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Team Loyalty: Where's the Line?

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  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    Originally posted by GiambiJuice View Post
    I'm surprised Bill hasnt mentioned the case of Derek Jeter, though I suppose the Yankees had no choise but to sign him to another big contract because of the impending 3000th hit.
    Actually, my next case to consider was Pete Rose. The Reds decided to stick with him through his 4,000th hit celebration, even though he was hurting the team's winning chances by playing himself ahead of more promising, young players, thereby losing games in the process. If Rose hadn't been manager, there was no way anyone else would have played him, thereby saving Cobb's all-time hit record.

    Rose then had the audacity to suggest he was close to Cobb's Runs record. If he could only play 5 more seasons, he might have erased several other records that were achieved within the context of a winning effort.

    Pete Rose was a case of misplaced loyalty and Record Ball.

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  • GiambiJuice
    replied
    I'm surprised Bill hasnt mentioned the case of Derek Jeter, though I suppose the Yankees had no choice but to sign him to another big contract because of the impending 3000th hit.
    Last edited by GiambiJuice; 04-05-2012, 06:41 AM. Reason: spelling

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  • SHOELESSJOE3
    replied
    Originally posted by ian2813 View Post



    Come on, Bill. We all know the Yankees are a notoriously competitive organization. Mickey Mantle said that during the Topping-Webb years they considered their season a failure unless they won the World Series. The Yankees had a down year in 1959, and then got upset by the Pirates in the 1960 World Series. By Bronx standards, that meant the sky was falling.

    I'm sure there were probably other factors too. I read once that during Stengel's later years with the Yankees he spent a lot of time sleeping in the dugout. I doubt that helped dispel the notion that he was getting too old for the job.

    .
    Maybe the Yanks were already thinking of sending Casey packing, even before the loss to the Pirates in 1960.
    If they were Casey supplied the ammo to be used against him.
    The fact that Casey passed over Whitey Ford as the starter in the first game of the 1960 World Series did not help Casey's cause.
    Ford was 12-9 and started Art Ditmar was 15-9 in 1960, you have to start game one with Ford.

    First game Ditmar gave up 3 runs, first inning, knocked out in the first inning, Yanks lose 6-4.

    Game 5, Ditmar and again Ditmar responsible for 3 runs, two unearned, knocked out in the second inning, leaving two men on, Yanks lose 5-2.

    Ford two blowout wins, game three and game six but both shutouts, a four hitter and a seven hitter.
    Do we know for sure of a different result if Whitey starts game one, no we don't, but Whitey should have started game one.
    Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 04-05-2012, 04:23 AM.

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  • SHOELESSJOE3
    replied
    Originally posted by leecemark View Post
    --The only Yankee job Ruth wanted was manager, a job he was woefully unqualified for. It has been widely speculated that Cobb (and Speaker) were quietly banned from managing due to their role in fixing games.
    How do we know he was unqualified. This was not the young difficult to handle Babe Ruth, it certainly appeared that he did know the game.
    I do think he hurt himself by not accepting to play the manager position in the minors as a start.
    I'm not here to say he would have done a good job, I don't know, being a great hitter does not mean your going to be a success as a manager.
    If he doesn't do the job you get rid of the manager, happens all the time, it's not a lifetime job.
    Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 04-05-2012, 03:56 AM.

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  • EdTarbusz
    replied
    Originally posted by ian2813 View Post

    I'm sure there were probably other factors too. I read once that during Stengel's later years with the Yankees he spent a lot of time sleeping in the dugout. I doubt that helped dispel the notion that he was getting too old for the job.

    .
    I think the biggest factor in the Yankees getting rid of Stengel was that they were grooming Ralph HOuk to be the next manager and the Yankees brass was afraid that Houk would leave the team to manage somewhere else if Stengel stayed on indefinetly. The 1960 World Series was probably the last straw because of how Stengel mismanged his rotation during the Series.

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  • ian2813
    replied
    Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
    The Case of Babe Ruth:

    Could they even have offered him a coaching job? Granted, Babe was insubordinate and made Joe McCarthy's life miserable, but still, didn't his benefits far out-weigh his negatives?? I ask in all candor.
    I would assume that because he wanted the managerial job, keeping Ruth with the team would've made for a difficult situation. The Dodgers hired him as a coach for the 1938 season, and he only lasted at it for one year (of course, that's because Leo Durocher took over after the season and decided not to retain him). Still, the fact that he never caught on anywhere else might suggest that he wasn't suited for a role as an authority figure.

    Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
    The Case of Lou Gehrig:

    Question. Why couldn't the Yankees offer Lou a coaching job, which was basicly a pension, for his long-term service?

    Did the Yankees owe Lou Gehrig a post, if recognition of his exemplary service? He died in 1942.
    Gehrig stayed in the dugout during the 1939 season as a "team captain." They also retired his number and locker, and allowed him access to the Yankee clubhouse after he was no longer serving the team in a playing or coaching capacity.

    Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
    The Case of Casey Stengel:

    From 1949 to 1960, Casey Stengel won almost all the AL pennants available to him. He won 10 pennants in 12 years!!! He also won 7 World Series! Only Al Lopez was able to beat him out, with the White Sox and Indians. When Casey turned 70, the Yankees called him in and told him, "Your services are no longer desired." They paid him off in full and sent him on his way. In light of his amazing record, why would any organization keep him on as long as he was producing for them??? Why not wait until he stopped producing before they let him go???

    Did the Yankees owe Casey Stengel anything while he was winning for them?
    Come on, Bill. We all know the Yankees are a notoriously competitive organization. Mickey Mantle said that during the Topping-Webb years they considered their season a failure unless they won the World Series. The Yankees had a down year in 1959, and then got upset by the Pirates in the 1960 World Series. By Bronx standards, that meant the sky was falling.

    I'm sure there were probably other factors too. I read once that during Stengel's later years with the Yankees he spent a lot of time sleeping in the dugout. I doubt that helped dispel the notion that he was getting too old for the job.

    --
    On the subject of loyalty, what about Brooks Robinson? He clearly was at the end of the line during his last two seasons, but the Orioles held onto him because they felt an obligation to him as a Baltimore icon. In 1977 he signed as a player-coach, and he dropped the "player" part when he officially retired that August. After that they gave him a broadcasting job, which he held for the next 15 years.

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  • leewileyfan
    replied
    Also, nobody had to pass the hat for Cobb, a shrewd investor and long-term holder of considerable shares in the young Coca Cola Company.

    Leave a comment:


  • leecemark
    replied
    --The only Yankee job Ruth wanted was manager, a job he was woefully unqualified for. It has been widely speculated that Cobb (and Speaker) were quietly banned from managing due to their role in fixing games.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    The Case of Honus Wagner:

    And then there was the other side of baseball loyalty: Honus Wagner and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Honus Wagner was the consensus choice as the best player of his times, until the arrival of Ty Cobb. Honus hit his top salary of $10,000./season in 1908.
    http://www.baseball-fever.com/showth...rical-Salaries

    Once he made that whopping amount, he never again would consider asking for more. His owner, Barney Dreyfuss not only noticed that generous gesture, but was so grateful, that he responded in kind.

    After Honus started to decline, Barney never cut his salary. Honus made his $10,000. until 1916. Now that, my friends, is how loyalty is supposed to work. How it can work.

    And it got even better. Honus retired after the 1917 season. He had made a good living, had saved his money. He had been single. He married soon after he retired, well-off. He invested his money in a local sporting goods store and did quite well. But the 1929 Wall Street Crash hit his business hard and he had hard times.

    Sports writer, Fred Lieb, said so in the Sporting News. The Pittsburgh Pirates saw the blurb and did something about it right away. They asked Honus if he wanted to come back to work for the Pirates as a coach. Honus jumped at the chance. The chance to suit up, see the players, hang out in the clubhouse made him feel real good again.

    And so, from 1933 for the next 20 years, Honus served his beloved team and was one of their most popular, beloved members. The fans loved to see him out there, and he showed the rookies how to play better.

    The Pirates had virtually 'pensioned' him with that post. Mutually beneficial in the best possible way.

    So, why can't others take note of that great relationship?

    Baseball shamed itself when it black-balled Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb. The fans would have loved to have seen them manage against themselves for years. Shame on you, baseball.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-04-2012, 08:57 PM.

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  • leewileyfan
    replied
    Some years ago PBS broadcast a program "Baseball: When It Was a Game." Of all the WW II player memoirs, the bitter recollections of Johnny Berardino brought the biggest wry smile to my face.

    Berardino was called into military service in WW II and was overseas in 1944, the lone World Series shot in St. Louis Browns history against their crosstown rivals, the Cardinals. Berardino recalled his "gift" from the Browns organization to their absent "member" overseas: a deck of playing cards with the Browns logo impressed on the back. He recalled, "Could they spare it? It probably cost more for the postage than the deck was worth."

    Ironically, the same broadcast made several reference to the Browns, alluding to a "franchise player" never on the trading blocks. Sad for that player, he was struck with adult onset mumps, normally a childhood disease that is much more rare [and potentially devastating] in the adult population. Weakened by this, the player was traded away in 1943 to Washington ... thus the franchise player missed by a season the year all Brownies had been waiting for. I never heard of Harlond Clift getting a Series share for years of service as THE "franchise player."

    So much for loyalty and generosity.

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  • EdTarbusz
    replied
    Originally posted by Dude Paskert View Post
    Ed Barrow was a hard guy, for sure. I can't imagine that Lou was in any kind of shape to be a coach, but they could have given him some kind of job in the front office.

    .
    I think it's possible that Gehrig was offered some kind of job with the Yankees and declined to take it because of his illness. He did spend some time working with the New York Parole Board before his death in 1941.

