Philadelphia Inquirer - October 2, 1980
Benched Bull, Boone back in Phils’ lineup
By Jayson Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer
Dallas Green's once-deposed Gang of Two was back in the Phillies' line-up last night. You remember Bob Boone and Greg Luzinski. They used to play around here back in the good old days, oh, about three days ago.
They didn't get to do that Monday and Tuesday. But last night, there they were again. Luzinski was restored to grace, and Boone was restored to catch Steve Carlton.
This tale even had a happy ending. Boone had two hits and an RBI. Luzinski belted his 19th homer in the Phillies' four-run sixth inning.
Green said before the game he had been planning to let Boone continue to catch Carlton all along. And Luzinski was back in, he said, because "I still think Greg is going to break loose one of these nights. And if he does, power-wise, that could be the catalyst we need to get it going offensively."
Luzinski wasn't real thrilled to be watching the pennant race from the bench the last two days. But he said, "I understand the reason for it.
"He was trying to shake up the offense, and no question, he did that. Lonnie (Smith) and Keith (Moreland) did a tremendous job. They're a part of this ball club just as much as Booney and myself. Look, we're all in this together."
Deep down, Luzinski had to feel this was a very important game for him if he wanted to play in Montreal and thereafter, if there is a thereafter. But he wouldn't admit that.
"I wasn't even thinking about that," he said. "I've said it all along, my personal goals went out the window with the injury. As long as we win this thing, it doesn't matter to me if Lonnie Smith does the job or anybody else."
One point Green made very firmly was that the benching of Boone, Luzinski and Garry Maddox did not mean they were among the guys he felt didn't care.
“Bobby Boone cares about this team, and I don't want to imply by sitting him down that he doesn't," Green said. ''He's as frustrated as anybody about his lack of offense.
"As for Bull, I love the guy. He just hasn't been able to contribute offensively since he came back, and I can't explain why. Garry is a different personality, but he still cares about winning. At times I worry about Garry's approach to the game and his attitude. But we've had enough talks. I think we understand each other."
NOTES: Larry Bowa broke his Marcel Marceau act before the game to announce loudly that he plans to be a Phillie for two more years. "I read a lot of trade rumors in the papers today," Bowa said, apparently for the benefit of a group of writers standing by the cage. "Well, I'm a 10-and-five man (meaning he has to approve any trade). It's gonna take a lot of cash to get me out of here."... Mike Schmidt for September:.266, 9 HRs, 22 RBIs. Schmidt had two RBIs for the homestand going into last night, not one, as was reported yesterday.... Pete Rose, Steve Garvey and Omar Moreno are the only players in the National League who haven't missed a game.... Bob Walk vs. Randy Martz in the home finale tonight.
Palmer, Expos rip Cards, 8-0
By Al Morganti, Inquirer Staff Writer
MONTREAL – The Expos can do nothing now except sit and wait for the Phillies to arrive here tomorrow night.
They have done their part to set up "The Weekend" by sweeping a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals. The conclusion unfolded here at Olympic Stadium last night when they clinically dismantled the Cards, 8-0, to maintain their half-game lead over the Phillies.
For the Expos, today is a day of rest from the leap-frog pennant race. And they rest knowing that the best the Phils can do is get even with them by beating the Cubs today.
"It's their backs that are up against the wall now," said Expos' catcher and legitimate MVP candidate Gary Carter. "They have to beat the Cubbies just to come in here tied. We'll get some rest.
"Nobody here is sky high just yet.' But I guarantee you, once that weekend series starts... just have the champagne ready."
Although there was no uncorking last night, there was great celebration over their latest conquest, their fifth win in a row.
Funny how pennant contenders march into September and then match each other almost footstep for footstep, pitch for pitch. While Steve Carlton was shutting down and shutting out the Cubs at the Vet, Dave Palmer was doing the same up here.
By the end, after Andre Dawson and Carter continued their assault on the Cardinals' pitching, Palmer had a career-high 10 strikeouts, and the Expos were assured of no worse than a tie for first entering The Weekend.
"He was some kind of awesome," said Carter of Palmer. "He had that great game against the Phillies last week (lost, 2-1, on a Bake McBride ninth-inning home run) and now this one.
"I'll tell you it's something when you can shut out the Cardinals like that."
