Philadelphia Daily News - March 15, 1980

Blame Phils’ Loss on the Sun


By Bill Conlin


CLEARWATER Lonnie Smith went 4-for-4, stole three bases and played a high fly to center like a fighter pilot trying to locate a bandit coming at him out of the sun.


To quote Joe Louis, he can run, but he can't hide.


"When he puts his (sun) glasses on out there, I'll be more pleased," Dallas Green said after the Phillies opened the exhibition season with a 2-1 loss to Sparky Anderson's young Tigers at Jack Russell Stadium. "That's the toughest center field in Florida to play."


Smith, who hit.330 at Oklahoma City last season, was even more impressive with his legs than he was with a bat that cracked four clean singles. On his first steal, Lonnie beat catch--er Steve Wockenfuss despite spinning his wheels in the soft track. On the next two, he outran outstanding throws."


THAT'S THE TYPE offense fans can expect out of him and what I expect out of him," Green said after Steve Carlton, rook ie Scott Munninghoff, Doug Bird, Burke Suter and Ron Reed held the Tigers to six hits, four of them and one run off Carlton. "I think he'll have a little better idea about sunglasses out there by tomorrow morning. Ah, the kid is having some problems right now. His wife is due and this is the first time he's been away from her any length of time. And this is the most important spring training of his career."


A routine fly by Wockenfuss, which dropped in when Smith lost it in the sun, cost Munninghoff the winning run in the third inning. But the righthander, who was at Reading last summer, pitched three impressive innings, allowing two hits, walking none and striking out three with a good sinking fastball.


The Phillies got their run in the sixth, courtesy of an old, established firm. Mike Schmidt fired a double to right and scored on a flared single to the same field by slim, trim, bespectacled Greg Luzinski.


"I figure we're gonna win more 2-1 games than we lose," said Green, who started irregulars Keith Moreland, Greg Gross, Smith and second baseman Luis Aguayo. "I was pleased with the pitching, particularly Munninghoff and Doug Bird. That's the best I've seen Bird throw the ball since he's been here."


Meanwhile, Lonnie Smith can expect to find sunglasses prominently displayed in his locker today.


PHILUPS – Paul Owens said the Orioles are "a little high" in their demand for utility infielder Billy Smith, hopes they will come down by tonight's interleague trade deadline. Dallas Green doesn't seem particularly concerned. When asked what Billy Smith could do for the Phils that Luis Aguayo couldn't the manager said, "I'm beginning to wonder; I've never sold Aguayo short."... The Pope said three National League clubs have expressed preliminary interest in Garry Maddox. He refused to name them, but said he expects them to be joined by the Dodgers.