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Goose Gossage rips Brian Cashman after not being invited to spring training

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For the past couple of years Hall of Famer Goose Gossage has been invited to be a guest instructor at Yankees spring training. For those past couple of years, the highlight of Gossage’s time as a guest instructor has come when some reporter asked Gossage to talk about the old days vs. the modern game, knowing dang well that Gossage is an opinionated old-timer who will not hesitate to rip modern players.

The results: news cycles dominated by Gossage ripping Mariano Rivera, Aroldis Chapman, Jose Bautista, Cam Newton and just about any other athlete who didn’t make his bones back in the 1970s when Gossage did. It’s become super predictable and, as I argued last year, at some point ceased to be Gossage’s fault and fell more at the feet of reporters who are looking for easy headlines.

The Yankees did something pretty smart this year: they didn’t invite Gossage to be a spring training instructor. I suspect that was because the media controversies he creates and/or falls victim to are not worth the hassle. Not surprisingly, someone asked Gossage about not being invited to spring training and, not surprisingly, Gossage had some opinions on the matter. From NJ.com:

“I don’t like Cashman . . . That’s all. It’s not a secret . . . If he had any balls, he’d do what he wants to do . . . He doesn’t think he needs any baseball people around. Maybe he’s right. The way the game is being run today, maybe you don’t . . . The game is so different today. Like I said, real baseball guys for years made a career out of baseball. You’re not a coach anymore. You have to be their best friend.”

Given that Cashman just hired a third-generation major leaguer in Aaron Boone to be the Yankees manager, I think he still has a use for “baseball guys.” I just think he doesn’t have a use for Goose Gossage. Which is kind of understandable.

I understand calling Gossage for a comment about him not being invited to spring training this year because that’s at least minor news and the guy should be allowed to say his piece on the matter. I would hope, though, that this is the last time reporters call on Gossage absent any news that relates specifically to him. Because the whole “hey Goose, why don’t you rant about the younger generation” stuff is tired and played out at this point. And isn’t even fair to Goose Gossage.

The harrowing tale of the end of Bobby Jenks’ baseball career

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Bobby Jenks was a key part of the 2005 world champion White Sox. By 2010, his effectiveness as a closer fell off and he signed with the Boston Red Sox for the 2011 season. He’d pitch in only 19 games that year, suffer a back injury and would never pitch again.

In the year or so after that, we heard that Jenks was arrested for driving under the influence. And then we heard that his back surgery was botched, and his baseball career was over. Then, after years of silence, we learned last spring that Jenks won $5.1 million in a medical malpractice suit against the doctor who performed his surgery.

We did not, however, know all the details until Bobby Jenks wrote about them at the Players’ Tribune this morning. This is must-click link stuff, folks.

Jenks talks about how a seemingly innocuous pitch to Jorge Posada in an early-season Red Sox-Yankees game in 2011 was the last pitch he’d ever throw. He talks about the presumably simple surgery that would supposedly get him back on the field. And then the scary complications in which he almost died due to leaking spinal fluid resulting from the botched surgery. Then, after using painkillers to deal with back pain, Jenks’ fell into drug addiction, all of which culminated in him finding himself half-naked and crazed in a car that didn’t belong to him with police and rescue workers surrounding him.

Jenks got clean but his wife left him. And then he mounted a multi-year lawsuit during which he learned that the reason his back surgery was screwed up was because the surgeon was performing two surgeries at one time, which is an apparently common practice called “concurrent surgery,” that sounds like it totally should NOT be a common practice.

Yet Jenks has survived. He’s been sober for over seven years and he seems to be in a good place. But boy did he have to go through something harrowing to get there. Definitely take the time to read it.