Earl Weaver has been named to baseball's Hall of Fame. Good. Now that Sparky Anderson has quit managing, he should get in soon. If Tom Lasorda would ever quit managing, he could get in too.
But today, let's talk Weaver. Let's talk about that bantam rooster with the cotton haircut who ran the Baltimore Orioles, made umpires' lives miserable, smoked Raleighs because he collected the coupons, won 108 games in the 1970 season and always, always, always preferred a three-run homer to something as overrated as, oh, strategy.
Earl Weaver, who once optioned outfielder Drungo Hazewood in spring training, when Hazewood was hitting .583, saying, "He was making the rest of us look bad."
Earl Weaver, who once responded to pitcher Mike Cuellar's complaint that he wasn't getting enough work, saying, "I gave Mike more chances than I gave my first wife."
Earl Weaver, who once blamed constant travel as the reason he gave up baseball, saying, "What scares the hell out of me is waking up dead some morning in the Hyatt Hotel in Oakland."
Earl Weaver, who once reacted to umpire Ron Luciano's hiring as a commentator for television, saying, "I hope he takes this job more seriously than he took his last one."
Earl Weaver, who once expressed reluctance to be a TV commentator himself, saying, "I have to admit that Maury Wills proved as a broadcaster that experience on the field doesn't always result in insights."
Earl Weaver, who once recalled Billy Martin trying a guy named Shooty Babitt at second base, then saying to him, "Earl, if you ever see Shooty Babitt playing second base for me again, I want you to shooty me."
Earl Weaver, who once rode Lou Piniella so hard from the dugout that Piniella stepped out of the batter's box and shouted, "You better get off me or I'm gonna hit you in the head with this bat."
Earl Weaver, who once was handed the ball on the mound by Jim Palmer, who said, "Here, you pitch, Earl. You know so much."
Earl Weaver, the 5-foot-6 manager of whom the 6-3 Palmer once said, "Did you ever notice Earl always goes to the highest spot on the mound when he comes out?"
Earl Weaver, who defended himself by saying, "I'd rather be small of stature than a mental midget."
Earl Weaver, who once was diagnosed with an elbow nerve disorder, then told the doctor, "I must have caught it from Jim Palmer."
Earl Weaver, who once taped a note above Palmer's locker, reading, "Happy Father's Day. Now grow up."
Earl Weaver, who once defended the way he abused umpires, saying, "I'm a Christian. I have no problem with umpires. I'm at peace with the world. Except on close plays."
Earl Weaver, who once was screamed at by pitcher Steve Stone: "You're not only an egomaniac, you're a stupid egomaniac!"
Earl Weaver, who once was asked by devoutly religious player Pat Kelly if he wanted to see him walk with the Lord, then replied, "Kel, I'd rather see you walk with the bases loaded."
Earl Weaver, whose Oriole players referred to themselves as "the illegitimate sons of Earl Weaver."
Earl Weaver, who finally gave up trying to make Boog Powell lose weight, saying, "Boog needs his beer like a diabetic needs insulin."
Earl Weaver, who once saw former USC player Rich Dauer leave the field before the third out, then yelled at him, "Rich, I'm sorry, but we don't have those cards with 'One Out,' 'Two Out' and 'Three Out' on them like they hold up in college."
Earl Weaver, who once set up a rookie TV interviewer by telling her to ask Dauer, "I hear you said Coach Rod Dedeaux of USC was a better manager than Earl Weaver. Is that true?"
Earl Weaver, who once screamed into an umpire's face, "I'll be in the Hall of Fame after I'm gone. Where will you be?"
Earl Weaver, who once hung a sign above the Baltimore clubhouse door, reading, "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."