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Bittersweet memories of '85 for Smith

Ex-Royal believes GM blackballed him to rest of league

Updated: September 16, 2010, 11:39 AM ET
By Mike Fish | ESPN.com

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. -- At a local franchise eatery, the background music swells and then picks up tempo. Lonnie Smith is washing down a plate of buffalo chicken tenders with another cup of black coffee laced with sugar. He's talking full-throttle about his distrust of the old Kansas City Royals front office, his lingering belief that it shortchanged him on a contract and, even worse, later bad-mouthed him around the game as he scuffled to find a job.

Some from the '85 team may have ...

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