Philadelphia Daily News - November 7, 1980
Green’s Ideas Prove Ripe
By Stan Hochman
Dallas Green knew that his key guys had all the food, clothing, shelter and sex they needed.
That took care of the basic drives, the ones he learned about in "Psychology 104' back at Delaware. If he was going to stir the competitive juices of sated veterans, he'd have to find some other way of motivating them.
So he preached about character, screeched about grinding-it-out. The ones who had been grinding-it-out got mad. And so did the ones who hadn't been grinding-it-out.
Green delivered his message via the media, playing the press like a zither, four times slicker than Gene Mauch ever was.
He called the players lazy and he called them quitters and he even questioned thresholds of pain in some guys. And the subsequent howling rolled off his back like water off a duck's tail-feathers.
HE WANTED a championship and he didn't care whose nerves he jangled, whose feelings he battered. It worked.
And now he must be tickled when some of his guys suggest that they always had character, it's just that now they'll get credit for it because they came from behind so often down the stretch.
Green wanted them intense. He didn't say they had to be intelligent.
He wanted them ready to play. He wanted them physically sharp and mentally alert. Then, if they fell three runs behind in the eighth inning, they would still be able to hit a hittable pitch, catch a catchable ball.
Some guys have faint hearts. Some guys can't handle stress. Some guys react poorly to adversity. Some guys don't give a damn.
Have enough of those guys on your roster and they will poison the entire scene. So Green stressed character and grinding-it-out. And if everybody got mad enough to want to prove him wrong... hey, champagne has a way of healing old wounds.
Green laughed all the way to the parade. Now, reluctantly, he will try to win it again, without that much screeching, that much preaching.
Yesterday, signing on for another hitch with the HMS Bounty, he warned against "laissez-faire" which is French for failure to hit the cutoff man. He said he might have to unload some people if the message continued to slither in one ear and out the other.
IT IS PART of a healthy trend in this city's sports franchises. A trend the Phillies were last to recognize, last to adopt. So what else is new?
The Flyers did it first. Plucked a pale, skinny diabetic named Bobby Clarke out of the second round of the draft.
Wound up with the kind of player-person general managers dream about. Surrounded him with hod carriers who thrived on thumping people.
Hired a mystic named Fred Shero to coach them. Shero gave them a formula for getting the puck up ice, and a style that raised welts and complaints throughout the league.
Terrific. That was exactly what Shero wanted. Let the purists howl. And if they wanted to point to the penalty box, Shero's bruisers could point to the scoreboard. In unison.
Oh, sure, it didn’t hurt to have Bernie Parent tending goal. That's an essential part of this whole success story. To paraphrase Mike Schmidt, you can have all the belligerence of a rattlesnake inside you, but you'd better be able to skate, check and shoot the puck.
The Eagles were next, snatching Dick Vermeil out of a lovely campus setup to breathe life into a choking football team.
VERMEIL GRABBED the team by the throat, which is a fascinating way to handle chokers. Got rid of some talented players who could not meet his harsh standards when it came to intangibles.
Kept others, less talented, and somehow got them to play over their heads. Stressed character, stressed caring, stressed winning.
It has jelled quicker than even he thought it would. If it had taken longer, that would have been all right too, because he had the owner's backing.
He has outstanding people at the skill positions. To paraphrase Schmidt once more, you can have all the sleepless nights you want, but you better have some talent out there on Sundays if you hope to win.
The Sixers were next. Got rid of some gaudy talents and grumpy dispositions. Realized that gate attractions are fine, but not if the gate closes early every season.
George McGinnis conned Fitz Dixon, but he couldn't con Gene Shue. Dixon got rid of Shue, whispering something about glass houses.
And then Billy Cunningham got through to Dixon, sending McGinnis to other pastures, pastures more suitable to George's quarter-horses and half-hearted practice habits.
Got Julius Erving with his magical skills and his prosaic readiness to play each night. Surrounded him with willing role players and a colorful but coachable flake or two.
There is still some work to be done here, because life in the NBA is still the furthest thing from Sunday school on this planet's sports landscape.
They are all winning now. They are winning because they have splendid talent, and because they are well coached.
BUT TALENT isn't enough in these inflationary, tasteless times, where craftsmanship has given way to imported and domestic shlock.
Athletes are seldom hungry, thirsty, cold or companionless. If you're going to motivate them to do their best you must either stroke those massive egos or prod them with a sharp stick.
Yesterday, Green began whittling at a thick branch. He doesn't use a knife. He's got the kind of voice and vocabulary to scorch the bark off a tree or the hide off a soft-nosed malingerer. He is an idea whose time has come.
Phillies Choose Baumer As ‘Minor’ Replacement
After making no changes in either the manager's or the general manager's office, the Phillies have decided to shake up the minor league department.
Out is minor league system head Howie Bedell, who used to be joined with director of scouting Jack Pastore in heading up the Phils' two-headed system. In is former Milwaukee Brewers' GM Jim Baumer, who will be responsible for both the minor league and scouting departments. Pastore will be his assistant.
"Basically, I firmly believe in a one-man operation as head of that department," said GM Paul Owens. "I learned that a long time ago from (former Phils' minor league director) Gene Martin.
"We followed that format while I was that department head and the same when Dallas Green replaced me. We tried to go to the two-head department for the last year and I'm just not satisfied."
Baumer, 49, had a unique major league career, playing for the Chicago White Sox in 1949 and the Cincinnati Reds 12 years later. After that, he played in Japan from 1963-67 before becoming a scout for the Houston Astros in 1968.
HE JOINED THE Brewers in 1972 and stayed there until 1977 as scout, director of player development and general manager. Owens hired Baumer in 1978 as a special assignment scout with emphasis on the American League. This fall, he was assigned to scout the Kansas City Royals prior to the World Series.
"Baumer has a lot of experience in player development and scouting," Owens said. "I feel that experience will do the job for us.
"I'm very appreciative of the job Bedell has done for the Phillies but I just felt a change was needed."
TOKYO (UPI) – Two Japanese baseball clubs today denied a report they were attempting to sign Phillies first baseman Pete Rose.
"There is no truth in the report," said a spokesman for the Yomiuri Giants of the Central League.
"It's totally groundless," said the Seibu Lions of the Pacific League.
The denials from the two clubs came in response to a front-page story in yesterday's Sports Nippon newspaper.
The newspaper quoted an executive officer of the Nippon Ham Fighters, another Pacific League club, as saying, "I was told during my recent trip to America a certain Japanese baseball club had approached the Phillies to buy Rose's contracts."
The daily reported that only the Giants and the Lions had the financial resources to launch such a venture which could cost as much as $2.4 million.
The Giants are in extreme need of a first baseman to replace Sadaharu Oh, baseball's home-run king who announced his retirement as an active player Tuesday.