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Thread: To Rule in Kansas City

  1. #151
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    Atlanta, GA
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    1,810

    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    I don't think I've seen the Astros win a World Series ever on Baseball Mogul. So I have to root for Houston.

    --Pet

  2. #152
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Cleveland, OH
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    2,896

    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    broocks: Wynn's doing okay. Dave Rader, on the other hand...

    petrel: Neither have I, so I personally want the Astros to win. Of course, the A's haven't won since 1930 so I'll take them too.
    *******

    October 24-26

    I learned, unofficially, Bowie Kuhn cares very much who won this Series. He dreams of a league where, over say a five or six year span to give teams time to rise and fall, anyone has a tolerable chance to get in the playoffs if not win the Series itself. He believes dynasties over a long period of time can hurt the game. Bowie wants Houston to win, as it would prove a recent expansion team could go all the way. On the other hand, the Athletics hadn't been to the Series since 1931, so I think either way he wins.

    Me? I favor Oakland. Nothing against Houston, but it feels a little better knowing I lost the division to the World Champion. Further, if Houston takes the Series in their ninth year of existence, I fully expect Ewing to want me to do it in eight. I can hear him now: "Win the Series by '76 or you're fired."

    In the meantime I need to find a manager. Once all is said and done I have four candidates:

    Bob Lemon left me a very nice note asking for the opportunity to discuss his future prospects, which I suspect is his laid back, deferential way of telling me he wants the job. I have to take his offer seriously. He's watched this team first as pitching coach, then on the bench. He knows the Royals as well as anyone. He's 4-5 lifetime managing the club, which is better than anyone else. He lives in the area, and he's earned the shot.

    Soon after releasing Billy I received a letter from Dick Williams. Williams led the Red Sox to the 1967 pennant, but continued bickering with some of his players (notably Carl Yastrzemski) and ownership finally did him in. Leading the BoSox out of nowhere in '67 had to take some skill. When I called he told me he was also talking to the ChiSox, Detroit and San Francisco but would be happy to see me as well.

    Andy suggested one of the Mets coaches: A former Yankee catcher named Berra. When I talked to him he sounded like he had a frog in his throat. "Kansas City?" he mused. "It gets late early out there. I'll be there when my plane arrives."

    Uhm...

    Finally Gary said I should talk to the Mets' Director of Player Development. I didn't bother asking Joan Payson for permission to talk to him or Berra - it's just a courtesy, after all, and I didn't really like her tone when we talked. Whitey Herzog, a former outfielder and coach, said he'd come out as well.
    *******

    World Series
    Game 3


    Meanwhile the Houston faithful crowded the Astrodome to see if their team could stave off disaster. Astro manager Harry Walker went so far as to say they needed to sweep here in Houston. "Trying to win both games in Oakland would be difficult."

    Athletics manager John McNamara found himself in an awkward position. In two years as a Major League manager he'd won two divisions, one pennant, and now led in the Series. He could rightfully claim at least a little credit for the team's best showing in forty years, however he had Chuck Finley for a boss. Finley could be flamboyant and charismatic, a master showman who knew how to make baseball fun for fans, players and coaches alike while making a profit. Yet he had a dark side: His flamboyance and snubbing of authority came at the price of being absolutely sure of himself. He tended to involve himself in pretty much anything that interested him and was a strong manager's worst nightmare. McNamara was his sixth manager in just over five years.

    For all his showmanship though, Finley couldn't stand up to 3B Doug Rader. The crowd roared as he took the field after spending most of October out with a chipped knee. His return overshadowed the long awaited duel between aces Catfish Hunter and Larry Dierker.

    Dierker retired the first five Oakland batters before walking Gene Tenace. Bob Watson singled to start the Astro second and advanced on a walk, but Hunter settled and the game remained scoreless.

    Oakland threatened in the fourth with runners on first and third and one out, but Tenace flew out. Reggie Jackson sprinted in from home, but CF Jimmy Wynn threw a bullet home and C Johnny Edwards bulled into him for third out. They tried again in the sixth, but Jackson grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.

    Houston finally scored later that inning when Joe Morgan walked, Rader doubled to put men on second and third, and Bob Watson singled to bring both men in. One inning later Dierker and Morgan singled, then Doug Rader hit a blooper that barely cleared the right field fence.

    Oakland struck back in the eighth: Joe Rudi (PH for reliever Dave Morehead) doubled, then came home on a Bert Campaneris single. Campaneris stole second, then was caught stealing third for the second out. Bobby Brooks flew out to end the inning.

    In the ninth Reggie Jackson reached second when SS Marty Martinez threw the ball away. He came home on a Tenace single up the middle with two outs. Rich Reese flew out to retire the side.

    Dierker pitched a complete game giving up only one earned run. Rader was the hero, going 2 for 4 with 2 runs and 3 RBI.

    Houston Astros 5, Oakland Athletics 2
    (Athletics lead Series 2-1)

    *******

    Game 4

    Don Wilson and Chuck Dobson squared off in the Series' first rematch. This time Oakland leapt in front. Campaneris opened the game with a double, then scored on Brooks' single. Rick Monday singled to put runners on first and third, then Jackson hit into a routine 4-6-3 double play. Brooks scored in the confusion to put Oakland up by two. They threatened again in the third, putting runners on second and third with one out, but Monday grounded out and Jackson flew to right to retire the side.

    Joe Morgan doubled with one out in the third, then scored on a Rader single. Rader in turn crossed the plate on a Rusty Staub double, tying the game.

    Campaneris opened the fifth with a single and stole second, Brooks then singled up the middle to bring him in, but Monday's liner to left and Sal Bando's 5-4-3 double play prevented further mischief.

    Other than a Bob Watson homer to tie the game and an error by 2B John Donaldson allowing Morgan on board, no one else reached base until the Astro eighth. Reliever Marcel Lachemann walked Rusty Staub, who scored on a two-run blast by Jimmie Hall. Jim Ray pitched the Astro ninth and yielded a double, but struck out PH Donn Clendenon to end the game.

    Hall's 2 for 4, 1 run 2 RBI performance led the Astros while Oakland put their faith in Bobby Brooks (2 for 4, run, 2 RBI).

