The Royals had a day off as they prepared for a four-game series at home with the Texas Rangers. Given the recent unpleasantness between the two teams, there was still plenty of tension heading into the series. Despite AL president Lee MacPhail’s statement that further incidents would result in suspensions, many fans wondered if there would be a third round of hostilities over the weekend.
“You never know,” said Royals manager Whitey Herzog. “I can’t be surprised because of all those statements guys like Horton, Ellis, and Corrales have made saying they were going to get Porter.”
Rangers DH Willie Horton had publicly talked about wanting to fight Royals catcher Darrell Porter in an off-field setting. Texas first baseman John Ellis was taking credit for injuring Royals third baseman George Brett, who suffered an elbow injury in the May 7 brawl and was expected to be out of action for at least a week. Rangers coach Pat Corrales had attacked Porter from behind after the May 7 fight was pretty much over, triggering another round of pushing and shoving.
“As far as the Royals are concerned, it’s all over and forgotten,” said Kansas City general manager Joe Burke. “Every player knows that if he should start anything, it would mean a suspension, probably a severe one.”
In a lighter note, the ceremonial first pitch on Friday was scheduled to be thrown by legendary boxer Joe Louis.
1977 baseball news: With the Atlanta Braves mired in a 16-game losing streak, owner Ted Turner decided to take matters into his own hands. He sent manager Dave Bristol on a 10-day “scouting trip” and named himself interim manager, although he planned to let coaches Vern Benson and Chris Cannizzaro handle most of the strategy. The move didn’t work out, though; the Braves lost 2-1 to Pittsburgh, extending Atlanta’s skid to 17 games.
Today’s birthdays: Jerry Martin (1949), Dane Iorg (1950), Mark Huismann (1958), Trent Hubbard (1964), Glenn Sparkman (1992)