Philadelphia Inquirer - October 5, 1980

10,000 tickets on sale for each playoff game

 

Ticket windows at Veterans Stadium, opened immediately after the Phillies' victory over the Expos last night, will reopen again this morning at 9 o'clock and remain open until 11 p.m.

 

The first two National League playoff games will be Tuesday and Wednesday nights at the Vet, starting at 8:15 p.m.

 

The windows also will be open tomorrow for the same hours, or until all 10,000 reserved-seat playoff tickets alloted to Phillies fans for each game are sold. Tickets also will be available tomorrow from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Center City Ticket Office, Broad and Chestnut Streets.

 

No standing-room-only tickets will be sold.

 

 

Prospective ticket-buyers began lining up at 10 a.m. yesterday. At about 10:20 last night it was reported that six ticket windows were open at the Vet and that the lines stretched to Broad Street. Traffic was said to be as heavy as it is on game nights.

Green’s last yell was a happy one

 

By Jayson Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer

 

MONTREAL – Dallas Green didn't know once whether he wanted this job. Could you blame him?

 

Leave the peace of his farm and family? Leave the low-pressure life of running a minor-league organization? Stalk into a suspicious clubhouse and try to change the ways of 25 guys who had done things their way for half a decade?

 

Who needs that? Dallas Green didn't. But he agreed to become the Phillies' manager anyway last fall. And after yesterday's title-sealing 6-4 win over the Expos, he might just find himself as manager of the year.

 

"Today, I'm happy " Green beamed. "But it's been very frustrating at times. It's had its peaks and valleys, no question about it.

 

"What's been more frustrating for me than anything has been my ability to convince my players of what I've been trying to do. I think most of them have understood and tried to go along. We still have some that are holding out.

 

"I'd still like to refine that, key that up. I don't think, in my heart, that we're 100 percent believers yet. It goes back to the 90-10 percentage thing I've mentioned before. I think most of us believe, though. That isn't a bad percentage."

 

Green sweated through a wet, cold, crazy day yesterday. He didn't like a lot of what he saw.

 

"We didn't get runners in from third. We didn't run the bases like we're supposed to. We made errors. That just wasn't us," he said.

 

But Mike Schmidt's 11th-inning game-winning homer made up for all that. Green doesn't remember what he thought when Schmidt's ball dropped into the seats. But he knew who this league's MVP was, anyway.

 

"Schmitty gets a lot of raps at times," Green said. "But you can't ask more of a clutch performance than he's put on the last few days."

 

He was drained and hoarse, soaked with champagne. He was screamed out, hugged out, baseballed out as the clock rolled toward 10 p.m. But he was riding the high of a heady day after an emotional week.

 

It has been a strange year for Dallas Green. As triumphant as yesterday was, there have been many days when he was only angry, frustrated, depressed.

 

He had hollered a lot this year. He had marched into locker rooms and accused his players of quitting. He had questioned their will to win through the press. As recently as six days ago, he had expressed worries that "there are guys out there who don't want us to win."

 

But all that was behind him yesterday. He had watched a team could come back and win six games in a row after a near-traumatic weekend. He had nothing to holler about now.

 

"The last week we've been able to put all the problems we've had aside, put personalities aside and concentrate on the one thing we had to do, which is win."

 

It is what Dallas Green wanted to do all along. The hard part has been convincing the guys in the uniforms. He said he wanted to do it his way. And somehow he and they did.

 

 

NOTES: Ironically, the Phillies' three biggest hits this week may have come from Bob Boone and Greg Luzinski (yesterday) and Garry Maddox (in the 15th inning Tuesday). "I think this takes a lot of the pressure off Bull, Garry and myself," said Boone. "I know if we hadn't won this thing, we would have taken a lot of the blame."... No, Steve Carlton won't pitch today. Young lefthander Mark Davis (a Carltonesque 19-6 at Reading) will. Don't even ask who will be in the lineup.... Tug McGraw has given up an earned run in only three of 33 appearances since the All-Star break and none in 15 straight games since Sept 2. He has had chances to save 16 games and saved 13 of them.

Phillies are champions of NL East on Schmidt’s mighty homer in 11th

 

Expos fall in a 6-4 thriller

 

By Jayson Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer

 

MONTREAL – Mike Schmidt didn't know what he hit, didn't know what he thought, didn't know what to feel.

