Richard “Goose” Gossage emerged from his fetid nest this week sounding like the deranged homeless man I once saw cursing in vain at the rising sun from a lonely lakeshore. Goose made headlines with an expletive-laden diatribe railing against everything he hates about baseball these days — namely certain Latinos and generally “nerds” (a.k.a. everyone born after 1970).
The Goose was angry at Jose Bautista that day, my friends — like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli:
“Bautista is a fucking disgrace to the game,” Gossage told ESPN’s Andrew Marchand as spittle sprayed from under his trademark molester mustache. “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.”
His half-sentient shotgun approach to blasting anything and everything he doesn’t understand then took aim at fantasy baseball for reasons known only to his fossilized mind.
“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 fuck they went and they thought they figured the fucking game out. They don’t know shit.”
His thinly-veiled racist and ignorant comments highlighted the widening cultural and generational gap between the withering old-school baseball vanguard and reality. Whether Gossage and other curmudgeons like him choose to accept it or not, it’s an immutable fact that the game — like everything else in life — is changing.
But it’s not the first time the Goose stuck his foot in his beak and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Here’s a look back at another time Gossage’s arrogance blew up in his face: