May 21, 1977

Don Zimmer enjoyed a reasonable level of popularity after succeeding Darrell Johnson as manager of the Red Sox in July, 1976. By May of 1977, that began morphing into a level of feverish disdain shared by few Red Sox managers before or since.

Zim didn’t help himself by engaging in a public spat with Luis Tiant on the night of May 21, as Tiant left the mound after just three innings in what dissolved into a 15-7 loss to the expansion Seattle Mariners.

Tiant expressed frustration at being part of a five-man rotation, a novel concept at that time. Essentially, Tiant said he has a hard time controlling his pitches with so much rest. In response, Zimmer said Tiant better get used to it; he’d be part of a five-man rotation for at least another month.

Take a wild guess who the Fenway Faithful sided with in that rhetorical skirmish.

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