Montreal Gazette - October 18, 1980
Royals beat Phillies 4-3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (UPI) – Willie Aikens hit a two-out, run-scoring single in the 10th inning last night to give the Kansas City Royals a 4-3 World Series win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Phillies maintained a 2-1 edge in the best-ot-seven series.
Aikens’ single in 10th inning gives K.C. win
By Michael Farber of The Gazette
KANSAS CITY - The Kansas City Royals proved they do not live by Brett alone.
The Royals played hari-kiri on the bases in the 10th inning and took the bat out of George Brett's potent hands, but Willie Aikens saved their bodies and soles with a two-out single to defeat Philadelphia, 4-3, last night in Game 3 of this whacky World Series.
Aikens' single off Tug McGraw drove in the over-ambitious Willie Wilson from second as the Royals cut their Series deficit to one game.
Wilson didn't deserve so pleasant a fate. Sure, he stole second to set up the winning run, but only in view of the final result could it be perceived as a proper play.
U.L Washington opened the Kansas City 10th with a single against McGraw, who began the inning in place of starter Dick Ruthven. Wilson squared to sacrifice on three of the next four pitches, but McGraw missed with all of them to put runners on first and second.
And then came the Happy Feet.
Frank White, the best Royals' bunter, fouled off one attempt and then bunted through an inside McGraw curve. Washington, a beautiful dreamer, was caught off second trying to get too big a jump. Phillies catcher Bob Boone pump-faked to second, and Washington took off for third. Boone nailed him, so instead of runners on first and second and none out, the Royals had a runner on first with one out.
White strikes out
Make that two out after White struck out flailing.
But the Royals weren't in that bad of a situation. Brett, fully recovered from his hemorrhoid surgery – a home run in his first at-bat was a pretty good prognosis – was up and Wilson, who stole 79 bases during the regular season could score from first on any long single.
"I have a 'no steal' sign, but I didn’t put it on," said Royals' manager Jim Frey. "In that situation, of course I'd like to have George hitting, but I'd still prefer the chances of Aikens hitting a single than Brett hitting a double."
So with a 1-1 count on Brett, Wilson took off. The Phillies had pitched out, and Boone's throw beat the runner, but it short-hopped shortstop Larry Bowa and Wilson was safe.
McGraw then officially took the bat from Brett's hands, walking him intentionally.
"Before the first pitch, I was looking for the steal sign for Willie," Brett said. "But then I remembered, Willie doesn't have any signs. I sort of guessed he would be going."
Aikens, despite his two home runs in Game 1, didn't figure to match the Brett threat. He had hit his first major league triple (and later scored) in the fourth inning when left fielder Lonnie Smith failed in a diving attempt to catch what would have been a single. But Aikens had struck out his next two times, including with the lead run on second in the eighth.
McGraw falls behind
McGraw fell behind, 2-1, and threw a fastball on the inside part of the plate – the same pitch Ruthven had blitzed by for a called third strike in the eighth. But Aikens drove this one into the left-centre gap – Phillies centre fielder Garry Maddox was shading the left-handed hitting Aikens to right – and the Royals were viable for another game.
They wouldn't have been if the Phillies didn't litter the bases with bodies like some underworld garbage dump. They left 15 runners on base – 14 through the first nine innings, tying a World Series record – and were one-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Mike Schmidt left eight of the 15 – one in the 10th when the Phillies could have taken the lead.
Boone opened the inning with a single against Dan Quisenberry, who had entered the game in the eighth after Pete Rose had broken his bat and his 0-for-10 Series slump with a score-tying single. Greg Gross, a pinch-hitter, sacrificed him to second and Rose was walked intentionally.
Schmidt, who had hit his first home run in 76 post-season at-bats in the fifth, hit the ball sharply for the third time – but lined it at the feet of White, the second baseman. He caught the ball and stepped on second for the double play, and if the Royals had needed a triple play, they would have had that, too. It was all part of the 30-30-30 mystique Quisenberry boasts of: thirty saves, 30 strikeouts and 30 great plays behind him.
Poor Schmidt He almost had won the game in the eighth when Quisenberry replaced Renie Martin. Schmidt had caught Brett playing deep at third, and dropped a bunt which would have scored the go-ahead run, but the ball rolled foul 15 feet from third base.
