I was watching the last game of the 76 series and when accepting the trophy from Kuhn, Howsam told Tony Kubek that the 76 club may be the last great "balanced team." A slap in the face to the Commisoner, since the statement was clearly made in reference to Kuhn's very recent approval of free agency. Garagiola brought up the pointedness of the comment in the post game. It could be argued that embarrassing the Commissioner on baseball's largest stage when the world was watching, led to Kuhn nixing the Vida Blue trade in '77. It definitely didn't help. Howsam then got rid of Tony Perez that off season. And soon after Rose, Morgan, Foster, Griffey. It almost is like Howsam was so egotistical that he scuttled the Reds rather than adapt to the reality of the game. If it wasn't his baseball, he wasn't going to play. For all that Howsam was a great GM, his dismantling of the BRM is one of the greatest management failures in the history of the sport-on par with trading Babe Ruth. Not surprising: big failures usually follow the moment someone thinks they're bigger than the game.