October 29, 1980

Green Probably Will Be Manager For ’81 Season

 

By Bill Conlin

 

NEW YORK – Dallas Green says he wouldn't mind sitting at Paul Owens' gnarled elbow for at least a year, learning the general manager's job, while somebody else manages the Phillies.

 

But if the owner and the GM make him an offer he cannot refuse, he will manage the club again in 1981.

 

"If you know Ruly Carpenter and Paul Owens, they can be very persuasive." Green said yesterday at ceremonies honoring Mike Schmidt as the World Series MVP.

 

Green didn't want to manage the club in the first place. Having managed it into first place, into the first world championship in the franchise's 97-year history, he doesn't want to manage it in the second place.

 

Ultimately he wants to be general manager. But Owens, at 57. isn't ready to step down. Can the chain of command accomodate an assistant GM?

 

"I've given Paul a couple of thoughts about that." Green confessed. "I think where we are on this thing is that Paul feels when I come up there, he should go.

 

"I think that's ridiculous. We could work it out. The way things have changed… I could step in and do some things.

 

"But contract things, basic agreement things, dealing with players, all has changed so much. My background was in minor league development and scouting.

 

"I told him I could use the schooling. He and I can work so well together. But it may not be the right time.

 

"We just haven't sat down and talked about it yet We're still in seventh heaven. But it's gonna be quick. We've got a couple of guys hanging right now. who shouldn't be hanging. And I'm one of 'em. We'll do it very quickly, within a week."

 

Green seems resigned to having his proposal shot down. He will bite the bullet Monday, when Owens gets back from the GM's meeting in Florida.

 

"I'm a Phillies guy." he said. "I'll do what they think is best. I have my preferences, but the timing may not be right."

 

He is not concerned about weakening his position by being so reluctant to take the job again.

 

"They (players) know damn well I didn't want it the first time." Green snarled. "And how did it work out?

 

"They know I've got the final hammer. And I've got the other two guys (Carpenter and Owens) behind me. They know they can't get me fired.

 

"We learn our lessons slowly, but we learn 'em well. We had some spitting, and cussing and moaning, but we got going pretty good as a baseball team.

 

"And we ended up accomplishing what we all wanted to do. And that's the bottom line.

 

"Everybody pays the price for something. And this was something I worked for for 25 years. In any business, to gain the ultimate success, you're gonna have to pay the price.

 

"It ages us all. Hey, the other job, that isn't any piece of cake. Paul has gone through hell-and-be-damned. He had ghosts on his back, too."

 

 

The ghosts are gone. But it seems almost certain that Green will be back in the dugout next year, wailing like a banshee. Some things won’t change.

Schmidt Gives God Fair Share of Credit

 

By Stan Hochman

 

NEW YORK – When it comes time to slice up the World Series loot, Mike Schmidt thinks God deserves a full share.

 

"We weren't favored to win two in Montreal," Schmidt said yesterday, accepting the World Series MVP bauble. "They had Sanderson ready, plus Rogers, giving them insurmountable pitching odds.

 

"We went up there, again got good pitching, nobody ran away with any game. It came down to one-run or tie games we had a chance to win in the late innings. When you do that, you need a little bit of divine guidance.

 

"I thought those last three weeks, when we played so many crucial games, where it came right down to 'Win it and you go to-the World Series' or 'Hit a line drive right at somebody and the other team goes to the Series," it's got to be God's will.

 

"ITS JUST THAT this was supposed to be the Phillies' year. Two of the three years we won our division before, it just wasn't God's will. It's just that simple.

 

“Two, three freak plays and we were home watching on television. Plays people make all the time. Or a decision by the manager that he made all the time and suddenly doesn't make.

 

"It just wasn't supposed to be. Wehad the same heart, the same character we have now, or supposedly have been labeled with now. We had it then.

 

"I'm not saying we didn't have talent. Talent-wise we're as good as anybody. You can have all the divine guidance you want, but you've still got to have talent."

 

Schmidt has talent dripping out his earlobes. Dallas Green called him "the best player in baseball" yesterday.

 

If the best player in baseball wants to see angels in the outfield, who's gonna argue?

 

Oh, some cynics will argue. Some atheists will cringe. If God was on the Phillies' side, they will ask, why did Dallas Green have to dump Randy Lerch and Nino Espinosa?

 

Sure, they'll say, God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform, but only in late innings of late-season games? Three-of-five? Four-of-seven?

 

TO HIS CREDIT, Schmidt doesn’t thump strangers with his beliefs. People keep asking him how come the Phillies won it all in 1980 after phlopping three other times, and that's his solemn answer.

 

When he stepped up to the rostrum at the Waldorf-Astoria's Empire Room, the media mob was still fidgety, and Schmidt stage-whispered, "We are gathered together ..."

 

Hit .381 in the World Series and the world is your pulpit. Schmidt knows that.

 

"I feel the Good Lord gave me a great deal of ability when I was born," Schmidt said into a thicket of microphones. "I want to use that ability the best way I can.

