There was codefendant William Rodgers swinging at a softball at an old-fashioned picnic in his backyard.

Playing first base was Jeanne Mandel, dressed in slacks and a T-shirt, while the governor - her husband and the star defendant in the political cenuption trial that began nine weeks ago - darted about with a camera as the official game photographer.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Ronald Liebman, who had delivered the government's longest and most stirring speech during closing arguments a few days ago, propped his feet on a desk, turned on his television and watched Money Movie 7: "Banyon: Wake Up and Die" with Darren McGavin and Jose Ferrer.

It was a strange transformation. After all the heavy rhetoric, and dramatic gestures of the trial, after weeks of playing stock roles in a long-running courtroom darma, everyone seemed human again yesterday and today as they awaited a verdict.

The only people who seemed still caught up in it all were the reporters, like the perfectly groomed TV correspondents, surrounded by "minicams" and "action-cams" delivering their resonant spiels for the evening news programs, even though they had almost nothing to say.

It was the second day of jury deliberation. There was no way of knowing when the jurors would render their verdict, and not much anyone could do to predict it. Relaxing was the most sensible answer.

The evening before, the governor and his wife had finally been able to sink into the comfortable wicker chairs at the mansion in Annapolis without having to worry about the next day's revelations.

Jeanne Mandel spent most of that day preparing the picnic lunch. She fixed enough food to feed 48, she said, because "we have quite a gang of children and they have been through a lot."

The scene inside the courthouse today resembled an airport lounge when all the planes are delayed.

Several dozen reporters sprawled on the red sofas, speculating on whether you could tell how close the jurors were to a verdict on the basis of the kinds of sandwiches they ordered.

The only excitement came when an ambulance raced up to the courthouse, lights flashing, to carry off a television technician who had injured his back while installing a relay antenna on top of a nearby office building.

Presiding U.S. District Judge Robert L. Taylor drove to Washington to swear in the new Tennessee Valley Authority director in the Roosevelt room of the White House. The presiding judge at the Mandel trial swore in his friend David T. Freeman, who Taylor claimed "won his only case before me."

Families of three of the six defendants, host Rodgers and his brother Harry, and Gov. Marvin Mandel, gathered for the picnic. Bill Rodgers and his family recently moved into the fashionable Roland park neighborhood on the north side of the city from a much smaller place in the suburbs.

The children of brothers Bill and codefendant Harry Rogers and Mandel's grown son, Gary, were joined at the picnic by Mrs. Mandel's four children from her previous marriage.

On the prosecutor's floor, investigators shuttled in and out of the "war room," a large office piled with dozens of cartons of documents used to prosecute Mandel. Some watched television game shows.

Peter Twardowicz, the chief Internal Revenue Service investigator of the case, was absent but, from an ocean resort Twardowicz inquired about the verdict by telephone throughout the day during what was supposed to be a family vacation.

Liebman's colleague, assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Hurson ambled in and out of Liebman's office moving from his legal work to telephone conversations with his wife and 2-year-old son.

While Liebman was watching the movie, a crane with the brand name "Tidewater" crashed down a wall of a neighboring building. "That really bothered me when I was writing my final arguments," Liebman said, referring to the coincidence of the name with the Tidewater Insurance Agency managed by three of the codefendants.