Emily Caitlin is gone, banished from baseball, at least for the rest of the season. She and Pappy Doyle, married last night by a justice of the peace, are honeymooning on Doyle's worm farm in Hog Holler, N.C. Back in Washington, the Senators are in shock, their pennant hopes crumbling. In New York, baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth is being picketed by angry feminists, who are being counter-picketed by a group called BFUDDLED -- "Baseball Fans United to Demand Druggies and Libertines Eliminated from the Diamond." And throughout the country, baseball fans are wondering: What happened?
In an attempt to answer that question, The Post Magazine interviewed dozens of sources -- from bat boys to baseball execs -- and reconstructed the events of what the Senators' God Squad has dubbed "Heck Week."
It began when The Miami Herald revealed that Caitlin and Doyle spent the night together, touching off a vociferous national debate that caused owner Tang Ye-lin to demand that all Senators submit to urine and blood tests. When the tests revealed that Caitlin was pregnant, Tang blew up. "I raised that hussy up from cleaning bedpans to pitching in the big leagues, and this is the thanks I get!" he screamed into his desk telephone last Sunday morning. "Fire her NOW!"
"But she's your best pitcher, Tang," said GM Elliott Suskind, holding his phone three feet from his ear. "Without her, you can kiss the pennant goodbye."
"I don't care," Tang bellowed. "She has dishonored me and the team."
"You're taking it too personally, Tang," Suskind said. "You can't expect good players to be good people. Show me a team full of drunks, hopheads, sex maniacs and sociopaths, and I'll show you a contender. Face it, boss: Nice girls finish last."
"But she . . ."
"She's pitching tonight. Wait till after the game before you do anything rash."
That night, Caitlin took the mound at RFK, weakened by an afternoon bout with early-onset morning sickness. She lasted only 4 1/3 innings, getting pounded for six runs and earning the first loss of her career. "My heater had no gas, my hook was hanging, and my slider was flat," she admitted. "Hell, I could have hit me today, and I can't hit a buffalo's butt with a snow shovel."
The next morning, before the team flew to Texas, Tang summoned Caitlin to his office. She arrived to find the owner with Suskind, manager Major Banks and two lawyers -- five men wearing long frowns.
"You guys look like your dogs just died," she said with a grin. "Well, I've got some news that'll cheer you up: Pappy and I are getting married!"
The announcement was greeted with the coldest of congratulations.
"Okay," Caitlin said. "What's the bad news?"
"The bad news is that your tests show you're pregnant."
"I know!" she said, beaming. "Isn't it wonderful! Think of the pitching arm the kid'll have. You better sign her quick, before Steinbrenner does."
"This is no time for jokes," Tang bellowed. "You've dishonored me and my team. Can't you understand that? I wanted to fire you yesterday, but Suskind talked me out of it. But the commissioner might not be so kind. He gets the results of all urine and blood tests, and there's a very good chance he'll bounce you out of baseball."
"What for? There's no law against being pregnant."
"Maybe not, but there was no law against Miss America appearing in a girlie magazine either, and that didn't help Vanessa Williams," Suskind said. "Besides, there is a rule that you can only have 24 people on a roster and nine people on the field, and our lawyers here say a pregnant person technically violates both those rules."
"So what are we going to do?" Caitlin asked.
"All we can do is wait until the commissioner makes his ruling."
Inevitably, word of Caitlin's condition leaked to the press. The New York Post broke the story with a huge headline: "CAITLIN PREGGERS! Pitcher Pitched Too Much Woo?" The commissioner's office, bombarded with telegrams, 90 percent of them anti-Caitlin, promised to announce its decision on Saturday. Caitlin was scheduled to pitch on Friday night against the Yankees at RFK. On the flight home from Texas, Major Banks took his ace aside. "Look, Emily," he said, "I know you're under tremendous pressure. If you want to skip this start, I'll understand."
"No way," she said. "This could be my last chance."
On Friday afternoon, Windy Jackson and Bad Dude Harding called a secret meeting of all the Senators except Caitlin and Pappy Doyle. "We all remember," Jackson said, "where this team was before Emily arrived: We were the doormats the other clubs used to clean their cleats. Now we're in the pennant race. We owe this broad an awful lot. Tonight's the night to repay the debt."
"That's right," said Harding, the ex-convict first baseman. "Anybody makes an error tonight, they got to deal with me."
Caitlin took the mound to an ovation punctuated with boos and vicious epithets. When the din subsided, Sonny Doyle yelled encouragement from the dugout: "Go get 'em, Mom!"
Her first pitch was a fastball that wasn't very fast. Rickey Henderson swatted it deep into the left field stands.
Caitlin struggled through the inning, nibbling at the corners with breaking balls and off-speed pitches. And she kept struggling all night, striking out nobody and surrendering hits in every frame. Only dazzling defense by the Senators kept the score down to 3-0 after seven innings. In the eighth, the Yankees loaded the bases with one out, and Don Mattingly ripped a wicked shot down the first base line. But Harding made a diving grab and then doubled Randolph off first.
Psyched by that play, the Senators rallied in their half of the eighth, pounding Ron Guidry for six hits and four runs to take a 4-3 lead.
Smelling victory, Caitlin came out for the ninth throwing heat. She struck out Dave Winfield, Mike Easler and Mike Pagliarulo on nine straight fastballs and left waving her hat to a screaming crowd. The New York Post's headline said it all: "MOM SPANKS YANKS."
On Saturday afternoon, Pappy Doyle took up where Caitlin left off. Throwing forkballs, palmballs -- and, if the Yankees are to be believed, spitballs and scuffballs -- he set the pinstripers down in order in the first, then sprinted to the dugout to see if his fiance'e had heard from the commissioner. She hadn't. He did the same in the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth and the sixth -- throwing zips, then scooting back to the clubhouse to find no news.
After mowing the Yankees down in the seventh, he found Caitlin packing her suitcase. Without a word, she handed him the letter from the commissioner's office. He read it, then threw it down in disgust. "Wait a minute," he said. "I'm coming with you."
"Don't be stupid, you're pitching a no-hitter."
"And you just jinxed me by saying that."
"Since when are you superstitious?"
"Listen, darlin', they're startin' to hit me hard out there. I better quit while I'm ahead. Go out a legend, y'know?"
She buckled her bag and started toward the door. "Then hurry up. The reporters'll be here soon."
Doyle kicked off his spikes, slipped into his snakeskin cowboy boots and, still wearing his sweat-stained uniform, walked away with the woman he loves.
A sad-eyed little girl in a baseball cap stood outside. "Say it ain't so, Emily," she said.
"It's so, kid," Caitlin replied. She stepped away, then noticed tears running down the girl's cheeks, two rivers rolling over freckles. Caitlin squatted down and hugged her. "Don't cry, kid. If they'll just let me nurse my baby on the bench, I'll be back next year." :: SENATORS STUFF: Gabeen Mfoom is on 15-day disabled list with broken jaw caused not by Dave Righetti's fastball but by his left hook. "I told Mfoom not to charge the mound," said coach Nick Barbario. "But he's been watching too many Arnold Schwarzenegger movies" . . . After dropping three games in Texas, Senators took two from Yanks to finish week 2-4 . . . His pitching staff decimated, Tang has offered mound jobs to ex-hurlers Bill Lee and Gaylord Perry and also wants Yankee catcher/pinch pitcher Rick Cerone . . . Scribe Tony Kornheiser is off DL. His spiked typing hand back in form, he'll be back on these pages next week. Meanwhile, this pinch writer will return to his usual beats -- wrestling, roller derby and macroeconomics. ::