Goose Gossage clarifies his statements… sort of


Hall of Famer Rich “Goose” Gossage caused a stir on Thursday, offering heated criticisms of Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista and the trend “nerds” taking front office jobs in baseball. Looking to clarify what he meant, Gossage went on Sportsnet’s Tim & Sid, but he didn’t budge on any of his statements and then made a few more curious claims.

First, he was asked if he stood by calling Bautista “a f—ing disgrace to the game” and claiming that Bautista was “embarrassing all the Latin players”. To that, Gossage said, “The only thing I will back up on is I was not singling out. I was doing an interview that I had just kind of went off on the whole game. And part of it is the lack of respect for the opposition. I was taught as a young player, do not show up the enemy. […] Don’t show anybody up is the basic bottom line.” Later, he added, “I singled out Bautista only because the thought of him flipping his bat and all the antics that were going on by the Jays, it seemed out of control and unnecessary.”

Gossage was also asked if he wanted to apologize for using abrasive language. He responded, “No. Why? You can’t take an F-word?”

Gossage seemed particularly concerned with the behavior of major leaguers rubbing off on kids. “Now you see kids in the Little League World Series act like little turds.” Further on in the interview, he said, “Look at the debates on TV, look at this mess. Would you let your kids act like that? Hell no, you wouldn’t. You’d kick your kids in the ass if they acted like that.”

Speaking about how the game is played today, Gossage doesn’t think he could have pitched today. “I couldn’t have pitched today. I pitched up to get them out, in the strike zone. Balls that I got out in front of with my body, and my arm was lagging a little bit, that ended up being a great purpose pitch because it was right at their head. But they expected it because they didn’t quite know where my ball was going and neither did I.”

Which, wow. “They expected it because they didn’t quite know where my ball was going and neither did I.” I mean, that’s some logic right there.

Gossage recalled pitching to Ron Cey in the 1981 World Series. “I hit Ron Cey in the head in 1981 in the World Series in Dodger Stadium. I thought I killed him. I didn’t mean to throw the ball in there, it got away from me. But I was pitching in, on the inner half.”

Finally, Gossage covered post-game celebrations which involve throwing a shaving cream pie in someone’s face, usually the face of the player who delivered a game-winning hit. Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, in particular, is known for this. Gossage said, “If I see another pie in somebody’s face, I’m going to break my own TV. Act like a professional.”

Tim & Sid gave Gossage an opportunity to make his points more clearly and to take back some of the unnecessary language he used, but the Hall of Famer stuck to his guns and then some. He made no secret that he doesn’t enjoy the game anymore, and that’s sad to hear. Baseball is great and arguably as good as it has ever been. Technology and stats have, in this one writer’s opinion, enhanced the enjoyment of the game manyfold and it’s disappointing to see people willingly allow themselves to be left behind rather than adapt.

Elsewhere, Jose Bautista responded to the criticism indirectly on Twitter:

Josh Donaldson replied:

Royals’ John Sherman optimistic about new ballpark, current team

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The first thing that Kansas City Royals owner John Sherman thinks about when he wakes up each morning is how the club, stuck in what seems like an interminable rebuild, will play on that particular day.

Not where they will play four or five years down the road.

Yet given the modest expectations for a team that lost nearly 100 games a year ago, it makes sense many Royals fans are just as interested – quite possibly more so – in the plans for a downtown ballpark than whether infielder Bobby Witt Jr. can double down on his brilliant rookie season or pitcher Brady Singer can truly become a staff ace.

That’s why Sherman’s second thought probably moves to the downtown ballpark, too.

“This is a huge decision, and I look at it as maybe the most important decision we’ll make as long as we have the privilege of stewarding this team,” Sherman said before the Royals held a final workout Wednesday ahead of opening day. “I’m probably as anxious as you to get moving on that, but it’s a complicated process.”

The Royals have called Kauffman Stadium home since the sister to Arrowhead Stadium, the home of the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, opened 50 years ago next month.

And while most stadiums are replaced because they have become outdated, the unique, space-aged look of Kauffman Stadium – built during an era in which teams trended toward impersonal, multisport concrete donuts for their homes – remains beloved by Royals fans and visitors alike.

The problem is that despite numerous renovations over the years, the very concrete holding the ballpark together has begun to crumble in places. The cost simply to repair and maintain the ballpark has become prohibitive.

So with the decision essentially made for them to build an entirely new stadium, the Royals revealed plans to build an entire development in the same mold of The Battery Atlanta, where the Braves built Truist Park, and the Ballpark Village in St. Louis, where the new Busch Stadium is merely the centerpiece of a whole entertainment district.

No site has been secured, but several of the most promising are in downtown Kansas City, where the Power & Light District along with T-Mobile Center have spearheaded a successful era of urban renewal.

Sherman has said that private funds would cover the majority of the stadium cost and the entire village, each carrying a price tag of about $1 billion.

But if any public funding will be used, as it was to build and maintain Kauffman Stadium, then it would need to be voted upon, and the earliest that it could show up on a ballot would be August.

“You look at Atlanta, they took some raw ground – they started with 85 acres – and that has been a complete home run,” said Sherman, who purchased the Royals in August 2019, shortly before the pandemic wreaked havoc on team finances.

“This is one of the reasons we want to do this: That’s helped the Braves become more competitive,” Sherman said of the vast potential for increased revenue for one of the smallest-market teams in baseball. “They have locked up and extended the core of their future, and the Braves are in a great position from a baseball standpoint.”

So perhaps the first two thoughts Sherman has each day – about performance and the future – are one and the same.

When it comes to the team itself, the Royals were largely quiet throughout the winter, though that was by design.

Rather than spending heavily on free agents that might help them win a few more games, they decided to stay the course with a promising young roster in the hopes that the development of those players would yield better results.

In fact, Sherman said, the club has been discussing extensions for some of the Royals’ foundational pieces – presumably Witt, who was fourth in voting for AL rookie of the year, and Singer, who was 10-5 with a 3.23 ERA last season.

“We’re having conversations about that as we speak,” Sherman said. “We have a number of young players that we’re trying to evaluate and we’re talking to their representatives about what might work.”

Just because the Royals’ roster largely looks the same, that doesn’t mean nothing has changed. The Royals fired longtime general manager Dayton Moore in September and moved J.J. Picollo to the role, then fired manager Mike Matheny in October and replaced him with longtime Indians and Rays coach Matt Quatraro.

Sherman said the new voices created a palpable energy in spring training that he hopes carries into the regular season.

“When we acquired the team, we had three primary objectives,” Sherman said. “One was to win more games; we’re working on that. The second was to secure the future; that’s what (the stadium) is. And the third was to do good in the community.

“But the first priority,” he said, “is really the on-field product. That’s what really lifts everything else up.”