 

All he knew was that he had pounded a baseball into the lower deck of Stade Olympique in the 11th inning. And that he was running around the bases. And that a wet, mad, improbable day at the ballpark was about to end with the Phillies as National League East champions.

 

"I was in, like, oblivion," said Schmidt, the champagne dripping down his face reminding him that his 48th homer had given the Phillies a title-clinching 6-4 win over the Expos yesterday. "I was just running around. The emotion doesn't start until you get to the plate and get around your teammates."

 

Schmidt looked up from the final steps of his fabled trot and found a line of blue uniforms that stretched from the plate to about Saskatchewan. It was then that the Schmidt ice cube melted.

 

He pounded fists, slapped backs, literally danced all the way to the dugout. It had been a long day, a long week, a long year.

 

Only on a day like this could the Phillies have won a pennant.

 

It was a day (and night) that produced six double plays, seven errors, two bases-loaded situations that resulted in no runs, a double play on a two-run single, one wild pitch, two guys thrown out at the plate, two wild pickoff throws, seven runners who got to third and didn't score, two errors by a guy (Manny Trillo) who had made nine errors all year and other stuff that defied categorization.

 

First, they waited 3 hours and 10 stormy minutes before they got to play at all. Then they came from behind to take a 3-2 lead on a Greg Luzinski single that produced both two runs and two outs. The guy who scored the go-ahead run had just escaped a rundown a moment earlier.

 

They fell behind again, 4-3, in a two-run Montreal seventh that began with Trillo dropping a pop-up. And then they got down to their final out in the ninth.

 

There was a man on second. The pitcher was the tough, ageless Wood-row Thompson Fryman. The hitter? Bob Boone, a guy who had been sitting on the bench all week because he hadn't been hitting. He was 2-for-25 at that moment. Dallas Green said he never considered for an instant sending somebody else up there.

 

Fryman threw one ball. He came back with a breaking ball. Boone lined it into center for a game-tying single. It may go down as the Phillies single most important hit this year.

 

"I think if we hadn't made it to the playoffs it was going to be an awfully long winter for me," Boone said. "But just getting into the playoffs takes a lot of the sting out of the year I had."

 

But when Boone's hit went through, the Phillies weren't in the playoffs yet. At that point they had used 20 players, drilled 14 hits, survived five errors, come from behind twice, failed to get men home from scoring position in seven different innings. And they still had to find another way to win.

 

Here were some of the things that had happened:

 

• Expos first: Trillo and Larry Christenson made errors that put Montreal's Rodney Scott on third with one out. Then Rowland Office ripped a bullet right at Trillo. He held onto the ball as long as he could, trying to hold Scott. Finally, Trillo threw to first, Scott broke for the plate and Pete Rose threw him out. But only because Scott missed the plate.

 

• Phillies third: McBride wound up with a two-out single because first baseman Warren Cromartie tried to race him to the bag unnecessarily and lost. Then Schmidt pounded one a foot below the top of the wall in deep left-center. Coach Lee Elia waved McBride around, but an Andre Dawson-to-Chris Speier-to-Gary Carter relay nailed him at the plate by four steps.

 

• Expos third: Montreal jumped ahead, 2-0, because Christenson walked pitcher Steve Rogers, made his second wild pickoff attempt to move Rogers to third and then gave up a two-run homer to Jerry White.

 

• Phillies fifth: After Rose (3-for-5) singled in a run to make it 2-1, McBride dribbled a swinging bunt down the third-base line. Third baseman Larry Parrish stood there waiting for it to go foul, then realized to his horror it wasn't. So the Phils loaded the bases with nobody out – and didn't score. Schmidt looked at strike three. Luzinski lined into a double play. It had the earmarks of one of those classic Phillies days.

 

• Phillies seventh: Maybe it wasn't. Rose, McBride and Schmidt stroked one-out singles to fill the bases. Again Luzinski was the hitter. This time he bounced a single through the middle. McBride, who had just gotten in and out of a rundown after Schmidt's single, scored the run that made it 3-2. But meanwhile, Schmidt and Luzinski both got caught between bases for a unique 8-6-5-4-5-3-2 double play. Somebody in the press box called the number. It was out of service.