    Houston Astros 5, Oakland Athletics 3
    (Series tied 2-2)

    *******

    Game 5

    With the Series tied Houston once more turned to J.R. Richard, who once more gave everyone heart attacks. He left the bases loaded (three walks) in the first, runners on second and third (two singles) in the second, and bases loaded (two singles and a walk) in the third, all amazingly without one runner crossing the plate.

    Jim Nash also struggled, stranding three men - all in scoring position - in the first two innings. His luck gave out in the third when Joe Morgan walked, then Doug Rader hit a two-run homer to deep left. After a surprisingly peaceful fourth (not one runner on either side), Joe Morgan singled with one out in the fifth. Rader grounded to short, forcing him out, then advanced on a wild pitch before coming home thanks to Staub's single.

    Campaneris hit into a double play to end Oakland's sixth with two on. Marcel Lachemann came in for the ailing Hunter and only yielded a walk. Richard retired the side in order in the seventh. Lachemann then failed entirely:

    Denis Menke (PH for Richard) opened with a walk. Morgan flied to left, then Rader was hit by a pitch just above his elbow. Staub reached on an error to load the bases, then Bob Watson grounded to first to put Houston up 4-0. Jimmy Wynn then hit a Texas leaguer down the third base line for two more runs.

    Jack Billingham pitched the Oakland eighth and gave up a single to Rich Reese, but otherwise escaped unharmed. The 'Stros went down in order in their half. In the ninth Ted Kubiak (PH for Morehead) walked, then two strikeouts later Rick Monday singled. This brought Reggie Jackson to the plate...who also struck out.

    J.R. Richard's scary performance (7 IP 5 H 7 BB) could only be called lucky, while Billingham pitched ably in relief. Rader went 1 for 3 with 3 runs and 2 RBI. Oakland had little to celebrate except Morehead's 1.1 IP of perfect relief. Rich Reese went 2 for 2 with 3 walks to no effect.

    Houston Astros 6, Oakland Athletics 0
    (Astros lead Series 3-2)
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  3. #153
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    47

    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Berra for manager!

    Although Dick Williams sounds like a good manager.

  4. #154
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    48

    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    I would feel bad if you took it from Lemon but Herzog!

    I love the Whitey! He was a man quite ahead of his time...

    Go Stros! Just one win baby!

  5. #155
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    48

    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Also, did I miss something or is there a reason why Doug Rader is so loved?

  6. #156
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    Mar 2007
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Xyankeefanx: Maybe!

    Broocks: Whitey was indeed ahead of his time.

    As for Rader, he was Houston's starter all year (.292 16-70 5). When he went down in early October, he was replaced by Damaso Blanco (.227 0-6 1). Blanco is..frankly..not that good (60/63) and had no business in the playoffs. Rader's return put Houston back at full strength at a time when they trailed 2 games to 0. Fans hoped his return would strengthen the Astros so they could make a Series of it.
    *******

    October 28, 1970


    Bob Lemon visited me on a rainy Wednesday afternoon. I stood and shook his hand as he walked in. Several minutes of pleasantries: Inquiries into my family, into his (they have a nice home outside town, but like to spend winters in California), mourning as to the Cardinals' fate, reminiscing about his days on the Indians, books.

    "Chuck, I wanted to talk to you about who should be field manager next year."

    I straightened and poured myself a drink. I offered him one. He looked at the glass, frowned and shook his head.

    "Are you interested?" I asked.

    Lemon nodded. "I've watched these teams for two years, Chuck. Joe Gordon and Billy Martin did the best they could. I'm not saying anything against either of them. Now I think they're on the cusp of something big, but they need someone who knows them. Someone who knows how to get the best out of them I mean."

    "And that's you?"

    He paused, ill at ease. I gave his glass a gentle shove. He took it, but didn't drink.

    "You know I've worked a lot with our pitchers," he said. "A number of them are turning out quite well. In another two or three years I think we'll have the best rotation in the American League."

    I nodded. "Yes, and that's one of my concerns, Bob. Sometimes even as bench coach you worked exclusively with the pitchers. Do you know how to help our hitters and fielders?"

    "I won the PCL championship as manager in 1966," he replied quietly. "These boys don't need that much help, Chuck. They need someone who'll make them hustle and do what's best for the team. Someone who won't make exceptions for stars or come down too hard on new players - that's the worst thing you can do and too many managers do it anyway. They know what they need to do, and we have a hitting coach if they forget. My job is to clear away as much of the bull____ as possible from the clubhouse so they can concentrate on playing!"

    I have to admit...I like what he had to say. Much of it was hyperbole - generalities without substance - but I know Bob. He's not the kind to make promises he doesn't think he can deliver and I think he was just nervous. I asked him, given what he knows about the roster today, to tell me what he'd change, why, and get back to me.
    *******

    World Series
    Game 6


    It turned out to be a lucky stroke, and perhaps a model for the future, that the Astros and Athletics saved their best pitchers for games 3 and 6. Oakland needed this game just to stay alive, while Houston wanted it to avoid a deadly one game winner-take-all match in the enemy's lair.

    Catfish Hunter took the mound for Oakland. He gave up an opening walk to Joe Morgan, then retired the side in the first.

    Dierker, meanwhile, gave Athletics fans something to cheer about as he gave up three consecutive walks with two outs to load the bases. Gene Tenace flied out to center however to keep the game tied.

    Jimmy Wynn homered to open the second and give Houston the lead. In the bottom half the Athletics only managed a single by Rich Reese. No one else reached base until the Athletic fourth, when Gene Tenace doubled, advanced on Reese's single, and scored on a John Donaldson groundout to the pitcher.

    Oakland once more threatened, putting Campaneris on third with one out in the fifth, but Rick Monday struck out and Sal Bando flew to right.

    Rader and Watson walked in the sixth, but Houston couldn't score either and so the game remained tied. The Astros threatened once more in the seventh with a Marty Martinez double, but Cliff Johnson (PH for Dierker) struck out.

    Since Dierker came out, some were surprised that Catfish stayed in to hit in the Oakland seventh. Reliever Fred Gladding retired them in order. Both sides allowed one hit in the eighth.

    Carroll Sembera pitched the Houston ninth. Jimmy Wynn singled, advanced on a ground out, stole third, and scored on Johnny Edwards' sacrifice bunt.

