Reading Eagle - October 16, 1980
Green Complains About Slick, Icy Baseballs
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The first controversy of the 1980 World Series boiled to the surface after the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Kansas City Royals and took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven game series.
The Phillies won 6-4, with an eighth inning four-run rally, but manager Dallas Green was steaming after the game.
Green complained bitterly about the condition of the baseballs.
"I'm going to complain to the commissioner (Bowie Kuhn) and the umpires," said Green.
Green's disenchantment surfaced when he was asked why he went so long with a struggling Steve Carlton. Carlton gave up 10 hits and walked six, an unusual number of free passes for the pitcher who is recognized for his excellent control.
"Lefty (Carlton) wasn't struggling," said Green, his anger obvious in his tone.
"Lefty was struggling because of the baseballs." insisted the Phillies' manager. "They (the balls) were as slick as I've ever seen them. . . We have to do something. The first batch that came out were rubbed up decently. But after that they were very slick."
Green said catcher Bob Boone told him that Carlton couldn't grip the balls.
"Boone said they were as slick as ice. To be effective, Lefty has to have the feel of the baseball and he did not have it," Green reported.
Ironically, Kansas City pitcher Larry Gura, pitching with the same balls, went 5 1/3 innings without allowing a hit.
Green finally relieved Carlton in the ninth with reliever Ron Reed, who has had a less than distinguished season. But Green defended his choice.
"I went to Reed because he's a quality relief pitcher. He is the type of pitcher capable of holding a two-run lead," Green said.
Then, the manager added, "I wanted to give (Tug) McGraw a rest."
McGraw had pitched in nine of the last 10 Phillies' games, including all five of the National League playoff series against Houston.
Green, when asked to compare Kansas City with a National League team, said the American League champions reminded him of Houston.
"They-have good pitching and team speed, can get the base hit and come at you," Green said.
How would the Phillies manager described Del Unser, the utility player who doubled home the tying run in the eighth.
"I would probably use unreal." said Green of the pinch hitter who knocked in a key run in the deciding victory over Houston.
"He has done everything asked of him this season... He's produced coming off the bench and I'm not afraid to use him in any situation," Green said of Unser.
Green said he spent the season trying to create a feeling of "we" not "I" on the Phillies.
"And they have responded to it," he said. "I think we've become a 25-man club. Everybody is pulling for everybody."
Unser said he hit a good slider from Royals' reliever Dan Quisenberry, one of the American League's premier relievers with 33 saves in the regular season.
He compared Quisenberry to Pittsburgh's Kent Tekulve, and said the pitch was the same type he once hit off the Pirates' reliever to win a game.
Unser was asked to describe the confidence everyone on the Phillies is talking about.
"This type of confidence I haven't seen before in my major league career." Unser said. "The confidence comes from the fact that we are doing it (winning), have done it and expect to do it.”
… But Not For Phillie Opponents
By John W. Smith, Asst. Sports Editor
PHILADELPHIA – How safe is it to carry a lead into the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies?
About as safe as taking money from an Arab sheik who wants to buy your influence. Or joining a vacation cruise through the Persian Gulf. Or wearing a solid gold necklace on a Philly subway.
As Muhammad Ali might say, “The opponents’ fate will be sealed in eight.”
The Phillies went into the eighth at Houston Saturday down by two. They scored three runs then and eventually won in the 10th.
The Phillies went into the eighth at Houston Sunday down by three. They scored five runs then and eventually won in the 10th.
The Phillies went into the eighth against Kansas City Wednesday down by two. They scored four runs then and went on to win by 6-4 in the second game of the World Series.
The Beat Goes On
If that isn’t enough to convince people of this ability to leap from behind the eight-ball in the eighth, it should be noted that last Wednesday the Phillies tied Houston with a run in the eighth (though eventually losing).
So they didn’t score in the eighth in the Series’ first game two night ago. But in that inning they did shut off a Kansas City uprising one run short of tying. Eight is great.
“There’s just a feeling of confidence on this team,” said Mike Schmidt, who drove in the winning run Wednesday. “We know we’re gonna scare them to death at least.