And Schmidt almost had hit another home run, too, just getting under a pitch which he drove to medium-deep centre lor the third out in the second when the Phillies had one run in and the bases loaded.
Gave run away
The Royals really gave that run away. With the bases loaded and one out Smith had tapped back to pitcher Rich Gale, who fumbled the ball. Gale turned towards second to start a double play he had no chance to complete – not with the speedy Smith – and then towards first where he eventually threw. Gale's best play was to home, where Manny Trillo was an easy out.
"That's just a case of a young player (Gale is in his third season) getting flustered," Frey said. "The play was to home, and everybody was screaming 'home,' but sometimes you don't hear the shouts over the crowd noise."
Hal McRae – six for 11 in the Series – singled home Aikens in the fourth, but Schmidt's solo home run tied the score, 2-1, in the fifth.
Amos Otis crushed his second home run of the Series – a towering opposite field shot to right – in the seventh against Ruthven, however, and the crowd of 42,380 woke up from it Mid-America stupor.
Series delicate mix of bitterness… fun
By Michael Farber of The Gazette
KANSAS CITY – The World Series, Part 1, starts with a stuffy white man in the $385 per day hotel suite where Abscam tapes were made, and ends with a bitter black man standing near the shrimp bowl at Royals Stadium wondering why the world never was his oyster Rockefeller.
In between, there is a singing telegram and a missing bed and hemorrhoids and $76 worth of hamburgers and a shootout in the Phillie Clubhouse.
There are also three baseball games between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Kansas City Royals, the official alibi for all the gentle excesses which surround them. The World Series games are public record. The World Series is private moments.
Here are some.
• • •
The stuffy white man is Bowie Kuhn, the commissioner of baseball, the man Charles O. Finley called "the village idiot" before he amended it to "the nation's idiot."
His Bowieness's digs is the Abscam Suite at the Barclay Hotel, Philadelphia's finest. Seems a wonderful image for the man who tossed Willie Mays out of baseball because he does some public relations work for a casino.
Around the corner the Royals are staying at the Franklin Plaza, the official World Series headquarters.
"Checking in," said the reporter from San Diego.
"Yes, sir," said the wide-eyed clerk with the thick lipstick. "Your room will be ready as soon as we nail down the carpet."
Maybe by World Series, Part 2, the telephones will work and the lamps will have lightbulbs and one of the St. Louis Cardinals directors will have a room with a bed. They're finishing 30 rooms a day, the girl said.
The Crown Center in Kansas City is complete, although the columnist from Boston would rather have spitoons than a waterfall in the lobby. He still hasn't figured out the oval thing on the roof is a jogging track.
Hotels count. Last year hard-hitting North American journalists and about 500 of the rest of us holed up in the Pittsburgh Hilton, an aging grand dame worthy of that lunch-pail city. The Baltimore Orioles, meanwhile, were stuck a few blocks away in hotel which bears the name of the father of Pennsylvania – The William Penn.
"This place is so old," growled Oriole manager Earl Weaver, "that William Penn was named after the hotel."
• • •
A case of Preparation H, a gift from the company, was delivered Thursday to George Brett's locker in Royals Stadium. With the 144 tubes came a six-figure endorsement offer.
Hemorrhoids have been on everybody's mind since the Brett Affair broke. One doctor phoned the Royals and said Brett should treat it with Listerine. Several callers suggested hot packs, others the eating of orange peels or whole wheat.
John Heryer is a Kansas City proctologist. If you gathered 100 Kansas Cltyans on Truman Road and asked passers-by to pick out the proctologist, they'd choose John Heryer. Some people just happen to look like proctologists.
Dr. Heryer politely discussed the minor sugery he performed on Brett, answering the rather silly question of how long it would take Brett before he was back on his feet. The doc rambled on about blood clots and such, and was about to leave when a writer asked him how to spell his name.
"That's H-e-r-y-e-r, pronounced hurry-er," the good doctor said. "Like the Heryer I go, the be-hind-er I get."
The guy must be a riot at proctology conventions.