And it's also something when the Expos can funnel all this late-season pressure into a three-game sweep of a pretty good baseball team. At the beginning of the week, there was a general feeling that the Cubbies and their blunders were going to ride into the Vet and save the Phillies while, up north, the Expos had their hands full with St. Louis.
So far, the Cubbies have done their part, but the Cards couldn't even squeeze one win out of Montreal.
What it comes down to is this: If the Phils are going to win this thing, they're going to have to do it themselves.
If there was going to be a night that St. Louis was going to win, last night should have been it. With Garry Templeton back at shortstop, the Cards started a lineup in which the first eight batters were hitting over .300. Also, they were starting an undefeated rookie pitcher, Andy Rincon (3-0), who came in with an earned run average of 1.80 and had already beaten the Expos once.
It looked as if he might do it again as, through the first four innings, Rincon faced only 12 batters, and the Expos and Cards were knotted at 0-0.
Then, in the fifth, Dawson brought the hammer down. He led off with a double and scored what proved to be the winning run when Carter followed with an opposite-field triple to right.
The Expos scored only the one run in the inning, but they scored two more in the seventh when Rowland Office singled and scored when Dawson hit his third triple in two nights. This one to right field.
So flustered was Rincon that he balked home Dawson, handing the Expos a 3-0 lead.
He managed to finish the inning, but that was it. The Expos sent 10 players to the plate in the seventh when they cranked out seven hits (including a Dawson single) for five runs and the 8-0 advantage.
When the inning was over, the crowd stood and awarded the Expos the latest in what appears to be an unending- salute of standing ovations.
There were only 20,063 fans inside the Stadium, but that has nothing to do with lack of interest.
It seems that the Expos, Les Expos, if you will, have become "Canada's Team" and the game was broadcast regionally and nationally, keeping some fans home by their TV. But they will be here this weekend. Already the Expos have sold over 151,000 tickets for the series. And the Sunday game is a sellout.
But, if you listen to the Expos, that Sunday game may only be a formality. They figure to have it sewn up by then.
"We're going to win this. And we're going to win this, with style," said Warren Cromartie. "We're going to win this in two games."
Carter felt the same. The name of the tune, according to Carter, is Meatloaf's "Two out of Three Ain't Bad," to be followed by the Expos' team sing-a-long, "Another One Bites the Dust."
He figures that the Phils might bite the dust Saturday. "I foresee us taking the first two,' said Carter, "and not having to face Steve Carlton on Sunday."
Phils down Cubs on Carlton’s 2-hitter
Remain half game out of first
By Jayson Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer
Steve Carlton might pitch until he's 87 and never throw a no-hitter. But nobody has the art of the near-no-hitter down the way Carlton does.
Carlton has twirled four of them this year and about two dozen in his career. It wouldn't be an official Phillies season if he didn't at least scare everybody every couple of months.
Last night again, the no-hit innings kept rolling by. Through the fifth, through the sixth, through the seventh inning, Carlton held the Cubs hitless.
He had had the obligatory assortment of tough plays turned behind him – two by Manny Trillo, another by Mike Schmidt. He had showed he had the classic no-hit stuff – the omnipotent slider, the smoking fastball. He had fanned seven in seven innings.
What would become a 5-0 Phillies win and Carlton's 24th of the year was all but packed up and stuffed in the victory column. Schmidt and Greg Luzinski (remember him?) had homered back-to-back as the Phils broke up a Carlton-Dennis Lamp duel with a four-run sixth. The Phillies were virtually assured of remaining a half-game behind the Expos.
The only challenge that remained was the one that has eluded Carlton through a brilliant 16 seasons of pitching. The zero-zilch-nada-hitter. He was two innings away. And Bill Nahorodny wasn't within 2,000 miles.
The leadoff hitter in the Cubs' eighth was a fellow named Michael Lewis Vail, a pretty tough right-handed hitter whose career average is flirting with the .290s.
"His slider," sighed Vail, "was the pitch tonight. It was really unhittable. The way he was throwing the slider, I was looking for anything else but."
Carlton finally threw him something else, but on his 1-1 pitch. It was a fastball, out of the strike zone. But Vail wasn't in a situation to get picky. He reached out and lined it to center.
