Springfield Leader and Press

Platooned again:  Hurdle miffed with Frey


By Warren Mayes, The Leader & Press


KANSAS CITY – Above his locker cubicle, a bumpersticker reads "Clint Hurdle is a 10."


Hurdle, the former Sports Illustrated "phenom" and current oft-time platooned rightfielder for the Kansas City Royals didn't -feel like a "10" Sunday.


Once again, Hurdle, a left-handed, batter, got platooned by Royals manager Jim Frey.


His replacement, Jose Cardenal, a right-handed batter, flew out to right field against southpaw reliever Tug McGraw and struck out to end Game Five, which the Royals lost 4-3 to the Philadelphia Phillies.


Hurdle was a "10" when he first came to the Royals in spring training in 1978.


Times have been hard on Hurdle in the intervening years. He didn't pan out like his advance notice built him up. Since then, he has been platooned by the Royals, usually in right field He almost never gets to hit against left handers.


He didn't get a chance Sunday either.


"It's frustrating," Hurdle said as he ravenously attacked a plate of spare ribs in the Royals' clubhouse.


Frey pulled Hurdle in the seventh inning. With two men out and two on, Frey sent Cardenal, a former National League player, in to bat for Hurdle. Cardenal flew out.


Then in the ninth inning, with runners at first and third. Cardenal struck out.


Hurdle took out his frustration on the ribs after the game.


"Seven, eight, nine," Hurdle counted, out "I gotta take it out on somebody Damn ribs. I'm gonna eat till I blow up "


The lamp black under Hurdle's eyes began to run ashe tried to inject some humor into this humorless situation.


"You figure sooner or later you'll get your shot," Hurdle said "I guess he (Frey) don't want to experiment."


"I really thought before the game started, even last night before the game started, maybe Cardenal just new McGraw better,” Frey said, defending his switch.


"I really had it made up in mind a couple of days ago. I’d use Cardinal in that situation for Hurdle if it came up," Frey added. "Cardenal has hit very well for us. I've used hirn in spots like this before."


Another right-handed pinch hitter available to Frey was John Wathan, who hit better than .300 this season.


"I felt he (Cardenal) knew him (McGraw) better," Frey said.


"My bed s been made," Hurdle said "It's no fun being manager, especially when you have a brass-ass young guy like me. He gets paid to manage. I get paid to play ."


Although Hurdle tried to maintain a bit of levity in his dialogue, the pain seeped through.


"You keep hoping. You get your hits." Hurdle said. "It didn’t work out today. All that's broke is my heart."


Hurdle wouldn't second guess Frey.


"If he (Cardenal) gets a hit, bingo, you re in there." Hurdle said. If he don't, you're in for a lot of questions to come about."


When lifted, two men were on and two were out. Hurdle admitted he would have relished getting a chance to hit against McGraw in the situation.


"That's the nature of a ballplayer," he said. "You dream of being in a World Series with two guys on and you get a chance to bust it open. But there are 25 guys on the club.


"It was inevitable," Hurdle added. “It happened and I got taken out. I saw him (Frey) wave me in and I expected I guessed. What am I going to do? Stay out there?"


Despite being upset and disappointed, Hurdle remained a team man.


“Now it's back to Philly for a three day vacation." he said. "'We gotta win this thing. We played all right in Philly in trie first two. games We’re capable."


And in his mind as well as his heart. Hurdle thinks he Is capable of hitting left-handers.


All he needs is a chance.

Quisenberry won’t quit


KANSAS CITY (AP) – Dan Quisenberry, whose sense of humor never fails him even if his sinkerball does, has figured out how to beat tne Philadelphia Philiies.


"I think the goal is to let them get a lead," he said. "They've come from behind in every postseason game they've won. I’ve respected them from the outset, and nothing has changed."


It was Quisenberry on the mound Sunday when the Phillies staged one more charge and scored two runs in the top of the ninth to beat Kansas City 4-3 and seize a three-game-to-two lead in the 1980 World Series.


Now it's back to Philadelphia for the Royals and Game Six in hostile Veterans Stadium Tuesday night. The Royals know they lost two in a row there last week, and asking them to win two in a row this week is asking a great deal.


They’ll have 65,000 maniacs out there in the seats." said center fielder Amos Ons. who continued his hot hitting with a home run and a single Sunday. "Our backs are against the wall now. This is exactly where we didn’t want to be."


The loss wasted a brilliant defensive performance by second baseman Frank White.


