Garry Templeton, whose actions and words have left St. Louis Cardinal players, coaches, managers and fans pulling their hair and shaking their heads for much of his six-year major league career, again incurred their wrath today during a game with the San Francisco Giants at Busch Stadium.
The shortstop, first warned and then ejected by plate umpire Bruce Froemming for making obscene gestures to the crowd, was fined $5,000 and suspended indefinitely by the Cardinals.
[Earlier in the day, National League President Chub Feeney suspended Philadelphia Phillies Manager Dallas Green five days and fined him $1,000, and fined shortstop Larry Bowa $500 for their actions in a game Monday night.]
Templeton's problems began in the first inning when he stood at home plate as a third strike got by catcher Milt May. May recovered the ball and easily threw out Templeton at first. Spectators began jeering Templeton, who responded with an obscene gesture.
At that point, Froemming visited the St. Louis dugout "just to say hello to the players," Froemming later said, "and to warn Templeton to refrain from such conduct."
"Knock it off," Froemming said he told Templeton.
During the third inning, while resting in the on-deck circle, Templeton received more jeers and walked over to Froemming to say he had a right to retaliate.
Templeton made an obscene gesture from the field and Froemming ejected him. Templeton made more gestures on his way to the dugout, where Manager and General Manager Whitey Herzog grabbed him and hauled him into the dugout.
"Whitey went after him and wanted to punch him," Froemming said. "He (Herzog) was held back by (pitching coach) Hub Kittle and players. Here's a guy earning three-quarters of a million dollars and he's doing that to them (the spectators)."
Herzog told Templeton to stay after the game for a talk, but Templeton refused and left the stadium immediately.
During a press conference, Herzog said Templeton could return to the team if and when "he publicly apologizes to our fans and teammates. Then he can come back. It's up to him.
"I don't have to trade him. I've never managed a player with his all-around talents. I just don't understand the boy. He hasn't given good effort, and I've got 24 guys busting their guts."
Cardinal catcher Gene Tenace called Templeton "a confused kid. The way he's played is ridiculous. The whole club is upset by him. His gesture was embarrassing to the club. I'm not going to have much respect for him, even when he comes back. I'm a competitor and like to win. It was just a matter of time before something was going to happen."
Froemming said: "We're going to run a game that's a credit to baseball. It (Templeton's actions) comes under fan incitement."
A few years ago, Templeton said he would not go all out in exhibition games after a $10,000 salary cut proposal. His famous line, "If I ain't startin', I ain't departin','" was delivered a couple of years ago after he was selected as an All-Star Game substitute.
Templeton is in the second season of a six-year, $4.4 million contract and part of Busch Stadium's lower level is designated "templetown" for 50 boxed seats he provides for undeprivileged youngsters.
But earlier this year he suggested the Cardinals trade him. He also said he was too tired to play day games after night games.
"I've never been happy here," Templeton has said. "I just signed because the money was $4 million."
Templeton believes he would be happier playing closer to his home on the West Coast and the Cardinals may agree after today's incident.
In the Green incident, Feeney sent a telegram suspending him effective with Tuesday night's game with the Braves "for your language and actions, including making physical contact with and removing the hat (and kicking same) of umpire Steve Fields."
The next game Green can manage is Sunday's.
Feeney told Bowa he was fined $300 for "actions and language" directed at Fields, $100 for throwing equipment and $100 for returning to the dugout after his ejection from the game.
[Green and Bowa were ejected in the ninth inning of Monday's game by second base umpire Fields after he ruled Bowa had missed second based during an apparent inning-ending double play.]
In the St. Louis game, Dane Iorg hit a bases-loaded triple during an eight-run fifth inning to rally the Cardinals.
The free-swinging contest saw the Giant get 13 hits, the Cardinals 12.