"I'll have to call Short about it," I said.
"I'll call him," said helpful Brent.
He did, and newspaper accounts of his telephone conversations hit the streets just about the time my letter hit Short's desk. I was quoted, accurately, as saying, "Whether I play or not next season will depend on what is done about that clause. I couldn't publish at all during the season last year, and this time I'm going to argue." Short was quoted, accurately I guess, as saying, "We had that probation in effect with Mr. Brosnan last season and, prior to that, stopped Early Wynn and Nellie Fox from writing, and I don't see any reason to lift it." The stories also pointed out that my contract called for a pay cut, but that I had expected it and the question that had to be resolved was not money but permission to write.
My wife, with wifely candor, said, "Now you've had it. What are you going to do, get a job?"
"I've got a job," I told her. "I'm a writer."
"That's not a job," she said. "Ask Short."
The phone rang, and Short was there.
"Hello, Broz? I got your letter this morning. You took your time writing it."
"You took your time sending a contract."
"Well, I feel this way. If I have to offer a contract that a player might not like—a cut in salary or something like that—I don't send it out early because I don't want to ruin his Christmas."