Reading Eagle - October 17, 1980
Big Night for Bobby Keith Moreland
By John W. Smith, Asst. Sports Editor
KANSAS CITY – Wednesday was one of the great nights in the life of Bobby Keith Moreland, the pride of Lewisville, Texas.
He got to take more swings in batting practice than anybody else. He received the opportunity to tell a bunch of major-league starts what to do. He caused everybody to stand up and take notice when he performed a routine chore.
Oh, yes, he also slapped the first hit for his team, scored the first run, and singled home the final run, in the 6-4 victory which sent the Philadelphia Phillies here with a 2-0 lead on the Royals in the World Series.
Moreland, the Phillies’ No. 2 hitter during the season with his .314 average in 62 games, spent the League Championship Series where .314 hitters are not supposed to be – on the bench. He strode to the plate exactly once in the five games, batting in a run with a groundout in the eighth-inning uprising Sunday.
Moreland might have caught one or two games, but Dallas Green chose to go with Bob Boone’s experience, defensive ability and resurgent bat. (Moreland had caught the title-clinching game in Montreal and three games earlier that week.)
It must have been disappointing for Keith to get so little chance to do something in his native state. Although in addition to the pennant, he was able to rejoice last weekend in Texas’ victory over Oklahoma (the orange team beat the red team in the right sport).
“It wasn’t frustrating,” Keith insisted. “We have the best eight players in baseball, so there’s not too many times I’m going to get in the game. I’m still going to go out and do my job – when I’m in the game and when I’m not.”
Then came the World Series, in a designated-hitter year. That would ordinarily be made for a .314 guy on the bench – but not when you have a .339 guy also sitting on the bench. Lonnie Smith got the starting call.
“I didn’t hear about the DH till we got in the playoffs,” said Moreland. “I thought I might be used in certain situations, but then everybody looks for a place to play.”
Finds His Place
When Greg Luzinski came down with a problem north of George Brett’s, Moreland found his place Wednesday.
He didn’t know he was going to start as DH till after he’d taken batting practice with the reserves (who always hit first), “Then they told me Bull might not be able to play, and I should take a few cuts.”
Moreland got a few cuts in against Larry Gura, too. His line out to left in the second was the best-hit ball during the four innings when Gura put on his Don Larsen imitation. Then his hit to deep short in the fifth broke the spell and ignited a two-run uprising.
Moreland took some kidding for his labored sprint to first, beating a throw which had no chance to get him by not a great deal. Somebody wondered how he could ever play defensive back for Texas.
Saved by Wishbone
“Easy,” said Moreland. “Everybody but two teams plays the wishbone in the Southwest Conference. All I had to do was run straight ahead and throw myself at the guy with the ball.”
Moreland’s role picked up when Dan Quisenberry, the 33-save reliever, replaced Gura in the seventh.
“I batted against Quisenberry in the American Association for two years, so I was telling everybody how he worked,” Moreland said. He proved a good listener to his own advice when he scalded a single to center to conclude the four-run eighth.
Having served as DH when not catching for Oklahoma City in both ’78 and ’79, Moreland made short work of the obligatory questions about how he adjusted to the DH role.
A New Touch
But he found out there were nuances of the DH job of which he was unaware.
He jumped up and ran down to the bullpen when the call went out for two relievers to start throwing in the ninth. “That’s what I always do,” he said.
He had to be recalled by the management, since the DH is not permitted to be in the pen. At Oklahoma City, of course, they don’t worry about such specialization.
It wasn’t the only example of over-eagerness shown by the rookies Wednesday. Smith ran out on the field at the start of the introductions well ahead of time and had to be recalled. Fortunately, he did not making the mistake obvious by tripping over the microphone cord, which might have been a good bet.
Maybe those two fluffs are symbolic of what the newcomers have contributed to this club, as much as Smith’s two hits Tuesday and Moreland’s two Wednesday.
“Keith Moreland has innards,” said Dallas Green. “He’ll scratch, and claw, and run over you, if that’s what it takes to win.”
Like some others, Keith Moreland likes to raise his finger in salute. But he raises the index and little, in the Texas U. “Hook ‘em, Horns” sign. He still has the college enthusiasm. It doesn’t hurt that he can hit harder than a Longhorn defender, either.
Brett Is Expected To Play Tonight
KANSAS CITY. Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals rested a little easier today when they learned they probably would have the services of George Brett in tonight's third game of the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Trailing 2-0 in the Series, the Royals face a virtual do-or-die situation. A loss would all but hand the Phillies their first World Series title on a gilded platter. No team in the 78 years of World Series play has rebounded from a 3-0 deficit to win the best-of-seven- game set.
Brett, who hit .390 during the season and drove in 118 runs, underwent minor surgery Thursday to have a painfully swollen hemorrhoid lanced. The operation, performed by Kansas City proctologist John Heryer took about 20 minutes. Heryer said Brett would remain in the hospital until this morning.
