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Thread: To Rule in Kansas City

  1. #481
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    petrel: More like the player assaulted him. He got punched though.
    *******


    Mid October 1972

    So apparently I'm expected to negotiate contracts with no office.

    I took Monday off because, well, not much is going to happen during the league championships. Players and their agents are still sending me ideas on what they think is reasonable or responding to my late season low balls. While I was gone, movers packed everything but my chair and desk and sent it to Royals Stadium.

    That would be fine: My office and conference room at Royals will be nicer than the ones here. Emphasis on will be: Neither are quite done. My office there, for example, doesn't have a door.

    Fortunately, realizing who the essential personnel are, they left Marcie alone. She maintains our files and contracts. I could therefore extract who would be up for renewal: 1B Mike Fiore, SP Mike Hedlund and Larry Dierker for the contracts, RP Dick Drago, SS Bill Russell and SP Bert Blyleven for arbitration.

    Drago and Russell both expressed a willingness to try and negotiate a deal over the winter: Bert wants to go to the arbitrator. Frankly, so do I. I think he's a little annoyed that I demoted him a few times, while I don't want to sign anything long term until I have a better idea where Bert's career is going. For two seasons he led the league in strikeouts. This year...Eww.
    *******

    Cronin sent me the tentative agenda for this year's winter meetings. First, we have to vote on the designated hitter proposal. I'm leaning in favor of it. If Finley's numbers are right it will have a major (perhaps too large) effect on overall offense. On the other hand, I have several players (Hart, Mays) who would directly benefit.

    Finley's come up with another idea. He wants to surprise us (joy), but says it relates directly to the DH proposal. Maybe he's going to suggest we try yellow balls again?

    Cronin wants to discuss the Pilots. Kings County is still sitting on their heels about a new stadium and he's sick of waiting. Boeing seems eager for the confrontation. Naturally they'll expect me to report on Royals Stadium since we should be opening it in April.

    Lastly, Bud Selig wants to discuss going back to a 154 game season. He argues that it's more profitable that way. I'll be interested to hear his argument, though I'm leaning against this: Our fans would kill us.

    I know from Gary Gregg the Nationals are also voting on the DH. Further, it's supposed to be secret but the players' union has expressed doubts about staying in Montreal. First, players have complained about the state of Jarry Park (though the Expos plan to move after the '76 Olympics.) Second, apparently their players are double-taxed, first by the Canadian government then ours.
    *******

    Finley seems to be learning from his mistakes. He did NOT immediately put Enrique Romo on the trading block. On the other hand, it's hard to be sure how much Finley could have gotten. Romo (75/77) [25] just isn't that good. He has a lifetime 12-21 record with 15 saves and 10 blown. Only his 3.85 lifetime ERA looks impressive.

    Boston took advantage of the fact they're out of the playoffs to make a quick move though: Since LF Billy Congliaro (78/90) refuses to play for the Sox anymore, they sent him to Atlanta for SP Rick Matula (63/90) [18] (0-1 3.60 in 5 IP this year and lifetime.) Congliaro could start on the Brave bench next year. Matula needs time to develop, but shows great potential.
    *******

    The World Series begins on October 13 in Baltimore. Baltimore will continue without Frank Robinson, though Don Buford's done tremendously replacing him. Chicago's at full strength.
    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)

  2. #482
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City


    World Series I

    Orioles Crush Cubbies at Home
    Dave May homers in fifth to crush Cubs' spirits

    BALTIMORE (Oct 13)- Game one against the heavily favored Chicago Cubs turned into a decisive victory for the O's. Dave McNally lasted 8 innings for the win as Baltimore takes a 1-0 series lead.

    McNally only gave up two hits through seven innings, but faltered in the eighth as Chicago scored three. Cub starter Rick Reuschel didn't last five innings, giving up 6 runs on the way to an 8-3 Oriole victory.

    Baltimore first scored in the third when Johnny Oates singled, advanced on McNally's bunt and Mark Belanger's single, then scored on a hit by Don Buford. They extended it the next inning when Oates hit a Texas Leaguer to short center, allowing Bobby Grich to cross the plate.

    In the fifth inning Grich singled with two on to score Belanger, then May hit a three-run blast over the right field fence. This ended Reuschel's day: Jim Colborn would finish for Chicago.