 

• Expos seventh: Yes it was. Trillo dropped a Speier pop-up to open the inning. Pinch-runner Ron LeFlore stole his 95th base and went to third on Keith Moreland's throwing error. Sparky Lyle replaced Ron Reed and walked pinch-hitter John Tamargo. Pinch-runner Tim Raines stole second. White tied it with a sacrifice fly. Scott made it 4-3 with a ground-ball double that ticked off Schmidt's glove.

 

So that was the day as they went to the 10th. All that and they were only even.

 

"I think if we'd lost a game like that, it would have been the worst thing that could have happened to us," said Schmidt. "After so much emotion, after all the emotional craziness of the game, after so many highs and lows, leaving so many runners on base... it would really have been a letdown. It would have been really hard to regroup tomorrow."

 

But the pitcher was Tug McGraw, maybe the one man without whom all this would not have been possible. McGraw, had pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts, meaning he had fanned seven of the nine Expos he had faced in two days.

 

But White started the 10th with a single to left. Scott bunted him over. McGraw went 3-1 to Office. But Office bounced to Rose for the second out, White moving to third.

 

The hitter was the ominous Dawson, whose 14-game hitting streak had been stopped by Dick Ruthven the night before. Dallas Green ran to the mound, no doubt to discuss the possibility of walking both Dawson and the equally hot Gary Carter.

 

Instead, they pitched to Dawson. He missed a screwball for strike one. He missed another screwball for strike two. He waved at a fastball for strike three. McGraw discoed off the mound toward the dugout.

 

Then came the 11th. Rose singled. McBride forced him. Then came Schmidt.

 

"I just wanted to hit a gapper, Schmidt said. "I just wanted to drivel the ball somewhere."

 

 

He drove it into the lower deck." McGraw then went out and got a pop-up, a fly ball, and one... two… three strikes on Parrish. And the Phillies were two games up with one to play. Even Danny Ozark could have figured out this that pennant race was over.

Phils drown feuds in champagne

 

By Al Morganti, Inquirer Staff Writer

 

MONTREAL – This was the team that wasn't suppose to care, wasn't supposed to be here and wasn't supposed to feel.

 

But they let it all loose yesterday, uncorking champagne as well as uncorking emotions in a soaking wet victory celebration that should help wash away any remaining soap in the soap opera-like last half of the season.

 

There was Larry Bowa, searching out and hugging Dallas Green.

 

There was Garry Maddox, frantically searching for Green in the champagne shower.

 

And there was Green, telling everybody about how the team had tossed its troubles aside and come together in one of its finest hours.

 

Maybe the game wasn't classic – a "three-ring circus" Pete Rose called it – but it did exactly what the Phillies wanted it to do: crown them National League East champions, and prove a lot of people wrong.

 

It was Bowa leading the cheers at the back of the dressing room:

 

"Let's hear it one more time. How was the division supposed to end up?"

 

And he threw up one finger while those around screamed: "One – Pittsburgh. Two – Montreal. Three – St. Louis. Four – Philadelphia!"

 

And Lonnie Smith climbed atop the lockers, ripped apart a sign and held up the remaining words "Eastern Division Champs."

 

In two short months they went from chumps to champs, and they were going to enjoy every wet minute of it.

 

"People say we don't show much emotion," said Maddox. "Well, at least one day we're allowed to step out of character, huh."

 

And Maddox stepped over, grabbed a bucket of fried chicken and flung it at Bake McBride, who was being interviewed on TV.

 

"People think we don't care," said Bowa, "but we do care. Oh, boy, do we care."

 

It had been Bowa at the center of all last week's controversy. He had lashed out at the fans, lashed out at Green and lashed out at just about everybody.

 

Yesterday he was only throwing champagne.

 

"Our problems are not that big," he said. "It's just because we play in Philadelphia that they get blown out of proportion.

 

“lf it was any other team they might have the same problems, but they wouldn't make such a big deal out of them."

 

When the team first filed into the locker room, Bowa rushed to hug Green, splashed him with a bottle of champagne and the two hugged.

 

“It's great. It's great," they yelled and hugged while the celebration skirled around them.

 

Rose had, of course, seen it all before, but never in a Phillies uniform.

 

This is what I came over here for," said Rose. "This is what I expected with the Phillies. It took a year, but here we are."

 

"This is as happy as I've ever been winning the thing," said Bowa, who was enjoying his fourth such celebration.

