Syracuse Post-Standard - October 14, 1980
Frey Missed NL Fray
By Joe Juliano, United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - Kansas City Manager Jim Frey didn't seem to be interested that the Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros were beating their brains out Sunday night to determine who would meet the Royals in the World Series.'
"I watched the first six innings on TV at the airport, but then I went into another room and played hearts," Frey said Monday while the American League champions worked out in preparation for their series opener against the Phillies Tuesday night.
"Someone came in later and told me that the Phillies won. I didn't care too much. I didn't want to root for one team over another because I'm superstitious. I didn't know much about either club really."
The Royals rested in New York over the weekend after sweeping the Yankees in three games to earn their first ever World Series. The Phillies, meanwhile, had to go five gruelling games — four of which went into extra innings — to eke out the victory over the Astros.
Frey said he really didn't think one team or the other would have an advantage in the Series.
"The two teams are coming in here with similar backgrounds," he said. "It's the first World Series for a lot of people here, so I think it's going to be a tough one.
"I think our pitchers are more rested but psychologically and emotionally I think it's the same for both teams. They played a tough series but by tomorrow afternoon both teams should be at the same emotional level."
Frey nominated right-hander Dennis Leonard, a 20-game winner this season, to start the opener with Larry Gura going in the second game. Frey said the selection of Leonard was based on the Phillies' right-handed power hitters.
"The Phillies have a lot of right-handed power in (Mike) Schmidt, (Greg) Luzinski, (Garry) Maddox, (Bob) Boone and (Manny) Trillo," Frey said. "I don't know too much else about them."
KC Royals Will Win In Five
By Hal Bock, The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Here is the way the Kansas City Royals and the Philadelphia Phillies match up for the 1980 World Series:
FIRST BASE - Kansas City uses Willie Mays Aikens (.278), who slugged 20 home runs and drove in 98 runs, as one of its top power threats. Philadelphia has future Hall of Famer Pete Rose (.282), the inspirational leader of the team. Edge: Phillies.
SECOND BASE - A matchup of playoff MVPs. Both Philadelphia's Manny Trillo (.292) and Kansas City's Frank White (.264) are brilliant defensively and capable of delivering key hits. Edge: Tossup.
SHORTSTOP — A pair of switch-hitters. The Philles use veteran Larry Bowa (.267), a perennial Gold Glove winner who made just 17 errors. U.L. Washington (.273) of the Royals committed 32 errors. Edge: Phillies.
THIRD BASE — Two awesome hitters here with George Brett (.390, 24 home runs, 118 RBI) and Philadelphia's Mike Schmidt (.286, 48-121). Schmidt suffered through a playoff slump. Brett won the American League series with a third-game homer. Edge: Royals.
LEFT FIELD — Kansas City's Willie Wilson (.326) led the majors with 230 hits and stole 79 bases. Philadelphia's Greg Luzinski (.228) struggled through an injury-riddled season. Edge: Royals.
CENTER FIELD — The Royals' Amos Otis (.251) struggled at bat but is still a standout on defense. Garry Maddox of the Phillies (.259) delivered the winning hit in the playoffs and has few peers defensively. Edge: Phillies.
RIGHT FIELD - Kansas City will platoon Clint Hurdle (.294, 10-60) and John Wathan (.305 6-58). Neither possesses the glove or speed of Philadelphia's Bake McBride (-309,9- 87). Edge: Phillies.
CATCHER - Philadelphia's Bob Boone (.229) is playing with a banged up leg. Kansas City's Darrell Porter (.249) struggled through a tough season at the plate but is a good mechanical receiver. Edge: Royals.
STARTING PITCHING - Kansas City's rotation will be Dennis Leonard (20-11, 3.79), Larry Gura (18-10, 2.95), and Rich Gale (13-9, 3.92). Also available is left-hander Paul Splittorff (14-11, 4.15). The Phillies will open with rookie Bob Walk (11-7, 4.56) followed by ace Steve Carlton (24-9, 2.34). Look for Dick Ruthven (17-10,3.55) as the Game Three pitcher. The grueling, five-game National League playoff against Houston scrambled the Phillies' rotation. The Kansas City pitchers come in well rested. Edge: Royals.
RELIEF PITCHING — Kansas City's bullpen ace is submariner Dan Quisenberry (12-7, 3.09, 33 saves). Splittorff would add a left-hander along with journeyman Ken Brett, who pitched 13 Va scoreless innings and picked up one save. Also available are Renie Martin (10-10, 4.39, two saves) and Marty Pattin (4-0, 3.64, four saves).
Philadelphia's answer to Quisenberry is 36- year-old Tug McGraw (5-4, 1.47, 20 saves). McGraw may be arm-weary after setting a record by pitching in all five playoff games. The rest of the Phillies' bullpen is composed of Kevin Saucier (7-3, 3.42), Ron Reed (7-5, 4.05, nine saves), Dickie Noles (1-4, 3.89, six saves) and Warren Brusstar (2-2, 3.69, no saves). Rookie Marty Bystrom (5-0,1.50) and veteran Larry Christenson (5-1, 4.01) also could figure in the bullpen, depending on the Phillies' starting rotation. Edge: Royals.
