Chicago Daily Herald - October 7, 1980
Green Has Given Phillies A Stronger Personality
By the United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - If the Philadelphia Phillies finally manage to lose the demons that have haunted them through their first three playoff appearances, they could very well owe it to one man, namely, their manager, Dallas Green.
Green, in his first full season, may be having trouble with some of his players but there can be little doubt that he has given the team a different, and stronger, personality.
"I think Dallas has a strong feeling that this team likes to resist authority," said Mike Schmidt. "Maybe there is something to that.
"If you've won and been the best in baseball for one year, maybe you can say that your way is the best, but we haven't yet. So what he is saying is that maybe his way is the best."
SCHMIDT IS not the only Phillie who has responded positively to Green. Tug McGraw enjoyed perhaps his best season in relief, especially during the stretch.
"It took some new blood and a new manager," said McGraw when asked to describe the change in the Phillies this season. "Dallas has brought in a team concept. He's never backed down all year. He's just showed good leadership."
Pete Rose, who experienced a fourth-place finish in his first season with Philadelphia in 1979, says he notices a change in the club this year.
"We're all playing together row," he said. "I think there's a lot more togetherness, a lot more caring than most people think."
As for Green, he says any difference in the team attitude is only the result of what he tried to accomplish since the first day of spring training — instill more drive and desire into the team.
"I think there's a difference in the team," Green said. "I think the goals we worked on have been achieved. I'm much more at ease than I have been all year. I've never seen a bench with the intensity we had in Montreal.
"I have faith in the guys we have out there and they're going to rise to the occasion."
Phils Send Carlton Against Astros
By the United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - The Philadelphia Phillies, confident that their grueling stretch drive has given them the impetus to atone for past playoff failures, worked out Monday for a National League championship series that pits them against the Houston Astros.
The Astros, who defeated Los Angeles 7-1 in a one-game tiebreaker Monday to win the West Division title, will send right-hander Ken Forsch, 12-13, against Philadelphia's Steve Carlton, 24-9, Tuesday night to open the best-offive series.
Carlton, who will likely win the Cy Young Award, went 2-0 with an 0.50 ERA against Houston this year. Forsch was 0-2 and 5 79 against the Phillies. Carlton, however, is just 1-2 with a 5 79 ERA in the playoffs.
Philadelphia, despite being the only NL team to win three straight division titles, has never won a playoff series and has not won a post-season game at home in 65 years.
BUT DALLAS Green, in his first full season as manager, spent the entire season trying to toughen his club and judging by the stretch drive, the effort was successful.
The Phillies, needing two out of three victories in the the last weekend of the season to edge out the Expos for the NL East title, got them on successive nights in Montreal before losing a meaningless game on the last day of the season.
"I think the goals we worked on at the beginning of the season have been achieved," said Green. "There is more intensity, more desire. That's not to say they didn't want to win before. But I have never seen desire, enthusiasm and screaming on the bench like there was those two games in Montreal."
The Phillies will need all the determination they can summon to handle the Astros, who proved themselves equal to pressure by somehow reversing the momentum caused by three straight defeats that left the regular season ended in a tie.
In the season series, Philadelphia won 9 of 12 games.
"I THINK you have to agree we match up better against Houston than Los Angeles," said Pete Rose. "Houston's pitching is a little more out of rotation and I'd rather play in the (Astro) Dome."
Houston flew coast-to-coast and arrived well into the morning.
"There are positives and negatives about them playing yesterday," said Green. "The adrenalin should be flowing for them but they'll also be tired from flying all night and expending that energy."
Houston's Art Howe agreed. Despite his two-run homer and four RBI, he restrained his enthusiasm in the postgame celebration.
"It's hard for me to go crazy right now," the 33-year-old first baseman said. "I've always been serious about baseball and I've never had much practice in this kind of thing. This is the day I've dreamed of for a long time, but we've got to play tomorrow and we've got a long trip and we've got to be ready for it."
JOE NIEKRO, the 35-year-old knuckleball specialist who held the Dodgers to six hits in clinching Houston's firstever title, indicated the experience could help the Astros as much as beating Montreal helped the Phils.
"The Dodgers are a great team and they gave us all we could handle," Niekro said. "But we battled back and that's what matters."
Nevertheless, Houston finds itself with a demanding job. The one-day playoff, in addition to creating fatigue, almost surely means that Niekro, the only 20-game winner in the league besides Carlton, can pitch only once in the series.
That contrasts with the situation for the Phillies, who by winning the first two games in Montreal were able to save Carlton to use him twice in the playoffs.