Three years ago I felt sorry for a fine and unfortunate young athlete whose career was tragically interrupted. Now I realize he never needed anyone's pity—he had enough himself to fill Fenway Park. I was disappointed to read the play-by-play description of an immature and self-centered man's epic struggle from "near death" to the pinnacle of glory and publicity, which he so coveted. The article said more about the praise Conigliaro was constantly expecting from Williams and never once gave Williams' point of view!
I was greatly disturbed by the statements Tony Conigliaro made in his book, Seeing It Through, concerning Boston's ex-manager, Dick Williams. It has become acutely apparent to myself and many others that the Red Sox are a team made up mainly of prima donnas. It was also obvious that Dick Williams, after the 1967 season, did not hold the reins of the club. Many so-called superstars, such as Conigliaro and Carl Yastrzemski, were repeatedly allowed to go over Williams' head and complain to the higher management every time he tried to retain some form of discipline on the team. True, Williams was not always a gentleman, and at times even openly criticized his players. However, one can only wonder how a gutsy, competitive man such as Dick Williams could contain himself in the country-club attitude of the Red Sox.
It was apparent to me that Conigliaro was criticizing Williams' manliness when he complained of Williams' indifference to him. This is completely discounted by the actions during a recent exhibition game in Montreal where Dick Williams was coaching. Before the game, a select few of the Red Sox, including Conigliaro and Yastrzemski, could not even face Williams, whereas George Scott, a man whom Williams criticized greatly, had a lengthy conversation with his old skipper.
For the record, give me a team with Williams as manager (1967 American League Champions) rather than one without him and with Conigliaro (32-34 as of June 25, 1970).
The fact that it takes a great amount of courage for Tony Conigliaro to step into that batter's box every time up doesn't seem to make much of an impression on Boston fans. They have been booing him incessantly the last few weeks for a few fielding losses and acting as if it's all his fault the Red Sox are 40-36 and eight games behind the Orioles. At this writing Tony is hitting .290 with 15 homers and 44 RBIs. If these so-called "fans" want someone to boo, look out at the mound. Not one Sox pitcher, starter or reliever, has an ERA below 2.81. So keep blasting them, Tony. Maybe someday Boston will get some pitchers with as much courage as you have.
The reports from Mexico City (June 22, 29) on the World Cup matches were excellent. Tex Maule showed in these articles and the two articles he wrote about the Chelsea-Leeds F.A. Cup finals that he has a fine understanding of the game of soccer. His analysis of the Brazil- Italy final superbly examined the subtle changes in theme a match can produce. Let's see more on this, the world's most popular and exciting sport.
We enjoyed Dan Jenkins' story about the U.S. Open (Tony's a Shark at Pasture Pool, June 29) and his comments on the one-liners about Hazeltine. He missed the best one, though, delivered by Lee Trevino at the first tee on Sunday, the final day of the tournament.
Trevino was 13 strokes off the lead on a course he had once called "the toughest in the world." Saturday he had swatted his way around Hazeltine, cursing, complaining and throwing his irons into sand traps.
Sunday he was in better humor. Well-wishers saw him off at the first tee, and Lee threw us this one: "I'm just gonna try and finish without hurtin' myself."
BILL and MARCIA PEARSON
I can't believe it! Dave Hill, a man from Jackson, Mich., complaining about cows and corn? He should have felt right at home.