Atlantic City Press - March 20, 1980

Phils’ Boone In Good Form


CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) – Philadelphia Phillies catcher Bob Boone Wednesday played in his first game since tearing ligaments in his left knee against the New York Mets last Sept. 13. 


Boone caught the first three innings in an 11-1 exhibition game over the Montreal Expos. 


Boone, 32, who underwent surgery and spent the winter in a strenuous rehabilitation program, doubled in his first turn at bat against Montreal pitcher Ross Grimsley. 


The seven-year major league veteran showed no signs of the injury that threatened his career as a regular catcher. It was his second time in knee surgery. His right knee was operated on after the 1977 season. 


Boone hit .286 with nine home runs and 58 RBI in 119 games last season, and started for the National League All-Star team. 


His health is an important ingredient in the Phillies hopes of regaining the National League East division championship. Manager Dallas Green plans to carry only two catchers, and it appears Boone’s backup will be rookie Keith Moreland, a promising young receiver with only 15 games of major league experience. 


"I felt fine," said Boone after being lifted from the game following the third inning. "It was nice to hit in a game situation.” 


The Phillies had been bringing along their first string catcher very cautiously. This was the sixth exhibition game of the 1980 spring training camp and Boone is expected to work briefly for another week or 10 days and be ready to go the full nine innings the last week of camp. 


Asked why he started Wednesday, Boone replied, “It was their (the Phillies’) decision. I've been ready to go.” 


The catcher insisted that he had no qualms or worries and that he could have played longer against the Expos. 


"If the season opened tomorrow, I'd be ready.” Boone said. 


Boone, however, admitted that he wasn’t completely comfortable squatting behind the plate to receive the pitches from starter Randy Lerch. 


Boone said that his one problem was that he couldn't put as much weight on his left knee as he could on the right. 


"I get in the squatting position, but I can't hold it as long,” Boone explained. "It's sort of like warming a pitcher up on the sidelines. You sit in that squat position for 15 or 30 minutes. Now I get that same feeling as soon as I get down.” 


Boone, who won his second consecutive Gold Glove last year for his ability behind the plate, added that the important thing was that the operation and his tough rehabilitation program produced positive results.

Luzinski, Schmidt Lead Rout of Expos


CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski led a 16-hit attack as the Philadelphia Phillies buried the Montreal Expos 11-1 Wednesday in a spring exhibition game. 


Schmidt had three hits including his second homer of the spring, drove in three runs and scored three times. 


Luzinski also had three hits with two RBIs and two runs scored. 


Starter and loser Ross Grimsley was shelled for 14 hits and all 11 runs in 3⅓ innings.


Catcher Bob Boone added a two-run double in his first appearance. That and Schmidt's homer to right field got the Phils off to a 3-0 start in the first inning.


In the fourth, 11 Phillies collected six runs on six hits, a walk and an error. 


The Phillies are 4-2 this spring, while the Expos dropped to 5-3.

Yankees, Angels Good Bet?


LAS VEGAS (AP) — The New York Yankees and the California Angels are 3-1 favorites to win the American League pennant, while the Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates are picked to win the National League flag, according to Las Vegas oddsmaker Bob Martin. 


Martin, who has offered betting lines on virtually everything from Academy Award favorites to when Los Angeles will be hit by an earthquake, said Tuesday he favors the Yankees and the Angels over the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals, who are both 4-1 to win the pennant.


The Pirates and the Dodgers were each made 3-1 favorites to win the pennant in the National League, followed by the Houston Astros and Montreal Expos at 4-1.


In the National League, the Cincinnati Reds were rated 5-1, followed at 6-1 by the Philadelphia Phillies.