Camden Courier-Post - October 21, 1980

‘Comeback Kids’ could win it all


By Bob Kenney, Courier-Post Sports Editor


PHILADELPHIA – Tonight could be the night.


The night the Philadelphia Phillies end a century of frustration by finally winning a World Series championship.


Only one victory stands between Dallas Green's "Comeback Kids" and the world championship and that could come tonight in Veterans Stadium.


Steve Carlton, the lefty who has won 26 times this year, will try to end the longest drought in major league history when he takes the mound against the Kansas City Royals.


There has not been a world championship in Philadelphia since the Athletics won it in 1930 but if Carlton and his inspired teammates can win tonight there will be dancing and celebrating in South Philadelphia.


The Royals, of course, are not about to roll over and die for the Phillies.


If the National League champions are going to finally win a championship, they are going to have to take it away from the Royals.


"You can say they have their backs to the wall," said Mike Schmidt, who has scored six runs and knocked in five others. "But the team that gets the most hits, plays the Best and pitches the best will win – it's that simple."


The Royals feel they have nothing to lose and are confident they will be able to come back.


"Sure it's going to be tough," said third baseman George Brett. "We have to go in and beat Steve Carlton. But we had to go to New York and beat Rich Gossage.


"It's always tough when you see a guy for the first time," explained Brett. "Maybe it won't be as tough now that we've seen him once."


That view is shared by 6-7 Rich Gale, who will start for Kansas City.


"I said before this thing started we would have to beat Carlton to win it," said Gale. "Now we are at that point. We either beat Carlton or lose it in six games."


The Phillies, who failed to' win National League playoffs in 1976, ‘77 and '78, are finally within reach of the title.


"It's sort of scary," shortstop Larry Bowa said during a Phillies workout yesterday. "I don't want to get my hopes up until it actually happens. I'm just waiting.


"I just think, because We're hitting last, that's a little edge right there."

Victory will change calendar for Philadelphia sports fans


By Ray W. Kelly of the Courier-Post


PHILADELPHIA – It is time – with the Phillies only one victory away from making baseball history in this town – that people realized a few things.


For instance:


If the Phils beat the Kansas City Royals tonight to clinch their first World Series crown since their inception, millions of people will have an entirely new point of reference from which to gauge their lives.


Up until now, it was always, "Back , when the Phils blew it in 1 964." Or, "When the Phils got their butts beat four straight by the Yankees in the 1950 Series."


Negative, negative, negative. No wonder folks here have a complex. If it isn't back when the Bull didn't catch the ball in the playoffs, it was where were you when the Spectrum roof blew off?


The Flyers saved the sanity of the populace. But, it could be the Phillies, because of their long suffering association with local sports fans, who turn the page for the people and invent a new calendar. Day One may just start at midnight.


Another thing to realize:


If the "Come From Behind Kids" can take themselves and the fans over the top tonight, the glory and the limelight will splash and fall on just about everyone except two of the most deserving men of all.


Bob Carpenter and his son Ruly have taken a lot of heat and ridicule over the years because of the lack of pennants flying in this town.


But if it weren't for them, Philadelphia baseball fans wouldn't have one of the most dramatic teams in the game and an organization that is idolized by others in the sport.


The senior Carpenter put together the Whiz Kids. Yet, more importantly, he was the one who held firm over the years, refusing to sell the franchise despite some mind-boggling offers.


Remember, the Mack brothers didn't give a damn about the people here. Old Connie was still warm in his grave when they were conspiring to pull the American League Philadelphia Athletics out of town.


Carpenter used to get the quick-buck operators off his back by saying "If you got to ask the price, you can't afford it."


Then he allowed the reshuffling of the entire Phillies operation. He made his son Ruly work and learn every facet of the organization before turning it all over to the new generation. Not many men with the financial power and the love of baseball that Bob has would do so with such dignity.


What brought all this to mind was having to watch the Kansas City ownership parade around like the Royal family. Yuk!


The entire Carpenter family is more down to earth than a lot of people with unfinished furniture in their homes and leased Mercedes in their garages. Someone should remember them if it rains applause.


Consider this surprise:


If Steve Carlton, who should be stinging a few Royals batters' hands with his hard slider on such a chilly night, pitches a great game to clinch the sixth and deciding game of the Series, it's possible he will reveal his secret.


