It's never fun to see sports legends pass away, but yesterday was especially tough. Longtime Orioles manager Earl Weaver died late Friday night at 82, and Cardinals great Stan Musial followed soon after at the age of 92. Besides their baseball bonafides, the two could not have been more different: Weaver was famously combative and is known today for some of the game's all-time great temper tantrums, while Musial was quiet and modest. So much so, in fact, that it probably contributed to his current status as a wildly underrated athlete.
I read through a few of the obits last night, and kept coming across these great, almost-heroic quotes attributed to (or about) the two guys. Since we spent last week suffering through Lance Armstrong basically calling himself an asshole for three hours straight, and Manti Te'o's inelegant defense of his own girlfriend situation, here's a look back at a time when it wasn't an almost miserable task to follow sports.
"Get 8 hours of sleep regularly. Keep your weight down, run a mile a day. If you must smoke, try cigars. They cut down on inhaling." -- Stan Musial
"The job of arguing with the umpire belongs to the manager, because it won't hurt the team if he gets thrown out of the game." -- Weaver
"Every day you put this jersey on, it's a privilege." -- Musial
“I thought we still had free speech in this country. . . . A ballclub isn’t a family. But it is together more than a family. You can’t hold your feelings in that long.” -- Weaver, on why he yelled at his players
"He could have hit .300 with a fountain pen." -- Joe Garagiola on Musial
“A manager wins games in December. He tries not to lose them in July. You win pennants in the offseason when you build your team. . . . Smart managing is dumb. The three-run homers you trade for in December will always beat brains. . . . I don’t welcome any ‘challenge.’ I’d rather have nine guys named Robinson.” -- Weaver
"You wait for a strike, then you knock the shit out of it." -- Musial
"A couple years ago they told me I was too young to be president and you were too old to be playing baseball. But we fooled them." -- President John F. Kennedy to Musial at the 1962 All Star Game
"Every time I fail to smoke a cigarette between innings, the opposition will score." -- Weaver
“On my tombstone just write, ‘The sorest loser that ever lived,’“ -- Weaver
And finally, it's not a quote, but you can't just do a post about Weaver and not include one of his best blowups. This is truly historic arguing right here. At its finest.