Tuesday, August 7, 2012

On this day... Bob Skinner quits

On this day in 1969, manager Bob Skinner abruptly quits the Phillies because of what he terms the "lack of front office support" in his efforts to discipline Dick Allen. As you read the below article and subsequent quote from Dick Allen, try to imagine this happening in 2012 with a major league team and a star player.

If Joe Mauer or Prince Fielder or David Wright wanted to take a day off rather than play in a mid-season exhibition game, do you think it would become a controversy and lead to a manager quitting?

From Dick Allen's 1989 autobiography CRASH:
On August 7, Bob Skinner quit. His resignation came after I decided not to play in an exhibition game against our farm team in Reading, Pennsylvania. For Skinner it was the final straw.

"You're coming with us, Allen," he yelled at me when I told him of my plans to miss the game.

I explained to him that Bob Carpenter had given me permission to miss the exhibition. He thought I was lying. He went to Carpenter and was told I had been given permission to skip the game.

As far as I was concerned, Bob Skinner was a quitter.

Skinner was an old school baseball man and resented the fact I had a relationship with Bob Carpenter. He thought it undermined his authority. But my relationship with Bob Carpenter had been going on for six years. Nobody, outside of my family, knew more about what I had gone through in the Phillies organization. Carpenter was more than an owner to me. That doesn't mean that he always condoned my behavior. "You've got to grow up," he'd tell me. I'd say "I did grow up, black and poor. You grew up white and rich. But we're both grown up."

Skinner never understood my time in Philadelphia. He never felt the boos, the abuse, the threats. There were times when I wanted to sit down and talk to Skinner. I had been with the Phillies for a lot of years. I could have helped him understand the way things worked. But Bob Skinner wanted me to just like everybody else. I wasn't like everybody else. I'd hit 40 home runs in one season for the Phillies. I hit over .300 for four seasons. I'd been to hell and back.


Jim from Downingtown said...

Of course it wouldn't happen today. Shane Victorino decided to take a day off the day before a 4-day all-star break, and when he returned, he was rewarded with the #2 batting slot!

Spineless manager...

Dick Allen Hall of Fame said...

Not sure "rewarded" is the right term... I think it was more like "show-cased" in an effort to get a team to take him.

You get my point. Many of the things Dick Allen was vilified for in the 1960's are common accepted practices for major league ballplayers today.

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