Tampa, Florida – One day later, Hall of Famer Goose Gossage did not regret his criticism of Toronto star Jose Bautista and New York Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes for their home-run celebrations during last year’s playoffs.
Girardi met Friday with New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi.
“I was passed the torch, a certain way to act,” said Gossage, a Yankees spring training guest instructor. “Flipping the bat is not part of it. All the things that I said, Bautista just came into mind. I was asked a question and got it off my chest. Hopefully, they think about it.
“Nobody else is going to tell them not to do it. None of their teammates. Act like (Derek) Jeter, act like Mo (Mariano Rivera). Act like a professional. That’s all.”
Gossage called Bautista a “disgrace to the game” during an interview with ESPN on Thursday.
“He’s embarrassing to all the Latin players, whoever played before him,” Gossage said. “Throwing his bat and acting like a fool, like all those guys in Toronto. Cespedes, same thing.”
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 AL Division Series against Texas.
After his outing Friday against Boston, Toronto pitcher Marcus Stroman wore a blue “JOEY FLIPPIN’ BATS” T-shirt that included a caricature of Bautista’s bat flip. Stroman views Bautista as a role model, adding: “you just have to adapt to the times.”
“Everyone is not the same. Everyone is not cookie-cutter,” Stroman said. “People go about their business differently. Some guys are emotional, some guys aren’t. But it’s not a bad thing if guys are emotional. We put in a ton of work, so we are allowed to show emotion out there on the field, and I’ll back that every single day.”
Cespedes added his own highlight bat flip after a home run during Game 3 of the NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“I just kind of lost my mind there for a minute,” Gossage said. “You’re talking to an old-school guy, man. And there are things I have a hard time with.”
Gossage also said in Thursday’s interview that baseball is becoming a joke because of the nerds running it.
“They expressed where they were coming from with the analytics,” Gossage said. “I understood some things where they were coming from, and it was a good meeting.”
Girardi said Gossage is very passionate and loves the game.
“We just tried to point out some things that we do, and how the game has changed,” Girardi said. “It’s just the evolution of sports.”
When it comes to bat flips, Girardi maintained they are part of the game.
“It’s been going on for a while,” he said. “It’s not something that I would encourage for anyone to do. It’s not something that I ever did. I think emotion is good in the game, as long as you’re not intentionally showing someone up.”