Originally posted on Fenway West  |  Last updated 1/24/12

As 1967 spring training approached, there was little Red Sox news. A headline read "No Peace Bid, says LBJ" (It did seem like the president would deny peace feelers before they were even made). In boxing, Cassius Clay, as he was still called in print, dealt challenger Ernie Terrell a crushing 15-round defeat, all the time taunting Terrell about refusing to call him Muhammed Ali.

One interesting Sox article, written of course by Clif Keane, talked of Dick Williams' appearence at a booth in the Sportman and Boat Show at the War Memorial  Building, now the Hynes Auditorium. Sox managers in the past had probably made perfunctory appearences, signing a few autographs and leaving. But Williams definitely made his presence felt.

Dick stayed for over an hour, and did a lot more than sign autographs. Asked if he would come out of the dugout to argue calls,(Sox skippers in the past had been accused of sleeping through such moments). he replied: "I expect to be fighting for the players. I always have".Asked where the team would finish, Dick answered: "Right now we're tied for first, and we will be a lot better than people think." Williams was also asked questions of autograph-seekers, such as "who is your favorite ballplayer on the team?" (Most answered Yaz). To an apparently inebriated man who asked about firing managers, he snapped: "Have one for me too, friend." But the most telling remark came in an answer to "I know you took the captain's job away from Carl Yastrzemski, but who is gonna be captain?"
"Me", he quickly replied. Yaz has written that at the time, he did not want the job anyway.

Another Keane article detailed Williams' spring training plans. Dick would have a master sheet in the dressing room, informing each man just how many innings he played and what his job would be for the next day. "The dope will be right on the wall." he assured. Williams also talked of instituting bunt drills for pitchers (the DH was still 6 years away). He also planned to reintroduce sliding classes, which were begun by a previous manager but abandoned because of player opposition.

It was obvious that it would not be business as usual in 1967 Sox Nation.

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