Carlton has been talking to the press all along. He is a ventriloquist. It's Tim McCarver, his spokesman for years, who can move his lips but can't speak.


Kansas City looks like a fine team ...but!


Any club that has to replace its regular rightfielder with a defensive replacement like Jose Cardenal has got a depth problem. Nothing against Jose, who's a super guy and a fine hitter, but the Phils can replace Bake McBride with five other athletes who could field circles around any rightfielder on the Royals team.


Truth serum: Anybody borrowing the name "Willie Mays" has got to be able to catch the ball better than Aikens.


Sour Grapes: Kansas City manager Jim Frey moaned all week about how he was hearing about the "character" of the Phillies, while no one referred to his team that way.


Another Bowa Constrictor: "The newspapers in this town acted like we should lay down and die for the final game here," Larry told the K.C. press. "Well, how dead do we look now?"


Del Unser to Paul Owens: "I told you I'd be good for you here."


Owens to Unser: "Just keep on making me look smart. I love it."


File this under optimism that wasn't even needed: Even if the Phils had lost Game 5 in Kansas City, they were confident they'd win both games at home because they had their two best pitchers ready while the Royals' pitching situation was completely messed up by Manager Frey's decision to over-use three starters and ignore Paul Split-torff.


Lost in Space: While everyone has marveled at the wondrous finish of Phils like Tug McGraw, Unser, Manny Trillo and Pete Rose, not enough attention has been paid to the outstanding job done by catcher Bob Boone during this winning stretch. Bob has hit in the clutch, made some of the finest defensive plays of his career and run the bases extremely well. This from a guy with more pain than the law allows and a season that would have made quitters out of other catchers.


And finally, a word to the fans:


A World Series victory is the best reason of all for a super celebration. But it's not a license to act the fool or to give the anti-Philly crowd around the country a chance to say, "I told you so."


Remember, I told you so.

Philadelphia prepares for pandemonium


PHILADELPHIA – Even though the World Series championship still is one victory away, city officials already have a parade planned if the Phillies take the title.


If the Phillies win tonight the parade will be tomorrow. If the victory comes tomorrow night, the parade will move down Broad Street on Thursday.


On either day, the parade will kick off at 11:30 a.m. from 18th and Market streets.


The parade will turn at City Hall and proceed three miles down Broad Street to ceremonies at John F Kennedy Memorial Stadium.


Stanley Cup victories by the Flyers hockey teams in 1974 and 1 975 have given the city representative s office a keen awareness of the need for planning.


An estimated 2 million fans turned out for the Flyers victory parade in 1974, creating huge crowd control and traffic problems.


So, the city is braced for equal pandemonium if the Phillies become the nation's top baseball team for the first time in history.


Both the police and streets departments have been put on full alert and four emergency medical stations will be set up in the event of a parade..


The city will open JFK stadium at 9 a.m. The stadium will hold more than 100,000 persons who will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. Some entertainment is planned at the stadium before the team's arrival.

Phils can become world champs


Need only 1 more victory


By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post


PHILADELPHIA – The Phillies are one win away from a world championship.


That statement, mind-boggling as it may be, is a basic truth. The Phillies, with a 3-2 lead over the Kansas City Royals in the World Series, could be riding down Broad Street in a victory parade within the next 48 hours or so.


You can't blame fans who might want to pinch themselves. After all, Philadelphia never has had an opportunity to celebrate a Phillies' world championship. Some Phillie fans have been waiting so long, they're dead.


THE LAST TIME the Phillies were even involved in a World Series was 1950. Until this year, anyone under 30 thought the World Series was reserved for cities like New York, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Los Angeles... anywhere but Philadelphia.


"It's sort of scary," shortstop Larry Bowa said during a Phillies workout yesterday. "I don't want to get my hopes up until it actually happens. I'm just waiting. Everyone says we don't have any emotions. If you tell me we're going to win, I'm sure going to see some emotion around here."


The Phillies are an excellent bet to win, which is a scary thought to anyone who watched them tightrope walk through Montreal, Houston and Sunday's fifth game in Kansas City.


