To return to the game in Chicago: although nobody is out and Oliva and Killebrew are the next two hitters, Wilbur Wood of the Sox is pitching out of a stretch to hold Carew on. "That takes something away from the pitcher," says Martin. "At least it takes away some of his deception." It also makes it hard for Carew to catch Reiser. He confines himself to bluffing, as Oliva pops out. But when Killebrew taps to the mound, Carew has somehow got such a jump that he beats Wood's throw to the plate. Killebrew gets an RBI and is safe on a fielder's choice, but the play has been virtually a double steal, of home and first. Then Reese hits his second home run in two innings, and after a walk Martin brings in Tovar, the best overall base runner on the team, to pinch-run.
While Roseboro is at bat, Tovar steals second—on a pitchout—and then third. After Roseboro pops out, Cardenas comes up, and pretty soon Tovar breaks for home. He has it made, but the pitch hits Cardenas, sending him to first and Tovar back to third. Pitcher Dick Woodson is up. White Sox Catcher Don Pavletich, a seasoned receiver, is so rattled by Tovar's fits and starts that he keeps dropping pitches. Finally, the third strike to Woodson gets away from him entirely, and Tovar, going on the pitch, crosses the plate. Unfortunately Woodson dawdles and is thrown out to end the inning, no doubt to get himself chewed out.
"A man will do something wrong," says Quilici, "and Billy gets so wound up in the game he'll get up from the bench and chew him out from his toes to his teeth right there." Anyway, four runs and a lot of fun on three hits.
Cisco Carlos sets the Twins down in order in the sixth and seventh, but Roseboro leads off the eighth with a single and goes around to third on Cardenas' single. Now ordinarily a 30-year-old man on first and a 36-year-old catcher on third are not an intimidating pair. But the White Sox appear to be uneasy. Carlos throws a pitchout, then a very high ball. Finally, Cardenas breaks for second, and Pavletich cocks his arm, cocks it again and inexplicably throws a soft grounder toward the hole between third and short. Cardenas is safe at second, Roseboro holds. Carlos then tries to pick Roseboro off third and throws the ball away. Roseboro scores, Cardenas goes to third. The suicide squeeze figures to be on. That is the only kind of squeeze Martin believes in. Woodson, however, grounds out, bringing up Uhlaender. At last, Cardenas breaks for the plate. If Uhlaender doesn't bunt it on the ground, Cardenas is dead. Uhlaender bunts it just right. Two runs on two singles. No other team in baseball can turn beating Chicago 10-5 into such an experience.
But then no other team is managed by a man who once made an alltime great hair-raising catch on a pop-up just to the right of the mound. The Yankees' pitcher and first-baseman were somehow reluctant to get involved that day in the 1952 World Series with two out and the wind blowing and four Dodgers rounding the bases at once, but Martin, as far away as he was from the ball, just could not stay out of the action. Now, he refuses to sit back and trust his big batting guns to overpower the other side.
And when someone asks him a question, he cannot be discreet. Take the question about Ted Williams a few weeks ago. Martin said (as he recalls it now), "He was the greatest hitter I ever saw, but as a second baseman I didn't have any respect for him, because he never slid into me. On a double play he'd go out of the baselines. It's nothing personal. But if the truth is a crime, then this country is in trouble."
Earlier in the year, when asked at a luncheon in Cleveland about Joe Gordon's managing of the Indians in 1959, he replied Joe didn't do a good job—he "let personalities enter in"—and benched Jim Piersall, Vic Power and his second baseman, named Martin. Manager Martin added that he thought Gordon was doing a good job this year in Kansas City, but that angle was not played up in the press, and when the Twins came to Kansas City in the last week of June, Gordon told a reporter that the visitors were handicapped by their "young, outspoken manager. Martin is too immature in some of his ways."
But Martin continued to speak out the next day, and so the feud became the most enjoyable of the year. Most of the byplay was relayed between the Minnesota and Kansas City benches by eager reporters, so there is no one authoritative account, but Martin says it all began when he shouted across the field to Gordon in the opposing dugout, "Hey Joe, you're too outspoken." It ended with Martin inviting Gordon on a fishing trip, and then recalling that he and former Twins Manager Sam Mele went fishing once, Mele fell in, and Martin had to pull him out by the hair. It would be hard, Martin noted, to save the bald-headed Gordon that way.
Day-to-day Martin is not nearly so lighthearted. Whenever he thinks someone has done wrong, Martin tells him. "A lot of veterans don't like to be told about little things," observes Quilici. "They figure they've been around and they know when they do something wrong. But Billy believes in telling them anyway." Roseboro, one of those who does not care to be nagged, says playing for Martin "is not the easiest job in the world, because he wants everything just so. But as long as you're winning, you don't give a damn how hard it is."
An important point. Martin brashly told everybody what they were doing wrong when he was playing for the Yankees, and they liked it, because they were winning and he was helping. When he went on to other teams, all of which were losing, he was unpopular. After he left Detroit, for instance, Al Kaline was quoted as being relieved that "we don't have that pop-off Martin, talking about pennants."