The Sporting News - October 4, 1980
Bystrom's Zeroes Fit Phils' Team Concept
By Hal Bodley
PHILADELPHIA- Dallas Green has been wearing the Philadelphia Phillies managerial armor for little over a year now, but nothing has given him as much satisfaction as the arrival of rookie pitcher Marty Bystrom.
Bystrom, 22, as poised as a veteran, shut out the opposition during his first 17 innings in the majors. He blanked the Los Angeles Dodgers in an inning of relief, pitched a complete-game, 5-0 victory over the New York Mets and worked seven scoreless innings in an 8-4 conquest of the St. Louis Cardinals to win his second start. Then Bystrom lifted his record to 3-0 by going 5-1/3 innings in the Phils' 7-3 win over the Cubs in Chicago September 20.
The righthander could have become the seventh rookie in major league history to throw two shutouts in his first two starts, but Green was not interested in records.
"I don't give a darn about records," blurted Green after he had removed Bystrom so newcomer Sparky Lyle could work some innings against the Cardinals. "Marty had done enough," the manager continued. "Records don't mean a darn thing.
"It's a team. That's T-E-A-M. That's what I've been preaching all season."
"I don't guess it's dawned on me what's happening," the Miami, Fla., native said. "I'm just throwing real good pitches and staying ahead of the hitters. It may not look like it's tougher than in the minors, but, believe me, it is much tougher."
When Green sees Bystrom blow away hitters with his fastball, he thinks back to 1976 when the Phillies signed the righthander after seeing him pitch in a fall baseball program at Miami-Dade South Community College. At the time, Green was the Phillies' farm director and it was on his insistence that Bystrom was signed. Green had to fire a scout who he believed was sitting on the prospect.
Bystrom was being counted on to make the Phillies' roster this past spring, but he suffered a pulled hamstring running a few days before training camp, then aggravated the injury when he slipped on a concrete floor in the clubhouse.
He wasn't healthy enough to pitch much at Oklahoma City (American Association) before July and it wasn't until his last few starts that he returned to form. On September 1, he was called up by the Phillies and immediately started helping them chase Montreal in the National League East Division.
PHILLERS: Three River Stadium in Pittsburgh has turned out to be a graveyard for the Phillies. They ended their 1980 play there, winning just two of nine games while losing five in a row. Since 1970, the Phillies have a 31-68 record at the Pirates' park.... Pete Rose has tied Honus Wagner for fourth place on the all-time doubles list with 651.... Bake McBride was on a .714 batting tear the first two weeks in September.... Should the Phillies make the playoffs, N.L. President Chub Feeney says Bystrom will be eligible, but only if the Phils put another pitcher on the disabled list. That probably would be the injury-plagued Larry Christenson.
They're Doing the Hustle
Rose, Brett Lead Charge
By Joe Goddard
CHICAGO- These are the dog days of the baseball season, a time to separate the dogs from the do-ers.
The SPORTING NEWS polled players and the media from both leagues to determine an "all-hustle team," men who run out everything no matter the score or team standing. They slide hard, challenge walls, play hurt, intimidate opponents.
They are, in the popular vernacular of the players, "gamers."
The leading hustlers in each league came as no surprise: Pete Rose (Phillies) in the National and George Brett (Royals) in the American.
It is believed Rose ran before he learned to walk. He is considered by some the complete hustler, the sport's all-time man in motion. He still runs to first base on walks, but at 39 doesn't do it every time. "I still like to get there firmly. I want everyone to know I'm happy to be going there," he said.
Rose also is the complete fan. "When I retire, I'll be in the stands every night."
Brett does not believe in taking one base at a time, having observed teammate Hal McRae when McRae still was frisky. "Why settle for a single when you can stretch it into a double? As long as they're going to let me have it, I'm going to take it," he said.
Hustling was not always in Brett's bag, however. "I never played that way in the minors," he said. "I was lackadaisical. Now I don't think I can play any other way but all out. Baseball's no fun if you don't go out there and be... well... berserk."
The poll disclosed more berserk. players at second base than any other position. This came as no surprise to Rose, who began his career as a second baseman. "A lot of hustlers from both leagues are infielders, particularly second basemen. Most catchers and base stealers are hustlers, too," he said.
Few sluggers were found to be every-day movers. Exceptions were Don Baylor (Angels) and Gorman Thomas (Brewers). "Power hitters aren't paid to break their necks. just get the ball out of the park," one player said.
Pitchers were not included in the poll. They don't perform every day and don't even bat in the American League, making it almost impossible to judge their hustle. A writer said pitchers, "Are a different breed anyway, like thoroughbred horses. They're pampered. They're not expected to put out all the time."
Still, a number of players volunteered pitchers. Frequently mentioned were Vida Blue (Giants) and Jim Kaat (Cardinals) in the National League and Mike Flanagan (Orioles), Jerry Koosman (Twins), Dave Steib (Blue Jays), Ed Farmer (White Sox) and Rick Langford (A's) in the American.
Here are the all-hustle teams:
CATCHER- Rick Dempsey (Orioles). Called a "rooster" by an opponent, Dempsey is so competitive he even fights with Manager Earl Weaver. He disappears into dugouts to catch foul balls and once played with a pulled thigh and calf muscles and a lame shoulder. Runner-up- Brian Downing (Angels). He owns film equipment, a batting cage and weights for year-round concentration.
FIRST BASE- Mike Hargrove (Indians). This was the toughest position to judge for lack of hustlers, Hargrove winning for his intensity at the plate. He drives pitchers crazy with fidgeting. Is expert at fouling off tough pitchers. Runner-up- None.
