Doylestown Daily Intelligencer - February 7, 1980

Optimism easy for Phils now

 

By Paul Giordano, Intelligencer Writer

 

TRENTON-Hibernation came to an end. Awakened from a short winter's nap, filled with nightmares of a season to be forgotten, the Phillies came out to play for another day.

 

Dallas Green, Paul Owens, Larry Bowa, Greg Gross, Randy Lerch, Pete Rose, Harry Kalas and Bill Giles started the Phillies annual Public Relations Caravan earlier this week. Trenton was the first bus stop of the scheduled eight-city, four-day tour.

 

It was positive and optimistic. At this time of the year, what else?

 

Bowa, naturally, spoke about the infield and how nice it would be in 1980 to play with everyone at 100 percent. He told of looking forward to seeing Mike Schmidt hitting between 50-60 home runs in the next couple of years, and how Green's added discipline would be a plus.

 

"We got away from discipline last year," Bowa said. "Being professionals, everyone wants a little discipline.  We're going to get that from Dallas Green."

 

Lerch spoke about the pitching, and what a plus it was going to be with everyone free from injury. Giles promised Kiteman's third coming, opening day attraction, would be a successful one. And Owens said: "With a team free of injuries and better pitching, we're going to come back this year and make up for last year's disappointment."

 

Gross talked about the outfield, and the only problem, "not enough outfield positions...would like to see four outfield positions. I'm going to stay around Paul Owens the next four days. I have a lot of trades to tell him about. And I'm pulling for the DH in the National League."

 

Rose's job was to break down the National League East race. "It's the toughest division in baseball," Rose said.  "Four teams are capable of winning it-Pittsburgh, Montreal, St. Louis and the Phillies. Pittsburgh won it last year because everyone had a great year. Can all those guys repeat?

 

"No way in the world can we go through Injuries like we did last year. I see a brighter 1980 for the Phillies."

 

And no way in the world will the Phils finish better than fourth unless they get starting and relief pitching help and a right-handed power hitter coming off the bench.

 

This the Phils hope to accomplish when inter-league trading opens again, running from Feb. 15 through March 15.

 

"We would rather have it from March 1st to April 1st," Owens said. "This gives us more time to see what we have in spring training and what our needs are. We don't like the Feb. 15-March 15 deadline, but we'll have to use It. Anything that wasn't done in the winter meetings can be done then. But then, that doesn't always get done, either.

 

"Naturally, we'll be looking for relief help. We'll talk to other clubs. But it's hard to say what we'll be doing. Other teams are looking for relief and starters, too. There just isn't that much pitching around."

 

And If the Phillies do not make a trade or two, If they go into the 1980 season with a questionable pitching staff and the lack of a right-handed power hitter coming off the bench, Philadelphia fans will come to boo the Phillies In 1980, not praise them.

 

"Boos, though," Rose said, "can be a good thing. They help you as a player. They can wake you up when you're not playing up to your potential. Some players don't like to be criticized, but once In a while, when you're going bad, it doesn't hurt it may help."

 

EXTRA BASES—Dallas Green said he is not counting on Warren Brusstar (missed all of last season with shoulder injury). "I'm not counting on Warren Brusstar," Green said. "I don't want to count on him and put added pressure on him to get ready for the coming season. It we get him back It will be a super plus....Seating capacity at Veterans Stadium has been Increased to 64,976 for baseball, second only in the majors to Cleveland's Municipal Stadium....It was a boy, Erik Scot, for Dick and Sue Ruthven, on Dec. 22....Phils are looking for high school marching bands of at least 100 members to perform prior to Phillies games.