Warning Wayne Terwilliger appears near the end of this story. The old Senator second baseman will be heard screaming and shouting Parental guidance is suggested.
First though, let's talk about the silly idea that silly newspapermen ask silly questions that make life, miserable for athletes. Everybody knows that's silly, and here are a couple true-life examples of how silly that is.
The guy said he was a magazine writer.
He must have convinced someone of it because he was in the Minnesota Twins dugout last Friday, sitting next to Rod Carew, baseball's best hitter.
The magazine writer had dressed up. He wore a clean King Kong T-shire. And a floppy-brimmed straw hat, the sort favored by milk-wagon horses.
The hat hung down over the magazine writer's sunglasses, conspiring with a wispy beard to hide most of his face.
You could see his toes though, because he wore sandals and no socks.
He scooted closer to Carew, notebook at the ready.
"Rod, that's my wife," the magazine writer said, pointing to a woman at the dugout steps. "She's a photographer and she'd like to take your picture. Smile."
Carew looked up. He didn't smile.
The magazine writer had made entries in his notebook and left blanks to fill in with information gleaned from this dugout interview with a man trying to become baseball's first .400 hitter in 36 years.
"Rod, I need to get some background stuff first," he said.
Carew said nothing.
"Name?" the magazine writer said.
Carew stared at him.
Other entries in the faceless man's notebook included "height " and "weight" and "hometown" and "position."
Some journalists are relentless investigators.
Unfortunately for the man's magazine, Carew had to leave at that precise moment to conduct the Minneapolis Symphony. Or something.
He didn't even say good-bye.
Wrigley Field. Monday. Herman Franks, the Cubs' manager, was in his office. Of life's many pleasures, Franks considers a newspaper interview right up there with bankruptcy.
A writer, who through maternal training and wifely insistence has made a habit of wearing socks, sat across from Franks, asking the 63-year-old man what a manager's toughest job is.
"You know what the toughest thing about managing is?" Franks said. "It's you. The newspapers, TV, radio. I know we have to do it, to talk to you. But that's the wearing thing. This story. If I've done it once. I've done it a thousand times. I ought to make a recording and just play it for everybody."
Then the manager told about a newspaperman who reached him by phone two minutes before the team bus was to leave Montreal. "I told him he ought to call me back the next day and we could talk more," Franks said."He didn't call. And three days later, the story comes out about how mean of Herman Franks would only give him two minutes and he says I'm a dropout from Dale Carnegie."
You get the idea.
Franks thinks the media is silly.
So when Montreal beat the Cubs 19-3, giving the division-leading Cubbies a fifth loss in six games, a radio man asked the manager. "Are you pushing the panic button?"
"What?" Franks said. The manager doesn't hear well, and maybe he didn't hear the question, or maybe he didn't believe it. Half a season remains.
"Are you pushing the panic button?"
We should give the manager credit. Not once in the ensuing discussion did he threaten the silly radio man's children.
Now about Wayne Terwilliger, Managing Charleston of the American Association eight or ninety ago, Terwillinger changed pitchers in the ninth inning. The starter had given up only two hits all night, but the reliever allowed a two-out
The Charleston clubhouse was funeral. But a job's s job. So, a newspaperman, as quitely as possible, asked "Terwillinger why he changed pitchers.
"It& - 1981" Terwillinger said.
Then he sai worse things. Loudlu, while the newspaperman said, "Er, uh, er," Terwillinger went on, setting an all-time Association record for sustained obscenity at ear-piercing volume.
Years later the newspaperman got even. He bought a picture of Terwilliger at a flea market talking the dealer down from 50 cents to 41 cents. Take that, Twig.
grand slam that beat the Twig's team by a run.