    Ken Tatum came in for the Oakland ninth. Reese and Donaldson both grounded out, bringing up Joe Rudi (PH for Sembera). He struck out to end the game and the Series.

    Dierker went 6 innings giving up 4 hits, 4 walks and 1 ER. Gladding and Tatum only allowed one hit in the last three innings. Jimmy Wynn went 2 for 4 with 2 runs and an RBI. Catfish went 8 innings giving up 4 hits and 1 ER, but Sembera's one inning killed the A's.

    Houston Astros 2, Oakland Athletics 1

    The Houston Astros are 1970 World Champions!

    *******

    Oakland fans stayed for a good hour after the game, some raging, some near tears. They'd come so close. They'd won fifteen more games in the regular season than the Astros, and yet...

    Many questioned John McNamara's decision not to PH for Hunter in the seventh. It's hard to argue whether that would have made a difference or not, but Charlie Finley seemed to think so. In the days afterwards he'd encourage McNamara to 'seek employment elsewhere.' Dick Williams signed soon after that, eager to be with the AL Champion.

    The World Series MVP went to Larry Dierker (15 IP 2 ER 9 H 1 win). For his part, Dierker wasn't quite happy he'd been taken out of the game after six innings, but when questioned by reporters he merely said, "Skipper has to make the decision. We won, what more do you need to know?"

    Many thought the award should have gone to Rader (.462 2 HR 6 RBI in 4 games), as at the least his return brought the team a bit of luck. Rader shook his head. "Nah, Larry's done a great job for us all year. He deserves this."
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  7. #157
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
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    886

    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Good Lord in heaven! A team from Texas won a World Series....in Baseball Mogul!!! I don't believe it!

  8. #158
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    48

    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    there were other people in the room when i read that the astros had won the world series

    explaining to them why i was so excited was a little bit awkward.

    Doug Rader hitting .290! No wonder the Astros went to the world series!

  9. #159
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Overbay17: Yeah, sure surprised the heck out of me!

    broocks: On paper Houston's offense is amazing. Morgan (91), Rader (91), Staub (90), Watson (89) and Wynn (93) are 1st-5th in their lineup. Their pitching's...tolerable (Dierker is best at 86). With a little luck, and if they can fend off always dangerous San Francisco, the Astros might have a mini-dynasty on their hands.
    *******

    Late October 1970

    I ruled out Berra almost as soon as I met him. I'm sure he's intelligent enough in his way, but he has a great deal of trouble making himself understood. His vernacular is full of obvious statements like "you can observe alot by watching" and absurdities like "baseball is 90% mental. The other half is physical."

    Maybe all that makes sense in New York. Certainly the press would love to quote him. However, I need someone who can make himself understood clearly and concisely.

    I hadn't yet talked to Whitey Herzog. Nonetheless, I invited Bob to my chat with Andy Kraft to go over our roster, mainly to have a mature, experienced voice in there beside my own.

    Andy was waiting for us when we walked in the conference room, slim and dressed in black with a black suit jacket. He shook Bob's hand, looked him in the eye, turned to me and said "He can stay."

    I grit my teeth in some semblance of a smile.

    Batters
    HTML Code:
    1970 Batting        Fld    G   AVG    AB    H  2B  3B  HR   BB    K   SB  CS    R  RBI   SLG   OBP
    Rodriguez, Ellie    997  127  .245   392   96  16   1   1   67   56    2   6   48   36  .298  .357
    Martinez, Buck     1000   27  .259    58   15   4   0   0    5    7    0   1    5    6  .328  .313
    Paepke, Dennis     1000   40  .143    84   12   1   0   0    9   16    0   0    4    5  .155  .226
    
    Oliver, Bob         990  129  .228   473  108  19   3  15   32   77    0   4   49   63  .376  .281
    Fiore, Mike        1000   55  .196    51   10   1   0   1   16   11    0   0   12    4  .275  .382
    Thompson, Will      984   55  .219   137   30   8   0   4   15   27    0   1   16   17  .365  .299
    Kusick, Craig      1000    6  .316    19    6   1   0   0    2    2    0   0    3    0  .368  .381
    
    Concepcion, Dave    976   91  .299   264   79  15   1   1   30   36    6   8   32   31  .375  .373
    Foy, Joe            965  121  .242   422  102  14   2   7   67   69   11  12   57   47  .334  .347
    Hart, Jim Ray       953  142  .328   549  180  37   8  23   56   85    5   2   91  104  .550  .389
    Salmon, Chico       967   99  .288   267   77  14   4   4   23   37    6   8   35   30  .416  .354
    Severson, Rich      976   86  .251   239   60  11   1   0   15   48    1   0   30   18  .305  .305
    White, Frank        978   18  .234    64   15   3   2   0    2    8    3   1    6    5  .344  .269
    Duffy, Frank       1000    5  .500     2    1   0   0   0    0    0    0   1    0    0  .500  .500
    
    Cardenal, Jose      975  154  .306   604  185  43   7  11   59   72   28  15   76   75  .455  .370
    Kelly, Pat          956  150  .267   468  125  25   2  12   63   89   22  16   75   56  .406  .358
    Keough, Joe        1000    7  .125    24    3   0   0   1    0    2    0   1    2    1  .250  .125
    Northey, Scott      882   34  .283   106   30   4   1   2   12   10    4   2   18    7  .396  .356
    Piniella, Lou       976  137  .302   461  139  28   6   8   26   33    1   5   51   58  .440  .339
    Rico, Fred          970  125  .298   349  104  19   0   5   31   65    9   1   47   40  .395  .358
    Spriggs, George    1000   45  .177    96   17   4   1   3    9   25    3   2   15   13  .333  .248
    Catcher: We agreed Rodriguez (77/79) barely makes the grade: Decent, but not outstanding. As things stand today Martinez (71/94) might back him up for one more season. Paepke (71/73) will spend the rest of his time with the Royals in Omaha ready to jump in if there are injuries.

    First: Here we had our first argument, with Andy wanting me to trade or release Thompson (76/89). "We're paying him $100,000 to what? Sit on the bench? He's not worth it!"

