E X C E R P T
Lon Simmons: Discussing the Giants' Juan Marichal controversy.
“So…Marichal wasn't right, that he hit him with the bat. But he wasn't the only one that was wrong.”
JM: So, you're up in the booth. Could you describe what would have been probably the most notorious incident, the Roseboro, Marichal confrontation?
Simmons: Well, the thing about that confrontation...it had started earlier. There's all different stories. It's interesting, I've talked to people about it that were involved and everybody has their different story. What began actually, was the fact that there had been an incident where one of the Dodgers had hit, I can't remember, whether it was Baily or Haller, with the bat in a backswing. So, the guys told Matty Alou, " Why don't you do that to Roseboro?", or something. Well, Roseboro, he said that Koufax was gutless and he won't throw at anybody. So, I am going to have to hit somebody myself. Well, Koufax threw a ball close inside to Marichal and it bounced off Roseboro and he went back to pick it up. Now, when he picked it up he was going to throw back to Koufax. Now he could either step aside and throw it to Koufax, or he could throw it up high and back to Koufax. He didn't, he threw it right here (pointing to his ear). And it ticked Marichal's ear. Now the thing is, Marichal had the bat in his hand, is standing there and he turned around, and said what's going on here? Roseboro came after him. And Marichal was backing up and he was doing this with the bat (backing away holding the bat in front of his own face). If he have swung at him he could have killed him. But he was trying to hold him off like that, and it cut Roseboro a little bit. But all of a sudden Roseboro was the big victim, and Marichal was the bad guy. But, if he had thrown the ball and it would have hit Marichal here (pointing to his temple), he could have killed Marichal with the throw. But he was mad, and he said Koufax wouldn't throw at him and that he was going to do it. But Roseboro came out like he was Mr. nice guy. And Marichal wasn't right to hit him. But Marichal didn't pick up a bat and hit him. He had the bat in his hands, and he didn't swing at him. He was hitting him like this (moving the bat up and down out in front of him). If you ever see pictures, you'll see he was doing that.
JM: That followed Juan for his entire career, didn't it?
Simmons: Well, it did. A few years later we were in Atlanta and Furman Bisher who was supposed to be one of the top writers, came up to ask a question. That was the first year we went into Atlanta, after they had moved from Milwaukee. And I am sitting on the bench and Marichal's sitting there, and he (Bisher) says, “Tell me about this thing…” And Juan said, " Look, it’s passed, it happened, and I don't want to talk about it." "Come on, tell me what happened about it..." And he keeps going, and finally he said, “Well, if you don't tell me, I'll write what I think you would say.” Oh, well that's good. Nice going, Furman. That's great. That’s one of the reasons that guys don't want to talk to some of the writers. But, he was going to say that. And I have seen incidences before where things were written, where guys would write what they said happened, or what they thought happened or interpreted. And then some writer clear across the country that didn't see it, writes off of this column, and puts his idea of what that column is, and pretty soon it's completely distorted, and a player has to live with that image that he'd gotten. So…Marichal wasn't right, that he hit him with the bat. But he wasn't the only one that was wrong.