 

"This is the happiest because people said we were too old. People said we didn't have the bench. People said we didn't care.

 

"Didn't care, huh? Look. We care, believe me we care.

 

It was a most convincing argument, all the things that had gone wrong during the five-error, three-ring circus were now only jokes.

 

"You see this," said McBride, picking up a beer can and pointing to Manny Trillo. "This is a pop fly...”

 

If it wasn't for the win, it wouldn't have been so funny. Now, it was the crux of every joke.

 

Had they lost, and lost again today, Trillo's dropping of the fly ball that led to two runs in the seventh inning would be etched in the Phillies' macabre history.

 

Instead, it was now only a joke.

 

McBride threw up the can: "I've got it. I've got it." And then he let it drop to the floor, and a great clamor of cheering began.

 

Green played right along. "I can't believe it. Only nine errors all year and you drop a fly ball...." And he squeezed Trillo.

 

All around there was joking. Third base coach Lee Elia was taking the brunt ot the jokes about the Phils baserunning errors. From all directions players help up their hands in mock "stop" and "go" signs.

 

If they, had not won, if Mike Schmidt had not hit the two-run home run, it would all be discussed in somber tones, if at all.

 

But last night it was all light.

 

"When Schmitty got up," said Bowa, "I just had a feeling. When he got up there for that pitch, I turned to (George) Vuky (Vukovich) and said, 'He's had a story-book season. Wouldn't this just be. the icing on the cake?

 

"And as soon as I was saying 'cake,' he hit the ball. Unbelievable."

 

Even more unbelievable was the locker room scene.

 

It was all for one and one for all – or at least a good acting job.

 

So have they buried the hatchets, and will all run smoothly from here until who knows when?

 

"Let's just say," said Bowa, "that we've all decided to put our problems aside and win this thing."

 

 

Funny how champagne can change things.

Phils No. 1, Wild One Won!

 

By Frank Dolson, Inquirer Sports Editor

 

MONTREAL – They waited three hours and 10 minutes to get the game started. They struggled .through nearly four more hours of the most pressure-packed baseball imaginable to get it finished – but finish it the Phillies did.

 

A rocket of a home run by Mike Schmidt landed deep in the left-field bleachers in the 11th inning last night to give the team that wasn't supposed to be able to win the big ones a 6-4 victory over the Montreal Expos at Olympic Stadium and the championship of the National League East.

 

But Schmidt was just one hero on a wild, wacky, bizarre day that began with rain pouring down on the artificial turf and ended with champagne gushing through the Phillies clubhouse.

 

It was a day in which two Phillies who had gone through the most disappointing of seasons – Greg Luzinski and Bob Boone – came through with clutch hits, and a day in which Tug McGraw, one of the most care free spirits in all of baseball, pitched brilliantly for the second game in a row and wound up shedding tears of joy.

 

But above all, it was a flay, and night, in which a club that had been accused of not wanting to win badly enough demonstrated that it wanted win very badly indeed.

 

To nail down this second straight victory on the Expos' home field, the Phillies had to overcome a succession of fielding and base-running blunders. They committed five errors. They wasted most of their 17 hits. In one hard-to-believe sequence, two-run single by Luzinski led to an inning-ending double play.

 

But when their backs were to the wall – when the Expos were one out away from victory in the top of the ninth, and the 50,794 fans were on their feet, ready to salute a Montreal win that would have thrown the race into a tie with one game to go – a man with a .228 batting average kept the Phillies' hopes alive.

 

The much-maligned Boone, battling a 2-for-2S slump as he stepped to the plate, sent those fans crashing back into their seats with a game-tying line-drive single to center.

 

McGraw and Schmidt did the rest.

 

"I was very confident, very relaxed when I went up there," Boone said. "Why, I don't know," he added with a smile. "But I just feel good about being able to contribute in the 'final day.'"

 

The tumultuous Phillies clubhouse was filled with contributors on this wonderful day. Besides the Schmidts, the McGraws and the Luzinskis, there was Pete Rose, who got on base to start both the tying ninth-inning rally and the winning 11th-inning rally, and a rookie catcher, Don McCormack, who had played only one big-league inning in his life before Phillies manager Dallas Green sent him into the pressure cooker in the bottom of the ninth.

 

It was in keeping with the way Green has managed all season that he would trust the catching in the final innings of a game this important to McCormack.