    "He's an investment," I said quietly, even though I know Will's contract is one of the reason Richie wasn't in this room talking to us. Bob added that Thompson had a great spring and plays his heart out. He just needs time to adjust to MLB pitching.

    Except, of course, I don't have time. As it stands today Oliver (79/83) has to be our lead guy. Whereas I'll find a new catcher if I can, it's not really worth getting a new one at first. Craig Kusick (69/82) will be our backup in Omaha. Mike Fiore (73) ... is trade bait.

    Infield: For all his lamentable fielding, I think we need Hart's (86) bat. Concepcion (80/81) also seems reasonably safe. Severson (80/85) just doesn't quite offer enough of a bat, and his fielding is no better. Frank Duffy (73/75) might be asked to transit to third to be Hart's defensive backup.

    Second is a mess. Foy (82) is in a contract year, and only worth keeping around if he gives us a discount. Salmon (80) at least gives us a fair bat. Neither one are exactly fielding wonders. Frank White (72/94) may eventually come through, but he's not ready yet.

    "I'd say let Foy and Salmon trade off," Lemon said. "They're both competent, if not outstanding."

    "He doesn't need competent," Andy retorted. "He needs good. We have to win 72 games this year or he's gone!"

    I froze. I didn't know he knew that. I certainly hadn't told Lemon.

    "Is this true?" Lemon asked.

    I gave him a wan smile and made a note to talk to Kraft later.

    Outfielders: Kelly (81/92), Cardenal (88) and Piniella (81) are all reasonably safe despite Kelly's leaky glove. Rico (73/74) probably gets one of the bench spots due to his decent bat and glove. The last spot...

    Spriggs (71) is 29. This is the best he'll ever be - iffy bat, but an excellent defensive fielder. Given last year's fiascos I can't afford to ignore that. Keough (70/80) is much the same. Northey (75/90) is exactly the opposite: He already has a decent bat, but he can't catch. If the League ever tries this designated pinch hitter thing again, he has a job.

    I'm leaning towards keeping Keough, using Spriggs in a trade, and giving Northey another year in Omaha to hopefully sort things out and come to the bench if there are injuries.
    *******

    (To be continued as we once again run into the ____ing 10,000 character limit.)
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  10. #160
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    2,896

    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Pitching:
    HTML Code:
    1970 Pitching                 IP   ERA    G  GS   W   L  SV    K   BB   R/9
    Blyleven, Bert             286.0  4.34   43  43  11  23   0  208  107 13.28
    Bunker, Wally              205.0  4.48   36  36   9  14   0  115   78 13.26
    Fitzmorris, Al              98.2  4.01   27  11   2   6   2   43   25 13.14
    Rooker, Jim                153.1  4.99   28  25   9  12   0  103   80 14.20
    Splittorff, Paul           194.1  4.08   32  32  11  13   0   79   51 12.41
    
    Busby, Steve                14.0  2.57    4   1   0   0   0   11    7 10.29
    Butler, Bill                33.1  6.21   13   2   1   3   0   28   17 12.96
    
    Cram, Jerry                 18.2  3.86   11   0   0   1   0    7    7 13.02
    Drago, Dick                 36.1  5.20   20   0   2   1   0   24   18 15.11
    Fingers, Rollie             56.2  2.86   43   0   7   6  16   42   18  9.85
    Hedlund, Mike               66.1  3.93   34   0   2   1   1   39   22 11.80
    Wright, Ken                 98.2  4.47   73   0   7   8   7   72   56 15.14
    York, Jim                   73.0  3.21   53   0   4   4   6   67   22 10.85
    "I think...." Andy began.

    "That's good son, you keep doing that. It's good for you." I shot a glance across the table at Lemon. Usually quiet and polite, he simply ran the kid over. Pitching he knew and wasn't interested in any other opinions.

    "Splittorff (89/94), Blyleven (87/94), Bunker (88/92), Fitzmorris (83/92)," he said firmly. "Rooker (83/84) can be our backup, unless you want to use him in a trade. I'd rather let Busby (75/87) and Butler (81/90) develop. If you need one of them, Steve did better last year, but Bill should be over the sophmore jinx by now."

    "Rollie's (82/84) our closer?" I ventured.

    "Yes, he'll be good for another year. York (83/89) can back him up. Wright (84/85) and Cram (73/93) in short relief. Jerry needs innings. Drago (78/91) or Hedlund (80/87) in middle or long relief. Don't matter which, they can both give you maybe five innings."

    "Do we need any pitchers in free agency?" I asked.

    Andy nodded. Bob shook his head. "I realize it doesn't look like it, but we already have one of the better bullpens in the League. (4th in Bullpen ERA) "We have a number of great starters. They'll come through for you. That I'm sure."

    Now if only someone could be so certain what to do with my fielders, I'd be happy.
    *******

    After the meeting Lemon stayed behind. Andy left and I chased him out. "Kraft!" I guess I wasn't thinking clearly, for next thing I knew I had him pressed against the wall.

    "Leggo of the suit, man! What's your problem!?"

    "If you ever discuss my personal business with anyone again, I'll assign you to Kingsport and leave you there!"

    "Back off!" He shoved and I let him go. "What's the matter? You're on the block so you're embarassed?"

    "It's none of their God _____ business!"

    "You better start taking this seriously, man! Your job's on the line. You gotta decide if you want it or not. Stop _____ing around with 'investments' and getting rookies ready for next year. There is no next year!"

    "What the....? It takes time to develop prospects. Years. If you can't accept that then you don't know _____ about baseball!"

    "And you don't know _____ about business! Yeah, every business has development departments, especially ones like Mister Kauffman's. However he knows, and you clearly don't, that you always put the best product on the floor you can. That's how you get money, and money lets you spend more on development!"

    "What the _____ do you care?" I shouted. "God _____ vulture waiting to steal my job anyway." I stormed away.

    "I don't want your God ______ job, man!" he shouted. I spun. "Yeah, some day maybe I want my own club, but not yet. And certainly not 'cause my boss got canned. I'm trying to help you. You need the best value for your buck right now, and you aren't getting it."

    I folded my arms. "Fine. But no one needs to know Kauffman has me on a short leash."

    He set his jaw, clearly not agreeing. After about five seconds he grunted. "Understood."

