— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 28, 2015
I know some of you may wind up hating me for this but before I get to the topic of the day, I have to get this out there first. Jose Bautista’s home run in that fifth and deciding ALDS game against Texas was the SECOND most important home run in Blue Jays history. Obviously number one belongs to Joe Carter for clinching the 1993 World Series. I can’t believe anyone has an argument against this, but I’ve been wrong before and happy to listen to yours if you have one. Right…. I didn’t think so.
But, I will say that Bautista’s legendary and immortalized (literally, on a Topps baseball card) bat flip; will be talked about for decades and that is no surprise. But no one expected to have to defend it when the big moustached Hall of Famer, Goose Gossage, let loose a tirade on Bautista, the bat flip and the Blue Jays in general.
“Bautista is f—ing disgrace to the game,” Gossage told ESPN. “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.”
— theScore (@theScore) March 11, 2016
Eeek! Tell us how you really feel Goose! I understand the sentiment behind his remarks but as an athlete, you should never show up an opposing player. For one, it isn’t professional and two; you run the risk of inspiring them to perform better to beat you. I get it. I really do. I recall feeling a bit embarrassed when I watched it that first time. Funny enough, in time that I became comfortable with it but was now feeling it was more than justified.
A volcano of emotion had been building within the Blue Jay organization and fans for over 22 years. It took a series deciding game and an absolutely crazy 53-minute inning to let emotions rise even further. If you recall, in the top of the seventh, catcher Russell Martin’s throw, back to pitcher Aaron Sanchez, hit Shin-Soo Choo’s bat and unto the field of play. Rougned Odor, who was on third, came in to score on that freakish play that gave Texas the lead, even though home-plate umpire Dale Scott had already ruled the play dead. A video review was needed, followed by maintenance time as fans littered the field with garbage and beer. That 22 year of pent up frustration just increased exponentially.
Then throw in three, count’em three back-to-back-to-back errors by Texas and by this time, everyone was in a fever pitch. It was upon that stage that the deciding home run and bat flip occurred. The bat flip was the tip of the iceberg and therefore unfair to separate it from the mountain of emotion that led up to it. Fans, players and former players, even those in the Hall of Fame shouldn’t ignore that. They should just jump on the Crazy Train and enjoy the ride.
So Mr. Gossage, you have every right to your opinion and someone like me certainly won’t be able to change it, nor would I want to. But please take care in how you state your opinion as the issue isn’t what you said, but how you said it. Keep your “old school” philosophies and your 1960’s moustache (I do love it actually) and understand that when you talk the way you do, in that loud, vulgar larger than life voice, it’s you who starts to become a disgrace.
Pot meet kettle.
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