TAMPA, Fla. — Goose Gossage’s strong opinions about baseball, expressed first in at-times colorful language in an interview with ESPN.com on Thursday and elsewhere later, created a bit of a stir.
Including within the Yankees’ organization.
The Hall of Fame closer, who among other things called Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista an “[expletive] disgrace” to baseball because of the way he (and some other hitters) celebrates home runs, was brought in for a sit-down with general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi.
“Everything’s good,” Gossage told a handful of reporters Friday. “I just kind of lost my mind there for a minute. Hey, you’re talking to an old-school guy, man. And there are things that I have a hard time with.”
In the ESPN interview, Gossage also invoked the name of Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
“He’s embarrassing to all the Latin players, whoever played before him,” Gossage said of Bautista. “Throwing his bat and acting like a fool, like all those guys in Toronto. Cespedes, same thing.”
Gossage also lashed out at MLB for the new slide rule put into place to protect middle infielders and the continuing use of sabermetrics in baseball.
“It is a joke,” he said. “The game is becoming a freaking joke because of the nerds who are running it.”
The Yankees, like most teams in baseball, have a large analytics department.
“They told me where they were coming from and they knew where I was coming from,” Gossage said of his meeting with Cashman and Girardi. “I understood some things where they were coming from. It was a good meeting. All is well.”
Said Girardi: “I’ve known Goose a long time. He’s very passionate about the game and loves the game. We just tried to point out some things we do and how the game has changed. Analytics have been in the game a long time; there’s just more mention of it now because every team does it . . . It’s just the evolution of sports, you try to be smarter, you try to keep your players on the field, and that’s why the game has changed somewhat. And why it will continue to change.”