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BCubb2003
06-19-2007, 01:08 AM
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/2007/06/17/2007-06-17_the_true_story_of_the_midnight_massacre-1.html

The New York Daily News has a very long story about the backstage drama behind the trade of Tom Seaver to the Reds. It might interest the historians here. It's the 30th anniversary.

The story's really long, so I'll just post this part:


In the days leading up to the deadline, a concerned Lang, who didn't want to see Seaver traded, suggested to the star pitcher that he go over Grant's head and call Mets owner Lorinda deRoulet in an effort to resolve the impasse. And in a series of phone calls between the two, a deal was worked out the night of June 14. Instead of getting a salary increase, Seaver's contract would be extended by three years, at $300,000 the first year and $400,000 the next two. Seaver then called McDonald, who had been engaged in trade talks with the Cincinnati Reds, and told him not to proceed any further. He was staying a Met.

But the next day, as he sat in the coffee shop of the hotel where the Mets were staying in Atlanta, Seaver was informed of the column Young had written on the "battle page" - in particular a paragraph toward the end of it - that sent him into a rage.

".Nolan Ryan is getting more now than Seaver," wrote Young, "and that galls Tom because Nancy Seaver and Ruth Ryan are very friendly and Tom Seaver long has treated Nolan Ryan like a little brother."

Bolting from his chair in the coffee shop, Seaver stormed back to his room and rang up Mets public relations director Arthur Richman. "Get me out of here, do you hear me?" he bellowed. "Get me out of here!" He then told Richman to call Mrs. deRoulet's daughter, Whitney, and inform her that the contract deal was off. "And tell Joe McDonald everything I said last night is forgotten."

WVRedsFan
06-19-2007, 01:42 AM
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/2007/06/17/2007-06-17_the_true_story_of_the_midnight_massacre-1.html

The New York Daily News has a very long story about the backstage drama behind the trade of Tom Seaver to the Reds. It might interest the historians here. It's the 30th anniversary.

The story's really long, so I'll just post this part:

Amazing. It just shows how little things can influence where players end up.

There have been three days that influence the greatest joy and greatest gloom in my life as a Reds fan. The greatest joys were when Tom Seaver was signed (and I later witnessed, in person, his no-hitter at Riverfront), and the signing of Ken Griffey, Jr. The greatest gloom was when Frank Robinson was traded for the bucket of balls known as Milt Pappas.

I imagine that when the day comes, soon I imagine, when Wayne Krivsky trades Adam Dunn and Griffey for relief pitchers will rank at the top of my list. Nothing can stop him except other teams not going along which is doubtful. It's really awful to know that in past seasons intellegent front office people saw the value of the Tom Seavers and Ken Griffey Jr's of the world but other front offices could not see the folly of trading the Frank Robinsons, Adam Dunns and Ken Griffeys of the world. Such is sports and bad judgment which will be with us until the end of the world. Unfortunately, we have seen both here.

DoogMinAmo
06-19-2007, 03:05 AM
Amazing. It just shows how little things can influence where players end up.

There have been three days that influence the greatest joy and greatest gloom in my life as a Reds fan. The greatest joys were when Tom Seaver was signed (and I later witnessed, in person, his no-hitter at Riverfront), and the signing of Ken Griffey, Jr. The greatest gloom was when Frank Robinson was traded for the bucket of balls known as Milt Pappas.

I imagine that when the day comes, soon I imagine, when Wayne Krivsky trades Adam Dunn and Griffey for relief pitchers will rank at the top of my list. Nothing can stop him except other teams not going along which is doubtful. It's really awful to know that in past seasons intellegent front office people saw the value of the Tom Seavers and Ken Griffey Jr's of the world but other front offices could not see the folly of trading the Frank Robinsons, Adam Dunns and Ken Griffeys of the world. Such is sports and bad judgment which will be with us until the end of the world. Unfortunately, we have seen both here.

Why not wait to see if and what is done before sending up the white flag?

Hoosier Red
06-19-2007, 08:33 AM
Amazing. It just shows how little things can influence where players end up.

