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Notebook : Finally, Cox Will Take Turn Against Giants

October 10, 1987|SAM McMANIS | Times Staff Writer

SAN FRANCISCO — The Cardinals are saying that pitcher Danny Cox will start tonight in Game 4. St. Louis Manager Whitey Herzog swears it is so.

Cox had been scheduled to start Game 1 Tuesday night in St. Louis. But he was a late scratch because of a stiff neck. Then, Cox was expected to start Game 3 Friday night, but Herzog changed his mind and went with Joe Magrane.

"I've been eager the whole time," Cox said. "It's just kind of frustrating to work hard all season and then get hurt. I am looking forward to tomrrow night (tonight)."

Cox said he could have pitched Friday night if Herzog had insisted.

"There's no reason to dwell on it," Cox said. "Whitey made the decision, and I'm going to go with it. We've still got the same guys starting, just a different rotation. If it goes seven (games), I'll probably pitch it. But the way we're going through pitchers, we may start (utilityman Jose) Oquendo."

Oquendo, who started in right field Friday night, pitched one inning out of desperation earlier this season and gave up three runs. His earned-run average: 27.00.

Don't invite Crazy Crab and Greg Minton to the same party.

Crazy Crab, alias local actor Wayne Doba, was the widely hated Giant mascot of a couple of seasons ago. His own fans disliked him, and so, evidently, did some of the players. Among them: Minton, who now pitches for the Angels.

Doba told Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News there were several crabby players in the clubhouse: "One day I came in, and there was a bunch of chewed-up tobacco in my suit. I don't know who did it, but I had to wear it that way. And one of the guys I hated was Greg Minton. He was a jerk. And I don't care if you print that. And Bill Laskey. He told me I was a jinx. Both those guys are gone now. That's fine with me."

The crab is gone, too, now, by popular demand.

Jack Clark's pinch-hit appearance was quite forgettable. His injured right ankle may not have directly affected his footing in the batter's box, but he said his timing on pitches is shot.

Clark struck out against Atlee Hammaker in the fifth inning, prompting Herzog to hint that Clark might not play again in the series, not even as a pinch-hitter.

"No, you won't see Jack in a starting role," Herzog said. "You might not see him at all again."

Said Clark: "It was the first time in a while I've played, and I was a little nervous. I was trying not to think of my ankle. Just think about hitting. It is tough (to pinch-hit)."

Clark added his voice to the war of words that has spiced the series. He cited a sudden arrogance on the part of his former team, telling the San Francisco Examiner:

"All of a sudden they get to the playoffs and think they've got a great team, like they're the Yankees with Babe Ruth. It's not that it's great players or that they've been in the league long enough to talk. They don't show much class. We laugh about it."

Clark turned sarcastic and added: "They won 120 games to get to the playoffs. They're great, and we're just happy to be here. It's been a tremendous privilege to stand on the same blessed soil with them."

The Cardinals and the Giants brawled last year during a game in which St. Louis continued to steal bases with an 8-2 lead in the fifth inning. Herzog and Craig almost came to blows.

"He got mad because we were still running," Herzog said of Craig Friday. "Hell, we hit 54 home runs last year. What am I supposed to do, give him 15 outs and stay out there on defense? You know how that game ended? They have two runners on, Chris Brown up and we're leading, 10-7.

"I explained to Roger the next day that with our offense I can't stop running in the fifth inning. I'm sure he understands now. We're friends. There's no bad blood."

For the first time during this series, Herzog did an interview with NBC, taping a short session with Joe Garagiola about an hour before the game.

Herzog agreed to do the interview after learning it would be shown after the pregame show, which is mainly conducted by Marv Albert.

Herzog has refused to talk with NBC during this series because he is still upset about an interview Albert did last year. Herzog thought Albert had insulted his intelligence and has asked for an apology.

"There's nothing to apologize for," Albert said.

Times staff writers Ross Newhan and Larry Stewart contributed to this story.

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