When last seen in these pages (SI, March 7), James Patrick Brosnan, wisecracking right-hander, author and amateur psychologist, was making the acquaintance of Solly Hemus, new manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, in spring training for the 1959 season. It was an undertaking which proved unprofitable to both: Brosnan performed indifferently (he won one, lost three) as a relief pitcher for Hemus, and their relationship, which had deteriorated to acid interchanges, ended when Brosnan was traded to Cincinnati ("It's true," he wrote in his diary, "the second lime you're traded you don't feel a thing"). His morale and his record improved—but not much—under the managership of Mayo Smith. Now we find him early one morning on the verge of receiving some startling news:
JULY 8: The phone rang at 7:30. We were still in bed. I reached for the receiver. "Who in the world would dare call us this early?" my wife said.
"Hi, Donald," I growled into the mouthpiece. "Is everything all right?" ("It's Don Studt," I whispered to my wife.) "Nice of you to call so early, Don. What's new? What d'ya mean, who's gonna be the new manager? Sure I like Mayo. Why not? He's treated me fine. Lets me pitch when I want to, never gets on anybody. Just like Solly Hemus.... No, I didn't watch the All-Star Game.... No, I haven't read the paper. We're still in bed. What's in the paper? Oh! Great. What I mean is great! I like him. Thanks for calling, Don...."
"We've got a new manager," I said.
"Who?" she said.
"Hutch," I said.
JULY 9: The clubhouse man warned each player not to go out of the clubhouse till after the meeting. "Hutch wants to talk to you," he said. I had missed the workout; now I couldn't make up my mind whether or not to apologize to Fred Hutchinson. Hutch seems to be embarrassed by apologies. If you do wrong, you should figure out why, vow never to do it again, and forget it. Still, I waited till the last moment, then had to take a chair at the table right in front of him. He stood, waiting for attention. I sat down, riffled the envelopes containing player passes that lay on the table, and looked up to see Hutchinson staring at me with half a smile on his face. He winked at me and murmured, "Hi, Jim."
"I met most of you fellows yesterday," said Hutchinson. "Most of you I knew already anyway. Most of you know me." He paused and looked slowly around the room as he went on, "I like to win. That's the only way to play this game. To win. We're all like that. From now on I'm running this ball club. If you have any problems come to me. I'll handle them or get somebody to do it for me. On paper this club looks better than the standings indicate so far. I don't know why, yet. Some people say you've been playing a little too conservative, that you don't bump heads enough in the field. All I got to say to that is that if somebody bumps your head the only thing to do is bump back. Now I'm not going to say to you pitchers that you should knock somebody down just because they're takin' a shot at you. I can't say that, and I won't say that." He paused, emphatically, timing his words perfectly. "But I don't care if you brush a hitter back once in a while. Just to let 'em know you're out there."
He picked up a scorecard. "I just want to add one thing. I'm glad to be up here with you. We're going to start winning. We might as well start tonight."
JULY 16: The smile of Fred Hutchinson is a treasured one. His ballplayers vie hopefully for it. By playing well and winning they earn it. ( Hutchinson snorts at plain luck.) Miserly with his laughter at all times, Hutchinson is miserable in defeat. The depth of his frown is in direct proportion to the length of his losing streak.