Camden Courier Post - December 11, 1980

Shuffling Cards keep Phils holding pat hand


By Ray W. Kelly of the Courier-Post


DALLAS – Having established themselves as trading kingpins of the winter baseball meetings, the St. Louis Cardinals are now in the process of dashing the hopes of the Phillies.


Talks with the Milwaukee Brewers have come to a screeching halt as a result of yet another blockbuster offer by the Cards, who appear willing to cure the pitching and catching woes of the Brewers by giving them all-star catcher Ted Simmons, ace reliever Rollie Fingers and starter Pete Vukovich in exchange for Sixto Lezcano, Larry Sor-renson and Jim Gantner.


The Phils, who had hoped to make Lezcano their rightfielder and Gantner their extra infielder in exchange for pitchers Randy Lerch and Dickie Noles, can forget it if the rumors are true.


Already the rather glum Phils are looking elsewhere for a deal. And, ironically, their next move, may be dictated by free agent outfielder Dave Winfield.


Both the Mets and Yankees are eager to open their cash registers to Winfield just for the privilege of putting him in a New York uniform. Considering the relative talent of the two teams, one would think the Mets don't stand a chance.


But the Mets seem to think they have the inside track, having offered Winfield not only the financial moon, but also a promise that they would surround him with some top talent.


That's where Greg Luzinski and the Phillies come into the picture. A trade involving the Bull would most likely be expanded – the Phils adding Lerch to the transaction while the Mets would be required to make hard-throwing reliever Neil Allen the clincher in the deal that would include outfielder Joel Youngblood.


Winfield is the key because he knows that if he is simply added to the Mets' batting order next year, opposing pitchers will surely "pitch around him," thereby making it impossible for him to have a good year at the plate and help the Mets.


Thus, the promise of management to acquire hitters who would bat in front and behind Winfield in the batting order and pose enough of a threat to force the opposition to pitch Winfield honestly.


Luzinski is one of the few sluggers in baseball who not only fits the bill, but is also available at the reasonable price.


"Right now, we're just in the preliminary stages of talks with the Mets," said Owens, who has obviously made up his mind to trade Luzinski if at all possible.


"The Mets have interest in Ball and Lerch," he added. "Yes, we've always liked Youngblood, who could play for us and give us a strong throwing arm in right field. Bake (McBride), of course, would be move to left field, if such a deal was made."


All dealings have just about come to a halt as a result of the Cardinals' efforts to complete the restructuring of their team. And the lull will probably continue until St. Louis makes its move and frees the other clubs to seek the "second best" offers for their players.


Not that talks aren't continuing. The Phils, for example, had a rather sobering chat with the Toronto Blue Jays, who insist they'd require both Marty Bystrom and top relief prospect Mark Davis before parting with one of their best starting pitchers.


"We turned down the idea of two for one," said Owens. "We felt it was too heavy a price. We told them to get back to us if they had any other thoughts.


"I don't blame them for asking, but I don't think I'd be improving myself with that trade. Bystrom could start for them this year. And I don't think Davis is that far away from the majors. From what out scouts say, Bystrom is as good as anything they've got."


That may not be exactly the case since both Dave Stieb and Jim Clancy of the Brewers have 94 mph fastballs that accounted for 108 and 152 strikeouts, respectively, last season.


So, it's on to the Chicago White Sox, who have some available pitching and a distinct interest in the corps of Phillies' prospects,


And maybe something will work out while the Phillies sit around and talk about how the art of trading baseball players used to be so different.


Like the time former Phillies General Manager John Quinn went to the hotel room of Dodger executive Buzzie Bavasi to talk trade over breakfast.


Pretty soon, it was lunchtime. So, they called room service again and continued to talk and eat. And. when it became dinnertime, they had a third meal sent up.


They talked and talked. Room service was still sending up drinks when a weary Bavasi declared it was 2 a.m., and he didn't care when Quinn did, but he was going to bed.


So, he went into the other room, put on his pajamas and slipped beneath the covers. He was totally exhausted by the marathon talks.


Just as he was about to fall asleep, he heard a noise. Looking up, he saw the equally exhausted Quinn, kicking off his trousers and preparing to climb into the bed.


"All right, John," screamed Bavasi. "You can have the S.O.B.!"

Tug McGraw collects Series bet from Dole


WASHINGTON (AP) – Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Tug McGraw collected a World Series wager on Capitol Hill yesterday and kidded Senator Bob Dole about the ' superiority of Pennsylvania professional sports teams.


The bet was between Dole of Kansas and Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania, both Republicans. Dole wagered 25 pounds of Kansas steaks against beer and a giant 50-pound soft pretzel from Philadelphia. Heinz, who won when the Phillies beat the Kansas City Royals, four games to two, designated McGraw to pick up the winnings.


"You're going to have to wait many more years to taste one of those pretzels," McGraw joked to Dole.


The Kansas senator told the ace relief pitcher he was happier to see him in person than coming in from the bullpen to snuff out a Kansas City rally.


"We had a great team. You had a better team," Dole said.


McGraw, who has helped raise money to fight multiple sclerosis, said the steaks would be donated to needy children in Philadelphia.


Heinz said the Phillies gave the nation a lesson in overcoming adversity. "If we can work together, we can do the same thing for the country," he said.


McGraw presented Dole and Heinz with official World Series baseballs, Phillies caps and record albums of him narrating "Casey at the Bat."