Our stakeout for Sherman Wayman began in late afternoon. Dr. Sheila had gone through enough of her notes to narrow his place down to an apartment complex in Reseda called the Luau Suites, one of those early 60s creations covered in cheesy stone work that haunt various L.A. neighborhoods. Little Me was getting cranky because we’d be in the car too long, and Sheila rejected every soul group I tried to play on the 8-track.
Then we saw Sherman, walking quickly up from the corner with a grocery bag and nervously looking over his shoulder. He unlocked the door to a first floor apartment, yelled “Hannah! I’m home!” and slipped inside. Sheila looked at me a second, then dug through her notes again.
“I swear his wife passed away in ’76. That’s when his downward spiral began.”
“Well, maybe someone filled out the form wrong.”
She stared at me hard. “No one fills out our forms wrong.”
Just then Sherman reappeared, and went walking back up the street, like he had forgotten to buy something. As soon as he was around the corner, I motioned to Sheila and we hopped out. Hurried across the street, her holding Little Me’s hand. I slid out some glass panes on a louvered window around the side, climbed inside.
The apartment had furniture, but every piece of it was covered in plastic except for a formica dining table down in the kitchen. “Anyone here?” I asked, and no one answered. I ran to the front door, let Sheila and Little Me in.
“She isn’t here. The guy’s nuts or something.”
“This we know. What’s that sound?” It was like a tinny broadcaster voice. We went to the kitchen. A portable radio next to the fridge had the Dodgers pre-game show on.
“I”m hungry!” Little Me said. The grocery bag had two steaks, two giant artichokes, and an box of rice. I opened a cabinet, found a package of Mallomars and handed the 5-year-old me one.
I suggested we hide in one of the back rooms but Sheila said it was better to confront a patient directly rather than shock him, so we sat at the formica table and waited.
He walked in five minutes later, holding a bottle of red wine. Took one look at us and almost dropped dead on the spot. I grabbed him before he could run again, though, Sheila took his other arm, and we sat him down at the table.
“Does Hannah know you’re here?”
“You mean your dead wife?” I said.
“No, no. She must be dropping off the dry cleaning. I’m making London Broil for us because it’s our anniversary tonight and it’s her fave—”
“You need to stop the charade, Sherman,” said Dr. Sheila in her calmest voice.
“Charade? You think I’m charading you? Forget me saving you a piece of steak. And who’s this kid already?”
“Don’t worry about him right now. There’s time to explain. Right now you need to come with us to where Hanna really is.” She put her hand on his shaking wrist. “Take us to where you know she is.”
Sherman looked up at the ceiling, then the floor, then rubbed his face with both hands. A trickle of a tear leaked through two of his fingers.
“Okay…I’ll take you to her. But first I need to eat something or I’ll die, and that goes for listening to the Phillie-Dodger game too.”
So that’s what we did. And the game was as delicious as my first taste of London Broil.
Game of the Day
Have to admit that sitting around listening to Vin Scully call the game is almost as good as being there. Sort of. Sherman practically burns the meat and we have to open the back door to let the smoke out, making me miss a batter or two in the top of the 1st.
But it’s just in time for Steve Carlton to take his smoke out, whiffing Lopes, Baker and Smith all in a row in the Dodger half of the 1st. Tommy John is shaky from the start, getting the side in order only once in his seven-plus innings, and if there was any justice in baseball, the Phillies would win this thing 6-0.
“Don’t get me started on justice!” barks Sherman, halfway through his steak, and like me and Sheila, when she isn’t downing her cabernet, we can’t believe how the ball game turns out. Carlton gives up a Garvey solo blast in the 2nd, a Lopes walk and Baker blast in the 3rd, and retires everyone else.
With L.A. still up 3-2 in the 7th, Davey Johnson singles, Schmidt doubles, and Elias Sosa relieves John to face Luzinski. The Bull whiffs. The infield comes up and Maddox grounds to short to freeze the runners. McBride bats for Bowa and is walked to pitch to Boone, who grounds out. Then in the 9th against Charlie Hough, Hebner, Johnstone and Hutton all pinch-hit but the old knucklehead bails the Dodgers out.
“Fine!” announces Sherman after the last pitch, “now we can go find Hannah!” Of course Little Me is fast asleep by then, but we lay him out in the back seat and hit the road, heading east into the night.
PHL 000 001 100 – 2 8 0
L.A. 012 000 00x – 3 2 1
W-John L-Carlton SV-Hough HRS: Garvey, Cey GWRBI-Garvey
PIRATES 6-11-0, at CARDS 3-11-1
Bob Forsch is way off his game, Rooker isn’t, and the Bucs score three times in the 6th to knock Bob out, put the game away and reclaim first place. Tekulve gives the Goose a break by nailing down the save.
at ASTROS 7-12-2, EXPOS 6-13-1
Down 6-3 in the last of the 8th with closer Kerrigan unavailable for Montreal, Houston gets one in the 8th and three in the 9th off Schatzeder and Acala for the shocking win.
REDS 19-24-0, at CUBS 8-17-0
What can we say? Other than the fact that this version of Ray Burris could be the worst starting pitcher in the history of mankind. After falling behind 6-2 early, his teammates get him five runs and the lead back in the 4th. The gracious Burris then goes back out the next inning and gives the Reds a single-walk-single-double before Broberg takes over. And let’s see what Pete does…Ah yes, two 3-run homers. Five Cincy bombs leave Wrigley, including numbers 25 and 26 on the year for Bench. Mr. Burris? 0-12, 9.82. If there was someone better than Dennis Lamp to replace him, his manager certainly would.
RED SOX 2-7-0, at WHITE SOX 1-7-0
They can bash your brains in, and they can also pull these off. Jenkins and Wood are scoreless through six before Boston cobbles a Lynn walk, Doyle single, Burleson single and Fisk single for two runs and all they need. Willoughby, Stanley and Soup Campbell blank Chicago the last two innings.
at ROYALS 6-8-0, ORIOLES 3-13-0
As is pretty clear from the line score, the Birds leave 12 men on base. Four in the 3rd off Flanagan settlea things, and K.C. wins despite Leonard having one of his worst starts.
YANKEES 8-14-0, at RANGERS 7-9-0
The Yanks blow open a tight 2-1 lead with six in the 7th off Alexander, Knowles and Briles, then still manage to almost blow the game. Clay relieves Lyle after two shutout Sparky innings and can retire practically no one, finally getting Beniquez on a roller with the bases jacked and two out.
TUESDAY WILL BE STATS DAY!!
American League through Monday, June 23
National League through Monday, June 23