Tuesday, March 8, 2011

He Will Sign With Brooklyn

Bob Caruthers failed to leave for home last night, notwithstanding his reiterated assertion that he would do so. He now states that he will positively leave for Chicago to-night. He seems to have changed his mind in regard to Brooklyn, and said last night that he would just as soon play in Brooklyn as not, although his offer from Cincinnati was a better one. He states that when he arrives home he will go to work, and his office hours will be from 8 to 5. The outcome of the matter will be that he will sign with Brooklyn, but not until late in the spring.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, November 30, 1887

Since I just argued that the reason Foutz was sold to Brooklyn was because Caruthers refused to sign, would it be weird if I now argued that the reason Caruthers suddenly changed his tune was because Foutz had just been sold to Brooklyn?

I don't have the source for this and it may be something that I'm just making up but I don't believe that the two men had the best relationship. That Browns' clubhouse doesn't seem to have been the closest and it just seems that it would be within the character of the two men not to get along. I don't know but the idea that Foutz and Caruthers didn't like each other is something rattling around the back of my head.

And if that's true, how likely would it be that Caruthers would want to sign with Brooklyn after they just picked up Foutz? Would he sign just out of spite? I can see Caruthers, thinking he had played everything perectly, suddenly very upset that Brooklyn had bought Foutz. He would sign and show them that he couldn't be replaced by the likes of Dave Foutz.

Honestly, I don't even know what I'm arguing anymore. All I know is that trying to get into Bob Caruthers' head is very tiring.


Cliff Blau said...

I doubt that's it. The 1888 Bridegrooms were regarded as cliquish, and the three ex-Browns were one of the cliques.

David Ball said...

Who knows? This is exactly the same thing I've read about the Brooklyn team in 1885 after they acquired a lot of Cleveland players, that the new players stuck together as a clique. This kind of thing may be true, or it may be newspapermen looking for an explanation when the team doesn't play up to perhaps unrealistic expectations.

I kind of feel I've read something that made it sound as if Foutz and Caruthers were friendly, but it may just be that both of them got taken for large sums gambling one off season and perhaps I assumed without reason they were doing it together. Ace pitchers at this period do tend to be prima donnas, and having two of them on a team could easily lead to problems. I've never seen anything to suggest that Foutz was like that, and I'm not at all sure whether Caruthers' constant complaints and threats are the mark of a prima donna or just a relatively sophisticated business man looking for bargaining leverage in a situation that disadvantaged him because of the reserve rule.

Jeffrey Kittel said...

Like I said in the post, I have no evidence one way or the other and was just speculating. I don't think I've read anything about the relationship between Caruthers and Foutz one way or the other.

And I don't think that prima donna and sharp business man are mutually exclusive. In this era, I think if you were intensely looking out for your own business interests, you ended up being a pain in the rear and looking like a prima donna. I'm generally sympathetic towards these guys and their financial demands but the Caruthers situation is so odd. He holds out for what he wants and then, when he gets it, still won't sign. That, I think, goes beyond good business practices and is just being difficult.

Caruthers comes off as an odd cat. His personal situation makes him stand apart from his fellow players. Some would describe him as a unique character but I just see him as difficult.