The Morning News from Wilmington, Delaware on August 13, 1971 · Page 16
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The Morning News from Wilmington, Delaware · Page 16

Wilmington, Delaware
Issue Date:
Friday, August 13, 1971
Page 16
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Friday, August 13, 1971 Kf5 Si ' don't read them kind 'It'5 . . . derogatory the worsf for baseball' -Joe Cronini 'I, on the other hand, enjoyed ill' -Mike Burke 1 I I 1 of books' again -Willie Mays Si I 16 The Morning News, Wilmington, Del. 0 . Iijilllillllpi I i: I strikes 1 V 1 : M taiif ML m'MMml 1 5 I I WASHINGTON - Jim Bouton has done it again. He has written the sequel to "Ball Four" in which he relates the reaction to that best-selling sports book ever written. Appropriately, he has dedicated his new effort to Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn and Dick , Young, the New York Daily News columnist (who appears in the Evening Journal), for their overreaction to "Ball Four," which helped make it such a handsome success. Young wrote in his column that Bouton was a "social leper" because he revealed the things he did. The next day, Bouton recalls, he saw Young at Shea Stadium and they exchanged greetings. Then Bouton said, "I didn't know you were talking to social lepers these days." Young replied, "I'm gjad you didn't take it personally." Hence, the title. "J'm glad you didn't take it personally" (William Morrow & Co., 220 pp., 5.95). Unlike most sequels, it is as enjoyable as "Ball Four." Although not as thick as the first, Bouton's new book has new and amusing stories, anecdotes that offer additional insight into the goings-on in baseball. The King and I Bowie Kuhn should be sufficiently enraged when he reads the excerpt in Look Magazine. It includes most of the chapter entitled "The King and I," which the commissioner can read in its entirety when the book is published later this month. Unless, of course, the commissioner was included on Bouton's list for advance copies. Considering Bouton's sense of humor, this is quite possible. The commissioner does not come off as an enlightened leader but a sorry fellow who realizes too late he should never have called in Bouton for a "warning." Bouton writes, "This discussion took about 20 minutes. The rest of the 2Vi hours was spent discussing what to tell ' the press, or rather what not to tell the press." ; Bouton relates typical reaction to "Ball Four" by baseball personalities. : ' Joe'Cronin, American League president: "It's the most derogatory thing and the worst thing for baseball I've ever seen." Willie Mays: "I don't read them kind of books." Dick Williams, Oakland manager: "I didn't, read it. I didn't like it." , Jim Gilliam, Dodgers' coach: "If most of the players don't like it, I don't like it." Then there were surprising reactions. Joe Schultz, manager of the defunct Seattle Pilots: "What the bleep. The more I think about it, it's not so bad." , Mike Burke, Yankees' president: "I, on the other hand, enjoyed it." Bouton also recalls some non-confrontations with people who were sharply critical of the book. With the Cardinals' Bob Gibson, "Hi, Bob; Hi, Jim." And with the Yankees' Elston Howard: "Hi, Ellie; Hi." ' . - - Not many of the Yankees would say much more to Bouton when he returned to Yankee . Stadium trying for interviews, but not really expecting any,-in " his new job as a TV sportscaster. "I just can't talk to you now," Fritz Peterson says. "It's unbelievable what's going on inside the clubhouse. There's all kinds of pressure." Sanctity of clubhouses The "sanctity of the clubhouse" and the "tarnishing of idols," two popular arguments against "Ball Four," are discussed in "Person-ally," which ' succeeds where , the second effort by "Instant Replay's" Jerry Kramer-Dick Schaap didn't. Bouton and his collaborator, Leonard Shec-ter, succeed in shifting from diary format to a fast-paced, well-written account. The clubhouse, rather than a sanctuary, Bouton reasons, is a "place for men to change their pants" and that the only reason to keep, secret what goes on there is that "most of it is silly." , He also asks, "Why do our heroes have to be so perfect and unflawed?" and concludes, "I think it's possible that you can view people as ., heroes and at the same time understand that . they are people, too, imperfect, narrow sometimes . . ." And so he tells more about "the moody, dark side" of Mickey Mantle and the clubhouse jester, Joe Pepitone. After the final half season of his baseball career, ending with a farewell to Hub Kittle, : that's his name, really, the manager of Oklahoma City, Bouton proves , his impartiality when it