd of more than 65.000. George Brett led the American League in hitting with a .390 average — the top mark in 39 years — and Willie Wilson stroked 230 hits with 133 runs scored.
The Royals also boast one of the finest relief pitchers in baseball in Dan Quisenberry, who recorded 33 saves with 12 wins during the regular season and won a game and saved another in the championship series.
Quisenberry. who struggled to gain recognition even with the year he had, said he didn't look at the World Series as a chance to show the nation who he was.
"I don't consider it a showcase for me." he said. "I consider It a showcase for the Kansas City Royals and the Philadelphia Phillies. These are two teams that went through a lot of frustration and heartache. They both failed three times to get in and now they're here."
If the Royals do have an advantage, it's a rested starting rotation. Manager Jim Frey tabbed Dennis Leonard for tonight's game, followed by lefty Larry Gura on Wednesday night and Rich Gale on Friday night, when the series moves back to Kansas City.
But Frey said he didn't think either team would have an edge.
"I answered the same question before the playoffs," he said. "People said we didn't have to win a game the last three or four weeks while the Yankees had to fight until the last game, so they would win. Now they're saying the Phillies will have that advantage.
"Well, the Orioles won big when I was there and won the playoff s. The theory that you have to be in a dogfight to win doesn't hold up. In a World Series, it's the same old story. Whoever has the best pitching is going to win. There's not much more than that."
Rose Comes Very Close to Being Best in Game
By Milton Richman, United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) — Years ago. The Dodgers had a ballplayer with so much fire, so much natural ability, that many of those who saw him still feel he might've turned out to be on the greatest of all tune had he not run into a wall and finished himself for good.
His name was Pete Reiser and they called him Pistol Pete because he could shoot you dead with his bat, his glove, his arms or his legs.
The only one around who comes anywhere near him in all respects is Philadelphia's Pete Rose.
They call him Charlie Hustle, but they really should call him Pistol Pete, too, because you seldom ever see him cold and generally he's red hot.
Especially at times like this when they're playing for the whole box of biscuits. He loves it. He eats it up. The more that's on the line, the more he gets his juices up.
Says Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda: "He plays baseball like my wife shops — all day long."
The day before the Phillies began their five-game showdown with the Astros for the National League pennant. Rose was bouncing around first base like a kid during the Phils' workout. You could sense he was ready and he said he was.
"I feel I'm gonna have a good playoff" he said, and he certainly did. All he did was lead all the Philadelphia regulars with his .400 figure against the Astros and extend his hitting string in the playoffs to 13 games.
Every time you looked up, he also was doing a little something extra in the field whether it was grabbing a hot smash around first base, making a key relay home or wiping out some poor catcher barreling into the plate.
Pete Rose says he feels good about the World Series with the Kansas City Royals starting today. The last time he talked that way was just before the 1975 World Series when he was still with the Cincinnati Reds and they were about to meet the Boston Red Sox. He hit .370 in that one, winding up the Series' MVP and winner of the $10.000 Hickok Award. The Royals can't say they weren't warned.
"He can't wait to get out on the field," marveled his old boss with the Reds, Sparky Anderson, who is working the Series for CBS Radio "Here's a man 39 years old going to play in his fifth World Series and he's as excited as if it were his first. I wish every young man starting out in life could watch him and take a lesson from him.
He has done more for this game than any athlete I can think of has done for any other sport. This for him is fun and business together. And the remarkable thing about him is his enthusiasm never diminishes."
Tom Seaver is another fellow who has some extra insight into Rose. Seaver has seen him from two different perspectives. He has seen him as the enemy when he was pitching against him for the Mets and as an ally when Rose was his teammate with the Reds.
"So what if he's 39?" said Seaver, doing the Series' color for NBC-TV. "He's as good as he was five years ago. He only knows how to play one way, heads up and all out. There's no set way to pitch to him. You pitch him in and out, up and down, the same way you pitch (George) Brett. He's gonna hit your mistake evey time. Hit it hard, too."
For most ballplayers, the World Series is the highest possible form of competition. For Pete Rose, it's more like a county fair and he has himself a ball, playing, taking in the whole atmosphere and answering all questions.
One of the questions they asked him had to do with the designated hitter. Who would he name for the job if he were managing the Phillies?
"Why don't you watt a coupla years and ask me," he parried, leaving the thought he might be persuaded to manage a club sometime in the future.
Rose said that naming the Phillies' designated hitter was more in Dallas Green's province than his, although he added that either Del Unser or Greg Gross could do a capable job. Green might decide to use Greg Luzinski as his DH, Rose pointed out.
Finishing up, the Phillies' switch-hitting marvel said be thought it would be an exciting World Series.
Walk Gets the Nod in 'Series' Opener
By Paul Giordano
PHILADELPHIA – The kid handled it exceptionally well. He took on the media by the hundred and never flinched. He didn't stutter, stammer or fall.
There he was, just 23-years old. Five months out of the Phillies' farm system and he was starting game one of the 1980 World Series. It's been that kind of year for Bob Walk.
