It was somewhat ironic that Lee Elia, new manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, would make his first start in Chicago. He remains a legend there for his tirade against Wrigley Field fans when he was managing the Cubs in 1983.
In an outburst that would lead to his firing, Elia blasted the fans with a stream of obscenities after they had booed his team in a 4-3 loss to the Dodgers.
In part, he said: "If they're the real Chicago Cub fans, they can kiss my (bleeping bleep) right downtown and you can print that.
"Those (bleepers) don't even work. Eighty-five per cent of the world is working, the other fifteen per cent are here."
Said the headline in The Times: "The Bleeps Hit the Fans as Cubs Lose."
Trivia Time: Since 1900, what manager has lasted the longest with the Philadelphia Phillies? (Answer below.)
7 Years Ago Today: On June 20, 1980, shortstop Freddie Patek hit three home runs and a double, leading the Angels to a 20-2 rout of the Boston Red Sox. Patek stood 5-5 and weighed 148.
Of his short stature, he said: "I'd rather be the shortest player in the majors than the tallest player in the minors."
Add Patek: Wrote Jim Murray of The Times: "Freddie Patek is the only guy in the major leagues who needs a life preserver to go into the whirlpool bath."
Said Whitey Herzog, who managed him at Kansas City: "He thinks he's Babe Ruth. A pitcher who walks a Babe Ruth throws a party. A pitcher who walks a Freddie Patek wants to go home and kick the dog."
Said 6-6 Montreal reliever Dick Radatz, choosing Patek during a brawl with Pittsburgh: "I'll take you and a player to be named later."
Last Add Patek: From "Baseball's Greatest Insults," by Kevin Nelson:
--"Freddie Patek is the last man in the world to know it's raining."
--"Freddie Patek plays handball against a curb."
--"Freddie Patek gets to play both sides of a father-son game."
--"One day I was trying to get my boot on but couldn't. Something was in my shoe. It was Freddie Patek."
Would-you-believe-it Dept.: At the U.S. Open they have been measuring the drives on the 16th hole at Olympic Club. The longest so far is 272 yards by Greg Norman. According to Frank Hannigan of the USGA, they also measured the drives on No. 16 in the 1966 Open at Olympic. The longest was 273 yards by Jack Nicklaus.
The Prophet: Said Lee Trevino when asked about Tom Watson before the U.S. Open: "Tom's struggling with his game a little, especially his putter. But he will be back. You guys wrote off Jack Nicklaus in 1980 and he won two major championships that year. I told you not to wake him up, but you did and he ran all over us."
Gene Gieselman, St. Louis Cardinals trainer, on a nine-inning game with the Chicago Cubs that dragged on for almost four hours: "It lasted so long that I had to trim my fingernails twice."
Trivia Answer: Gene Mauch. He managed the Phillies from the start of the 1960 season until 54 games into 1968.
Frank Mooney, after his Kings Beach, Calif., Little League team of boys 7 and 8 lost its opener, 27-9: "We've got a young team out there."