It’s Now or Never

MEMPHIS—Well, I finally got here. Only took two buses, some hitching and the last train to Clarksville. Had supper in a pretty yummy barbeque place, then walked the last mile down Elvis Presley Boulevard to Graceland.

I was right about the security. Don’t stand a chance of sneaking in this place. There’s a big old gate with music notes on it and kind of a low wall around the yard, but I’ve seen less guards outside the White House.

Can’t believe Elvis is still alive and actually in there. How can I do this? There’s only four days until he buys it. I got a little bit of spending money left that Seamus gave me, but no sense blowing it on one of the tacky motels around here.

Then it starts pouring like a son-of-a-bitch, so I find a storm drain with some dry spots under the road to spend the night in. I did see a bus shelter across the street from the mansion, so maybe if I spend a day sitting there and making mental notes about the guard routines, I can figure out how and when I can get on the property. Yeah, I like that plan. Maybe I’ll even get a cheap transistor radio so I can listen to a ball game or two while I do it. Believe me, if the Reds were playing tonight I’d have bought the damn radio already.

Hang in there, King. I’ll see ya soon.

The Buzz Line

PHILLIES 6-11-0, at EXPOS 5-11-0
I’d call this Montreal’s worst loss of the year, 24 hours after maybe their best win. Twitchell is dealing and they’re up 4-0 on crappy Christenson into the 8th, when Johnstone rolls a lucky 1-4 single with two outs. McBride lines the next pitch into the seats and it’s 4-2. Kerrigan is on for the 9th but can get practically no one out, dishing out five singles and a walk for four runs and a 6-4 Philly lead. Just to add to the torture, Dawson, Carter and Unser all single off Garber to get one run back, only to have Perez whiff with the winning ones aboard.

at ASTROS 7-12-0, CARDS 0-4-1
Already peppered with injuries, Houston loses both Cedeno and Herrmann in the same game but blow away St. Louis anyway. Niekro is fantastic, and Mr. Watson singles in Wilbur Howard to start a big 4-run rally in the 3rd. It’s Big Bob’s 17th game-winning RBI of the year.

at DODGERS 7-8-1, CUBS 2-6-3
Ontiveros puts the Cubs ahead with a solo shot off Hooton in the 1st, but Smith leaps over the fence to rob him his next time up, and the Dodgers cruise from there. Garvey with a homer, Yeager with a 2-run triple, and three Chicago infild butcheries lead to four unearned runs.

Crazy Amy’s Reds head to Montreal, while the Bucs open a huge 3-game series in Philadelphia tomorrow.

INDIANS 6-12-0, at RED SOX 5-10-1
Homers from Blanks and Thornton off Wise put the Tribe ahead in the middle innings, but after a 1-3 roll Carbo pinch triple in the 9th, Kern relieves Hood for the sweaty save. And tomorrow the Eck is going.

ORIOLES 12-18-0, at YANKEES 6-12-1
Lucky for the worst-hitting team around, they get to play the Yankees and absolutely murder Figueroa. Everyone in the Birds lineup except DeCinces and Skaggs drives in at least one run, and Singleton homers and is on base four out of six times. Reggie does his usual stat-padding thing, whacking a grand slam off Rudy May with his team down 12-2 in the 8th.

at RANGERS 1-4-1, ROYALS 0-5-0
Baseball will mess you up every time. One day after pummeling Texas 11-0, they can do next to nothing with Dock Ellis, and Brett gets hurt for two games to add to the misery. Splittorff is the tough-luck loser, as K.C. and N.Y. both blow golden chances to get closer.

at TWINS 11-17-0, WHITE SOX 6-12-3
That’s 23 runs and 39 hits in two days of Pale Hose ripping—at home no less. Bostock with two homers and Carew with four hits to put him back up to .391.

REMINDER: Tonight I’ll be co-hosting the October edition of “Tumbling Dice“, the Seamheads Strat-O-Matic Podcast, beginning at 9 p.m. eastern right here. Guest will be Matt Beagle, Strat-O-Matic expert for, Ron Shandler’s award winning fantasy site. For those who insist on watching Game 1 of the World Series at that time, you can hear the complete podcast as soon as Travis Ishikawa takes Netfali Feliz into McCovey Cove with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, or through the iTunes store the following day.

American League through Tuesday, August 12

Boston 64 49 .566
Kansas City 65 52 .556 1
New York 62 52 .544 2.5
Texas 63 53 .543 2.5
Baltimore 57 58 .496 8
Cleveland 52 64 .448 13.5
Chicago 50 65 .435 15
Minnesota 47 67 .412 17.5

National League through Tuesday, August 12

Philadelphia 66 47 .584
Pittsburgh 66 49 .574 1
Cincinnati 65 51 .560 2.5
Los Angeles 63 50 .558 3
St. Louis 61 53 .535 5.5
Houston 49 67 .422 18.5
Montreal 47 67 .412 19.5
Chicago 40 73 .354 26

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