Reading Eagle - May 20, 1980
Phils Make Plans To Be Occupied
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Some of the Philadelphia Phillies say they’ll stay in shape by working out and some plan to work at other jobs if there is a Major League baseball strike at midnight Thursday.
Although negotiations between the Major League Players Association and Major League baseball’s Player Relations Committee are to resume Wednesday, Phillies’ players aren’t optimistic that anything will be accomplished.
Shortstop Larry Bowa, the Phillies’ player representative, spoke about the situation Monday night.
“It (the strike) looks inevitable. I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel unless it is a locomotive coming our way.”
An informal poll on what the players plan to do in the event of a strike brought these comments:
Bowa: “It would be stupidity for me to put my glove and bat down and say the heck with it. I’ll go somewhere and try to organize workouts even if I have to buy bats, balls and gloves. But there are a lot of guys who don’t want to do it.”
Outfielder Bake McBride: “I’m going home (to St. Louis) and work out and stay in shape. Financially, I’m okay although I might get a little job just to keep busy. It will be nice to be home with the kids for a while. It’s been a long time since I’ve spent part of the summer with them.”
Pitcher Ron Reed: “I’ll stay around here (Philadelphia) and see how long it’s going to last. Three or four days would be long enough I think. Then I’ll go home to Georgia. I have business interests there and I can work a little closer with them.”
Pitcher Dick Ruthven: “I’ll do my best to stay in shape. I’m not going anywhere. I’ve got a lot of things to do around the house. I don’t want this thing (the strike), but the owners are not giving us a choice. I’m behind the Players Association 100 percent.”
Outfielder Greg Luzinski: “I’ll do some public relations work for a meat company for which I work part time in the off-season. I visit accounts and try to promote sales in New York and Philadelphia.”
First baseman Pete Rose: “I’ll find some way to stay in shape, but I don’t think there will be a strike. I have enough faith in baseball to believe that… If the owners don’t think the players are serious they are making a mistake. I know the players thing the owners are serious… I’m disappointed because they knew this thing was going to happen last December and didn’t even start to do anything about it until February.”
Third baseman Mike Schmidt: “I’ll work in my yard… but I don’t make enough working in my yard. I hope it doesn’t last long.”
Rose Still Blooms, Deceives Redlegs
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Just two weeks ago some people were burying Pete Rose as a major league player.
The 39-year-old Rose was hitting .203, bouncing into rally killing plays. Had he really lost his magic touch.
It seems reports of Rose’s demise as the Hall of Fame player he’s a cinch to become were exaggerated.
Rose now is hitting .269, and doing those little things that separate him from the ordinary player.
Phillies’ manager Dallas Green put it succinctly following Philadelphia’s 6-4 victory Monday night over the Cincinnati Reds when he said, “Pete Rose can make things happen. He hasn’t forgotten how to do it.”
The Phillies trailed the Reds 4-2 starting the last of the seventh inning Monday night. The first two batters were retired by Cincinnati pitcher Frank Pastore.
Then it happened. Pastore got two strikes on each of the next four batters and couldn’t get one of them out. Two hit doubles, two hit singles, and before long the Phillies led 5-4.
The winning run, however, was a typical Rose production. The score was tied 4-4. Rose was on first. Bake McBride was the batter. The count was three balls and two strikes.
As Pastore pitched, Rose broke from first and was around second headed for third as the ball bounced into right field for McBride’s third hit of the night.
Everybody in the ballpark figured Rose would stop at third. Well, not everybody. Rose didn’t.
‘The key was looking over my shoulder, seeing the relay short hopped by the shortstop, and noting the throw didn’t have much juice on it. I knew I could score.”
And he did.
The Phillies led 5-4, and when Greg Luzinski smashed his eighth home run an inning later it made the score 6-4. Steve Carlton, who went seven innings before leaving for a pinch-hitter, had his seventh win in nine decisions and first over Cincinnati since May 11, 1978.
“Pete Rose makes things happen,” Green repeated. “That’s his gamble. He knows when to take it. He’s going to score that run. Watching him play makes me feel like a fan. He gets me excited. He gets the club excited.”
The Reds weren’t excited. They were angry with themselves. They let Rose beat them with alert running, but shoddy fielding was involved. Cincinnati let in a run earlier because of poor communication between players.
“We knew before the season that if we were to win we could not afford to beat ourselves,” said Reds’ catcher Johnny Bench. “We beat ourselves tonight.”
The Phillies led this game 2-0 in the third inning when Manny Trillo and Carlton opened with singles. Rose singled across Trillo, and Carlton tallied on McBride’s second of three hits.
Bench tied it in the fourth with one mighty swing, a home run after a Ray Knight single in the fourth. It was Bench’s 15th in Veterans Stadium, high for a visiting player.
In the sixth, Knight doubled with one out and Bench was intentionally walked. A fielder’s choice, then singles by Rick Auerbach and Pastore accounted for two runs and a 4-2 Reds lead.
But in the seventh, with two out, Trillo doubled and scored on pinch-hitter Del Unser’s double. Rose singled home Unser to tie the game. Then came his dash from first to home and the Phillies were ahead.
What pleased Rose most and disturbed Pastore (4-2) was that each of those four hitters in the seventh had two strikes before they got the base hits.
“The ball to Trillo was a fastball in the middle of the plate,” said Pastore. “That’s inexcusable. I feel poorly about that.”
Strike Nears; Money Small Issue
NEW YORK (AP) – Baseball faces a potentially disastrous player strike at midnight Thursday over stalled contract negotiations, but the issues aren’t the traditional ones usually found in a labor-management showdown.
Salaries and money are not at the heart of the current disagreement. The basic collective bargaining agreement over which the two sides are squabbling sets down the conditions of employment but does not deal with player salaries except for the minimum each major leaguer must be paid. In the agreement signed in July 1976, the minimum salary was set at $19,000 for that season and 1977 and moved to $21,000 for 1978 and 1979. That item is the only one in the basic agreement dealing directly with money.
Individual player salaries are negotiated between players and their clubs and are not a strike issue. There are almost as many contract variations as there are major league performers. Some players are paid over the 178-day season. Others prefer a 12-month salary arrangement and some even take their entire salary in a single payment at the start of the year.
Some players have built-in strike protection in their contracts with clauses that call for them to continue to be paid in the event of a player walkout. Pete Rose of the Philadelphia Phillies and Rod Carew of the California Angels reportedly have such agreements.
Also protected during the strike are the major league umpires, who will continue to be paid even though they are not working. That provision was included in the settlement of their seven-week strike last season.
Managers and coaches share in the pension benefits of the players association but are not members of the union. Ostensibly, they will continue drawing their salaries as will other front office personnel.
Negotiators are near agreement on most but not all of the matters dealt with in the basic agreement. Those issues, besides minimum salary, include player pensions, health and safety questions, salary arbitration language, the disciplinary system and other similar items.
The issue over which the two sides are deadlocked is compensation for free agents. That simply is a demand by the owners that they receive replacement players for free agents who sigh with other teams. The players fear that agreeing to such a provision would put a significant dent in the free agent system and reduce player movement to trade arrangements. Specifically, they fear any limits on their free agency.
Federal mediator Kenneth Moffett will make one more effort to break the deadlock Wednesday when he summons the two sides back to the bargaining table, 34 hours before the strike deadline of midnight Thursday.
Only once before in the history of baseball has the game had a general strike. That was in 1972 when the start of the season was delayed 13 days and 86 games were canceled because of a walkout over pension and health plan improvements.