By: Vinny Varvaro
Rich Gossage has to just shut up about the “joke” of the current generation of Major League Baseball players.
The Goose calls Jose Bautista a “******* disgrace to the game” and is “embarrassing all the Latin ball players.” Why, because he flipped his bat for the biggest homer of his career, a career where Bautista has hit a kazillion (actually 286) homers and lots and lots (229) in the last six seasons?
Why is it acceptable for Cam Newton to celebrate and have those who support his dabbing and endzone celebrations just say “well keep him out of the endzone and you won’t have to see it”? Doesn’t the same train of thought apply here? Don’t allow the homer in the first place and vice versa for the batters. Don’t strikeout or ground out weakly to second and get all crazy when the pitcher walks off the mound all pumped up.
I’ve been watching the game for the better part of 40 years and have seen some colorful players, so let me introduce Gossage to some players he might know.
Reggie Jackson, Al Hrobosky, George Hendrick, Willie Montanez, Joaquin Andujar and Tug McGraw.
These are just a few players who famously played during the course of Gossage’s career with flair and celebrated at home plate (Jackson), on the mound (Hrobosky, McGraw and Andujar) or even rounding the bases after a home run (Montanez and Hendrick.)
Let’s be honest for a second. Baseball can be boring. I have loved the game forever, but with attendance rising and more and more teams creating their own TV networks, etc. Gossage must be able to do the simple math as to why this is, or maybe he can’t use that type of calculator.
Baseball’s perceived problems are not always solved with throwing at a batter or plowing over a fielder anymore, but Gossage is living in the past and apparently cannot find the time machine that some of the above players from his generation began to build that produced the exciting sports-highlight package era players that are now carrying the torch of the game today.
Until I hear Hank Aaron vigorously bemoan Gossage’s thoughts, I will consider Goose’s rant as a passing hot breeze and I will await Jose Bautista tossing his bat into the on deck circle after a 450 foot homer and Bryce Harper walk down the first base line when he hits one towards the Washington Monument and I’ll enjoy it.
The game is in good hands and Gossage and his ilk need to lighten up and enjoy the game as is, because you know those with his sir name aged 6-12 are probably playing soccer with all the others that have left the game for other sports that don’t celebrate. Oh wait, has Goose ever seen a soccer (or futbol) game? Because there’s no world class players who act unGoose-like after a goal. Oh yes there is and look how popular soccer is world wide and not to mention the generation that plays those FIFA World Cup video games. That sport benefits from emotional play and baseball is slowly getting there and so what.
Pardon the Gossage-type rant, but he brings out the emotion in me with his curmudgeonly comments. I guess I better look for the high and tight heater in my next at bat, huh Goose?