The last time a rookie started a Series opener. Walk wasn't even born. It was Joe Black of the then Brooklyn Dodgers, starting against the big. bad New York Yankees.
And, Black won it.
Now. it's a youngster named Walk, with a cool couple of million dollars on the line. No sweat, not in Dallas Green's eyes.
"I've told you guys before I like his demeanor." Green said. "He's got belly. He comes right at you. If I was afraid to pitch him. I wouldn't have brought him up back in May when we were struggling for pitching help. He'll give a good account of himself."
"I'm a little nervous." Walk said at Monday's workout, "but I'll be OK at game time. It's just a matter of making that first pitch. And, unlike what Marty Bystrom had to go through in Houston, we are at home."
But what a dream come through for the kid. Naturally, every major league ballplayer's dream, but this one happening so fast. And thousand of guys never made it, still dreaming of what could have been if.
The closest Walk's ever been to a World Series was via Doug DeCinces' (Baltimore Orioles third baseman’s credit card.
"I was pumping gas back home (Newhall, Calif.) and the series between the Pirates and Orioles had just ended. I didn't get to see much of it because I was too busy pumping gas (at $3.75 per hour).
"This guy came into the station to get some gas and then paid me with a credit card. I looked at the card and saw his name. I asked him if he was the same Doug DeCinces who played for the Orioles and he said yes. I got a big thrill out of that. Now look where I am."
Walk didn't know, although he had a feeling, that he was going to be the guy to get tonight's nod. Pitching coach Herm Starrette told Walk about one hour before Monday's workout.
"I heard something about the possibility of it after we won the pennant Sunday night," Walk said. "But I didn't get the official word until Herm Starrette told me an hour ago. He just said it was me. I said. 'OK.'
"I'm very excited right now, but it will wear by game time. And I'm not going to worry too much about it I'm not going to get fancy and I'm not going to try and do more than I'm capable of.
"Sure I'm a rookie, but maybe, in Tuesday night's game it kind of evens out. They (Royals) have never seen me and I've never seem them. I'd say we're starting off pretty even.
"I'll just do the best I can We have a good bullpen, although it's a little tired right now, to back me up My fastball is my best pitch and I'm just going to throw, it, stay ahead of the pitchers and take it from there."
The kid handled it exceptionally well.
With the Pressure Off, Watch Out for Sluggers
By Paul Giordano
PHILADELPHIA--The Phillies in six. And this time around Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski will do the damage The pressure's off, they won the playoffs. And when they're loose, no one does It better.
Still, at Monday's workout, the League Championship Series was still lingering on. Monday seemed just like another day at the ballpark.
"Maybe it's because of the way it all happened in Houston," Larry Bowa said. "I guess I’m still a little numb from last night I didn't sleep all night and I think more than anything, I'm a little drained. But when tomorrow comes. I'll be ready. No one can possibly be tired for the Series. I've been waiting to get into this thing since I was five."
"I've never been in a series like that,” Pete Rose said. So many highs and lows. It was a very emotional series. mentally drained us. But there’s no pressure in the World Series, there is no place to go from here. All the pressure is in the playoffs.
"I'd ra'her be where we are than where Kansas City is. I believe in momentum. And when you have it you want to play every day. Montreal had a day off before the final series of the season and we didn't. They came out and their bats were flat we seerned to have the momentum "
"We've never been more prepared," Dallas Green said. We're off today and we'll be ready tomorrow Our pitching is sound and healthy."
"This isn't a showcase for me," George Brett said, "it's more for the whole ballclub. As far as the town (Kansas City) is considered, we've already won the World Series by beating the Yankees."
"I don't know too much about them." said Royals' starter Dennis Leonard, "just what I've seen on TV. They have some power with Schmidt and Luzinski. But we neutralized the Yankees' power, Jackson, and it's our job to keep the ball in the park."
The designated hitter will be part of the 1980 World Series. Kansas City's Hal McRae will be the DH for the visitors. Del Unser should open as the Phils' DH Tuesday night and alternate with Greg Luzinski, depending on who is pitching.
· This will be the third time the DH has been used in Series play.
· The home team has won the Series opener 44 times (58 per cent) and swept the first two games at home 23 times. Home teams have won 53 per cent of the Series games.
· This will be the first World Series played on artificial turf.
· Dallas Green and Royals' manager Jim Frey are the first rookie managers to be in a rookie Series matchup. The last rookie manager to appear in a World Series was Tom Lasorda in 1977.
· The last rookie manager to win a World Series was Ralph Houk, with the New York Yankees, in 1961. The last NL manager to win a Series was Eddie Dyer of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1964.
· Only Royals' players to have World Series experience are McRae, who played in the 1970 and 1972 Series with Cincinnati and pitcher Ken Brett who played with the Boston Red Sox in 1967.
· For the Phillies, Pete Rose has played in the 1970. 1972. 1975 and 1976 Series with the Reds. Steve Carlton has been there twice, both with the Cardinals, in 1967 and 1968. Tug McGraw, with the Mets, appeared ir. the 1969 and 1973 Series.