"It was a simple operation," Heryer said "We simply lanced a blood clot and removed it, thereby removing the pressure and hopefully the pain."
Heryer said Brett would soak in hot tubs and keep off his feet until this morning. Heryer said Brett probably would not be 100 percent for the game but that he should have no problems playing. Kansas City Manager Jim Frey had to replace Brett in the sixth inning of Game Two when the problem became too painful. Brett was limping and had trouble running.
At the same time, the Phillies, who won the first and second games of the Series at home, had problems with their own casualties.
Also slightly injured were center fielder Garry Maddox and catcher Bob Boone.
Maddox injured his left knee when he fouled off a pitch against it in Game Two. X-rays were negative, but there was some fluid in the knee. He was expected to play. Boone still is recovering from an injured left foot sustained in a home plate collision in the playoffs with Houston.
Frey planned to start righthander Rich Gale, 13-9 in the regular season, against Phillies right-hander Dick Ruthven, 17-10, tonight.
Gale did not pitch in the Royals" American League Championship playoffs against New York. His last start was on the final day of the regular season, Oct. 5.
A 6-foot-7 fastballer, Gale won 11 straight games for the Royals from June 17-Sept. 1.
"Our basic problem in this Series is we have not been able to control Philadelphia's offense," Frey said. The Phillies scored 13 runs in the first two games against the Royals.
"Gale had tendinitis early in the year, but his statement to me was that his arm feels better now than at any time during the season," Frey said. "He's the kind of guy who can keep them down for five or six innings. If he does that. I'll be happy."
Ruthven, whose last appearance was in relief in the final game of the playoffs, had a strong finish in 1980. He is a fastball, curveball, changeup pitcher who relies on location.
"He's gotten progressively better this season." Green said.
Green Did What He Was Asked
KANSAS CITY (AP) – Dallas Green, manager of the National League champion Philadelphia Phillies, is a soldier who does what he’s asked.
A 25-year career man with the Phillies organization, Green didn’t want the managing job after the dismissal of Danny Ozark in the final months of the 1979 season.
But he took it because owner Ruly Carpenter asked him to go down in the dugout and find out why some of the best talent in baseball wasn’t producing.
The new manager discovered he had a team used to having its own way. The talent was there, but togetherness was lacking.
Green didn’t carry any eye-opening credentials himself as a major leaguer, but he did bring to the new job a solid understanding of the game acquired as a player, minor league manager, coach, and finally director of the minor league system.
He also was the first Phillies manager in years with absolute authority to make stick the rules he set down. No more running over the manager’s hear to Carpenter when a player didn’t get his way.
When he gathered his team in spring training last March, Green wasted no time letting the players know the party was over.
“You gotta stop being so cool. Get that through your heads. If you don’t you’ll get so buried it isn’t going to be funny,” he told the players.
Many of the players were bitter over Green’s tactics. They thought he would back off, but if anything he got tougher.
The stars found out they were on the same plane as the utility players. They discovered that Green used all his players, and he wouldn’t hesitate to bench a petulant star if he wasn’t producing.
Although they fought him all the way, the Phillies goes the message. They won their division, beat Houston in the National League playoffs, and now lead in the World Series over American League champion Kansas City, 2-0, in the best-of-seven set.
Green feels he has succeeded, although he says a few player may not yet have bought his tactics.
KANSAS CITY (AP) – The Philadelphia Phillies haven’t made headlines with ailments like Kansas City’s George Brett, but the National League champions have their share of aches and pains, too.
Greg Luzinski has the flu, outfielder Garry Maddox has an injured knee, catcher Bob Boone has a bruised foot, and pitcher Dick Ruthven has a cold, according to the team’s physician, Dr. Philip Marone.
Luzinski, the designated hitter in Game 1 of the World Series against the American League champion Royals, didn’t make the trip to Kansas City with the team.
Luzinski has been bedded with the flu and missed Wednesday’s game, which was the Phillies’ second straight triumph for a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
He improved sooner than expected and flew to Kansas City Thursday afternoon on a commercial flight.
Phillies Manager Dallas Green said, however, that Keith Moreland probably will be the designated hitter.
Moreland, a rookie catcher and pinch hitter, got two hits in game two, including one in the winning four-run eighth inning rally.
Maddox fouled a ball of his left knee in game two and had to be replaced in the late innings. Marone said Maddox could play with the bruised knee.
Ruthven, the starting pitcher for Philadelphia tonight, has a cold and a sore throat, but Marone said he, too, will be ready to play.
Boone has been playing with a severely bruised left foot, the injury sufferen in game five of the National League playoffs. He played in the first two Series’ games, and Marone said the catcher can continue.
