The Angels no longer call for his advice. They haven't invited him to games. He's not even sure if they will want to see him during the playoffs.
Even General Manager Bill Bavasi concedes that while praise is being spread around the Angel organization for its success this season, one man is being ignored. And Whitey Herzog might be more responsible than anyone else in the organization for the Angels' season.
"His influence is still being felt now," Bavasi said. "And believe me, we're reaping the benefits. It took a guy of his stature and credibility to turn this thing around.
"He's the one who said, 'Hey, wait a minute here. Let's put the brakes on and develop what's here.' I give him a lot of credit for what's happening now."
Herzog was berated for trading Jim Abbott to the New York Yankees for J.T. Snow, Russ Springer and Jerry Nielsen. But now that Snow has emerged as a solid major league hitter and probably the best defensive first baseman in the game, no one is ridiculing the trade anymore.
Herzog was blasted for not giving first baseman Wally Joyner a $5-million-a-year contract. Who would you rather have at first base?
Herzog told the Angels to open their eyes and see some of the prospects they had in the organization--Jim Edmonds, Garret Anderson, Damion Easley and Gary DiSarcina. Keep those kids, he said, don't give them away for million-dollar veterans and a quick fix.
Then Herzog walked away a year ago, telling owner Jackie Autry that Bavasi was ready to become general manager.
Has anyone else in the American League done a better job than Bavasi this season? He signed closer Lee Smith, traded for leadoff hitter Tony Phillips and might be on the verge of reacquiring Abbott in a trade.
"Everything is falling in place," Herzog said. "And I couldn't be more proud of the Angel organization. Really, they're right on schedule. We talked about this being the year, and now look at them.
"I mean, my God, I like their lineup better than Cleveland's. Sure, you've got some surprises. I never thought DiSarcina would hit like this. I knew Edmonds was a good hitter, but I never thought he had that kind of power. Salmon, he's a bona fide superstar. And I think Garret Anderson has a good chance to be as good as Salmon.
"And there are disappointments too. There's no bigger disappointment than Springer. My God, with that arm, I thought Springer would step right in and take Abbott's place in the rotation. Then there's [Eduardo] Perez. I thought he'd be a bona fide major league player. . . .
"But it's all turned out. I think I'm the one who got them headed in the right direction, but in all fairness to Billy, he's the one who made a lot of good little decisions to make this all work."
Herzog, who says he watches a lot of Angel games on his satellite dish from his St. Louis home, says he hasn't talked to anyone in the Angel organization this season.
"Hell, just tell them to keep winning," Herzog said, "they're doing fine without me around. I don't want any credit. I just want to see them in the World Series."
JUST FOR YOU
Former Dodger Brett Butler, realizing his mother probably would be watching him play for the final time, had a two-game series at Wrigley Field last week that he can forever treasure.
The Chicago Cubs arranged for Betty Butler, who has inoperable cancer, to be in a skybox Monday and Tuesday to see her son play with the New York Mets. Butler put on a show, going seven for 10 with five runs scored.
"My mother doesn't have much time left," Butler said. "Her dream was to see her son play at Wrigley Field and the Cubs granted it. They watched over her the whole time.
"She had seizures during Monday's game, but she told my sister, Beverly, she wanted to stay and come again [Tuesday]. She's at peace as a born-again Christian. When she found out she was dying, she said, 'Jesus suffered a little bit, I guess I can too.'
"That's where I get my faith as a born-again Christian. I know when she dies, she'll get where I'm trying to go. . . . She supported me through all my career. Now I want to do all I can to help her. The Cubs helped me with that wish."
MERELY TRYING TO BE FRIENDLY
New York Yankee pitcher Jack McDowell, who privately has been telling friends he won't re-sign with the Yankees when the season ends, probably won't have that option. McDowell, who made an obscene gesture toward the home fans Tuesday night when they booed him after he was shelled by the Chicago White Sox, is scheduled to pitch again today at Yankee Stadium.
"You can't do that here, not here you can't," said White Sox starter Dave Righetti, who spent 12 years in the Yankee organization. "They won't forget that. This won't be like Hugh Grant doing something stupid and getting away with it."
It began when Boston Red Sox Manager Kevin Kennedy couldn't persuade former Dodger coach Ron Perranoski to take the pitching coach's job, and it has turned into a baseball soap opera.