comes to relating a good story. He provides locker-room looks at his new employer, ABC, as well as the publisher of "Ball Four," which helps explain why he has a new ' publisher this time. A $40,CdO advance probably was a factor, too. Bouton takes his shots at some of TV-land's favorites. "Joe Garagiola didn't get to be a star in broadcasting by planting himself firmly on only one side of a question." And what they're saying at ABC about Howard Cosell: "He's out walking his pet rat." ; Bouton deserves high marks through both his book, some 500 pages, until almost the end of . '. "Personally." Then, despite having made all his points, he recounts an offensive tale about "Joe Pepitone's birthday cake which he does , warn the reader to consider skipping. Oh, well, i no one's perfect, and that's what Bouton was saying all along. rohert Ted Williams: mellow, my eye NEW YORK "I never took Digel till I got this bleeping job," said Ted Williams, in great good humor. "And I swear in my room, some choice bleeping words, let me tell you." "You always swore in your room," someone said. "Are you becoming more mellow? ,v "Mellow, my eye,' said Williams. "The only difference, I guard my words to the press so I don't have to go through all that bull, retracting it, saying I was misquoted. It took me this long to calm down." "This is your third year as manager now. Are you having a good time?" "If you can play above .500 it's tolerable, and anything above that is a plus. It's the stuff you read in the papers that makes you sick, but it made me sick 30 years ago." Spring training on the beach "Patience," said Robert Short, owner of the Washington Senators, "that's what he's learned. "In the off-season we bury him up to his neck in sand and let the ants crawl over him, get him ready for the season." Williams laughed, his deep, long bark of a laugh, and leaned back in a black captain's chair in the visiting team clubhouse at Yankee Stadium recently. "Tell you this, I love baseball so much, I hate to see it torn apart by irresponsible writers."- . v "Like Curt Flood?" "No, he's entitled to say and do what he wants. I think he's wrong, that's all." Williams pulled on his pants, smiling to himself as Short began saying that the manager was playing an important role in the promotion of the ball club and its attempt to get a more favorable rental agreement at Kennedy Stadium. "Help him?" snorted Williams. "He's got me speaking before Senate Investigating committees, visiting the President, wining and dining everyone and kowtowing to the writers." He paused at the door, to look at short, and laugh. ft was a weak moment WILLIAMS and Short have started the third year of their union in a typically unlikely way. Lured away from fishing in the Florida Keys ("It was a weak moment," insists Williams with the satisfied air of one who appreciated the courting) Williams took over a failing expansion club owned by a man with no committment to. keep it in Washington. In 1969 he guided the Senators to their first winning season and became Manager of the Year. The Senators slipped back last year in both standing and revenue, and Short let it be known that anyone with $11 million could have the club. He also began a series of executive moves that brought in two of the game's most controversial players, Flood, who is suing to crack the so-called reserve clause, and Denny McLain, the pitcher who became famous for organ-playing and unsuccessful book-making. "Nixon's been good for us," said Short. "Eisenhower was okay for baseball, too. When we presented Nixon with the league pass he kept me afterwards to talk about different players. He tried to come out the first time McLain pitched, but couldn't make it, and he called Ted the next day from Camp David to congratulate the team. "This really helps. The guy in Alexandria, Va., hears that the President is there, and he figures it's safe, he can send his kid. We've established the fact that it's safe inside the park, we spent $87,000 on inside security last year just to cut down on what I call 'Nickel-Dime' robbery. "The father sends his kid for a couple of hot dogs, and some bigger kids take his money. There've been a lot of incidents like that in baseball, but they haven't been publicized. It would be very, very bad for the game. The clubs have taken measures to prevent the robberies. We've spent more than $1,003 per game, about 10 cents per customer." New York Times News Service n vrr .v-v $Y$eFZr?'yr .r, ? . DEPARTMENT STORES "3 HilMa I T Ml Ml ID III pi . bcs yea 4 illitl n mm SPECIAL PURCHASE on Oisctrcphonic 120 , WATTS MeopAomcs 3-Pc. 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