Syracuse Herald-Journal - October 15, 1980
Brett Out For Game 2?
By United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) — Star third baseman George Brett of the Kansas City Royal is suffering from a severe case of hemorrhoids that have been bothering him since the American League playoffs and it is questionable if he will be able to play in tonight's second game of the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
There is even the possibility he may be out for the rest of the series.
"If I can play I'll play," said Brett. "I certainly want to, but the pain is terrible."
Brett was visited in his hotel room by a doctor at 4 a.m. edt and 8 a.m. The physician was due back at 11 a.m. to administer more treatment.
Brett, the major league's leading hitter this season with a .390 average, managed a double in four at-bats in Tuesday night's 7-6 loss to the Phillies and was one of the last players to leave the ballpark because he spent considerable time on the trainer's table in the Royals' clubhouse.
"Are you hurting?" a newsman asked, noticing that Brett was having trouble walking.
"No," Brett answered.
Don't Blame Brett
By Milton Richman, UPI Sports Editor
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - Human nature is a curious thing. You see it come into play when a team like the Kansas City Royals jump in front by four runs in the opening game of the World Series, then wind up losing to the Philadelphia Phillies by one run.
The Royals lost the game, 7-6, and immediately a lot of people began looking for the "goat "
How about George Brett? What a perfect candidate. Here's a man who hits .390 during the regular season for the highest batting average in the major leagues in 39 years, nails down the American League playoffs for the Royals with a dramatic three-run homer against the Yankees, only to cost them the World Series' opener with a bonehead play in the field.
Why not put the goat's horns on him because of the way he let Bob Boone slip away from him and score from third base while he was occupied hanging up Lonnie Smith in a rundown play in the third inning Didn't it cost the Royals a run? And wasn't that the Phillies' eventual margin of victory7
Fine, except that wasn't the case at all when you know all the facts.
To reconstruct, the Royals had come up with two runs in the second inning off Phillies' rookie righthander Bob Walk on Amos Otis' homer with one on, and added another pair in the third when Willie Mays Aikens celebrated his 26th homer (note: should be birthday) with the first of his two-run homers of the evening.
In the bottom of the third. Larry Bowa singled up the middle for the Phillies with one out, stole second and came in on Boone's double in to the left field corner. Smith followed with a single past shortstop U.L. Washington and Boone steamed into third on the blow.
Brett took left-fielder Willie Wilson's perfect relay and when he saw the speedy Smith seemingly headed for second, he moved quickly into middle of the diamond toward first, still holding the ball, and challenged Smith, who was caught between the bases.
Nobody was covering third for the Royals, and realizing Boone might get some ideas about taking off for home, Brett turned around for a momentary look at him. By this time, Boone was about six or seven feet down the line and, with 65,791 partisan Philadelphia fans screaming at the top of their lungs, Brett made an instantaneous decision.
He threw to the ball to second baseman Frank White, who was moving toward first base. White chased Smith back toward first, then tossed the ball to Aikens, who put it on Smith for the out. While all this was going on, Boone, came across the plate unimpeded with the Phillies' second run, and for that, the second-guessers ultimately zeroed in on Brett.
But what did he do wrong? "Nothing, as far as I can see," offered Boone. "Brett did exactly what he was supposed to do, so how could anybody criticize him?"
"That out is very important to him at that point in the game. He's playing the game the way it should be played. But remember no one was covering third and that couldn't be helped because . Washington had dived for Smith's ball. I was in a great position. When he committed himself toward first, I took off for home."
Brett said he decided to go after Smith after first giving his attention to Boone and seeing he wasn't that far off third.
"He looked close enough to third not to panic," explained the Royals third baseman "We had the same play in Anaheim three years ago and didn't get anybody out. At least, we got somebody out this time."
Asked if he heard any of his teammates yelling at him to help him, Brett laughed and said, "I heard 65,000 people yelling. You can't hear anything else when there's noise like that."
Juiced-up Phillies 'Bake' the Royals
Phil Hersh, Chicago Sun-Time Service
PHILADELPHIA - The Phillies used a little unlikely muscle on Kansas City to win the first game of the World Series.
Bake McBride, oddly batting cleanup, hit a three-run homer. Bob Boone, oddly batting ninth, hit a pair of run-scoring doubles.
And Pete Rose, who plays the odds and ends of baseball into scraps of gold, used his calf muscle to get as big a hit in the Phillies' 7-6 victory as McBride and Boone did Tuesday night.
