Atlantic City Press - January 1980

January 9, 1980

Phillies’ Manager Green Warms Up Hot Stove League


Tales of Hoffman by Harry Hoffman


PHILADELPHIA – One way to escape the stark reality of winter is to think baseball. One way to think baseball is to talk with Dallas Green as he gets ready to lead the Philadelphia Phillies back to the promised land.


The new manager of the Phillies, unlike his predecessor Danny Ozark, does not talk in circles. He cuts right down the middle with his answers. If you listen you find out where Dallas stands on most issues. 


"I agreed to go down to the dugout for the final 30 games last season so I coud find out first hand what guys were willing to pay the price to play for the Phillies and what guys were just coasting along on their contracts,” Green explained. 


“I know I stirred some things up in the clubhouse because my approach was somewhat more volatile to what the players were accustomed to from Danny. I never worried about Larry Bowa spouting off about my rah rah approach or anything else. I know Bowa comes to play every day. I know he is one guy who is ready to pay the price by hard work every day. I don’t care if he agrees with everything I say or everything I do. I still know I can depend on him, and the Phillies can depend on him, and that is what really counts.” 


Green says he definitely will not have two standards of rules for his players about conditioning or anything else. That seems to mean Steve Carlton will not be allowed to filibuster against the running program for pitchers. 


“I know that Steve Carlton works harder, or certainly as hard as any player we have on conditioning his body. He is a very disciplined athlete and his program with Gus Hoefling is one that many athletes could not handle," the manager admitted. 


"However, I believe in running. I think well-conditioned legs are all-important to all baseball players and especially pitchers. So 1 will expect all of my players to particpate in daily running exercise. Take a young pitcher like Larry Christenson. I think one of his main problems has been his legs. I don’t think in past years he has worked hard enough to get his legs ready for the long season. I plan to change that this year." 


Green also plans to change the Phillies approach to fundamental baseball.


"I’m not trying to lay the blame of what happened to our team last year on Danny, although he has to come in for his share," Green said, "but the fact is this team got by on its vast talent for three years when it won division titles. Then last year when injuries took some of that talent away, I don't think the guys had fundamental baseball to fall back on. Instead, they kept thinking to themselves: ‘We’ll be alright when we get our players back.’ Suddenly it was too late to come back. 


“Much of training camp this year will be devoted to fundamentals. We are going to improve our base running. We are going to work the cutoff plays properly. We’re going to hit our cutoff men. We are going to think winning baseball and then we should play winning baseball because I do feel we have the talent to win our division and get into the World Series.” 


If General Manager Paul Owens continues to be repulsed in the trading mart, Green is prepared to attack National League East with the same lineup that finished fourth behind Pittsburgh Montreal and St Louis in 1979. 


"If I’m concerned about a particular spot it the bullpen," he said. "Warren Brusstar has been working hard on a rehabilitation program, but he has to remain a question mark until his shoulder and arm pass the test of sustained competition. Right now I am projecting Dickie Noles for a spot in the pen alongside Tug McGraw and Ron Reed. 


“I like his stuff. I know he did a good job starting a few times last year. But he might be more important to the team in relief. We'll decide that down South.” 


Green, an ex-Phils’ pitcher, is realist enough to know he has distinct problems in his starting rotation unless Christenson, Dick Ruthven and Randy Lerch all come back from various ailments that slowed them down last year. 


"I have good reports on all of them," the manager said. “’I am optimistic they'll all be able to contribute in the rotation. That’s where I hope my conditioning program will pay off. I think we’ll be able to get them into better shape than they were starting last season. Then that will help them stay in action." 


Add hard-working Nino Espinosa and Carlton to that trio and the Phils do have a reasonable pitching rotation backed up by a couple of youngsters from the farm system who might be ready to blo'ssom this campaign.


Green does not want to trade Greg Luzinski and he doesn't want to move him from left field to first base.


“I am a Greg Luzinski man," he said emphatically. “I watched him carry this team with his bat too many seasons to cast him off just because he has one bad year. A pulled groin muscle was his major problem last year. He tried to play on it too soon and aggravated it. That affected his swing most of the season. 


"I am satisfied with his play in left field. That position is easier on his legs The first baseman is involved in a lol of plays. It is actually much harder on the legs at first base. Besides it is not as easy to play as some people think. An athlete like Pete Rose can mate the adjustment and look as though he had been playing first all his career. It would not be that easy on Greg. He's my left fielder." 


