Announcement

Collapse

Updated Baseball Fever Policy

Baseball Fever Policy

I. Purpose of this announcement:

This announcement describes the policies pertaining to the operation of Baseball Fever.

Baseball Fever is a moderated baseball message board which encourages and facilitates research and information exchange among fans of our national pastime. The intent of the Baseball Fever Policy is to ensure that Baseball Fever remains an extremely high quality, extremely low "noise" environment.

Baseball Fever is administrated by three principal administrators:
webmaster - Baseball Fever Owner
The Commissioner - Baseball Fever Administrator
Macker - Baseball Fever Administrator

And a group of forum specific super moderators. The role of the moderator is to keep Baseball Fever smoothly and to screen posts for compliance with our policy. The moderators are ALL volunteer positions, so please be patient and understanding of any delays you might experience in correspondence.

II. Comments about our policy:

Any suggestions on this policy may be made directly to the webmaster.

III. Acknowledgments:

This document was based on a similar policy used by SABR.

IV. Requirements for participation on Baseball Fever:

Participation on Baseball Fever is available to all baseball fans with a valid email address, as verified by the forum's automated system, which then in turn creates a single validated account. Multiple accounts by a single user are prohibited.

By registering, you agree to adhere to the policies outlined in this document and to conduct yourself accordingly. Abuse of the forum, by repeated failure to abide by these policies, will result in your access being blocked to the forum entirely.

V. Baseball Fever Netiquette:

Participants at Baseball Fever are required to adhere to these principles, which are outlined in this section.
a. All posts to Baseball Fever should be written in clear, concise English, with proper grammar and accurate spelling. The use of abbreviations should be kept to a minimum; when abbreviation is necessary, they should be either well-known (such as etc.), or explained on their first use in your post.

b. Conciseness is a key attribute of a good post.

c. Quote only the portion of a post to which you are responding.

d. Standard capitalization and punctuation make a large difference in the readability of a post. TYPING IN ALL CAPITALS is considered to be "shouting"; it is a good practice to limit use of all capitals to words which you wish to emphasize.

e. It is our policy NOT to transmit any defamatory or illegal materials.

f. Personal attacks of any type against Baseball Fever readers will not be tolerated. In these instances the post will be copied by a moderator and/or administrator, deleted from the site, then sent to the member who made the personal attack via a Private Message (PM) along with a single warning. Members who choose to not listen and continue personal attacks will be banned from the site.

g. It is important to remember that many contextual clues available in face-to-face discussion, such as tone of voice and facial expression, are lost in the electronic forum. As a poster, try to be alert for phrasing that might be misinterpreted by your audience to be offensive; as a reader, remember to give the benefit of the doubt and not to take umbrage too easily. There are many instances in which a particular choice of words or phrasing can come across as being a personal attack where none was intended.

h. The netiquette described above (a-g) often uses the term "posts", but applies equally to Private Messages.

VI. Baseball Fever User Signature Policy

A signature is a piece of text that some members may care to have inserted at the end of ALL of their posts, a little like the closing of a letter. You can set and / or change your signature by editing your profile in the UserCP. Since it is visible on ALL your posts, the following policy must be adhered to:

Signature Composition
Font size limit: No larger than size 2 (This policy is a size 2)
Style: Bold and italics are permissible
Character limit: No more than 500 total characters
Lines: No more than 4 lines
Colors: Most colors are permissible, but those which are hard to discern against the gray background (yellow, white, pale gray) should be avoided
Images/Graphics: Allowed, but nothing larger than 20k and Content rules must be followed

Signature Content
No advertising is permitted
Nothing political or religious
Nothing obscene, vulgar, defamatory or derogatory
Links to personal blogs/websites are permissible - with the webmaster's written consent
A Link to your Baseball Fever Blog does not require written consent and is recommended
Quotes must be attributed. Non-baseball quotes are permissible as long as they are not religious or political

Please adhere to these rules when you create your signature. Failure to do so will result in a request to comply by a moderator. If you do not comply within a reasonable amount of time, the signature will be removed and / or edited by an Administrator. Baseball Fever reserves the right to edit and / or remove any or all of your signature line at any time without contacting the account holder.

VII. Appropriate and inappropriate topics for Baseball Fever:

Most concisely, the test for whether a post is appropriate for Baseball Fever is: "Does this message discuss our national pastime in an interesting manner?" This post can be direct or indirect: posing a question, asking for assistance, providing raw data or citations, or discussing and constructively critiquing existing posts. In general, a broad interpretation of "baseball related" is used.

