“DIARY OF A WINNER”
THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 6 ...
September 29, 1966 ... Dick Williams named as new manager of the Red Sox and stripped Carl Yastrzemski of his captaincy.
November 29, 1966 ... The Red Sox pick up pitcher, Bill Landis, from Vancouver of the Pacific Coast League. Landis was 11-10 with a 3.40 ERA.
December 20, 1966 ... Jim Lonborg returned to Boston after playing winter baseball in Maracay, Venezuela. He pitched 92 inning and won five games.
January 22, 1967 ... Manager Dick Williams revealed that going into spring training, his starting secondbaseman will be Mike Andrews. Andrews played under Williams last year at Toronto.
January 23, 1967 ... Tony Conigliaro signed a contract with the Red Sox for $35K, after the Sox were offered $500K to buy him, by Charlie Finley, owner of the Kansas City Athletics. The Sox also signed Billy Conigliaro, Gerry Moses, Ken Poulsen, Billy Rohr, Bob Tillman and Bill Landis.
January 26, 1967 ... At the Baseball Writers Dinner, Commissioner William Eckert made a pitch for a new baseball stadium to be built in Boston. Don McMahon received an award for being the Red Sox' Most Outstanding Pitcher last year. Tony Conigliaro was the Most Outstanding Player, and George Scott and Joe Foy were the Most Outstanding Rookies. Lee Stange was named the Unsung Hero.
January 29, 1967 ... The Red Sox selected catcher, Carlton Fisk in the first round of the amateur baseball draft being held in New York City. Others picked were infielder, Mike Koepka; pitcher, Bob Bryant; thirdbaseman, Jack Fullmer; pitcher, Geoff Zahn; pitcher, Charles Kline and pitcher, Bill Zepp.
February 2, 1967 ... Dick Williams mailed letters to all his players and left for his home in California to pack up his family for spring training in Winter Haven, Florida. Williams said he will personally conduct drills on sliding. He will institute a bunting game for his pitchers. His big item will be conditioning.
February 14, 1967 ... VP Haywood Sullivan received signed contracts from Jose Tartabull, Don McMahon, Pete Magrine, Billy Farmer, Hank Fischer and Dave Morehead.
February 22, 1967 ... Jerry Stephenson reported to camp after working out in Anaheim with the Angels for two weeks. Dave Morehead reported and has just been playing catch. Dick Williams kept talking to his team about fundamentals.
February 23, 1967 ... John Wyatt arrived in camp and filled his locker with assorted baseball items and two jars of Vaseline. Several players, led by Jerry Stephenson, went off to play golf. Pitcher, Bill Landis arrived in camp, after playing in the Dominican Republic during the winter league. Pitcher, Hank Fischer hasn't thoroughly gotten over his knee problem from last year and was wearing a knee brace. Pitcher, Darryl Brandon hadn't touched a baseball all winter, playing a lot of basketball instead to stay in shape.
February 24, 1967 ... The Red Sox officially opened camp. Dick Williams gave a brief talk lining out the rules and regulations that he wanted followed. Tony Horton wants a new contract and was considering holding out.
February 25, 1967 ... Eddie Popowski is named second in command to Dick Williams.
February 26, 1967 ... Most of the Red Sox players have reported to camp. Dalton Jones and George Thomas signed their contracts. Dennis Bennett and Bob Sadowski showed up late for practice and were told by Dick Williams that they would be fined the next time it happened. Pitchers worked out at the ball park.
February 27, 1967 ... The workout was casual and Dick Barney pulled a hamstring. Don Demeter and George Scott arrived at camp. Tony Conigliaro asked Dick Williams if he could move out of the Winter Haven Motel, where the other players and their families are staying. His request was denied.
February 28, 1967 ... GM Dick O'Connell reported that Tony Horton has agreed to terms and will join the team. He also put to rest the trade rumors that Carl Yastrzemski might be traded. Yaz arrived in camp and played golf in Lakeland with Frank Malzone. Dalton Jones was hit by a pitch from Pete Magrini and had to quit the workout. The next batter was Reggie Smith and Magrini almost hit him. George Scott showed up with an infielder's glove as well as a first baseman's glove.
