Saturday, April 17, 2004
The Comedy of Baseball by Steve Reynolds
Baseball managers throughout the years have made their mark by implementing great strategy (which ends up being copied by others), by coaxing the best out of less talented players and knowing exactly when to juggle their lineups. Some managers make their mark by using the f-word a lot. And so we present the transcript of Cubs manager Lee Elia’s legendary April 29th, 1983 tirade. This occurred after a daytime loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at pre-lights Wrigley Field. Fortunately for us, local radio reporter Les Grobstein was there with his tape recorder, making his own Zapruder moment.
“Fuck those fucking fans who come out here and say they're Cub fans that are supposed to be behind you, ripping every fucking thing you do. I’ll tell you one fucking thing, I hope we get fucking hotter than shit, just to stuff it up them 3,000 fucking people that show up every fucking day, because if they’re the real Chicago fucking fans, they can kiss my fucking ass right downtown and PRINT IT.
“They’re really, really behind you around here...my fucking ass. What the fuck am I supposed to do, go out there and let my fucking players get destroyed every day and be quiet about it? For the fucking nickel-dime people who turn up? The motherfuckers don't even work. That's why they're out at the fucking game. They oughta go out and get a fucking job and find out what it's like to go out and earn a fucking living. Eighty-five percent of the fucking world is working. The other fifteen percent come out here. A fucking playground for the cocksuckers. Rip them motherfuckers. Rip them fucking cocksuckers like the fucking players. We got guys busting their fucking ass, and them fucking people boo. And that’s the Cubs? My fucking ass. They talk about the great fucking support the players get around here. I haven't seen it this fucking year. Everybody associated with this organization have been winners their whole fucking life. Everybody. And the credit is not given in that respect.
“All right, they don’t show because we’re 5 and 14...and unfortunately, that's the criteria of them dumb fifteen mother-fucking percent that come out to day baseball. The other eighty-five percent are earning a living. I tell you, it'll take more than a 5 and 12 or 5 and 14 to destroy the makeup of this club. I guarantee you that. There’s some fucking pros out there that wanna win. But you’re stuck in a fucking stigma of the fucking Dodgers and the Phillies and the Cardinals and all that cheap shit. It's unbelievable. It really is. It’s a disheartening fucking situation that we're in right now. Anybody who was associated with the Cub organization four or five years ago that came back and sees the multitude of progress that’s been made will understand that if they're baseball people, that 5 and 14 doesn't negate all that work. We got 143 fucking games left.
“What I’m trying to say is don't rip them fucking guys out there. Rip me. If you wanna rip somebody, rip my fucking ass. But don't rip them fucking guys because they’re giving everything they can give. And right now they're trying to do more than God gave ‘em, and that’s why we make the simple mistakes. That's exactly why.”
Steve Reynolds is the senior editor of Zisk and is known to curse as much as Lee Elia on occasion, especially when the Mets lose and the Yankees win. And he apologizes to Mike’s mom. He really likes the chocolate chip bars she makes.