Whitey Herzog's body was here today, basking in victory, but his mind, bubbling with anger, was already in New York.
Herzog's hot Kansas City Royals slapped a bumbling 5-0 loss on the Baltimore Orioles today, the kind of beating that reminded 15,764 persons here that the Birds are after all a very young team starting five rookies.
The Orioles, losers of six of their last eight games and now four games behind New York, never got a man past second base against mediocre Andy Hassler (22-47 career) and bullpen vulture Doug Bird.
Worse than that, the Birds' rookies played like their age. Left fielder Andres Mora threw to the wrong base twice, first baseman Eddie Murray allowed an extra base by missing a cutoff throw and shortstop Kiko Garcia lost his glove and came up barehanded on a bad-hop grounder.
"They helped us a lot," admitted Herzog, "but what they didn't give us, John Wathan took."
The KC rookie catcher hit his second career homer - a wind-blown two-run opposite-field cheapo off loser Ross Grimsley-and later doubled to set up a two-run single by Fred Patek.
But Herzog, who has seen his team win 11 of its last 12 is accustomed to such good things. What he couldn't get out of his craw was the prospect of Monday's 2 p.m. make-up game in New York against those "immoral" Yankees.
"We've been on the road for 19 games and now we should be going home to have a day off and wait to play Texas on Tuesday," fumed Herzog. "But no. We've got to get up at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow to go to New York to replay a game that should never have been canceled.
"The Yankee front office has no morals or integrity toward the game. They'll do anything to win and this is just another example of how they shaft anybody any time they can. I'm sick of it. I may start a mock team with pitchers at all the infiedl positions tomorrow."
On July 25, at the height of the Yankees' intramural fueding, the New York front office callled off a night game with the Royals on account of rain at 4:30 p.m. The afternoon shower had passed even before the announcement three hours before game time.It never rained again.
The Royals, who won two of three in this series, remaind one of baseball's most torried teams, Bird now has 10 wins-or-saves in his last 12 outings (1.52 ERA in 27.2 innings).
Hal McRae with a dazzling 68 extrabase hits, and George Brett and Al Cowens, each with 53, have the Royal batting order perking. Wathan's homer was the Royals 113th, compared to 65 all last year.
"I hope we're not too mad tomorrow to play a decent game" said Herzog. "The Rangers will be back in our home waiting for us. Heck, I've got Texas manager Billy Hunter and his coaches set up to play golf at Crackerneck Country Club in Kansas City.
"You know what I hope," said Horzog, eyes flashing, "I hope to hell it rains."