“It all started with that first game of the final week against the Cubs, when we were two runs down in the 15th, and things looked gloomy,” added Mike, emphasizing ‘gloomy.’ It’s been different from that point on.
‘We’ve Done It’
“The reason we have the confidence is because we’ve done it,” said Del Unswer, who got the big early hit in the eighth. “Now we expect to do it.”
“We know we can come back,” said Larry Bowa. “We’re not overconfident, because we have nothing to be overconfident about yet. Maybe some time we won’t come back, but it won’t be because we didn’t try.”
“When the leadoff man gets on, there’s whooping and hollering,” said Keith Moreland. “The bench just exploded.”
Dallas Green looked like the father of the bride who finally made it to the altar after being left waiting a couple of times.
“This is what we’ve been building for, and hoping would come,” he stressed. “It’s come. They feel it. They get involved in it. And the respond to it. We get the juices flowing in the dugout, and help the guys out on the field. That’s why we’re a 25-man team right now.”
It isn’t just in the eighth inning, of course. Here’s a summary of the Phillies’ rallies in their last six wins, all as big as you can grow them:
Oct. 4 – Behind Montreal 2-0 after four; 4-3 after eight. Won 6-4 in 11.
Oct. 7 – Behind Houston 1-0 after five. Won 3-1.
Oct. 11 – Behind Houston 2-0 after seven. Won 5-3 in 10.
Oct. 12 – Behind Houston 5-2 after seven. Won 8-7 in 10.
Oct. 14 – Behind Kansas City 4-0 after 2½. Won 7-6.
Oct. 15 – Behind Kansas City 4-2 after seven. Won 6-4.
Perhaps the most amazing way to put is that the Phillies have won 84 percent of the postseason games in which they’ve been behind. And have won none of the game in which they haven’t been behind.
Lost One at End
They’ve been behind in six of the seven playoff and Series games, and won five. The one they were never behind in was a 1-0 loss, Houston scoring in the last of the 11th, on, of course, the game’s final play.
If you only lose the games in which you never get a chance to come from behind, you won’t lose too many.
Pete Rose cautioned that the team “can’t keep waiting for the big inning.” And Green says he doesn’t like to manage that way.
But it sure makes for a lot of fun. And as Rose keeps telling everybody, the World Series is supposed to be fun.
Phillies Go 2-0 in World Series
Unser, Schmidt Deliver Beauties in 8th Inning
By John W. Smith, Asst. Sports Editor
PHILADELPHIA – The beauty and the beast of Sunday’s dramatic pennant-winning comeback by the Philadelphia Phillies stood up again in the eighth inning Wednesday night.
This time they were both beauties, and so the Phillies are in a beautiful spot after two games of the 1980 World Series.
Del Unser and Mike Schmidt smoked doubles to fuel the four-run eighth and lift the Phillies to a 6-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
The teams headed to K.C. today with the Phillies enjoying a 2-0 cushion which no baseball expert out of the range of Harry Kalas’ voice was willing to concede to them Monday.
Another Sunday beast, Ron Reed, and a hidden beauty, Keith Moreland, also played key roles in Wednesday’s latest version of the “Can You Top This” game the Phillies have repeated almost daily in the last two weeks.
The script called for the Phillies to win this one because they had baseball’s best pitcher going.
Well, baseball’s best pitcher did win it, but only after 18 Royals reached base in the eight innings Steve Carlton worked (plus one more in the ninth).
Carlton spent more time Wednesday stretching than a midget who wants to join the Army. He found himself in more troubled situation than Ronald Reagan’s speech interpreter. He caused more groans from the fans than the 50 percent increase in parking prices.
Carlton did such un-Cy-Youngish things as permit at least two runners in every inning but one; walk the bases loaded and watch all three score; throw 158 pitches and still not complete the game.
But Carlton had enough to weather the continual storm, thanks to the four-run eighth which turned around a 4-2 deficit.
Eighth-inning rallies in Houston over the weekend had begun quietly with routine singles. This one began even more quietly with a walk by ace reliever Dan Quisenberry to Bob Boone on 3-2.
Quisenberry had replaced Larry Gura in the seventh and had neatly thrown three groundball outs. “Just like fielding practice,” Sparky Anderson observed in the radio booth.
