Wilmington Evening Journal - October 17, 1980
Phillies’ most loyal fans are peeved at Dallas Green
By David L. Preston, Staff Writer
The Phillies' wives are peeved because Manager Dallas Green didn't want them around for last weekend's National League playoffs in Houston. And as they watched Wednesday night's World Series game from section 214 behind first base, they were eager to talk about their disappointment.
"Naturally, all the wives discussed it," said Sue Boone, wife of catcher Bob. "I felt we should've been invited to go along. We go through the whole season's ups and downs, and put up with them all year long. We supposedly created a 'carnival atmosphere,' which I think is totally untrue. Maybe in '76. when we went to Los Angeles and were so excited to be in the playoffs for the first time, maybe then we created a carnival atmosphere."
Green had sent letters to each of the players' lockers, saying that the wives would not be allowed to accompany the team on the flight to Houston and it would be appreciated if they stayed home altogether.
"He said we would hamper performance on the field," she said. "I don't think any of us really believed that."
So most of the wives went to Houston anyway – on their own money.
"If I felt I was going to hamper their play, I would've stayed home," Sue Boone said. "If Bob didn't want me to come, he would've told me. And it was probably the most exciting weekend of his career thus far.
"And I don't think we all went with the idea that all we wanted to do was party, because he and I were back in the room before he is when he's by himself," she said. "I feel like we're a big part of our husbands' lives, and the way they perform has a lot to do with the wives. I'm not saying he can't perform when I'm not there, but getting into a playoff is something I don't want to miss out on.
"A lot of the rookie wives couldn't afford to make the plane trip. It's a hard thing to put all my feelings into words. Not every team makes it to the playoffs."
Karen Saucier, wife of reliever Kevin, stayed home during the playoffs because her husband asked her to. "Kevin thought it'd be better to go with Dallas' wishes," she said. "And I really wanted to go, I really did. Kevin didn't want to make any waves; he hasn't been here that long."
But some rookies' wives defied the manager's request and made the trip. They included outfielder Lonnie Smith's wife Pearl, catcher Keith Moreland's wife Cindy and outfielder George Vukovich's wife Carol.
"I don't think it was fair at all," Karen Saucier said. "This was such a special thing. Who else is there, when they lose a game? We're there to back 'em up. We proved it wasn't the wives' fault, 'cause 20 of 'em went, and look how the playoffs turned out."
Bonnie Vukovich, wife of utility infielder John, said she didn't go to Houston "because Dallas Green asked me not to, and I respect his wishes. He said, 'I have to apologize for right now during the playoffs, but we promise royal treatment during the World Series.' I can't wait to go to Kansas City."
The wives left yesterday with the team and will be there for tonight's third game, which starts at 8:30.
A group of the wives who didn't go to Houston got together and celebrated with food and champagne at Jericho's restaurant at 15th and Locust streets.
"We did up the town, too," said Donna Brusstar, wife of relief pitcher Warren. "We all sorta just planned that we'd get together for the deciding game. I was gonna have the girls to my house, but Pete Rose's girlfriend Carol said, 'Why go to all that trouble? Let's go to Jericho's.’"
Along with Donna Brusstar and Bonnie Vukovich, and Pete Rose's girlfriend, the party included Karen Saucier and Betty Aviles. Sondra Maddox, wife of centerfielder Garry, stayed home and watched the playoffs on television with her two sons, according to Mrs. Vukovich. Sylvia Green, wife of the manager, also stayed home because she teaches school. And also, most likely, because of her husband's dictum.
"The whole place was wild, and then we celebrated with the fans at Broad and Locust," continued Bonnie Vukovich, whose husband spent the playoffs on the sidelines. "Right after they won it I thought, 'If John could only see the fans jumping on his nice car. It's so exciting.
"We're supposed to get red-carpet treatment in Kansas City," Donna Brusstar said. "We're waiting to see how plush the carpet is."
Phyllis McGraw, whose husband Tug was the Phils' ace reliever down the pennant stretch and during the playoffs, was one of the wives who made the trip to Houston.
"I've been in the big leagues for 13 years with Tug now," she said. "His Number One fan. I'm always with him, and he wants me there. So I came.
"It did put a little added pressure on us all. I think all our feelings were hurt. It was like for the other times we lost, they sort of put the blame on us. I'm glad we won. It just proved the theory wrong.”
Now that the team is in the World Series, some of the wives feel a whole different kind of pressure.
"I have no more fingernails," said Karen Saucier. "It's just a lot of tension. Excitement. They want to win so bad. I want 'em to win for Kevin's sake, because it's been his dream since he was a child, and it's been mine since we were married."
