Monday, May 05, 2008

Celebrating Lee Elia Day

Today's Chicago Sun-Times had a story about an obscenity-laced tirade by White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. It was hilariously similar to a notorious tirade by Chicago Cubs manager Lee Elia in 1983. A few bloggers noted it on the 25 year anniversary on April 29.

The Cubs had gotten off to a very poor start that year-- 4-15. At a press conference on April 29, 1983, Elia exploded, ripping into the heckling Cub fans. Most notoriously, he said:

Eighty-five percent of the f*ckin' world is working. The other fifteen come out here. A f*ckin' playground for the c*cksuckers.

What Elia didn't know was that a reporter had a tape recorder running. The recording made its way to the public and into legend.

The funny thing, even to we Cub fans, was that it was largely true. In 1983, Wrigley Field did not yet have lights (they were installed in 1988). There was a reason they were called the Bleacher Bums.

In the next year, the Cubs would acquire the great pitcher Rick Sutcliffe, and a young player who was a throw-in for a deal to get shortstop Larry Bowa from the Phillies. Sutcliffe and that then-unknown player, Ryne Sandberg, would lead the Cubs to their first division title since World War II the next year. Elia, however, would be around for it. He was fired not long after his tirade. While what he said was true, it probably wasn't a good idea to rip on the bums whose ticket purchases paid his salary.

I found the recording on Youtube. The first is the unexpurgated version. WARNING: NOT WORK FRIENDLY!

The second one is the "bleeped" version of it.



3 comments:

Bubs said...

I never, ever get tired of hearing this. Heh.

I just heard about the Ozzie outburst earlier today. Does anyone have that on tape? Or at least a good transcript?

yournamehere said...

That is solid gold.

The Elk said...

The Elia Tirade was recorded by none other than the "Les Nessman" of Chicago Sports reporters Les Grobstein.

At least Ozzie has a World Series ring.....

The White Sox have thrown more World Series in the last century than the Cub have won.....