Diamond Leung at The Long Beach Press-Telegram is reporting that Lee Elia has joined the Dodgers as special assistant to the General Manager. Per Diamond’s story:
Elia, 71, is best known his profanity-laced tirade as Cubs manager, taking issue with fans at Wrigley Field after a 1983 loss to the Dodgers. Colletti worked in the Cubs’ media relations department at the time.
Elia was not retained by new Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu after serving in 2008 as a special assistant, hitting coach and bench coach. He is also a former manager of the Phillies.
For those of you that want to relive the tirade, click here. To truly enjoy this meltdown of all baseball meltdowns, you have to remember that back in 1983, Wrigley Field did not have lights so all games were played in the afternoon.
What’s fascinating to learn is that fans still ask Elia about the tirade literally every single day. ESPN wrote a story on the 25th anniversary of the meltdown in April of 2008:
Elia said he had no idea he was being taped. He had no idea about the firestorm his words would cause. But Chicago reporter Les Grobstein recorded the entire thing. Afterward, before putting the clip on the air, Grobstein shared the tape with Cubs PR man Bob Ibach, who took the tape to Cubs general manager Dallas Green, who summoned Elia to Green’s office.
“I was completely oblivious,” he said. “With God as my witness, when Dallas called me to his office, I told him I had to get to Park Ridge to umpire my daughter’s softball game. And he told me, ‘If you don’t get up here, you can start packing your bags.’ Then, when I finally heard the recording, I surprised myself. I didn’t realize half of what I had said. I was like, ‘Where in the world did I come up with that?’”
But what’s perhaps the most astounding is to learn that there is an autographed Lee Elia baseball that’s for sale and it comes with a sound chip with a 20-second excerpt from when Elia went off….I kid you not…and it could be yours for just $89.95!