Goose Gossage doesn’t want “a bunch of Cam Newtons running around”


Rich Gossage, who last week made waves after blasting bat-flippers and “nerds” who “don’t know [expletive]” for ruining the game, has doubled-down on his belief that baseball is going to hell in a hand basket.

The Hall of Famer is doing a guest instructor thing for the Yankees at the moment. Despite the fact that Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi called him into the office to have a chat with him on Friday about his comments, he is still taking aim at modern baseball with both barrels. Yesterday he name-checked a notable young football player while talking to Kevin Kernan of the New York Post:

“It’s a shame, it breaks my heart to see the direction this game is going, What, do we want a bunch of Cam Newtons running around? So, if no one keeps it in check, which there is no one keeping it in check . . .”

Gossage also blasted instant replay.

On the latter count, OK, sure. It’s here to stay and if it corrects clearly bad calls it’s a good thing in my view, but replay is often annoying in practice and remains controversial among some so it’s not like Gossage is on some far end of the bell curve in ripping it. Indeed, with respect to at least some of its applications I imagine Gossage and I are in pretty close agreement on the matter.

As for the other comments: what, exactly, about Cam Newton doesn’t Gossage like and how, exactly, are we supposed to “keep it in check?” From where I’m sitting Newton is an exciting, athletic and entertaining player who led his team to the Super Bowl and who provided a lot of enjoyment for a great many fans, possibly even some who might not have been paying attention to the game otherwise. This is a bad thing? This is something that must be policed?

Of course Gossage is likely referring to the Unwritten Rules aspects of Newton’s demeanor and deportment, believing that he is the football equivalent of all of those bat flips he hates. That’s a conversation NFL fans had to endure a few months ago and, to the extent it bleeds into baseball, we’ve had it many times here as well. No one is going to change many minds about it by having it again, I don’t suspect.

But there is one interesting aspect to this latest foray into this territory. Last night, after the Post article was published, its author, Kevin Kernan, and another veteran baseball scribe, Tracy Ringolsby, took to Twitter after people began ripping Gossage. What they had to say was quite telling:

This is pretty familiar stuff to anyone who spends any time talking about politics: the phony claim that, just because someone’s views are being criticized, their free speech rights are somehow being trampled. As this perfectly succinct comic on the matter reminds us, this is not the case. Contrary to these reporters’ beliefs, one’s First Amendment rights do not entitle the speaker to unquestioned nodding and agreement or, short of that, silence. They do, however, entitle people like me to say things like “Goose Gossage is an out-of-touch guy raging against the dying of what passed for light 40 years ago and he looks silly for doing so.”

Indeed, the “safe places” reference is actually ironic in the extreme. Kernan and Ringolsby are talking big and tough about free speech but they clearly would love a safe pace for Gossage where his critics cannot offer any dissent.

In addition to misunderstanding how the First Amendment works, those tweets are pretty telling. Their view that criticism of Gossage’s comments are tyranny and the complete and utter lack of pushback on Gossage’s views anyplace in Kernan’s article (was there a followup question about how one might put Cam Newton “in check?” Inquiring minds want to know!) make it pretty clear that they agree with him wholeheartedly when it comes to baseball going to hell, bat flips being the work of the devil and Cam Newton being some punk who needs to be “kept in check.”

Which is fine. Again: they have the complete and utter freedom to believe and say anything they want about the sports they cover. But it also tells us exactly where their sentiments lie. It suggests that they harbor no small amount of contempt for the games and athletes they cover and allows us to grant their views and reporting very little weight accordingly.

Rutschman has five hits in opener, Orioles outlast Red Sox 10-9

Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

BOSTON – The last time Adley Rutschman recalls feeling this level of emotion on a baseball field was playing in front of intimate, 5,000-seat crowds in college at Oregon State.

He trumped that experience at Fenway Park on Thursday in his first career opening day start.

“This blows that out of the water,” Rutschman said.

Rutschman became the first catcher in major league history with five hits in an opener, and the Baltimore Orioles survived a wild ninth inning to beat the Boston Red Sox 10-9.

“To have that close game in the ninth inning and the crowd get so loud. You kind of sit there and say, ‘This is pretty cool,’” said Rutschman, the top overall pick in the 2019 draft.

Rutschman – who debuted for the Orioles last May and quickly became indispensable to the young, resurgent club – homered in his first at-bat and finished 5-for-5 with a career-best four RBIs and a walk on a chilly day at Fenway Park, with a temperature of 38 degrees at first pitch.

Ramon Urias hit a two-run homer for Baltimore, which finished with 15 hits, nine walks and five stolen bases.

Kyle Gibson (1-0) allowed four runs and six hits over five-plus innings to earn his first opening-day victory since his 2021 All-Star season with Texas. Gibson gave up an RBI groundout in the first inning before retiring nine straight Red Sox hitters.

The Orioles nearly gave the game away in the ninth.

With Baltimore leading 10-7, closer Félix Bautista walked pinch-hitter Raimel Tapia. Alex Verdugo followed with a single and advanced to second on an error by center fielder Cedric Mullins.

Rafael Devers struck out. Justin Turner then reached on an infield single to third when Urias’ throw was wide, scoring Tapia. Masataka Yoshida grounded to shortstop Jorge Mateo, who stepped on second for the force but threw wildly to first, allowing Verdugo to score.

Bautista struck out Adam Duvall on three pitches to end it and earn the save.

The Orioles scored four runs in the fourth and three in the fifth to take an 8-2 lead. Baltimore led 10-4 before Bryan Baker allowed three runs in the eighth to give the Red Sox some hope.

The eighth could have been even better for the Red Sox had Devers, who led off the inning, not become the first player in major league history to strike out on a pitch clock violation. Devers was looking down and kicking debris off his cleats when umpire Lance Barksdale signaled a violation that resulted in strike three.

“There’s no excuse,” said Alex Cora, who dropped to 0-5 in opening-day games as Boston’s manager. “They know the rules.”

Boston offseason addition and two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber (0-1) struggled in his Fenway debut, surrendering five runs on six hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings.

“Less than ideal,” Kluber said. “Didn’t turn out the way I would have hoped for.”


Red Sox: Christian Arroyo stayed in the game after taking an inadvertent cleat to the side of his head in the second inning. Arroyo was applying a tag to Rutschman at second base as he attempted to stretch out a single. Rutschman’s leg flipped over as he slid awkwardly. … LHP James Paxton was placed on the 15-day inured list (retroactive to March 27) with a strained right hamstring.


Rutschman, one of six Baltimore players making his first opening-day appearance, became the youngest Oriole to homer in his first opening-day at-bat since Cal Ripken Jr. in 1984.


The Orioles took advantage of MLB’s bigger bases – going from 15- to 18-inch squares – that are being used for the first time this season. Baltimore hadn’t stolen five bases in a game since last June 24 against the White Sox. Mullins and Jorge Mateo swiped two bags apiece, and Adam Frazier got a huge jump on his steal against reliever Ryan Brasier. There was nothing Boston catcher Reese McGuire could do to stop them and on the majority of Baltimore’s steals, he didn’t bother to throw.


Right-hander Kaleb Ort and Tapia earned Boston’s final two roster spots to open the season. Tapia got the nod over Jarren Duran, who was sent down to Triple-A Worcester. Ort pitched a scoreless sixth with one strikeout Thursday.


Orioles: RHP Dean Kremer will make is sixth career start against Boston when the three-game series resumes on Saturday. In 11 road starts last season, he went 5-3 with a 3.63 ERA.

Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale, who has pitched in only 11 games over the past three years due to injuries, is set to begin his seventh season in Boston.