BOSTON — Gene Mauch's record for most years managed without a pennant extended to 25 Wednesday night. Around the Angel clubhouse, players were asked if they could feel for their manager.
"Oh, definitely," Donnie Moore said. "He's gone 25 years without making the World Series and he was one pitch (one strike, actually) from the pennant."
Moore was the man who delivered that pitch.
"It hasn't been easy for him and it hasn't been easy for me," Moore said. "I don't know if he can feel half as bad as I feel."
Doug DeCinces had a slightly different response.
"I have to console myself," he said. "First, I have to deal with it myself.
"I put my blood and guts, everything I had, into this series, and to fall short . . . it's tough to deal with. We lost as a team, and I feel sorry for the people involved. The consoling we do will be done among members of the team--and Gene's a part of the team."
Injury Report: Participants in Game 7 started falling before the opening pitch.
First, second base umpire Terry Cooney ran out to his position, stopped, turned around and limped back to the dugout. Diagnosis: torn left calf muscle. The umpiring crew had to work one man short.
Then, one out into the first inning, the Angels' Rob Wilfong was thrown out on a bunt attempt and came up lame after he crossed the bag. Diagnosis: strained right hamstring. Rick Burleson replaced Wilfong in the bottom of the second.
Finally, in the third, Boston's Bill Buckner produced the third bad leg of the evening after beating out an infield single. Diagnosis: strained Achilles' tendon. Buckner was replaced by Dave Stapleton.
Shortly after, the Angels' pennant hopes were placed on the disabled list.
Pressure? Dave Henderson and Spike Owen, two refugees from the Seattle Mariners, said the championship series was a joy, not a difficulty.
"With me there is no pressure," Henderson said. "For me, I've never played five, six, seven games after October. For me, it's just gravy."
Henderson hit the ninth-inning home run and later the sacrifice fly that beat the Angels in Game 5. He rescued the Red Sox from elimination and made possible the continuation of the series.
"I don't know if I can compare it to Bobby Thomson's home run (in a 1951 playoff game to give the New York Giants the National League pennant)," Henderson said. "I think that's the greatest hit.
"But I think of Bobby Thomson's home run as \o7 the\f7 hit, so I'm sure athletes that come up are going to think about mine. It wasn't a one-year home run. It was a down-the-road home run."
Owen, unlike Henderson, became a starter following the mid-August trade from the Mariners. "But this team has accepted me and made me feel at ease."
Owen said he still calls his former teammates, adding: "I know that they're happy for me, just as I would be for them."
More on Game 5. The Red Sox, almost to a man, maintain that Angel Manager Gene Mauch may have made a crucial mistake by pulling starter Mike Witt in the ninth inning.
"We're really fortunate to be where we are, considering the Anaheim game," said Marty Barrett, most valuable player in the series. "I'm never going to forget that game in my whole life. If we would have lost, we would have said, 'OK, we shouldn't have been here, anyway.' We were thinking about next year. I know I was sitting on the bench thinking about it."
But when Witt was summoned off the mound Sunday, with the Angels leading, "I couldn't believe it," Barrett said.
"It was a tough move. I've looked at it from both sides. But Marty Barrett is glad how it worked out. I mean, we kept on thinking how Milwaukee lost two but came back and won three. Then we thought of Kansas City last year. To us, Game 5 was our Game 7. We thought that if we could beat Witt, we could come back and win two here."
Said Don Baylor: "(The Angels) were tasting the champagne Sunday. But we broke their morale. It's just like a miracle. Really, the police were in our dugout (in the ninth)."
Does Baylor think Manager Gene Mauch deserves a special sort of sympathy?
"I don't know if he'd have any for us," Baylor said. "I know he wants it bad. He's had to live with it his entire career, since '64."