Tonight they have Steve Carlton, who has won 26 games so far this season, going against the Royals' Rich Gale, who is 13-9 with a 3.92 earned run average. Gale lasted 4 innings the last time he started against the Phillies in Game 3. It was not a particularly impressive outing.


AS IF CARLTON'S left arm weren't enough, the Phillies have the luxury of knowing they can lose, that something can go wrong, and still win it tomorrow night behind righthander Dick Ruthven, who has pitched superbly through the playoffs and Series.


"I like Steve Carlton pitching for us, and Dick Ruthven if there were a seventh game," said Bowa. "I just think, because we're hitting last, that's a little edge right there."


Bob Boone, who will catch Lefty tonight, has praise for the National League's winningest pitcher this season.


"The one amazing capacity he has is to concentrate and adjust his game," says Boone. "He adjusts as well as any pitcher in the game. He can change completely from one inning to another.


"HE MIGHT lose his ability to control his slider in one inning," Boone said, "but you stick with it because you know he'll make some adjustment, and it'll be back the next inning."


A less tangible advantage may be the 65,000 or so fans who will cram Veterans Stadium tonight. What effect the crowd might have on the Royals is incalculable. But it's no secret that K.C. Manager Jim Frey thought the fans intimidated his team during the first two Series games – both Phillie victories.


You can be sure the Royals know what they will be facing tonight. Having spent some time in the Philadelphia madhouse, they are better prepared to deal with it.


"You can say they have their backs to the wall," said Mike Schmidt. "But, suppose they win and it goes to a seventh game. Then whose back is to the wall?


"THE TEAM that gets the most hits, plays the best and pitches the best will win – it's that simple."


Nothing has been that simple since the Phillies began this incredible journey 24 days ago on a cold, damp night in Montreal.


SERIES NOTES The winner of Game 5 has gone on to win the World Series 20 times in the last 28 Series... Royals leftfielder Willie Wilson struck out for the ninth time in his first at bat Sunday... The overall record for strikeouts in a World Series is 11 shared by Eddie Mathews (Milwaukee Braves, 1958) and Wayne Garrett (New York Mets, 1973)... Carlton is 100-38 in the Vet since coming to the Phillies in 1972... Carlton's post-season stats, including two playoff starts: 2-0; 20 innings pitched; 2 1 hits, six earned runs, 14 walks; 17 strikeouts; 2.70 ERA.

Bowa forgets woes, chases pot of gold


By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post


PHILADELPHIA – Larry Bowa was in his element, standing around the batting cage and trading one-liners with his teammates.


The Phillies worked out in Veterans Stadium yesterday in preparation for the sixth game of the World Series tonight against the Kansas City Royals, and there is not any place Bowa would rather have been.


His actions around the cage – and with the vast horde of press that has descended upon this Series – reflected his satisfaction. He has been superb so far, tying a record for starting the most double plays from his shortstop position, hitting .400 and stealing three bases. There was no reason for bim not to savor the experience.


But for anyone who has watched him all season, this was a different Larry Bowa than the one who had withdrawn himself for the better part of three months, the one who lashed oat at his manager and the Philadelphia fans.


The change in Bowa has not gone unnoticed.


"Larry Bowa has put aside all his problems, all his petty bickering with me, to win, said Dallas Green. "He could smell the pot of gold and, the closer the pot of gold got, the better he's played."


And now, with a world championship one win away, Bowa is at his best. But there was a time, not too long ago, when Bowa was at his worst.


During the All-Star break, a story was written claiming a Reading, Pa., doctor was among the people being investigated by a federal agency in connection with the illegal distribution of amphetamines.


It said some Phillies players would be questioned in connection with the investigation. It named, among others, Bowa and his wife Sheena.


The story was an example of journalism at its most irresponsible, not because it charged Larry Bowa with drug usage, but because of its selective use of the names of some of the more well-known players on the team.


Bowa reacted strongly to the story. He stopped talking to reporters and often seemed to withdraw even from the game itself. It was obvious Bowa was a troubled man.


"I'm supposed to accept that?" Bowa asked no one in particular during yesterday's workout. "I used to get along better than anybody with the press around here. Then, all of a sudden, I'm supposed to be a drug addict.


