“They’re taking the beauty out of the game.”
Rich “Goose” Gossage, the former Yankees reliever, who later helped the San Diego Padres reach the World Series back in 1984, is reflecting on the game that defined him and which he had a hand in changing.
He’s not wrong. The player known for his handlebar mustache, harsh tongue, and blazing fastball told The Tampa Bay Times that the moneyball guys – the statisticians, numbers guys, and computer geeks – have ruined the heart of the game. The heart – and art of it – are being lost to a loveless computer:
Go ahead boys, take all the credit — fire up your computer, put in all the information and see what it comes up with. [Yankees GM Brian] Cashman has 20 of them [guys] running around. He stops and 20 of them bump into each other.”
We’ve heard these laments before, of course, but as the Yankees and Red Sox retired veterans get ready for a spring training reunion in Clearwater, Fla., on Monday, Gossage’s words ring true.
On Monday he’ll be joined by some of the greats of the game and they’ll probably tell Gossage (sotto voce, of course) that he’s right:
Gossage will be joined Monday by fellow Hall of Famer Wade Boggs (who played for both teams), plus [Bucky] Dent, Mickey Rivers, Luis Tiant, Bernie Carbo and the odd couple pairing of Bill Lee and Graig Nettles, who fought famously in 1976 after Lou Piniella sparked a brawl by crashing into Carlton Fisk. “We may see (Lee and Nettles) go at it,’’ Gossage said. “That would be exciting.’’
You often hear teachers lament that the art and heart of the job are removed by having to teach to the test.
Gossage sees the statistical box-checking in baseball as something he’s seen in identity politics. “These (stat-driven) workouts are all eyewash. It’s a bunch of bulls—. It’s like the Democrats are running baseball,” he said.
And, of course, the woke ones on social media were quick to get all butthurt that they were Goosed.
Who didn’t see this coming? Oh, wait. No one.
MLB great rants: It's like the Dems are running baseball https://t.co/adLi4aVYLx
Use to be a big fan of the Goose, had no idea he was so IGNORANT. What a shame!!!!! I think he should be banned from baseball for these comments.
— Stephen Wood (@Stevearino55) March 6, 2020
Yes, Goose Gossage did say “It’s like the Democrats are running baseball.’’
Also that the #Yankees have a computer crew, today’s game is unwatchable, Yount + Molitor stole signs, more. All warming up for Monday #RedSox–#Yankees rivalry event in Clearwater https://t.co/oed5qHZszQ
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 6, 2020
You may not think that your life intersects with baseball but you’re wrong. See? Goose Gossage just showed you how.