Listening to Green it appears the coasting along-on-talent days are over for the Phillies in 1980. He will demand an aggressive attitude on and off the field.

Nightly Whirl:  They’re All Good Sports (excerpt)


By Ted Schall


If you go for name dropping, try a few of these sports figures: Pete Rose, Tug McGraw, Bud Harrleson, Bob Boone, Ron Jaworski, John Bunting, Julius Erving, Doug Collins, Henry Bibby, Billy Cunningham, Dusty Baker, Joe Torre, Keith Hernandez, Steve Mix. 


These are just a sampling of the sports stars who will be on hand at the Boardwalk Regency on Jan. 16th. The occasion is a giant fundraiser for the Child Guidance Center of the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. 


They are all friends of the Phillies’ Gary Maddox, Larry Bowa and Mike Schmidt, who are the prime movers of the fundraiser. The Athlete-Entertainer of the Year Awards, as it is called, will feature around 50 of the nation's top athletes. 


There will be two shows, at 9 p.m. and midnight and the tab is $25 per person, which includes food and beverage and smiles on the faces of the youngsters at the Guidance Center. 


Maddox is conducting a celebrity benefit bowling tournament on Jan. 17 followed by a Bowa-produced disco the same night at Emerald City. Schmidt has already staged a golf tournament — all for the center.

January 13, 1980

Rest Easy, Some Things Never Change


By Alice Eckerson, Press Staff Writer


Being a pundit is not easy. It is especially hazardous when one year is changing into another and the prognosticator feels called upon to predict what the new year will bring. 


Imagine now called upon poor pundit feels at the turn of a decade. Ten years of predictions! No wonder their records are so poor. How many pundits of the 1970 New Year predicted Watergate or disco or the peasant look? Who could ever have imagined that gold would cost $610 an ounce or that an obscure Muslim ayatollah would overthrow the Shah of Iran and render the United States helpless? Not a one, poor pundits. 


Predictions of what will come are risky business. During the last two weeks, however, nowhere have I read predictions of what will not come. They are much more reliable. 


For instance, anyone who predicted in 1970 that the Phillies would not win the World Series would have been quite correct. Ditto anyone who predicted they would not even get to a World Series. All those sillies who predicted otherwise can kick their Phillies Phanatic dolls.


Here are some guesses about things that will not happen in the 1980s. 


First, the easy ones. Plastic, see-through jeans will not make a comeback. Freeholder Delores Cooper will not quit public life to take up knitting. The Philadelphia Phillies will not win the World Series. The Polillo brothers will not retire to a monastery to meditate on philosophy. Atlantic City politicians will riot stop bickering. 


Isn't it comforting to know that some things never change? 


I also predict that people will not stop talking about how much their houses are worth. No one will admit that his woodburning stove is a messy pain-in-the-neck that doesn't heat his entire house for one tenth the cost of his electric baseboard heat. 


The cynical will continue to down the Miss America Pageant but tune it in anyway. 


Furthermore, Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden will not be elected co-presidents of the United States. Atlantic City Mayor Joseph Lazarow will not be elected Governor of New Jersey. 


And you thought it was going to be a bad decade. 


The next ten years will definitely not see a clothing designer who refuses to have a spring and fall showing every year. No designer will say, “Last year’s styles are good enough to wear again this year.” 


Charlie’s Angels will not wear more clothing. Ditto Suzanne Somers. Also the Shah of Iran will not be invited to celebrate the anniversary of the Iranian Revolution.


Chances are Johnny Carson will not appear as guest host on his own show and the number of commercials sandwiched into commercial breaks will not decrease. 


Famous sports figures will not stop doing commercials for soda, beer and coffee companies, and Bill Cosby will not dump a bowl of Jello on a cute little kid’s head. 


Jimmy Carter will not convert to Islam.


And, sad to say, the employees of fast food restaurants will not stop telling us to have a happy-good-nice day. 


Locally, the 1980s will hold few surprises. The Casino interests in Atlantic City will not say they are only interested in making money and don’t care two hoots about the residents of South Jersey. And no prospective casino company will refuse to build a luxury hotel-casino in a marsh area because it is afraid of disturbing the fragile ecological balance of marine life. Nor will any casino refuse to buy out its rooming house neighbors because it wants to preserve the integrity of the neighborhood. 


In the next decade Americans will not stop dieting. Doctors and quacks will not stop writing books about dieting and women’s magazines will not stop publishing a new diet every month. Also I will not stop reading them and dreaming. 


Television news people I am sure will not stop interrupting our favorite shows to tell us that 200 people have been killed in an earthquake in India or a plane crash in Russia. And Larry Kane, looking ever so down-to-earth and folksy in shirt sleeves and loosened tie, will continue to annoy us during the 10 o’clock newsbreak by trying to make nothing sound like-something worth tuning in for. 


Without a doubt there will not be a presidential candidate with ungroomed hair or yellowed teeth. Nor will there be a candidate who looks the AFL-CIO. NOW, Birthright, the NAACP and myriads of other minority and special interest groups in their collective eyes and refuses to make promises he can’t or won’t keep later. 


Similarly, no presidential contender will come out squarely against the godawful amounts of money candidates spend to get elected. Will we hear a resolution to limit spending on future elections to a paltry million or so dollars per candidate? I doubt it. Speaking of elections, I predict that George Gallup and peers will not refuse to conduct polls on all future elections. Mr. Gallup will not say, “It is all meaningless and silly anyhow.” 


And finally, my children will not volunteer to pay for their own $40 high top leather sneakers. Of that, at least, I am positive.

January 15, 1980

January 16, 1980

Philly Athletes Highlight The Child Guidance Benefit


ATLANTIC CITY – A busload of athletes will come down here from Philadelphia hoping to lake a bushelful of money back from the Boardwalk Regency Casino. Without visiting a slot machine. 


It's cool. All for a good cause. The Philly brigade led by Phillies’ Larry Bowa, Garry Maddox and Mike Schmidt, will take over the Regency show room tonight at 9 p.m. for a charity roast-awards-variety show to benefit the Child Guidance Clinic in Philadelphia. 


The Clinic, which treats emotionally disturbed children, has been the three Phils’ pet project for the last few years. This show is being run in conjunction with a week of fund-raising activities in the Delaware Valley, including a bowling tournament, discos and other events. 


It may be the pet project of three Phils, but it seems like the whole roster will be down for the fun and games. 


As of last night, the travelers include Warren Brusstar, Manny Trillo, Larry Christenson, Steve Carlton, Rawley Eastwick, Greg Gross, Randy Lerch, Tug McGraw, Dick Ruthven, Kevin Saucier, Coach Billy DeMars and former Phils Jim Kaat, Ted Sizemore, Bud Harrelson and Pete Mackanin. 


Also along for the fun are a pair of Most Valuable Players, Don Baylor of the California Angels and Keith Hernandez of the St Louis Cardinals (who shared the National League honors with Pittsburgh's Willie Stargell). Add to that list Gary Matthews and Jerry Royster of the Atlanta Braves, Dusty Raker of the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets’ Manager Joe Torre, Joel Youngblood and Phils’ broadcaster Rich Ashburn. 


Even a couple of token football players are expected to be on hand — Ron Jaworski and John Bunting of the Philadelphia Eagles. 


The ticket includes admission to the roast, plus ballpark type food and beverages to add to the festivities. 


Tickets, which are getting scarce, may be obtained either at the Regency box office or at Ticketron locations.

January 17, 1980

Stars Go To Bat for Charity


By Pete Wickham, Press Sports Writer


ATLANTIC CITY – Keith Hernandez remembers the feeling the day he was named the National League s Most Valuable Player. 


“I can’t describe the feeling because it's still happening,” said Hernandez of the St. Louis Cardinals, who shared the ward with Pittsburgh Pirates' Willie Stargell. “All I know is that nothing else has ever come close.” 


The same thing happened to Harold Carmichael of the Philadelphia Eagles the day he caught a pass in 106th consecutive game at Veterans Stadium and the fans went bonkers. 


“The feeling of seeing 60000 people giving you a standing ovation is something that doesn't happen to just everybody,” Carmichael said. “It s something that has got to stick in your memory and give you a good feeling over and over again.” 


Hernandez, Carmichael, and several other athletes who have had similar moments of triumph were in town Wednesday night. 


And the reason they were was a bunch of kids whose prospects for being a winner are slight unless somebody gives a damn. 