    "And get a God ______ hair cut!"
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  11. #161
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Early November 1970


    On November 1st I finally met with Joe Foy. Andy Kraft sat to my side facing Joe's "agent," a burly black man in his forties who did his best not to look impressed.

    "Mister Hunter, Mister Kraft," he beamed. "I'm pleased to tell you that Joe here really wants to stay in Kansas City."

    "We'd like to have him," I began.

    "And so we can sign right now for $211,000!"

    I started forward, but Andy beat me to the punch. Fine, let him cut his teeth.

    "Foy made 108,000 last year and ended the season as a reserve. What makes you think we should double his salary?"

    "Mister Foy is one of your best infielders, sir. Good glove, steady bat...."

    "That's not the Foy I know," Andy retorted tapping his copy of our final statistics. Something about the way he said Joe's name made both men bristle and I winced.

    "If you don't intend to bargain in good faith," the agent/friend began.

    "Gentlemen, please." I leaned forward. "Joe, do you want to stay with the Royals?"

    He glanced at his friend, who nudged him. "I do, but..."

    "211 isn't going to work for us..."

    "...but I need to know the Royals are interested in me Mister Hunter. I don't like riding the pine. I think I'm good enough I don't have to. I need to know that's not going to happen next year, and the only way to do that is to price myself out of a bench player's range."

    "You're pricing yourself out of a job, Foy!"

    "Andy..." I frowned at him, then turned to Foy. "Joe, at best next year you'd be trading off with Chico Salmon. I can't specifically promise you playing time. I want you to stay, but you need to come down on salary. How about 140?"

    Foy shook his head. "I'm sorry Mister Hunter, but if you can't guarantee me a starting role there's not really much point to our talking. I'd like to try my luck with other clubs."

    Joe Foy (82) (.242 7-47 11) is released.

    *******

    Free Agency

    I intently looked over the list of who each team released. Like last year, not that many pitchers though a few decent ones left their former teams. Outfielders continued to dominate.

    Top 5 Batters
    C Duke Sims (84) (Cleveland) (Washington interested) ($256K)
    CF Tommie Agee (85) (NY Mets) (NY Yankees interested) ($256K)
    2B Glenn Beckert (85) (Chi Cubs) (St. Louis interested) ($253K)
    CF Bill Robinson (84) (Philadelphia) (Cleveland interested) ($252K)
    CF Mickey Stanley (84) (Detroit) (San Diego interested) ($252K)

    Top 5 Pitchers
    SP George Culver (80/84) (Chi WSox) (San Diego interested) ($253K)
    SP Earl Wilson (83) (Detroit) (San Diego interested) ($252K)
    SP Larry Jaster (79) (Philadelphia) (San Diego interested) ($191K)
    RP Tug McGraw (80/81) (NY Mets) (Seattle interested) ($163K)
    RP Bob Locker (81) (Chi WSox) (Pittsburgh interested) ($154K)

    I quickly learned the Kansas City Royals were picking up a reputation - an unhealthy one. I never saw so many free agents who simply didn't want to talk to us.

    The first player we contacted was C Duke Sims (.254 24-76 0 with Cleveland). We talked on the phone and I found him to be harsh, demanding and a little mean. I don't think he liked me very much either. We agreed not to bother pursuing a relationship.

    No other catchers really stood out so I focused on finding a second baseman. Felix Milian (84) (.310 2-46 12 with Atlanta) wanted to play for a competitor. Glenn Beckert (85) (.311 0-59 5 with Cubs) was willing to talk, but he wanted a minimum 4 year contract with player options so we finally gave up. Tommy Helms (84) (.289 4-54 4 with Cincinnati) wouldn't even talk to us. "I'm already signing with San Francisco," he said. "If I have to choose between them and a team of losers, I'll go with them!"

    Desperate, I was on the verge of calling Joe back and asking him to stay. I made one last bid though, contacting Mike Andrews (83) (.269 9-50 4 with San Diego). He has a slightly better bat than Joe, though his fielding is about as lamentable. I couldn't really afford to mess with him and he knew it, for he drove his price up to $240K for four years before signing.

    While I was battling for a second baseman, I know Kevin wanted a pitcher badly. Unfortunately none of the top three starters would even talk to him, and the other starters available were laughable. I don't know how San Diego rounded them all up, but good for them. Kevin settled for reliever Tug McGraw.

    I noticed that no one had yet snapped up C Jerry Grote (79) (.235 1-11 0 with Mets). His bat...doesn't impress me. He's a great fielder though, and he knows how to control the game. Sold. He insisted on a 5 year contract for $176K.

    So...two long contracts, when I probably would have preferred two short ones. After all, Frank White and Buck Martinez should be ready in a few years. However, I can always trade them later.

    I've also noticed that no one has snapped up 35 year old CF Felipe Alou (84) (.255 10-45 1 with Atlanta). I put out some feelers and so far he's not interested, but if no one takes him by December I may try again.

    As for Joe Foy, he wound up with Montreal for $202K. At least he's their starter.
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  12. #162
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    December 1970


    Well, I didn't get Felipe Alou. Cincinnati finally signed him to a three year deal for $187K. I think the Reds are really moving into position to make a serious run this year or next.

    As the first mad free-agency rush died down I sat down with Whitey Herzog. Herzog's the Director of Player Development for the Mets. I already received an unfriendly call from Joan Payson warning me to keep my hands off of her organization. I told her if she'd let me interview for the Mets GM slot we wouldn't be having this discussion. She hung up on me.

    Herzog was a large man with pale, pale hair already shifting to white. During his playing days they called him the "White Rat" which I suppose is better than his given name: Dorrell.

    "If you really want my opinion," he said as we sat down to dinner, "the Royals' main problem is a lack of coherent strategy. You drafted looking to the future, but you enter free agency looking to win tomorrow. You buy up contracts for positions you really don't need, wind up with a glunt, and end up trading them away. Last year you traded for Alex Johnson then traded him away in the same season! Last year you wanted power. This year you wanted defense. It's like the Royals want to be a jack of all trades, master of none." I grimaced. He must have seen it, for his next words were: "Mister Hunter, if we agree I should stay here, then you will always know where I stand. I'm not your friend, and I won't pull any punches. If you want a friend, buy a dog."

    Fair enough I suppose. "What would you change about the team?"

