Our initial background information regarding Patient Gip has been erroneous; that much is certain. Feeling it was time to comfort Mr. Gip on the matter, I summoned him to my office.
When I first suggested we had evidence he had been abandoned at Boston’s Fenway Park in the early months of 1977, most likely by his blood father, he pretended not to hear me.
Yet when I produced the newspaper clipping about the abandoned boy, he went into a highly disturbed state, calling me an “idiot quack” and demanding to know how I ever got this “trailer park nurse job.”
It was time to reiterate what he has found impossible to fathom. “I am not a nurse, Mr. Gip,” I began, ” but a chief of psychiatry. And this is not the Sea Breeze Trailer Park, but Squallpocket State Hospital, and you have been a patient here since 1993.” He stared at me in wide-eyed horror, though something seemed to percolate in his brain.
It was at that moment, however, that a loud commotion was heard out in the ward. Through the glass of my office, a handful of patients could be seen fighting over something at Mr. Gip’s bed. “My dice!” he yelled, and rushed out to join the fray. I got on the phone, called for orderlies. Hurried after Mr. Gip into the ward. He reached his bed, got his hands on whatever imaginary object(s) they were fighting over—
—and there was a sudden blinding flash. I staggered, rubbed my eyes. Looked again.
Every one of the fighting patients had disappeared.
“Damn it!” yelled Seamus Headley, our allegedly deaf and dumb ward sweeper who had also just burst into the room. I looked at him in shock.
“Yeah, yeah, I know. Show’s over, doc. I can talk and sing and everything. But now we got a bigger problem.”
“You know about this? Where did they go??”
He extracted some kind of radio transmitter from a tiny compartment atop his broom. “Headley here,” he spoke into it, “We have Condition X. Gip plus five.”
I shook him violently. “What’s happening??”
“What’s happening is we lost ’em. Gip, Mikey Spano, Sherman Wayman, Friendly Fred, Crazy Amy, even Lester, this schizo farmboy of yours from the midwest I’ve been eyeing since yesterday. They all just got themselves stuck back in 1977.”
TO BE CONTINUED…
Today’s Action, gleaned from Mr. Gip’s notes and scoring pad:
RANGERS 14-16-0, at RED SOX 4-6-2
Apparently the Bosox can’t win when they don’t hit, and especially when Fergie Jenkins pitches like Fergie of England. Two walks, two singles and a double happen before he records an out in the 1st, followed soon by three doubles, a single and two walks in the 3rd. On the plus side, Jim Rice knocks in his second run of the year.
W-Alexander L-Jenkins HRS: Harrah, Carbo GWRBI-Horton
WHITE SOX 7-9-0, at YANKEES 1-6-1
The punchless Yanks get hypnotized by Chris Knapp this time, while poor Guidry goes out with a 2-1 lead in the 9th after the Sox load the bases. Tidrow enters, throws one pitch to pinch-hitter and fromaster Oscar Gamble which goes halfway up the upper deck.
W-Knapp L-Guidry HRS: L. Johnson, Gamble, White GWRBI-L. Johnson
at ORIOLES 3-8-0, TWINS 1-7-1
With three players hurt, the Birds get an emergency CG from Palmer and a big 2-run triple by Lee May for all they need.
W-Palmer L-Redfern GWRBI-May
ROYALS 10-14-0, at INDIANS 2-9-1
The Tribe collect nine singles, while ten of the fourteen K.C. hits go for extra bases off punching bag Eckersley. And this is the pitching matchup that favored Cleveland.
W-Hassler L-Eckersley HRS: Brett, White, Otis-2 GWRBI-Cowens
ASTROS 2-10-0, at PHILLIES 1-6-0
If there’s ever a game Houston deserves, it’s this one. The ‘Stros leave 16 on the bases against Carlton and Reed, but seven of those are by Enos Cabell when he misses three straight 1-13 homer rolls (65%) that would have produced a grand slam and two 3-run jobs. Despite J.R. Richard’s ten whiffs in eight innings, he’s down 1-0 when he ties the game with his own homer, before Cruz wins it with one off Reed in the 9th. Incredible game, though I don’t think Mikey Spano’s too happy about it.
W-Richard L-Reed SV-Sambito HRS: Richard, Cruz, McCarver GWRBI-Cruz
at PIRATES 8-16-3, CUBS 7-17-0
Kind of like the Astros-Phils game, on steroids. Chicago goes up 7-0 behind Resuchel, but the large man tires in the 6th and it’s 7-4 when brother Paul Reuschel comes on to give up two singles and a game-knotting 3-run bomb (on a 1-2 roll) to Pops Stargell. Bring on Willie Hernandez, who has nothing this time, and a Robinson single, Dyer walk and Garner single win it for the ever-battling Buccos.
W-G. Jackson L-Hernandez SV-Tekulve HR-Stargell GWRBI-Garner
DODGERS 7-12-1, at EXPOS 1-9-1
Rhoden outpitches Bahnsen, helped by three Expo DPs. Strangely enough, they never get Reggie Smith out.
W-Rhoden L-Bahnsen SV-Garman
at REDS 4-8-0, CARDS 2-10-0
Tom Underwood drops to 0-3, Doug Capilla is nasty, and Cincy takes round one of the 22-game Buggy River Classic.
W-Capilla L-Underwood SV-Sarmiento HR-McBride GWRBI-Rose
A FEW HITTING LEADERS
NL BATTING AVG.
.418 Parker, PIT
.411 Carter, MON
.389 Oliver, PIT
.372 Templeton, STL
.371 Simmons, STL
7 Smith, L.A.
6 Bench, CIN
6 Valentine, MON
20 Garvey, L.A.
19 Valentine, MON
19 Robinson, PIT
18 Smith, L.A.
AL BATTING AVG.
.470 Carew, MIN
.375 Cowens, K.C.
.351 Yaz, BOS
,339, Harrah, TEX
.323, Zisk, CHX
8 Harrah, TEX
7 Yaz, BOS
6 Brett, K.C.
24 Harrah, TEX
21 Yaz, BOS
18 Gamble, CHX
American League through Thursday, May 1
National League through Thursday, May 1