    Adolfo Phillips homered to left with one out in the eighth to put Chicago on the board. All in all McNally, who'd allowed only two hits to this point, would give up five. Billy Williams and Oscar Gamble hit back to back singles, scoring Andre Thornton (single) and Ron Santo (double) to make it 6-3.

    Buford doubled, scoring McNally and Belanger, in the bottom half to extend the O's lead.

    After the game, Leo Durocher condemned his players for lack of effort. "There are reasons why teams lose games," he growled, "and a lack of commitment is one of them." He hinted that Reuschel might not start game 4.
    *******

    Jenkins Ties Series
    Ace pitcher holds Orioles down as three homers lift Bruins

    BALTIMORE (Oct 14)- Ferguson Jenkins pitched 8.2 innings, giving up only two runs as the Cubs badgered Oriole pitching to tie the series at one a piece.

    Mike Cuellar pitched 6.2 innings, giving up 5 runs (3 earned) as the Cubs returned fire, winning 5-2 before a sell out crowd at Memorial Stadium.

    Adolfo Phillips wasted no time, hitting a two-run shot to the left field upper deck before Cuellar recorded his first out. Boog Powell offered a token response in the fourth, hitting a solo shot of his own to right.

    Ron Santo retaliated, hitting his own solo to center in the fifth. Andre Thornton completed the carnage in the seventh, scoring both himself and Jenkins (who'd reached on an error by catcher Johnny Oates).

    Jenkins finally tired in the ninth. Boog Powell opened with a single but was forced by Dave May. May advanced to second on indifference, third on a wild pitch, and scored on Clay Dalrymple's single. Too little, too late. Cecil Upshaw pitched to the last Oriole batter, striking out PH Merv Rettenmund.

    "Advantage, Chicago" said National League President Charles (Chub) Feeney after the game. "Odds say the Cubs take 2 of 3 at home, which means they only need to win one more back here in Baltimore. I say Cubs in six."

    "Chub knows better than to count his chickens," retorted AL President Joe Cronin. "This Series isn't over. It's barely begun."
    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. #483
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Funny that both our dynasties have Leo the Lip as managing one of the teams.

    --Pet

  4. #484
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Quote Originally Posted by petrel View Post
    Funny that both our dynasties have Leo the Lip as managing one of the teams.

    --Pet
    Too bad he's dead in mine.

  5. #485
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    petrel: I'm more or less following history for the field managers - at least on other teams. Durocher started 1970 with the Cubs. He switched to the Astros mid-season IRL, but I couldn't see him leaving Chicago during their best run since 1907.

    Coach Owens: You could always resurrect him. Zombie Durocher manages Mariners to pennant. Paid in brains?
    *******

    World Series II

    Baltimore Wins Thriller in Chicago
    Don Baylor's three run blast lifts Orioles

    CHICAGO (Oct 16)- Oriole PH Don Baylor punched another hole in the Cubs' aura of invincibility. More correctly, he punched a 2-2 change up over the right field fence to give the O's a 2-1 lead in the Series.

    Jim Palmer lasted 7 innings, Cub Ken Holtzman six. By the time both starters were done, we had our final score: Orioles 4, Cubs 3.

    Baltimore's Johnny Oates started the ball rolling with a shot over the first baseman's head that brought Boog Powell in from second. Adolfo Phillips tied it in the third with a solo shot to right.

    "Are Adolfo and (Holtzman) the only ones who want this thing?" raged Durocher.

    The Cubs took their only lead in the fifth: Andre Thornton doubled, then came home on Billy Williams' right side single. Then came the Oriole sixth: With Bobby Grich on second and Powell on first, Don Baylor PH for Oates and brought everyone home.

    "Incredible," said Oriole manager Earl Weaver. "Don can just power the ball over the fence like no one else."

    The Cubs did offer some resistance: Oscar Gamble doubled home Thornton in the seventh, but he was Chicago's last runner. Palmer finished the seventh, then Darryl Patterson pitched two perfect innings to end it.

    After the game, Leo Durocher announced that Joe Niekro, not Rick Reuschel, would start game 4. "Tomorrow's game is too important, and Rick's clearly not ready."
    *******

    Hungry Cubs Feast on Orioles
    Don Kessinger goes 4 for 5 as Cubs tie Series

    CHICAGO (Oct 17)- Few had any doubt the Cubs needed and wanted this game, and if the Orioles wondered they quickly found out. Their offense rocked Dave McNally, chasing him out in the fifth having given up 7 runs and 2 homers.

