has two bonus babies on his bench and other managers around the American League
have them in even greater abundance, not that they are happy about it.
The kids take up
space on the roster that could be filled by two useful players, an important
consideration unless you are going all out for youth in sheer desperation, as
is Paul Richards. It's gotten so that they now refer to Baltimore as Boys'
Professor Stengel is against the continuation of the present bonus system for
another reason. He thinks young boys shouldn't be exposed to some of the sights
they see nowadays—and he means on the ball field.
mean those kids they give small bonuses to," he said, "though I'll bet
there's many a small bonus announced an' a bigger one passed under the table or
left in a milk bottle at the back door, or put in the glove compartment of the
old man's broken-down car, together with an order for a new car.
these bonus kids who get big chunks of dough to sign with a big salary
guaranteed for two years an' a new washin' machine for momma, a set of golf
clubs, a small boat an' a uranium kit for the old man.
play even once in a while because they don't know anything except the size of
their bank accounts an' how much the newest cars cost, an' how fast they are,
an' what town has the biggest steaks. But we gotta keep 'em on our benches.
"So they sit
on our benches, these prosperous young men, with nothin' to do every day but
look an' listen an' what happens? They see things like at some sandlot
great big guys they used to watch from the stands with the old man, or read
about, who are supposed to be the stars of the game go an' make some of the
stupidest plays possible. They see some of the screwiest plays you could think
with these kids an' have the coaches help 'em an' then all you teach 'em is
liable to go out the window when they look at what some of the regulars do out
he always has the answer. If one of his bonus kids up and says, 'Look here, Mr.
Richards, sir, beggin' your pardon, but didn't so and so in centerfield throw
to the wrong base in the eighth inning of yesterday's game?'