Now, then," said MacPhail, walking over to where I was seated. I braced myself, for I had learned during our conferences that MacPhail, in the friendliest of fashions, is given to pushing, jabbing, pummeling and shaking the listener, only for the purpose of emphasizing a point. (It had occurred to me in this connection that the chief operator of the Bel Air telephone exchange who had charged that MacPhail "pushed" her in an argument over a telephone call might have mistaken the gesture as being of an antagonistic nature—which, in the case of MacPhail, does not follow at all. Of course, in the telephone case, MacPhail's position was weakened by the charge of the manager of the telephone exchange, who said MacPhail also struck him on the face with the palm of his hand. This latter charge no doubt influenced the arresting officers as well as the judge, who fined MacPhail $50 and costs.)
"Now, then," said MacPhail, " Branch Rickey never did a damn thing for me except to fire me at Columbus."
"Why did he fire you?"
"Because I wouldn't resign without Rickey spelling out the exact charges against me."
"Did you have any idea of what the charges might be?"
"I asked for a statement of the charges against me. Mr. Rickey hasn't made that statement yet.
"Now what happened was that after I had left, the Columbus club was accused of having violated the $400-a-month-salary limit and had paid several players an additional amount under the table, so to speak."
"You didn't make any such under-the-table deals?"
"I did not!" cried MacPhail. "I wasn't with the club any more when those charges were made. Columbus was convicted and fined by the American Association of violating the salary limit. In other words, Columbus was convicted of cheating. Columbus appealed this decision to Judge Bramham, the president of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, but Judge Bramham upheld the conviction. He also added that he had not commented on anything I might have had to do with it since I was no longer in baseball.
"Now, I wanted this thing to be absolutely clear. I called Judge Landis. He was in Galveston, Texas at the time. I asked him for a full hearing, and he called in all the players involved and investigated the entire matter. When the hearing was over he issued a statement saying that I had had nothing to do with signing those players. In other words, it was proved to the satisfaction of Judge Landis that I had not cheated."