Everywhere is a battlefield in the culture wars, it seems, but by definition you’re on the right side of history if you’re not part of the generation that’s going to die first. Goose Gossage isn’t going to go down without a fight though—he’s back at it with his critiques of 21st century baseball, and its cardinal sins of “getting calls right” and “players being happy.”
Last week Gossage ripped into bat-flipping and nerds, and did so so vehemently that he was called in to the principal’s office for a chat with Yankees manager Joe Girardi and GM Brian Cashman. Even Brian McCann, the Grand High Priest of baseball’s unwritten rules, advised complainers to “get with the times.” That did not dampen Gossage’s ire toward the things he sees wrong with the game, nor discourage him from speaking out about them. Thankfully for baseball writers.
In today’s edition of “stick a recorder in Gossage’s face and ask him about the youngs,” the New York Post got his thoughts on replay review. Gossage doesn’t like it.
“No manager can run on the field anymore and kick dirt on the umpire. That was exciting. That was part of the game. That woke everybody up and everybody loved it.”
Just so we’re clear, managers hollering at and kicking dirt on umpires: exciting. (Latin American) players showing joy when they do good things: disrespectful.
“Now you sit there for five minutes and wait for a fucking replay. And half the time, you can’t even tell.
“Who’s died in the last 100 years because of a bad call? They say, ‘Well, they lost a World Series and the kid lost his perfect game.’ I said, ‘Who died?’ Leave the human element in the game. You cannot take the human element out of baseball because it is the fabric of the game.”
The Post then asked the Hall-of-Fame reliever to opine on kids today, with their bat-flipping and victory-celebrating and smiling and all that junk.
“It’s a shame, it breaks my heart to see the direction this game is going. What, do we want a bunch of Cam Newtons running around?
“So, if no one keeps it in check, which there is no one keeping it in check, first of all, no one wants to bite the hand that fed them or the hand that feeds them today. The only liaison we had was Joe Torre. It’s like Washington DC. Everybody starts out with good intentions. You can’t beat them, join ‘em.
“Never. I was taught a way to act, and that hasn’t changed in 100 years. And all of a sudden in the last 15 you can do anything you want to do.”
So, whatever. Gossage has his opinions, and he isn’t alone in holding them, and I’m not alone in thinking he’s comically out of touch (it’ll happen to all of us one day!), and this is all fairly amusing. But the real stupidity comes from a couple of baseball reporters, including the author of the Post piece. Via Craig Calcaterra:
I am cranky about a great many things, but imagine getting so indignant about people respectfully disagreeing with a wrong old man.