• • •
Of course, there are lesser maladies at the World Series. Everyone has a cold, the product of fatigue and travel and the germs of the guy from St. Louis who keeps leaving his used tissues on my portable computer.
(Your press box neighbor is another important part of the World Series. You hope he is pleasant, witty, doesn't chew cigars and speaks English. Once, at Dodger Stadium, a reporter from New Jersey was placed between a Mexican radio announcer and a Japanese magazine writer. Both said "No speak English," and neither did until the seventh inning stretch when each rose and sang, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game.")
Night games in cold-weather cities, I guess, are the real guilty parties. Brett caught his hemorrhoids and Phillie pitcher Dick Ruthven got his sore throat during Game 1 in Philadelphia when the temperature was 48 degrees Fahrenheit.
Still, that's balmy compared to Baltimore last year when the World Series opener was snowed out and played the following evening in 41-degree weather. A reporter who hadn't come prepared for the chill went to Hamburger's, a local department store, and purchased a sweater and topcoat. He put the $76 bill on his expense account.
Three weeks later the business manager asked him to his office.
"Now what you do on the road is your business; I don't want to hassle you," the man told the reporter. "But how could you spend $76 on hamburgers?"
• • •
The faculty of St. Maria Goretti High School of South Philadelphia had scraped together $8 to send a singing telegram to the Phillies before Game 1. They called on tenor Mike Cotton, who in turn must have called for Phil-lip Mor-rees. He says looking like a bellboy from a 1929 Marx Brothers movie doesn't bother him – don't those white gloves in his epaulets look spiffy – and besides, reporters don't look so hot, either.
Cotton is standing in the press entrance of Veterans Stadium while security guards wonder what to do with the heartfelt wishes of the St. Maria Goretti faculty. He knows the tune of the telegram, but can't identify the original song.
"The only theme song the Phillies' have is The Sounds of Silence, said one smart-aleck, 1960ish Simon and Garfunkel freak.
Music makes a World Series. The 1979 Pirates had We Are Family, the 1977 Dodgers had Linda Ronstadt sing the National Anthem, and the 1978 Dodgers started a Hollywood squabble after rejecting Lawrence Welk's offer to do the O say can you see bit.
Philadelphia knows all about music. The Phillies hired the famous Mummers to play at a Series-eve dinner for baseball executives.
The band's opening number was New York, New York.
• • •
A report came over the police radio: "Shooting in the Phillie Clubhouse."
Oh boy, Dallas Green and Larry Bowa finally had gotten into it for real.
Excited police-reporting types jumped into their cars and sped to Veterans Stadium to check out the gore, but didn't get the big story.
The Phillie Clubhouse is a bar in West Philadelphia.
• • •
Civic pride. That's also the World Series. Although baseball is one group of Californians playing another, the cities represented like to take the credit.
You get the governor of one state betting his applestobaccowheat against another governor's steelbagelsoranges. You get the mayor in the clubhouse, and he gets himself on television. Pretty standard stuff.
But Kansas City is outdoing itself with its spirit. A guide to the city given to Series visitors is accompanied by a letter which says: "We are level-headed, hard working, friendly and reliable. (Sound like my dog.) And yesterday's Kansas City Times regionalized the gushing in a lead story which began with this wonderful paragraph:
"Breathes there a Flatlander with soul so dead, who to himself hath not said: "Dial it long distance, Willie baby."
(That means hit a home run for you uninitiates.)
Only in Baltimore last year did some of the natives seem restless. One taxi driver, navigating his cab around the downtown subway construction, railed constantly against the priorities of the City Fathers.
"Baltimore," the hack said, "needs a subway like a hole in the ground."
• • •
The bitter black man is Satchel Paige. He is the best pitcher in Kansas City history, the one the Royals need to overcome their World Series deficit.
He is also 71 or 72 years old, he's not quite sure. But he does know he suffers from emphysema.
Satchel Paige is bitter because when he was in his prime, major league baseball did not allow blacks to play. They were officially called Negroes then, unofficially often worse. When baseball decided blacks were acceptable to hit the same baseball as whites, Paige – a star of the Negro leagues for longer than even he can remember – was too old.
Yes, he was saying amid the shrimp and oysters and prime ribs of the Royals Stadium Club, he did get a chance for his cup of coffee in the major league, but he had seen too much for it to go down easy.