 

"I go out there every day, I don’t play for the . fans. I don’t play for my owner. I don’t play for myself. I do the best I can to glorify God. And the more I achieve as an individual, the better my statistics, that gives me a chance to express the thoughts I have, the feelings I have, to youngsters around the country."

 

Nobody rents the Empire Room to honor third basemen on a fourth-place team, but Schmidt made sure that everyone knew that success had not spoiled him.

 

"I'm the same guy," Schmidt said. "I was 'cool’ when we were losing and that wasn’t good. "Now, we're champions, so it's good to be cool.

 

"YOU CAN TALK all you want about intangibles. You can say this guy hated Dallas Green and that made him play so hard.

 

"I don’t know about those things. I know the season is six months long, 162 ballgames. I'm motivated from another direction.

 

"I'm too much a believer in confidence. Go up to home plate and do the best you can at keeping your poise. There is plenty of time to accomplish what you want to achieve.

 

"The cream will come to the top."

 

He is 30 now, creamy smooth in his moves, in his manner. He is reaping the World Series harvest wherever he goes, the double-takes in airports, the whispers in restaurants, the constant tugging at his sleeve.

 

He is putting the finishing touches on a book called cryptically, "Always on Offense."

 

"It's a collection of a lot of things I feel about the game," Schmidt explained. "It's a description of the way I play the game.

 

"It will be a good book for Little League kids. It will be a good book for college kids. It's not going to be your everyday instructional how-to-play book.

 

"I've got a chapter in there about the modern-day player, the so-called smug, overpaid, won't-talk-to-the-press type athlete. What makes 'em tick."

 

SOMEONE ASKED if it bothered Schmidt to be part of a team known the country over as arrogant, overpaid and churlish. "There may be four guys on the team you feel that way about," Schmidt said softly. "Well, there may also be four guys you'd really enjoy playing golf with, having a cocktail with.

 

"Why not describe the team in that light, as good guys? But writers want to choose the negative. What can I do about that?

 

"Why would a newspaper send a reporter to my neighborhood during the World Series to ask my neighbors about me? And have the gall to print things about what's in my house, how many children l have, where I keep my jewelry?

 

"What can I do about that? And what could I do about the guy on television who called me a crook during that hockey problem we had in Cherry Hill?"

 

Schmidt will keep turning the other cheek, because that's what the Book tells him to do.

 

Not that yesterday's Sport Magazine ceremo ny turned into a Bible-thumping sermon. Schmidt sprinkled his comments with humor, looking back, looking ahead.

 

"I gave Dallas Green an A-minus." he admitted cheerfully. "The minus was, I didn't think he was tactful enough in the way he handled the press when the subject was his team.

 

"That concept of 'We. not I' is fine as long as the manager is part of the 'We.'

 

"You dont want a situation where it's they did this.' It's supposed to be 'we' and not 'they' as far as the manager is concerned."

 

SCHMIDT IS looking forward to next year, with the same cast of character. Uh, characters.

 

"I would hope they keep our team intact," he said. "We've got the luxury we've never had. We have better pitching than anybody in baseball. Arm-wise, body-wise, record-wise. We have 10 or 11 front-line pitchers."

 

They tricked him into saying how he'll feel when he wins the league MVP trophy on the pretext that he will be in Japan with Pete Rose and Steve Carlton when it is announced.

 

They wanted to know which will mean more, the Series trophy or the league MVP a ward.

 

"Anything involving the team and winning a championship is something you put on the best shelf in your office," Schmidt said.

 

"I'll look at this and think, that was the 1980 World Series, and the greatest thrill in my life was becoming a world champion.

 

"If the other award comes off, I'll think about what went into it... 162 games, a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of 0-for-4s, a lot of knockdown pitches, a lot of tough road trips, grinding-it-out as Dallas likes to say, for 162 games.

 

 

"I'd love to have 'em both. Time will tell. But 1980, what an unbelievable year it's been in my life."

Mike:  Why’s Bake Stewing?

 

By Stan Hochman

 

NEW YORK – Mike Schmidt says Bake McBride's comments about his golf tournament are a tempest in a teapot.

 

"Bake was invited, just like everybody else," Schmidt said yesterday. "Everybody knows he doesn’t play golf.

 

"But I invited him the same way I did everybody else. Left a sheet on his chair in the clubhouse. Sure, Bake is welcome."

 

Yesterday, McBride told the Daily News that he had not been invited to Schmidt's annual tournament in Hilton Head, S.C. this weekend. He also suggested that Bob Boone or Larry Bowa were more deserving of the World Series MVP honor.

 

"If he says I don't deserve it, that's OK," Schmidt said. "Everyone is entitled to his opinion. There are lots of guys who could have won it.

 

"When it ended, I shook Bake's hand, wished him a happy, healthy winter, said I'd see him in the spring. Everything was fine.

 

 

"I'm sure that some of the things he said, he wishes he hadn’t said."