Camden Courier Post - November 5, 1980

Carlton wins 3rd Cy Young

 

By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post

 

Steve Carlton was the landslide winner of the National League's Cy Young Award, taking the baseball election almost as impressively as that other conservative candidate, Ronald Reagan.

 

Carlton's response to sweeping the field for the third Cy Young Award of his 15-year major-league career was typically muted.

 

“---------------," said the Phillies' lefthander.

 

Unfortunately for those who would write about the man who led the Phils to the first world championship of their 98-year history, Carlton grants interviews about as often as Reagan confers with Ted Kennedy.

 

So the blanks were left to be filled in last night by Tim McCarver, Carlton's longtime friend and, until last season, ditcher.

 

"This year," McCarver laughed when contacted by telephone, "I was always a little reluctant to talk about him from a personal standpoint. I would answer questions concerning his performance, but I'm not a catchall for his encompassing personality, I always tried to guard against it, tried to maintain my dignity.

 

"I tried to call him once tonight, but his line was busy . I didn't want to congratulate him. I wanted to tell him, 'Please, don't win it again. If you do, get somebody else to talk for you."'

 

McCARVER FOR years was the silent Carlton's spokesman. If you wanted to know anything about Lefty, as Carlton is known, you went to McCarver.

 

But McCarver retired at the beginning of the season – rejoining the Phillies only for the month of September – and spent his summer as a member of the club's broadcast team.

 

The job of analyzing Carlton's performance fell to Bob Boone, who accepted it with good-humored reluctance.

 

Moving as he did from the field, to the booth, back to the field and back to the booth gave McCarver a unique view of Carlton. Always in the past, McCarver had seen Carlton only as a form delivering a murderous slider to the plate.

 

"I HAD A chance to watch him from several different perspectives, really, because I went back to the field," McCarver said. "I saw a calm, a peacefulness, in his off-the-field character that did not exist before... He was really boring, totally boring," McCarver chuckled.

 

As far as the Phillies were concerned, Carlton was like Crest. He could have bored them every time out and no one would have complained.

 

Carlton merely posted a record of 24-9 with a 2.34 earned run average during the regular season, leading the majors with 286 strikeouts. He was the winning pitcher in the opening game of the National League Championship Series against Houston and also won the second and sixth games of the World Series against Kansas City.

 

"I think I have the record for being turned down (for interviews) the most (by Carlton)," said McCarver. "I only interviewed him twice.

 

"IT'S FUNNY. After we clinched the division (in Montreal), I went into the training room where Steve was and feigned getting on one knee to beg him for an interview.

 

"I said, 'Come on, come on, my career depends on it.' He kept shaking his head no. I gave him two minutes of my best stuff.

 

"Later, he said, 'You know, you made a couple good points there. Another 30 seconds and you would've had me."'

 

Carlton, who previously won the award in 1972 and 1977, was the Phillies' stopper, a man Manager Dallas Green always could depend on for a solid performance when his team needed it most.

 

"AS MANY sliders as he threw," said McCarver, "it was an incredibly grueling year for a man his age (35). A guy in his middle 30s usually begins nibbling, goes away from his success of earlier years.

 

"Steve was contrary to that, He took a much more forceful approach and he mastered things that made him great when he was 21, 22 years old.

 

"He's really gone full circle, from young power thrower, to a pitcher, to a power pitcher.

 

"It's remarkable more from that standpoint than any other. It's not that he won the Cy Young, but the way he went about winning it. It was truly an artistic accomplishment."

 

 

Carlton was voted the honor by a Baseball Writers Association of America panel and joined Tom Seaver and Sandy Koufax as the only three-time winners of the award which goes to the league's best pitcher.

Backlast will increase baseball trades

 

Second in a two-part series previewing major league baseball’s free agent draft.

 

By Bob Kenney, Courier-Post Sports Editor

 

What can best be described as free agent backlash will make this a most interesting winter for major league baseball fans.

 

For the first time since the basic agreement gave players the right to become free agents, there will be plenty of trades.

 

Teams such as the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins are willing to trade top players this winter, a year before they become free agents.

 

AFTER SIX YEARS with one club, a player may elect to become a free agent if he has not signed for that seventh season.