"It's still sorta tense," said Donna Brusstar. "I'll tell you what: A lot of pressure is on the wives, you know. We have to cook and clean and pack. Families come in. Then, plus, we have to deal with the tickets. People calling all the time. The phone rings off the hook. You can't put it down and it starts ringing.
"But this is everything. This is what baseball's all about. This is what they've dreamed of since they were little. This is the epitome of baseball, and it's not gonna sink in until next month."
But some veteran ballplayers' wives shrugged off the idea of World Series pressure.
"All the pressure was left in Houston," said Julie Reed, wife of relief pitcher Ron.
"The World Series? Definitely not," agreed Sue Boone. "The pressure was definitely in the playoffs. It was the most exciting baseball I've ever watched, the most pressure I've ever felt and probably the best feeling I've ever felt, outside of having my children. It was very satisfying.
"I don't feel any pressure, and that's what's so funny. I feel like I'm just watching another game, and I'm not taking it nonchalantly. I wish that it could happen to every major league ballplayer, because they all try so hard to get here. This is their ultimate goal."
But the wives all admit the World Series has brought confusion to their lives – and loss of sleep.
Donna Brusstar said friends visiting for the series kept Warren and her up until 6 a.m. the day of the second game.
Ron and Julie Reed, who live in Atlanta, left their kids home and stayed in a Philadelphia hotel for the first two games. And the hotel is undergoing renovation.
"I don't think it'll set in until we're home sitting around the fireplace. Hey, we're in the World Series. We're too caught up now doing the everyday things: getting clothes packed, getting enough sleep, getting tickets for everybody."
KC hopes to derail Phils’ express tonight
By Ray Finocchiaro, Staff Writer
KANSAS CITY – Manager Jim Frey feels he knows why his Kansas City Royals trail the Phillies 2-0 in the World Series.
No, it's not because Willie Wilson hasn't been getting on base.
"You can’t expect one guy to generate a whole team's offense and get two or three hits a game," Frey said of Wilson, who is 1-for-9 with five strikeouts in the Series after getting 230 hits as the Royals' leadoff man during the regular season.
Frey also maintained the Royals did not play "their World Series" against the New York Yankees, only to come up empty for the Phillies in the Series.
"Of course you have to win the playoffs to get here," he said, "but I don't think there's been any letdown. You just play as well as you're capable of playing at that time."
And Frey insisted the Royals are not flat.
"Flat?" said the incredulous manager at yesterday's press conference. "We get six runs on three homers in the first game; then we have a two-run lead in the eighth the next night. The people who hit the home runs weren't flat. The guys last night weren't flat."
So what's the Royals' problem?
"If we've done anything that's uncharacteristic of our ballclub," he said, "it's that we haven't been able to run as much. Credit Steve Carlton for that Wednesday night He's tough to run on. Normally we get things going, keep them going and score a lot of runs.
"But it's our inability to control the Phillies' offense that's hurt us the most. We didn't hit the ball as well against the Yankees as we have against the Phillies, but we got excellent pitching against New York."
The KC staff has yet to hold a lead in the first two games, with starter Dennis Leonard losing a 4-0 lead in the opener and relief ace Dan Quisenberry coughing up four runs in the eighth inning Wednesday night to lose 6-4.
Game Three, which matches righthanders Dick Ruthven and the Royals' Rich Gale tonight at 8:30, must have a different script if the Royals are to turn the momentum around.
"Be realistic. The Phillies are a good club with good offensive performers," Frey said. "Guys like Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinskl can hit the long ball. By reputation, they're a good offensive ballclub. At times our pitching controlled them; at times it didn't."
The times it didn't the Phillies overcame KC leads and swept the first two games in Philadelphia. Frey certainly doesn't need to be reminded that 26 of 33 previous clubs who won the first two games went on to win the Series. That's a whopping 79 percent.
Frey feels Gale, a 6-foot-7, 225-pounder, will be able to swing some of that momentum the Royals' way tonight.
"I don't know if Rich will go the distance," Frey said, "but he won 11 in a row during one stretch when we knew he wouldn't go the distance. He said his arm feels better now than it has the last two-four months. He was pitching with tendinitis, so we expect four-six innings. Seven's a bonus.
"But he's tough on right-handers. If he's getting the ball over with consistency, he can shut 'em down for six innings. If we get that, we'll be happy."
But not necessarily home free. All five Phillies' postseason victories have seen the losing club get a lead, then watch in bewilderment as the confident Phillies club and claw their way back.
Phils Manager Dallas Green will counter with Ruthven, who is shaking off a sore throat that has left him "feeling fine but still a little scratchy."
Green expects the Royals will be scratching for runs if Ruthven is in good form.
