Atlantic City Press - March 21, 1980

Christenson Hurt, Fidrych Ailing, Phils Powder Tigers


Phila. 10, Detroit 4


LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) – Philadelphia catcher Keith Moreland drove in three runs on three hits, including a solo homer, as the Phillies blasted Detroit 10-4 in exhibition baseball Thursday. 


The main concern for both clubs, however was that Detroit starter Mark "The Bird” Fidrych and Phillies starter Larry Christenson each had to leave the game with injuries. 


Fidrych was pulled after 2⅓ innings when a muscle under his right arm tightened up. Fidrych said the stiffness was unrelated to previous arm and shoulder problems that have rendered him ineffective for most of the past three years.


Christenson had to be carried off on a stretcher in the third inning when a screaming liner off the bat of Jason Thompson caught him behind the left knee. X-rays at a Lakeland clinic showed no fracture, however, and Christenson returned to Clearwater on the Phillies’ team bus.


Team trainer Don Seger said the 26-year-old righthander suffered a very bad bruise. His next scheduled start is Tuesday, but a Phillies spokesman said it is not certain he will be able to pitch.


Last year, Christenson broke his collar bone when he fell during a pre-season charity bicycle marathon. He didn't pitch until May 12. 


Less than two months later, he returned to the disabled list with a groin pull. He underwent surgery in mid-September for the removal of a bone spur in his right collarbone area.


He had a 5-10 record last year.


Thursday was his second outing this spring. He pitched three innings and gave up two hits in a 4-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday. 


Pete Rose doubled with the bases loaded and drove in three runs to key a four-run Phillies second inning as Fidrych, 0-3, clearly had nothing on the ball.


Moreland stroked his homer in the fourth and the Phillies got three more in the fifth — all off Detroit reliever John Hiller.


The Phillies got their last two runs in the sixth off Detroit’s Dave Tobik.

On and Off Field, Rose Is the Same


CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) – Pete Rose has this way about him of getting to the point. He has the same personality off the field as he has between the lines.


Throw him a pitch and he'll try to rip a basehit. Throw him a question and he'll try to give you an answer that makes sense.


Rose will be 39 years old next month, and he was asked how, after 17 years, he maintained his enthusiasm toward the game that has made the Philadelphia Phillies’ first baseman a rich man. 


"One reason is $900,000 a year," Rose said. “You got to look at it that way. That's a big reason. I mean, not that money makes you excel or anything like that, but… who knows how long its going to last for me." 


If you watched the 203-pound Rose perform for the Phillies last year, even in this era of inflated salaries for athletes, you had to believe he earned his money. At 38, Rose played like a kid. He did everything expected of him as an individual.


Rose drew fans into the ball park. He hit .331, second highest in the National League. He became the first player in major league history to collect 200 hits in 10 seasons. He put together a 23-game hitting streak. He hustled to the last out of a disappointing season for the team, which finished fourth in the NL East. 


If Rose didn't reach the expectations of his bosses in any area, it was in the intangible quality referred to as leadership. 


Rose was asked if this leadership monkey placed on his back before he ever put on a Philadelphia uniform was an overreaction. 


"Yeah, I don't think that because how many hits you got, or how much money you make, or how many positions you made the All-Star team makes you a leader," Rose said. 


"I think that leadership comes out of respect from your peers, and I didn't expect to come over to Philadelphia and step in and be a field leader. I don't think you can do that.” 


Rose said that he had to gain respect from his teammates for what he did last season, not his past history. He insists that although it is not his goal to be a leader, if that's his lot, he has a better shot this year than he had last, because all the players knew about him then was what they had read. 


"Now they know about me what they saw,” Rose explained. “I’ve always been a firm believer in do as I do, not do as I say, because we all know the right way to say it… They saw me do it through a lot of pressure, so if that means leadership (this year) the players will have to decide.” 


Almost every year Rose is chasing another all-time or National League record. He's in the top 15 in such categories as games played, at bats, runs, hits, singles, doubles, total bases.


The big one still within his grasp is exceeding Stan Musial’s all-time National League mark of 3,630 hits, third best in major league history behind Ty Cobb (4,191) and Hank Aaron (3,771). Rose has 3,372. 


"I think realistically you have to think a little more about Musial than Cobb,” Rose said. “It’s not impossible (to catch Cobb), but it’s improbable. There is no question I could do it if I played 24 years like he did. But what’s my chances of playing seven more years… Musial is well within reach. If I get 85 hits a year for the next three years of my contract, I'm going to get that. 


“You know when you talk about records there are little records that mean more to me,” Rose declared. 


“You look at my records and I'm proud of the fact that I've averaged more games played per year, have more 600 at bat years than any other player, my defensive record in the outfield… those that add to durability and consistency. They're the things that make me proud.”