Baseball Fever is not a promotional environment. Advertising of products, web sites, etc., whether for profit or not-for-profit, is not permitted. At the webmaster's discretion, brief one-time announcements for products or services of legitimate baseball interest and usefulness may be allowed. If advertising is posted to the site it will be copied by a moderator and/or administrator, deleted from the site, then sent to the member who made the post via a Private Message (PM) along with a single warning. Members who choose to not listen and continue advertising will be banned from the site. If the advertising is spam-related, pornography-based, or a "visit-my-site" type post / private message, no warning at all will be provided, and the member will be banned immediately without a warning.

It is considered appropriate to post a URL to a page which specifically and directly answers a question posted on the list (for example, it would be permissible to post a link to a page containing home-road splits, even on a site which has advertising or other commercial content; however, it would not be appropriate to post the URL of the main page of the site). The site reserves the right to limit the frequency of such announcements by any individual or group.

In keeping with our test for a proper topic, posting to Baseball Fever should be treated as if you truly do care. This includes posting information that is, to the best of your knowledge, complete and accurate at the time you post. Any errors or ambiguities you catch later should be acknowledged and corrected in the thread, since Baseball Fever is sometimes considered to be a valuable reference for research information.

VIII. Role of the moderator:

When a post is submitted to Baseball Fever, it is forwarded by the server automatically and seen immediately. The moderator may:
a. Leave the thread exactly like it was submitted. This is the case 95% of the time.

b. Immediately delete the thread as inappropriate for Baseball Fever. Examples include advertising, personal attacks, or spam. This is the case 1% of the time.

c. Move the thread. If a member makes a post about the Marlins in the Yankees forum it will be moved to the appropriate forum. This is the case 3% of the time.

d. Edit the message due to an inappropriate item. This is the case 1% of the time. There have been new users who will make a wonderful post, then add to their signature line (where your name / handle appears) a tagline that is a pure advertisement. This tagline will be removed, a note will be left in the message so he/she is aware of the edit, and personal contact will be made to the poster telling them what has been edited and what actions need to be taken to prevent further edits.

The moderators perform no checks on posts to verify factual or logical accuracy. While he/she may point out gross errors in factual data in replies to the thread, the moderator does not act as an "accuracy" editor. Also moderation is not a vehicle for censorship of individuals and/or opinions, and the moderator's decisions should not be taken personally.

IX. Legal aspects of participation in Baseball Fever:

By submitting a post to Baseball Fever, you grant Baseball Fever permission to distribute your message to the forum. Other rights pertaining to the post remain with the ORIGINAL author, and you may not redistribute or retransmit any posts by any others, in whole or in part, without the express consent of the original author.

The messages appearing on Baseball Fever contain the opinions and views of their respective authors and are not necessarily those of Baseball Fever, or of the Baseball Almanac family of sites.

Sincerely,

Sean Holtz, Webmaster of Baseball Almanac & Baseball Fever
www.baseball-almanac.com | www.baseball-fever.com
"Baseball Almanac: Sharing Baseball. Sharing History."
See more
See less

Kuhn Rejects Finley's Sale to Red Sox, Yankees

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Kuhn Rejects Finley's Sale to Red Sox, Yankees

    Bowie Stops Charlie's Checks by Ron Fimrite
    June 28, 1976

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...44/3/index.htm

    The extraordinary events of last week may not have constituted, as a flummoxed Chuck Tanner suggested, "the biggest I-don't-know-what-you-call-it in the history of baseball." Nor were they in any way comparable, as a vexed Billy Martin contended, to Watergate. But there is no question that when Charlie Finley tried to peddle three of his Oakland A's stars to buyers in New York and Boston for a total of $3.5 million and Commissioner Bowie Kuhn said "No," he could not do it, the already lacerated national pastime was plunged into an imbroglio from which it cannot emerge unscarred.

    It was a week of surprise and outrage, the only unsurprising aspect being that the chief characters were those familiar antagonists, Bowie and Charlie. The circumspect former Wall Street lawyer and the megalomaniacal wheeler-dealer are the Flagg and Quirt of baseball, only much less amusing. Bowie is forever fining Charlie for assorted misdemeanors—like firing players in the middle of a World Series or offering incentive bonuses—and Charlie is constantly campaigning to depose Bowie and replace him with the jackass he employs as the A's mascot.