After Boone in the eighth, it was more like batting practice. The Phils mistreated him like they had mistreated his submarine instructor, Kent Tekulve.
Dallas Green sent up Unser to hit for Lonnie Smith. Unser drilled a double into the left-center gap to chase home Boone, bad ankle and all.
Pete Rose did his job of getting Unser to third. Bake McBride chopped a single over the head of the drawn-in second baseman to tie the score.
Schmidt blasted one to the fence in right center, McBride outlegging the relay to the plate. DH Moreland added the icing with a torrid single to score Schmidt.
Reed then came on and set down the Royals in the ninth, with only a one-out single marring the job. And Tug McGraw got to stay seated in a game that meant something for the first time in two full weeks.
Unser had come off the bench to single home the tying run in the eighth Sunday, and then doubled and scored the winning run in the 10th. Schmidt had struck out ahead of Unser in the eighth and again in the 10th, going 0-for-5 without the semblance of a hit.
Reed gave up an RBI triple on the first pitch in relief Sunday. Moreland, invisible in the playoffs till then, pinch hit in the eighth Sunday and made out, but his out got home a run and advanced another runner, and drew praise from Green.
“That Unser is unreal,” lauded Schmidt. “I was so happy for Del on Sunday.”
Lesson For Mike
Mike, who said, “the champagne would have tasted a hair sweeter had I got a big hit,” admitted that he “really learned something” Sunday.
“I proved that it was a team game. Before I had my bat in the rack, Del had the single.
“You’ve got to go 0-for-5 sometime, and if it’s the final game, and you win it, there’s nothing wrong with it. But it’s a humbling experience.”
Schmidt had “guaranteed” he would hit some balls hard before the Series was over. He blitzed a long foul the second time up, rapped a wasted single in the third, then picked on Quisenberry’s first pitch in the eighth.
“Lots of times you take the first pitch to see how fast he’s throwing or how his ball is breaking,” said Schmidt. “But since about all he throws is that good, hard sinker, there’s no sense waiting. I didn’t want to get behind.
“I just wanted to drive it somewhere. What was I thinking? I wanted to keep the rally going, in some shape or form.”
Comfort From Rose
Sunday, he hadn’t kept it going, on that at-bat on which he said his whole season flashed before him. Afterward Sunday, Rose sought him out and told him he’d get his hits in the World Series. Wednesday was the first installment.
Unser got what Quisenberry called a good sinker. “It was a good pitch,” Del agreed. “I could have very easily popped it up, but I waited back on it.”
Quisenberry, who won 12 games with 33 saves this year (3.09 ERA), felt his sinker wasn’t real quick. “The pitch Schmidt hit was low and away; he must be a good golfer.” Dan thought that on K.C.’s springier Astroturf, McBride’s hit would have been an out.
Moreland, whose infield hit in the fifth had started the earlier two-run splurge, was playing because Greg Luzinski came down with intestinal flu. (Gura had pitcher 4-1/3 perfect innings till then.)
It was not a good night for sluggers’ intestines, small or large. George Brett had to leave the game after six innings because of extreme discomfort from hemorrhoids. His replacement (Dave Chalk) walked and scored in the seventh, but looked at a third strike to start the ninth.
All together, the Royals had 19 runners. Four scored, 11 were left, and four were knocked off as part of a record-tying four double plays, three started by Bowa at short (also tying a record).
Though they put nine on base in the first five innings, none ever reached third. “Steve at his worst will keep us in every game,” said Schmidt. Steve gave 10 hits and six walks altogether.
The Royals got a run in the sixth, but it was unearned.
Then Carlton, unable to get his breaking ball over, walked the based loaded in the seventh. Amos Otis doubled home two and John Wathan chased home the other on an SF, on which Otis was run down. The Royals had two more hits in the eighth, but again nobody made it to third.
Green had a novel explanation for Carlton’s trouble: “The second batch of balls were as slick as I’ve ever seen; they were like ice, and the umpire agreed with me. Lefty couldn’t grip his breaking ball. We’re going to make a strong complaint.”
“That happens every once in a while; I don’t know why,” said Boone.
