"This is getting on my nerves," Howard said after the game with exemplary diction & grammar. "I get tired of everybody calling me a hayseed s.o.b. who plays Georgia Tech just for the $100,000 guarantee."
Two days later Ol' Frank was finally able to put his city cousins in their academic places. The game films showed Tech had 12 players on the field for the last three plays. At the time, Clemson had the ball and was moving desperately into field-goal range.
Drawled Howard: "I don't know nothin' about them log-y-rhythums they teach at Jawja Tech, but I damn sho' know my 'rithmahtic."
Jawja Tech sent its apologies, along with an explanation: "The reason we didn't know we had 12 men out there," said Assistant Coach Lew Woodruff, "was that all of us were down on our knees praying."
Traditionally, baseball players don't make waves. They are supposed to be strong, silent, manly objects with no control of their destinies and less to say about them. The only time they are permitted a discouraging word is at contract time, and even then it is a faux pas to utter it in public. Therefore, when Jim Kaat opened his mouth the other day it was like hearing Flipper tell that little boy to get off his back.
The trouble in Minnesota began last year when Pitching Coach John Sain and Manager Sam Mele had differences, and Sain moved out of the coaches' room and into the players' locker room. This year the situation got worse, and when Bullpen Coach Hal Naragon sided with Sain, Mele accused both of disloyalty and fired them (they subsequently signed on with Detroit).
Then Kaat, who won 25 games for the Twins, spoke his piece. He admitted he wasn't qualified from a front-office standpoint to give reasons for what "I'm afraid will be known as The Great Mistake [but] I am qualified from a player's standpoint to say that this is the worst thing that could happen to our club at this time."
His statement—actually an open letter to upper Midwest fans—went on to say: "Every move John Sain and Hal Naragon made was in the best interest of the Minnesota Twins. To me this is not disloyalty. Two years ago the Twins were known as a club with fine hitters and not much pitching strength. Now we have a surplus of starting pitchers and some very capable relievers, largely because of a man named John Sain. Allowing him to leave is like the Green Bay Packers allowing Vince Lombardi to quit.
"My sympathy goes out to whoever our pitching coach will be next year. For him it will be comparable to an ordinary pitcher like myself trying to follow Sandy Koufax' feats every fourth day.