"The key was when Pete got hit," said Phillies' manager Dallas Green. "He doesn't even have to get a hit to juice us up."
By the time Rose pulled out his trick knee, the Phillies had cut in half the 4-0 lead Kansas City took on two-run homers by Amos Otis in the second and Willie Aikens — who would hit a second two-run homer in the eighth — in the third.
Didn't duck away
Dennis Leonard, who had retired the first seven Royals before successive hits by Larry Bowa, Boone and Lonnie Smith produced two runs, hit Rose in the knee with the 1-2 pitch. The Phillies' first baseman admitted that he had not taken great pains to get out of the way.
"I knew it wouldn't hurt," Rose said. "So many guys did so many things that I don't think my getting hit by a pitch had that much to do with it. It got me out of a hole and got him into it. When you score three runs with one ball, two strikes, nobody on and two outs, you feel you can win the ballgame."
Leonard walked the next man, Mike Schmidt, before McBride hit the three-run homer over the left-field fence. It completed the Phillies' five-run third inning, giving them a lead they never lost.
Boone, who had batted .229 during the season and .222 in the playoffs, extended the margin to 6-4 by doubling home Manny Trillo in the fourth. That brought in reliever Renie Martin, who gave up a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to Garry Maddox in the fifth.
Stuck with Walk
There was to be no early relief for the Phillies' starter, who took a walk on the wild side for the first three innings.
Green did not beat a path to Bob Walk's mound. He could only hope that Walk would straightaway find the narrow plate.
Walk, pitching because all the Phillies' other starters had been used up in the playoff games, gave up three walks and the two homers before settling down. He walked tall until Tug McGraw relieved after Brett's double and Aikens' second home run cut the lead to 7-6 in the eighth.
McGraw had pitched in all the playoff games and 10 of the Phillies' last 11. He gave up one hit in the eighth and struck out the game's final two batters.
"My strongest desire is to prove Howard Cosell wrong," he said. "He doesn't know the game — he said by going to the well too often we would lose.
"I condition myself to go this way. The job out of the pen is to be called on at any time. My job is to do that."
The Phillies' job is much easier now that they have won their first World Series game in 65 years while using only two pitchers. The team's ace, lefthander Steve Carlton, pitches game two against Larry Gura Wednesday night.
"What this means," said Royals' manager Jim Prey, putting up a brave front, "is that we'll have to win in five instead of four games."
They were on the verge of breaking the first game — and possibly the Series — wide open when another of the controversial post-season plays involving a third base coach occurred.
After Aikens' monstrous home run over the center-field fence had given the Royals a 4-0 lead with two out in the third, Darrell Porter walked, Otis hit an infield single and Clint Hurdle hit a hard single to left.
Thought Smith would miss
Royals' third-base coach Gordy MacKenzie thought Hurdle's hit was good enough to send Porter home. "The report was their leftfielder had a weak arm," MacKenzie said.
Left fielder Lonme Smith had made a fool of himself with a throw in the playoffs that fell about 10 feet in front of him. This time his throw was so far ahead of Porter that the Royals' catcher made no effort either to slide or bowl over Phillies' catcher Boone.
Such a collision might have been the end of Boone, playing with a left foot so swollen it would have been "very colorful on TV."
"We had Darrell out quite a ways," Boone said. "If he tries to hit me, I spin off. I almost spun off too early."
Because Porter was the final out, Green did not have to bite the bullet and replace Walk. The pitcher went on to retire the next 10 batters.
The Phillies manager made as many good moves as non-moves. He used the lefty-swinging McBride — who hits about a dozen homers in a good year and has swiped as powerfully at the manager — in the fourth spot to break up righthanded Schmidt and Greg Luzinski. He slipped Boone into ninth because it seemed the only place to put him now that the Phillies suddenly had a designated hitter.
Boone, who had three hits, alertly scored the second run after he drove in Bowa with the first. Smith slipped between first and second after singling Boone to third, and the Royals were more concerned about catchmf; him in a rundown. As George Brett threw to Frank White for the tag on Smith and the second out, Boone came home.
"You can fault 65,000 screaming fans for that mistake," Frey said. "In a normal game, you can hear your teammates yelling. But you couldn't hear anything out there tonight. I thought Frank made the right play."
Boone thought there might have been a missed signal in having him bat ninth. "I was really upset about that," said Boone, a mysterious smile crossing his face. "I guess I'll accept it. but he better make a change tomorrow."