DH-BENCH - The Royals' Hal McRae (.297, 14-83) is the textbook designated hitter and an important part of the Kansas City offense. The Phillies have a variety of candidates for the DH role, which will be in use in this series. They include rookie Lonnie Smith (.339, 3-20) and veterans Del Unser (.264 0-10) and Greg Gross (.240, 0-12) or rookie Keith Moreland (.314, 4-29). The other Royal reserves include journeyman outfielder Jose Cardenal (.340 in 25 games), veteran infielder Dave Chalk (.251), utilitymen Pete LaCock (.205) and Jamie Quirk (.276). Edge: Royals.
PREDICTION — Because it took so much out of them to win the NL playoffs, the Phillies won't have much left to give against the rested Royals. Kansas City in five games.
NL Playoff Foes 'Played the Hell out of Baseball'
By Dave Kindred, The Washington Post
HOUSTON - This one took your breath away. "This is hard on your heart," Pete Rose said, lifting high champagne to let it fall, a waterfall of victory, on the head of Ruly Carpenter, the president who was wise enough to cough up $3.2 million to hire Pete Rose two springs ago. What the Phillies always needed was a will to win, and Sunday nigh a Niagara of champagne roared in the clubhouse so long the the dusty lair of losers.
Oh, they were ready in Philadelphia for another loss. It has been 30 years since the Phillies won a National League pennant, a dry spell that the natives have not accepted kindly. "They already have the machine-gun nest set up at the airport." said Mark Whicker of the Philadelphia Bulletin.
But on a grand night of baseball, three hours and more of theater so intense they'd need Brando to play Pete Rose's part, on a night when the teams used 10 pitchers and 37 players in a drama equal parts cerebral and physical — in pitched battle with the war ebbing to and fro, the Astros twice leading, the Phillies three times the winner — in a game. . .
Oh, the hell with it.
This was so much fun I can't stand it.
Philadelphia 8, Houston 7.
We take you now to the Philadelphia clubhouse.
Larry Bowa, the shortstop, is dancing on a training table. His smile reaches from here to South Philly.
Del Unser, the outfielder who drove in the tying run in the eighth and scored the winning run after doubling in the 10th, is wandering around the clubhouse, his hair shining with champagne. He is dazed by his heroics. "It was . . . fast ball," he says, and no one knows whether he's talking about the eighth inning or the 10th.
And Unser says, "My dad has waited 67 years for this." His father was a player, a manager, a scout. His father saw Del play four years for teams as mediocre as they come, the Washington Senators of 1968-71. And now, in wonderful victory, the son wandered through the champagne spray, looking to share the moment with his old man.
Mike Schmidt is kissing Pete Rose.
The big third baseman is kissing Charlie Hustle on the ear, and now Rose is saying, "Ain't it great? Gawddamn, winning is great!"
Ever the winner, fully aware that on this grandest night in Philly history big Mike Schmidt went 0-for-5 and finished this playoff 5-for-24 with a single run batted in - one RBI by the man with 48 home runs on the year — always looking for a way to win some more, Pete Rose said more softly into Schmidt's ear, "You'll get 'em in the World Series."
And then Rose runs into Ruly Carpenter, 40, who took over the Phillies from his father eight years and watched in pain as they lost three league championship playoffs in 1976, '77 and 78. Carpenter bought Rose after the '78 failure, and now they come together in the clubhouse.
"I can't believe it, Ruly," Rose shouts. "This is what we play for, this right here."
"Scatter so they can't get all of us with one burst," said a Philadelphia pitcher, Frank Sullivan, on one of those bad old days when the Phillies came home expecting gunfire. They ought to get out the ticker tape in Philadelphia this week, because the World Series starts there Tuesday night, and this gang of Phillies has done good work indeed.
By winning two straight extra-inning games in the Astrodome, surviving in the middle of 45,000 screaming Astromaniacs, rallying in both games to win victories that seemed out of reach, these Phillies should have put to rest forever any idea they are less than brave.
"Three runs down is really difficult," Rose said. Houston led Sunday night, 5-2, when the Phillies came up came up in the eighth inning.
The day before, Houston led by two runs when the Phillies hit in the eighth. The Phillies scored three times then.
Sunday night they scored five times.
And if you wanted to look for a key that unlocked as tingly an inning as any baseball lover ever sat through, you could look at Rose's time at bat in the eighth.
It was a classic, the $800,000 singles hitter, Pete Rose, coming up against the $1 million flamethrower, Nolan Ryan.
The bases were loaded with nobody out.
Come, for a second, back to the sixth inning when Rose smashed a line drive directly into Ryan's glove. Rose did something unusual then. Instead of simply trotting back to the dugout, he made a wide swing into the infield, coming within 30 feet of the pitcher's mound so that he could say something to the $1 million man.
