Actually, it was closer to madness. Washington is not known to many ballplayers. Track, after all, is his sport. But when he stepped on first in Rudi's stead, he found himself in familiar company. Garvey, the man standing next to him on the base, was a senior at Michigan State when Washington was a freshman and the two had taken at least one class together. Not far away, staring at him dispassionately, was Marshall, who once taught Washington in a course in Child Growth and Development.
"We had a good trio of Michigan State guys on the field," said Garvey, who retains the clean-cut looks of his undergraduate days.
The reunion, however, was short-lived. With Angel Mangual, another A's pinch hitter, at bat, Marshall first faked a throw to first base, then, when Washington was least expecting it, he fired low and hard to the bag. Garvey made another sweep and tagged Washington for the second out of the inning. Mangual quickly became the third by striking out. The pickoff, like the Garvey pickup an inning earlier, snipped off a rally; they saved the day for the Dodgers.
"It was a perfect setup," said Garvey, sounding a little like Redford or Newman. " Marshall stepped off the rubber three times and we froze Herb. The throw was on the money. He has world-class speed, but it's a different thing running the bases. This is Herb's first year and he's improved, but it's still tough."
Tough, too, on Finley, who first thought up the idea of a pinch-running specialist. When Washington returned to the dugout in humiliation, the crowd near Finley on the first-base side of the field rose, seemingly en masse, to give him a giant raspberry.
The man had had a bad week. But there was another yet to come.