LOS ANGELES — Tommy Lasorda can laugh about it now. At the time, he was dead serious.
Today marks the 30th anniversary of Lasorda's most famous — or infamous — postgame tirade as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. It's become a cult classic on the Internet, with the Hall of Fame skipper at his most profane.
Dave Kingman had just led the New York Mets to an extra-inning victory at Dodger Stadium with three home runs and eight RBI, when a young radio reporter named Paul Olden asked him, "What did you think of Kingman's performance?"
"What's my opinion of Kingman's performance?" Lasorda said. "What the [expletive] do you think my opinion is of it? I think it was [expletive]. Put that in. I don't [expletive] care. What's my opinion of his performance? [expletive]. He beat us with three [expletive] home runs.
"What the [expletive] do you mean, 'What is my opinion of his performance?' How can you ask me a question like that? I'm [expletive] off to lose a [expletive] game, and you ask me my opinion of his performance?"
Looking back on the incident, Lasorda showed remorse for allowing his temper get the better of him.
"I'm sorry that I did an interview like that, and I'm not proud of it," Lasorda said Saturday. "I've been married now 56 years, and I've never used a word of profanity in front of my wife, my children, or anybody else's wife or children. But on the ballfield, I'm bad. I'm really bad.
"So when that guy talked to me, I was as low and depressed and dejected as you can get. I mean, we lose the game in 15 innings, I had to go into my starting pitchers, and it knocked the daylights out of me. Then this guy comes in at the very moment I sat down and asked me, 'What is your opinion?' So I proceeded to tell him what my opinion was."
Lasorda didn't realize just how much his remarks would be replayed. Plenty of radio listeners have heard bootleg copies of it over the years — including some of Lasorda's celebrity acquaintances.
"I remember once when Burt Reynolds walked into a restaurant and saw me with my wife," Lasorda recalled. "He said, 'Hey, Tommy, I just came in on my plane and we played your tape.' Then my wife goes, 'What tape?' I said, 'I don't know what he's talking about.' "
Olden has since gone on to do play-by-play for the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and for many years announced the starting lineups over the public address microphone at the Super Bowl.
"I ran into Paul a few times when he was announcing for Tampa Bay," Lasorda said. "I told him, 'You didn't do anything wrong. I was the guy who did something wrong.' Eventually it got all over the country — and I think now it's in Japanese."
Cubs push Wood back
ST. LOUIS — The Chicago Cubs pushed back Kerry Wood's next start, scheduled for today, for two days due to stiffness in his surgically repaired right shoulder.
Greg Maddux will work the finale of a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals instead. Carlos Zambrano also will move up a day, pitching on Monday at Houston, with Wood slotted for Tuesday.
Wood is 1-1 with a 4.50 earned-run average in three starts since being activated on May 18 following arthroscopic surgery last August. He won his last start on May 29 over the Reds when he gave up one earned run and five hits in six innings.
He's still feeling the effects from that outing.
"I bumped the intensity up a little bit ... and I just didn't recover as good as I have been," Wood said Saturday.
• Mark Prior moved a step closer to returning to the Cubs' rotation, pitching five innings for Class A Peoria. Prior, on the disabled list all season because of a sore right shoulder, allowed one run and three hits while throwing 59 pitches in the Chiefs' 2-0 loss to Fort Wayne.
• The Orioles recalled OF Ed Rogers from Class AAA Ottawa to replace RF Jay Gibbons, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with hip and knee injuries.
• The Diamondbacks optioned rookie RHP Enrique Gonzalez to Class AAA Tucson after he beat the Braves. Needing another left-hander in the bullpen with 10 games in a nine-day span, Arizona activated 43-year-old Terry Mulholland from the 15-day DL.
• The Yankees placed RHP Darrell Rasner on the 15-day DL with soreness in his pitching shoulder, and recalled LHP Matt Smith from Class AAA Columbus.
Also, Yankees reliever Octavio Dotel is expected to join Class A Tampa on Thursday. Dotel had elbow ligament replacement surgery a year ago, and is expected to join the Yankees around June 15.
• Phillies starter Randy Wolf expects to start a rehab assignment Thursday with Class A Clearwater. Wolf had elbow ligament replacement surgery last July 1, and is expected to rejoin the team in about a month.