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Happy Anniversary Hal McRae “put that in your pipe and smoke it” rant

Apr 26, 2013, 8:22 AM EDT

It’s my parents’ 46th wedding anniversary today. To my knowledge, neither of them have every thrown things at each other while in their underwear. The same can’t be said for someone else celebrating an anniversary today: Hal McRae.

As Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes, it’s the 20th anniversary of then-Royals manager McRae going absolutely gonzo when a reporter asked him if he had considered pinch-hitting George Brett for Keith Miller late in a 5-3 loss to the Tigers.  The best part of it is the rant seemed to come out of friggin’ nowhere:

The most amazing thing about it, as Jaffe notes, is that the rant didn’t get McCrae fired. Indeed, he led the Royals to a winning record that year and the next year.  If that kind of rant — which actually injured a reporter who was hit with a phone — had gone down today I think he’d be fired within two hours. Even if he was right not to bat Brett for Miller. I mean, jeez, Brett only hit .246 with a .299 OBP against lefties that year.

But 1993 was a simpler time. It wasn’t spread all over the Internet and talked about nonstop like every little thing today. And as a result, a temporarily crazy man hurling objects at the media while wearing long underwear was allowed to continue in his high-profile job.

  1. onbucky96 - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    Epic blow up. Serious anger management issues, did the reporter ever sue Hal for injury?

    • josemartez - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:41 AM

      I’m wondering the same thing. That looked like a pretty significant cheek injury.

    • heyblueyoustink - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:44 AM

      I believe this was pre McDonalds hot coffee has ruined my life lawsuit, so probably not would be my guess.

      Side note: Craig, after 46 years of marriage, you should give your parents the ultimate present:

      Move out of the basement! :-)

      • historiophiliac - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:05 AM

        First of all, if you’d ever been burned by coffee, you would see that event very differently. Secondly, you should probably read about that lawsuit b/c I’m willing to bet you are not familiar with the actual facts of that story (most people aren’t) or how the final resolution went.

        (But, I laughed at the basement thing.)

      • heyblueyoustink - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        She put a hot cup of coffee between her legs, something I don’t think i’d ever do myself. Just sayin’, common sense. It’s kind of an important area to me. Handle with care and such.

        It’s the wave of frivilous lawsuits on all kinds of things that followed and still go about today I was making reference to. If that happened today, would the reporter sue?

        Of course he would, and you’d have to ask a lawyer about how claiming bankruptcy because you’re legal fees exceed the damages rewarded works, i’m nowhere near an expert on that.

        I stick with good old fashioned H2O and getting a fresh blood supply to the brain in the morning to get my cobwebs cleaned out.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:13 PM

        She was in a totally stopped car and she was holding the cup to take the lid off — something I bet a ton of people on here have done before. The coffee was so hot it gave her 3rd degree burns (OUCH) and this was not the first such incident, so McD’s knew it had a problem. On appeal, her award was greatly reduced. She did not get the millions people think.

        Also, the way our small government system is designed, the solution to disputes is to sue (as opposed to punching one another out or having Big Brother decide everything for us). That’s the way it works. If you don’t like it, get rid of the Constitution.

        FYI, when I was 5, one of those coffee urns in the church fellowship hall spilled on me and I lost quite a bit of skin on my rear and all down the back of my legs. I still have a spot that’s (even) lighter than the rest of my leg in the back. Coffee burns are seriously no fun, and I can testify to that. Maybe I shouldn’t have been doing what I was doing, but that doesn’t change the result.

      • forsch31 - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        Actually, the burns were so severe that they required an 8-day hospital stay to get skin grafts to her groin area and legs.

        In the court case, it was revealed that McDonalds, by policy, kept their coffee heated well above safety requirements, at 180 to 190 degrees F, which the company’s own quality assurance manager testified wasn’t even safe to drink. It also was revealed that more than 700 people had filed similar claims against McDonalds during the previous 10 years for coffee spills and similar injuries (McDonalds had settled out of court in those cases).

        The problem wasn’t who caused the spill. I’ve spilled fresh coffee on myself before, and I’ve never had to go to the emergency room, have skin grafts, or even wind up with a burn blister. The problem is that McDonalds kept their coffee heated to a point where it would cause those kinds of injuries to their customers, and they knew it.

      • heyblueyoustink - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:40 PM

        Please do not take anything i’ve written here as a slight on burn victims. You, of all reasonable people on this thread, I respect very much. I did not mean to offend.

        And if I did, I do apologize.

        I just try to keep things of possible danger, defcon 1 or 5, away from certain areas of my exterior. I knew about the case law, forsch.

  2. charlutes - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    This made me laugh. Crazy people who throw phones for no reason are funny. Sports reporters who ask pointless questions to legitimize their jobs are funny. The carnival of sports media has grown into such a spectacle, it has overshadowed the triumph of physical competition. At least there are funny moments like this one occasionally that break up all the endless wave of garbage press conferences, interviews, radio shows, TV shows, podcasts, blogs and the like.

  3. indaburg - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    You haven’t lived until you’ve thrown things at someone in your underwear.

    • indaburg - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:04 AM

      Oh, and happy anniversary to the parents of the lair.

    • addictedzone - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      Why would someone else be wearing your underwear?

      • indaburg - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:13 AM


      • Mr. Chickadee - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        Isn’t that why you’d throw stuff at him?

    • chacochicken - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      Or, conversely, had a crazy person throw things at you while really either of you are in underwear. If I had a nickel for every…

      • historiophiliac - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:06 AM

        No, that part’s not really fun. Not in real life.

      • chacochicken - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:10 AM

        Not always when it happens but you can look back and laugh.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        Not really.

    • MyNameIsWilliamBillForShort - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      The problem for us men is that some of us wear boxers. And when we get into a fight when wearing said boxers, on occasion, someone unexpected “pops” out to say hello. This usually ends the fight on the spot.

      • indaburg - Apr 26, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        Say hello to my little friend?

  4. dirtyharry1971 - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    I can see John Gibbons having more melt downs after the start his team is on, i just hope he was smart enough not to buy a home in the toronto area.

  5. pisano - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    What a peach of a guy, I can’t understand why he isn’t managing anymore. Absolutely no restraint.

    • louhudson23 - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:34 AM

      So he clearly gave a shit ….McRae was a good player and a good manager. In fact, MLB could use several more Hal McRaes right now…the G.A.S. quotient has definitely receded ….

  6. The Dangerous Mabry - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    What’s amazing and sad is that Keith Miller was a DH in that game. In 1993, Keith Miller hit .167/.229/.194. Might as well just have the pitcher hit if that’s what you’re going to get.

  7. billybawl - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    If I owned the Royals today, I’d go ahead and retroactively suspend McRae without pay for this 20-year old video. Hadn’t seen this before, thanks.

  8. @Cereal_22 - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    That phone is sitting in a land fill somewhere

  9. sales190 - Jun 1, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    The rest of the story: After the blowup Royals owner, Ewing Kauffman, called Hal into his office . McRae was sure he was going to be fired. Instead, Kauffman wrote McRae a personal check for $10,000.

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