The day before the Browns left for the South, Mr. Von der Ahe was paying off his men. When it came Bob Caruthers' turn he took his check, but, on examining it, noticed that $110 had been deducted from it. On inquiry he found that he had been docked for the short rest he enjoyed during the summer, when he spent a few weeks at his home in Chicago. When told of the fact he became very angry and expressed himself in very free terms concerning the matter. As he turned to leave the office he said: "Remember this will be the last chance you will ever have to dock me. This will cost you about $8000." What the little twirler could have meant by the latter proposition it is hard to say, but it is certain that he left the city in no enviable frame of mind and not very kindly disposed towards the Browns' President.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, November 2, 1887
Just when you thought the 1887 season was over with, the Browns have another exhibition series to play. It seems that they had a series with the Chicagos after the world's series. They played one game in St. Louis (where it was very cold) before heading to Memphis and New Orleans.
The thing that strikes me the most about Caruthers' behavior is that he's acting like a guy who wants out. Regardless of who you are, it's not usually a good idea to get angry at your boss and express yourself in free terms. Nothing good ever comes of that. Caruthers probably knew that and didn't care. He wanted out of St. Louis and he was going to throw a fit until he got his way.
The reasons for the fire sale are myriad but one of the reasons is that some of the players were unhappy in St. Louis and had no problems expressing that unhappiness. It's also true that some of the players allowed their ego to get out of control to the point that the club was fed up with them. These things kind of go hand-in-hand and they accurately describe the Caruthers situation.