Dark felt that he
had been deceived by Finley, but if he was angry, his players were outraged.
Aker sat in the bullpen before the game and drew up a rough draft of a
statement that accused Finley of "undermining the club's morale." Aker
showed the rough draft to Dark, who made no objection to it.
When the club
returned to the Shoreham Hotel that evening, Dark received a phone call from
Finley, who had arrived in town with Administrative Assistant Ed Lopat. Charlie
summoned Dark to his suite, where he asked him again to back up the decision to
fine and suspend Krausse. Dark refused.
can't agree," Finley said, "I think I should tell you that I'm not
going to renew your contract at the end of the season. And because of that I
think it's best that I relieve you of your duties now."
right," replied Dark, "but before I go I want to tell you a few things
about your organization. You've got great young talent. By 1971 this team
should be a pennant winner."
Two and a half
hours later Finley had become so enthusiastic about Dark's praise of the
organization's potential that he offered Alvin a new two-year contract with a
raise in salary. Charlie invited Lopat, Hurley, Moore and two of Dark's
coaches, Bobby Hofman and Wes Stock, to join the celebration. For an hour the
group talked about the club's great future. Then they were interrupted by Paul
O'Boynick, a reporter for the Kansas City Star.
"Do you have
a comment on the players' statement?" asked O'Boynick.
statement?" asked Finley.
handed the statement to Finley, Dark's immediate reaction was: "Well, I'm
concluded: "If Mr. Finley would give his excellent manager and fine
coaching staff the authority they deserve, these problems would not
"I'll have to
hold back the announcement of Dark's new contract," snapped Finley. He
asked Hurley to summon Aker and, when the player representative could not be
located, the infuriated owner ordered Hofman to conduct a bed check of the
entire squad. During the bed check ( Aker was the only player AWOL) Finley asked
each of those present, except Dark, "Haven't I been good to you?"
"Yes, you have, Charlie," they replied. Finley also threatened a $1,000
fine for any player who so much as made a snide comment about Broadcaster Monte
Moore. "And I'll make it stick," declared Finley.