    Cub Joe Niekro went 7 innings before yielding to Jim Colborn. Catcher Duane Josephson went 1 for 3 with 2 walks, 2 runs, a home run and 2 RBI on the way to a 9-3 victory that turns the Series into a best 2 of 3.

    For one inning the decision to start Niekro didn't seem so smart as Boog Powell hit a first inning single to left scoring Don Buford and giving the O's their only lead of the day.

    After stranding three in the first, the Cubs responded with two in the second: Josephson scored on Kessinger's double, then Niekro tagged up on an Adolfo Phillips fly out. Oscar Gamble hit home Ron Santo in the third to put Chicago up 3-1.

    Billy Williams homered to left center in the fifth scoring two. After Gamble's double, Josephson did the exact same thing ending McNally's tragic performance before the roaring Chicago crowd.

    Dave May offered token resistance in the seventh with a homer of his own, but PH Roe Skidmore and Kessinger both singled with the bases loaded to put Chicago up 9-2.

    Colborn pitched the Oriole eighth, but it was Josephson's passed ball that allowed PH Merv Rettenmund to dart across the plate. The O's put two more runners on, but Paul Blair grounded into a 5-4-3 double play. May singled with two outs in the ninth, but Doug DeCinces hit a fly out to right to end the game.
    *******

    Cubs Surge Past Orioles
    One win between them and 60+ year old drought!

    CHICAGO (Oct 18)- Most people reading this article weren't alive when the Cubs won their last World Series, defeating the Detroit Tigers four games to one in 1908. Yet their wait may be about to end.

    In a surprise move, to 'save Jenkins and Holtzman for Baltimore', Durocher started Rick Reuschel. It turned out to be a good move as he lasted 8.1 innings, striking out 7 on the way to a 4-1 victory that brings the Series back to Baltimore. Billy Williams hit 2 RBI, while Duane Josephson went 2 for 2 with 2 walks off Oriole starter Mike Cuellar, who lasted 6 innings giving up 4 runs.

    Like yesterday, Chicago's choice of starting pitcher didn't look so grand at first, as the O's loaded the bases in the first, but Dave May grounded to second ending the inning. Chicago's first run came half an inning later when Ron Santo singled to right, scoring Don Kessinger.

    That would be it for a very long time as both Cuellar and Reuschel took two hitters into the sixth. Paul Blair opened that inning with a double, tagged up to third on a fly, then scored on Dave Mays' single tying the game. Williams answered immediately, hitting a line shot to left with the bases loaded for two runs. Josephson doubled for one more making it 4-1.

    Baltimore put runners on first and third in the seventh with one out, but Don Buford grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Reuschel shut them down in the eighth, but opened the ninth by plunking Dave May. Johnny Oates singled one out later, ending Reuschel's day.

    2 pitches by Cecil Upshaw later, Don Baylor grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.

    "This is just what we hoped for," said Leo Durocher. "Now we finish this in Baltimore. We'd like to thank the Cubs fans for their tremendous support over the season."

    Replied Jim Palmer, expected Oriole starter for Game 6: "This isn't over 'til we SAY it's over."
    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)

  6. #486
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    World Series III

    Palmer Three-Hits Cubs
    Forces Game 7 in Baltimore tomorrow night

    BALTIMORE (Oct 20)- Jim Palmer pitched a three-hit one-walk complete game to once more tie the World Series at 3 a piece.

    Cub Ferguson Jenkins also performed brilliantly, giving up only one run (a homer by Boog Powell) in seven innings as Baltimore blanked the Cubs 1-0.

    "What an exciting game," said Commissioner Bowie Kuhn. "What a great thing for baseball."

    "Fergie had his stuff all night," said Cub catcher Duane Josephson, "but Palmer? Wow. He was unhittable!"

    Not quite true, as Adolfo Phillips did just that in the first but was caught stealing second. Powell opened the second with a homer.

    "I was lucky," said Powell. "I got all of that ball and still barely cleared the fence."

    Doug DeCinces followed up Powell's success by singling and stealing both second and third, but Josephson tagged him out on a grounder to second. Josephson then answered in the third with a double, going to third when Andre Thornton bobbled what should have been a routine grounder.