"I've done something my entire career, built up a reputation in this community working with the Child Guidance Clinic and going to hospitals and visiting people, and I'm a drug addict? I don't need that.


"I'm respected in this game, believe me. Somebody writes a story on hearsay and the next day they say, 'Oh, it was a mistake' – after it goes from here to Japan."


There was reason to believe Bowa had grounds to sue. But instead of taking his grievance to court, he kept it inside himself, shutting out even the writers who had been covering him for 10 years.


"It's easy to say it can't affect you, but let it happen to you," Bowa said. "It just didn't affect me, it affected my wife and her family and my family and my friends, not just in Philadelphia. Hell, yeah, I was mad.


"It's one thing talking about a guy messing up a ground ball. When you start getting into somebody's personal life when there's no merit behind any of the accusations... there's not one bit of proof behind it... and it comes out in the paper, I imagine you'd react the same way."


Perhaps we would. Perhaps something like that would affect a writer, or an accountant, or a truck driver, the way it affected Bowa. Like Bowa, maybe all of us would've been distracted to the point of being unable to do our jobs.


"I just mentally wasn't ready to play baseball," said Bowa. "My mind was other places. If I was Dallas Green, I would've benched me. That's how bad I was playing."


He was playing poorly enough that people other than Tony Kubek began questioning everything from Bowa's range to his arm to his personal desire. Suddenly, Larry Bowa looked every bit the 34-year-old shortstop he is.


But, if he is nothing else, Larry Bowa is resilient. He began putting his game back together in late August and had his best month of the regular season in September.


"It took a long time," Bowa said. "There are still scars there. I don't know if things have changed, but I just said I wouldn't let it bother me anymore.


"Me being able to rebound from about August on has helped me. Of course, being in the Series has helped everybody. You know, Greg (Luzinski) has had a bad year, Boonie's (Bob Boone) had a bad year. You overlook that now. The ultimate goal now is to try to win everything and then the bad years just disappear. They talk about the 1980 championship team. They don't talk about a guy hitting .220."


Still, the Bowa we've seen in the playoffs and World Series did not truly emerge until the final series of the season. The Phillies bad lost two of three games at home to the Montreal Expos and Bowa had made some cutting observations about Philadelphia fans.


So when he took the field against the Chicago Cubs in those four final regular-season Veterans Stadium games, Bowa was booed. He was booed when he was introduced, booed when he got a hit, booed when he made a fine defensive play at short.


And Bowa responded to the boos by playing with the intensity of a man possessed. He has been playing that way ever since.


"That (the boos) didn't bother me," he insisted. "I get motivated a lot of times by negative things that happen. I ain't going to get in no shell and hide if they boo me."


Whatever it was – the boos, the playoffs, the Series – that brought Larry Bowa out of his protective shell doesn't really matter.


Right now, the only important thing is winning. And, despite all that has occurred this season, Bowa has come to recognize that point.

Selecting Series MVP will be no easy chore


By Bob Kenney, Courier-Post Sports Editor


PHILADELPHIA – Who is the outstanding performer in the 1980 World Series?


Amos Otis, Hal McRae, Dan Quisenberry, Willie Aikens, Frank White or George Brett?


Del Unser, Manny Trillo, Bob Boone, Tug McGraw, Larry Bowa, Bake McBride or Mike Schmidt?


ALL ARE playing outstanding baseball in the 77th World Series which resumes tonight here. All are bona fide Most Valuable Player candidates.


It all seemed so simple when I received a call from the Commissioner's office asking me to help select the World Series MVP.


In other years there was always a standout – a Willie Stargell or a Reggie Jackson or a Brooks Robinson who was obviously the most valuable.


But there is no clear-cut choice after five classic games between the Kansas City Royals and the Phillies. There are at least a dozen players with credentials strong enough for consideration.


ONLY ONE previous winner, the New York Yankees' Bobby Richardson in the 1960 series won by the Pittsburgh Pirates, ever played on a losing team.


That would cut the list of candidates in half.


If the Royals come back and win it, Quisenberry would be a top candidate. The submarine pitching reliever has been in all five games to date and has been impressive despite two loses.


Otis is just two hits shy of Richardson's series high with 11. The veteran Kansas City center fielder has been outstanding in the field and has banged out three home runs.


BRETT WOULD BE the sentimental choice. He spent the first off day in a Kansas City hospital having surgery. He came back swinging and is hitting .350 with four extra base hits and a game-winning RBI. He also has played a solid third base for the Royals.


Aikens hit two home runs in a game twice and also hit his first major league triple ever on his way to a .444 batting average. He also drove in the winning run in Game 3.


White, the little second baseman, hasn't contributed much offensively with just two hits and a walk in 22 trips to the plate. But he has been nothing short of sensational in the field where he has taken away a half-dozen possible hits.


McRae doesn't go on the field for the Royals, but he has enjoyed a sensational series as the designated hitter. He has nine hits, including three doubles, and has intimidated the Phillies with his base running.


IF THE PHILLIES hold on to win, the job gets even tougher. The Series truly has been a team effort for Manager Dallas Green, who just might be the real most valuable performer.


McBride has been a solid performer. He has seven hits, including a home run and a double. He has handled everything hit his way and twice went against the boards to pull in Kansas City drives. Sunday he started the relay that cut down a Royal run at the plate.


Schmidt has handled the spotlight quite well, hitting a pair of home runs and a double while driving in five runs. More importantly, he has fielded perfectly and has taken several hits away from the American League champions.


McGraw has been in three games and has won once and saved another game with some clutch relief pitching.


BOONE'S contributions may be less noticeable, but he has caught a perfect series. The Royals have done very little on the base paths and Boone has handled his pitchers with professional leadership. Additionally he has knocked in three runs with four singles and two doubles.


Unser has contributed two pinch-hit doubles to set up winning rallies and would be a cinch winner if he should repeat that performance before the series is over.


Trillo, the MVP in the playoffs with Houston, drove in the winning run Sunday after cutting down a run at the plate with a perfect relay. Although playing hurt, Trillo has played steady ball and has five hits.


Bowa is battling a sweet .400 and would get my vote if the series was over. In five games, the guy the Philly fans call the "Little Rat" has been sensational.


He has started five double plays while fielding everything at shortstop, including a possible game-winning stop in the ninth inning of Game Five. He has a hit in every game and has been the team's inspirational leader throughout the series.

Benched Luzinski sulks; Phils can’t escape spats


By Bob Kenney, Courier-Post Sports Editor


PHILADELPHIA – Even with the team on the brink of a World Series championship, there is trouble in the Phillies' clubhouse.


Greg Luzinski, the big guy who once carried the team on his broad shoulders, is sulking and the manager doesn't like it.


It hasn't been a good second half of the season for Luzinski and Manager Dallas Green has taken his team to within a game of the championship by using the players who are producing.


DOWN THE stretch, Green managed to offend center fielder Garry Maddox and benched catcher Bob Boone when his bat went limp. Luzinski, on occasion, has been benched in favor of rookie Lonnie Smith.


Maddox and Boone came back to play key roles down the stretch and currently seem happy.


Luzinski contributed some dramatic hits against Montreal and Houston as the Phillies won the division and league titles. But he has been striking out far too much to please Green and the manager has said so.


As a result, the two should not be invited to the same victory party. In Houston, after the Phillies clinched the pennant, Luzinski refused congratulations from Green.


AS THE Phillies prepare for Game 6 of the World Series, Luzinski is sulking. With righthander Rich Gale pitching for Kansas City, the Bull is not even sure of a starting nod.


"I'm hurt," Luzinski told Ralph Bernstein of The Associated Press. "I feel I've contributed a lot in Philadelphia in the last nine years. It has hurt not being in there."


In 1978, Luzinski had 35 home runs and 101 RBIs. Last year he had only 18 home runs and knocked in 81 as he played with leg injuries all season.


This year, he started well but injured his knee in St. Louis early in July and never regained his form after minor surgery.


LUZINSKI TWICE has finished second in the Most Valuable Player balloting – in 1975 and 1977 – and received more votes than any other National League player for the 1978 All-Star Game. He has been in four, three as a starter.


A few years ago, Luzinski was a .300 hitter capable of driving in 100 runs and hitting 30 or more home runs. But he has had two straight bad years and the Phillies make no secret of their displeasure.


