Sitting in the press box, as general managers are wont to do, "wasn't my cup of tea," Whitey Herzog said. "I had a spittoon in my office, but I never had one in the press box."

With that, Herzog yesterday reclaimed his St. Louis clubhouse office as spittin' image of the field manager who directed the Cards to a 38-35 record in a midseason stint this year between Ken Boyer and interim fort-holder Red Schoendienst. Herzog had given up the field job when he moved upstairs in August, but now will double up, keeping the general manager's post unto himself despite "cauliflower ear" already from talking trade over the telephone.

General Manager Herzog tapped Joe McDonald, an old colleague in the New York Met front office, as executive assistant, then resumed dickering for playing help who might make Manager Herzog the success in the NL East he was with three first-place finishes and a near miss with Kansas City in the AL West. All hands on the club tradeable, he said, except shortstop Garry Templeton, in exchange for "what we all know we need here: three kinds of pitching -- right-handed, left-handed and relief."