“Personal achievements don't mean much if you don't win." he said. "All I was thinking about was winning."


White, a Gold Glove winner, made a basket catch of a Pete Rose blooper in right field and turned it into a double play in the sixth inning to save a run. In the eighth, he made a similarly spectacular effort, darting deep in the hole to throw out Larry Bowa. Veteran White-watchers knew he has made those plays many times before.


"This is just a World Series and it stands nut more, everything is magnified. I’ve had better days. I've made all those plays before. People just talk about it more when it happens in a World Series."

Tug McGraw’s screwball fits his sense of humor


By Gary Stein, The Leader & Press


KANSAS CITY – He is 36, and on his next birthday be will be 16.


If you want to buy him a present, get him a scooter. A bottle of scotch would also be nice.


Whatever you do. don't spoil this whole thing by showing Tug McGraw the calendar.


"They say I'm a flake... well. I love doing stupid things, weird things, so I can take the pressure off," McGraw said Sunday, after his screwball and screwball sense of humor stopped Kansas City, 4-3, and put the Phillies within one game of the world championship,


"I've been through a lot, and 1 know ynu gotta take the good with the bad. But believe me, the best time of my career is right now."


Just as he did with the 1973 Mets, Tug McGraw epitomizes what the 1980 Phillies are all about.


More than a bit wacky, he would rather do anything the hard way. He makes the national anthem an adventure. Why relax, when you can have more laughs being nervous?


Take Sunday's little adventure In Game Five of the World Series, for example.


The Phils, as is thelr fashion, scored two runs in the top of the ninth to take a 4-3 lead. Tylenol Tug knew he'd get the three nuts in the bottom of the ninth... he just wanted to give the fans their money's worth.


"I tried to have a 1-2-3 inning," cracked McGraw, "bul I just kept getting deeper in trouble and deeper in trouble. Lot of fun. wasn't it?"


After walking Frank White to lead off the ninth. McGraw had to look at George Brett. Three strikes later, Brett was watching from the bench.


"The first strike I threw him was my Cutty Sark fastball." McGraw deadpanned. "It sailed a lot. Then the other was my John Jamison – straight, just like I like my whiskey. I didn’t even try to throw my Peggy Lee fastball (the one where the batter look at it and says 'Is that all there is?')."


With Brett gone, McGraw proceeded to walk Willie Mays Aikens – and then Tug started remembering what he had done Saturday night.


"I started to get guilt feelings." he said "My wife and I were out a little late the night before, having a few beers. God, I didn’t want to have to face her if I screwed up."


With two men on, K C.'s Hal McRae hit McGraw first pitch way down the left held line. For Just brief moment. McGraw was very worried about facing his wife.


"When he hit that ball, I thought maybe I d have la be rescued by one of the CPR units around here," McGraw said. "Yeah, I would have been very disappointed if he hit a homer. I would have had a heart attack."


When McRae’s ball curved foul, McGraw pounded his heart with hand several times.


"My heart was already out of my shirt." he said.


McGraw got McRae on a grounder – but just to keep the millions of TV viewers interested. Met, McGraw walked Amos Otis to load the base with two outs for Jose Cardenal.


By now, McGraw was totally pumped up.


"He does some crazy things," said Phils shortstop Larry Bowa, "but that’s just the way he releases energy."


On the second strike to Cardenal, the bat flew out of Jose’s hands towards the mound. McGraw retrieved it, then exchanged some pleasantries with Jose.


"He (Cardenal) didn't say much, but he was talking Spanish, and I'm familiar with Spanish obscenities," McGraw said. He said something I didn’t like, so I poked the bat into his stomach.


"I said I hope you know what scotch is. you (bleep), because I'm gonna give you my Cutty Sark."


More than likely, the fastball that McGraw struck out Cardenal with to end the game was his Bo Derek ("that’s the one with the nice tail").


Whatever, it just was another chapter in the McGraw legend.


"You know," McGraw cracked, "after the game. Ruly (Carpenter, the Phil's owners) came up to me and said 'You re gonna give me a heart attack.’


"I said lf you think it's bad from where you're at, you oughta be where I'm at'."


With that, McGraw took a drag on a cigarette ("No pictures. please. My Image, you know"), took a swig of Coors, and philosophized one more time.


"Ah, I never get depressed." he said. "Only when the elevator sticks. And I'm only gonna do this 10 more years. I won't pitch after that, no matter how mutb they offer me."


Me, I'm just looking forward to Tug s 16th birthday party.