    "I wouldn't have signed Mike Andrews at second. Chico Salmon is decent at the plate and a base stealing threat. Your power is a little low: I might have tried for one more slugger to back up Jim Ray Hart. I'm not sure I would have picked up Jerry Grote either: Good defense, horrible bat. Casey did always tell me how important a great catcher was, but the Royals need to score more runs. I'd make sure my new slugger could field as well, you have some definite weaknesses there."

    I nodded. "And pitching?"

    "There's nothing wrong with your pitching," he said. "They're young and had an off year. You worked in player development, you know how that goes."

    After dinner I told him I'd call, then phoned Bob Lemon. I asked the same question and received a similar answer:

    "You heard my answer," he said. "I like Grote behind the plate. The pitchers are used to Ellie Rodriguez, but I think they can make the transition. I'm not as sure about Mike Andrews. He's another bat, but then again so is Chico. Someone has to be on the bench and neither of them are going to like it. I may have liked another power hitter, but I'm not sure who I'd bench to get it. Anyway, once Will Thompson gets his act together he should give us 20 or 30 a year."

    The one point he really differed was the importance of speed. "Chuck, even our best stealers were thrown out one out of three tries. That can't be good for a team. I'm more interested in getting them on base. Plus, the Royals are a young team. They need consistency right now, I think constantly juggling our roster may not be helping them."

    "So you'd leave things as they are?" I asked, frowning.

    "Not necessarily. I'd just be sure first. These guys are young, some are making more money than is really good for them, they're being asked to perform. Sometimes they make mistakes, and 98 times we lost last year. That's not good for them. Our players need to know that their manager cares about them, and that so long as they play their hearts out we'll find room for them. They need to understand that they have control over whether they play or not."

    "Except sometimes a player can be playing their heart out and still not be very good."

    Lemon paused. "I know, Chuck. But we don't have that many players I feel that way about."

    I tried asking Ewing Kauffman, who said I had to work things out for myself since it was my own future on the line. I think Herzog offers more substance ... but I think Bob knows the team better. Anyway, I learned I was wrong: Bob Lemon does understand hitters. His 37 homers are second all-time for pitchers. I signed Bob to a two-year contract.
    *******

    The Dodgers got rid of troubled reliever Pete Mikkelsen. Mikkelsen was at the center of a bookmaking scandal that kept him suspended 'til late May. Bowie Kuhn suspended him again just after the All Star break for carrying a gun into Dodgers Stadium.

    Mikkelsen (77) [31] (2-2 3.60 3 SV), C Jeff Torborg (69) [29] (.000 in 2 AB), C Vic Roznovsky (64/65) [32] (.247 2-37 0 with Phillies) and 1B Tom Hutton (69/76) [24] (Last played in MLB 1966) went to Houston for RP Jim Ray (78/79) [25] (4-3 3.70 3 SV)

    If Mikkelsen recovers form and stays out of trouble, I'm willing to give this one to the Astros. The others are benchwarmers at best, however, and Ray did well enough last year.
    *******

    Meanwhile, the umpires have unified into the Major League Umpires Association and are threatening to strike starting with Spring Training.

    There's been increasingly bad blood between the umpires and leagues since Al Salerno and Bill Valentine were fired after the 1968 season. According to Joe Cronin, he fired them for incompetence. However, Salerno and Valentine attended a meeting of the National League Umpires Association just three days before, and they alleged this was the reason for their being fired.

    Salerno and Valentine filed suit, which the courts dismissed due to baseball's antitrust exemptions. Their rough handling by baseball prompted the umpires to organize anyway.

    So far no one's taking them seriously, other than a general condemnation by Kuhn. If they don't show up then I suppose we find new umpires.
    *******

    Tragedy struck the Minnesota Twins. Last year center fielders Herman Hill and Ted Uhleander roughly split time on the field as the Twins tried to decide who represented their future. Determined to prove it was him, 25 year old Hill went to play for the Magallanes in the Venezuela Winter League.

    On December 14, while swimming with his wife and teammates, an undercurrent pulled him under. By the time friends rescued him he'd already drowned.

    Hill played two years for the Twins (69-70), with 1969 marred by injuries. Last year he batted .228 5-27 7 in 85 games and 338 at bats. He hit .234 7-51 10 in his lifetime with 119 hits.

    An obviously shaken Uhleander told Minnesota papers that while he obviously wanted to keep the position he'd held more or less since 1966, he certainly didn't wish his teammate harm. "Hermann was a good guy," he said. "Fun, good attitude and really loved his family."
    *******

    A number of people retired. Three bear specific mention:

    3B Ken Boyar retired at age 39 after 15 years in the bigs.
    In 1970 he batted .236 1-12 0 SB in 55 AB for the LA Dodgers
    Lifetime he finishes .288 293-1186 110 SB with 2212 hits
    He played for the Cardinals (55-65), Mets (66-67), White Sox (67-68) and Dodgers (68-70)
    Boyar was an All Star (56, 59-64), Gold Glove winner (58-61, 63) and NL MVP (1964)

    3B Jim Davenport retired at age 37 after 12 years
    In 1970 he batted .206 0-13 0 in 126 AB with the San Francisco Giants
    Lifetime he finishes .258 78-449 16 SB with 1123 hits
    He spent his entire career (1958-70) with the Giants
    Davenport was an All Star and Gold Glove in 1962.

    SP Dave Wickersham retired at age 35 after 10 years
    In 1970 he went 1-0 4.60 ERA in 5 games with 29.1 IP for the Washington Senators
    Lifetime he finishes 68-59 3.71 with 30 CG 13 SV
    He played for the KC Athletics (60-63), Tigers (64-67), Pirates (68), Royals (69), Orioles (69) and Senators (70)
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  13. #163
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    December 1970

    No further awards for the Kansas City Royals, just a kudos to Bert Blyleven for most strikeouts. A part of me thinks I didn't do Bert any favors by playing him so much in '69, as he was ineligible for the RoY award. Instead it went to some kid in New York who can really run the bases.