There have been three days that influence the greatest joy and greatest gloom in my life as a Reds fan. The greatest joys were when Tom Seaver was signed (and I later witnessed, in person, his no-hitter at Riverfront), and the signing of Ken Griffey, Jr. The greatest gloom was when Frank Robinson was traded for the bucket of balls known as Milt Pappas.

I imagine that when the day comes, soon I imagine, when Wayne Krivsky trades Adam Dunn and Griffey for relief pitchers will rank at the top of my list. Nothing can stop him except other teams not going along which is doubtful. It's really awful to know that in past seasons intellegent front office people saw the value of the Tom Seavers and Ken Griffey Jr's of the world but other front offices could not see the folly of trading the Frank Robinsons, Adam Dunns and Ken Griffeys of the world. Such is sports and bad judgment which will be with us until the end of the world. Unfortunately, we have seen both here.

And of course trading Robinson just crushed the franchise. It practically never recovered.

Just curious, I wasn't old enough to know(or even be around) at the time, but did people really know what a terrible trade that was at the time?

westofyou
06-19-2007, 09:38 AM
Dick Young invented the "personal" style of the angry and "smart" sports columnist, one that Reds beat writer Earl Lawson ran with himself. Young's problem is he came of age in the 50's and he never left that decade again.

westofyou
06-19-2007, 09:45 AM
And of course trading Robinson just crushed the franchise. It practically never recovered.

Just curious, I wasn't old enough to know(or even be around) at the time, but did people really know what a terrible trade that was at the time?

Hey the Reds thought they did OK... on paper......and until the middle of next season, after they fired the manager and realized they had no hitting.

They also got Dick Simpson and Jack Baldshumn,

Simpson had led the Pacific Coast League in batting average in 1965 (.301 - remember it was the 60’s) and had 12 triples. Though he never worked out as a Reds his promise was later used to finagle the infamous Alex Johnson in a trade later that decade. One of the reasons that Robinson had been traded was that DeWitt felt that Deron Johnson’s 1965 RBI total (130) was something that could be replicated. That season the Reds had four players with 97 or more runs scored. The leader of the team and the league was Tommy Harper with 126, which is the 4th best total in Reds team history in the modern era. Deron Johnson never topped 95 RBI’s again and Harper topped 100 runs scored only once more in his career.

Simpson was one of three players obtained in that trade, a deal that is often reduced in history to nothing more then Milt Pappas for Frank Robinson. When in fact it was three players coming from Baltimore who comprised the package that replaced the future Hall of Fame player on the Reds squad.

The third player was a right handed middle reliever who was neither famous nor a dog, Jack Baldschun. Baldschun was a 28-year-old middle reliever who had logged four 100-inning seasons and one 99-inning season for the Phillies. He was traded to the Orioles on 12-6-66 and 3 days later he was traded to the Reds, his role was to solidify a bullpen that had received average to sub average innings from Roger Craig, Bobby Locke, Don Zanni and Jim Duffalo.


ERA DIFF PLAYER LEAGUE
Bobby Locke -2.28 5.82 3.54
Roger Craig -.12 3.66 3.54
Jim Duffalo 0.09 3.45 3.54
Dom Zanni 2.16 1.38 3.54

In fact Duffalo and Don Zanni were acquired to do what Craig was doing and their future on the team was eclipsed by the acquisition of Baldschum. The Reds were confident that Baldschun’s screwball/fastball approach to pitching would translate into success at Crosley and around the league. Instead the Reds received the worst of Jack Baldschum, the Reds received a 5.53 era vs. the league average of 3.60. His first three appearances as a Red were horrendous and soon confidence in his work was obviously being questioned by the Reds, he never found a groove and spent the next two years mostly in the minors.

His performance was so poor that the Reds picked up Ted Abernathy of the waiver wire the following winter to try and stop the bleeding from the relievers on the team (Which worked out well, Abernathy led the Reds in Win Shares the following year, since then the only reliever to accomplish that feat was Jeff Shaw has led the team in Win Shares in 1997.

Baldschum never found his game again, his early workload was Scott Sullivanesque and he like Simpson ended up playing out his career on an expansion team (the Padres).