If Garry Maddox had been the guy out there, it would have been the first out. Maddox plays so shallow in center that one of these days he might become the first centerfielder to turn a double play at second base. Maddox also has the best instincts in the business for anticipating where the ball's going.
But Maddox wasn't out there. Del Unser was. Unser is a fine outfielder, but he doesn't have Maddox's burners and so he can't play as shallow. Veil's ball hung up a while, then dropped a couple of feet in front of Unser's desperate lunge. There would be no Steve Carlton no-hitter on thls night.
Carlton (24-9) would finish with a two-hitter. The other hit was a Bill Buckner liner that ticked off Trillo's glove with two outs in the ninth, casting Carlton a National League record seventh one-hitter and his second this year. Buckner never would have batted had Vail's ball beef caught.
So why wasn't Maddox out there last night? Green restored Luzinski and Bob Boone to the lineup. He had every intention of restoring Maddox, too.
But Maddox had a sprained little finger on his left hand. After the lineup card went up before the game, he went to coach Bobby Wine and told Wine he couldn't swing the bat.
"He (Wine) told Dallas," Maddox told writers later. "Dallas took me out. Maddox told the writers he hurt the finger in Pittsburgh two weeks ago and reinjured it Sunday. He said he can play defensively. He said he just can't swing the bat.
He said that the day after he first injured himself in Pittsburgh, he "went up to the manager and told him" I didn't think I could swing the bat. But since we're fighting for a pennant, it's a tough decision. I thought it should be on his shoulders. That's what I did today, too."
Green was as tight-lipped about the matter as he has been on any subject since he became manager. When told Maddox said it was the manager's decision, he just nodded and said, "OK, I accept that. It was my decision not to play him.
"Look, Del Unser's a good baseball player. Lonnie Smith is a good baseball player. We have good baseball players on this team. !f a guy doesn't feel he can contribute and play, we have other people that can."
When asked if he felt that key players should be letting sore fingers stand in the way of playing pennant-race baseball games, Green's face turned grim. "I've got nothing to say," he said. Hmmm, where have we heard that line before?
The Maddox controversy, if that's what it was, lent a peculiar, uncomfortable feeling to what should have been a triumphant night.
Carlton rolled through the first six innings with total ease. The toughest chance was a chopper off the bat of Jerry Martin with two outs in the fourth. It would have been a routine out, but it suddenly hit the AstroTurf seam, took a big hop and Trillo had to sky like Darryl Dawkins to snare it. But he did and threw him out.
Schmidt made a difficult charge-and-throw play on Ivan DeJesus in the fifth, so there went another inning. Unfortunately, at that point. Lamp wasn't doing a whole lot worse for the Cubs.
Lamp was last seen giving up three hits and a walk in the 15th inning Monday. Last night he was seen giving up three hits and a walk over the first five innings. And two of the three hits were singles by Carlton. The other was a Schmidt double in the fourth.
But all that ended with a crash in the sixth. Lamp, who hasn't won Since Aug. 8, had one out and a ball on Schmidt. But he grooved the next one, and Schmidt pounded it a third of the way up the lower deck in deep left-center, a neat 430-foot shot. And Schmidt had his 45th homer, tying last season's career high.
After that, Lamp came undone. Luzinski lined his next pitch over the wall in left, and Back-to-Back Productions had struck again. Luzinski has homered 19 times this year, and six of them have come as back-to-back Jobs with Schmidt.
"Hey, back-to-back homers never happen unless the second guy hits one," said Schmidt. "I've got the easy part in the back-to-back bit."
Lamp faced three more hitters. Unser tripled to right-center. Trillo beat out a high hopper over third. Larry Bowa then hit a chopper over the mound and beat Tyson's throw.
Boone waved hello to Dick Tidrow with a rope to left for his first hit in nine days (also 21 at-bats). So the bases were loaded. Carlton lofted a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.
After that all anybody really cared about was whether he could get nine more outs. Trillo made a gorgeous charge and throw on a Buckner bunt in the seventh. So you began to think this might be the night.
But then came the Vail single, followed by a walk to Carlos Lezcano. Carlton wasn't about to squander his first shutout since May 23, though. He fanned Tyson, Cliff Johnson and Dave Kingman in order. So much for the eighth.
After Boone singled in a fifth run in the bottom of the eighth, Carlton got two quick outs in the ninth. But Buckner lined a 3-1 pitch to Trillo's right. Trillo still isn't sure where it went.
