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

82 Comments

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.

Mike Trout and Christian Yelich win the 2019 Hank Aaron Awards

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Major League Baseball announced today that Mike Trout and Christian Yelich have been selected as the American League and National League winners of the 2019 Hank Aaron Awards. The Hank Aaron Award, which was established in 1999, recognizes “the most outstanding offensive performers in each league.” A fan vote is part of it. A special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron weighs in as well.

Yellich, who is a back-to-back winner of the Award in the NL, led the Majors with a .671 slugging percentage and a 1.100 OPS, while leading the National League in batting average (.329), WAR (7.3) and OBP (.429). It was his third straight year with at least 100 runs scored and he set career-highs with 44 home runs and 30 stolen bases. He was the NL Player of the Week twice and stands a good chance of winning the NL MVP Award, though a late season injury will make it a pretty close vote.

Trout, who previously won the award in 2014, led the Majors with a .483 on-base percentage while leading the American League with a .645 slugging percentage and a 1.083 OPS. He was second in the AL with a career-best 45 home runs, was second i WAR (8.3) and, like Yelich, was a two-time Player of the Week winner. He too stands a good chance of wining the MVP though, he too, had a late season injury which could knock him down to second place.