Camden Courier-Post - March 5, 1980
Carlton makes silent statement
By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post
CLEARWATER, Fla. – More than a dozen Phillies pitchers lined up along the left field foul line on Field No. 2 at Carpenter Complex.
On a signal from flexibility expert Gus Hoefling, the group sprinted into center field, rested a moment, then sprinted back. The pattern was repeated over and over. Back and forth they went... six, seven, eight times, and then some more.
While all this was going on yesterday, Steve Carlton stood near the fence behind the foul line, practicing his golf swing with a baseball bat. Carlton, as dedicated a non-runner as he is a non-talker, ironed out a few wrinkles in his stroke, then left the field, stopping to sign a few autographs before ducking into the club house.
So it was that, on the first day of the Phillies' 1980 spring training camp, Steve Carlton made a silent statement. His stand showed all who cared to watch that his training program, which has never included wind sprints in the past, would not include them now.
Whether or not Carlton runs with the other pitchers is not as big an issue now as it was during the off-season, when Manager Dallas Green said he felt it would be "important" for Carlton to join the other pitchers in running.
"Lefty and I have talked about it," Green said, "and I challenge anybody to do what Lefty does, go through the (training) program Lefty goes through. I've tried it and I can't do it."
In truth, Green must bear some responsibility for calling attention to the fact Carlton does not run. After all. Green did say he thought it would be "important" for Carlton to run, implying that he would have been happier if his lefthander had compromised for the benefit of Green's -programs.
"I've asked him to enter into our programs," said Green. "I'm a believer in running, but I'm not a drill sergeant. Lefty has some thoughts about our programs. He also has some thoughts about why he's so vehement about not running."
Less significance might have been attached to Carlton's failure to join the other players in wind sprints on the first day of camp had it not been for some stories about his negative influence that surfaced last year.
Carlton was blamed for undercutting what little discipline former Manager Danny Ozark maintained by refusing to run. It was said Carlton influenced the younger pitchers into skipping their required running.
It is true that Ozark allowing Carlton to go his own way was perceived as an erosion of discipline by many of the players. But Carlton perhaps has taken a bad rap about the amount of influence he held on the younger pitchers. In all honesty, even if Carlton did undercut Ozark, the other pitchers should have been mature enough to know whether to run – for their own good.
That's why Green has no intention of confronting Carlton with a demand that Carlton begin running with the others.
"It would be different in my mind if Lefty wasn't in shape, or couldn't get in shape," Green said. "He does everything else. He bunted, did field exercises, did some (distance) running and shagged flies. What else do you want him to do?"
The heart pf the matter has little to do, really, with the shape Carlton is in. It has everything to do with winning. Carlton has been the best lefthander in the game, winning more than 20 games four times – taking the Cy Young Award twice – by following his own demanding program.
Indeed, without running, Carlton won 18 games for a team that finished in fourth place in the National League's Eastern Division a year ago. Included in those victories were two one-hitters and a 5-0 September.
There's little doubt that, if Carlton were coming off an 18-loss season, Green would have him running with everybody else. But an exception can be made for a man who has averaged more than 19 wins over the last four years.
It all comes down to this: You cannot argue with success. Which is something Green has no intention of doing.
Miller gets baseball strike resolution
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Armed with a resolution directing him to seek strike authorization if a new contract is not reached by the start of the season, Marvin Miller, executive director of baseball's Players Association, today resumed talks with Ray Grebey, chief negotiator for management.
Miller met for nearly five hours yesterday with the executive board of the players association, briefing them on what he considers a lack of progress through 23 negotiating sessions over a period of 16 weeks.
"In that period of time, you should have narrowed the issues," said Miller. "Normally, it is not a difficult matter to say, 'Here is where we are.' I can't do that at this point. There are no agreements pn anything. It's almost like the first week."
THAT WAS the essence of his report to the union's executive board and the result was the authorization for possible strike action.
The players board will convene another meeting April 1 in Dallas to consider further action. Miller said that if the action is ratified by the players on the 26 major league teams, it would be taken after April 1. The season is scheduled to begin April 9.
Grebey said he had no immediate comment on the action of the players, but he disagreed with Miller's assessment of lack of progress.
"I THINK the bargaining sessions have been very productive," he said. "Both sides have exchanged proposals and ideas. I think there is no need for any concern at this time."
Miller said his group remains hopeful that an agreement can be worked out.
The union chief pointed to record attendance levels and television income enjoyed by baseball since the last basic agreement was signed in July, 1976.
"AGAINST this background, it is not appropriate for management to try and turn back the clock and cut," he said.
Among the cuts from Miller's point of view is the owners' attempt to impose a salary scale for the first six years of a player's major league career. It was learned that the management scale proposal starts at $40,600 for a player with less than one year of service and increased through the next five years to $53,000, $69,200, $90,300, $117,700 and $153,600.
The players argue that imposing such a scale would keep the salaries of stars on a par with that of fringe players through the early years of their careers. Miller said it would reduce salaries by approximately 30 percent.
MANAGEMENT also wants major league player compensation for free agents signed by other teams, a move the players feel would severely limit the reentry marketplace.
"It would open the door for practical elimination of free agency," Miller said.
Currently compensation is in the form of amateur draft choices.
So far the negotiation scenario is similar to the one followed in 1972 when baseball endured the only general strike in its history. That year, Miller briefed the players in early March on the lack of progress in pension talks and a March 31 meeting in Dallas authorized a walkout. Players struck for 13 days that year and 86 games were postponed and never made up.