Sport: Baltimore's Soft-Shelled Crab

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Baseball's top manager has his Orioles beating the best

Earl Weaver looked on first in anguish, then in outrage. The relief pitcher he had brought in to protect a two-run lead over the Oakland A's last week hit one batter and sent another sprawling to the ground to avoid a beaning. Bad enough, but then Home Plate Umpire Rich Garcia claimed that the pitcher had nicked the third hitter on the hand. In a flash of anger, the manager of the Baltimore Orioles came bellowing out of the dugout. "I heard wood!"

he screamed at Garcia, claiming the pitch had actually hit the bat.

Hands on hips, his entire body bobbing with fury, Weaver closed on his quarry and pressed his argument to within an inch of Garcia's nose.

"You're a dog," he informed the ump "You're outta here!" replied Garcia.

But Weaver did not go gently into the good night. He seldom does when he is tossed out of a game. He strut ted back to the dugout, only to find a cause for another epic tirade. Baltimore Pitcher Sammy Stewart had started to throw to Catcher Rick Dempsey, hoping to keep his arm warm until tempers cooled.

The ump on second base told Stewart to desist. Heave ho or no, Weaver came boiling back onto the field. "There's nothing in the rule-books that can stop my pitcher from throwing to remain warm," he sputtered. "This has never been done be fore in the history of baseball!" The umpires quickly formed a human barricade around Weaver, and after a bit of belly bumping, the manager departed for the second time.

As Oakland fans— and two of the umpires-applauded. Weaver finally left the field. At least, so it seemed.

Back home in Baltimore, Weaver's clubhouse office is equipped with closed-circuit television and a telephone line to the dugout that allow him to keep on running the team in just such emergencies Lacking these sophisticated amenities in Oakland, Weaver was reduced to hiding in the dugout toilet to remain close to the action. As he poked his head out between plays, Oakland Manager Jim Marshall spotted him and appealed to the umps.

Garcia went into action once again. He tracked down Weaver and sent him to the locker room.

"He's a disgrace to the game," Gar cia fumed later. Added First Base Um pire Larry Barnett: "He goes goofy. He can't control himself, screaming, ranting and raving. Every time he comes out, he's shot out of a cannon." As for Weaver, he blithely, if inelegantly, explained: "I was in the bathroom throwing up. They made me sick."

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