Baseball, Chicago Style|
A Tale of Two Teams, One City
by Jerome Holtzman and George Vass
Bonus Books, 2001 | Buy the book
The chaos continued in 1962, as did the Cubs' lack of success—a 59-103 season, in ninth place (the N.L. had just expanded to 10 teams), 42 1⁄2 games out of first place, with the most losses and fewest victories in the club's history since 1901. But unlike the previous season when there were eight head-coach changes, there were only three. Tappe opened, went 4-16, and was rescued by Lou Klein, 12-19. Charlie Metro, a grizzled veteran who had been added to the mix, replaced Klein on June 5 and finished the season. He was 43-68.
A disciplinarian, Metro had managed in the minors 15 years in the Detroit organization, winning three pennants, only once finishing out of the first division. He refused to be rotated and told Holland, "I've done my stint in the minors." Metro was fired at the end of the season.
A quarter of a century later, in a 1988 interview, Metro conceded he was constantly feuding with the Tappe camp and revealed an incident typical of the infighting:
"All of the coaches were supposed to get together and decide the lineup. It was the second game of doubleheader. Some of the recommendations were ridiculous. I just put my lineup on the table and said, 'If there are any objections, speak up.' Nobody said anything.
"I go out to the bench and there's another lineup. And it wasn't mine. I tacked up my lineup and threw the other one in the crapper. Either Ron Santo or Ernie Banks, I don't remember who it was, said, 'Which lineup are we going to use?' And I said, 'The one that's got my name on it.'"
The record books show the no-manager experiment was in force for four seasons, but Wrigley threw in the towel after the second year. Bob Kennedy ran the club without interruption in 1963 and 1964.
Kennedy climbed aboard on February 20, 1963. A week earlier a disillusioned Wrigley told reporters, "We are trying to sign another man and if we get him he'll be our permanent head coach. Or if you fellows wish, you can call him a manager."
Kennedy was dismissed in the middle of the 1965 season, Klein finishing out the campaign. Leo Durocher arrived the next year and made his famous comment, "This isn't an eighth place club." He was right. The Cubs finished 10th.
From Baseball, Chicago Style: A Tale of Two Teams, One City by Jerome Holtzman and George Vass.
Copyright © 2001 by Bonus Books, Inc.. Excerpted with permission.