Wilmington Morning News - March 7, 1980
Rumbles from Phils’ dugout
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Phillies' first Grapefruit League game is a week away, but already you can hear some rumblings in the clubhouse about Manager Dallas Green's proposed batting order.
Shortstop Larry Bowa, of course, is the most vocal. Bowa, who prefers to bat second, is being moved to the No. 8 position.
"Sure, I'd rather hit second," said Bowa, "but I'm getting psyched to bat eighth. I'll be OK."
Most of the other regulars are taking a wait-and-see approach to Green's order.
Unless there is a trade or some other development, Pete Rose will lead off and play first base. Manny Trillo will take over Bowa's second spot and play second base. The prestigious third spot will remain flexible. Against most pitchers, Bake McBride or Greg Gross will hit there and play right field.
But against certain tough left-handers, Green plans to move center fielder Garry Maddox up from the sixth hole.
Third baseman Mike Schmidt will bat cleanup, with left fielder Greg Luzinski fifth. Catcher Bob Boone will come out of the seventh hole, with Bowa eighth.
"I think there are some advantages and disadvantages to Manny Trillo hitting second," said Bowa. "The advantages are that it will be easy for a pitcher to bunt me over to second. It does not have to be a blueprint bunt.
"Really, though, I think there are more disadvantages. One is that I'm not going to be able to steal with two outs and the pitcher batting because you don't want the pitcher leading off the next inning if I get caught.
"With fewer than two outs, if I steal, the right-handed pitcher would probably walk Pete Rose to get to Manny Trillo. If I hit eighth, Pete will get a lot more walks. Another consideration is the lack of speed at the top of the line-up with Pete and Manny."
"I know Bowa is screaming and yelling and I can well understand that," said Green. "But I think Manny is an ideal second-slot hitter and fits into the hit-and-run type offense I want."
It has already been a tough spring for Bowa. He s upset about his salary compared to other shortstops in the National League and now has to adjust to the eighth spot in the line-up.
Privately, Green is concerned about Bowa's current temperament, but is not about to change his thinking as far as the batting order is concerned.
A year ago, when the Phillies landed Rose, he started the season batting first. After only a few games Manager Danny Ozark dropped him to third.
"Rose is the best leadof f hitter I have ever seen as far as getting on base is concerned," said Green. "He reminds me a lot of Richie Ashburn. He'll get his 200 hits and hundred walks."
Green admits the right-field situation could still change before the season opens. There is still the possibility the Phils will trade for a pitcher and McBride's name keeps coming up, although Bake wants to remain with the Phils. If he goes, however, left-handed Gross and right-handed rookie Lonnie Smith would share right field.
"I know what Dallas wants," said Bowa. "He believes Manny will be good at batting second because he hits the ball naturally to right field easier than I do. He has what's called an inside-out swing and that will enable Dallas to work the hit-and-run at the top of the order."
"That's it exactly," said the manager. "Because I want to play an aggressive game, I've got to have guys in there who can do what I expect of them in those slots.
"Naturally, we'd like to jam the top part of the order with speed, but at the same time if we're going to play hit-and-run, you don't have to have that great speed up there. Pete stole 20 bases last year and a lot of them were on the second half of the hit-and-run. We'll run a lot. I believe in taking the ball game to the other team; I don't believe in sitting back and waiting for home runs."
EXTRA POINTS – Rookie pitcher Marty Bystrom aggravated his pulled groin muscle two days ago and came to yesterday's workout on crutches... Pitcher Larry Christenson is sporting a beard... Before Green thinks seriously about platooning McBride in right field, he should be aware that the Baker hit .343 against left-handed pitching.