The latest episode in this struggle occurred early last week in a game against San Diego. Plate Umpire Jim Quick and Denny had gotten into a bit of unpleasantness over Quick's calls. By the seventh inning, Quick had begun to take exception to Denny's haranguing, and with Padre Gene Richards at bat, the umpire called four straight balls. On the fourth, Quick pulled off his mask, turned to the St. Louis dugout before the ball was even in Simmons' mitt and said, "And that's a ball, too."
Denny ripped off his cap, threw down his glove and steamed toward the plate. After unburdening himself for almost five minutes, he returned to the mound. It was from that elevated precinct that he admonished Quick to put his nether extremities in gear. Quick let loose with a hasty thumb, and Denny charged the quick Quick, his head bobbing up and down like a cork on troubled waters. It took an assortment of St. Louis players, coaches and, finally, Rapp to restrain Denny from duking it out with the offending ump. The outburst cost Denny an ejection (he was trailing 2-1 at the time, but got no decision as the Cards went on to win) and a $250 fine, but he had made his point. "There comes a time when you have to stand up to them," Denny says.
If he can make it through the season without contracting terminal cauliflower head from going one-on-one with umpires, other players and the dugout wall, Denny may get to sulk all winter about having won only 20 games.