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What Is RICKEY HENDERSON Doing in NEWARK?
Tom Verducci
June 23, 2003
The greatest leadoff hitter of all time is beating the bushes, trying to get back to the majors—and still leaving 'em laughing at every stop
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June 23, 2003

What Is Rickey Henderson Doing In Newark?

The greatest leadoff hitter of all time is beating the bushes, trying to get back to the majors—and still leaving 'em laughing at every stop

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Interim general manager Mike Port reminded Henderson of the conditions he had agreed to.

"Oh, that?" Henderson replied. "I canceled that contract."

Says Port, "It was the first and only time I've ever had a player tell me he canceled his contract."

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino telephoned San Diego G.M. Kevin Towers, asking how Towers had appeased Henderson during their contract squabbles in the past. "I was on the golf course late in spring training one year when Rickey called to close a deal," Towers says. "I was putting, and my wife took the call. I said to her, 'Ask him what he wants.' She said, 'He wants a living allowance.' And I did it. That's how we closed the deal."

Lucchino liked that idea. The Red Sox agreed to pick up the tab on the suite Henderson was renting at Boston's Ritz-Carlton, which ran to $10,000 a month.

Then there was the time....

Henderson was ready to sign a $1.1 million contract with Oakland in 1998 when he demanded a suite on the road. Athletics general manager Billy Beane told him it was club policy not to give such clauses. Henderson insisted.

"Tell you what," Beane said. "As general manager I get a suite on the road. I don't make a lot of trips. I'll give you my suite whenever I don't go."

Henderson signed.

And while we're on the subject of contracts....

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