    "I thought we would tie it there," said Josephson, but Adolfo Phillips struck out to retire the side. Chicago only had two more runners: Oscar Gamble walked in the fifth and Ron Santo singled in the seventh. Neither made it past first base.

    The stage is set for a final showdown tomorrow between Dave McNally (19-7) and Ken Holtzman (18-6.)

    McNally shut out the A's on October 3, but gave up 3 runs in 8 innings in game one and 7 in 4.2 IP in game 4.

    "I'm ready," said McNally.

    Holtzman pitched twice against the Dodgers in the LCS, giving up 5 runs in 17 innings. In game three he pitched 6 innings, taking the loss with 4 earned runs.

    "I had a bad game," Holtzman said. "It won't happen again."
    *******

    We Have a World Champion!
    Powell breaks Chicago's backs, hearts.

    BALTIMORE (Oct 21)- 64 years have passed since a World Championship pennant was raised over the West Side Grounds in Chicago, Illinois. And they're still waiting. Chicago squandered a 5-1 lead and fell before the World Champion Orioles 12-5.

    "I've never seen any team collapse that badly," said a shocked Oriole fan. "It got to the point where you just wanted it to end."

    Neither starter did particularly well: Dave McNally only went 4.2 innings yielding 5 runs. Ken Holtzman did the same in 4.1 innings. Oriole reliever Jim McGlothin gave up just three hits over the next 4.1 innings for the win. Burt Hooton (1.1 IP 5 ER) took the loss.

    The first half of the game belonged to Chicago, though the O's briefly led in the first after Paul Blair doubled home Don Buford. In the second Billy Williams singled, advanced on a walk, and scored on Steve Huntz's hit to left field tying it.

    Despite numerous threats it wouldn't be until the fourth when Chicago scored again: Holtzman singled with runners on second and third for two RBI. Oscar Gamble hit a two-run double the next inning to put Chicago up 5-1 at the half way mark.

    The second half would be all Baltimore.

    "(Met manager Yogi) Berra said it ain't over 'til it's over," said Earl Weaver. "If ever you need proof you should never give up, this is it."

    With one out in the fifth Holtzman disintegrated. Bobby Grich singled with two runners on to make it 5-2. Then Boog Powell came to the plate.

    "It just felt right," he said. "I felt good. I knew this was my moment." Home run. 5-5.

    Whether the 22 year old Hooton simply had a bad game, was overwhelmed by his presence in the World Series, or disheartened by Powell's homer is between him and his coaches. Blair tripled in the sixth with two on. Powell walked, then Dave May doubled to score Blair. Finally Doug DeCinces shot a single between second and short for two more runs. 10-5 Baltimore.

    "(Leo Durocher) exploded," said Andre Thornton. "He just kept yelling for the next two innings. He broke a water cooler with a bat and then beat on a helmet for two solid minutes. How are we supposed to concentrate with that kind of s*** in the dugout?"

    In the eighth umpire Frank Umont tried to calm Durocher down, and had a baseball flung at his head. Durocher watched the rest of the game from the clubhouse.

    By then there wasn't much left to watch anyway. In the seventh Don Buford doubled home McGlothin, and Mark Belanger brought Buford home to make it 12-5. Chicago never threatened again.

    Who else could be MVP but Jim Palmer (2-0 1.69 16 IP 3 K)? "I want to thank everyone on the team for this." He rattled off a large list of names. "After we lost Game 5 some people thought we were done. This is for everyone who kept believing!" This is Baltimore's second World Championship, the first coming in 1966.

    A subdued Leo Durocher addressed the media. "First, I'd like to apologize to Mr. Umont and the National League. He was only trying to help, and caught me at a bad time." He paused, glanced right and left at Cub GM Cristian Stubber and a PR official, and looked at the camera.

    "Second, I quit."


    The Baltimore Orioles are 1972 World Champions!
    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. #487
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Quote Originally Posted by CatKnight View Post
    "I've never seen any team collapse that badly," said a shocked Oriole fan. "It got to the point where you just wanted it to end."
    Don't you mean a shocked Cubs fan?

  8. #488
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Wow, looks like the Cubs are cursed. There is no way they should've lost that game. Only supernatural forces (say, a billy goat?) could have cost them that game...