March 1, 1967 ... Dick Williams and Haywood Sullivan met with the team in centerfield before the workout. Sullivan gave them a welcome from the Sox management. George Scott's weight has gone from 231 to 226 lbs. After, Williams had a bunting contest with a $25 prize at stake. Don McMahon was the winner. Carl Yastrzemski met Dick Williams to discuss his role on the team off the field. He was told there he nor anyone else would be a "team captain". Rico Petrocelli missed being seriously injured when Tony Conigliaro just missed his head with a line drive. Dave Morehead pitched batting practice.
March 2, 1967 ... Tony Horton arrived in camp and worked out at first base. George Scott took over after and looked more polished. Dick Williams and Mace Brown discussed rookies, Billy Rohr and Gary Waslewski. Mace was high on Rohr's mechanics. He thinks Rohr will be in the Sox rotation. Waslewski reminded Brown of a young Mel Stottlemyre. Marvin Miller met with the players to talk about their pensions.
March 3, 1967 ... George Smith hurt his right knee in a rundown play between second and third. He was taken to West Haven Hospital for x-rays. Both Tony Horton and George Scott were slugging the baseball in batting practice. Rico Petrocelli has become Dick Williams' troubleshooter, because he is a steadying influence on the infield. He won't call him a team captain. Pitcher, Darrell Brandon has come up with a gimpy knee which is of some concern. He won't be able to throw for a few days. Jerry Stephenson worked hard for the first time and was throwing his fast ball by the hitters.
March 4, 1967 ... Dom DiMaggio arrived in camp and met with Reggie Smith, who is wearing his number #7. He thinks Smith could be come a very good centerfielder.
March 5, 1967 ... George Smith was sent back to Boston and the Red Sox started shopping for another infielder. Al Lehrer (.230 BA) is an infielder currently with the Toronto AAA Sox farm club. Smith has injured ligaments in his knee and could be out for six weeks. Tony Conigliaro smashed a few balls out of the park and said he hopes he gets to bat cleanup. Carl Yastrzemski was trying to hit line drives between short and third. Pitching coach, Sal Maglie arrived in camp following the death of his wife and went right to the hotel. Both Jerry Stephenson and Dave Morehead were throwing the ball hard and looked good.
March 6, 1967 ... Dick Williams put on the umpiring gear and worked behind the plate as the Red Sox had their first intrasquad game and the hitters were way ahead of the pitchers. The Bobby Doerrs beat the Eddie Popowskis, 12-6. Reggie Smith, George Thomas and Jose Tartabull hit home runs. Billy Farmer was hit for eight runs. The Sox instituted the use of an instant replay camera to settle disputes.
Ted Williams arrived and was in the dressing room. He was backing the idea of letting a pinch hitter bat a second time during a game. He was later talking to Dennis Bennett about a change-up pitch. Pitching coach Sal Maglie arrived and got to work. Several times Dick Williams sent him over to break up the meetings with Ted Williams, who was reliving old stories and keeping the pitchers from their workouts.
March 7, 1967 ... George Scott played in the outfield as a mid-morning downpour ended the practice so the players did not have a second intrasquad game, but concentrated on conditioning and running.
March 8, 1967 ... The Popowskis beat the Doerrs, 6-3, in the second intrasquad game. Yaz made two fine catches in left field, and Mike Andrews had a fielding gem behind second base, taking a hit away from Russ Gibson. Bobby Doerr is high on Mike Andrews playing second base.
March 9, 1967 ... Jerry Stephenson and Dave Morehead each pitched three innings and did very well, as the Doerrs drubbed the Popowskis, 8-1. Tony Conigliaro hit a two run homer, and an RBI single for the Doerrs.
