Doylestown Daily Intelligencer - February 1980
February 5, 1980
Phillies will work hard under Green this year
By Paul Giordano, Intelligencer Writer
TRENTON-There will be no competition for the Phillies this season. Fourth place is theirs to have and to hold. Until pitching and a right-handed power hitter coming off the bench they do acquire.
That's one man's opinion.
For Dallas Green, though, it's first place, the very top. In his first full season as Phils' manager, Green is looking ahead with rose-colored glasses to what he calls the season of "repair and prepare." That's what he said during the Phillies' winter caravan stop here on Monday.
Repair, surgically, there's Dick Ruthven's elbow, Larry Chrlstenson's collarbone and Bob Boone's knee. Scratch Warren Brusstar for the time being. Then there's Garry Maddox's ribs, Mike Schmidt's hamstring, Greg Luzinski’s thigh, Tug McGraw's arm, Manny Trillo's hand and Randy Lerch's wrist. All, supposedly, ready to go.
"Ruthven's elbow seems to be smooth," Green said. "The doctors are satisfied. The thing came out clean as far as we know. Boone's been working out every day rehabilitating his knee."
Prepare - Green has the start of 1980 mapped out like Rommel's West African campaign. He has also set aside 10 days prior to spring training for what he calls his "Crippled Camp." This is where he plans on bringing the surgically-mended down to Clearwater to see where who if going and how before the real action begins. Then, the real action.
"I already have spring training planned in my mind," Green said. "The first 10 days already down on paper...a lot of fundamental work, a lot of physical work.
"There's 37 days in spring training," Green said at yesterday's Public Relations Caravan bus stop at the Elks Lodge. "The first 11 days will be spent on conditioning, brush-up on fundamental work.
"The next 10 will be game work, starting to look at younger players and evaluate our personnel. The final
10 we’ll work on National League plays that we’ll use during the season, how we’re going to handle them.”
"Discipline comes in different forms," Green said. "I'm not a cop. I'm out there to direct their baseball lives. The mam thing is to knock out the I business in Philadelphia. It's time we start thinking about WE. We're going to do it our way."
"Our way" may be a little difficult to put down at the beginning. Too many of the players, under Danny Ozark, became accustomed to doing things on his own, especially the pitchers when it came to everyday running.
"I'm from the old school and I strongly believe in pitchers running," Green said. "And that's the way it's going to be."
Steve Carlton running? It has to be seen to be believed.
"I intend to talk to Steve and tell him eye-to-eye what I want," Green said. "Look, Steve Carlton is one of the best-conditioned pitchers in baseball. But he has his own program (Gus Hoefling's strength and stretching program).
"Most of our pitchers can't handle that program. Not too many people can. We can't get all our pitchers to do Steve Carlton's program, so we'll get Steve Carlton to do our program."
Ah yes, all ahead go. That is, if there is a spring training. The Players Association and owners have yet to reach a new agreement. And according to latest reports are miles apart. Then what happens to all of Green's plans?
"I never look at the negative side of things," Green said. "If that happens I'll go to another plan."
Larry Bowa said there will not be a strike. "If we had to decide right now," Bowa said on Monday, "we'd go to spring training. I think all the players feel this way. ..open camp and negotiate during spring training."
No, there will not be a players strike. However, there may be an owners' lockout. And from what was learned yesterday, the owners are scheduled for an important meeting, Thursday.
You see, the players can go into spring training unsigned and still hold two pressure points. They can hold the gun to the owners' heads on opening day of the regular season, or for the All-Star game. It would really hit the owners very hard in the pocketbook.
On the other hand, the owners only pressure point Is to delay the opening of training camp until an agreement is reached.
"Most problems have been created by the owners and their generosity," Pete Rose said. "The players never asked for anything. They're the ones who started together as a group rather than worry what happens to the players.
"When I first came up you got paid on what you did the year before. Now you're paid on what you're going to do in 1982-883. 1 don't know what's going to happen next."
Who does? And In case you didn't know, the average player's salary for 1979 was $121,000.
But that's another story. This one's about "repair and prepare," and the fourth-place 1980 Phillies. Case closed.
February 7, 1980
Optimism easy for Phils now
By Paul Giordano, Intelligencer Writer
TRENTON-Hibernation came to an end. Awakened from a short winter's nap, filled with nightmares of a season to be forgotten, the Phillies came out to play for another day.
Dallas Green, Paul Owens, Larry Bowa, Greg Gross, Randy Lerch, Pete Rose, Harry Kalas and Bill Giles started the Phillies annual Public Relations Caravan earlier this week. Trenton was the first bus stop of the scheduled eight-city, four-day tour.
It was positive and optimistic. At this time of the year, what else?
Bowa, naturally, spoke about the infield and how nice it would be in 1980 to play with everyone at 100 percent. He told of looking forward to seeing Mike Schmidt hitting between 50-60 home runs in the next couple of years, and how Green's added discipline would be a plus.
"We got away from discipline last year," Bowa said. "Being professionals, everyone wants a little discipline. We're going to get that from Dallas Green."
Lerch spoke about the pitching, and what a plus it was going to be with everyone free from injury. Giles promised Kiteman's third coming, opening day attraction, would be a successful one. And Owens said: "With a team free of injuries and better pitching, we're going to come back this year and make up for last year's disappointment."
Gross talked about the outfield, and the only problem, "not enough outfield positions...would like to see four outfield positions. I'm going to stay around Paul Owens the next four days. I have a lot of trades to tell him about. And I'm pulling for the DH in the National League."
Rose's job was to break down the National League East race. "It's the toughest division in baseball," Rose said. "Four teams are capable of winning it-Pittsburgh, Montreal, St. Louis and the Phillies. Pittsburgh won it last year because everyone had a great year. Can all those guys repeat?
"No way in the world can we go through Injuries like we did last year. I see a brighter 1980 for the Phillies."
And no way in the world will the Phils finish better than fourth unless they get starting and relief pitching help and a right-handed power hitter coming off the bench.
This the Phils hope to accomplish when inter-league trading opens again, running from Feb. 15 through March 15.
"We would rather have it from March 1st to April 1st," Owens said. "This gives us more time to see what we have in spring training and what our needs are. We don't like the Feb. 15-March 15 deadline, but we'll have to use It. Anything that wasn't done in the winter meetings can be done then. But then, that doesn't always get done, either.
"Naturally, we'll be looking for relief help. We'll talk to other clubs. But it's hard to say what we'll be doing. Other teams are looking for relief and starters, too. There just isn't that much pitching around."
And If the Phillies do not make a trade or two, If they go into the 1980 season with a questionable pitching staff and the lack of a right-handed power hitter coming off the bench, Philadelphia fans will come to boo the Phillies In 1980, not praise them.
"Boos, though," Rose said, "can be a good thing. They help you as a player. They can wake you up when you're not playing up to your potential. Some players don't like to be criticized, but once In a while, when you're going bad, it doesn't hurt it may help."
EXTRA BASES—Dallas Green said he is not counting on Warren Brusstar (missed all of last season with shoulder injury). "I'm not counting on Warren Brusstar," Green said. "I don't want to count on him and put added pressure on him to get ready for the coming season. It we get him back It will be a super plus....Seating capacity at Veterans Stadium has been Increased to 64,976 for baseball, second only in the majors to Cleveland's Municipal Stadium....It was a boy, Erik Scot, for Dick and Sue Ruthven, on Dec. 22....Phils are looking for high school marching bands of at least 100 members to perform prior to Phillies games.