Michelle is decked out in Rodeo Drive taupe—taupe slacks, taupe blouse, taupe jacket—with a multitude of gold bangles. If not for her sugary drawl, you would never guess she was Chattanooga born and bred. She never felt comfortable in Montreal, and was widely blamed for Mark's decision not to stay. "The Montreal papers called me a prom queen!" she says.
Michelle wants to be an actress. She has taken acting lessons for two years in Seattle. "We don't read plays," she says, "just unsold TV pilots." Jackie Autry, Gene's wife, told Michelle that she would introduce her to friends in the TV biz. Today, in a hotel near a Los Angeles airport, Yankee owner George Steinbrenner says he'll open doors for her at Paramount. Michelle is charmed. "I loved George," she says later. "I felt like kissing him."
Steinbrenner romances Mark by saying he sees him as the next Ron Guidry. He makes the Big Apple sound delectable. "If you can make it there," George says in all seriousness, "you can make it anywhere."
Langston, folded into a chair in Tellem's office, is feeling the disorientation that occurs when yesterday begins to blend with tomorrow. "I don't know who I'm seeing tonight," he says. "I just go where I'm told."
He's midway through a day-night doubleheader with San Diego and St. Louis. The Padres had been his first choice. He was born in San Diego and likes the players. Tony Gwynn has promised to give him hitting lessons. But the Padres are in disarray because the franchise is for sale, and the team must also worry about re-signing their own free-agent pitcher, Mark Davis.
St. Louis looks more promising. Busch Stadium is Langston's favorite park. "If Mark pitched here," manager Whitey Herzog said during the season, "he might never lose."
Before the meeting, Tellem agonizes over whether to bring along a baseball bearing Ozzie Smith's autograph for Herzog to sign as well. "Or should I have him sign a new one? This is the major decision of my life."
Herzog and Cardinals general manager Dal Maxvill are waiting at their hotel with a cooler full of Budweisers. Herzog tells Langston he's the best lefty in baseball. He says he wants to help him win 300 games and make the Hall of Fame. He even makes a pitch to Michelle. "St. Louis has all kinds of opera and stage shows," he says.