Manny Trillo and Larry Bowa leaned back in their chairs in a suite-level cafeteria and allowed themselves to drift back 31 years.
It was a muggy Saturday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park and Trillo’s eyes still bore the bleary reflection of emotion, the result of seeing his plaque unveiled on the Phillies’ Wall of Fame. The franchise’s annual celebration of its past is always an opportunity for members of the 1980 squad to reunite and reminisce about one of the most magical years in the history of Philadelphia sports. Trillo was the ninth member of that World Series-winning team to see his name immortalized on the red brick wall in center field, with Bowa also among the group.
For members of that team, the weekend does not always pass without a wave of regret. The year after the Phillies knocked off the Royals to win the organization’s first World Series title, the team saw its title defense interrupted by a players’ strike, a development that many members of the team blame for their failure to repeat. When the work stoppage began on June 12, the Phillies were 34-21 with a two-game division lead. When play resumed two months later, baseball was headed for a split season. The division champions from each half of the year would face each other in the postseason, leaving the Phillies in a position of playing out the string in August and September. They ended up losing the division series to the Expos in five games.
“We had the best record before that strike, and then after the strike they told us, it doesn’t matter what you do the second half, there’s gonna be a playoff,” Bowa said. “I’m not saying we didn’t try, but we knew that whatever we did we were going to have to play [a division playoff]. I think we would have won it again.”
Nevertheless, afternoons like Saturday are a testament to the legacy that the 1980 team managed to carve for itself.
“If we saw somebody who got down, we had to get them up,” Trillo said. “I miss a lot of them, but they were all on my mind. It’s like family coming back. That’s what we were. Coming back and seeing each other, it’s exciting.”
Hoskins sits again
Starting first baseman Rhys Hoskins missed his second straight game with a sore groin as the team continues to try to stave off a stint on the injured list. Hoskins’ replacement, veteran utilityman Brad Miller, hit a pair of home runs, both of them solo shots, one in the fifth inning and one in the eighth as the Phillies beat the Mets, 5-0. Didi Gregorius also missed the game and was unavailable on the bench after being hit on the elbow with a pitch on Friday.
“Didi is better, Hoskins is better, don’t know if I’ll have either one tomorrow,” manager Joe Girardi said.
Segura OK after beanball
In a scary moment, Jean Segura took a 90-mph Edwin Diaz pitch to the face with two out in the seventh inning and collapsed to the dirt holding his jaw. But after a few minutes of medical attention, the veteran second baseman stayed in the game.