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.