TAMPA, Fla. — Hall of Fame reliever Goose Gossage called Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista a “disgrace to the game” and blasted “nerds” for turning baseball into a “joke” during a 10-minute interview Thursday.
“Bautista is a f—ing disgrace to the game,” Gossage told ESPN. “He’s embarrassing to all the Latin players, whoever played before him. Throwing his bat and acting like a fool, like all those guys in Toronto. [Yoenis] Cespedes, same thing.”
Bautista famously flipped his bat after launching a three-run, seventh-inning homer to give the Blue Jays the lead in the Game 5 of the American League Division Series.
Eight years before Bautista was born, Gossage began his playing career in 1972. After pitching for 22 years, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008. He is among a group of former Yankees greats who are in camp to help out the current players.
“He’s a great ambassador for the game,” Bautista told ESPN after being told of Gossage’s comments. “I don’t agree with him. I’m disappointed that he made those comments, but I’m not going to get into it with him. I would never say anything about him, no matter what he said about me. I have too much good stuff to worry about his comments. Today is my first game [of the spring], getting ready for a new season; hopefully, we will whoop some more ass.”
On a separate subject, Gossage, 64, said he does not like the trend in baseball to have people who never played at the highest level running the game.
“The game is becoming a freaking joke because of the nerds who are running it. I’ll tell you what has happened, these guys played Rotisserie baseball at Harvard or wherever the f— they went and they thought they figured the f—ing game out. They don’t know s—.”
“It is a joke,” Gossage said. “The game is becoming a freaking joke because of the nerds who are running it.
“I’ll tell you what has happened, these guys played rotisserie baseball at Harvard or wherever the f— they went and they thought they figured the f—ing game out. They don’t know s—.
“A bunch of f—ing nerds running the game. You can’t slide into second base. You can’t take out the f—ing catcher because [Buster] Posey was in the wrong position and they are going to change all the rules. You can’t pitch inside anymore. I’d like to knock some of these f—ers on their ass and see how they would do against pitchers in the old days.”
“Ryan Braun is a f—ing steroid user. He gets a standing ovation on Opening Day in Milwaukee. How do you explain that to your kid after throwing people under the bus and lying through his f—ing teeth? They don’t have anyone passing the f—ing torch to these people.
“If I had acted like that, you don’t go in that f—ing dugout. There are going to be 20 f—ing guys waiting for you.”
Gossage began his comments after being asked about Aroldis Chapman, who was scheduled to make his debut for the Yankees on Thursday. Gossage has long lamented how much more difficult it was for relievers in his day, going multiple innings instead of the one inning that specialists of today pitch. He thinks that pitch counts have directly led to injuries.
“They have been created from the top, from their computers,” Gossage said. “They are protecting these kids. The first thing a pitcher does when he comes off the mound is ask, ‘How many pitches do I have?’ If I had asked that f—ing question, they would have said, ‘Son, get your ass out there on that mound. If you get tired, we’ll come and get you.'”
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, when informed of Gossage’s comments about his team, said it is a new era in the game.
“The game has definitely changed,” Gibbons told ESPN. “Baseball was kind of always the one game that policed itself and there was no showing everybody up. Players would handle it. Umpires would let players handle it. That’s not the case anymore. If somebody doesn’t like something you do, you buzz somebody, they suspend you. The whole game has changed. The fans love it. Honest to God, the only team that is not animated that much is these guys [the Yankees]. But that has been their history, and I admire that.”
Courtesy of ESPN by Senior Writer Andrew Marchand