Wednesday, January 28, 2009

F-Bomb Wars - Lee Elia vs. Tommy Lasorda

Topps 1978 Tommy Lasorda

Topps 1978 Dave Kingman. This card has one of the ugliest airbrush jobs ever. The head shot looks like a mug shot, the background was completely airbrushed away, the hat is way too small for his head, the fake blue pinstripes; it all adds up to a really terrible looking card.

Last week I had a post about Lee Elia and his famous rant on Cubs fans. One of the comments brought up a Tommy Lasorda rant after Dave Kingman hit three home runs against the Dodgers. I figured I would check out Lasorda's rant since it does have a Cubs connection with Dave Kingman.

It turns out there is some disagreement as to when the rant actually happened. Many sources cite a June 4, 1976 game when Kingman hit three dingers for the Mets. However, there are two problems with this date. One, the final score of the game was 11-0, so it doesn't make sense that Lasorda be so ticked off. The second problem is a bigger one. Lasorda was only a Dodger coach in 1976, Walter Alston was still the manager.

More likely, the rant took place on Mothers Day, 1978, when Kingman was with the Cubs. He hit three homers including one in the 9th inning to tie the game and another in the 15th inning that gave the Cubs the victory. That kind of loss would be the type that would set a manager off.

I do remember listening to that game on the radio. 1978 was Kingman's first year with the Cubs. He was their first big free agent signing and it was exciting to have such a slugger in the Cubs lineup. What I actually remember about the radio broadcast was play-by-play announcer Vince Lloyd swearing after the third home run because he was so excited. He shouted something like, "God damn!" and then there was silence.

But that was nothing compared to how Lasorda responded after being asked what he thought of Kingman's performance:

"What's my opinion of Kingman's performance?! What the f*** do you think is my opinion of it? I think it was F***ING HORSES***. Put that in, I don't f***ing care. Opinion of his performance!!? Jesus Christ, he beat us with three f***ing home runs! What the f*** do you mean, 'What is my opinion of his performance?' How could you ask me a question like that, 'What is my opinion of his performance?' S***, he hit three home runs! F***. I'm f***ing pissed off to lose the f***ing game. And you ask me my opinion of his performance! S***. That's a tough question to ask me, isn't it? 'What is my opinion of his performance?'"

It is a nice enough rant as rants go, but in sheer number of F-bombs, Tommy didn't even come close to matching Lee Elia. He only gets in 8, nowhere near matching the 37 that Lee Elia dropped.

This biased Cubs fan gives the win to Elia by far. It was a nice try Tommy, but come back and see me when you quadruple your F-bomb output.


  1. One of my friends is a sportswriter in the Chicago area, and he has written several baseball books. George Castle was involved in a pretty good tirade from Lou Piniella of the Cubs. It was when Sweet Lou uttered the infamous, "What do you think I'm stupid or something!".

  2. Ah, but I'm positive Tommy's made up for the difference in the years since. A managing career that long added to Tommy's volatile nature equals possibly the all-time career record in f-bombs.

  3. For the career mark, I think we need to put Tommy up against Earl Weaver. And please keep the children out of the room!

  4. Tommy doesn't look that much different. Does that mean he looked a lot older than he should have 30 years ago?