Rich “Goose” Gossage calls Jose Bautista “a f—ing disgrace to the game”, rips baseball nerds

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Hall of Famer Rich “Goose” Gossage hasn’t held back when he has been asked for his opinion on the subject du jour by the media. In the past, he’s said he would purge all of the modern home run records because many have used — or at least been accused of using — performance-enhancing drugs. He also once compared PED users to murderers. Gossage is an interesting quote.

So when Gossage had another microphone in front of him on Thursday, and predictable angry opinions spilled forth, there weren’t many who were truly surprised. Per ESPN’s Andrew Marchand, Gossage called Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista “a f—ing disgrace to the game.” He explained, “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 was asked to respond, and took the diplomatic route. He said, “I’m disappointed that he mode 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.”

Gossage was also asked about the trend of people with no baseball playing experience filling front office roles. Fireworks.

“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.”

Some of Gossage’s anger might be misplaced, as it wasn’t just the front office nerds who have either collectively bargained or had representatives negotiate these rule changes concerning player safety. And it’s a business decision first and foremost from the league, so his anger should actually be directed at capitalism. The NFL has been held liable for large sums of money for being neglectful and actively  misleading about the risk of concussions. Major League Baseball, fearing both that potential outcome and the hit to its public image by being as cold as the NFL, was proactive following the Buster Posey and Ruben Tejada injuries. It wasn’t a scrawny economics graduate from “Harvard or wherever the f—” sitting in his basement trying to mollify the game; it was a group of businesspeople in a boardroom fearing litigation.

As for the analytics trend, which Gossage hates, he is free to ignore it at his own peril. There aren’t any teams left in the league who don’t utilize analytics in some capacity and every front office still has former players filling important roles. The difference between Gossage’s time and now is that, thanks to computers, we have a very easy time verifying what our eyes see, whereas it was too convenient back in the 1970’s to trust the gut over a wacky theory. Voros McCracken’s DIPS theory never would have stood a chance if he had come up with it two decades prior. Now, people who don’t add any new thought to the game — ornery baseball columnists and former players — aren’t being sought out as the experts they once thought they were. The “nerds”, who can collect and analyze data in a matter of seconds, are now those experts.

If Gossage were playing Blackjack, he would hit on 17. When the players around him advised him to change his mind, he’d still insist on getting another card. Then, when he busts and loses all his money, he would blame his terrible luck. The other players, who follow “the book”, might have ever-increasing stacks of chips but they’re just “f—ing nerds” anyway. At least, in Gossage’s eyes, he played the game the right way.

Bruce Maxwell first MLB player to kneel during National Anthem

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Athletics’ rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell did not stand for the National Anthem on Saturday night. He’s the first MLB player to do so and, like other professional athletes before him, used the moment to send a message — not just to shed light on the lack of racial equality in the United States, but to specifically protest President Donald Trump’s suggestion that NFL owners fire any of their players who elect to protest the anthem by sitting or kneeling.

“Bruce’s father is a proud military lifer. Anyone who knows Bruce or his parents is well aware that the Maxwells’ love and appreciation for our country is indisputable,” Maxwell’s agent, Matt Sosnick, relayed to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser on Friday. He continued:

Bruce has made it clear that he is taking a stand about what he perceives as racial injustices in this country, and his personal disappointment with President Trump’s response to a number of professional athletes’ totally peaceful, non-violent protests.

Bruce has shared with both me and his teammates that his feelings have nothing to do with a lack of patriotism or a hatred of any man, but rather everything to do with equality for men, women and children regardless of race or religion.

While Maxwell didn’t make his own statement to the media, he took to Instagram earlier in the day to express his frustration against the recent opposition to the protests, criticizing the President for endorsing “division of man and rights.”

Despite Trump’s profanity-laced directive to NFL owners on Friday, however, it’s clear the Athletics don’t share his sentiments. “The Oakland A’s pride ourselves on being inclusive,” the team said in a statement released after Maxwell’s demonstration. “We respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”

Whatever the fallout, kudos to Maxwell for taking a stand. He may be the first to do so in this particular arena, but he likely won’t be the last.

Alex Wilson broke his leg on a 103-MPH comebacker

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This one is brutal. Tigers’ right-handed reliever Alex Wilson was diagnosed with a broken leg after taking a blistering 103.8-MPH line drive off of his right leg during Saturday’s game against the Twins. According to the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky, it’s a non-displaced fibular fracture, but will still warrant an extended recovery period and signal the end of Wilson’s season.

Wilson replaced Drew VerHagen to start the eighth inning and worked a full count against Joe Mauer. Mauer roped an 93.3-MPH fastball back up the middle, where it struck the pitcher on his right calf. While Mauer took first base, Wilson got to his feet and tried to toss a warm-up pitch, but was in too much pain to continue and had to be helped off the field.

Even in a season that isn’t going anywhere in particular, this isn’t how you want it to end. The Tigers have yet to announce a recovery timetable for the 30-year-old reliever, but he won’t return to the mound until 2018. He exited Saturday’s outing with a 4.35 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 6.3 SO/9 over 60 innings.

The Tigers currently trail the Twins 10-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning.