Atlantic City Press - March 11, 1980

Despite Trade Rumors, McBride Awaits Season


CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) – Bake McBride spent the kind of winter during which reading a good book was his only peace of mind. 


The 31-year-old McBride gave up on reading newspaper sports pages, watching television or listening to the radio. It seemed every time he indulged in one of these activities, he read or heard the Philadelphia Phillies were about to trade him. 


It upset the outfielder, who has a lifetime batting average of .298, and was one of only three players in the National League in 1979 to finish in double figures in doubles, triples and home runs (16 12 12). 


McBride said he intended to talk with Phillies’ personnel director Paul Owens to try to find out why every time the club talks trade, the outfielder's name is mentioned. 


“It bothers me,” McBride explained. “I start thinking ‘if the team is trying to trade me all the time then why are they keeping me.’ If they want to trade me, go ahead and get it over with.” 


McBride observed, “This whole winter, every time the telephone would ring, I would think it was Owens calling to tell me I’d been traded. It got to the point where I wouldn't even answer.” 


McBride, however, said his feelings wouldn't affect his performance. He’s still a Phillies’ outfielder and winning is the name of his game. 


“As long as I’m with the team, I'm going to give my all,” McBride said. "I don't think it affects me once I get on the field. I just forget it.” 


McBride, a low key, soft speaking, six-year major league veteran, also admits he's tired of being platooned in right field, although the lefthand hitter averaged .343 against lefthand pitchers and .245 vs righties.


“There is nothing I can do about it (platooning),” McBride noted, sort of sadly. “It's left to the manager. And if I want to play, I have to do what he tells me to. It does bother me, but there is nothing I can do about it.” 


McBride has a reputation of missing a lot of action because of injuries some consider not serious enough to keep him on the bench. 


“I played everyday last year that they called me.” said McBride. who was in 153 games and had career high totals in at bats (582), runs (82) and walks (41). “I even played when I messed my knee up, some 40 games. That’s just the way it is. There isn’t anything I can do about it.” 


McBride claims that he has yet to reach his potential as a player. He feels the lack of a chance to play has curtailed his performance. 


"I think the first time I played everyday was when I won rookie of the year (with St Louis) and that’s the last time I really played everyday.” 


McBride moves about almost as slow as he drops words. He makes a snail look like an Olympic sprinter, except when he's running the bases. He gives people the impression he’s disinterested. 


"That’s just my natural way something I've always done,” McBride observed. “I know that the first impression of me is that ‘he doesn’t want to play, he's lazy.’ But that’s not true. When I go on the field I give 100 percent. If that’s not enough, then there is nothing I can do about it.” 


McBride says that if fans think he’s lackadaisical they ought to see him around the house. 


"Around the house my wife is always telling me, ‘I think I’m going to get you a cane the way you walk around.' I just lay low, watch my soap operas and take it easy.” 


McBride may talk slow and walk slow, but he thinks big. He says 1980 will be a good season for him only if he gets 200 hits and wins the National League batting title. 


"I know that I can, if I’m given a chance to play everyday."

Phillies Decide To Trade Maddox


CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) – The Phillies are offering center fielder Garry Maddox for trade because of a salary negotiation impasse, the National League team’s personnel director Paul Owens disclosed. 


Maddox, who was acquired by the Phillies from San Francisco for first baseman Willie Montanez in 1975, generally is recognized as one of the best defensive center fielders in major league baseball. 


Owens said he hasn’t started offering Maddox around the league because the salary impasse just developed. 


"I don't negotiate contracts openly," said Owens, “but the point we’re at, we’re so far apart I really have to be Concerned with him walking away.” 


Maddox is in the option year of a contract renegotiated two years ago at a reported $425,000 a year and could become a free agent at the end of the 1980 season. In this event, the Phillies would lose him to some club for an amateur draft pick. 


Owens said money and not the length of contract was the sole holdup. "We’re quite a ways apart. He’s eligible for the re-entry draft next fall,” Owens said. 


Maddox, a .293 lifetime hitter who last year earned his fifth consecutive Gold Glove for defense, confirmed his contract problems with the Phillies. 


“I'm not going to let this interfere with my season,” said Maddox, 30, who hit .281 last season in 148 games. 


"I’m not going to let the uncertainty of this bother me. I want no distractions. I don't want to worry until I become a free agent," said Maddox, the first Phillies outfielder ever to win a Gold Glove. 


He led National League outfielders in total chances in 1978 and was third in 1977. Twice he finished third in the National League in hitting, with the San Francisco Giants in 1973 and the Phillies in 1976.

Bowa’s One of the Best


CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) – One of Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Larry Bowa’s teammates remarked in jest, "Bowa is a legend in his own mind.” 


In retrospect, the statement may not be far off the mark. If there ever was a self-made star it has to be Bowa. 


Despite discouragement from every knowledgably baseball man, Bowa made up his mind he was going to be not only a professional player, but one of the best. 


“I don’t think I’m a legend,” Bowa said. “What really has me in awe of what I've done is checking the statistics defensively. I mean the greatest of all-time. 


“I get chills when I use those words, ‘all time,’” Bowa said, nodding his head in disbelief of his fielding accomplishments. “You go back to when baseball was first invented… 


“I mean, I sit back and think-of all the hard work I put in and it hasn't gone for naught,” beamed Bowa. “Of course, 1 get calls on my radio show and they say (Cincinnati's Dave) Concepcion is eight times better than you.  You can't compare with Davey." 


Bowa then referred to a column written recently by a Philadelphia baseball writer which showed that Bowa had a better record than Concepcion in every offensive and ’defensive category excepting RBI and home runs. 


"And, let's face it, he (Concepcion) is stronger than I am,” said Bowa, an admitted singles and doubles hitter. I didn’t realize this (the overall edge) until I read the article.”

Carlton Will Start Exhibition Opener


CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Left-hander Steve Carlton will start the Philadelphia Phillies’ first spring training game Friday against the Detroit Tigers, Phillies Manager Dallas Green said Monday. 


Carlton will be followed by Scott Munninghoff, Doug Bird, Burke Suter and Ron Reed. 


Green said the Phillies will play intrasquad games both Wednesday and Thursday as final tune-ups for the Grapefruit League.


Meanwhile, both centerfielder Garry Maddox and pitcher Larry Christenson missed their second consecutive day of workouts with lower back problems. 


Maddox has been bothered by a strained lower back muscle, while Christenson experienced muscle spasms for the second straight day Christenson is expected to take his turn pitching for batting practice Tuesday. 


Paul Owens, Phillies personnel director, said Monday he is continuing to search for more pitching depth and a right-handed hitter for the bench 


“I've talked with a lot of clubs recently” said Owens "and we are in the ball parks with some Saturday night is the deadline for the interleague trading period with the American League and I'm concentrating on those clubs right now.”