    So now the Royals have to go through the A's AND the Orioles next year?

  9. #489
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    It looks like managing the Cubs finally grabbed Leo by the throat. Figuratively speaking.

    --Pet

  10. #490
    Imgran Guest

    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Wow. After a year like that, that would be maddening, like the 2001 Mariners kinda maddening

  11. #491
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Quote Originally Posted by Imgran View Post
    Wow. After a year like that, that would be maddening, like the 2001 Mariners kinda maddening
    Rub it in, why don't ya?

  12. #492
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Coach: Nope, I meant what I said. The game was in Baltimore. I think an Oriole fan would certainly want their team to win...but once it turned into a slaughter? Let's just go home.

    Potato: Baltimore's always dangerous. They haven't lost the division yet.

    petrel: Indeed. IRL Durocher mouthed 'I quit' in '71 but stuck it out. This was just too much.

    Imgran: Yep
    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. #493
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    [b]Kansas City Royals
    Final Statistics, 1972

    Win Shares
    33: Will Thompson
    20: Pat Kelly
    17: Jose Cardenal, Jim Ray Hart, Bill Robinson
    14: Paul Splittorff
    13: Bill Russell
    12: Larry Dierker, Frank White
    11: Mike Andrews
    10: Lance Clemons, Joe Torre
    9: Wally Bunker
    8: Rollie Fingers
    7: Bill Butler, Willie Mays
    6: Mike Hedlund, Eric Soderholm
    5: Lou Piniella
    4: Buck Martinez, Ellie Rodriguez, Mike Torrez
    3: Steve Busby
    2: Monty Montgomery
    1: Cy Acosta, Jerry Cram, Dick Drago, Mike Fiore, Jerry Grote, Chico Salmon

    Batting (Minimum 25 AB, non-pitchers)
    Code:
    1972 Batting       Team    G   AVG    AB    H  2B  3B  HR   BB    K   SB  CS    R  RBI   SLG   OBP
    Torre, Joe          KCR   98  .280   350   98  20   2  10   27   49    0   2   52   52  .434  .335
    Rodriguez, Ellie    KCR   67  .253   186   47   4   0   0   30   23    1   3   28   16  .274  .362
    Martinez, Buck      KCR   26  .330    88   29   6   0   0    9    6    0   0   11   10  .398  .400
    
    Thompson, Will      KCR  150  .323   567  183  37   2  36   99   95    1   1  112  122  .586  .425
    Fiore, Mike         KCR   13  .321    28    9   1   0   2    5    5    0   1    6    6  .571  .412
    
    White, Frank        KCR  115  .266   436  116  37   2   5   35   45    4   3   56   59  .394  .319
    Andrews, Mike       KCR   63  .311   206   64  13   1   7   39   27    0   2   47   31  .485  .416
    
    Hart, Jim Ray       KCR  124  .296   446  132  27   1  17   40   68    2   4   58   73  .475  .351
    Soderholm, Eric     KCR   78  .272   206   56  10   1   6   15   23    0   0   22   33  .417  .318
    
    Russell, Bill       KCR  129  .282   493  139  23   5   2   40   33   12   3   72   50  .361  .338
    
    Robinson, Bill      KCR  145  .288   517  149  37   1  21   33   78    5   2   75   88  .485  .332
    Cardenal, Jose      KCR  145  .294   511  150  36   3  11   41   79    8   4   88   80  .440  .344
    Kelly, Pat          KCR  120  .332   428  142  21   2  13   56   69   13   8   82   64  .481  .411
    Mays, Willie        KCR   95  .258   299   77  15   1   7   33   36    2   3   38   38  .385  .329
    Piniella, Lou       KCR   87  .274   219   60  11   1   1   16   15    3   0   25   19  .347  .326
    At catcher Martinez is ready to contribute on a big league level and will probably be Torre's backup next year. Ellie's agreed to stay on one more season, perhaps sensing a pennant within our grasp. That's a very lucky break for us, as we could lose Jerry Grote to the Rule V.

    At first Thompson's finally come into his own, and Mike Fiore seems content a very able backup.

    Second is a bit of a tossup. Andrews had a better year, but White's only going to get better or better. We'll see who starts next year.