"Nobody loves Greg Luzinski like I do," said Green, who benched Luzinski when he came down with a fever after the first game of the series. "But we're not falling back into that old syndrome of the tail wags the dog that this organization has experienced the past five years.


"I'm tired of baseball players popping off day in and day out... Let's put the shoe on the other foot."


LUZINSKI HIT only 19 home runs during the regular season and hit .228. He is hitless in five tries in the World Series. He has had little communication with Green.


He had the flu and a high fever and didn't fly to Kansas City with the team but arrived in time to play in Game 3. He didn't And he didn't like it.


"I am ready to play now and I was ready to play when I got to Kansas City," said Luzinski. "Nobody even asked me how I felt."

Court order allows Rose to keep son during Series


CINCINNATI (AP) – Petey Rose is having the time of his life as bat boy for the Phillies and his famous father, but it took a court order to send him.


Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court Judge Paul George issued the order permitting the youngster to join his father, first baseman Pete Rose, at Kansas City for the games with the Royals.


Karolyn Rose, whose 15-year-marriage to Rose ended in divorce in August, objected to the World Series trip because only 10-year-old Petey – and not the couple's 15-year-old daughter Fawn – was to be included, according to her lawyer, Dominic Mastruserio.


"We think a parent should visit with both of his children. She wants to see the kids with their father," said Mastruserio.


While Rose, a longtime star with the Cincinnati Reds, has visiting rights, Mastruserio said, "He just doesn't exercise them. He hasn't seen his children since last March."


But according to Pete Rose's attorney, Douglas Cole, the Phillies star doesn't have facilities to take care of his daughter.


Cole said Petey is sharing his father's hotel room and was welcome in the Phillies locker room.


Cole says it was unfortunate that it took a court order to resolve the matter.


"We didn't have time to work it out privately," Cole said. However, he said a week of negotiations between attorneys for both sides had preceeded the request for a court order.


Rose was to have returned Petey to Cincinnati yesterday after the games in Kansas City ended and the Series moved back to Philadelphia.


But Petey did not return. Instead, he called his mother from Philadelphia yesterday morning and asked if he could stay for the remaining games.


"What could she do?" Mastruserio asked. "He got all wrapped up in it after being bat boy for three days. It was only natural that young Pete would want to remain for the final games."


Despite Mrs. Rose' reluctance, Petey won her over, Mastruserio said.

NBC’s innovations produce in clutch


By Fred Rothenberg, Associated Press


NEW YORK – It has been a memorable World Series for baseball and for the television industry, which may see some major changes in the coverage of the national pastime because of NBC's innovations.


In the sixth inning Sunday, Kansas City's Clint Hurdle was on third base waiting to tag up on U.L. Washington's fly ball. In the past, the camera would follow the flight of the ball, the catch and the throw to the plate, picking up the runner only as he approached home.


But because of NBC's use of inserts, the home viewer could see Hurdle in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen while the rest of the picture was focused on the catch and throw. This same technique would have saved ABC some embarrassment in the fifth game of the National League championship series, when Gary Woods left third too soon on a fly ball – a run that both Houston and ABC sorely missed.


SIMULTANEOUS shots of two happenings on different parts of the field are perfect for baseball broadcasts. Unlike football, and basketball, the action isn't always around the ball on the diamond.


"This gives you the peripheral vision that you have at the ballpark but that TV doesn't normally have," said Don Ohlmeyer, executive producer of NBC Sports. "We're very pleased with the way it's worked. It's particularly good on tag-up plays. When there's a man on third base, we're definitely going to use it."


Ohlmeyer says he tried to introduce the concept, which requires some quick reactions from the technical director, when he worked at ABC in the mid 70s. "I couldn't convince anybody. Then when I came to NBC, I didn't push too hard because baseball was the thing NBC did so well. But this year, I just legislated it."


A company named Quantel makes a device that compresses a picture and allows the director to place it in any of four quadrants on the screen. "Every local station will be using it next year," Ohlmeyer said yesterday by phone from Philadelphia. "It's going to change the way baseball is covered."


THIS INNOVATION may be expensive, but another idea NBC has implemented during the Series – visual recaps – wouldn't be costly. When Philadelphia's Bake McBride came to the plate Sunday, NBC showed his important catch in the right field corner from the fifth inning. Recaps of Willie Aikens' expanding batter's box controversy and homers by Aikens, George Brett and Mike Schmidt are more examples of how NBC has been recalling significant points and key plays.


