Lighten Up Goose, Let The Game Be

Baseball is fine, the old guard needs to relax

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: Former New York Yankee Rich 'Goose' Gossage unviels a plaque that will be placed in Monument Park prior to a game between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on June 22, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Photo: NY Daily News

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?

He included Yoenis Cespedes and Bryce Harper in his rant about the younger generation currently playing and called the people running the game “******* nerds” for using numbers to evaluate talent and change rules to allow better play.
Why is this guy so wound up and angry at the game that allowed him to make a living for 22 seasons? Because pitchers today have pitch counts and runners can’t plow over fielders at home plate or a second base and guys celebrate too much for his liking?


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.

Be quiet Goose, let the game grow with the generation who plays the video games, buys the billions of dollars of hats, jerseys and memorabilia and if a few dozen players flip a bat or fist bump the air after a strike out, SO WHAT. I’m as old school when it comes to baseball as the next fan, but in order for the game of baseball to gain back the popularity it once had, let it be. The game is losing participation of kids aged 6-12 these days to other sports. So if it means to have to put up with some players celebrating the moment once in a while, deal with it Goose, or stop watching, because you’ll be tuned out soon and become a meme or a Vine (those are modern day vehicles that the Internet generation uses to make a point, in case you were wondering Goose.)


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.) 

Heck, what does Gossage think about fellow Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith and his backflips? Was that too much showmanship for him to watch? The fans loved it and that’s why Ozzie did it. 

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? 

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