    Third is also turning into a tossup. Hart put up his usual great numbers, but Soderholm's on his tail and, like White, will only improve as time passes. Again, we'll see.

    Russell is safe at Short. Only a tremendous show in Spring Training would make me consider Frank Duffy for our 25 man roster next year, and Roy Smalley's not ready.

    Similarly, our outfield is pretty safe with Robinson, Cardenal and Kelly leading the way.. Mays is fading fast, and Jim Rice is rising, but I won't demote Mays. This is the last year of his contract...I won't renew for $200,000ish. There are already those who think I'm being too sentimental by not cutting him outright, despite his .258 showing.

    Pitching (minimum 15 IP)
    Code:
    1972 Pitching            Team     IP   ERA    G  GS   W   L  SV    K   BB   R/9
    Dierker, Larry            KCR  234.0  4.15   35  34  12  10   0  155   86 12.27
    Splittorff, Paul          KCR  193.2  3.72   30  29  12  11   0   90   60 12.13
    Blyleven, Bert            KCR  178.2  6.20   29  28   5  10   0  132   59 15.51
    Bunker, Wally             KCR  134.0  3.63   20  18  13   3   0   74   37 11.89
    Busby, Steve              KCR  118.2  4.85   23  17   9   2   0   78   48 13.04
    Butler, Bill              KCR   84.2  3.51   37   5   7   5   4   60   44 12.86
    Hedlund, Mike             KCR   63.0  3.00   37   1   5   3   2   30   23 13.14
    Montgomery, Monty         KCR   26.0  3.81    5   2   1   0   0    9   13 14.54
    
    Fingers, Rollie           KCR   60.0  4.05   49   0   7   5  14   39   21 11.70
    Acosta, Cy                KCR   46.0  4.50   37   0   5   9   5   39   12 12.52
    Drago, Dick               KCR   43.2  5.56   22   0   2   2   2   23   13 15.25
    Clemons, Lance            KCR   37.1  1.45   32   0   4   0  14   30   10  8.20
    York, Jim                 KCR   28.2  6.28   24   0   2   4   0   27   13 13.50
    Wright, Ken               KCR   19.2  5.49   16   0   0   1   1   12   19 18.31
    In our rotation, Dierker had an excellent first half of the year, and Wally Bunker completely disproved scouting reports regarding his demise. On the other hand, Blyleven was the worst pitcher on our staff. According to that James' kids' chart, he had ZERO win shares. Whatever those are.

    Nonetheless, I'm disinclined to give up on him...depending on how much he wants in arbitration.

    Clemons seized and held the closer role, easily outdistancing the other relievers and holding a 3/1 K/BB ratio. Wright may be just about done.
    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. #494
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Late October 1972

    I've suggested it's hard to negotiate contracts without an office. It's virtually impossible if the sons of b****** in the Players' Union changes the rules on you.

    Let's review: Usually when you sign a draftee they get a minor league contract. Their salary is regulated by the level of play they achieve, so someone in Kansas City earns the league minimum (going up to $19,200 this year), while someone in D-Kingsport can expect about $600.

    After 2-3 years of service - it depends how much service time one gets - they are eligible for arbitration for a one year contract. Arbitration continues for three years (or less if everyone agrees on a permanent contract), in which case the player can re-sign or go to Free Agency.

    You may or may not agree with this: It IS a bit non-sensical, but it works. Or it did until this year.

    Hidden somewhere amidst our agreement to revoke the Reserve Clause was another that basically says: IF a player is still eligible for arbitration, AND their negotiated contract ends, they do not enter Free Agency. They go back to arbitration.

    (I think we've found another bug. What the f*** is going on this year!?)

    Imagine my surprise when I tried to sit down Mike Fiore and Mike Hedlund (making $27 and 105K respectively), and learned they couldn't talk to me. They'd already been summoned before the local arbitration panel. Caught them off guard too.

    So suddenly I was up from three arbitration cases to five, Dierker being the only one ineligible.

    Before the arbitrator could summon us, I sat down with Bill Russell. Russell (88/96) [24] (.282 2-50 12) (.338 OBP/.361 SLG/.699 OPS 13 WS) will be our shortstop for at least the next few years, health permitting. He wanted $180,000 for three years. I replied with $140 for 3. Perhaps sensing I needed him, he countered with $153 for 3, PLUS a player's option for 3 more. And told me that was all he wanted to talk about.

