Baseball’s Best Put-Downs, Put-Ons


Today’s Morning Briefing is devoted to some selected excerpts from “Baseball’s Greatest Insults,” a Simon & Schuster publication compiled by Kevin Nelson.

Broadcaster Richie Ashburn, hearing that an equipment man had been summoned to repair Dave Kingman’s glove: “They should have called a welder.”

Cincinnati broadcaster Joe Nuxhall, on Pete Rose: “I’ll tell you how smart Pete is. When they had the blackout in New York, he was stranded 13 hours on an escalator.”


Don Rickles, on Carl Yastrzemski: “He’s retiring from baseball because they won’t let him grow potatoes in left field.”

Pitcher Dock Ellis, on George Steinbrenner: “I’m gonna buy the Suez Canal. When one of his ships comes through there, I’m gonna blow it up.”

Reliever Jim Kern: “I’m working on a new pitch. It’s called a strike.”

Pitcher Bill Lee, rejoicing after being traded from the Red Sox: “I’d hate to be associated with a team that goes down in history with the ’64 Phillies and ’67 Arabs.”

Rocky Bridges, minor league manager: “Tommy Lasorda’s curve had as much hang time as a Ray Guy punt.”

Former Oakland pitcher Steve McCatty: “When Charlie Finley had his heart operation, it took eight hours--7 1/2 just to find his heart.”

Dodger executive Fresco Thompson, on outfielder Babe Herman: “He wore a glove for only one reason. It was a league custom. The glove would last him a minimum of six years, because he rarely made contact with a ball.”


Warren Spahn, on Manager Charlie Dressen’s team meetings: “He’ll say, ‘Listen you guys, I have been here before. I know what it’s all about. I been here before.’ He’ll say that for 10 minutes, and that’ll be the meeting.”

Angel owner Gene Autry, on Howard Cosell: “Howard calls a good game, it’s just not the one you’re watching.”

Meteorologist Mike Pechner, on Candlestick Park: “There are some nights out there you could hang meat.”

Casey Stengel, on catcher Chris Cannizzaro: “I knew he couldn’t hit, but nobody told me he couldn’t catch.”

Jimmy Piersall, on Casey Stengel: “Everybody knows that Casey Stengel has forgotten more baseball than I’ll ever know. That’s the trouble, he’s forgotten it.”

Pitcher Pete Falcone, after being traded from the Mets to the Braves: “The Mets always said I couldn’t win the big games. I’d like to know the last time the Mets had a big game.”


Bud Harrelson, on 6-8, 250-pound Frank Howard: “Singe him a little and the Argentine Army could feed off him for a year.”

A.B. (Happy) Chandler, on Ford Frick, his successor as baseball commissioner: “There was a vacancy when I left, and the owners decided to continue with it.”

Former umpire Ron Luciano: “I hate Earl Weaver with a passion. The first time I met him, I threw him out. Our relationship has been going downhill ever since. He’s about 3-foot-1. I tell him to get his nose off my kneecap.”

Earl Weaver, on Ron Luciano: “He’s sick. He stumbles and almost falls sometimes. Once I saw him show up late at second base with a Coke in his hand. I would suggest that the league prescribe medical help.”

Ron Luciano, getting in the last word: “Well, you know how Earl is. Can you imagine going through life and never seeing a parade?”