    Charlie started this biggest of all rows when he stunned even the most alert Finley-watchers by announcing only hours before the major league trading deadline of midnight, June 15, that he was selling Pitcher Vida Blue to the Yankees for $1.5 million and Outfielder Joe Rudi and Relief Pitcher Rollie Fingers to the Red Sox for $1 million apiece. It was the biggest sale of human flesh in the history of sports. Faced with the alternative of losing all three at the end of the season to free-agent status, Finley sold them at prices one normally associates with downtown real estate or Renaissance paintings. Finley would get the money, the A's would receive no players in return.

    The departure of the three stars would all but complete the demolition of a team that had won five consecutive division titles, four straight American League pennants and the World Series of 1972, '73 and '74. Reggie Jackson and Ken Holtzman had been dispatched to Baltimore earlier, and now only Sal Bando, Gene Tenace and Bert Campaneris remained of the players who had built this remarkable record. Never in baseball history had a championship team been dismantled so swiftly. It took Connie Mack several years each time to reduce his 1909-14 and 1927-32 teams to cellar rubble. Finley had accomplished pretty much the same thing in a few months.

    The reaction to this clearance sale was instantaneous. Many staunch Oakland fans, while defending Finley's right to operate his business as he pleases, expressed dismay that he should so contemptuously reduce the attractiveness of his product. "He can set all his cash out on that mound and come up here and cheer for his money," one fan told The San Francisco Examiner. The less affluent among the baseball owners seemed equally distressed. The nightmare of the rich getting richer, unfettered by the reserve clause, seemed to be coming true.

    "I think it's a terrible thing when two clubs go out there and start bidding to see who can buy a championship team," said Minnesota Owner Calvin Griffith. "I think this shows that what the owners have been saying about the wealthy clubs getting the top players is true."

    Bowie Kuhn was sitting in the VIP section of the press box at Chicago's Comiskey Park last Tuesday when news of Finley's sale broke over the Associated Press wires at 7:51 p.m., Chicago time. Visibly distressed, he left the White Sox-Orioles game in the sixth inning, commenting, "I won't believe it until I see it on paper." When he did, Kuhn ordered the involved players to stay put and called the principals to a Thursday meeting in his New York office. Eighteen persons attended, including Finley, Red Sox General Manager Dick O'Connell, General Partner George Steinbrenner (another Kuhn foe) and President Gabe Paul of the Yankees and Marvin Miller, executive director of the Players Association. After a 90-minute session, seller and buyers alike seemed confident of early approval; Steinbrenner even flashed a triumphant "thumbs-up" as he left the meeting. After all, there is nothing in baseball law to prohibit an owner from selling his players at whatever price he can get.

    "I don't understand what the furor is about," said Miller. "No rules have been violated. What has happened here has happened hundreds of times: namely, the selling of players for cash." Finley, dapper in a gray plaid suit and yellow golf shirt and hat, said confidently, "I plan to use this money to great advantage. We'll be able to purchase a lot of players at the end of the season."

    Kuhn would only comment, "The issue is whether the assignment of the contracts is appropriate or not under the circumstances. That's the issue I have to wrestle with. I have to consider these transactions in the best interest of baseball."

    Rudi and Fingers were in Boston uniforms in the Oakland Coliseum Tuesday night, and their agent, Jerry Kapstein, was arranging to discuss their contract demands with Red Sox officials. Luckily, in light of later developments, they did not play against their old teammates, Red Sox Manager Darrell Johnson reasoning that they would need at least a day to recover from the shock. Fingers, especially, seemed bemused by this tangible evidence of his value as an athlete. "Hey, I'm worth a million dollars," he said. "Somehow that just doesn't sound right." Rudi, meanwhile, spent nearly as much time saying goodbye in his old Oakland clubhouse as he did saying hello in his new one. "I guess ballplayers aren't supposed to cry," he said, "but I couldn't help it."

    Because of Kuhn's delay in approving the sale, Rudi and Fingers engaged only in pre-game workouts the following night, discreetly departing the clubhouse before the first pitch. Blue, scheduled to join the Yankees in Chicago, remained in the Bay Area awaiting the outcome of the hearing. A's Manager Chuck Tanner, his available talent depleted by the historic transaction, rose loyally to Finley's defense. "He did the right thing," said Tanner, seated under a religious painting on which was emblazoned a heartening message: There can be no rainbow without a cloud and a storm. "The thing Mr. Finley did will change the game around," Tanner said. "It'll make the other owners realize there's a situation here [the reserve clause dilemma] that has to be rectified now. I honestly believe there never will be another major league player sold for a million dollars."

