Reading Eagle - October 21, 1980
Bull Getting No Respect?
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Greg Luzinski is hurt and embarrassed.
Dallas Green says Luzinski is overreacting.
Whichever, Luzinski, the husky outfielder, and Green, manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, appear poles apart.
In short, Luzinski feels he has not been treated with the respect due a player who in nine years with Philadelphia has made a major contribution to the team.
Green’s attitude is, “What have you done for me lately?”
Lately, Luzinski is a .228 hitter and often has been sidelines for
younger talent. He has spent a lot of time on the bench. He has had little communication with Green.
The latest incident occurred last week. Luzinski played in the first two World Series games, then came down with the flu. He ran a 103-degree temperature and did not travel with the team to Kansas City. He came the following day.
Green chose not to use Luzinski in the first two games in Kansas City and “Bull,” as Luzinski is known, burned.
He did play in Game 5 Sunday. He is 0 for 5 in the three games he has been in.
“I am ready to play now and I was ready to play when I got here (Kansas City),” said Luzinski. “Nobody even asked me how I felt.”
Green’s reply to that was, “I got a medical staff for that. I don’t ask players how they feel.”
“I’m hurt (his feelings),” said Luzinski before the fifth Series game. “I feel I’ve contributed a lot in Philadelphia in the last nine years. It has hurt not being in there.”
Luzinski says he can’t help but read between the lines and believes his days with the Phillies are numbered.
“If that’s strong, well…” and Luzinski didn’t finish his thought.
Green is incensed at Luzinski’s public attitude.
“I think it’s typical ‘Bull’ reaction. He jumps to conclusions. There are really no facts to back up what he thinks,” says the manager.
“I’m not saying we’re going to peddle Luzinski, but we have to be objective and realistic. We have to look at what he can contribute in the future.
“We have to ask ourselves if he can stay sound. Can he hit like he did in the first part of the season. Is he willing to pay the price (for success)?
“I have to tell (personnel director) Paul Owens these things. Nobody loves Greg Luzinski like I do. 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.”
Green asked, “Isn’t it time we looked for production, looked for that type play 162 games? After all, he (Luzinski) hit .228, not me.
“He can use all the rationalization he wants but the bottom line is where he is. I’m tired of baseball players popping off day in and day out… Let’s put the shoe on the other foot.”
In 1978, Luzinski hit .265 with 35 home runs and 101 RBI. Last year he slipped to .252 with 18 homers and just 81 RBI. He was plagued in 1979 with a thigh muscle pull and leg problems all season.
This year he started off well but injured a knee and had to undergo surgery. When he came back, he was unable to regain his batting stroke.
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 All-Star Games, three as a starter, and until this season held the record for hitting safely in league championship consecutive games in which he participated.
Carlton Can Wrap It Up
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Philadelphia Phillies can wrap it all up tonight, and the man with the wrapping paper and ribbon in his hands is Steve Carlton.
Philadelphia’s left-handed pitching ace will take the mound at about 8:15 p.m. EDT in Game Six of the 1980 World Series with Kansas City. At that moment, he will be only 27 outs from giving the Phillies their first world championship in the 80 years the franchise has existed (note: it was actually the 97th).
A man of ultimate achievement, he has won two Cy Young awards and probably will claim his third for a 24-9 performance and 2.34 earned run average in 1980.
He went into a silent act about five years ago, and speaks only to a select group which includes his wife, Beverly, their two children and a few close friends. What he is feeling at this very moment is his secret, but he is known as a master of concentration.
He practices Eastern religions and the martial arts. He plugs his ears with cotton when pitching to shut out distractions. His expressions on the mount – twitching and stretching his facial muscles – are calculated and ritualized for a purpose only he fully knows.
His isolation is almost total, and his disregard for achievements is storied. He never did pick up his second Cy Young award; it still sits in the Phillies clubhouse.
“The one amazing capacity he has is to concentrate and adjust his game,” says Phillies catcher Bob 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.”
Right-hander Rich Gale, 18-9 this season, will be the man charged with keeping Kansas City in the game until the Royals hitters can fathom Carlton.