SECOND BASE- Paul Molitor (Brewers). Intense competition here, but Molitor wins. "You know it's coming and you can't do anything about it," an opposing pitcher said. Another said, "He doesn't have that mean streak, but he's a pure gamer." Runners-up- Willie Randolph (Yankees). "He goes right after you." Jim Morrison (White Sox). "You can see the intensity in his eyes 20 minutes before a game and 20 minutes after." Rich Dauer (Orioles). "They don't call him "Pig Pen" for nothing." Duane Kuiper (Indians). "If he wasn't hurt, he'd rate with Molitor."
THIRD BASE- George Brett (Royals). "You start with George and go down from there," said a foe. Runners-up- John Castillo (Twins). "If Brett was at another position, you'd have to go with Castino. Some day, he's going to hurt himself running out of the dugout." Roy Howell (Blue Jays). They're still talking about his triple in Toronto. Howell flew six feet through the air to beat the throw. Buddy Bell (Rangers). "Your quiet hustler."
SHORTSTOP- Rick Burleson (Red Sox). Another you-pick-'em position, with Burleson's extreme intensity the difference. Considered the best righthanded contact hitter in the league, he vows revenge if you get him out. "He cheats left and he cheats right in the field and, lord, if you hit it in the shortstop hole, you're out." Runners-up- Alan Trammell (Tigers). "He does the things Burleson does. He'll be here for 20 years." Robin Yount (Brewers). "Between him and Molitor, there's not much difference."
OUTFIELD- Al Bumbry (Orioles), Rickey Henderson (A's), Gorman Thomas (Brewers). On Bumbry: "He's an igniter, their key man. He runs everything out." On Henderson: "He runs the bases with reckless abandon, but knows what he's doing." On Thomas: "He knows every wall in the league. (Manager George) Bamburger tried to keep him out of a game when he was hurt, but Thomas yelled, 'Oh yeah? Just try it!'" Runners-up- Rick Peters (Tigers). "He's your next Willie Montanez for showing off, but he's already a great two-strike hitter and baserunner." Tony Armas (A's). "He goes for everything and breaks up the double play." Leon Roberts (Mariners). "He runs into walls- a total gamer."
RIGHTHANDED DH- Don Baylor (Angels). "He'll hurt you any way he can. He'll even fake a leg injury, then try to steal."
LEFTHANDED DH- Champ Summers (Tigers). Summers says, "That's the way I have to play. Take that away and there's not much left."
CATCHER- Gary Carter (Expos). He came into the league as Pete Rose's clone, now he's his own man. Always hustling. Montreal fans still chuckle when they remember Carter, then in right field, leaping for a 1975 Ken Griffey home run that was at least 20 feet over his head and hitting the Jarry Park scoreboard. Runners-up- Ed Ott (Pirates). He prides himself on having dropped only one ball in home-plate collisions. Gene Tenace (Padres). He was called a "winner" by one foe; another said, "I've seen him go through backstops."
FIRST BASE- Pete Rose (Phillies). Rose gets a kick out of it when a new player enters the league and is called "another Pete Rose." That's because there is only one Pete Rose. Runner-up- Steve Garvey (Dodgers). He's always first out of the dugout for defense; it sometimes takes a minute for another Dodger to climb the steps.
SECOND BASE- (tie) Doug Flynn (Mets) and Phil Garner (Pirates). Food poisoning and broken bones are the only ways to keep Flynn from playing. He is practically flawless afield. Garner leads the league in laundry bills. He was the top hustler on Oakland's 1974 title team and Pittsburgh's '79 squad. Runners-up- Glenn Hubbard (Braves). "He gets his nose in there every time and doesn't shy on the DP." Ron Oester (Reds). Once beat the right fielder to the wall to catch a foul pop.
THIRD BASE- Ray Knight (Reds). His nickname is "Battlescar Galactica." Last season he played 150 games despite injuries to an ankle, hand, thumb, shin and shoulder. Runs out everything and will try for doubles despite slowness. Runners-up- Ken Reitz (Cardinals). "A real battler." Enos Cabell (Astros). Inspires team with all-out play. Like Knight, performs hurt (back, hamstring, ankle, hand).
SHORTSTOP- Ozzie Smith (Padres). "I don't see how he keeps from killing himself. He throws himself at every grounder unless it's hit to first base." Runners-up- Ivan DeJesus (Cubs). It takes a major injury, which he seldom gets, to keep him out. May have the finest physical structure in the game. Craig Reynolds (Astros). "Your everyday hustler." Tim Foli (Pirates). "Is so aggressive he makes mistakes. Can't stand to lose."
OUTFIELD- Andre Dawson (Expos), Dave Collins (Reds), Joel Youngblood (Mets). Overshadowed by teammate Carter, Dawson also plays hurt, backs away from no walls and runs out everything. Collins "almost is overaggressive, he plays that hard. He's always looking for the extra base." Youngblood was so intense during last winter's all-star junket through Japan that Managers Tommy Lasorda of the Dodgers and Chuck Tanner of the Pirates tried to pry him from New York. Can play many positions. Runners-up- Dave Parker (Pirates). "Dave would play hard if he was making $10,000 or $10 million." Terry Puhl (Astros). "Never gives up... keeps getting better." Tony Scott (Cardinals). "Had to bust his tail this year when he got off to slow start. Hasn't let up."
RIGHTHANDED PH- Keith Moreland (Phillies.) Eventual successor to catcher Bob Boone, Moreland is patient on bench, plays impatient on field.
LEFTHANDED PH- Dane Iorg (Cardinals). "He even works hard in the batting cage. He'll chase you out for another turn.