Philadelphia Daily News - November 20, 1980

Saucier Shipped To Texas

 

The champagne bottles had been popped, the uniforms were soaked and the clubhouse was a shambles. The Phillies had just beaten the Montreal Expos to win the National League East title.

 

The television lights were on, and Harry Kalas and Rich Ashburn did the obligatory player interviews. Up stepped Kevin Saucier, the southpaw reliever who approaches a question like he would George Brett. "I just want to tell the fans out there we aren't 'chokers,'" Saucier said, staring into the television camera. "We're gonna win this thing."

 

THE PHILLIES won everything; the National League pennant, the World Series, and the hearts of an entire city. But Kevin Saucier has come up a loser. In the Phillies' quest for the division title, they acquired Sparky Lyle, the former Cy Young winner and a left-handed reliever, from the Texas Rangers for a player to be named later. Everyone assumed it would be Randy Lerch. But yesterday it turned out to be Saucier.

 

"We hated to lose Kevin," said Paul Owens, the Phillies director of player personnel. "But, Texas said they needed a lefthander to replace Lyle. Sparky was a big help for us down the stretch and will be an integral part of the bullpen for us for a couple of years."

 

Eddie Robinson, the Rangers executive vice president, said he acquired Saucier because "he challenges the hitters. He's a good competitor, very aggressive, and should be a valuable addition to our bullpen."

 

LAST YEAR, Saucier, in his first full season with the Phillies, was 7-3 with a 3.42 ERA in 40 relief appearances.

 

The Phillies also announced that pitcher Jim Wright has been assigned to Oklahoma City's roster and 21-year-old outfielder Alejandro Sanchez, who batted .289 with Spartanburg last season, was added to the Phillies 40-man roster.