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When Less Moss was fired and replaced with Sparky Anderson

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With nothing else to write about during the MLB shutdown,  the baseball beat reporters are reaching back in the archives for even the most arcane things to write about.  Lynn Henning wrote this story today in the Detroit News:


This was a long time ago, 1979, and I realize hardly anyone (maybe nobody) cares, but I've got this story about how I knew they were thinking about firing Les Moss, the Tiger manager, a couple of days before they actually did it.  And without the background context that Henning provides in the link, the story is just too obscure to stand on its own.  Sort of an obscure personal footnote to a very obscure baseball historical footnote.

In June 1979 I was working in what would now be called the I.T. department at the Detroit Free Press.   About four of us shared the same phone number although we had separate phones with multiple lines.  Our number was just one digit different than the sports department so sometimes we would get their calls or when all their lines were busy their calls would bleed into our lines.  So the phone rings one morning and I grab it but Nobel Holloway III answers it first.  Noble's mind usually occupied a different space than anyone else's so you could never be sure what he might say.  So the guy on the phone says, " Is it true the Tigers are going to fire Les Moss?"  So rather than tell the guy that he's got the wrong number and transfer him to the sports department, he says "Gee I don't know" and he hangs up.   Then a couple of days later, Less Moss was fired just as Henning explains in his article.  

OK, that's the whole story.  Like Henning, I don't have much to write about during the quarantine. 

Actually I have a much better Free Press story that involves the same phone system and a guy that would call us occasionally whose Black Muslim name supposedly translated to the Black Messenger of Death.  And as it turned out he actually was the messenger of death and our number is the one he meant to call, he wasn't trying to call the sports department.  But that's a much better more dramatic story for another time.          


Edited by walker
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