    Finley, of course, had always maintained an adversary relationship with his players; indeed, it was part of the team's mystique. But his best pitcher, Catfish Hunter, caught him in a contract violation before the 1975 season, was declared a free agent by an arbitrator and auctioned himself off to the Yankees for nearly $3 million. Then Los Angeles Dodger Pitcher Andy Messersmith effectively toppled the game's precious reserve system by playing out his option year and, like Hunter before him, achieving emancipation. He eventually sold himself to the Atlanta Braves for more than a million dollars.

    The Messersmith case forced the owners into negotiations with Miller over revisions in the reserve system, which once had the effect of binding a player to a club for life. Predictably, the negotiations hit a snag that led to a delay of spring training, and in fact, the matter has not yet been resolved. The Messersmith experience also inspired a number of players to opt for the open market and refuse to sign 1976 contracts.

    Finley, in particular, had difficulty signing his players. By the end of spring training, eight of his best were playing without contracts. Finley acted quickly, trading the tremendously popular Jackson and 18-game winner Holtzman. He insists he also tried to trade Rudi, Fingers and Blue but could not obtain quality personnel in exchange.

    Finley was ensconced in his Chicago office Friday afternoon when Kuhn announced his decision. Kuhn could not persuade himself, he said, that "the spectacle of the Yankees and the Red Sox buying contracts of star players in the prime of their careers for cash sums totalling $3.5 million is anything but devastating to baseball's reputation for integrity and to public confidence in the game, even though I can well understand that their motive is a good-faith effort to strengthen their clubs. If such transactions now and in the future were permitted, the door would be opened wide to the buying of success by the more affluent clubs, public suspicion would be aroused, traditional and sound methods of player development and acquisition would be undermined and our efforts to preserve competitive balance would be greatly impaired. I cannot help but conclude that I would be remiss in exercising my powers as commissioner pursuant to the Major League Agreement and Major League Rule 12 if I did not act now to disapprove these assignments."

    Kuhn added, "If, as contended by the participants, the commissioner lacks the power to prevent a development so harmful to baseball as this, then our system of self-regulation for the good of the game and the public is a mirage."

    Whap! Back went Rudi, Fingers and Blue to the Oakland clubhouse. And then off went Finley's mouth; he threatened that he would go to Federal Court in San Francisco in search of an injunction to stop Kuhn from stopping him. The commissioner had behaved, said Charlie, with typical restraint, "like the village idiot." In Finley's defense, it must be pointed out that he now stands to lose both the $3.5 million and his three ballplayers at the end of the season. Marvin Miller said, "The commissioner has single-handedly plunged baseball into the biggest mess it has ever seen. I consider it sheer insanity. It's raised the potential for litigation which would last for years. He is asserting a right to end all club owners' rights with regard to all transactions. Whenever there's a trade made, he can decide that one team did not get enough value and veto that deal."

    Yankee Manager Billy Martin was naturally enraged. The same day he thought he had obtained Blue, the Yankees also acquired the unsigned Holtzman in a 10-player deal with Baltimore. Martin was gleefully anticipating the use of the same starting rotation that took the A's to their multiple championships: Hunter, Holtzman and Blue. "I can believe Watergate," Martin said, "but I can't believe that we in baseball, who are so intelligent, would do this."

    Kuhn took as his authority an article of the Major League Agreement that was written in 1921, shortly after the ascendancy of the dictatorial Kenesaw Mountain Landis to the game's highest office. This empowers the commissioner to take any steps he deems necessary to protect the best interests and the "honor" of baseball. For his part, Finley contends that Kuhn has operated in restraint of trade. Martin, who insisted that two National League owners, Walter O'Malley of the Dodgers and M. Donald Grant of the Mets, helped influence Kuhn's decision, noted that "Steinbrenner has tremendous attorneys and he'll go after Kuhn," but Boston Owner Tom Yawkey adopted a pacifist posture.

    "I don't know what the hell the commissioner is basing his ruling on," Yawkey said, "but I will sue nobody. I hate lawsuits. There are too many lawsuits in sports already. I've had my stomach full of them, and I think the public has had enough, too." Later, Martin attempted to inject some levity into the situation. Asked who would replace Blue in his pitching rotation, Martin cracked, "I'm pitching Bowie tomorrow. I've got to find out if he's thrown lately. Is he righthanded or lefthanded? Or does he know?"

    Whatever the courtroom ramifications, Kuhn's unprecedented decision raises more questions than it answers. What, for example, if one of the rich teams should buy up significant numbers of the 58 players who will become free agents at the end of this season? Will he invoke the same powers?