 

And it was in keeping with the way the youngsters have produced for Green all year that McCormack did an outstanding job, maybe even a game-saving job. With the potential winning run on second base and one out in the home 10th, McCormack came up with a pitch that McGraw threw in the dirt.

 

The Expos' runner, Jerry White, eventually got to third with two out on an infield grounder, but McGraw left him there by throwing a fastball past the dangerous Andre Dawson.

 

Then it was Schmidt's turn.

 

Montreal reliever Stan Bahnsen threw him two balls, then made the mistake of putting the next pitch over the plate. The big league's number-one home run hitter swung, and at the instant of contact, every body in the huge stadium knew where that baseball was going to land.

 

As Schmidt rounded the bases, his teammates came pouring out of the third-base dugout and lined up to form a jumping, hollering, hand-slapping reception committee, even as many of the spectators lined up at the exits and headed home. Schmidt literally danced the length of the reception line in what was – for him – a rare show of emotion. But then, this was a rare day for the 1980 Phillies.

 

They had battled adversity most of the year, and they had battled adversity through this long day and night – and they had conquered it.

 

"Maybe we have more heart now than we used to have," Schmidt told a group of writers in the clubhouse. "If we d lost that game today and lost tomorrow (Sunday) you could have had a field day – and justifiably so.”

 

But they hadn't lost. They had pulled it out in the most dramatic manner imaginable, and now it was their turn to have a field day.

 

Before the celebration started, of course, there was a matter of three more outs. McGraw got them with his usual ease and his usual flair jumping high off the mound and landing on all fours after getting Larry Parrish on a game-ending, division-clinching third strike.

 

Then there was pandemonium. The kids – to whom a shot at the playoffs and a possible World Series was a dream come true – were the wildest. Pitcher Dickie Noles grabbed Keith Moreland, lifted the burly rookie catcher off the ground and carried him into the middle of the mob. McGraw and Green gripped each other in a tight embrace. This team that had gone through so much turmoil, so much unhappiness, seemed determined to make up for all of it in one emotional binge.

 

"Nothing to it!" coach Bobby Wine shouted at Paul Owens as the general manager, trailed closely by owner Ruly Carpenter, reached the entrance to the Phillies clubhouse. And they, too, embraced.

 

There was, of course, a lot to it. Few games of baseball ever contained as many crazy plays, as many heart-pounding situations, as this one. And few baseball teams ever wound up guzzling champagne after going through what this Phillies team had gone through – everything from a highly publicized "drug scandal" to a succession of squabbles between the players and the manager, the players and the press.

 

And yet there they were last night, laughing, shouting, pouring champagne over each other's heads, over broadcasters heads, over writers heads. If ever there was a time for bygones to be bygones, this was it. Among those seen in fond embraces at the height of the hilarity were Green and one of his most outspoken critics, shortstop Larry Bowa.

 

It wasn't only that they had won it but how they had won it.

 

"Today's ball game," said McGraw through the tears that trickled down his face, "was probably one of the most outstanding head-to-head ball games that I can ever remember. It was just an incredible show of two teams that wanted it real bad."

 

"With all the controversy and all that, this has been a rough year as far as we're all concerned," said Bowa. "But we DO want to win. We didn't quit."

 

They kept battling and battling, through the errors, through the lost opportunities, until their big gun fired for the 48th time this year and the fourth time in as many days.

 

"He's done it all year," Bowa said about Schmidt. "If he's not MVP (most valuable player), I don't know who is."

 

For Schmidt, it was surely one of the biggest moments in a career filled with big moments.

 

"The thing that keeps me from telling you how satisfied I am now," he said, "is that there's so much more of a hill to climb."

 

They'll try to start climbing that big hill – a hill the Schmidts, the Luzinskis, the Bowas, the Boones have never managed to conquer – on Tuesday night at Veterans Stadium, when they meet either the Houston Astros or the Los Angeles Dodgers in the opening game of the National League championship series. In the meantime, though, even Schmidt had to pause, take a deep breath and savor the division title they had just won, and the way they had won it.

 

 

"Sometimes in your life you've got to be satisfied," he said. "Sometimes you've got to sit back and say, ‘I made it work. I made it happen. I did the job when the pressure's on.' I feel good about that right now. I think the team needed what I did in this series (against the Expos). I feel good about that. I just want to carry on from here."