Today is the 25th anniversary of the coolest meltdown in sports history.* The manager of the Chicago Cubs, a guy named Lee Elia, totally went fucking off.
I thought I was all clever, remembering that the 25th anniversary was coming up. But then the Tribune jumped the gun and ran articles about it last week. Why so early, Trib? Why is it that you were so attuned to the profane rants of a grumpy old man? Does Elia remind you of someone you know?
Anyway, for your listening pleasure, here is the FULL, five-minute, unedited recording. (Mom: don't listen.) Read along with the transcript below that I painstakingly perfected for your reading pleasure, which I believe is available here for the first time anywhere online. (Mom: don't read.)
If the thing below doesn't work, listen here.
Lee Elia; April 29, 1983; Wrigley Field, Chicago.
We got all these so-called fuckin' fans that come out here and say they're Cub fans that are supposed to be behind you, rippin' every fuckin' thing you do. I'll tell you one fuckin' thing, I hope we get fuckin' hotter than shit, just to stuff it up them 3,000 fuckin' people that show up every fuckin' day, because if they're the real Chicago fuckin' fans, they can kiss my fuckin' ass right downtown and PRINT IT.
They're really, really behind you around here...my fuckin' ass. What the fuck am I supposed to do, go out there and let my fuckin' players get destroyed every day and be quiet about it? For the fuckin' nickel-dime people that turn up? The motherfuckers don't even work. That's why they're out at the fuckin' game. They oughta go out and get a fuckin' job and find out what it's like to go out and go out and earn a fuckin' living. Eighty-five percent of the fuckin' world is working. The other fifteen come out here. A fuckin' playground for the cocksuckers. Rip them motherfuckers. Rip them fuckin' cocksuckers like the fuckin' players. We got guys bustin' their fuckin' ass, and them fuckin' people boo. And that's the Cubs? My fuckin' ass. They talk about the great fuckin' support the players get around here. I haven't seen it this fuckin' year.
This man is frustrated. I will guarantee you, he is frustrated.
Don’t ask me about any specific play, I won’t answer it. I’m not going to talk about specific fuckin’ plays. The name of the game is hit the ball, catch the ball and get the fuckin’ job done. Every time we lose a fuckin’ close game, it’s magnified: why did this guy bunt it, or and that guy pop up, or this guy throw a wild pitch … that’s baseball fellas. That’s going to happen, that’s how runs are scored. That’s how the fuckin’ balance goes cock-eyed. That’s the difference between victory and defeat. Right now we have more losses than we have wins.
Everybody associated with this fuckin’ organization have been winners their whole fuckin' life. Everybody. And the fuckin’ credit is not given in that respect. The fuckin’ changes that have happened in the Cubs organization are multifold.
Alright, they don't show because we're 5 and 14...and unfortunately, that's the criteria of them dumb fifteen motherfuckin' 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 13 or 5 and 14 to destroy the makeup of this club. I guarantee you that. There's some fuckin' pros out there that wanna fuckin’ play this game. But you're stuck in a fuckin' stigma of the fuckin' Dodgers and the Phillies and the Cardinals an all that cheap shit.
All these motherfuckin’ editorials about Cey and fuckin’ … ah … the Phillie-itis and all that shit, it's sickening.
It's unbelievable. It really is. It's a disheartening fuckin' situation 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 fuckin' games left.
What I'm tryin' to say is don't rip them fuckin' guys out there. Rip me. If you wanna rip somebody, rip my fuckin' ass. But don't rip them fuckin' guys 'cause they're givin' everything they can give. And right now they’re trying to do more than God gave them, and that’s why we make the simple mistakes. That’s exactly why.
And once we hit that fuckin’ groove, it will flow. And it will flow. The talent's there. I don't know how to make it any clearer to you. I'm frustrated. I'll guarantee you I'm frustrated. It'd be different if I walked in this room every day at 8:30 and saw a bunch of guys that didn't give a shit. They give a shit. And it's a tough National League East. It's a tough National League period.
* Here you can listen to one of the better meltdowns of recent memory, a sports radio guy who has some analysis regarding Michigan State's 2006 loss to Notre Dame.