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In honor of actor Andy Garcia and his (unintentionally) hilarious reaction to Sofia (Mary Corleone) Coppola's death scene in "The Godfather, Part III."
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Games and Moments An Offer He Could Refuse

Posted 05-15-2017 at 06:42 PM by TommyJohn

An Offer He Could Refuse

The December 13, 1969 edition of Tribune sports columnist Robert Markus' "Stops Along the Sports Trail" discussed Ed Short and his efforts to rebuild the Sox. Markus (correctly) wasn't fooled by Short's blather that it was the injury to Carlos May that doomed the season. Markus pointed out (again correctly) that the team hadn't been in the race all year. He discusses deals that the Sox might and maybe should make, and there is this item:

"One of the first things that comes to mind that the Sox could do would be to pursue the Cubs' offer of Archie Reynolds for Ken Berry. Of course, it may be that Short is correct in his harsh assessment of Reynolds' talents. If that's the case, the Cubs are in trouble because they see Archie as their fourth starter next year. Perhaps Short can talk John Holland out of another young pitcher instead. Unless Ed means to tell us the Cubs have nobody who could help the Sox."

Reynolds was an up-and-comer who had appeared in a few games for the Cubs in 1968 and 1969, posting ERAs of 6.75 and 2.45. Holland, desperate for a centerfielder after the Don Young Follies of 1969, had apparently dangled Reynolds to the White Sox, who were desperate for pitching to patch up their own shortcomings.

Short apparently didn't think too much of Holland's offer, if Markus' column is any indication.

Markus continues: "Another factor to remember in this nontrade is that Short knows Berry would help the Cubs and therefore figures they will be willing to give more for him than Ed could pry out of some team which already has a competent center fielder."

"By the same token, you do not help yourself by overpricing a player who is not helping you. There is no question in my mind that Ken Berry could help the White Sox. The fact is that he didn't last year, simply because he wasn't used. So why hang onto him? There are several other Sox who could do with a change of scenery and would even enjoy it. Pete Ward and Tom McCraw just to name a pair.

The way Ed Short values his talent, he'd probably be glad to swap these two part-time first basemen for Reggie Jackson and cash. See you on opening day, Pete and Tommy. Me and about 4,000 other people."

So there you have it. Robert Markus seems to think, at least from my admittedly jaundiced view, that the trade would benefit both sides and Short should give the contending Cubs a piece they needed to fulfill their pennant ambitions, because why not? The Sox could use him, but they weren't, so give him to a team that needed him, like the Cubs.

He finishes it off with a classic shot at the team's attendance woes, which were relevant to the discussion in a way I'm still trying to figure. Perhaps Archie Reynolds was the answer to the team's attendance problems? Or maybe Short's holding out for better deals was working to the team's detriment? Who knows. Perhaps he was saying that Short wasn't going to get a better offer, so he should make do with what he can get, because his players weren't anywhere near worth as much as he thought they were.

Postscript-Ken Berry stuck around until the end of the 1970 season, while Ed Short did not. Roland Hemond sent Berry to the California Angels in exchange for Jay Johnstone, Tom Egan and Tom Bradley. The three players helped the team rise back into contention in 1971-72, especially Bradley, who delivered a record of 30-29, 415 strikeouts, 7 shutouts and ERAs of 2.96 and 2.98 in those seasons.

Archie Reynolds? He played three more years in the bigs for three teams. He produced an ERA of 6.60 in 7 games for the 1970 Cubs and bounced from there to the Angels in 1971 and then the Brewers in 1972. Overall he appeared in 36 games and gave up 52 earned runs in 81.2 innings for a career ERA of 5.73.

Maybe Ed Short wasn't such a dummy after all.

http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1...rts-trial#text
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