"If Dick's right, like I expect him to be, he can handle both right-handers and lefthanders," Green said. "Dick usually has gotten better as the season progresses, if he stays within himself. He'll always keep the game close and won't let it get away."
If anything concerns Green, it's overconfidence, a trait nobody expected to be pinned on a Phillies' team that scrambled to make up lost ground in September and scratched past the Houston Astros to win the National League pennant in five gut-wrenching comebackers.
"Overconfidence? Maybe I am concerned about it to some degree," Green said. "We've won two in a row, but all that really proves is that it's possible to win two games in a row. And Kansas City's capable of doing that. We're just playing 'em one game at a time. We don't look too far ahead. You can't win tomorrow's game till you win today's first."
And tomorrow's pitcher, which is as far ahead as Green is willing to look, will be right-hander Larry Christenson. Frey plans to come back with Leonard tomorrow at 1:45 p.m. and Larry Gura on Sunday afternoon.
Frey gave the Royals the day off yesterday. After a red-eye flight to Kansas City after Wednesday's game at Veterans Stadium, the Royals woke up to stormy weather that convinced Frey "the world was coming to an end." So he opted to stay in bed and let the players do the same.
"I felt the day off would do more good than 25 swings, in batting practice," Frey said, while the better-rested Phils, who flew in yesterday afternoon, took their cuts in beautiful Royals Stadium.
Like the Astrodome, this spacious park has a reputation of keeping long drives in play, but Green didn't seem worried.
"We'll try to stay within ourselves," Green said, "but if Schmidty or Bake McBride get a hold of one, it will go out. Our scouts tell us the winds are a factor this time of the year."
A strong gust blew from eight field to left as he spoke.
It wasn't an omen, just a strong wind. But the Phillies are playing hard, with the finish line in sight, and unless the Royals can find their second wind and start their charge, this World Series could be over before anybody figures out the reasons why.
Frey expects Brett to play tonight
By Ray Finocchiaro, Staff Writer
KANSAS CITY – Kansas City Manager Jim Frey feels George Brett will be back in the Royals' lineup tonight against the Phillies in Game Three of the World Series. Maybe "hopes" is a better word.
"I'll talk to him before the game and see how he feels," Frey said yesterday. "If he's ready to go, he'll play."
Brett underwent hemorrhoidal surgery at St. Luke's Hospital here yesterday. Dr. John Heryer, a proctologist, removed a small blood clot from the hemorrhoid that forced Brett from the lineup in Game Two after the third baseman singled twice and walked, but experienced pain running the bases and playing in the field.
"The pain is considerably less and we plan that George will be able to play Friday," said Dr. Paul Meyer, the Royals' team physician. "I'm sure he won't be up to peak performance. Running and sliding will irritate him."
Heryer described the 20-minute, noontime surgery as a "fairly common operation under a light, general anesthetic." Heryer lanced a blood clot in the external portion of a hemorrhoid, "removing, hopefully, his pain. The prognosis is good in terms of his long-term health."
Brett wasn't scheduled to be released from the hospital until sometime today. In the meantime, he was being kept off his feet, in hot tubs and under close observation.
In the 44 games Brett missed with various ailments this season, the Royals were only 22-22. They finished 97-65 overall to make a runaway of the American League West. If Brett cannot play, Dave Chalk will play third base in tonight's 8:30 p.m. contest. Chalk replaced Brett in the sixth inning Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
Luzinski may miss game with flu
KANSAS CITY – 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 Luzinskl 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. Phillip Marone.
Luzinski, the designated hitter in Game One 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 since Wednesday, missing the Phillies' second straight triumph for a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Marone said if Luzinski improves, he would fly to Kansas City before the game. "If he has no fever and looks good, I'd say let him play."
Maddox fouled a ball off 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 suffered in Game Five of the National League playoffs. He played in the first two Series' games.
Travel arrangements irk Royals
KANSAS CITY. Mo. - The Kansas City Royals not only were 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 flight home from Philadelphia, which arrived in Kansas City around 3 a.m. CDT yesterday, was overbooked because of front-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.
Player representative Pete LaCock said Major League Player Association rules provide that players not seated in first class will be assigned three seats for two players, allowing a vacant seat between players.
LaCock said the team would probably meet today to file an official grievance.
Second baseman Frank White, Most Valuable Player in the American League Playoffs 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.
Bill Beck, traveling secretary for the Royals, said flights during the regular season normally provide for 42 people, but on the flight home from Philadelphia there were 138, and the ailing George Brett was provided with additional space for is comfort.
Beck said the players are not telling the entire story. He said, "The Phillies did not allow wives to travel on the charter to Houston for the playoffs." He said, "Eighteen paid their way to Houston and back."