Doylestown Daily Intelligencer - February 5, 1980
Phillies will work hard under Green this year
By Paul Giordano, Intelligencer Writer
TRENTON-There will be no competition for the Phillies this season. Fourth place is theirs to have and to hold. Until pitching and a right-handed power hitter coming off the bench they do acquire.
That's one man's opinion.
For Dallas Green, though, it's first place, the very top. In his first full season as Phils' manager, Green is looking ahead with rose-colored glasses to what he calls the season of "repair and prepare." That's what he said during the Phillies' winter caravan stop here on Monday.
Repair, surgically, there's Dick Ruthven's elbow, Larry Chrlstenson's collarbone and Bob Boone's knee. Scratch Warren Brusstar for the time being. Then there's Garry Maddox's ribs, Mike Schmidt's hamstring, Greg Luzinski’s thigh, Tug McGraw's arm, Manny Trillo's hand and Randy Lerch's wrist. All, supposedly, ready to go.
"Ruthven's elbow seems to be smooth," Green said. "The doctors are satisfied. The thing came out clean as far as we know. Boone's been working out every day rehabilitating his knee."
Prepare - Green has the start of 1980 mapped out like Rommel's West African campaign. He has also set aside 10 days prior to spring training for what he calls his "Crippled Camp." This is where he plans on bringing the surgically-mended down to Clearwater to see where who if going and how before the real action begins. Then, the real action.
"I already have spring training planned in my mind," Green said. "The first 10 days already down on paper...a lot of fundamental work, a lot of physical work.
"There's 37 days in spring training," Green said at yesterday's Public Relations Caravan bus stop at the Elks Lodge. "The first 11 days will be spent on conditioning, brush-up on fundamental work.
"The next 10 will be game work, starting to look at younger players and evaluate our personnel. The final
10 we’ll work on National League plays that we’ll use during the season, how we’re going to handle them.”
"Discipline comes in different forms," Green said. "I'm not a cop. I'm out there to direct their baseball lives. The mam thing is to knock out the I business in Philadelphia. It's time we start thinking about WE. We're going to do it our way."
"Our way" may be a little difficult to put down at the beginning. Too many of the players, under Danny Ozark, became accustomed to doing things on his own, especially the pitchers when it came to everyday running.
"I'm from the old school and I strongly believe in pitchers running," Green said. "And that's the way it's going to be."
Steve Carlton running? It has to be seen to be believed.
"I intend to talk to Steve and tell him eye-to-eye what I want," Green said. "Look, Steve Carlton is one of the best-conditioned pitchers in baseball. But he has his own program (Gus Hoefling's strength and stretching program).
"Most of our pitchers can't handle that program. Not too many people can. We can't get all our pitchers to do Steve Carlton's program, so we'll get Steve Carlton to do our program."
Ah yes, all ahead go. That is, if there is a spring training. The Players Association and owners have yet to reach a new agreement. And according to latest reports are miles apart. Then what happens to all of Green's plans?
"I never look at the negative side of things," Green said. "If that happens I'll go to another plan."
Larry Bowa said there will not be a strike. "If we had to decide right now," Bowa said on Monday, "we'd go to spring training. I think all the players feel this way. ..open camp and negotiate during spring training."
No, there will not be a players strike. However, there may be an owners' lockout. And from what was learned yesterday, the owners are scheduled for an important meeting, Thursday.
You see, the players can go into spring training unsigned and still hold two pressure points. They can hold the gun to the owners' heads on opening day of the regular season, or for the All-Star game. It would really hit the owners very hard in the pocketbook.
On the other hand, the owners only pressure point Is to delay the opening of training camp until an agreement is reached.
"Most problems have been created by the owners and their generosity," Pete Rose said. "The players never asked for anything. They're the ones who started together as a group rather than worry what happens to the players.
"When I first came up you got paid on what you did the year before. Now you're paid on what you're going to do in 1982-883. 1 don't know what's going to happen next."
Who does? And In case you didn't know, the average player's salary for 1979 was $121,000.
But that's another story. This one's about "repair and prepare," and the fourth-place 1980 Phillies. Case closed.