Incensed over losing pitcher Rudy May in a six-player deal he didn't know about, Earl Weaver quit Wednesday night as manager of the Baltimore Orioles. However, general manager Hank Peters refused to accept his resignation and Weaver withdrew it.
The incidents took place behind closed doors at the winter baseball meetings after the Orioles sent May, an 18-game winner this year, and two other pitcher, Randy Miller and Bryn Smith, to the Montreal Expos for pitchers Don Stanhouse and Joe Kerrian and outfielder Gary Roenicke.
Weaver, who has been in the Baltimore organization 22 years and has led the Orioles to one world championship and three American League pennants since taking over as their manager nine years ago, was in a room with some other managers when he heard of the deal.
"I quit!" he stormed. "It's a (bleep) deal and I didn't even know a thing about it. I'm going right upstairs now to tell Hank Peters I'm throught."
"Take it easy," said Seattle manager Darrell Johnson. "You'll change your mind in the morning."
"No, I won't," insisted Weaver. "This is it. They didn't even tell me."
As good as his word, the Baltimore manager went straight to Peters' room and told him he was resigning.
"I'm not accepting your resignation." Peters replied. "Let's sit down and talk this over."
Thw two men did and Weaver was informed how the trade had come about. He listened and changed his mind about quitting. Later, he said: I became very disturbed, but only in my mind. They completed the deal with Montreal with my not being present when the final decision was made.
"My becoming disturbed is very uncharacteristic to my nature because I trust the people who are working for Mr. Peters and they have done a fantastic job in the past."
Weaver was talking about Oriole organizational men Jim Russo, Clyde Kluttz, Tom Giordano and Bill Werle, among others.
"I sat in on all meetings we've had to this point and voiced my opinion," Weaver went on."There really is no reason for me to become upset because the deal was made. I'm certainly not against any deal that we would make to help ourself.
"But I wanted to call Rudy May myself. He pitched for me two years, winning 15 games last year and 18 games this year. I don't even know where I can reach him but I still wanted to call him. Some managers like to shirk that responsibility, but I feel an obligation because I get close to the guys who work for me. I would have liked to express my appreciation to Rudy myself.
"I don't like a ballplayer to say. 'I had to read about my being traded in the paper.' I'll write Rudy a letter, anyway."
One of Baltimore's organizational men called Weaver on the phone late Wednesday afternoon and Weaver asked him what was happening. The answer he received was "not much."
Weaver was told he could come up to the room and join the other Oriole officials in trade talks if he wanted to. He didn't go.
The Orioles made a subsequent deal with Seattle, sending minor-league pitcher Mike parrott to the Mariners for outfielder Carlos Lopez and pitcher Tommy Moore. Weaver knew about that one, so did not get upset.