    Well...I don't want to commit myself for six seasons. So we went to the arbitrator. He asked for $196, but I won. Bill Russell is signed for 1 year at $153K

    Dick Drago at least didn't want to pin either of us down long term. Drago (83/92) [27] (2-2 5.56 2 SV) (23 K/12 BB/43.2 IP, 4.63 DICE, 1 WS) didn't have a good year. My scouts see much in him, but he's running out of time. Nonetheless...he's usually solid. He opened with 2 years at $121K, I offered $90. We hemmed and hawed a bit, finally agreeing. Dick Drago is signed for 2 years at $93K

    Then I received a shock. Larry Dierker didn't want to talk to me. He wanted to test the free agency market. I called to try and talk him out of it. Nope. Larry Dierker is released.

    Mike Fiore's was the first contract that shouldn't have gone to arbitration. Well..the arbitrator came and we put forward our ideas of 'fair.' Fiore (74) [28] (.321 2-6 0) (.412/.571/.983 1 WS) asked for $43,000, but again I persevered. Mike Fiore is signed for 1 year at $30K

    The second contract/arbitration case would be Mike Hedlund. Hedlund (85/86) [26] (5-3 3.00 2 SV) (30/23/63.0, 4.02, 6 WS) has been reliable either as a spot starter or middle relief and is somewhat valuable to me...but not the $186K he wanted. Yet again, the arbitrator agreed with me. Mike Hedlund is signed for 1 year at $120K

    Then came Bert Blyleven. After losing Dierker, Blyleven (90/94) [21] (5-10 6.20 4) (132/59/178.2, 4.36, 0 WS) would have had to ask for $1 million for me to outright refuse to talk to him. I hope he returns to the form he had in 1970-71.

    He asked for $327,000. I told him, and the arbitrator, that was ridiculous given last year's record and countered with $210....more than fair, I thought. Generous.

    Well, this time the arbitrator disagreed. He noted my demoting Blyleven to Omaha may have hurt his chances of recovering his record, so Bert Blyleven is signed for 1 year at $327K.

    D***.

    But we're not done yet, for I learned that the arbitration panel looked through their records, changed their minds, and decided Paul Splittorff was eligible after all. I need Splittorff. He was my best pitcher last year after Dierker stumbled, with the possible exception of Bunker. Splittorff (93) [26] (12-11 3.72 6) (90/60/193.2, 4.02, 14 WS) didn't push me as hard as he could have, asking for $253K. Perhaps feeling sorry for me after Blyleven blew my budget to h***, the arbitrator went my way. Paul Splittorff is signed for 1 year at $190K.
    *******

    Every GM was similarly hit, and the Free Agency market would be the wildest in years. Everyone's concerned and angry. Cronin and NL President Feeney both put the 'arbitration' mess onto our Winter Meeting schedules.
    *******

    Two doses of bad news from Ewing.

    First, he's slashed our budget. "This isn't in response to anything you've said or done," he told me. "However the Royals need to be more self sufficient."

    Easier said than done. "You know all our young players are coming up for contracts," I replied. "Next year I'm going to have Blyleven and Splittorff again, perhaps half the team. If you cut my budget now there'll be no room to maneuver."

    Unfortunately, while the economy's strengthening, the high (6+ percent) inflation we incurred during Vietnam is making people less likely to buy goods and services, and now that effect has trickled all the way to Marion Laboratories. "You have a decent cash reserve, Chuck, but that's all I can give you at this time. You'll just have to be frugal in free agency."

    Frugal? Virtually non-existent. I'm almost $1 million OVER budget now.

    The second piece of bad news? Ewing went behind my back - which is technically his right, but still very...troubling. He told Bob Lemon he's not renewing his contract.

    "Shouldn't you have consulted me?" I asked.

    "I did. I asked your opinion months ago," he replied. "Then I decided."

    "And where am I to find a manager? Or did you pick one of those for me too!?"

    Kauffman smiled. "No...but I do have a strong suggestion."

    Wonderful.
    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. #495
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Waterloo, Ontario
    Posts
    5,857

    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    How much cash do you have at your disposal? Could this mean the end of the likes of Jim Ray Hart, or other veterens with high contracts?

    And to add to your worries, you have to find a new manager!
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