    One fact is clear: Kuhn is putting his job and his reputation on the line, an uncharacteristically courageous act. If he wins, he will have won powers previously wielded only by Landis. If Finley should defeat him in court, he will be left with even less authority than he now enjoys, which is not much.

    The biggest question of all, though, is what the owners and players will do about grinding out some modification of the reserve system to avoid future dilemmas of this sort. It does seem apparent now that the owners have been wrong about one thing: their real enemies in an open market will not be the venal players. No, the enemy is within, and it is just possible that one of their more enlightened number will paraphrase the Bard and advise his embattled commissioner, "The fault, dear Bowie, is not in our stars, but in ourselves."
    "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

  • #2
    My take, as a Red Sox fan? "Kuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!" Wrath of indeed. We got Rollie Fingered no doubt.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by TomBodet View Post
      My take, as a Red Sox fan? "Kuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!" Wrath of indeed. We got Rollie Fingered no doubt.
      But, where would you have put Joe Rudi if you're the Red Sox?

      Was there ever an attempt to insist that the teams give up prospects? That would have been my inclination; order them to surrender prospects instead and some cash or void the trade.

      The Yankees had Willie Randolph by this time, right? Let's see...were Ken Clay or Jim Beattie too far in the future? And maybe Ron Guidry if he was seen as viable. I'm sure there were others, too.

      The Red Sox had Ted(?) Cox, a supposedly great prospect who ended up going in the infamous (from Cleveland's standpoint) Dennis Eckersley deal. Hmmm, who else did they have in '76?
      If Baseball Integrated Early - baseball integrated from the beginning - and "Brotherhood and baseball," the U.S. history companion, at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Baseballifsandmore - IBIE updated for 2011.

      "Full House Chronology" at yahoo group fullhousefreaks & fullhouse4life with help of many fans, thanks for the input

      Comment


      • #4
        "I don't know what the hell the commissioner is basing his ruling on," Yawkey said, "but I will sue nobody. I hate lawsuits. There are too many lawsuits in sports already. I've had my stomach full of them, and I think the public has had enough, too." Later, Martin attempted to inject some levity into the situation. Asked who would replace Blue in his pitching rotation, Martin cracked, "I'm pitching Bowie tomorrow. I've got to find out if he's thrown lately. Is he righthanded or lefthanded? Or does he know?"

        Whatever the courtroom ramifications, Kuhn's unprecedented decision raises more questions than it answers. What, for example, if one of the rich teams should buy up significant numbers of the 58 players who will become free agents at the end of this season? Will he invoke the same powers?""


        If he had invoked those powers, kinda think Steinbrenner, unlike Yawkey, sure would have sued someone

        Comment


        • #5
          Wherever they wanted too, of course. If you can find at bats for Steve Dillard, Bob Heise and Gary Hancock, you can for Joe Rudi as well.....I think the Sawks would have 'welcomed the challenge' and dealt w it jest fine... that's why they pay them the big bucks.
          Last edited by TomBodet; 05-29-2013, 03:22 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TomBodet View Post
            Wherever they wanted too, of course. If you can find at bats for Steve Dillard, Bob Heise and Gary Hancock, you can for Joe Rudi as well.....I think the Sawks would have 'welcomed the challenge' and dealt w it jest fine... that's why they pay them the big bucks.
            That's another compelling part of this story. Once Mr. Yawkey passed, and folks like Heywood Sullivan took over, you don't think the moves would have been botched at some point with what would become a player glut?
            Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
            Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
            Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
            Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
            Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
              That's another compelling part of this story. Once Mr. Yawkey passed, and folks like Heywood Sullivan took over, you don't think the moves would have been botched at some point with what would become a player glut?
              The scary part is they could just try Rice or Rudi at 3rd; they played Yaz there once IIRC. (Checks - it was 31 games in '73)

              The scarier part: If Yaz's play there is any indication, they might not have been much worse than Butch Hobson in '78 (.893 F% for Yaz, only a few percentage points higher for Hobson; in fact Yaz had a superior range factor!)

              Who were the top prospects, if the Commissioner had insisted the money be partly replaced with prospects, on each club?
              If Baseball Integrated Early - baseball integrated from the beginning - and "Brotherhood and baseball," the U.S. history companion, at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Baseballifsandmore - IBIE updated for 2011.

              "Full House Chronology" at yahoo group fullhousefreaks & fullhouse4life with help of many fans, thanks for the input

              Comment

              Working...
              X