    World Series MVP: SP Larry Dierker (Houston)
    NLCS MVP: 2B Joe Morgan (Houston)
    ALCS MVP: SP Jim Nash (Oakland)
    All Star MVP: 3B Sal Bando (Oakland)
    *******

    AL Cy Young Award: SP Catfish Hunter (Oakland)
    AL MVP: CF Rick Monday (Oakland)
    AL Rookie of the Year: CF Ron LeFlore (NY Yankees)

    AL Gold Gloves:
    P: Tommy John (Chicago) (2nd)
    C: Thurman Munson (NY Yankees)
    1B: Boog Powell (Baltimore)
    2B: Horace Clarke (NY Yankees)
    3B: Celerino Sanchez (NY Yankees)
    SS: Ron Hansen (Chi WSox)
    OF: Ken Berry (Chi WSox)
    OF: Brian Downing (Chi WSox)
    OF: Curt Blefary (LA Angels)

    AL Batting Title: Tony Oliva (Minnesota) (.350)
    AL Home Run Ldr: Frank Howard (Washington) (40)
    AL RBI Leader: Rick Monday (Oakland) (141)
    AL Steals Ldr: Ron LeFlore (NY Yankees) (83)
    * Note: Forgot to mention this when the time came. LeFlore's 83 SB is tied for 5th all time

    AL Wins Leader: Dave McNally (Baltimore) (21)
    AL ERA Leader: Catfish Hunter (Oakland) (2.70)
    AL Strikeout Ldr: Bert Blyleven (Kansas City) (208)
    AL Saves Leader: Bob Locker (Chi WSox) (27)
    *******

    NL Cy Young Award: SP Juan Marichal (San Francisco)
    NL MVP: LF Willie Stargell (Pittsburgh)
    NL Rookie of the Year: 3B Darrell Evans (Atlanta)

    NL Gold Gloves:
    P: Randy Jones (San Diego) (2nd)
    C: Johnny Bench (Cincinnati) (3rd)
    1B: Wes Parker (LA Dodgers) (4th)
    2B: Jim Lefebvre (LA Dodgers)
    3B: Ron Cey (LA Dodgers)
    SS: Jim Fregosi (LA Dodgers) (2nd)
    OF: Pete Rose (Cincinnati) (2nd)
    OF: Jimmy Wynn (Houston)
    OF: Willie Davis (LA Dodgers)

    NL Batting Title: Matty Alou (Pittsburgh) (.353)
    NL Home Run Ldr: Lee May (Cincinnati) (46)
    NL RBI Leader: Lee May (Cincinnati) (136)
    NL Steals Ldr: Lou Brock (St. Louis) (69)

    NL Wins Leader: Juan Marichal (SF) (22)
    NL ERA Leader: Juan Marichal (SF) (2.44)
    NL Strikeout Ldr: Nolan Ryan (NY Mets) (234)
    NL Saves Leader: Kent Tekulve (Pittsburgh) (32)
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  14. #164
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    December 1970

    We held Winter Meetings in Jacksonville, Florida. Warm, gentle days in the 70s marred only by thundershowers that always started at just after 5 PM and lasted until just after sunset when again gentle breezes and mild night air reigned. This might be a nice place to retire.... in thirty years or so.

    Gary Gregg in St. Louis told me the National League meeting was surprisingly mild.

    The Rules Committee again brought forward the idea of a designated pinch hitter (DPH) to replace pitchers. NL President Chub Feeney didn't bother pretending to be neutral. He pointed to the sharp rise in league batting averages (.230 in 1968, .259 in '69, .265 in '70) and said there was no need for this "ridiculous addition detrimental to the very heart of baseball." Some owners think it might improve attendance, not that there's really much of a problem anywhere in the Senior Circuit.

    Talks about intervening in San Diego's affairs after two sub-50 win seasons quietly faded away. Their rivals, such as Houston GM Albert Conteras and Giant owner Horace Stoneham, said they appreciated the Padres' efforts to improve including snapping up the top three starters from free-agency.

    Gary and Stoneham then talked about the 'ridiculous charges' put forward by Bowie Kuhn. They stopped short of calling for his removal, but insisted on compensation for their lost players. Others, including New York's new GM, retorted that Kuhn wouldn't have acted if there wasn't some substance to the allegations. Feeney promised to bring their complaint to Bowie's attention, but said "you two shouldn't expect a positive response."

    Pittsburgh's attempts to build a new stadium are still washed up - literally. Apparently the Allegheny River flooded badly late last year delaying and even setting back construction. 'Three Rivers Stadium' was supposed to open in 1970, but between natural and contractor delays it's now looking like 1972.

    Philadelphia, on the other hand, is ready.



    This is Veteran's Stadium. It's a multipurpose facility, meaning it'll be sharing the autumn with the NFL Eagles and has a capacity of over 56,000. Built similar to Busch, Riverfront, and other modern stadiums its upper deck seems to be unusually high. Some think the Astroturf Veterans will use is too hard to run on, but the folk in Houston don't seem to have a problem.
    *******

    The American League meeting was almost as interesting as the last one.

    First, our discussion of the DPH was far more animated. Chuck Finley, Cal Griffith in Minnesota, Bud Selig and Yankee GM Keith Clay formed an unlikely alliance suggesting we bring it back to the minor leagues for a second go-round. Personally...I've seen a lot of rallies killed by pitchers striking out. I think it's worth talking about.

    I wonder what the Rules Committee will do with one league wanting to go ahead and the other saying no?



    Finley did put forward one idea that will get tried out in Spring Training. He thinks it'll improve offense if three balls equal a walk. As I recall we made a few minor changes to the strike zone and such in 1969, and it took two months for the pitchers to get under control. What will this do to them? I guess we'll find out.

    Apparently encouraged by his success, Finley cast meaningful glances around the table. Selig, owner Rob Short of Washington and Bill Worth, Baltimore's GM nodded back.

    "And now I'd like to talk about Bowie Kuhn!" he roared. Even when Finley wants something he usually manages to put a friendly veneer on it, but now he managed to act positively furious. "That son of a ______ robbed the Athletics. He robbed the Orioles. And I'll be f____ed if we don't do anything about that son of a _____!"

    "The decision is made, Charley," Cronin replied with a hint of smugness.

    "And where were you when you should have been defending us from the Commissioner's Office, Joe?" he shot back. "He stole and reallocated some of our best prospects, and while I don't begrudge Cleveland and Seattle their luck this should have gone to the owners!"