Philly Mayor At Game
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Philadelphia’s Mayor William Green set out for game three of the World Series with a first-aid kit for the Kansas City Royals, who are still smarting after two straight losses to the National League Champion Phillies.
Before departure Thursday, Green told reporters he was toting “a series of Philadelphia products that I think the people of Kansas City and the team are going to need.”
The kit includes a remedy for ulcers, “which I think they’ll develop in the course of the next two games,” and a cold medication “for the tears they will begin to shed as inning after inning they Phillies pound home runs over Kansas City walk,” Green joked.
On a more serious note, the mayor urged Phillies fans to keep cool when (and if) their team takes the World Series.
Royals Will File Travel Grievance
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals were not only unhappy coming home without a victory to show for their first two games in the World Series, they didn’t like the travel arrangements.
In a copyright story in today’s editions of the Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, Royals players said the charter flights home from Philadelphia, which arrived in Kansas City around 3 a.m. CDT Thursday, was overbooked because of office people, Royal Lancers (volunteer season ticket salesmen) and media representatives.
The players said every one of the 140 seats available on the TWA charter 707 jet flight was filled.
LaCock said the team would probably meet today to file an official grievance.
Second baseman Frank White, Most Valuable Player in the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees, said, “This is ridiculous. If you’re a first class organization, you either charter two planes like the Phillies or a 747 so there would be room. But they treat us like second class citizens.
“You can’t be comfortable,” White told the Capital-Journal. “It should be your wife, an empty seat, and you. We’re sitting by people we don’t even know.”
Catcher and utility man John Wathan was quoted as saying, “We always travel first class during the season and now, in the World Series, we don’t.”
The newspaper said two players, who asked that their name not be used, complained that catcher Darrell Porter had his fiancée along and the charter was supposed to be limited to wives only.
SportopicS: World Series Notebook
By John W. Smith, Asst. Sports Editor
The Brett Case
KANSAS CITY – The most asked question by reporters on the second day of the World Series was probably, “How do you spell hemorrhoids?... Suddenly the public relations people found themselves issuing medical bulletins of the import usually reserved for presidential heart attacks. There hasn’t been this much interest in a rear end since Jimmy Carter promised to whip Ted Kennedy’s…. The 20-minute surgery on George Brett’s throbbing hemorrhoid was performed Thursday by Dr. John Heryer, who told the sound media that his name is pronounced as in “the hurrier I go, the behinder I get,” which is a good way to remember the name of a proctologist.
It has been speculated that Brett irritated the area of the hemorrhoid with three days of Mexican and Italian food during the wait in New York City to find whether the Royals should embark for Philadelphia or Houston. One columnist has suggested that his case could be called Steinbrenner’s Revenge. Steinbrenner, though, is apparently bulging in a more obvious part of his anatomy than Brett…. Larry Christenson has nothing on Brett. “I’m going back to the same room I always have at St. Luke’s Hospital,” said George Wednesday night. “I’ve had it five years in a row.”… Worst pun of the Brett case: On Wednesday the Phillies the thrill of victory and the Royals the agony of de-seat.
For Sale Cheap and Dear
Anybody want to buy 85,000 World Series program covers cheap? They’re printed in French…. The covers for the 1980 “Series Mondailes” were prepared by the California company which does the programs, when it appeared the Expos might win the National League title…. But if it’s a regular program you want, the cost will be higher. The Phillies sold out of 39,000 programs Tuesday, received a shipment of 47,000 more from California Wednesday (at an air freight cost of $6,000), and sold out of them before the first pitch Wednesday.
The previous record for one-day program sales at a World Series was 18,000; the Phillies had expected the 86,000 would do for four games and then some…. All the proceeds from the $2.50 programs are kept by the Phillies (after the vendor’s cut). The production firm charges them nothing, paying all costs and making its profit out of advertising…. Scalpers were selling the programs for $5 by the end of Wednesday’s game.
2-0 Lead Not Safe
It sounds good when you say that teams which have taken 2-0 leads in World Series play have gone on to win the Series 26 times out of 33…. But it doesn’t sound so good when you note that six of the seven failures and only five successes by 2-0 teams have come in the last 25 years…. The teams losing the Series after starting 2-0 in that span were the ’55 Yankees to Dodgers, ’56 Dodgers to Yankees, ’58 Braves to Yankees, ’65 Twins to Dodgers, ’71 Orioles to Pirates, and ’78 Dodgers to Yankees. All of those won the first two at home, as did the Phillies.
In contrast, the only team in the quarter-century to win the first two games at home and go on to win the Series was Cincinnati in sweeping the Yankees in ’76…. The four other 2-0 teams which went on to win the Series since ’55 all got their 2-0 start on the road – the ’63 Dodgers vs. the Yankees, the ’66 Orioles vs. the Dodgers, the ’70 Orioles vs. the Reds, and the ’72 A’s vs. the Reds…. In the 14 other Series since ’55, the first two games were split.