Boone was trying to twist the manager's arm. Or pull the media's.
Phils Win Breaks Longest Drought
By The Associated Press
Lifted by Bake McBride's three-run homer and the gutsy pitching of Bob Walk and Tug McGraw, the Philadelphia Phillies ended the longest dry spell in World Series history with their 7-6 first game victory over the Kansas City Royals Tuesday night.
The Phillies had gone hungry in Series play for 65 years and six days, the longest drought in Series annals. The last time Philadelphia won a World Series game was on Oct. 8, 1915, when Grover Cleveland Alexander beat the Boston Red Sox, 3-1, in the Series opener. The Phils lost the next four games, and in their only other Series appearance, were beaten in four straight games by the New York Yankees in 1950.
Walk, who put in eight innings of work for the victory, became the first rookie to start a World Series opener since Joe Black did it for the Brooklyn Dodgers on Oct. 1, 1952. Black went all the way scattering six hits to beat the Yankees and Allie Reynolds, 4-2.
The losing Royals, however, made it into the record book as well.
Aikens ties marks
Willie Mays Aikens, celebrating his, 26th birthday, became the 22nd man to hit two homers in one World Series game, and only the third player to do it in his first Series contest. The only other players to hit two homers in their first Series game are Gene Tenace of the 1972 Oakland A's and Ted Kluszewski of the 1959 Chicago White Sox.
With his two-run homer in the second, Amos Otis became the 16th player to homer in his first time at bat in a World Series. Baltimore's Doug DeCinces was the last to do it, accomplishing the feat in the first game of last year's Series against Pittsburgh. Among the others who have homered in their first Series at bat are Bucky Harris, Mel Ott, Roger Maris, Brooks Robinson and Gene Tenace. Two pitchers have done it; Boston's Jose Santiago and Detroit's Mickey Lolich.
Royals speedster Willie Wilson became one of the many players to go hitless in five at bats in a nineinning Series game.
Rookie pilots a first
Both teams went into the Series with rookie managers — Kansas City's Jim Frey and Philadelphia's Dallas Green — for a major league first.
The crowd of 65,791 was the largest in the history of major league baseball in Pennsylvania, breaking the mark of 65,476 set by the Phillies in the second game of this year's National League playoffs against Houston. It also was the largest World Series crowd since the fourth game of the 1964 classic, when the Yankees-SLLouis Cardinals clash drew 66,312 fans to Yankee Stadium.
By The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — When Jim Frey of Kansas City and Dallas Green of Philadelphia took the field Tuesday, they became the first rookie managers to face each other in the World Series.
Their appearance also assured that there would be the first rookie winner since 1961, when Ralph Houk guided the New York Yankees. The last rookie winner in the National League was Eddie Dyer of St. Louis in 1946.
The last time a rookie managed in a World Series was 1977, when Tommy Lasorda guided the Los Angeles Dodgers.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Paul Pryor of the National League is umpiring in his third World Series. Pryor, Harry Wendelstedt and Dutch Rennert were chosen from the NL, and Bill Kunkel, Don Denkmger and Nick Bremigan are representing the American League.
Wendelstedt, Kunkel and Denkmger are working their second Series. This is the first World Series for Rennert and Bremigan .
Pryor also worked in the 1967 Series between Boston and St Louis, and the 1973 Series between Oakland and the New York Mets
Southpaws Duel Tonight
By United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) — A pair of lefthanders, Larry Gura of the Kansas City Royals and Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phillies, have been named to pitch tonight in the second game of the World Series.
Gura, 18-10 during the regular season, last pitched Oct. 8 in the first game of the American League championship series when he went the distance to defeat the New York Yankees, 7-2. It will be his first World Series performance since coming to the major leagues in 1970.
Carlton was the National League's top winner this season with a 24-9 record and pitched against the Houston Astros in the first and fourth games of their playoff series. Carlton was the winner of the first game and had a no decision in the fourth game.
Carlton will be making his fourth World Series appearance and second start. He started one game for ihe St. Louis Cardinals in the 1967 series against Boston and appeared in two games in the 1968 series for the Cardinals against Detroit. His record in World Scries competition is 0-1 with a 3.70 ERA.
The Bright Royal: Aikens
By Ron Rapoport, Chicago Sun-Times Service
PHILADELPHIA—First things first.
His mother only wanted to call him Willie.
