We haven't heard anything lately about the small crowds and unfriendly fans in
St. Louis having been responsible for the poor showing of the 1953 Browns on
the playing field. Perhaps they're learning in Baltimore that a poor ball club
is just that, whether it plays in Missouri or Maryland.
They still have a
lot to learn in Baltimore, however, such as the fact that firing a manager
and/or a business manager isn't an open sesame to the first division.
Let's review the
front-office operation of the Orioles since the transfer from St. Louis to
Baltimore. In the purchase of the Browns, Baltimore acquired a field manager,
one Marty Marion, who knew all about the ball club's playing personnel, and a
general manager in Bill DeWitt, one of the shrewdest men baseball has known in
So what did the
front office, headed by Clarence W. Miles, do? It fired Marion because he was
honest enough to say the ball club was a bad one and could expect to finish no
higher than seventh. And instead of persuading DeWitt, who also was under
contract, to contribute his talents to the rebuilding job, the front office
hired Arthur Ehlers away from the Athletics.
It took a long
time to get the Browns, now the Orioles, into the plight they're in and it's
going to take a long time to make them a ball club worthy of the name again.
Miles says "at least $250,000 will be available next year for the purchase
of playing talent."
It's going to take
much more than that, Mr. Miles.
troubles and their downward trend started years ago when Dick Muckerman made
extensive improvements in the Grand-Dodier baseball plant, then Sportsman's
Park, and invested a large chunk of dough in a new ball park at San
club found itself in a bad financial situation. Something had to be done. Bill
DeWitt started selling. The club's talent pool was used to bail out the ball
Then the DeWitts,
Bill and Charley, bought the club from Muckerman. They may have had a burning
desire at the time to make the investment a permanent thing. If they had the
burning desire or the hope, they were soon disillusioned.