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  • Dude Paskert
    replied
    Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
    The Case of Lou Gehrig:

    From 1927 - 1937, Lou Gehrig made a mighty contribution to the Yankees winning ways. He was a model of deportment and didn't hold out for raises. He was the perfect stereo-type of player that the Yankees wanted and took pride in. Like DiMaggio and McCarthy. Conservative, unobtrusive. Came to work and went home. Avoided personal attention.

    He contracted his disease, his hitting became sporadic early in 1938 and by mid-season went into a slump he couldn't pull out of. Took himself out of the lineup in early 1939. Lou didn't have enough money to not work. He had to go to work for the New York Parole Board to pay his bills.

    Question. Why couldn't the Yankees offer Lou a coaching job, which was basicly a pension, for his long-term service?

    Did the Yankees owe Lou Gehrig a post, if recognition of his exemplary service? He died in 1942.
    Ed Barrow was a hard guy, for sure. I can't imagine that Lou was in any kind of shape to be a coach, but they could have given him some kind of job in the front office.

    DiMaggio was actually a lot more controversial than Gehrig. His early holdouts were widely publicized and Barrow would point to Lou as the model the young ballplayer should follow, taking what the team offered. When told that he was asking for more money than the veteran Gehrig, who had many fantastic seasons under his belt, Joe opined that Lou was horribly underpaid...true dat.

    Leave a comment:


  • leewileyfan
    replied
    Interesting that the two players selected as exemplars for the "loyalty" thread should be Babe Ruth and Leo Durocher. The two were once-upon-a-time room mates on the Yankees [another oddity, being neither the "Jints" or "the Bums."]

    How/why Babe wiped up the room with his roomie is allegedly revealed by Eldon Auker in his book "Sleeper Cars and Flannel Uniforms." IF Auker is credible, the Durocher relationship with loyalty in revealed through a long history of [alleged] theft, rigged floating crap games, questionable associations and enterprises [George Raft and a few mob figures], kiting checks, and [alleged] theft "alienation of affections" with the married wife of a good friend.

    However exact Auker [and other writing observers] may have been about Durocher, there is little doubt that his allegiance, if any, was entirely to himself, often at some expense to others who were being fleeced. Suspension had everything to do with gambling and loaded dice in a swank hotel suite [fleecing ballplayers] ... with personal animosities being convenient straw men for others to debate.

    Durocher's baseball loyalties extended only in the hermetically sealed borders of stadium walls and chalk lines and to the players and staff in the dugout and the clubhouse. Outside those limits, no loyalty need apply.

    Babe Ruth caused more grief for Muller Huggins than he did Joe McCarthy. a man who established standards for players and brooked few violations. McCarthy instilled what is remembered as "Yankee Pride," evidenced for ready viewing by pre-WW II fans in the dress code: players showing up and leaving the park in dress suits, with neckties.

    MLB is and always has been a business [before free agency, a monopolistic cartel] in which players were chattel, to be traded as commodities and having no say in the matter. Whatever loyalties may exist are mutually nourished by the player-franchise, in mutual respect and enlightened self-interest.

    Babe did much for the Yankees, who reciprocated in pay, long-suffering patience with antics, and the mutually beneficial promotion of "The House That Ruth Built," also a bit lopsided - the left field areas far more spacious than the right - nice for a lefty slugger. Babe was well remunerated for his talents - and his antics.

    Might the Yankees have extended the Babe a long-term contact as coach or good will ambassador at large? Sure. in Happy-Ending-ville. However, Babe departed as a player ... leaving with both a whimper and a 3HR game bang - which seems appropriate.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    The Case of Casey Stengel:

    From 1949 to 1960, Casey Stengel won almost all the AL pennants available to him. He won 10 pennants in 12 years!!! He also won 7 World Series! Only Al Lopez was able to beat him out, with the White Sox and Indians. When Casey turned 70, the Yankees called him in and told him, "Your services are no longer desired." They paid him off in full and sent him on his way. In light of his amazing record, why would any organization keep him on as long as he was producing for them??? Why not wait until he stopped producing before they let him go???

    Did the Yankees owe Casey Stengel anything while he was winning for them?

    Leave a comment:


  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    The Case of Lou Gehrig:

    From 1927 - 1937, Lou Gehrig made a mighty contribution to the Yankees winning ways. He was a model of deportment and didn't hold out for raises. He was the perfect stereo-type of player that the Yankees wanted and took pride in. Like DiMaggio and McCarthy. Conservative, unobtrusive. Came to work and went home. Avoided personal attention.

    He contracted his disease, his hitting became sporadic early in 1938 and by mid-season went into a slump he couldn't pull out of. Took himself out of the lineup in early 1939. Lou didn't have enough money to not work. He had to go to work for the New York Parole Board to pay his bills.

    Question. Why couldn't the Yankees offer Lou a coaching job, which was basicly a pension, for his long-term service?

    Did the Yankees owe Lou Gehrig a post, if recognition of his exemplary service? He died in 1942.

    Leave a comment:

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