    "In cases where owners aren't acting in the best interest of baseball...."

    "Oh that's bull____, Joe and you know it. If you're not going to defend us then maybe we need a new president!"

    That silenced the room as the two men glared at each other. Was this, then, his angle? Forget trying to dismiss Kuhn, he wanted Cronin!

    Cronin paced to Oakland's seat. "Charley, I'd like to speak to you outside."

    "I'm sure what you want to say can be said in front of these fine..." Finley grasped and writhed as Cronin gripped his shoulder. "Joe!"

    "Will you gentlemen excuse us?" Cronin asked. He all but lifted Finley by his shoulder and propelled him out the door, slamming it behind him.

    I strained to hear. So did we all, I think, but no one chose to abandon dignity and their chairs. We sat giving each other glassy-eyed looks as we turned our whole being to the muffled, furious voices outside. Once something hard slammed into the wood door, but what that portended we couldn't be sure.

    After about five minutes later the door opened and Cronin stalked in, followed a few seconds later by a pale, silent Finley. Worth nudged him when he sat, but Charley merely glared.

    "Gentlemen, we have agreed to put the matter before you to decide whether to protest Bowie's decision," Cronin said. "I realize not many of you are aware of the details, so I will summarize. By executive order Bowie alleges that Charley and Jerold Hoffberger in Baltimore conspired during the last signing period to keep talented players away from the weaker teams. In 1969 that was Cleveland and Seattle. As a penalty and to make up for this, he transferred the contracts of two prospects."

    "I assume Oakland and Baltimore deny these charges?" Kevin asked.

    "_____ right," Finley snarled. "It's ridiculous. Are we even given a chance to answer these charges? Of course not, because Bowie knows we could poke holes in them. He puts together an arbitrary ruling 'for the good of baseball.'"

    "If you didn't collude, then why would he do that then?"

    Bill Worth answered. "Kevin, a lot of papers questioned whether it was a good idea to expand the leagues in 1969. They thought the 'old' expansion teams...Los Angeles, Washington and so forth... needed more time to develop before we added more to the mix. Therefore I think he's trying to find ways to level the playing field. Doesn't it strike you as odd that the four 'colluders' all won their division last year, and the four teams that benefited were those with the worst records?"

    Finley glared at Kevin. "I helped you keep the Pilots in Seattle last year. I want the Pilots to be competitive. Why would I ____ with you like that?"

    "Because you want to win?" I asked. He glared at me and I shrugged. "Don't you?"

    "Not that badly, Chuck."

    Do I believe him? I...don't know. I do find it hard to believe the Cards, Giants, A's and Orioles all happened to act up in the same year. I find it impossible to believe Gary would have gone along with it. We voted unanimously to request an explanation and details from the Commissioner's Office.
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  15. #165
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    From there the meeting calmed down somewhat. Robert Reynolds, owner of the Los Angeles Angels, decided to tinker with his logo again.



    Someone needs to explain to the man that you can do what you want with the logos and team name, it's players that win ballgames.

    I reported that Royals Stadium is still on track to be ready for Opening Day 1973, and Municipal Stadium should hold until then. Keith Clay surprised everyone by announcing the Yankees would build a new stadium as well.

    Yankee Stadium, the House that Ruth built, is nearly fifty years old. The Yanks and CBS are only in the earliest stages of planning now, so it's not yet clear what form this new stadium will take, or whether it'll be on the site of the old one.

    Kevin unfortunately had nothing to report. Apparently Kings County, Washington's officials have split into at least three different camps on possible sites for the eventual domed stadium that voters approved back in 1968. After his argument with Finley, Cronin didn't seem inclined to pursue the matter and simply grunted his dissatisfaction.
    *******

    Then Bud Selig surprised us. Well, he didn't really.

    "Joe, I know you and the schedulers were mad at me for moving the last three home games to Milwaukee. I have to tell you though, we sold at least 15,000 more seats in those three days because of it."

    Selig was loaded to bear. He had all the vital stats on hand: Attendance figures, revenues, expenses, cash flow, graphs, more information about his team then frankly any of us had a right to. His point?

    "Arthur Allyn offered to sell this team to me for a reason, gentlemen. The Chicago White Sox can not survive where they are."

    "You didn't seem too worried about Chicago's viability when you wanted to buy the Pilots," Kevin observed.

    Bud ignored him. "Gentlemen, the 'Sox are hanging on only because I have a top notch GM and his predecessor did a great job as well. If you force us to stay, then you will destroy the team. We might as well quit now and go home."

    "I believe Allyn's brother offered to buy the team if you want to recoup your investment, Bud," Cronin observed.

    "And you think he can do better than me? No. I'm not worried about losing money on this. I am worried that you will be condemning the White Sox to the gutter of the American League, like the Athletics before Charley took over."

    I have to admit, Chicago's attendance figures are appaling. Even the '69 Pilots did better when faced with bankruptcy.

    We demanded complete transparency of the ChiSox's revenue and attendance for this year and would review the situation after '71. He agreed.
    *******

    Robert Short, he surprised us.

    "Gentlemen, I don't believe the Senators are viable in Washington. I've been working for the last two years with investors in Dallas, and..."

    "Christ, Robert! Not you too!" Cronin thumped both fists into the table. "I have Charley here wanting to declare war on the Commissioner, Bud wants to move one of the founding franchises, and now you want to leave the nation's capital!?"

    Twin owner Calvin Griffith came to his rescue. "I think we should hear him out, Joe. You know my father had his own problems in Washington."

    "It's the Orioles," Short explained. "They've done so well the last few years that most of our fans have gone over. There's nothing left to work with."

    "You finished second last year," Tadd Davis, the Red Sox GM drawled. "That's not nothing."

    "Like Chicago, we had a great GM."

    "Which doesn't explain why you let him go last month."

    "Dennis did his job, don't get me wrong, but we disagreed on which way the team should go in the future."

    "Namely to Texas?"

    Short shook his head. "While my attendance records aren't as bad as Chicago, I feel the Senators can have a much stronger future in Dallas. It wouldn't hurt to give the Astros a little competition as well."

    Like with the White Sox, we demanded complete transparency and agreed to talk about it later.
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

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