Goose Ruffles Some Yankee Feathers

February 12, 2018



Players are beginning to gather in Arizona and Florida for the annual ritual of Spring Training.  Of the rights of spring is for retired greats from each team being invited to pass on their knowledge of the game to the next generation of players.  In Peoria, the little lefty Randy Jones passes on the secret of his off-speed pitches, in Scottsdale the Say Hey Kid Willie Mays shares secrets with young hitters.  In Tampa at Yankees training camp, it’s almost a reunion of Cooperstown with the guest instructors they bring in.  Ron Guidry, Reggie Jackson, and Goose Gossage have been mainstays on the side fields at Steinbrenner Field, until this year.  

Goose Gossage was not invited to attend Yankees spring training and he is not happy about it. Gossage is never shy about giving his opinion when asked.  In recent years he made headlines with his thoughts on bat flips, and future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera.

I sat down with Gossage a few years ago and talked about the bat flip issue over dinner at a golf event.  Gossage is always honest and candid.  He is a great storyteller and can keep people hanging on his every word with his engaging personality.  There is something special about the lore of the Yankees and the way they treat their history.  From monument park to the retired numbers to he living legends that you see around the team it’s a big part of their mystic.  There have been rifts in the Yankee’s family over the years with beloved Yankees having a love-hate relationship with the club.  Yogi Berra, Don Zimmer, and Billy Martin come to mind as pinstripers who have been persona non grata in the Bronx for an extended period of time.  Gossage is not one to be trifled with and with his words flying back to Yankee Stadium, we will see if he becomes excommunicated from the club over his feelings expressed towards the Yankees GM or if cooler heads will prevail.