Postseason rain delay in 1982

Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith grabs a bite to eat as he waits for the rain to stop at Busch Stadium. Post-Dispatch photo by J.B. Forbes

Editors note: On Feb. 11, 1982, the Cardinals made the trade that turned future Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie "The Wizard" Smith into a Redbird for most of his career. Smith, a 15-time All-Star, also won 13 consecutive Gold Gloves at shortstop. Here is our original coverage from the day of the trade, by Hall of Fame baseball writer Rick Hummel.

Richie Bry, the agent for Garry Templeton, fancies himself as a St. Louis Cardinals fan.

Yet Bry was the one who asked Whitey Herzog, the Cardinals' general manager, to trade Garry Templeton after last season.

"As a St. Louis fan, it's bad for St. Louis," Bry said Wednesday on the eve of completion of a deal that took two months to make.

"But I've got to do what I think is right."

"The Cardinals are going to live to regret this. It's an unfortunate deal, yet it's right for Garry. They really had no choice."

Bry's latter statement referred to Herzog's recent remark that the Cardinals couldn't win with Templeton, or "that boy," as he called him in one speech.

Templeton, hospitalized with what was diagnosed as depression late last season, apparently has been in telephone contact with area psychiatrist Jay Liss but has not required extensive treatment in the offseason.

Liss, contacted Wednesday by the Post-Dispatch, said he could not comment on the matter, demurring to Stan London, the Cardinals' team surgeon.

London said he would consider Templeton's condition as "stabilized. But the psychiatrist said he felt the long-term prognosis was good.

Bry, however, castigated Cardinals management both past and present for not doing something about Templeton's problem earlier.

"Everybody has got to accept blame here, including Garry," he said. "But the whole thing could have been avoided by more astute management which would have acted rather than reacted to Garry's problems. Not this management, but a series of managements. I hope the same mistakes don't happen in San Diego. But Garry is going in with a clear head. I was with him three days ago and he looked refreshed, very relaxed."

Templeton may not be missed by a significant part of St. Louis fandom, which won't forget his outburst of last August or several other incidents in the last few years that centered on his desire to play closer to his home in Villa Park, Calif.

Some of his teammates will miss him, although, in general, they feel the move is best for him.

"There are some intangibles involved," said first baseman Keith Hernandez. "I think it worked out best for both sides. I hope everything works out best for Templeton. He wouldn't have been happy here. And there's nothing worse than an unhappy player. "

"There would have been a lot of animosity from the fans. But Bry shouldn't have caused the trade to happen."

Hernandez said his major impression of Smith was that he was "a 100 percent player, a hustler. He plays every day. He doesn't mess up."

Other Cardinals have been interviewed through the period when the trade was obvious. Here is a cross-section of their remarks:

Second baseman Tom Herr said, "I'm sorry to see Tempy go. Personally, I liked the guy. I thought any problems he had were behind him. I was looking forward to that double-play combination being together for many more years.

"You always feel a little bit of remorse when a guy is with you and then moves on. Maybe that feeling isn't mutual. I don't know if Tempy wanted to leave because of me. I know he was unhappy when I was batting leadoff and he wasn't. And he's been wanting to go to the West Coast for years. But if he's happy, that's good."

Pitcher Bob Forsch said, "I personally think he'd be better off out there. It would give him a new lease.

"Tempy did some things wrong in St. Louis. They were things that the players can forget, but I don't think the fans will. As soon as stuff started going bad, something would have happened."

Forsch thought Templeton had played hard when he returned last September to help spark the Cardinals' pennant drive, which fell short. "That was for a month. You don't know what will happen for six months. But when Garry wants to play, he's the best. I don't think anybody will ever convince me any differently," Forsch said.

Pitcher Bob Shirley has played with both Templeton and Smith and said Cardinals fans would be impressed with their new acquisition. "I've seen Ozzie on dirt infields get to balls that a lot of others shortstops wouldn't even go after," said Shirley. "With artificial turf, people will be amazed at some of the things he can do.

"I don't think the people in St. Louis have to worry about Ozzie Smith. He'll play 162 games. And that money talk wasn't Ozzie Smith talking; it was his agent.

"In San Diego, he was kind of a pest at times. If he didn't get a couple of hits and contribute to a win, he got a little down on himself. But then again, we didn't win a lot in San Diego."

So, far, in the the much-drawn-out San Diego-St. Louis transaction, Templeton has been sent to the Padres for Smith in a one-for-one deal; outfielder Sixto Lezcano has left the Cardinals for pitcher Steve Mura, but two players are still be named in that separate deal. The names most frequently mentioned have been Cardinals reliever Luis DeLeon and Padres pftcher AI Olmstead.

"I'll tell you what," said another player. "There had to be some changes, and Whitey made the right changes. He got rid of the attitude problems.

"We finished a half-game out (in the second half of last year's split season) and he got rid of the problems that caused that half-game deficit."

Yet another player said, "If there is somebody who doesn't want to be here, I'd rather trade him for a couple of dozen bats. He's not going to help the club if he doesn't want to be here."

Bry said he didn't think there would be any problems with Templeton's contract with San Diego.

"Garry's contract will be considerably improved," said Bry of the document, which has four years to run at $660,000 a year. "But he will not have the right to be traded next year. " 

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Rick Hummel

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