Camden Courier-Post - March 25, 1980
Green to seek out advice of Wine and DeMars
By Ray W. Kelly of the Courier-Post
CLEARWATER, Fla. – Although they haven't received a whole lot of attention this spring, coaches Bobby Wine and Billy DeMars are expected to figure prominently in the Phillies' 1980 season.
The reason is simple. Manager Dallas Green realized as soon as he got to the Phils' dugout at the end of last season that the baseball knowledge of the duo wasn't being utilized.
For, while the players swore by the advice they were getting from either Wine or DeMars, everyone else seemed oblivious to the wealth of insight that remained untapped.
To the fans, DeMars was merely the guy who worked with slumping hitters and always sprinted to his post along the third base line when the Phils came to bat.
Wine's image was that of a former Philly shortstop who played great defense under Gene Mauch and then stayed around after his career ended.
What wasn't known was that Wine spent the majority of his 12 years under Mauch like a guy going to school. He watched the Little General's every move and picked his brain at every opportunity.
"Both Bobby and Billy know their stuff," said Green. "And, I'd be a tool not to take advantage of that fact.
"You see, unlike a lot of managers in this game, I'm not afraid of using my people. I have definite ideas about things, but I also realize I don't know it all. And, I'm not afraid that people might find that out."
Green, already has reserved spots on the Phils' bench this year for the twosome, because Green feels they can help the team (and him) with their opinions more than they can help by directing traffic from the coaching boxes.
In essence, there will be moments during the course of the season that they will be running the show, setting defenses, calling for the hit and run, deciding when to steal.
Make no mistake. Green will remain at the wheel and reserves the right to the final say. A good example of this came during ah exhibition game last week, when Dallas proposed a hit-and-run play on the next pitch. Wine suggested prudence.
"No," said Green. "This team has spent too much time during the last two years waiting around for the home run. I want to change that. To hell with being overly cautious. I'd rather get beat trying to generate something instead of waiting."
Yet, on other occasions, Green admits that he has found himself reversing his thinking when DeMars or Wine come up with some gem of information concerning opposition players around the league.
DeMars has been a people-watcher, ever since the 1940s, when he played with the Philadelphia Athletics and St. Louis Browns before embarking on a 10-year stint with the Baltimore organization as a minor league manager.
Like Wine, Billy was considered a top candidate to succeed former manager Danny Ozark. In all probability, one of them will have the manager's job within the next few years.
They didn't get it this time around because it was felt the team wouldn't respond to someone "close" to them, as Ozark had been. Only Green and General Manager Paul Owens had that kind of clout needed to push the athletes.
So, what the Phils ended up with for 1980 was a manager with muscle and leadership of the highest order, using two of his best strategists to the fullest.
That's not exactly a bargain for coaches. Since managing the Caguas club to the World Series in the 1974 winter baseball league, Wine has not tried to hide his desire to test his talents on the major league level.
This time around, he gets all of the pressure and little of the glory. "What are you going to do?" said Wine with a chuckle. "Sure, I'd like to see how I'd do. But, at this point the main thing is what's best for the team. We just want to win. And, if Billy and I can help that cause by helping Dallas, that's all that counts."
Somehow, you get the feeling that Wine and DeMars are just glad to have someone in authority not only listening to their ideas, but seeking them out.
"I've been in the front office a long time," explained Green. 'Those guys have been down on the field for years. I'm going to remain flexible in my thinking. I won't be afraid to change my mind. Wino and Billy are two of the best assets we have. And, I'm not about to let them go to waste."
If things go right. Green will one day move back into the front office as successor to Owens. And, the first decision he'll have to make as general manager is who will be the manager.
For DeMars and Wine, 1980 could be a banner year.
Owners meet to discuss negotiations
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – It's only coincidental, one baseball executive insisted, but major league club owners meet here today, one day before negotiators resume talks aimed at arriving at a new basic agreement amid a strike threat by the players.
Ray Grebey, chief negotiator for the club owners, and Marvin Miller, executive director of the Players Association, will be meeting for the first time in Arizona after earlier sessions in New York and at the Florida training sites.
timing of today's meeting is coincidental, Gabe Paul, president of the Cleveland Indians said, though he agreed the negotiations will likely be the major topic of the day.
Grebey issued a news release yesterday stating that "the process of collective bargaining is working."
The statement revealed no new or anticipated moves by the owners, but briefly reviewed what Grebey regarded as progress made at the most recent session last week. It also appealed to players to open the baseball season on time whether or not an agreement has been reached.
"Baseball played in 1976 while still negotiating a new basic agreement," Grebey said. "Basketball has done the same thing this season and football once went three years before a new agreement is signed. The fans have a right to expect... our season to open on time."
Grebey especially called attention to players' salaries, which will reach "an estimated average of $150,000 for the 1980 season."
Nonetheless, players from 19 major league teams have already voted by a total of 735-1 to authorize a strike on or after April 1, and Miller this week is expected get continued solid support from the players of the teams training in Arizona.
Some players met Grebey 's statement with skepticism.
"I haven't talked to Marvin in about a week," said Cleveland player representative Wayne Garland. "But I haven't seen anything new from the owners to indicate that things have improved. It sounds like the owners are just trying to say the same thing again: 'We've made a concession, now it's the players' turn.'"
The owners made what they described as major concession last week when they withdrew their proposal of a salary scale for players with less than six years of service. The plan would have given first-year players $50,800 a year, ranging up to $192,000 for six-year veterans.
However, Miller called withdrawal of that scale insignificant, since he said the players never considered it a serious proposal anyway.
Among the major hangups in the talks now, according to Miller, are proposals by the owners that would restrict players with four years of service or less to one year contracts, tightening of salary arbitration guidelines, and an attempt by the owners to get players rather than amateur draft choices as compensation for some players who become free agents."