Baseball has changed quite a bit since former reliever Goose Gossage played. Since then, sabermetrics has changed the way players are valued, and there's a greater focus on keeping pitchers healthy.
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On top of that, headhunting has mostly been eliminated from the game. Players are occasionally allowed to show emotion on the field, sometimes in the form of a bat flip, without the fear of taking a 99 mph fastball to the skull.
"Bautista is a f---ing disgrace to the game," Gossage told ESPN. "He's embarrassing to all the Latin players, whoever played before him. Throwing his bat and acting like a fool, like all those guys in Toronto. [Yoenis] Cespedes, same thing."
When asked about that comment, Bautista said Gossage is "a great ambassador for the game." While he disagreed with what Gossage said, he added that he was not going to get into a war of words with the former pitcher.
Gossage, however, wasn't done. After chastising Bautista, he moved on to a new subject: Nerds in baseball. If you thought Gossage was passionate about bat flips ruining the game, you ain't seen nothing yet.
"It is a joke," Gossage said. "The game is becoming a freaking joke because of the nerds who are running it.
"I'll tell you what has happened, these guys played Rotisserie baseball at Harvard or wherever the f--- they went and they thought they figured the f---ing game out. They don't know s---.
"A bunch of f---ing nerds running the game. You can't slide into second base. You can't take out the f---ing catcher because [Buster] Posey was in the wrong position and they are going to change all the rules. You can't pitch inside anymore. I'd like to knock some of these f---ers on their ass and see how they would do against pitchers in the old days."
That's what you call not holding back!
And yet, he still wasn't done going after nerds and talking about the lack of toughness in today's game. Gossage also went on a rant about how pitchers are being handled now.
"They have been created from the top, from their computers," Gossage said. "They are protecting these kids. The first thing a pitcher does when he comes off the mound is asked, 'How many pitches do I have?' If I had asked that f---ing question, they would have said, 'Son, get your ass out there on that mound. If you get tire, we'll come and get you.'"
It's probably not a surprise that a 64-year-old former player isn't a fan of how things are done today, but it's surprising to see Gossage go all-in like this.
The game has certainly changed, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Changing the rules to ensure players don't get hurt as often is a good thing. The game is more enjoyable when Buster Posey is mashing home runs, and when Jose Bautista can celebrate an accomplishment without having to worry about going to the hospital with a broken jaw.
[Related: Bryce Harper believes baseball should embrace celebrations]
As far as nerds ruining the game ... well, it's pretty clear that sabermetrics are accepted by every club. People can debate how useful advanced stats are within the game, but every team has utilized some version of those numbers at this point. That part of Gossage's rant reminds us of something ...
The above image sums everything up. The game has changed. Things aren't handled the same way they were in Gossage's day. While he's free to express his opinion, however profane, people are going to brush it aside.
The whole thing makes Gossage look like an out-of-touch vet yelling at young people today. And even if people agree with Gossage, that's just not the way the game is heading. Bryce Harper expressed as much early Thursday, saying the game could use more celebration.
Whether he likes it or not, Gossage's comments represent a game that no longer exists. Players like Bautista, Cespedes and Harper are the future, and lame rants about nerds or toughness isn't going to change that.
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