It was the doctor who delivered him that October day in 1954, no doubt still under the influence of The Catch off the bat of Vic Wertz in the World Series that had just been played, who added the Mays part. Willie Mays Aikens would like you to know that.
Which is not to say it may not soon become academic as far as the World Series is concerned. A few more home runs of the sort he hit in Game One on Tuesday and they may drop his last name altogether.
There was only one small matter to mar the excitement of two home runs and four runs batted in for Aikens. His Kansas City Royals lost the game 7-6 and now face the unenviable task of getting even against the redoubtable Steve Carlton Wednesday night.'
Talk about mixed emotions.
"I can't believe I went out and did that," Aikens said of his home runs in the third and eighth inning off the Phillies' winning pitcher, Bob Walk. "I really felt good in batting practice swinging the bat. Most of the time when I do that I have a bad game."
But if Aikens did not, there were plenty of his teammates who did. Except for center fielder Amos Otis, who had a two-run homer and two singles, none of the Royals really distinguished themselves unless you are impressed by things that never were or should have been.
"We made some mental mistakes that gave them some runs," said Aikens. Which is putting it kindly.
The Royals had the luxury of starting the ace of their staff, Dennis Leonard, only to watch in horror as he quickly dissipated a four-run lead in the Phillies' five-run third inning.
"He didn't have good stuff like he did against the Yankees," catcher Darrell Porter said, making the obvious comparison of this outing with the seven-hit, two-run stint Leonard turned in over eight innings in the American League playoffs last week, "And he didn't have his usual location and that hurt him.
"For Dennis to win, he has to be just right. I didn't get nervous when we were ahead 4-0, but it came tumbling down pretty quick. You can't do anything when you get behind. You have to come in with it.
What Leonard came in with was a fastball to Bake McBride in the third. Momentarily, it became a three-run homer that put the Phillies ahead 5-4.
"I tried to pitch him inside, but it tailed right back over the plate," said Leonard.
"Thinking back on it now, I should have stayed away from him. If I do have a problem, it's throwing inside to a lefty. I don't think I was throwing that hard. Even when I was getting those guys out, I wasn't getting my breaking stuff over. I had good stuff in teh bullpen, but it can disappear in a hurry on the mound. I kept trying to get back into a groove."
"And you never did?" someone said.
"That's pretty evident," he replied.
Last inning for Leonard
It came to an end for Leonard after a wild throw to first base in the fourth inning allowed Manny Trillo to get to second. About the only player on the field Leonard was fooling by then was Aikens, who had to chase down the ball. Moments later, Bob Boone doubled to deliver Trillo and undeliver Leonard from his chores for the evening.
Still, if Leonard was the most prominent of the culprits for Kansas City, he was not the only one.
There was Porter himself, who came nome from second on Clint Hurdle's single in the third with what might be called insufficient enthusiasm. Porter neither slid nor slammed into Boone and was an easy out. "I was going to slide, but my footwork was just wrong," said Porter, making the evening's most disingenuous explanation. "I couldn't get myself to slide. I sure wish I'd been able to slide. If I'd slid, I would have been safe "
Then there was George Brett, whose hitting prowess has received a certain amount of attention this season, but who provided some less than edifying moments in the field, particularly m the third when he ran in a run... for the other guys.
With Boone on second, Philadelphia leftfielder Lonnie Smith singled. Boone held up at third as the relay came in to Brett, but when Smith tripped rounding first and got some floor burns on the artificial surface, Brett came charging across the mfield after him. He tagged Smith for the out, all right, but not before Boone wasable to score. It was a gift run for the Phillies who, after all, only won by one.
In the sixth, Brett proved again this was not his night in the field, flapping his glove around Smith's high bouncer in back of third before finally getting it in his grasp and then double clutching before unleashing the ball. Smith was safe, of course, and though he didn't score, the play was indicative of the Royals' fate.
But the Royals did win one battle Tuesday night, albeit a small one. Home plate umpire Harry Wendelstedt tried hard to move Aikens forward in the batter's box despite the hitter's protests that there was a little hill at the rear stripe and that it should be smoothed out.
"I like to be back," Aikens said. "I like to have as much distance between me and the pitcher as I can."
Wendelstedt wasn't buying his arguments, however, so Aikens simply waited until his next time up, settled his back foot in a little hill behind the now obliterated chalk stripe and waited to see if the Wendelstedt would notice.
He did not and Aikens drove his first home run of the evening off into the distance. Kansas City fans must hope that the Royals can now come back as efficiently as Willie Mays' namesake did.