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Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Updated: May 1, 4:18 PM ET
Major meltdowns

SportsNation

Admit it: You love it when a manager goes a little Travis Bickle, when the intensity boils over into a fit of foul-mouthed hysteria or episode of ump-baiting and base-tossing.

Lou Piniella
Piniella has had so many meltdowns he makes our list twice.

Twenty years ago, Cubs manager Lee Elia had a classic case of major meltdown when, in a profanity-laced tirade, he told Cubs fans to kiss his ass and get a job. "Eighty-five percent of the f------ world is working. The other fifteen percent come out here," Elia told reporters.

Unfortunately, most of what he said isn't printable on our family-friendly web site. But it still tops the list of our favorite manager meltdowns. The rest of the top 10:

Whitey Herzog booted from Game 7
Having a regular-season meltdown is one thing, but losing your cool in Game 7 of the World Series gets you on our list. With the Royals in the midst of a six-run fifth inning to put away Game 7 of the 1985 World Series, Herzog embarrassingly self-destructed and get ejected along with pitcher Joaquin Andujar in a stormy scene with the umps.

Tommy Lasorda admires Dave Kingman
Lasorda has the gift of gab, but on Mother's Day, 1978, he showed the gift of garbage language when a reporter asked him what he thought of Dave Kingman's performance after Kingman hit three home runs against the Dodgers:

"What's my opinion of Kingman's performance!? What the $#@! do you think is my opinion of it? I think it was $%$#!. Put that in, I don't *&^#!*. Opinion of his performance!!? $%!*!, he beat us with three *&$#@!^* home runs! What the &%$#! do you mean, 'What is my opinion of his performance?' How could you ask me a question like that, 'What is my opinion of his performance?' &%#!@, he hit three home runs! &%$!*.

Billy Martin punches out marshmallow salesman
Martin fought with umpires, George Steinbrenner, Reggie Jackson, pitchers (Dave Boswell and Ed Whitson), two traveling secretaries, at least one cab driver, two bouncers at a topless bar, a sportswriter and one fan outside Tiger Stadium. But his biggest meltdown came in 1979 when he punched out a marshmallow salesman named Joseph Cooper, which led to his getting fired as Yankee manager.

Lloyd McClendon
Nothing like showing your anger by taking first base after getting ejected.

Lloyd McClendon steals first base
McClendon showed some creativy when he melted down as Pirates skipper in 2001 -- instead of throwing first base, he picked it up and walked off the field with it.

Hal McRae throws phone
While managing the Royals in the early '90s, McRae -- never known for his throwing arm during his playing days -- chucked a phone with great velocity during a famous meltdown with reporters. Unfortunately, it struck a writer and drew blood.

Lou Piniella throws first base
Piniella has mastered the first-base toss during his career. Did he invent it? We're not sure, but we can trace this classic meltdown tactic to Aug. 21, 1990, when Piniella went berserk, threw his hat, got ejected, pulled up first base and chucks ... and then picks it up and chucks it again as the Riverfront crowd went nuts.

Lou Piniella vs. Rob Dibble
Sweet Lou's ugliest meltdown came in 1992 as the frustrations of a failed pennant race railed against his pysche. After Rob Dibble blew a save, Piniella went after his star reliever in front of TV cameras, questioning Dibble's manhood. It was an ugly scene -- which, of course, is why we love it so much.

Pete Rose pushes ump
Ahh, things seemed bad for Pete when he got in an argument with umpire Dave Pallone in 1988, got poked in the eye and then pushed Pallone twice, inciting the Riverfront stadium crowd to trash the field with debris. Things would only get worse for Pete ...

Earl Weaver forfeits game
Weaver was famous for his fights with umpire Ron Luciano, but his best meltdown came in 1981 when he pulled the Orioles off the field and forfeited the game after the umpires refused to provide him with an updated lineup card. The kicker? It was a spring training game.