Cubs of Yore: Lee Elia

April 30, 2008 | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the infamous Lee Elia Rant, the old skipper is on tap for today. For you youngsters out there who aren't familiar with Lee Elia, he was brought in by Cub GM, Dallas Green to manage the team, and built the foundation for the magical '84 Cub team.

Nickname: Lee Fuckin' Elia

Played for The Cub: 1968

Managed for The Cub: 1982-1983

Random Write-Up: Let's get it out there right now. He's most well known for The Rant (NSFW). This baby is worthy of being right along side Chicago lore like Mrs. O'Leary's cow and Jordan's Poke Shack. For those of you who don't know about it, it was in '83, when the Cubs were pretty bad. So bad that the fans didn't even come out. There were only about 9,000 attending a day game, and after losing to drop to 5-14 on the season, the few fans that bothered to show booed their hearts out. Lee Elia gets socio-political and tells you what he thinks about day baseball and Cub fans. Needless to say, dude went OFF. This was before it was acceptable and apropos to use cassette recorders (apparently you still had to write it down on a little notebook while smoking non-filtered cigarettes) but someone had one rolling, unbeknown to ol' Lee. This one is priceless. If you want to read the full text of The Rant, then click HERE.

Lee has turned the rant's fame into a positive thing. This week he is in Chicago raising money for Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities by selling autographed balls that say "Print it!" on them, and feature an audio chip in the display case that will play his new rant:
“I’ll tell you one thing, it’s time the Cubs get hotter than hell this season and stuff it up the rest of the baseball world. The 40,000 fans who fill the ballpark everyday and work hard for a living are no nickel dimers! They deserve a championship. They’re the real Chicago Cub fans. And PRINT IT!”

What the hell?: Lee took a lot of shit, but him and Dallas Green really built the Cubs team that went on to peak in 1984. Damn Leon Durham. Recently, he has been a bench coach for quite a few seasons, mostly under Lou Piniella. Sweet Lou even stated that he wanted to have Lee Elia on the bench for the Cubs, but the Tribune gave Lee the ol', "Nah, brah." God forbid we should have too many people to make Aramis play harder. Elia is currently an adviser for the Seattle Mariners.

Did You Know?: Lee hit .176 in 15 games for the Cubs in 1968. I think I counted 38 variations of 'fuck' in the rant, not to mention the multitude of "shit" and "cock" that was strewn about.