The somebodies are a group of people known as the Child Guidance Clinic of Philadelphia. They deal with emotionally-disturbed children, autistic children, those with learning disabilities and other mental handicaps. And unlike most other centers of this type, they involve the entire family in the treatment. 


Three years ago, the clinic, open to anyone in the Delaware Valley, was fighting a two-strike count financially. Then it got a guardian angel named Garry Maddox. 


"Somebody asked me to go down there for a few minutes; just a routine appearance,” the Philadelphia Phillies’ centerfielder said. "I didn't even think about it until somebody reminded me. And I went down there thinking it was just another obligation.” 


Larry Bowa remembers those few minutes: “More like two or three hours. He got hooked one afternoon, came back to the park and talked me and Mike (Schmidt) into going down there with him." 


The upshot of this was last night's celebrity roast at the Boardwalk Regency, along with a combination bowling tournament-disco night tonight in Cherry Hill and a golf tournament in the spring.


Half the Phillies and members of a half-dozen other Major League ball clubs from as far away as Los Angeles appeared at the $25-a seat affair.


Bowa, the Phillies' shortstop, sees it as a chance to put a little welcome reality in a world that can be very surreal. 


“You come into baseball trying to do all you can for yourself. Then you get established and find people always coming around looking to do things for you,” Bowa said. “Your world gets wrapped up in things like batting 0 for 4 or winning four or five ball games. It reminds you that there are real things going on.” 


Schmidt, active in a number of charities himself, thinks that he could do more much more. 


“Garry is the one who spends the time doing the leg work,” Schmidt said. “He's buried himself in this organization and the kids it works with. That’s the kind of work that really counts. What the rest of us do is entertaining, and it helps. But it is not all that we could do.” 


Maddox insists that what he does is no big deal. What the kids do, is. 


“We’ve all had to fight to get where we are. Face it, today it’s not easy to make it no matter what your circumstances are," he said. “Think of what it’s like if you've got to deal with one of the problems these kids have. And when you come to think of it, doesn’t that make them more deserving of a chance to accomplish something?” 


He also admitted that the giving goes two ways.


“You do something simple, like play some basketball, and you get something out of the experience," he said. “These kids aren’t impressed by what you are, or if your name gets in the papers. They're out there giving their all just to give their all. And without you knowing it, you dig deeper into yourself. Its nice to be known just as somebody a good guy who cares.”

Phils Swing Hard, Raise $5,000 for Child Clinic


By Pete Wickham, Press Sports Writer


ATLANTIC CITY – At least they are consistent. Whether they are handling a bat or a joke, the Philadelphia Phillies hit about .260 and they swing from the heels. 


It was all in a good cause, so most of the audience of 200 at the Boardwalk Regency Wednesday night didn’t mind. Neither did the Child Guidance Clinic of Philadelphia, which was presented a $5000 check at the end of the benefit show. 


It must be honestly reported that the lone Phillie within any show biz potential was the Phanatic, whose opening act was good enough to earn a two-week engagement.


Tim McCarver, the 41-year-old Phillie catcher who will retire to the broadcast booth this spring and comedian-MC Marty Allen got the night off on an appropriate note. 


McCarver: “Give me the mike and I’ll just go and make the usual fool of myself’” 


Allen: “I know about that, I've seen you catch.” 


In between the jokes about McCarver’s throwing arm, there were few egos left unsullied, especially when Lou Goldstein, the host at Grossinger's Resort in the Catskills, took the lot of them and handled them like Chicago Cubs’ reliever Bruce Sutter when his forkball is in form .


There were some individual digs. 


Larry Bowa on Phillies’ teammate Mike Schmidt: ‘'Everybody thinks Schmidt does nothing all winter but sit around and count his money. But let me tell you, he's amazing: He's out at the Vet every day lifting weights, running three or four miles and all the bullbleep to hit 250 every year.”

January 23, 1980

Jaworski Gets Honor


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ron Jaworski, quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, will be honored Monday night by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association with its “Good Guy Award” for his contribution to the community Monday night at the Association’s banquet at the Cherry Hill Hyatt House next Monday night. 


The writers also will honor the Phillies’ Pete Rose as “The Athlete of the Decade,” the Eagles’ Wilbert Montgomery as the area's outstanding professional player, and track star Don Paige of Villanova as the best amateur athlete in the Philadelphia area.