By now, you’ve probably heard about Reds manager Bryan Price’s profanity-laden tirade aimed at a reporter. Price managed to drop 77 F-bombs over the course of his rant, an impressive number for just the sheer will it must have taken to insert it into every sentence. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a meltdown this amazing.
But where does Price’s rant rank amongst the best manager meltdowns in history? In this writer’s opinion, it’s pretty low. Yes, Price swears up a storm, but the tone of his rant seems forced and boring. There’s no humor there, nothing that will make someone listen to it thirty years from now and laugh at the absurdity; instead, they’ll probably just say, “Oh right, Brian Price managed the Reds once. He seemed angry.”
So what are the best manager rants in baseball history, then? Which are the ones that baseball fans who haven’t even been born yet will still be laughing about as adults? Which ones are timeless? Here’s a list of a few that make the cut (warning: most of these are NSFW):
Tommy Lasorda talking about Dave Kingman: May 14, 1978. Dave Kingman had just hit three home runs to give the Cubs a 10-7 victory of Lasorda’s Dodgers. After the game, a reporter decided to ask the Dodgers’ manager what he thought of Kingman’s performance. The answer is legendary.
Lee Elia’s rant: The 1983 Cubs were pretty awful, finishing in fifth place with a 71-91 record. They of course were terrible in April, and the Wrigley faithful were letting the Cubs players know about how they felt with a whole lot of booing. That didn’t escape manager Lee Elia, who went on an epic tirade ripping the reception his players were getting.
Earl Weaver on Manager’s Corner: It may have been a prank and never meant to air, but Earl Weaver’s appearance on his weekly radio show is the stuff of legend. I wonder if Alice Sweet ever did put in her tomato plant.
Tommy Lasorda talking about Kurt Bevacqua: Kurt Bevacqua, then with the Padres, accused the Dodgers of intentionally throwing at a Padre hitter during a game. He said the order came from Lasorda, whom Bevacqua called a “fat little Italian.” Lasorda, obviously, responded.
Hal McRae loses his mind: McRae didn’t like a reporter asking about why the Royals didn’t pinch hit for a batter, so he decided to totally lose his mind and throw stuff around his office. This is the only rant on the list (I think) that left a reporter bleeding.
Dick Howser rants on umpires: The late Dick Howser didn’t appreciate umpires Joe Brinkman and Vic Voltaggio making fun of the Royals’ place in the standings during an argument, and he told everyone about it.
Ozzie Guillen…uh, being himself: Honestly there could be an entire post dedicated to Ozzie’s rants, but this one talking about how Chicago fans and media react to a losing streak seemed to fit the bill.