MINNEAPOLIS, OCT. 25 -- Whitey Herzog refuses to accuse the Twins of stealing signs, but his actions spoke louder than his words. His actions were this: Backup catcher Steve Lake started Game 7, and Tony Pena was moved to designated hitter.

Cardinals sources say the primary reason was that Herzog wanted Lake in the lineup so he could change signs during the game, especially with a runner on second base. After Game 6, Herzog said the Twins "looked like they knew what pitch was coming."

More than one manager has accused the Twins of stealing signs and, late in the season, they were found with a television monitor in their dugout. A monitor with a view from the center field seats would provide a perfect opportunity to steal the catcher's signs.

Herzog wanted Lake because Lake has been in the system longer and because Lake is better to adjusting to new signs during games, sources said. Herzog would only joke about the switch, saying: "I'm resting Pena for winter ball." . . .

Former Baltimore Orioles general manager Hank Peters is believed to have been offered the presidency of the Cleveland Indians, several sources said tonight. He has told the Indians he's going to take his time deciding . . .

Both cities were planning parades for their teams. St. Louis is planning one Monday afternoon, and the Twin Cities are having one Tuesday . . .

Twins Manager Tom Kelly said the day of Game 7 "was a long one. The clock moved real slow today." . . . After Tuesday's parade, he will fly to Florida for the Twins' annual organizational meetings, then will stay around for the last week of Instructional League play.

Herzog will return home to Independence, Mo., and resume his second career as a fisherman. He and his wife have also planned a vacation to West Germany and other parts of Europe this winter. "It's going to be great," he said. "No one over there is going to know me. I'm going to drink that famous imported beer -- Budweiser." It Could Be Worse

Tonight was the 11th time the Cardinals have played a Game 7. They won seven of the previous finales. But they'd lost Game 7 in 1985, and Herzog said extreme success has its own special price.

"I remember in '85 at the dinner after the Series," he said. "People were coming up and saying, 'Better luck next year.' I said, 'Damn, we got to the seventh game of the World Series. That ain't too bad.' "

At 37 years 2 months, Kelly is the youngest nonplaying manager to win a Series since the John McGraw of the Giants did it in 1905 at 32 years 6 months. (McGraw did play in the field three times but didn't bat that season. Nor did he play in the Series.) . . . Frank Viola's eight-inning performance was the longest by any pitcher in the Series. It was the sixth time a Series hadn't had a complete game. The last was the Philadelphia-Kansas City Series in 1980 . . .

Twins outfielder Dan Gladden was the only player to hit safely in all seven games. He batted .314 . . . The 62 years between championships for the Senators/Twins franchise is the longest ever. It surpasses the 42 years between championships for the Braves (1914-57) . . . Kelly is the fifth rookie manager to win a Series, the last being Philadelphia's Dallas Green in 1980. There have been 10 different Series winners the last 10 years. It's the longest such streak . . .

The Twins hit .329 in the Dome, .184 at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals' ERA was 9.00 in the Dome, 1.67 at Busch . . . In four appearances, Minnesota reliever Jeff Reardon pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings and finished all of his games . . . The AL has won four of the last five Series . . . The Cardinals' 12 steals is the fourth-highest in Series history and most in 15 years.