"I thought I played the ball good," Trillo said. "I even went up for it with two hands. But it tipped off my glove. That's one error I could accept if they wanted to give me one. It just looks much better – a one-hitter instead of a two-hitter."
Neither of them looks like a no-hitter. But then nobody ever claimed Carlton was perfect. Just close.
Phils take on Cubs at home
It's a must, and the Phils must not be overconfident.
With the three-game series with Montreal starting tomorrow and the pennant on the line, there might be a tendency to look ahead. But it could be fatal if the Phils looked beyond the Cubs, whom they play again tonight at the Vet.
Rookie Bob Walk is expected to pitch for the Phillies.
PHILLIES vs. Chicago at Veterans Stadium, 7:35 p.m. (TV-Ch. 17; Radio-KYW-1060)
Torment stokes fires within Bowa
By Frank Dolson, Inquirer Sports Editor
"A couple of days ago I did a show on the benching of Greg Luzinski, Garry Maddox, and some of the sports writers have taken an interest in it. I would have to say that my feelings about Garry Maddox are about the same. 1 feel that he's the best center fielder in baseball, and because the ball gets lost in the sun you should not punish an individual for a mistake like that. To me that is not a mistake; that's just something that happens. But as the old saying goes, you can't fool Mother Nature. The sun happened to be directly in Garry's eyes. He would not have seen the baseball.
"Some of our critics in the Philadelphia area are not aware of that because they have not played baseball. They show their expertise by writing very negative articles in the city of Philadelphia, and I think that the biggest problem in the city right now is that the people are swayed by writers. They believe everything the writer says, and as I said before, the majority of the writers have never put on a baseball glove, never participated in a baseball game, yet they are experts in the field of baseball.... I think the fans are going to be swayed by what the writers write. If 1 were a baseball fan right now I would believe about 40-50 percent of what is written in the papers to be true. The rest of it is made up or they write whatever they want to write."
- Larry Bowa on WWDB-FM yesterday morning.
In the last few days he has lashed out at the manager, at the Philadelphia fans, at the Philadelphia sports writers. Larry Bowa is an angry young man, a troubled young man. and it's a shame because he's also a young man who puts every ounce of energy he's got – and a few reserve ounces even he probably didn't know he had – into playing shortstop for the Phillies.
On Monday night, after the Phillies pulled out a 15-inning win over the Cubs, Bowa gestured to the fans, then blasted them verbally. The result, of course, was that on Tuesday night, when Bowa 's name was announced in the starting lineup, the fans booed him. And when he came to bat they booed him again.
That, too, is a shame. You hate to see anybody who plays the game as hard as Larry Bowa plays it get booed. Even if he did bring it on himself.
He can be a very exasperating young man, Larry Bowa – exasperating to his manager, to his teammates, to his friends.
"What I said when I walked in (the clubhouse after Monday night's game) was, 'Those fans out there tonight were the worst fans in baseball,' " Bowa said before the boobirds let him have it again last night. "They were that night. I didn't say in general (they were the worst). I said that night those fans were the worst fans in baseball, and I still believe that.
"We dropped behind, 5-3 (in the 15th), it was like we did it on purpose. I don't understand how the people can act like we're trying to make outs, like we're trying to lose games. Everybody wants to win this thing or we wouldn't be out here."
Even talking about it now, two nights later, Bowa's voice crackled with emotion. And conviction. It takes more hiSa booing crowd or a negative press to make Larry Bowa change his mind.
"I do care (about getting booed by the home crowd)," Bowa said, "but regardless if they're on me or not it's not going to change the way I play. They can say that I'm a dog. They can say whatever they want, but I'll give 200 percent when I go out there. I'll give 200 percent whether it's my last game here or my first game."
And he can also be a very remarkable young man.
How many times over the past decade have we seen him, seen him express that emotion after, say, popping up with the bases loaded? He might slam down his bat, sling his helmet, utter a profanity or two... and then, the temper tantrum over, out to short he goes, ready to play.
