Sparky Anderson of the Cincinnati Reds is known as one of the sharpest managers in baseball, so what was he doing dozing in the training room during a game last week with the San Francisco Giants? Well, it seems that Anderson had minor ear surgery that morning, and the anesthesia had not yet worn off. Sparky missed quite a game.
The Reds' Roger Nelson had a no-hitter going for seven innings, but Bobby Bonds broke it up with a two-run homer in the eighth. Later that inning Mike Phillips, the young Giant infielder, neglected to take his turn at bat. Coach Alex Grammas, standing in for Anderson, noticed it. The Giants and the P.A. announcer did not. As Garry Maddox stepped to the plate, the P.A. proclaimed that Phillips was hitting.
Biding his time, Grammas waited to see what Maddox would do. What he did was take two strikes. Then Charlie Fox, the Giant manager, reacted, to wit: "I looked up and said, 'What the hell is he doing up there?' "
Even before Maddox had stepped into the box, he knew, he said, that "something was messed up. It turned out to be me. By the time I was ready to ask about it, Tito Fuentes had made an out, so I went up." And flied out.
Phillips? He thought Fuentes had been batting for him. Actually, Fuentes was batting for Charlie Williams, the pitcher, who had been moved up to No. 1 in the order, and....
Oh, well, Pedro Borbon came on in the ninth to save a 4-3 victory for the Reds. Sweet dreams, Sparky.