He pitched his last major league game in 1965 – at the age of 56 or 57 – for the Kansas City Athletics. Thirty thousand people had come to old Municipal Memorial Stadium to see him work against the Boston Red Sox.
After two innings, Paige had a no-hitter. Heywood Sullivan – the A's manager, now the Red Sox owner – decided he would be lynched if he separated Paige from his no-hitter. He let Paige begin the third.
Carl Yastrzemski led off the inning with what Paige called "a Chink single." Sullivan saw his chance.
"Want me to get you out?" asked Sullivan when he reached the mound.
"Man," Satchel said, "where the hell you been?"
Christenson faces Royals’ Leonard
Here is a thumbnail sketch look at the starting pitchers for Game Four of the World Series today.
PHILLIES – Larry Christenson, right-hander, 5-1, 4.01 ERA... because of rash of injuries in recent years has become less of power pitcher... good curve, slider... pitched superbly in September after coming back from groin pull... in two playoff games, had a 3.86 ERA for 6 innings... had surgery in late May for bone spurs in right elbow... activated Aug. 11, won two of three decisions before sustaining groin pull... might have trouble against lefties in Royals' lineup...
ROYALS – Dennis Leonard, right-hander, 20-11, 3.79 ERA... power pitcher with penchant for home runs balls... Game One loser, allowing six runs on six hits in 3... retired first seven batters... Manager Jim Frey says familiarity with Phillie hitters will help Leonard... Not vice-versa?... Leonard won Game Two of AL playoff, 3-2... had third 20 win season in four seasons... had one stretch of 23 scoreless innings during season... a highly competitive, loose guy.
Series Notes: Zimmer approached by three clubs
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (UPI) – Don Zimmer doesn't have to worry about any credit card from an auto rental agency. He's sitting in the driver's seat anyway with offers from three different American League clubs.
Prior to last night's third game of the World Series, the deposed Boston Red Sox manager met with Texas Rangers President Eddie Robinson and was officially informed he is being considered for the Rangers' managerial job.
Should that job fail to materialize, Zimmer, a former coach with Expos, is likely to accept an offer from George Steinbrenner to serve as third base coach with the New York Yankees next season. It was learned that the Yankee owner already has offered Zimmer the job and Zimmer asked him for time so he could listen to the Rangers' proposition.
Zimmer also has been offered another coaching position with the Minnesota Twins but is said to be leaning toward accepting the Yankees' job if the managerial one with the Rangers falls through.
"I know one thing," said the former Brooklyn Dodger and Chicago Cubs infielder after his meeting with Robinson. "I wanna be back in uniform and I'm gonna be back on the field next season one way or the other. They (the Rangers) asked me to give them some time to think it over and I said okay."
Zimmer, who managed the San Diego Padres before taking over the Red Sox managership in midseason 1976 from Darrell Johnson, guided Boston to winning seasons in the 4½ years he had the club but never was able to win the American League's Eastern title. The closest he came was two years ago when the Yankees beat the Red Sox for the division crown on Bucky Dent's home run In a one-game playoff at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox finished in a fourth-place tie with the Detroit Tigers this season, winning 83 and losing 77.
When the Red Sox fired Zimmer a few days before the end of this past season, he took it well and expressed no recriminations against management although he said it didn't always supply him with the players he needed.
• • •
Philadelphia manager Dallas Green repeated he has no desire to manage next season if the Phillies win the World Series.
• • •
Greg Luzinskl was not in the Phillie lineup, still weak after a bout with a virus. He was available to pinch-hit.
• • •
The St. Louis Cardinals confirmed that Joe McDonald has been hired for an unspecified front office position, a move which frees general manager Whitey Herzog to return to the field. There was no definite word on whether Herzog, who had a 38-35 managing the Cardinals before taking the GM job, would manage again, however.
McDonald was the New York Mets general manager before being demoted prior to this season.
• • •
Trade talks: Boston has been working on a Rick Burleson-Al Oliver deal with Texas. Burleson wants $4.4 million for six years ... The New York Yankees said they would not sign 42-year old pitcher Gaylord Perry, who is eligible to become a free agent.