5 of Weaver's best tirades as O's manager

February 4th, 2021

When it came to a certain on-field demographic, Earl Weaver never minded making enemies. Not with umpires, anyway, who bestowed upon Weaver 96 ejections during his Hall of Fame career (according to Baseball Reference), the fourth most of all time.

That Weaver ranks just 33rd all-time in games managed underscored how combustible the most winningest manager in Orioles history was. His 96 ejections came in 2,541 games, or roughly one every 26. Weaver was tossed basically once a month for 18 years.

There was never a call against the O's that Weaver agreed with. And he never shied away from sharing his feelings.

“They must have made a million calls while I was managing,” Weaver famously said in his Hall of Fame induction speech in 1996. “Except for those times I disagreed, they got the other ones right.”

Weaver’s tirades were so explosive, so classic, they’ve remain an important part of his legacy since his death in 2013. Here is a look back to his five best:

1. The Hot Mic
Sept. 17, 1980

We don’t really know if Weaver’s assail on umpire Bill Haller was all that different from the other 95 that earned him ejections. But we heard this one, everyone did, and that’s why it lives in infamy.

What we do know is Weaver and Haller had history, though Weaver had history with a lot of umpires in those days. What Weaver didn’t know was Haller was wearing a microphone, being taped and recorded for a local television broadcast. So after Haller called a controversial balk two batters into the game, Weaver went out and unleashed a profanity-laced tirade at Haller, like no one was watching. Except they were.

“You’re here for one reason, and that’s to try to [expletive] us good!” Weaver shouted at Haller. “That’s the only reason you’re here!” He said some other things, too.

2. Let’s play two?
Sept. 29, 1985

Has anyone else ever been ejected from both halves of a doubleheader? Actually, several skippers can say they have. But Weaver is the only one who's done it twice.

The first time was Aug. 15, 1975, when the Orioles split a twin bill against the Rangers. The second came a decade later against the Yankees, a few months after Weaver came out of retirement to return to the bench. He was greeted with a hook by second-base ump Jim Evans in the third inning of Game 1, and then tossed by Evans again before the nightcap started.

3. The cigarette ejection
Aug. 2, 1969

When younger fans think of managers doing comical things in the dugout, they might think of Mets skipper Bobby Valentine’s famous fake mustache routine from 1999. This was something like the '60s version of that.

It’s also an example of the aforementioned history between Weaver and Haller. On this day in Minnesota, Haller was umpiring third base when he noticed something strange in the O’s dugout. He went over to investigate, and ejected Weaver for smoking.

(Though it's difficult to imagine today, smoking in the dugout was technically against the rules, but hardly enforced back then, and players and managers smoked regularly in the clubhouse before and after games.)

Weaver wasn’t thrilled, to say the least, reportedly flashing an obscene gesture at Haller in return. The following day, he delivered the lineup card to home plate with a candy cigarette dangling from his mouth.

4. World Class
Oct. 15, 1969

You don’t see managers get thrown out of World Series games too often. But of course Weaver did.

Maybe he was trying to give his team a jolt; the heavily favorited Orioles were already down two games to one to the Miracle Mets in the 1969 Fall Classic, which they were supposed to win handily. And Game 4 was a nail-biter, the type of pitching duel between Mike Cuellar and Tom Seaver where every pitch mattered. There were a few pitches Weaver didn’t like called by home-plate ump Shag Crawford, who ejected him for arguing balls and strikes. The Mets went on to win 2-1 in 10 innings, and the Series.

5. Pitching change
July 16, 1982

There was one time Weaver got so angry at longtime umpire Steve Palermo, he stood on second base -- and stayed there for more than a minute -- to protest a game at Yankee Stadium. He basically invented the kick-dirt-over-home-plate routine, and occasionally left the field of play cradling bases under his arms. Often times he turned his cap around when arguing, so he could get as close as possible to his adversary’s face without invoking a league fine.

But his antics reached another level midsummer in 1982, when Weaver, again dismayed by a balk call, literally took the issue into his own hands. Irate after second-base umpire Terry Cooney called a second balk on Dennis Martinez, Weaver stomped to the mound and grabbed Martinez’s glove. He took the ball and stepped on the rubber, coming to a set position. Then he lifted his back foot emphatically and stomped it down, as if to show Cooney that Martinez stepped off the rubber legally. The crowd roared and roared.