Atlantic City Press - March 28, 1980

Schmidt Wallops Fifth Home Run


CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Mike Schmidt's fifth home run of spring training combined with a homer by Garry Maddox in a nine-run fourth inning that propelled the Philadelphia Phillies to a 12-5 win over the Chicago White Sox Thursday. 


The White Sox were ahead 3-0 after three and a half innings. Greg Pryor's second inning double off starter and winner Steve Carlton drove in two runs. 


Loser Richard Wortham had a no-hitter going into the fourth, when Pete Rose hit a single off Wortham's glove. 


Then Garry Maddox reached first as Kevin Bell booted his ground ball, and Schmidt hit a 3-0 pitch to tie the game and collect his 14th RBI in exhibition play. 


The 12-batter inning ended after Maddox came to the plate again, and homered to left with Rose on base. 


Chicago’s Lamar Johnson had a two-run homer in the seventh off pitcher Rawly Eastwick. 


The Phillies lead all National League clubs with a 10-4 spring training record. The White Sox are 8-9.

Only Time Can Tell How Phillies Will Fare


PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Take a look at the Philadelphia Phillies’ roster and you  almost have to conclude that nobody can beat this team over a 162-game haul. 


The Phillies however are a perfect example of that old bromide that you can’t tell a book by its cover.


Manager Dallas Green has more ifs than a guy reading a racing form.


The Phillies’ first eight look solid. Barring injury the starting infield of catcher Bob Boone, first baseman Pete Rose, second baseman Manny Trillo, shortstop Larry Bowa and third baseman Mike Schmidt, and an outfield of Greg Luzinski, Garry Maddox and Bake McBride appear as good as any in baseball.


Boone is the only suspect in the group He’s coming off knee surgery, didn't play in the first half of the spring training schedule, and although he claims he can do everything, he's still not 100 percent. Boone is even more important in that his backup is rookie Keith Moreland, a great prospect, but nonetheless a rookie.


And Green insists he plans to carry only two catchers. Tim McCarver was forced into retirement and Dave Rader will be dropped in one way or another.


The Phillies, after winning three consecutive National League East titles, slumped to fourth last year, prompting the firing of manager Danny Ozark with 30 games remaining. Green took over, and was reappointed for 1980. 


It really wasn't Ozark’s fault. The team was decimated by injuries.


Bowa broke a thumb, Trillo a bone in his throwing forearm, Luzinski pulled a thigh muscle, McBride played 40 games on a game knee, Schmidt played hurt. Most devastating was the breakup of the pitching staff. 


It all started with righthander Larry Christenson breaking a collarbone during a charity bike marathon in February 1979. Righthander Dick Ruthven came out of spring training with an aching elbow and lasted until May. Lefthander Randy Lerch broke his right wrist. Righthander Nino Espinosa developed tendonitis in his pitching shoulder. Reliever Warren Brusstar was lost the entire season. 


All teams, of course, have injuries, but the Phils would have good reason to doubt any team was this crippled. 


Rose, who was signed as a free agent after playing out his option at Cincinnati and handed a figure estimated at $800,000 and up over four years, did everything that was expected of him despite his 38 years. He was the league’s second best batter at .331, had a 23-game hitting streak, struck 200 hits for the 10th time, a major league record. He drew fans like a magnet. 


If Rose failed in any of the Phillies’ expectations, it was an ability to excite a team that generally is considered lethargic. He says he didn’t come to Philadelphia to lead, bit to perform.  If his performance provided leadership that would have been a plus.


Although Rose is a unique athlete, the manager has to wonder what he’ll get from this future Hall of Fame player at age 39. Trillo still is bothered by the forearm. Can a Luzinski, who lost 25 pounds and has pounded the ball in spring training, regain his powerful game? 


Most important, what can Green expect from his pitchers? 


Ruthven had 10 chips removed from his pitching elbow and appears over a back ailment, but he hasn’t looked exciting in spring training. Espinosa still is bothered with tendonitis and hasn’t been able to throw through a pane of glass.

Espinosa’s Shoulder Worries Phils


CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) – The Philadelphia Phillies are concerned, but not alarmed, about the continuing pain in the shoulder of Nino Espinosa, their second winningest pitcher last year. 


It’s not as if the 26-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic injured the shoulder yesterday. It happened at the end of last season, and Espinosa still has that twinge that every pitcher fears. 


Manager Dallas Green has this to say about Espinosa: “We had him in Philadelphia in December… the doctor looked at him. We just are concerned that this could be a very serious problem if we let it.” 


Green said he was determined not to rush Espinosa in spring training to the point where it would permanently damage his arm. “I am satisfied with his progress… he’s on a program that we think will get him ready by opening day and that's all I'm concerned about." 


Espinosa, meanwhile, hadn't thrown a ball in anger halfway through spring training. 


Green finally trotted him out March 25 in a B game to see what Espinosa could do. It wasn't much. He threw lollipops.


Espinosa still insisted he would be ready by the time the season opened. He didn’t, however, convince Green or team physician Dr. Phillip Marone, who admitted he didn’t have a diagnosis on Espinosa’s problem. 


“Right now we're trying to work my shoulder real slow,” Espinosa said. “I’m trying to get to the point where I can throw the ball hard and free and don’t feel anything in mv shoulder.” 


Espinosa said he developed the pain after former Phils Manager Danny Ozark was forced to use him every third instead of fourth day because of injuries to the rest of the staff.