March 10, 1967 ... The Chicago White Sox beat the Red Sox, 8-3, before a crowd of 3114 in Sarasota. The White Sox stole three bases and the Red Sox made four errors. The used the bunt as a better weapon than the home run. They Took the lead on Tommie Agee's three run clout over a couple of fences in left field, off Dennis Bennett. Dan Osinski allowed one run on four hits, and Pete Magrini was touched for three runs. Tony Conigliaro homered for the Sox.
March 11, 1967 ... The Red Sox beat the Kansas City Athletics, 6-4. George Thomas replaced Tony Conigliaro in right field when the score was tied at 4-4, when the Sox gave the A's three unearned runs. Thomas drove a line ball over the center field fence of Jim Dickson to give the Sox the lead. Then George Scott doubled and Don Demeter singled him in for the fifth run.
March 12, 1967 ... Billy Rohr pitched three scoreless innings against the Kansas City A's in an 8-3, Red Sox win. For the second straight game, manager Alvin Dark played rookies against the Red Sox. Jerry Stephenson pitched well in three innings. The longest smash for the Sox came from Jose Tartabull over the right field fence of Jim Nash.
March 13, 1967 ... The Red Sox lost to the Mets, 5-3, with a lot of rookies in the lineup. Dennis Bennett pitched three innings and gave up just one hit. Mike Andrews got five hits and Reggie Smith blasted a 420 ft homer off Jim Ray with Andrews on base in the eighth inning. The ball cleared the scoreboard in right center. Pitchers Dick Barney, Billy Farmer, Bob Snow and Cecil Robinson were sent down to Ocala, along with infielder Ken Poulson.
Before the game Ted Williams and Yogi Berra talked about the days of the great Yankees-Red Sox rivalry in the late 1940s. The chat was cut short when the Mets players crowded around Ted, looking for hitting advice.
March 14, 1967 ... Both the Red Sox and the Patriots gave their support to a proposed new stadium at the intersection of Rt. 128 and the Mass Pike in Weston. The $55 million domed stadium is proposed by Commonwealth Stadium Associates and needs the permission of the Mass. Turnpike Authority to proceed. The stadium proposal is backed by Governor John Volpe.
Tony Conigliaro went 3 for 3 and blasted two doubles and a home run in a 5-4 Sox loss to the White Sox. Jose Santiago pitched three scoreless innings. Bill Landis, who replaced him, gave up a single and two walks. The Red Sox blew a four run lead.
March 15, 1967 ... The Yankees beat the Sox, 6-3, for the third straight Red Sox loss in Ft. Lauderdale. The game started with four singles off Whitey Ford for a run and nobody out. Ford pitched well after the early trouble. Jerry Stephenson had trouble getting the ball over the plate and walked the first three Yankee batters. The Yanks got four runs before Stephenson was taken out. Billy Rohr came in and pitched five innings and gave up only one run. Yaz stayed behind with a dentist appointment.
March 16, 1967 ... The Red Sox scored 10 runs in the ninth inning to beat the Mets, 23 to 18. The only consistent thing was that the Sox had as many hits as the runs they scored. Carl Yastrzemski, Tony Conigliaro and Rico Petrocelli did not play. George Scott had two doubles, a single and a 450 ft home run. Joe Foy was back at third base after missing several games with a sore shoulder. He had three singles and a triple for 5 RBIs. Gary Waslewski gave up three runs in the third inning and Dave Morehead was whacked for seven runs in the sixth inning.
March 17, 1967 ... Lee Maye's two out, two run, homer in the ninth inning, gave the Cincinnati Red a 7-5 victory over the Red Sox. Dick Williams, however, was very pleased with the pitching of Hank Fischer and Dan Osinski and the aggressive base running of his team. The Reds jumped on Pete Magrini for six runs and ten hits over the last three innings. Hank Fischer pitched well in his first outing. Jose Tartabull had three hits, boosting his average to .520 and started the game with a lead-off triple.
