Collusions I, II ... and III (A Hard Lesson Learned) - PDF
By Maury Brown
An essay from Rob Neyerâ€™s Big Book of Baseball Blunders : A Complete Guide to the Worst Decisions and Stupidest Moments in Baseball History
Format-Adobe PDF (5 pages)
Blunders can cost a team games. Big games. Blunders have changed the course of franchises. A few blunders have even resulted in Curses.
But this blunder is bigger than all of those. This blunder is bigger than perhaps any other blunder in the gameâ€™s long history; bigger, that is, than any blunder but the one that left so many wonderful ball players in the shadows for far too long (and that oneâ€™s so big that it wouldnâ€™t fit in this big book).
Peter Ueberroth, Major League Baseballâ€™s sixth Commissioner, got owners started down their ruinous path on October 22, 1985. After eleven straight years of supposed financial losses for the â€śindustry,â€ť Ueberroth addressed the owners at the headquarters of Anheuser Busch (courtesy of Gussie Busch, one of the original hard-line owners).
At one point in what amounted to a stern lecture, Ueberroth said,
If I sat each one of you down in front of a red button and a black button and I said, â€śPush the red button and youâ€™d win the World Series but lose $10 million. Push the black button and you would have a $4 million profit and youâ€™d finish in the middle.â€ť You are so damned dumb. Most of you would push the red button. Look in the mirror and go out and spend big if you want, donâ€™t go out there whining that someone made you do it.
In closing, Ueberroth told his employers, â€śI know and you know whatâ€™s wrong. You are smart businessmen. You all agree we have a problem. Go solve it.â€ť
This essay is republished by permission of Rob Neyer and Fireside Publishing. To read the rest of this essay, select the link to the PDF document provided.