That's an amazing ability, when you stop to think about it. A lot of ballplayers facing that hostile, booing home crowd would have crumbled Tuesday night. Bowa is different. He reacted to that crowd the way he reacts to a newspaper story he doesn't like or a managerial move he doesn't like – with his jaw jutting out, with the combative juices that flow through his body bubbling. He answered the first-inning boos by lining an RBI single to left. He answered the third-inning boos by running as hard as he could on a ground ball wide of first with two out and nobody on... and beating it out for an infield single that led to another Phillies run.
Last night he answered them by getting two more hits and, for good measure, he went deep into the hole to turn a game-ending force play on a ball hit by Jerry Martin. And he doffed his cap to crowd.
You can boo the guy. God knows, he gives you enough reasons. But you also have to admire him... to a point.
The troubling thing about the ongoing Larry Bowa drama this year is that he seems to be so consumed by his ongoing private wars – with the press, with the fans, with the manager – that he has stopped being the Larry Bowa we once knew. Oh sure, he still comes to the ballpark early. He still plays as hard as he knows how. But always in the past it was a duty of love. He derived tremendous enjoyment out of being a part of the baseball scene. Watch him now in the clubhouse, listen to him now on the radio... He is no longer a man having a good time.
That's the saddcst part of all.
It got so bad a while back that Bowa seemed to lose his ability to concentrate on the game for a time. He wasn't able to run out to shortstop and put all the things that were bothering him out of his mind.
"I would like to say I have enough concentration to overcome that," he said recently. "I've seen Pete Rose have so many personal problems, and yet those seem to motivate him. He sort of goes the other way. But we're not all clones. We don't all have the same personality.
"I'd love to have Pete's personality. I think that's why he's such a great baseball player, and that's why he's going to make the Hall of Fame on one ballot. His concentration is such you can drop a bomb in that coaching box and he's concentrating so much that it wouldn't even affect him. But we're not all like that. We're not all like Pete Rose. I think that's what separates a Pete Rose from a Mike Schmidt or a Pete Rose from a Dave Parker. No one has Pete Rose's concentration."
And no one has Larry Bowa's temperament. Damn few, anyway.
He is the Mount St. Helens of the Phillies, liable to erupt at any moment. But in the past the eruptions have come... and gone... and life has returned to normal. Never before has one lasted this long. It's scary.
His anger with the press seems to stem from those unfortunate drug stories around the All-Star break. "To think that a majority of people believe what they read; that's what's sickening about it," he said. "We got phone calls in the middle of the night at 2:30 in the morning asking my wife if she had any pep pills. I'd be on road trips and she'd get calls...."
It got so bad Bowa had his phone number changed. His current one is unlisted.
All that happened in July. Now it's October... but the anger, the bitterness hasn't subsided. Bowa knows that none of the writers who regularly cover the Phillies had anything to do with those drug stories, yet he has chosen for the most part not to speak to members of the local press. For a Steve Carlton, not talking to the press may have been the easiest, and the best route to follow. For a Larry Bowa, not talking to the press merely adds to the pressures that seem to be building up daily inside him.
"Yeah," he said a couple of weeks ago. "I have to really work at it (not talking to most local writers). Some have been really good to me. But to talk to them and not talk to other guys would be wrong. I'm not saying what I'm doing is right. I'm just saying I feel I can stay away from misquotes – people changing a word or two here or there to twist things around... I've lost trust in everybody as far as media is concerned. It's not fair, but that's the way it's going to be. It has affected my disposition, but I dunno. It's something I've got to do. Something I've got to put out of my mind."
That's the trouble. More than two months have passed, and he hasn't been able to put it out of his mind. The anger he felt in July he still feels in October. "The media has made it such that I try to stay as private as I can now," he said that day in mid-September. "I don't want people to know about my personal life. I don't want them to know about what I do when I leave the baseball field."
Fair enough. But instead of letting things die down, instead of letting his actions on the field speak for themselves, he has gone out of his way, it seems, to create even more turmoil, even more tension.
It can't be pleasant for Larry Bowa, a man who has played baseball here for 11 years, a man who has made his home here, to, walk up to the plate in the last week of a tight pennant race and hear thunderous boos. And frankly, it isn't pleasant for those of us who know him, and like him, and worry about him.
Things were written about Bowa in July that shouldn't have been written, and things are being said by Bowa now that shouldn't be said. Have patience with him. Try to understand the pressures, the torment he feels. After all he's done here on and off the field for the past decade, Larry Bowa doesn't deserve boos. He deserves sympathy.