“I said before we’re going to have to beat Steve Carlton to win this thing,” Gale said. “Now we’re at that point. You either beat Carlton, or we lose it in six.”
In their 12 years, the Royals had not gotten past the American League playoffs before this year. They lose the first two games of the Series in Philadelphia, then took the first two of their three-game homestand. Philadelphia won 4-3 on Sunday, and now can put and early end to only their third World Series appearance since being born in 1900 (Note: Actually 1883.).
“I hope Lefty (Carlton) throws the way he can,” said Del Unser, whose key pinch hits have kept Philadelphia in the forefront of this Series. “If he does, we can win.”
Perhaps like no other pitcher in baseball today, Carlton has the power to completely dominate a ballgame.
In his previous World Series start, Gale worked 4-1/3 innings without a decision Friday in Game Three, which the Royals won at home 4-3 in 10 innings. He gave up seven hits and two runs in his brief and ineffective stint.
Look Out Pittsburgh, Here Comes Philly
By Bruce Lowitt, AP Sports Writer
It’s called the City of Brotherly Love – and, boy, does Philadelphia love winning!
A year ago, and again about nine months ago, Pittsburgh was hailing itself as the City of Champions. The Pirates, “the family,” were baseball’s World Series winners. The Steelers, not so much a family as a force, were pro football’s Super Bowl champions.
About 300 miles to the east, the Phillies had pulled their el foldo much earlier than usual. The Eagles had made a run for the title, only to be ousted in the playoffs.
As Houston was to Dallas for so many years, sportswise, anyway, Philly was to Pittsburgh – second class.
Try saying something like that today. The citizens of the City of Brotherly Love will set you straight, probably with a nice left-right combination.
William J. Green is a little more subtle, as befits a mayor. “This is the only town in America with a chance to take it all,” he says. “We’re on the way to winning the World Series, we’re on the way to the Super Bowl, we just won the Nobel Prize in economics, we’ve got the greatest orchestra in the world… we’ve got the 76ers and the Flyers hanging in the wings just to fill in springtime… We’ve got it all.
The Phillies are on the verge of their first world championship ever in their first World Series since 1950. And the Eagles… well, the National Football League season is less than half over, but they’re beginning to look and act like champions. After beating the Dallas Cowboys 17-10 Sunday, they had the look of people who knew all along they could and would. None of the amazement of years past.
They haven’t won a title of any kind since 1960, when the NFL was a cozy 13-team league, when the American Football League was a novelty, when the Cowboys were a brand-new and winless NFL franchise. The Eagles beat Dallas 27-25 that year even then, the Cowboys played them tough, and won the league championship, beating Green Bay 17-13 when Vince Lombardi was only beginning to build his dynasty and his mystique.
Buck Shaw was the Eagles’ head coach back then. He retired after the championship was secure. Norm Van Brocklin was their quarterback. He, too, called it quits after reaching the pinnacle.
Beating the Cowboys, it seems, had become a fixation, a passion, for Vermeil. Understandable, considering the Eagles had lost nine in a row to them before beating them in Dallas last year. Even that victory turned to ashes of a sort when the Cowboys came right back, beat the Eagles in Philadelphia, won the National Conference East title and, for the second consecutive season, consigned Philadelphia to the second-class ranking of a wildcard team.
“Beating them here, this is one of our two in-season goals,” Vermeil said. He didn’t mention the other one, wouldn’t let anyone pry it out of him, but winning the division title couldn’t be too far off the mark. “We started talking about this game the first night we reported to training camp.”
Schmidt Says Phils Have Will To Win
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – His muscles have muscles. He is one of those guys who Casey Stengel used to say “could squeeze your eyebrows out.” He’s Philadelphia’s Mike Schmidt and tonight he reaches for baseball’s world championship along with the rest of the Phillies.
He thinks it’s taken his team far too long to reach this threshold.
Three times before, in 1976, 1977 and 1978, the Phillies and Schmidt won National League East Division championships and each time they were eliminated in the playoffs.
“In ’76, (Larry) Bowa and (Dave) Cash had their best years,” said Schmidt. “I had a pretty good year and so did (Greg) Luzinski. But Cincinnati overwhelmed us in the playoffs.
“In ’77, we should have been in the World Series, but L.A. beat us. In ’78, too.”
