Tuesday, December 20, 2016

December 20, 1980: A Date That Will Live In Sox Angst

Thirty-six years ago today, Red Sox GM Haywood Sullivan made one the biggest blunders in team history. Instead of mailing out Carlton Fisk's new contract offer by the contractually-mandated December 20th deadline, he waited until the next business day. Less than two months later, an arbitrator did not buy Sullivan's excuses and set Fisk free to pursue employment with any team. The Red Sox continued to talk brave—insisting that Carlton would return "home" to Fenway. Amazingly, the six-time All-Star was making $210,000 at the time—and was offered only $2.5 million over four (un-guaranteed) years by The Carmine Hose. The Pale Hose offered five guaranteed years and $2.9 million. Upon signing the new deal, Pudge said, '"To make an understatement, I had to make a monumental decision to leave Boston. It's been very trying and rough on the entire family. A few months ago, I never could have visualized this scene taking place here today." A truly dark day for Boston sports.