March 18, 1967 ... Dennis Bennett hurled five hitless innings as the Sox edged the Tigers, 3-2. His performance was the best by a Sox pitcher this spring. He retired the first 14 batters to start the game. He was replaced by Galen Cisco who pitched hitless ball for three more innings. Carl Yastrzemski lined a homer into the wind over the right field wall to start the Sox scoring, off Denny McLain. Jose Tartabull (.520 BA) went hitless. Tony Conigliaro fractured his shoulder blade on a pitched ball by John Wyatt in batting practice before the game.
March 19, 1967 ... Dave Morehead, Bob Sadowski, Pete Magrini and catcher, Jerry Moses were sent down to the Sox' AAA club, Toronto. Against the Tigers, the Sox won a 7-6 game on a mental error by Detroit pitcher, Dave Wickersham, who let a popped up bunt drop, and let therefore let the winning run score. Billy Rohr and Jose Santiago pitched very well. George Scott, Russ Gibson and George Thomas each had three hits.
March 20, 1967 ... Jim Lonborg pitched brilliantly for five innings, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3 at Chain-o-Lakes Park. It was his third win of the exhibition season. Tony Horton had three hits, including a home run. Al Lehrer filled in for Rico Petrocelli at shortstop and figured in five doubleplays. Dalton Jones was injured with a pulled hamstring.
March 21, 1967 ... Darrell Brandon and Hank Fischer were hammered for 14 hits by the Philadelphia Phillies as the Sox lost, 10-5. Larry Jackson yielded only three Sox hits in six innings for Philly. Carl Yastrzemski and George Thomas each had two hits for the Sox. Thomas and Bob Tillman knocked out home runs.
March 22, 1967 ... Great pitching and the long ball beat the Yankees, 5-2. Carl Yastrzemski and Rico Petrocelli supplied the power as each banged out two homers. The Sox got excellent pitching from Jose Santiago, Bill Landis and Gerry Stephenson. Tony Conigliaro was back in uniform and did some running.
March 23, 1967 ... George Scott will not play the outfield anymore as he was injured running into the right field wall, attempting to catch a line drive off John Kennedy of the Dodgers. He was knocked out cold and hurt his jaw. Russ Gibson's pinch hit line drive three run homer was the winners, as the Sox beat the Dodgers, 7-4.
March 24, 1967 ... The Sox got the day off for Good Friday. George Scott had suffered a concussion in yesterday's game and spent the day sitting on the hotel's veranda.
March 25, 1967 ... Sandy Valdespino, pinch hitting for Tony Oliva, knocked in the winning run for the Minnesota Twins as they beat the Red Sox, 8-3. Dennis Bennett was the only Sox pitcher who played well, throwing two scoreless innings. Joe Foy slammed a two run homer and had 3 RBIs in the game.
March 26, 1967 ... The Sox looked like a bunch of amateurs and got belted by the Twins, 7-1. A two base error by Rico Petrocelli let the first run score and then Carl Yastrzemski over ran a fly ball for an error and another Twins' run. Jim Lonborg worked five innings and only made one bad pitch, a homer by Harmon Killebrew. Mike Andrews and Joe Foy also committed errors. Andrews had kept quiet about his back problems and it finally caught up to him. Reggie Smith took over at second base.
March 27, 1967 ... The Braves slugged five homers, beating the Sox, 6-1. Felipe Alou, Rico Carty, Mack Jones and Denis Menke hit solo homers, while Clete Boyer hit one with a runner on base. Hank Fischer gave up four of the home runs, while Dan Osinski gave up the other. The injured list included Tony Conigliaro (cracked shoulder), George Scott (bruised wrist), Mike Andrews (sore back), Gary Waslewski (sore arm), George Smith (torn knee cartilage), Dan Osinski (pulled rib cage muscle) and Jose Tartabull (pinched nerve in his leg).
March 28, 1967 ... Dick Williams decided that George Scott would be his starting firstbaseman over Tony Horton, after the Sox were rained out. Reggie Smith will be at second base and Jose Tartabull or George Thomas will be in center field. Gary Roggenburk and Dave Vineyard were sent down to the Toronto farm club. Scott resumed light workouts. The game against the White Sox was rained out.