It was a frustrating string of failures and Schmidt thinks he knows why it finally ended.
“This year, we found a way to win at an important time in the season,” he said. “That’s so important, more than great statistics. That’s what every team wants to find – a way to win. That’s what makes this team great.”
The Phillies’ method has been fascinating. The team is specializing in late inning comebacks and never seems to be beaten.
“The past is forgotten,” said Schmidt. “The will to win takes over.”
Schmidt, who led the majors with 48 home runs and drove in 121 this season, knows the Phillies’ numbers in the World Series don’t compare to Kansas City’s. The middle four batters in the Royals’ lineup – George Brett, Willie Aikens, Hal McRae and Amos Otis – are batting a combined .449.
“You wonder about that pace,” said Schmidt. “We’ve got nobody hitting like them. But baseball’s a crazy game. Averages mean nothing.
“Baseball is different from other sports because of the mental toughness it requires. You don’t have to be as strong or as physically fit as you do in some other sports. You don’t need to want to hit somebody. You don’t have to build your psyche up all week to prepare for one game, like in football.
“There are people in this dressing room who couldn’t last 10 plays in the NFL. But we have to play this game every day of the week. We’re working on 190 games not. That’s a lot of times to pull on these socks and pants.”
Baseball is something of an endurance test and all that counts right now, is that the Phillies need just one more win to take the title. That’s one less than Kansas City need. Schmidt thinks that factor could make a difference tonight.
“A team without a tomorrow may play a certain way today,” he said. “They may take chances we don’t have to take. And that or a break here or there – those are the things that can make a difference.”
What about the momentum born of Sunday’s dramatic ninth inning rally, so typical of these Phillies, which gave them Game 5?
“There’s no feeling of momentum or more confidence,” he said. “If they had won and we had lost that game, there’s no way we’d be out-confidenced for the next one. No way.”
And that may be what Schmidt meant about his team finding a way to win. The Phillies win because they think they will win. And if they win tonight, they won’t have to play tomorrow.
SportopicS: A New Feat for Phils?
By John W. Smith
PHILADELPHIA – Tonight the Philadelphia Phillies will be trying to achieve a feat they have never accomplished in their long and troubled history, which dates back to 1883.
No, I’m not thinking about winning the World Series. Everybody who knows the difference between Bill Green and Dallas Green, or Ruly Carpenter and Carpenter’s Hall, knows that will be a unique happening.
The other never-accomplished feat would be winning a title at home. The Phillies haven’t won very many titles, but what they have won have always been won on the road.
They won the 1950 pennant in Brooklyn. They clinched the division title in 1976 in Montreal, in 1977 in Chicago, in 1978 in Pittsburgh. They won the 1980 division title in Montreal and the league title in Houston.
Even way back in 1915, when they won their only pennant before ’50, they clinched in Boston. (The Reading Eagle, unimpressed by that feat, buried the title-clinching under a story which proclaimed “Cubs Move Into Fourth Place.”)
So the fans will have a double reason to celebrate if the Phillies win tonight or Wednesday. They’ve never been able to whoop it up on the spot.
Shades of ‘77
Jim Frey may know now how Danny Ozark felt in 1977. Danny failed to replace Greg Luzinski with Jerry Martin in left field in the ninth inning of the third playoff game, and Luzinski just missed a double (hit by a veteran pinch-hitting outfielder) which turned around the game.
The Royals’ manager has been taking some heat for not replacing Willie Aikens with Pete LaCock at first base in the ninth inning Sunday. Aikens just missed a double (hit by a veteran pinch-hitting outfielder) which turned around the game.
More coincidence: both doubled immediately followed infield hits, and both the guys who hit them then scored on infield hits which ricocheted.
In both cases, the player not replaced was due up in the bottom of the ninth, and the manager was looking ahead to his possible use in a tie game.
In Sunday’s case, the non-substitution made more sense, because the Royals had just a one-run lead at the time. In ’77, the Phillies were up by two. Each time, the opposition scored one more than was needed to tie.
Managers Can’t Win
The manager can’t win, though. In the deciding game in Houston, Bill Virdon substituted Rafael Landestoy for the ailing Joe Morgan for defense at second base in the eighth inning, with the Astros up by three. That angered Morgan.
