"What do you mean, Skip? Are you telling me that I'm not going to pitch tomorrow night?"
"Don't get upset," he said, "it's a strategic move."
"The reason we're going with Bruce is because of the rain delay." Then he said that Bruce Hurst pitched well against the Mets the first two games.
"Skip," I said, "I had an extra day of rest. I'm ready to go."
After starting to cry, I turned and went upstairs. My friend, Gary Finizio, was staying at the hotel as my guest. He'd been out to dinner with my wife and me, at Rusty Staub's, before I'd met with McNamara. I went to his room and he saw I was upset and said, "What's wrong?"
"They ain't letting me pitch."
"What you mean they won't let pitch?"
I told him I had to get out and he said he was going with me. I went back downstairs, where a lot of my teammates were either in the lobby or in the bar having a drink, and left the hotel with Gary. My friend and teammate, Al Nipper, tried to stop me. He could see I was crying and he knew where I was heading. He tried to hold me back. He teared up himself.
I told him not to follow me. He knew where I was going and I didn't want him to see.
I was walking toward Central Park, crying as I walked. When I got to where I knew I had to be, I told Gary to wait and I made a deal, while crying, talking to the dope dealer.
I got the dope and headed back to the hotel, got back to my room, and started to get high. I stayed up all night; couldn't get to sleep. The more hurt I felt, the more cocaine I wanted to do.
All the while I'm saying to myself, "Why me? Why now?"
Goddamn I wanted to pitch!
Twenty-five years later, John McNamara said I was too drunk to pitch in Game 7. Twenty-five years later, I guess that's how John McNamara felt, but there's no evidence of that ever happening, because it didn't happen. Mind you, this is Game 7, man. C'mon, be real. I was told the day of the rainout that I wasn't pitching and I did what I did on that day. But I still had to go to bed and get ready to play in Game 7, because at the same time I was told that I wasn't starting Game 7 I was told I'd be the first pitcher up if Bruce got in any trouble.
Now, that did make me feel a little bit better, I admit—even though I walked out and walked up the street to buy cocaine. But this was Game 7. It's a night ballgame. I got to the ballpark somewhere around 2:00 or 2:30 in the afternoon on the bus. The wives and everything would come later, but my wife was there the whole time, so she was quite disturbed that McNamara would say that I wasn't prepared to pitch.