It’s guys like Jack Baldschun that make me think of the trade made earlier this season for middle relief help and it’s not hard to look at Gary Majewski and see some of Baldschuns game, both men had been saddled with heavy workloads prior to coming to the Reds, both use/used off speed stuff to get their outs and both failed miserably in their time with the Reds.

Unassisted
06-19-2007, 10:35 AM
There have been three days that influence the greatest joy and greatest gloom in my life as a Reds fan. The greatest joys were when Tom Seaver was signed (and I later witnessed, in person, his no-hitter at Riverfront), and the signing of Ken Griffey, Jr. The greatest gloom was when Frank Robinson was traded for the bucket of balls known as Milt Pappas.

Not wanting to derail the thread too much, but I'm curious why Pete Rose's return as "manager-player" isn't on your list. After the dreary seasons of the early 80s, that seemed like such a ray of sunshine when it was rumored and finally announced. I still have vivid memories of what I was doing and how triumphant it seemed the day it happened. Since I was too young at the time to appreciate the Seaver acquisition, the return of Pete is at the top of my list of fond Reds memories.

deltachi8
06-19-2007, 10:59 AM
Nice read, thanks for posting.

cumberlandreds
06-19-2007, 11:26 AM
Very good read. I knew a sportswriter in NYC had written some negative things about Seaver that played a part in the trade but I couldn't remember the specifics. So we can thank Dick Young for giving Reds fans a real treat in watching a Seaver and Bench battery for a few seasons.

dfs
06-19-2007, 11:36 AM
Just curious, I wasn't old enough to know(or even be around) at the time, but did people really know what a terrible trade that was at the time?

FWIW my dad claimed the trade was less about what the reds wanted and more about getting Frank Robinson out of town. He thought it was racially motivated and not a baseball trade. I was three. I don't remember.

Funny thing about that trade? You look at the shape of the talent in the reds franchise and you make that trade 9 times out of 10. Sure it hurt them the next year, but the franchise had offense out the wazoo, and plenty more in the pipeline. The reds really only had one year, 1967, were the offense was bad.

Simpson was dealt for Alex Johnson who didn't out hit Robinson while he was here, but certainly hit decently and was then in turn flipped for McGlothlin and Borbon.

Baldshumn looks eeriliy like Majewski. He had some decent years and was nothing after the trade. If Majewski never pitches again, his career will look just like Baldsumn's.

Pappas gets hounded by the trade, but he put up league average numbers for a couple of years here while taking his turn every fifth day and then got flipped for Clay Carrol, Woody Woodward and Tony Cloninger.

....The spare parts of the 1970 team? The heart of the bullpen during the formation of the BRM? That was all the result of dealing Robinson. Meanwhile with Deron and Alex Johnson and Lee May and Rose and soon to be Bench and Perez and Carbo...the reds had offensive options.

The problem wasn't trading Robinson, the problem was that they missed out on the 22 year old McNally or the 19 year old Palmer when they got the 26 year old Pappas.

I'm not trying to suggest that it was a GOOD trade, but that within the context of what the organization had available, it was an understandable trade even in retrospect.

Heath
06-19-2007, 12:57 PM
Dick Young also thought Johnny Bench was gay.

Dick Young, in my opinion, was a good writer, but a bitter, bitter man.

LINEDRIVER
06-19-2007, 02:18 PM
I remember seeing Dick Simpson sprint from the Reds dugout to RF at Crosley Field wearing Robinson's number "20" on his uniform. He looked was like he built to steal 70 bases but he couldnt hit for power or average.

Pappas started the '65 All-Star game for the AL and posted a 2.60 ERA that same year. He threw about 700 innings with about a 2.80 ERA from '63-'65. I didnt like seeing Robby traded away, but I didn't really have a problem with Pappas at the time, just thought the Reds should of gotten more in the deal.

Pappas would eventually become known as a 'big-mouthed clubhouse lawyer' type of a guy.

When it looked like Simpson wasnt going to pan out, the Reds put "Robinson" back in RF sparingly, tho it was former White Sox outfielder FLOYD Robinson. Floyd had tasted some success with the White Sox. He led the AL with 45 doubles in '62 and hit over .300 in three different seasons.

