Although Chicago dropped out of the alleged pennant race by losing six of eight games, Ron Santo won this week's Watergate Award for Not Making Oneself Perfectly Clear. Santo is the man who refused to let the Chicago Cubs trade him to the Angels last winter and then personally took a hand in a deal that sent him to the White Sox. Now Santo has been quoted in a Los Angeles paper saying that if he had to make the choice again he would select the Angels, not the Sox. "What I was trying to tell the guy is that it's frustrating to sit and not play every day and be hitting .220," Santo said, sounding like another Ron. "It would be easier to cope with if I was playing every day and hitting .220. What I meant was that in Anaheim I would have been a regular and playing every day, thus the .220 would be easier to take. But that doesn't mean I'd rather be there than in Chicago."
California Owner Gene Autry doubted that even Champion could run on the waterlogged field in Minnesota, but financially troubled Twins Owner Calvin Griffith, swayed by an advance sale of 7,500, ordered the game underway. Four innings later, with the Twins enroute to another defeat and players taking pratfalls on the slippery surface, Griffith lambasted the umpires for not calling the game before it became official. "I hope they choke on the money they made tonight," said Twins Infielder Eric Soderholm.
Kansas City signed Orlando Cepeda as its designated hitter, but Owner Ewing Kauffman claims he will not resubmit the $1 million bid he made to Griffith last winter for Twins Pitcher Bert Blyleven. "We have been losing too much money," Kauffman said.
Texas slugger Jeff Burroughs had four hits, including his second grand-slam home run of the year, in a 12-5 rout of the White Sox. He now leads the majors with 86 RBIs.
Oakland matched the Rangers' 5-2 record, Reggie Jackson ruining Texas in one game with two home runs, the third time he has done that to the Rangers this year.
OAK 62-44 TEX 55-53 KC 52-52 CHI 52-53 MINN 51-55 CAL 43-65
All Lou Brock remembers about his first major league stolen base is that he was wearing No. 24 for the Cubs. For his 700th swipe Brock wore No. 20 for St. Louis and his victim was Chicago, which graciously gave him Wrigley Field's second-base bag to take home with him. And Brock, who now has 65 steals for the season, was at his pilfering best later in the week when St. Louis and Philadelphia squared off for first place. With the Cardinals trailing by a run in the bottom of the ninth, Brock singled home the tying run, stole second for the second time in the game, moved to third on an infield out and scored the winning run on Bake McBride's single. For the Phillies it was their fourth one-run loss in six games, but they were hardly depressed. "This ain't September," snapped Third Baseman Mike Schmidt.
New York's dreams of another miracle finish turned to nightmares when Tom Seaver was racked by the Pirates and Reliever Tug McGraw was bombed by the Cubs. Pitcher Jim Rooker shut out the Mets, then blasted the blas� ways of his Pittsburgh teammates. "We don't have the leadership that a winning club needs," he said.