"I told him, Throw me that curve again if you think it's so good,"' Rose said later. "We've been buddies all year, and we were teasin' back and forth.
Ryan's narrowed eyes followed Rose into the dugout. He lifted his cap in acknowledgment of the implicit challenge.
Teasing? Or gamesmanship? Rose wins. Rose was 8-for-15 against Ryan when he came up again in the important eighth inning with the bases full and nobody out, the Phillies three runs down.
With the count two balls, two strikes, here came the Ryan curve to Rose, the curve they'd teased about, the curve that is Ryan's pride. Ball three, low and inside.
Now a fast ball, low. A strike. Rose foul tipped it, but the fans thought he missed it and they cheered like crazy. To the customers, Rose turned up his palms as if to say, "Hey, nothing happened, folks."
And on the next pitch, Ryan walked Rose to force in a run. It was Ryan's last pitch. The man who has won over 100 games and lost only two when given a lead entering the eighth inning left this game when he couldn't throw a strike to the man who challenged him face to face.
Three hitters later, the game was tied. Four later, the Phillies led.
And when it was over, Schmidt said, "You may not see a World Series as good as this series has been. It was unbelievable. The crowd noise was so loud I thought my ear drums would burst"
Del Unser, still wandering said, "He jammed me, he made a good pitch up and in." He still didn't say whether he meant in the eighth or the 10th. But he was still happy.
Pete Rose said of the little bitty Astros who kicked sand in the face of the big boy Phillies for a long time: "They played the hell out of baseball."
And at midnight, one of the Astros, pitcher Joe Sambito, walked across the empty diamond toward the Phillies' clubhouse to tell the winners the same thing.
Walk Moves From Pumping Gas to a Series Start
By United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - One year ago, Bob Walk was pumping gas for $3.75 an hour at a service station in Newhall, Calif.
With a couple of million bucks on the line, the Philadelphia Phillies are sending him against the Kansas City Royals Tuesday night as the first rookie pitcher to start a World Series opener in 28 years.
Joe Black of the Brooklyn Dodgers was the last rookie to start an opening World Series game in 1952 against the New York Yankees, and he beat them. The last rookie pitcher to start a World Series game was Jim Beattie of the Yankees in 1978 when he hurled the fifth game against the Dodgers.
Nervous? You bet. The palms of Walk's hands were damp with sweat when informed of his key assignment by Phillies' pitching coach Herm Starrette.
'Tm a little nervous now," confessed the 23-year-old righthander brought up by the Phillies from Oklahoma City last May 25. "But I'll be OK by game time."
"I heard something about the possibility of my starting the opening game Sunday night after we won the pennant by beating the Astros, but I didn't get the word definitely until an hour ago. Herm Starrette came over to me and said, 'You know, you're in there tomorrow.' I said, 'OK.'"
Walk, who won 11 games and lost six (sic) for the Phillies this season after they called him up from the minors, seemed quite composed considering the importance of his assignment.
Even though he admitted his nervousness and his hands were sweating, he answered all questions with more equanimity and poise than many veterans.
"I'm very excited," he said. "Because we used so many pitchers against the Astros in Sunday night's game, a lot of people asked me if they thought I was going to start the first one in the World Series, and I told them I didn't know."
Walk's earliest recollection of any World Series, he said, was the one between the Dodgers and Minnesota Twins in 1965. He couldn't remember anything about that series. Insofar as actual details were concerned, the first one he can recall was the one between the Oakland A's and Cincinnati Reds in 1973.
"I remember Denis Menke (of the Reds) hitting .the ball that Joe Rudi made the great catch on in that series," he said.
Walk had no trouble, however, remembering where he was during World Series time a year ago.
"I was pumping gas," he said. "I remember listening to the Series between the Pirates and Orioles and after it was over, a customer came into the station to get some gas and then paid for it with his credit card.
"I looked at the credit card and saw his name was Doug DeCinces. I didn't recognize him, but when I saw his name on the credit card, I said to him, 'Are you the same Doug DeCinces who plays for Baltimore?' He said, 'Yes.' I got a big thrill out of it."
Walk, a modest young man, never told DeCinces he was a professional ballplayer, too. Besides that thrill in supplying gas for DeCinces, the Phillies' rookie pitcher received another one he didn't expect in Des Moines, Iowa, last May 25. He was still with Oklahoma City when he and his roommate went out to get a bite following a loss that night. He returned to his room a few minutes past the 1½-hour curfew imposed by Oklahoma City manager Jim Snyder.
He had no sooner opened the door to his room when he heard the phone ringing. Walk was a little worried that it might be his manager calling to check on the curfew. It was Snyder, all right, and he wanted to speak with Walk, but not about his being a few minutes late returning to his room.
"It was about two o'clock in the morning and he said to me, 'Come down to my room, I want to talk with you,'" Walk related. "As soon as I came in the door, he said, 'Congratulations, you're going to Philadelphia.'"