Jose Bautista ‘a disgrace’ says Yankees legend Gossage
TAMPA, Fla. – Hall of Famer Goose Gossage has had some harsh words for Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista for his now-iconic playoff home run celebration last year.
The former New York Yankee reliever took Bautista to task during a profanity-laced interview in Tampa, Florida on Thursday.
“Bautista is a 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.”
Bautista memorably flipped his bat after hitting a three-run homer that gave the Blue Jays the lead in the seventh inning in Game 5 of the American League Division Series against Texas.
“He’s entitled to his opinion,” Bautista said. “I don’t agree with him whatsoever. I’ve never talked to him. I don’t know him. Whatever reason or agenda he’s on is fine with me. I’m not going to start picking a fight, let alone with a Hall of Famer.”
However, Bautista took a more flippant tone on Twitter.
And, as another Twitter user pointed out, Yankees aren’t above a little bat-flipping themselves, particularly Bronx Bomber Mickey Mantle, who was flipping his bat back when Gossage was a child.
Bautista’s bat flip ignited a strong debate over “showboating” and so-called home-run “pimping” between traditionalists who argue that effusive celebrations disrespect the game, while others cheered the flair and excitement of Bautista’s big moment.
Texas Rangers pitcher Sam Dyson, who gave up the playoff homer, said after the game that Bautista “needs to calm that down, just kind of respect the game a little more.”
Gossage, a guest spring training instructor for the Yankees, made his comments before Toronto’s 11-4 Grapefruit League win over New York on Thursday.
READ MORE: Jose Bautista blasts bat flip critics
Bautista said he had no plans to reach out to Gossage.
“I don’t think it’s my job,” Bautista said. “I’m just going about my work. Showing up here to do my job, and help this team win ballgames.”
Gossage also blasted New York Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes, who added his own highlight bat flip after a home run during the Game 3 of the NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“Like I said before, whenever a pitcher strikes someone out they get to celebrate, too,” Cespedes said through a translator in Port St. Lucie. “They get their moment, revel in it. Why can’t the batters get to enjoy their success too?”
Cespedes added he did not know who Gossage was, but guessed he was a pitcher based on the comments.
Mets manager Terry Collins said Cespedes and Bautista aren’t the only ones who flip their bats.
“The old-timers, that’s something that wasn’t approved of years ago,” Collins said. “Today it’s different.”
With files from The Associated Press
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