The fifth Phillies-Astros game drew the largest national TV rating for a league championship game in history. It was seen in 27.8 percent of all homes with TV, and on 44 percent of all sets in use. Presumably those figures were much higher in the Delaware Valley…. The fourth game set an LCS record for a day game, 23.4 percent of homes.
Tug McGraw ‘Catalyst’
KANSAS CITY (AP) —Tug McGraw is as zany as a fox.
McGraw, the ace reliever of the National League champion Philadelphia Phillies, is an easy going guy who likes to have fun, bubbles over with enthusiasm.
He's an accomplished writer, an astute businessman. He's not what he seems to the average person, cocky or arrogant.
McGraw's antics, such as leaping in the air after a victory or save, are calculated. He believes they help give his team the enthusiasm that is so necessary for winning.
There were those who wrote off the 36-year-old lefthander as all-washed up. But as he said the only time he’s washed up is when he takes a shower.
McGraw has been one of the major catalysts in the Phillies’ drive to the NL pennant and a 2-0 lead in the World Series against the American League champion Kansas City Royals.
He went through a season in which he posted a 5-4 record with 21 saves, despite spending some time on the disabled list. He was unreal in September and October, making 17 appearances, winning his five and saving six.
Now, all he hears are the questions, "how long can you keep it up? Isn’t your arm tired?"
"Contrary to what people think, my arm doesn't feel fired or achy." McGraw said after saving the first game of the Series in Philadelphia.
"If it did I'd be the first to go and tell Dallas (manager Dallas Green)." said McGraw.
The reliever explained that bullpen types are conditioned for the kind of work they do.
"It's the nature of the beast. I can spend two weeks getting up and down in the bullpen and never get in the game and be more tired than if I pitched."
McGraw said he learned a long time ago how to warm up efficiently. He lists his main concern as getting his pulse rate up.
"I like it to be between 120 and 140 when I'm ready to throw." he said. "That's my exercise rate."
McGraw observed that he gets ready for a season by running eight miles every other day. He runs a lot in the early season, then backs off.
He is different from a lot of relief pitchers. He sits in the dugout through the first seven innings, because he likes to watch the game closely.
"I love this game. I only wish I could play another position so I could play every day."
Unser, Gross Phil Super Subs
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Del Unser, a 35-year-old castoff from the Montreal Expos, and Greg Gross, obtained in trade with the Chicago Cubs, are quickly becoming the Philadelphia Phillies’ “super subs.”
Unser hit .400 in the playoffs, primarily as a pinch hitter. He drove in the tying run with a single and scored the winning run after doubling in the 10th inning of the fifth game of the playoffs against Houston. In Wednesday night’s victory over Kansas City in the second game of the World Series, Unser’s pinch double sparked a winning rally in the eighth inning.
Gross, meanwhile, went 4-for-5 as a pinch hitter in the playoffs, although he has gone 0-for-2 thus far in the Series.
The kind of strength that Unser and Gross have been giving Philadelphia’s bench was a major reason the Phillies went into today’s third game of the Series with Philadelphia leading 2-0.
“We’ve been coming from behind, and we’ve been doing something,” Unser said. “We believe in ourselves. We have confidence. We can feel, ‘Well, if the big guys don’t do it, maybe one of the little guys will do it.”
Unser came to the Phillies in the free-agent re-entry draft in February of last year. He played for the Phillies in 1973 and ’74 before going to the New York Mets in exchange for present Phillie Tug McGraw. He spent two years with Montreal before becoming a free agent after the 1978 season.
He was drafted by seven teams but signed with none, thus entering the re-entry phase of the draft, where Philadelphia picked him up.
“I never got an offer,” he said of the seven teams that drafted him originally. “I hit .196 in Montreal the year before. I was 33-years-old, and they thought I was kind of an old guy.
“Now I’m 35 and a lot younger because I’ve done something right a couple of times,” Unser said.
Mike Schmidt, the Phils’ major league home run king with 48, calls Unser “unreal,” and Manager Dallas Green had to agree.
“I’ve gotten a couple of big hits that have helped the team and helped me,” Unser said. “When you don’t play every day, you like to do something meaningful for the team when you get a chance. When you don’t play and so something it’s magnified. When you don’t do something, it’s magnified, too.”
Gross, 28, also was obtained in February 1979 in the rade that sent Barry Foote, Ted Sizemore and Jerry Martin to the Cubs for him and Manny Trillo. Both Gross and Unser are lefthanded hitters and face the monster wall in Royals Stadium’s right field, 410 feet in the alley.
“I’ve never been to this ballpark before,” Gross said, “and it looks a little different – so open. But we’ll get some hits here.”