Carlton threw double-play pitches to end three innings, (four if you count the SF-DP); got strikeouts to end three others, and also authored a strikeout with a man on third and one out in the sixth. He finished with 10 strikeouts, which isn’t bad.
Nothing is bad, if it’s good enough to win.
PHIL-PHILLERS – Friday’s 8:30 (EDT) game will match Dick Ruthven (17-10) and Rich Gale (13-9)…. Of the 33 previous times a team won the first two games, it went on to win the Series 26 times. Just two years ago the Dodgers won the first two at home and then lost four straight to the Yankees…. Rose also tied a record by participating in all four DPs…. The only other players to start three DPs in one Series game have been Phil Rizzuto and Maury Wills…. Garry Maddox left in the eighth with a leg bruise from a foul ball. Garry doubled in one run with a shot to left and scored the other in the fifth…. Had Boone not walked in the eighth, Green would have used Gross for Smith instead of Unswer. Gross hit into a DP to end the eighth.
Royals Need Cheering Up
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Darrell Porter struck out leading off the ninth inning, walked bitterly back to the dugout, surveyed almost 66,000 screaming, ecstatic Philadelphia Phillies fans and had a profound thought.
“We’ve won a championship, we’ve done what our fans wanted more than anything in the world, and we haven’t heard one cheer yet.”
The Kansas City Royals remained in New York after beating the Yankees in a third straight American League Championship Series game Friday night and flew to Philadelphia Sunday for the opening two games of the 1980 World Series in Veterans Stadium.
“We should be so joyful going back home, but we aren’t,” said Porter. “We need to hear some cheers from our side. We need that more than anything.”
The 40,000-plus Kansas City fans who will pack Royals Stadium Friday night will greet a team that now seems almost devoid of anything positive. The AL Champions are down 0-2 in the best-of-seven series. They blew a four-run lead in the first game to lose 7-6, and they blew a two-run lead Wednesday night to lose 6-4.
Their best relief pitcher, Dan Quisenberry, got bombed. Their best player, possibly the best player in baseball, third baseman George Brett, was suffering so much pain from hemorrhoids he could hardly walk.
“The next couple of games we’ll see what these teams are made of,” said center fielder Amos Otis. “We had everything going our way. But the bottom fell out each time. I just think we’re jinxed here.”
Will the Phillies be jinxed in Royals Stadium?
“I think they can be beat in Royals Stadium,” he answered softly. “We had them on the ropes. After a while, it does get frustrating.
“It seems like we’ve been away from Kansas City for about six months,” said Dave Chalk, who will have the enormous task of replacing Brett if the All-Star third baseman can play no more. “It will be so good to get back home.”
Chalk filled in admirable for Brett when he was injured during an otherwise enchanted season that saw him bat .390 in 117 games.
Surgery Possible For George Brett
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Wincing in pain. George Brett hobbled out of hostile Veterans Stadium and headed straight for a Kansas City hospital.
Dr. Paul Meyer, Kansas City Royals' team physician, said Brett would be examined in the wee hours today, and surgery was a distinct possibility
However, Meyer added, ever, if surgery is performed on the painful hemorrhoidal condition. Brett may still see action in the 1980 World Series, in which his team now trails the Philadelphia Phillies 0-2.
Brett's status for Wednesday's game in Philadelphia was in question until a decision was made to let him play two hours before the opening pitch. He walked and lashed two singles in three plate appearances, but was obviously running in pain. He was replaced by Dave Chalk in the sixth inning.
"George made the decision himself." said Meyer. "That was our agreement — that he would tell us if the pain was real bad."
Meyer refused to speculate on what action might be taken after Brett was examined in Kansas City's St. Luke's Hospital this morning.
"I'm anticipating they will make incisions on the hemorrhoids. From here on it's going to be a day-by-day thing "
It's the worst pain I ever felt." said Brett "I never felt so much discomfort. The more you move, the more it hurts. Everybody thought I would be better off in the hospital."
Brett's .390 average was the best in the major leagues since 1941 With 118 runs batted in in 117 games, he became the first player in 30 years with more than 100 RBI to average more than one a game.