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THE WORLD SERIES : MINNESOTA TWINS vs. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS : Notebook : Herzog Shuffles Around His Hitters and Comes Up Card Short

October 26, 1987|ROSS NEWHAN | Times Staff Writer

MINNEAPOLIS — Tom Pagnozzi, expected to start as the St. Louis Cardinals' right-handed hitting designated hitter in Game 7 Sunday night, was scratched because of the flu.

Manager Whitey Herzog used Tony Pena as the DH and Steve Lake, his only other right-handed hitting option, as the catcher.

Two unstated reasons for the switch:

--Joe Magrane entered the game with a 4-1 record when Lake is catching and 4-7 when Pena is behind the plate.

--Lake is considered more adept at switching signs during the course of a game if the obviously suspicious Cardinals felt the Twins were stealing them.

Third baseman Tom Lawless, the Game 4 hero, returned to the St. Louis lineup, and Herzog was asked if Lawless had been practicing his home run bat flip.

"I hope he gets a chance to do it again," Herzog said. "If he does, I might flip the whole bat rack out there."

Minnesota Manager Tom Kelly said he arrived at the Metrodome at 11 Sunday morning, about 8 1/2 hours before the first pitch. "The clock moved real slow today," he said. "Plus, it was a bad day to have gained an hour."

John Tudor's loss in Game 6 left him with an 18-14 road record as a Cardinal compared to a 31-7 record at Busch Stadium. Of Tudor's performance in the 11-5 loss to the Twins, St. Louis Post Dispatch Columnist Kevin Horrigan wrote:

" . . . he went out and made the Metrodome stink like a Teflon covered feedlot.

"For the second time in three seasons, he had a chance to pitch a game that would win a world championship. For the second time in three years, he blew it."

Former American League President Lee MacPhail, the father of Twins General Manager Andy MacPhail, celebrated his 70th birthday at the Metrodome Sunday night.

Praise for the champion Minnesota Twins was not overflowing from the St. Louis clubhouse following Sunday night's 4-2 Twin win in Game 7, but several Cardinal players said they feel the Twins have the talent to be contenders, if not champions, in future seasons.

"I kind of agree with what Whitey (Herzog, the Cardinal manager) said a few days ago, that all they need is a little more pitching and to plug a few holes and they are right there," Cardinal pitcher Joe Magrane said.

Added veteran second baseman Tommy Herr: "I think they have good pitching, because their pitchers throw a lot better in this ball park. It's got to help them. But they need more depth in pitching."

Earlier in the series, though, Herzog said that the Twins could not win the American League East or National League East with only two "quality" starting pitchers--Frank Viola and Bert Blyleven.

In the aftermath of Game 6 Saturday, Cardinal Manager Whitey Herzog complained about the possibility of signs being stolen. Not the bed-sheet signs that line the walls of the Metrodome, but the ones between Cardinal pitchers and catchers.

After watching John Tudor get knocked around for six runs Saturday, Herzog, in so many words, said there might have been some sign stealing going on.

He threw out several vague theories, and he even went so far as to check the center-field seats for anyone with a video camera or walkie-talkie or even smoke signals.

"Yeah, we checked," Herzog said. "We didn't find anything."

Said Cardinal catcher Tony Pena: "I don't know. There's a good possibility. We'll have to see if we change the signs and do something about it."

There is, at least one Cardinal player who enjoys playing in the Metrodome.

Relief pitcher Ken Dayley said the stadium's noisy crowd and unusual architectural quirks is becoming.

"It's exciting in here," Dayley said. "Everybody talks about the noise being such a distraction and all that, but that's what baseball is about. When you've played in front of 2,000 or 3,000 fans, you appreciate this. I guess they've had those type of crowds before (in Minnesota)."

And now, for the flipside from Cardinal center fielder Willie McGee, who has had severe problems picking up fly balls in center field.

"It's the same thing I said before," McGee said. "There's nothing more I can say. You can't take your eyes off (the ball). You can't hear anybody call for it."

Wild trade rumor of the Series: the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported Sunday that the New York Yankees are said to be interested in making a trade that would send Dan Mattingly and pitcher Rick Rhoden to the Cardinals for pitcher Danny Cox, utility infielder Jose Oquendo and Pena.

A St. Louis executive, contacted by the newspaper, denied that the Yankees have contacted the Cardinals.

Frank Viola, the Game 7 winner and World Series MVP, helped swell Sunday night's attendance. He provided tickets for Mark Dornfield, the bowling alley assistant manager who hangs the "Frankie Sweet Music Viola" banner in the right-field bleachers. He also provided tickets for his brother John and his new wife, Donna.

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