The Hawk. Seen by the public as a quiet star who went out and did his job every day and did it to the uttermost, he sure has a lot to say in Carrie Muskatís compilation Banks to Sandberg to Grace. Like that unorthodox contract he proposed because he wanted to play for the Cubs…
Dallas felt fairly uncomfortable with the process because it had never been done before. He thought it was some sort of ploy on our part, some sort of trick, and he just really couldnít figure it out at the time. He elected to have the Cubs lawyers look it over and evaluate it before making a decision.
It was a blank contract. It had nothing. Nothing. We just said fill in the terms. Whatever you think Iím worth, just jot it down on the contract and weíll respond to it. I just knew I didnít want to get back to Montreal.
In í89 things just fell into place for us. We were winning ballgames we probably shouldnít have. Everything was sort of Cinderella for us. We came out, day in and day out. And had a lot of fun. Dwight Smith was the comedian and Ryne Sandberg would get him going. Because of all the young players we had, I think people looked at us as overachievers.
The year I won the MVP, I was in Wrigley Field for the announcement and Harry telephoned. I think he was out in California, in Palm Springs. And he said ìI want you to go and have dinner on me at my restaurant tonite. Congratulations. You deserve it.î
I said thank you. Actually I had other plans to go out in the suberbs to Bob Chinnís, but we decided weíll stay and go down to Harryís and have dinner. At the end of the dinner, the waiter comes up and he puts the check on the table, and he has these two glasses of champagne. He gives me the bill and he says ìOh, by the way, hereís a drink. Itís on Harry.î
I thought that was kind of funny. My wife looked at me, and I looked at her and I said ìOh, well.î It kind of made my night, actually.
I pretty much saw the writing on the wall once the sixth season was up and over with. When they brought Himes in, there wasnít really any communication. I was told by some front office staff that he felt intimidated because I was a little bit more respected than he was. Himes made an offer to Sandberg and and to Maddux and then he pulled Madduxís offer off the table.
[Himes] would come by and speak to other players in the locker room and just walk by me. A lot of the players picked up on it. At the end of the season they made an offer ñ I think an offer for me to basically turn down. To me it was more of a media ploy. It was a ridculous proposal.
The ironic thing about it is, that he signed two players to replace me, one who retired and the other one had a horrible year and they got rid of him. Willie Wilson and Candy Maldonado. Then they lost Maddux, too. I thought that was even more devastating than my situation. The people he went out to try to replace Maddux with were the same thing. One guy had a disastrous season, a starter who really didnít pitch right.
The only ties I have with Chicago are the fans and some of the media. The media treated me real well. Had it not been for that, I think I wouldíve left Chicago feeling very bitter. But I realize those are situations that as a player you canít really control, I accomplished a lot of what I set out to do there, and most of it was to make sure the game was enjoyable, and the fans allowed that to happen.