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Ah, but his life was to be complicated yet again, if only briefly. Duncan, realizing then that the catching job was his alone, determined that the added responsibility should be worth another $20,000 or so in wages. His bargaining position seemed, to him, unassailable: if he was the A's only catcher, they needed him worse than he needed them. Finley, calling attention to Duncan's .218 batting average in 1972, rejected the salary request, proposing instead a modest $10,000 increase. Duncan became a holdout.
Wearily, Tenace slipped back into the chest protector and mask in spring training. He had geared himself psychologically to being a first baseman and now he was back seemingly where he had been so often. "Even after the great Series I had," he lamented, "they still don't know what they want to do with me."
The dilemma was resolved in the traditional Finley manner last weekend. Duncan was traded along with Outfielder George Hendrick to Cleveland for Catcher Ray Fosse and Infielder Jack Heidemann—the A's had gotten tit for tat. Fosse is an experienced catcher who can hit. Despite a shoulder injury that has troubled him off and on over the past few seasons, he should be able to play regularly. Tenace can fill in on days when he is tired and in the second game of doubleheaders. His first responsibility is first base.
Playing every day, however, will force Tenace, at age 26, to contend with yet another unfamiliar element—his new reputation as a slugger who, for one week at least, attained Ruthian grandeur.
"Every time he bats, he will hear the fans," said teammate and bona fide slugger Reggie Jackson. "He will feel the pressure of the home run."
"I'm not a home-run hitter," Tenace protests. "I'm a line-drive hitter. But I can't go around telling people that. I know they will be expecting homers. I can feel the people. I know they all saw the World Series."
Better for him, maybe, that they all forget it. But then again, maybe they already have.