I’ve always said there’s two easy rules to make any man-woman relationship work: He lets her freak out once in a while, and she lets him watch the game. Of course, my wife walked out on me years back because I watched too many games so maybe I’m not one to talk, but there’s no harm in starting over with Sheila, right? I know she’s just my doctor and we haven’t even sniffed at anything romantic, but if I’m going to be driving around the country with her all damn season we might as well learn how to get along.
So her opening freak-out was today, somewhere between Iowa and Oklahoma, when she dug into her purse for a pen and saw that her expensive Papermate ballpoint had for some reason turned into a 19-cent Bic. Next came her small jar of skin moisturizer, which had been magically replaced with a tube of frosted lipstick. She looked at me in shock and dumped the entire purse contents in her lap.
Her cell phone, unusable since she landed here in 1977, had sprung three miniature woofer speakers and was now suddenly called a SuperPhone.
“What the hell is this??”
“I don’t know, but I think we should turn it on.” She stared at the thing for too long so I grabbed it away, pulled off the road and found a button on its back. It whirred to life like a small fan, beeped and booped and a couple buttons flashed red and blue.
“Can I get my e-mails??” Sheila barked.
“I don’t know. The screen still hasn’t lit up. Wait—there it is.”
There was no screensaver photo, just three options: GAMES…SONGS…SCORES. The games were Pong and something called Super Chess, with a board that looked more like a small littered waffle. The two songs on the phone were “You Light Up My Life” by Debby Boone and “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates. But the scores—baseball only—were something else, complete with box scores, play-by-play and a goofy little diamond with stick figure players racing around. Yup, the time warp phone was gonna taking care of Old Buzz just fine.
“What can it do??”
“Oh, nothing you’d be interested in. Feel like driving?”
Games of the Day
CINCINNATI—Not sure where the hell Sherman disappeared to, but if he’s back in California he missed out on his team getting back in the race big time. Cincy gets to Sutton for two runs to open Game One, but a Reggie Smith triple and Cey sac fly ties it in the 3rd. Then Oates, starting at catcher to get another lefty in against lefty-challenged Moskau, parks one in the 4th to start a 3-run rally topped by a Penguin double. Baker gets plunked on the wrist to open the Dodger 5th and gets knocked out for five games, but L.A. doesn’t even flinch, scoring three more times to go up 8-2. Sutton then loses his stuff, Driessen homers, and four Red runs fly across in the 6th. But Don bears down, 1-hits the home team the rest of the way and goes the distance.
Game Two is just a big shock. Rick Rhoden, he of the 1-6 record and not one good start all year, fires a 3-hit shutout, Garvey wakes from his coma to smack a 2-run homer, and the Dodgers roll the table. Cincy’s great everyday lineup and fielding gets nullified all the time by their weak bench and outside of Seaver, sub-mediocre pitching. It’s no wonder they’re back at .500.
L.A. 002 330 000 – 8 9 1
CIN 200 004 000 – 6 10 1
W-Sutton L-Moskau HRS: Oates, Driessen GWRBI-Oates
L.A. 000 112 022 – 8 9 0
CIN 000 000 000 – 0 3 1
W-Rhoden L-Soto HR: Garvey
at PIRATES 12-16-2, CUBS 1-10-4
After edging the Bucs in the opening game, the hap-deprived Cubs get outscored 18-1 the next two days. Making four errors doesn’t help matters.
W-Rooker L-Burris HRS: Oliver, Parker
at PHILLIES 8-16-1, ASTROS 0-4-1
National Massacre Day Redux. Ron Reed, the only Philly starter outside of Carlton doing anything good lately, mows down the ‘Stros. Mike Schmidt is tried in the leadoff spot, still whiffs twice and grounds into a DP despite the blowout.
W-Reed L-Lemongello GWRBI-Reed
CARDS 5-9-2, at EXPOS 2-6-3
Early 1-0 Expo lead gets erased in the 4th by the usual swarm of St. Louis gnats. Two walks, three singles, a pitcher error and a force play and four runs have scored. The Cards head into Pittsburgh now for a big 4-game early summer showdown with the Buccos. Get your tickets!
at RED SOX 7-12-2, WHITE SOX 6-12-0
A rare pitching duel at Fenway. With Zisk out and Soderholm doing nothing, Chicago still fights back from being down 5-0 in the 4th, but after a Lemon blast in the 9th, Soup pours in to get three pale Sox in a row for the save.
W-Wise L-Wood SV-Campbell HRS: Orta, L. Johnson, Lemon, Hobson GWRBI-Hobson
at RED SOX 7-16-0, WHITE SOX 6-13-1 (10 innings)
Boston can throw their lineup in the air, use whatever order lands on the floor and still win. They could swing with one die behind their back. They could put Soupy Sales on the mound right now and get a quality start. Knowing this, even after Chicago battles back again from four runs down, ties the game and actually takes the lead in the 8th on a Spencer blast, Bill Spaceman Lee is left in to pitch the last four and a third innings because every single thing they’ve done in the last week and a half has worked. Sure enough, Alan Bannister, worst fielding shortstop in either league and NO ONE on the White Sox roster to fill in for him (??) throws Carbo’s infield single away for a two-base error, scoring Doyle with the tying run. Two innings later, Carbo puts La Grow out of his misery (1-6 in relief now) with a winning triple in the 10th. Eight straight wins for the Red Sox, who now welcome Texas into their pit of hell.
W-Lee L-LaGrow HRS: Gamble, Spencer, Evans (6 in his last 5 games) GWRBI-Carbo
at YANKEES 4-9-1, RANGERS 1-3-1
Torrez comes within an out of New York’s third straight shutout when defensive replacement Blair drops an easy fly, but Mike forgives him later.
W-Torrez L-Alexander SV-Lyle GWRBI-White
at YANKEES 6-14-1, RANGERS 4-9-0 (10 innings)
The rolls are falling the Yankee way again, as they scrape two 8th inning runs together to tie the game, before Chambliss does his ’76 ALCS imitation with an extra inning walkoff against Moret. The Yanks are suddenly a half game out of second place!
W-Tidrow L-Moret HRS: Hargrove, Chambliss GWRBI-Chambliss
TWINS 5-8-0, at INDIANS 3-6-1
The mastery of Ron Schueler is back in force, and Hisle goes nuts with a double, homer and game-winning triple in the 8th.
W-Schueler L-Hood HR: Hisle GWRBI-Hisle
TWINS 10-16-3, at INDIANS 7-13-0
Seems like only the Twins can take a 9-0 lead after two innings and still help the other team make the game close. Wretched defense from Smalley and Wilfong kick off some big Tribe innings, but the five-man Minnesota bullpen wriggles out of the messes that follow. New Carew Streak up to seven, batting average at .452.
W-Butler L-Fitzmorris SV-Burgmeier HR: Bostock GWRBI-Carew
at ORIOLES 2-8-0, ROYALS 1-5-1
Ah, sanity. Mismatch of Hassler vs. Palmer goes the K.C. way for the first five innings until the Birds scrape two runs together in the 6th and Jockey Jim holds on from there. Leonard against Flanagan tomorrow in the finale, with second, third and fourth place up for grabs.
W-Palmer L-Hassler GWRBI-Murray
American League through Sunday, June 8
National League through Sunday, June 8