TAMPA, Fla. — His Goose is cooked.
And as far as the Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman are concerned, maybe that will be permanent.
Rich Gossage, who in his role as a spring training guest instructor has caused a stir in recent years with his strongly worded opinions — many of them pointed criticisms of analytics and how in his view they’re “ruining the game” — found himself on the uninvited list to spring training this season.
Despite acknowledging that he had become “a distraction” with some of his past comments, the 66-year-old Hall of Famer was more than happy to unload on Cashman to several news outlets Monday, including Newsday.
“Brian Cashman is an embarrassment to the Yankees as far as I’m concerned,” Gossage said by phone from his Colorado home. “He’d have been fired 10 years ago if The Boss was still alive. He wouldn’t be pulling the [expletive] that he pulls . . . He’s got the Steinbrenners fooled.”
Gossage, as he has multiple times, set his sights on baseball’s increased use of analytics. The Yankees have one of the largest such departments in the game.
“That’s all Cashman’s about, numbers,” Gossage said. “He’s got eight nerds following him around. Every time he stops, they bump into each other . . . Cashman would have a nerd in the dugout managing if he had any [guts]. He doesn’t think there’s any professional expertise that needs to be applied . . . George [Steinbrenner] had tremendous respect for baseball people. He surrounded himself with great baseball people. Cashman doesn’t do that. Cashman surrounds himself with a bunch of [expletive] computer guys.”
The expletive-laden shots at Cashman — and there were plenty more — on the eve of new manager Aaron Boone’s spring training kickoff news conference caused exactly the kind of disruption the Yankees likely were trying to avoid by keeping Gossage away.
The Yankees declined to comment on Gossage’s remarks, and Cashman did not return a text regarding them.
The YES Network was the first to report that Gossage was not invited. Ron Guidry, Alfonso Soriano, Tino Martinez, Willie Randolph, Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira are among those set to serve as guest instructors.
Gossage, a guest instructor for more than 20 years, has created headlines at spring training dating to at least 2013. On the day Mariano Rivera announced his intent to retire at season’s end, Gossage said it isn’t “fair” to compare what he did as a reliever to Rivera’s resume.
“I think that these guys are so dominant in that one-inning role that they’ve forgotten what we used to do,” Gossage said, referencing the multiple innings he routinely pitched. “It takes three guys to do what we used to do.”
His criticisms of how current relievers are used took a backseat to his explosive comments in ensuing years. In 2016, in an interview with ESPN, Gossage targeted bat-flippers such as Toronto’s Jose Bautista, whom he called “a [expletive] disgrace to the game,” and the growing field of analytics.
“The game is becoming a freaking joke because of the nerds who are running it,” he said in the ESPN interview.
He reiterated many of those statements in spring training last year in another published interview, which earned a sit-down with Cashman and then-manager Joe Girardi.
“Cashman told me the game’s passed me by,” Gossage said Monday. “I said, ‘No, the game hasn’t passed me by, your [expletive] has passed me by.’ ”
Gossage said he has no regrets about any of his comments but did say he’ll miss wearing the Yankees uniform in spring training, calling it “an honor and a privilege.”
“I have nothing but love for the Yankees, Yankees fans and the people in the organization. They have a lot of great people,” he said. “I’m not bitter at anything, not at all. I want to make that perfectly clear. I’m not bitter about this at all.”