Goose Gossage doesn't regret comments; Jose Bautista confused by them

ByAndrew Marchand ESPN logo
Saturday, March 12, 2016

TAMPA, Fla. -- After being summoned to meet New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi on Friday, Hall of Fame reliever Goose Gossage expressed no regrets over the ESPN interview in which he criticized theToronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista, theNew York Mets' Yoenis Cespedes and the "nerds"he says are ruining baseball.

"Everything is good," Gossage told reporters Friday. "I lost my mind for a minute. You are talking to an old-school guy. There are things I have a hard time with. The game taught me a long time ago, control what you can control. This is what it is and I said what I said.''

Gossage participated in camp as a guest instructor Friday. He said he understood where the Yankees' brass was coming from, but didn't wish to take back any of his words, some of which he repeated on radio shows in New York and Chicago.

"I said what I said," Gossage said. "I was passed the torch about a certain way to act. Flipping the bat isn't part of that. All the things I said about Bautista just came to my mind and I got it off my chest.''

Bautista, for one, didn't understand where Gossage was coming from.

"I just found them to be unnecessary," he told ESPN's Marly Rivera. "I have tried to analyze it, in every way that my creativity allows me to, and I find no scenario where he would have something positive to gain from it ... but he must have his reasons. Many people feel bad or offended or humiliated by such comments, but playing baseball is a great learning experience and one of the many things I have learned is to leave by the wayside unnecessary comments and things that make no sense, therefore it is easy for me not to engage in any conflict in this case.

"A lot of baseball players nowadays are a little more connected with their emotions, and that is our style: We understand and respect that once upon a time it was different, but we live in the now."

Girardi, meanwhile, said the talk with Gossage was cordial, as the Yankees tried to point out how the game has changed.

"Brian brought up the point that at one point they never wore helmets, then there were no flaps [on the helmets] and then there were flaps," Girardi said. "It is just the evolution of sports."

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