Green Mines Phillies For Cubs

Phillies General Manager Paul Owens appeared to be pleased with the job he did as field manager to end the 1983 season, and why not? They won the Division and got to the World’s Series didn’t they? He chose himself to give it another try for 1984. His Wheeze Kids were all gone, so he had some adjustments to make. He had a hot shot rookie, named Juan Samuel to handle second base, and he still had Schmitty at third. Okay, Lefty was slowing down, but he had a Cy Young winner in John Denny, and he decided to take a shot at 42-year-old Jerry Koosman, as another lefty to go with Carlton. For a while, it looked like it might work; heading into August, Owens had his guys in contention, just 3 ½ games back of the front-running Cubs.

The Cubs? Where did that come from? The 1983 Cubs lost 91 games and barely beat out the last-place Mets. The Cubs’ resurgence came mainly from Philadelphia. When Dallas Green left the Phillies to take over the Cubs after the 1981 season, it didn’t take him long to deal for what he saw as the best Phillies available for his new team in the Windy City. The opening day lineup for the 1984 Cubs included six players recently acquired from the Phillies, including pitcher Dick Ruthven. The other five were: Larry Bowa, SS; Ryne Sandberg, 2B, and the entire outfield – Gary Matthews, LF; Bob Dernier CF, and Keith Moreland, RF. Other former Phillies on the Cubs’ 25-man roster were Jay Johnstone, Richie Hebner, and pitchers Warren Brusstar, and Dickie Noles.

Owens’ Phillies faded badly in September, but there was no catching the Cubs who caught fire after Dallas Green dealt for Rick Sutcliff who went 16-1 from June 19 to win the Cy Young Award. The Cubs won the Division, but lost to San Diego in the LCS. Sandberg was voted NL MVP.

The Phillies (81-81), finished in fourth place, 15 ½ games back of the Cubs; they ended the season with a nine-game losing streak, including 0-6 against the last place Pirates.

Schmidt led the league in home runs (36), and RBIs (106), but it’s hard to be MVP for a fourth-place team. Juan Samuel hit 15 home runs and stole 72 bases (three behind Montreal’s Tim Raines); he also made 33 errors. Mike Schmidt’s Gold Glove was a little tarnished with his 26 errors, and shortstop Ivan DeJesus wasn’t even in the running with his 29 errors. It was like the 1890s all over again.

By max blue
Bob Dernier, Chicago Cubs, Cy Young Award, Dallas Green, Dick Ruthven, Gary Matthews, Ivan DeJesus, Jay Johnstone, John Denny, Juan Samuel, Keith Moreland, Larry Bowa, Paul Owens, Philadelphia Phillies, Richie Hebner, Rick Sutcliffe, Ryne Sandberg


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