For two days they had been after him unmercifully: they stole his transistor radio; they popped bubble gum behind his ear; they got him on his pants leg with a stream of tobacco juice. They marveled at his physique; they asked him when his chest had dropped to his knees. They said they would take him back to Cincinnati with them, but they doubted they could squeeze him into the plane's luggage compartment. He took it all with good grace, wearing the gentle smile of one who rather enjoys being a target.
One of the Reds did not join in the fun—Fred Norman, a veteran starter, who sat up on the bench under the shed and looked out over the merriment at the gray landscape. He was wondering idly what was going on in the Cincinnati clubhouse, what his team was doing in there...remarking to himself that the rain was probably a good thing because it would give his teammates time to make the small mental adjustments that would bring back to the field a team slightly superior to the one that had gone in when the rain started. He thought of it as a near chemical reaction going on in there, like a fusion process, and then he began wondering about Bill Lee, the Boston lefthander who had pitched such a fine game so far, and what the wait was doing to him. He suspected that Lee, too, was thinking about the Cincinnati people sitting in the locker openings down in their clubhouse and how they were gearing themselves up to get at him. At that moment he felt almost sorry for him.
In fact, Bill Lee was sitting in the clubhouse staring at Henry Kissinger. The Secretary was in Commissioner Bowie Kuhn's party at the game. He was accompanied by a Secret Service agent who had intrigued those in the vicinity of the VIP box behind the Red Sox dugout by wearing a fielder's glove on each hand, presumably to be doubly sure of protecting the Secretary of State from a low drive. People wondered how much he knew about fielding a baseball, and they were also somewhat puzzled as to how he intended to perform if called upon to handle a gun.
When Kissinger arrived in the locker room during the rain delay, Lee thought he was Fred Lynn's father. "Well, actually, Lynn's dad's got a thinner face," he said. "So I looked more carefully and I realized who it was. He was wearing a Red Sox cap. We've had some remarkable people in the clubhouse. Juan Marichal once brought in the smallest man in the world, a Rumanian midget from the Barnum & Bailey circus. He looked as though he had appeared out of a first baseman's glove, just opened it up and trotted on out. We talked to the midget, but no one talked to Kissinger. He sat on the autograph table and swung his legs back and forth and no one knew what to say to him. I kept wondering what he was thinking about, a man with all that on his mind, and having to spend four hours watching a baseball game in the rain. He finally went into the men's room. The Secret Service man went in there first—to peek in the stalls to make sure that no one was going to leap out at the Secretary."
When the rain relented, the players came out, and in the ninth Bench doubled off Lee. The pitcher did not blame his letdown on Kissinger. He felt that perhaps his lack of concentration was caused by the greeting he had received when he went back to the mound. "Every time I get a standing ovation the guy up hits a rope off me," he said.
Bench had doubled with such authority that Darrell Johnson, the Boston manager, came hurrying out of the dugout and gave everyone a chance to look at the Boston bullpen in the form of Dick Drago. The Cap went out to fetch him. On the way to the mound the driver offered Drago a tablespoon to clean the mud from his spikes, a somewhat more substantial utensil for the purpose than the tongue depressor, which the ground-keeper provides and was lying out beyond the pitching rubber.
Drago never had time to collect enough mud on his spikes to use the depressor. Despite such anguished cries as "Throw him the lasagna pitch" from the stands, Dave Concepcion singled Bench home to tie the score, stole second and then came home on Ken Griffey's hit.
If there was a war between the bullpens, both had wobbled when called upon in each of the games. The Series was tied going out to Cincinnati.
In the old Cincinnati ball park, Crosley Field, the Reds' bullpen was built into the ground like a military bunker, and the relievers could not see unless they stood up. No one could see in, either, which meant that a ballplayer could escape criticism for not paying attention; he could take a doze back in there. Perhaps with thoughts of such dereliction of duty in mind, the designers of Riverfront Stadium eliminated bullpens per se. The relievers sit together at the far end of the dugout and when the word comes, the pitcher steps out and warms up between the stands and the outfield lines. A third member of the bullpen crew stands with a glove behind the catcher, who has his back to home plate, in order to protect him from foul drives.