SAN FRANCISCO — A column that will not appear in today's editions of the San Francisco Examiner turned out to be a major topic of conversation and motivational tool for the Giants Saturday night against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series.
After San Francisco's come-from-ahead loss in Game 3 Friday night, the Examiner's Art Spander wrote a column scheduled to run in Sunday's editions predicting that the Gaints' pennant hopes seemingly were over. He called it another disappointment for a city that is used to it.
The column ran in an early "bulldog" edition that hit the streets Saturday afternoon. Spander said he had planned to kill the column and rewrite it should the Giants win Game 4 Saturday night, which they did--and he did.
Apparently, though, some Giants bought the newspaper and read of their demise. They weren't hapy.
Said catcher Bob Brenly: "It was a pretty good motivation to me. The man called us losers, The City losers and the fans losers. If the man wants to give up on us, fine. Tell him to get out of our clubhouse."
Actually, the column was not as strongly worded as Brenly suggested.
Giant Manager Roger Craig indirectly referred to the column when he said afterward: "Well, for some of you who don't know what 'Humm-Baby' means, you saw it tonight. This club is fired up after getting beat last night. It seemed like we were written off by a lot of people. This club just battled back and showed what kind of character they've got. They know how to win."
They also seemingly are proficient in grafitti. On a podium in an interview room, someone (presumably connected with the Giants) had written an obscene message about Spander in red ink.
Obscure-record Dept.: Neither team made a substitution Saturday night, which was a first in league championship series play.
Cardinal third baseman Terry Pendleton, returning to the starting lineup Saturday after missing Game 3 with a sprained ankle, went 1 for 4.
Pendleton said his ankle still bothers him.
"It's still the same," Pendleton said. "It still hurts a lot."
Giant hitters did not test Pendleton and pitcher Danny Cox (coming off a stiff neck) by bunting down the third-base line.
"I thought they might do it," Pendleton said. "I think Eddie Milner tried only once. But with the wind blowing like it was, why test me? Test the left-field fence."
Cardinal shortstop Ozzie Smith is taking a lot of heat from fans at Candlestick Park, who have serenaded him with sarcastic chants of "Ozz-ie, Ozz-ie."
"I've been playing too long to let them bother me," said Smith, who made up for his two-run error in Game 2 with three hits in Game 3.
Apparently, even legends aren't above the law.
A limousine carrying former St. Louis Cardinals star Stan Musial was ticketed for stopping in a no-parking zone outside Candlestick Park Friday night. It seems Musial's driver was at the will-call window seeking a parking pass.
Don Robinson, who had a significant influence on the Giants' success after his second half acquisition from Pittsburgh, shook his head Saturday when asked about his Friday night relief stint.
Robinson faced three Cardinals during their decisive, four-run rally in the seventh inning, and each reached base.
Curt Ford hit a broken bat single to center and Dan Driessen and Vince Coleman grounded singles through the mound, the latter hit skipping through Robinson's legs.
"My follow-through takes me off the left side of the mound," he said. "I've always had trouble with balls hit right back at me."
Robinson said he has also always had trouble with the Cardinals because they lay off his low and away breaking ball, putting him behind in the count and forcing him to come in with fastballs.
"They don't swing at bad pitches," he said. "They keep the ball in play. For a power pitcher like myself, that usually causes trouble.
"You've got to give 'em credit. I've pitched against them for 10 years, and what you saw last night is the way they always go about it. A broken-bat single and two ground balls that could have been double plays. The frustrating part is that I wouldn't change one pitch.
"I'd come back and make the same pitches tonight."
Times staff writer Ross Newhan contributed to this story.