It looked like a real lousy move when the Phillies scored five in the eighth, and Landestoy came up with two out and two on in the bottom of the eighth.
So what did he do? He singled home the gap run, and the next batter singled home the tying run. Landestoy was the on-deck batter when the game ended two innings later.
It would appear Frey was more open to criticism for calling on Dan Quisenberry for the fifth game in a row, and for using Jose Cardenal to hit, than for not removing Aikens.
I thought Dallas Green made a mistake by lifting Luzinski for a pinch runner when he walked with one out in the seventh Sunday and the Phillies one down. I could see the Phillies needing a long ball in the ninth.
But Dallas cleaned up on that move. Luzinski would have been forced at second on the grounder hit by the next batter (Keith Moreland); Lonnie Smith beat the throw and both were safe.
Nothing came of that, but the infield hit did get rid of Larry Gura. And because it was now Smith in left instead of Luzinski, Green went to Del Unser in the ninth.
Which is where we came in.
World Series Quotebook
By John W. Smith, Asst. Sports Editor
PHILADELPHIA – What they were saying as the World Series returned from Kansas City:
“I don’t think the crowd will have as much of an effect now since we played two games here last week. I don’t think it will be any big deal.” – Kansas City Manager Jim Frey, when asked about the effect of the crowd in Philadelphia.
“We don’t have a mascot; we think it takes away from the game.” – Ewing Kauffman, K.C.’s owner, explaining why the Phillie Phanatic was banned in Kansas City.
“With grenades.” – K.C.’s Dan Quisenberry, when asked if he threw hard enough to retaliate when the Brett dustoff occurred Saturday.
“I got a chance to be a hero or a bum. My whole career I face him maybe 20 times, and it’s pretty even. But today, I’m the bum.” – Jose Cardenal, after striking out against Tug McGraw to end Sunday’s game. “I know this game went to Cuba; Fidel Castro should be mad, too.”
“I’d like to know how many times he’s pinch hit for me that it worked. You’d think once he’d say, ‘Go on up there and get a hit,’” – Clint Hurdle, who was lifted for Cardenal in the seventh Sunday because left-hander McGraw was pitching.
“I smiled at George when I came up.” – Mike Schmidt, about the fact that George Brett was guarding against the bunt when Mike singled off his glove to start the ninth Sunday.
“I’d do the same thing over again; I thought he could make it.” – Gordie McKenzie, K.C. third-base coach, about sending Darrell Porter home in the sixth inning.
“I wasn’t the least bit tired; I didn’t have a chance to argue.” – K.C. pitcher Larry Gura, about his removal in the seventh after a walk and an infield hit.
“No, I had a great game once in college when we won 15-0” – Del Unser, when asked if he always plays his best when there’s pressure.
“It hit the top of my glove, but it’s my aorta which hurts right now.” – Quisenberry, referring to Trillo’s game-winning hit in the ninth.
“If I had any temptation to come back and write sports again, three days in the Phillies’ clubhouse would be enough to take care of the feeling.” – Sandy Grady, Philadelphia Bulletin Washington correspondent, who’s covering the Series.
“The Philadelphia Phillies long have been detested for their overbearing arrogance, their princely lifestyle, and their whimpering ways. As more than one opponent theorized, however, it was difficult to hate their guts. You couldn’t, after all, hate something they didn’t have. But the new Philadelphia Phillies are different. Arrogant still, maybe. But gutless, definitely not. In seasons past, it was as though they would give up trying for Lent, then keep their vow all summer.” – Bob Verdi in the Chicago Tribune.
“The most singularly unattractive, unappealing and, besides that, obnoxious baseball team in modern times is about to win the World Series. How to win one more game from Kansas City isn’t what’s bothering the city fathers of Philadelphia. How are they going to get the players to come to the parade?” – Tom Callahan in the Washington Star.
“We were thinking of having the victory celebration two days after the final game, but we decided to have it the day after. That way we won’t have to contend with two-day drunks.” – Vice-President Bill Giles.
“Our backs are against the wall now. The East Berlin wall.” – Quisenberry.