Right-hander Don Nottebart joined the Reds after the '65 season. He was used primarily as a starting pitcher with Houston from '63-'65. He picked up alot of Baldschun's slack in '66 by relieving in 59 games and posting a 3.07 ERA. Nottebart and Abernathy became a couple of nasty boys in '67. Nottebart with a 1.93 ERA in 47 games, Abernathy with a 1.27 ERA in 70 games to win his second NL Fireman of the Year Award.

I phoned Abernathy several years ago and we talked about his days as a Cincinnati Red. Here's a small piece of that conversation.

RM: You had a bit of a rough start in ’66 with the Cubs and you went to the Atlanta Braves. Once you got in Atlanta, your pitching improved again.

TA: I finally got a chance to pitch regularly again. I had to have a lot of work to keep myself sharp.

RM: After the ’66 season, the Atlanta Braves tried to hide you by placing you on the Richmond Braves roster.

TA: Right. Dave Bristol, the Reds’ manager at the time, he’s also from North Carolina, called me and asked me what was the trouble. I said there wasn’t any trouble, I just needed a place to pitch.

RM: The Reds drafted you off the Richmond Braves roster and you went to Cincinnati to start the ’67 season. You threw 106 innings in 70 games, a 1.27 ERA, and there’s your second Fireman of the Year Award. You had another good year in 1968 for Cincinnati. A 2.47 ERA, 135 innings in 78 games. That’ getting it done! You went back to the Cubs for the ’69 season. That must of been a unique experience with Leo Durocher as your manager. The Cubbies were actually very good for most of that season with Williams, Banks, Santo, Hundley, Beckert, and Kessinger.

TA: Phil Regan, Hank Aguirre, and myself in the bullpen. That’s the year we should of won the pennant.

RM: Bill Hands, Ken Holtzman, and Fergie Jenkins racked up about 900 innings between them as three of the starters. They burned out, didn’t they?

TA: Yes they did, and so did the regulars on the field. They were told they were paid to play and they had to play.

Krusty
06-19-2007, 02:21 PM
And to think Bob Howsam had a deal in place to get Vida Blue from the A's for Dave Revering and cash before commissioner Bowie Kuhn struck it down.

I always wonder with Seaver and Blue in the rotation if the Reds would have won at least another two World Series.

Johnny Footstool
06-19-2007, 02:23 PM
Dick Young also thought Johnny Bench was gay.

Dick Young, in my opinion, was a good writer, but a bitter, bitter man.

Is that where the rumors originated? Aside from the story of him playing ping pong on his wedding night, I mean.

LINEDRIVER
06-19-2007, 02:36 PM
And to think Bob Howsam had a deal in place to get Vida Blue from the A's for Dave Revering and cash before commissioner Bowie Kuhn struck it down.

I always wonder with Seaver and Blue in the rotation if the Reds would have won at least another two World Series.

Just before the Seaver trade came down, there was a rumor that the Dodgers were interested in acquiring Seaver. It was well known at the time that Seaver was having major contract issues with the Mets.

I've always wondered if Howsam made that trade to keep the Dodgers from getting him. Seaver pitched at USC and the Reds had just won back-to-back World Championships. Wouldnt the Dodgers like to stick it to the Reds?

The '77 Dodgers were already stealing the Reds thunder and the acquisition of Seaver would of been the icing on the cake. 1977 was Lasorda's first year as their manager and they came out of the gate in April kicking butt. The Dodgers record on April 30th, 17 wins, 3 losses. The Reds record, 9 wins, 10 losses, The Dodgers record on May 31st, 33 wins, 15 losses. The Reds....22 wins, 23 losses. Tony Perez was gone and Woodie Fryman was lousy. Was it a bidding war between the Reds and Dodgers?

chicoruiz
06-19-2007, 05:36 PM
This intersects with the current thread only marginally, but if I don't bring it up here God knows when I'll get another chance:

Jim Duffalo, who was mentioned by WOY earlier in the thread, was acquired in a trade for Bill Henry. The newspaper headline that day read "Henry Shuffles Off For Duffalo", which instantly became, and has remained, my favorite headline ever.