Allen’s former managers strongly disagree. Allen’s “teammates always liked him. You could go forever and not meet a more charming fellow,” said Mauch. Chuck Tanner, who managed Allen on the White Sox, said in a 1995 interview with SABR, “Dick was the leader of our team, the captain, the manager on the field. He took care of the young kids, took them under his wing. And he played every game as if it was his last day on earth.”<a href="
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For Allen, a native of Western Pennsylvania who played on integrated baseball and basketball teams at Wampum High School, this was a new, and terrifying, experience. “When he went there, he was afraid to get off the plane,” Richard Allen told The Undefeated.
Which team, in which year, made the all-time biggest winter meetings splash -- and how did it end up working out?
Schoenfield: Let's look at what Whitey Herzog did for the St. Louis Cardinals at the 1980 winter meetings. The Cardinals had been stuck in neutral for more than a decade and finished 74-88 in 1980. Hired as the club's GM in August, Herzog made himself the manager as well, then set out to remake the club. He signed Darrell Porter as a free agent, then made three big trades involving 23 players, trading away 12. He acquired two future Hall of Fame relievers (Bruce Sutter, Rollie Fingers) and then traded away Fingers and another Hall of Famer, Ted Simmons. The deals involved four All-Star catchers (Porter, Simmons, Gene Tenace, Terry Kennedy). He traded away a future Cy Young winner (Pete Vuckovich). In all, 11 of the 23 players accumulated at least 10 career WAR and most were still in their primes or early in their careers at the time. And that wasn't all. The following offseason, Herzog used two of the players acquired in 1980 (Sixto Lezcano and Lary Sorensen) to help acquire Ozzie Smith and Lonnie Smith. The Cardinals had the best record in the NL East in 1981 and won the World Series in 1982 -- and basically have been good ever since.<a href="
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Allen would be a top player for several seasons — including winning American League MVP with the Chicago White Sox in 1972 — but controversy followed him throughout his career. He didn’t go out of his way to ingratiate himself with his critics. He later said that he would sometimes drink before games and would skip batting practice or even games to go to the horse track. He often refused to speak with the media, which in turn painted him as selfish and entitled. After demanding a trade from the Phillies after the 1969 season, he was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals, and played for five different teams over the final eight years of his career (including a second stint in Philadelphia) before retiring in 1977.
And that is it. From Kiley's top 100, five starting pitchers have signed new contracts, three of whom returned to the same team with the other two going to Atlanta. All five signed one-year deals. The other 95 ranked free agents remain in limbo and will soon be joined by a new flood of marketplace competitors once teams non-tender players this week ahead of the looming deadline for offering arbitration.<a href="
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So we started hunting around and found what we thought might be a promising lead: police reports in the area near where Chapman lived. One problem: They needed to be picked up in person. And, well, Nashville isn't exactly driving distance to Miami.
Alden Gonzalez: I don't know if this is actually it, but I'll go with the Los Angeles Angels signing Albert Pujols in 2011 at least partly because of where I was at the time -- in my early 20s and a month into my first beat, covering, of course, the busiest team of all. The final day of the winter meetings is typically uneventful; the Rule 5 draft takes place in a giant conference room early in the day, then all the executives and reporters rush out of the hotel to catch their flights back home. But it started to feel as if this year's version would be completely different the night before, when word began to spread that the Angels -- with two legitimate first basemen already on their roster -- were serious about signing a man who at that point was still the game's greatest player. The following morning, just before those conference-room doors opened to the media, the Angels landed Pujols with a historic contract. Within the hour, C.J. Wilson agreed as well. On one of the industry's most tedious days, the Angels spent more than $300 million. I might have blacked out.<a href="
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