Listening to Lee Elia's 1983 meltdown is one of my spring training rituals. It was passed down to me by Buddy, my Little League manager. We used to gather around Buddy's '78 gold Trans Am, and he would pop the cassette into the tape deck saying, "Now, I can't say dese things to ya, so that's why we're going to listen to dis here tape." After the gentle poetry of Elia's delicate word-smithing entered our ears, Buddy would say, "Now ya don't want me to fly off da handle like dat because you're sucking it up like da Cubs, do ya? Do ya? Of course ya don't. So get out dere and play some frickin' ball!"
I like listening to this because it prepares me for the long grind of an upcoming MLB season, it makes me think of Buddy (I think he's up for parole soon -I should buy a card), and it reminds me that the Cubs suck. -KD