Being a visual medium (and an auditory one, too, considering how well we heard home plate ump Dutch Rennert's loudspeaker calls), TV has the capacity to add pictures to words when the broadcaster recalls the batter's previous at-bats. In fact, NBC could do this even more, but Ohlmeyer cautions against overuse. "If we do it every-time, it would be gratuitous. We try to pick key moments, find memorable things. It's all a matter of degree."


The first two broadcasts were not up to NBC's high baseball quality, but the next three games in Kansas City were textbook telecasts. The only flaws in three near-perfect performances were losing the ball on homers by Aikens and Schmidt and cutting too quickly to another camera Sunday and missing McBride's catch against the wall.


In fairness to director Harry Coyle's genius, he did have McBride's catch on replay from several angles. And one made it seem like the ball hit the wall first, proving the fallibility of replays for those advocating their use as final arbiters over umpires and referees.


THE CATCH ended the fifth inning, and Ohlmeyer ordered the replays to roll instead of the slotted commercials. NBC says that decision could have cost it some $ 250,000 in sponsor fees but an extra pitching change (Dan Quisenberry replacing Larry Gura in the seventh) created additional commercial time and got the network off the hook.


"It was not the right time to cut away. It was important to stay and take our chances," said Ohlmeyer. "We fell behind and if we didn't get that extra break, we would have blown some money."


The weekend games improved on earlier broadcasts in several areas:


•  More judicious use of crowd shots. The fans and wives reactions portrayed drama and excitement as opposed to earlier pointless mugging for the cameras.


•  Showing only significant replays and not just extra angles, which really don't add anything and are there just to dazzle the viewer.


•  A better blending in the booth of play-by-play man Joe Garagiola and commentators Tony Kubek and Tom Seaver, who were smart enough to let the action and crowd call much of the drama of the ninth innings.


Garagiola has become a fine quarterback, seeking more depth from his partners on key points, calling the game accurately and entertaining us with his wit and warmth. One nit: he still tends to beat the drums unnecessarily. Willie Wilson's catch Saturday was good but not really comparable to Willie Mays' robbery of Vic Wertz in 1954.


Seaver seems to be more relaxed and has given us a better grasp of what the pitcher thinks and feels. Kubek has been a great source of interesting information and hasn't left us hanging in the weekend games with unexplained items.


"I've been telling them to keep in mind that 60 percent of the people may have watched only one or two games all year," Ohlmeyer said. "Basically this weekend is the way I wanted the games covered. Our announcers worked well together and we documented the games so the fans didn't miss any action and saw all the runs."

Series has health benefits


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Phillies' battle against the Kansas City Royals in the World Series could have temporary mental health benefits here, two psychiatrists say.


"It's very common in our society generally that we have little control of our own lives," said Dr. Stephen P. Weinstein, 38, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College here.


Weinstein said World Series fever is helpful because the competition takes people's minds off day-to-day issues and provides a reason for happiness to those who have little else to make them feel their lives have meaning.


"Many kids and atiults see themselves as underdogs," Weinstein said. "Particularly with a team that plays ball like the Phillies tough, scrappy, comes from behind it's a (characteristic) that many Philadelphians identify with."


"If they identify with a winner it might spill over and ha ve an ongoing positive (effect) for the city," he added.


The doctor noted, however, that the blues may set in once the World Series is over and people "get into the same kinds of patterns of frustration" as they had before the Series.


Dr. Henry Bleier, 32, the director of psychiatric in-patient services at the Philadelphia Psychiatric Center, said the Series' chief value is that for the time one is watching, one is transcending real life.


"And that's why sports succeed," he added. "They allow someone for a time to take part in large-scale conflicts, victories. The symbolism in sports that is being substituted for the spectacle of battle is very real."


He said there's almost a need in the pressure-packed live of urban America for something as pressure-packed as the World Series.


"In a strange way, the frustrations that are the consequences of daily living are larger than can be released in the affairs of daily life.


"We have to punch a bag or run three miles, or become completely involved in games to vent those frustrations," he said.