 

Long-term contracts, the owners have discovered, are not the answer. Trading away players before their option year is a better solution.

 

"I'm not interested in long-term contracts," said Calvin Griffith, president of the Minnesota Twins. "There is no protection for an owner in a long-term contract."

 

"There is a swing to trades and away from the free agent draft," said Haywood Sullivan, the co-owner general manager of the Boston Red Sox. "I think you are going to see a lot of teams take a guy for one year left on his contract and if he wants to go after that, move him again."

 

"THE ERA OF a player staying with a team more than two or three years is over for awhile," added Sullivan, who has placed Fred Lynn and Rick Burleson on the market. Both could become free agents after the next season.

 

Minnesota has placed All-Star catcher Butch Wynegar and hard-hitting shortstop Roy Smalley on the block for the same reason.

 

"Smalley and Wynegar are not going to play out their options in Minnesota," said Griffin. "If we can't sign them, we are going to trade them."

 

"If they are interested for a couple of years, we would like to have them," Griffith said.

 

HE HAS LOST more than his share of players through the free agent route. Relief ace Bill Campbell, Larry Hisle, Dave Goltz, Eric Soderholm, Tom Burgmeler and the late Lyman Bostock are among the top players signed away from the Twins.

 

Minnesota finally got something back when it traded Rod Carew before he became a free agent, and most teams feel that is the way to go – both as a buyer and a seller.

 

"Instead of going with free agents, we're trying to build by making a few trades," said Bob Lurie, owner of the San Francisco Giants.

 

"I spent $4 million last year. There is no restraint, no common sense.

 

"WE GOT caught up in a bidding war last year, and it is not going to happen again" said Lurie, who bought Rennie Stenett, Jim Wohlford and Milt May.

 

"I'm still mad at myself for what happened last year. I'm not going through that again."

 

The availability of players such as Lynn and Smalley should be the fuse that ignites the trading explosion. At least a half dozen other owners are just waiting for an excuse to unload players.

 

There have been very few trades the last three years, and management generally has taken a soft approach. This year, though, both sides have lowered the boom.

 

AND THE problems start at the top.

 

"I'm tired of baseball players popping off day in and day out," said Dallas Green, who pushed, pulled and dragged his sulking Philadelphia Phillies to a World Series championship. "Let's put the shoe on the other foot."

 

The Phillies are accepting offers on Greg Luzinski and Larry Bowa.

 

"Victor Cruz has a great arm, but he has a head like an egg beater," said Cleveland boss Gabe Paul of his ace relief pitcher.

 

"I'D RATHER QUIT baseball than play with the Rangers again," said Buddy Bell, who hit .329 with 17 home runs and 83 runs batted in for Texas. "I can't respect the way managment handled Pat Corrales."

 

In San Francisco, manager Dave Bristol decided to stop talking and start swinging. He gave John Montefusco a black eye in midseason and you can bet the Count is available in a trade.

 

Lurie has plenty of Giants available. Right fielder Jack Clark dropped off to 22 home runs this year while feuding with Bristol all season. First baseman Mike Ivie retired once and was hurt several times in a season marred by spats with management.

 

Kansas City won the American League flag but there is trouble in Royalland. Deluxe second baseman Frank White feels he is being embarrassed at the salary window, and 14-game winner Paul Splittorff told the world what he thought of manager Jim Frey's use of personnel in the World Series.

 

CALIFORNIA has no Angels in pitchers Frank Tanana, Dave LaRoche and Ed Halecki. All have asked to be traded.

 

Bruce Sutter, the Chicago reliever, and Cub management never showed up at the same parties after a nasty bit of arbitration last winter, and a trade is almost certain.

 

The St. Louis Cardinals will trade anybody but Gary Templeton and that includes last year's co-MVP, Keith Hernandez, probably baseball's best first baseman.

 

The Pittsburgh Pirates are ready to dismantle and both the American League runnersup, Oakland and Baltimore, are shopping around.

 

"LET'S MAKE a deal," said Pat Gillick of the Toronto Blue Jays. "We have no untouchables."

 

 

It seems to be the general feeling. Look for plenty of action in the trade mart.