Originally posted on Fenway West  |  Last updated 3/12/12

Dick Williams proved early that he would be his own man. A Harold Kaese piece in late March is entitled "Is Yawkey Back of Scott Shift?" A bit of controversy occurred when Williams started first baseman George Scott, who was locked in a battle with Tony Horton for the first base job, in right field. Trying to catch a fly, Scott banged into a wall and suffered a concussion.

After the game, Williams as much admitted that it had been a mistake to put George out there, though he did not rule out putting Scott-an excellent first baseman and strong though inconsistent hitter- in the outfield again. Kaese already saw a problem- was the manager trying to give Horton, who clearly had problems in the field, the first base job because he was one of Tom Yawkey's "fair-haired boys" a la Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski?

Kaese was incorrect; Williams clearly was running the team as he wanted, with little regard for Yawkey. But the writer did point out that the Boston press had been known to eat up players and managers. "The Sox are playing better," Kaese wrote, "but there are still people with typewriters, microphones and the daily paper who know more about running the club than he does." It has been said that during the 67 season much of the press was ready to castigate some of Williams' moves until they turned out to be the correct ones.

Williams made a number of controversial decisions in the spring of 67. He seemed to be favoring his former Toronto guys, including Joe Foy, Mike Andrews, Russ Gibson and Reggie Smith over holdovers like Don Demeter. He even toyed with the idea of putting Foy at second and the versatile Scott at third. Dick was determined to take control, come hell, high water, or the Boston press.

The Horton-Scott problem did not go away. The way it was dealt with is a story for another day.

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