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Leo Durocher
April 14, 1975
In which Durocher becomes the manager of the Dodgers, battles for and with his explosive boss and wins a famous pennant race
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April 14, 1975

Tales Of Leo And Larry

In which Durocher becomes the manager of the Dodgers, battles for and with his explosive boss and wins a famous pennant race

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I said, "Look, Larry, let's not be a couple of kids about this. You don't want me to manage the club, this is fine."

MacPhail went right on cursing me. In fact the more he cursed me the madder he seemed to get. Between curses he was pacing up and down dictating my resignation to McDonald. Now there were twin beds in the suite. McDonald was sitting on one of the beds and the typewriter was on the other. Big tears were rolling down his face as he typed, because John was a great booster of mine and he wanted very badly for me to make good. MacPhail couldn't get through two sentences before John would deliberately make a mistake, pull the paper out of the machine and drop it on the floor. MacPhail, his rage increasing, would turn to me with new pinnacles of invective and then back to McDonald to start all over again.

McDonald must have been pulling his sixth sheet out of the machine when MacPhail started to turn toward me again, then wheeled back to McDonald and screamed: "And you're fired too because you can't type!"

It would have been the funniest thing I ever saw, except that MacPhail was out of his head. Having taken all I could, I jumped out of the chair and warned Larry not to call me a dirty——again. Well, that was like warning a hurricane to go back where it had come from. Fortunately, I still had just enough control left so that I was able to check myself at the last second and only give him a kind of shove. A hard enough shove, though, so that Larry went toppling over backward and landed flat on his back on the bed.

In two seconds he was back on his feet with his arms around me. He's got tears in his eyes, and then I had tears in my eyes and then the three of us were walking out of the suite, arm in arm, like three blubbering Musketeers. I was no longer fired, I was no longer through, I was no longer even a dirty——.

The next day in Atlanta, Larry dropped into my room just as I was getting ready to leave for the park. "I'm glad we had that little talk yesterday," he said. "I think we understand each other much better. Everything's going to be fine."

I never did find out why he didn't want me to play Reiser.

He fired me 60 times if he fired me once, and I was still there when he left. He even fired me the night we won Brooklyn's first pennant in 21 years. That one I had coming to me. Not for the reason he fired me but because I had allowed him to dictate a ridiculous pitching selection in a critical spot after I had refused to allow him to step into my domain for almost three full years.

It began early in my first season when he came raging into the clubhouse after Van Lingle Mungo had been beaten by the Reds. MacPhail ran up to Mungo's locker, threw his Panama hat on the floor and jumped up and down on it. Called Mungo everything. As quickly as I could I ran everybody into the latrine and showers except Mungo. When only the three of us were left, I said to MacPhail, "Now you! Get out! Get the hell out of here, and don't you ever come in here again!"

He couldn't believe it. "You're running me out of here? You dare?"

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