March 29, 1967 ... Carl Yastrzemski put on a one-man show as he beat the St. Louis Cardinals almost single handily. Yaz hit two home runs, made three outstanding catches, including a game saver in the ninth inning. He knocked in six runs and scored three himself. Billy Rohr gave up seven runs and three homers in four innings of work.
March 30, 1967 ... The Red Sox got their best pitching of the spring in beating the Orioles, 1-0. Lee Stange and Hank Fischer combined to shutout Baltimore on just three singles. Tony Conigliaro retuned to the line-up and drove in the winning run with a sixth inning double that scored Jose Tartabull. The Sox got a scare when Steve Barber hit Yaz on the hand with a pitch.
March 31, 1967 ... Mel Stottlemyre baffled the Sox hitters for seven innings and the Yankees walked away with a 3 to 1 victory. Dick Williams sent his opening day lineup against the Yankees with no success. Jim Lonborg started for the Sox and pitched well, but not good enough. The game was played in the Virgin Islands at St. Croix.
April 1, 1967 ... In St. Croix again, the Red Sox provided the fireworks, as the bombarded the Yankees, 13-4, behind Carl Yastrzemski. Yaz had three hits, including a three run homer and knocked in 5 runs. Rico Petrocelli and Jose Tartabull also pitched in with homers.
April 2, 1967 ... Reggie Smith and George Scott provided the spark in an 8-2 victory over the Mets. Scott knocked in three runs with a homer and a double. Smith knocked in two runs with a homer and a single. Billy Rohr combined with Galen Cisco and John Wyatt in limiting the Mets to five hits.
April 3, 1967 ... There was no game, so Dick Williams supervised a two hour fundamentals session. The team worked on cut-offs, pick-offs and rundowns. Jimmy the Greek published his odds and had the Red Sox at 100-1.
April 4, 1967 ... The Red Sox lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3 to 1 and Dick Williams lost his temper, when Dennis Bennett gave up a game winning triple to George Spriggs. Hal Smith started with a single off Bennett, then Bennett hit Matty Alou. Spriggs then lined a hanging curve into left field and Bennett didn't back-up third base. Then he muffed an easy ground ball back to the box.
April 5, 1967 ... The Red Sox suffered late inning jitters again and handed the Washington Senators a 5-1 victory. With the score tied in the ninth, the Sox defense parlayed two singles, two errors and two wild pitches into a four run gift to the Nats. At the plate, the Sox could only muster three hits. Jim Lonborg pitched seven innings and gave up just one hit. Yaz strained his back and is listed as day-to-day.
April 6, 1967 ... The Sox defeated the Tigers, 4-1, in an excellent defensive game. Tony Conigliaro and George Scott drove in two runs apiece, while Billy Rohr and Galen Cisco kept the Tigers' bats quiet. Jerry Stephenson, Gary Waslewski and Al Lehrer were sent down to Toronto for the last cut of the spring.
April 7, 1967 ... With spring training almost concluded, the only promise Dick Williams would make is "We'll win more games than we lose." Williams held a squad meeting before a seven inning intra-squad game, in which the starters beat the subs, 8-3. George Scott slammed a three run homer.
April 8, 1967 ... The Red Sox continued their spring training mastery over Detroit by taming the Tigers, 6 to 2. The win came via a four run eighth inning featuring a three run homer by Russ Gibson. Jim Lonborg started for the Sox and worked three scoreless innings. George Thomas (.444 BA) had two hits and Reggie Smith had three hits.
April 9, 1967 ... The Tigers finally beat the Red Sox in the final spring training game, 4-3. Gates Brown won it with a single up the middle in the 10th inning, scoring Al Kaline. George Scott had four singles in five trips. The Sox flew home to Boston immediately following the game.
April 10, 1967 ... The day started out miserably as the players were unable to work-out at Fenway Park. The field was so sloppy, that the team boarded a bus and headed over to the batting cage at Harvard.