Goose Gossage doubles down on embarrassing tirade

Hall of Famer Rich "Goose" Gossage and NL MVP Bryce Harper provided the baseball world with a perfect little juxtaposition on Thursday, and now it's continued into Friday as Gossage doubled down. 

First up, on Thursday we had Bryce Harper saying baseball is a "tired" sport. Without context, it sounds like he doesn't love the sport or is calling it boring. Quite the contrary, he's railing against these curmudgeons that go crazy every time a player shows emotion on the field these days -- even going as far as to praise Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez for having fun out there and not taking things the wrong way when he gives up homers.

And then we had Goose Gossage screaming at clouds, confirming what Harper was saying.

Jose Bautista is an effin' disgrace, players can't plow the catcher unnecessarily any longer because Buster Posey set up incorrectly once, the sport sucks because front offices are comprised of nerds now, players aren't allowed to slide into second base and more. He essentially ran the gauntlet of idiocy.

After hearing of Harper's comments, Gossage let loose again on Friday (transcription via washingtonpost.com -- from ESPN Radio Chicago):

“What does this kid know? This kid doesn’t know squat about the game, and [has] no respect for it,” Gossage said with audible disgust. “Here he is making millions of frickin’ dollars; that’s great. I’m happy for all the players and all the money that they’re making, because it’s hard-earned by all the players that came before these guys. Ninety percent of these guys never went through a strike, a work stoppage. They don’t know the blood sweat and tears that has been spent on what these guys are making. All we wanted was a  piece of the pie. Marvin Miller did that, Curt Flood, from on up. My career started out on the first strike in 1972, and it ended in the last one in 1994, when we lost a World Series, which should have never happened, but it did. … We fought for everything these players are getting. So let me tell Bryce Harper something: go look at the history, figure it out and quit acting like a fool.”

Man, there's so much to unpack between the Thursday comments and these above. I'm definitely not angry at Gossage, but I'd just like to shoot down his arguments from the past two days because they make very little sense in totality.

First off, MLB turned a profit of over $9 billion last season. Would Gossage rather the owners -- who he probably believes are nerds, right? -- pocket it? Sorry, baseball never made the money it makes these days "back in the day." If you're going to talk about the fights made by Flood and Miller, shouldn't the money these players make be a badge of honor? Here I thought the whole point of fighting to make something better was so that ensuing generations had it better than you. Do parents fight for a better life for their children and then scream at them for making more money?

It isn't just that, of course. Attendance wasn't close back then to what it is now, TV money wasn't even a thing and the number of revenue streams these days dwarfs those days. The players deserve more than ever right now based simply on the bottom line.

I realize Goose said he was "happy" about the players making this money, but he brought it up on his own and the way he phrased everything paints a different picture. You don't just bring up "millions of frickin' dollars" if you are overjoyed about how much Harper makes. It's pretty obvious this is a sore spot and Gossage believes it's breeding an entitled generation of players.

Times change. Deal with it. I'm sorry you didn't make what you could have in this day and age, Goose, but life ain't fair and jealousy is a bad look.

Also, did Goose actually suggest that because the players haven't gone on strike since 1994 that this is a bad thing? Seriously? Maybe think through an argument before just throwing things out there. Implying that players not going on strike -- which directly harms the fans -- is anything other than outstanding is laughable.

How about this aspect? I'd love to hear Goose try to intellectually explain -- that is, drop the machismo/tough-guy vernacular -- why it's OK to try and hurt someone with a pitch, at home plate or at second base but it's not OK to hurt someone's feelings by showing some level of emotion after hitting an obvious home run in a big spot? I thought you were supposed to be tough, Goose? Try on some mental toughness and quit freaking out over something that harms no one.

I will never, ever understand how these guys who act like they are so tough get so caught up in how an opposing player acts. That's the height of being a mentally-weak cry-baby.

We could talk about how players have been "pimping" home runs since before Gossage was born or that pitchers routinely come inside with purpose pitches (Noah Syndergaard in the World Series, for example), but that destroys this excellent Straw Man that he's building up here.

What's more, Gossage talked about how awful he finds it that managers don't go nuts and kick dirt all over the umpires any more.

So let's get this straight: It's disgraceful to flip a bat after a home run because it's poor sportsmanship, but Gossage actually said that "they've taken the human element out of the game" regarding managers kicking dirt all over umpires. Isn't being excited about a home run human? And how is managers kicking dirt on an umpire not poor sportsmanship?

There's a lot more (listen to the ESPN Chicago clip if you dare), but here's what it boils down to: Gossage is a former player who thinks everything in his era was the best. He can't explain why -- at least not very well -- but he'll apparently die trying, even if he makes contradictory arguments. He's just all over the map here with very little consistency other than that 1) Everything from his era was perfect and 2) Stuff from this era that is different sucks.

Gossage is, of course, the man who respected the game and his teammates so much that he once suffered a torn ligament in his right thumb during a fight with a teammate that included "a lot of punches," according to Reggie Jackson. It meant that he didn't pitch in 1979 between April 18 and July 12 for the defending World Series champions who would regress by 11 wins.

This doesn't really matter much in the grand scheme of things. The main point should be that people like Gossage -- and he's far from alone -- who really hate what Major League Baseball is putting out these days should just stop watching. He said Thursday that he wants to break his TV every time he sees a postgame "pie in the face" routine. No need for that, Goose. Turn it off for good. No one is making you watch. You hate it, go away. It's pretty simple. Most of us avoid things that make us angry on TV.

It shouldn't have to be said, but I'll say it because I know it's coming:

- Yes, Gossage had an illustrious career and I never even sniffed the bigs.

- Yes, Gossage knows a hell of a lot more about being a Major League Baseball player than I do; specifically how to be a great pitcher.

I would never say otherwise.

This does not, however, mean Gossage gets immunity from being called out for ignorant statements for the rest of his life concerning baseball. Being great at throwing a ball until he's around age 42 doesn't mean he's a beautiful mind. The more he talks, the more he proves as much. At least in regards to baseball.

In all, though, this line of thinking should be met less with anger and more with either sorrow or laughter. In fact, let's all make a vow moving forward to just ignore him.

Goose Gossage, the Hall of Famer who has opinions about today's game.
Goose Gossage, the Hall of Famer who has opinions about today's game. (USATSI)
CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered the last five World Series beginning with the epic 2011 Fall Classic. The former Indiana University... Full Bio

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