This is supposed to be fun

The baseball offseason has a funny tendency to take a dark turn along the way, and it seems to just intensify until we finally get actual baseball back when April arrives. It increasingly reminds me of Lord of the Flies. You know, we're all a little shaken at first after the World Series ends, but we're in agreement that we're going to handle all of this rationally and create some order for the ensuing months. This unravels rather slowly, but before we even know what we're doing, things have gotten just downright bizarre. I think today's activities in the baseball world captured this pretty well, and for as frustrating as some of it was, it yielded what I think is an important reminder. Really, I had intended before all of this to write a very different post. Something about not wringing your hands over spring training losses and win/loss records, etc. etc. But last March, Will Ferrell probably captured the best response to this in a single sign. Hence the header image you see for this post. And while I do think it's important to go ahead and dismiss final game scores and who is winning and losing games, John addressed this to some extent in a post just a couple of days ago, so I'll leave it at that. After all, fretting over losing spring training games is really just a killjoy. Instead, there's fun to be had in enjoying the fact that baseball has returned, whether the games count or not.

And that's part of the problem here. This is supposed to be fun. It's a game, and one that can entertain and even bring solace sometimes. So when a former player and Hall of Famer shares his thoughts on the modern game like Goose Gossage did today, it's troubling. Troubling because it represents an attitude that I think is ultimately harmful to the game. If you had the good fortune of missing Gossage's remarks yesterday, I have to apologize, but I am going to foist some of it on you. It started with a piece on ESPN in which he referred to Jose Bautista as a "disgrace to the game." Why? Because he flipped his bat during last year's playoffs. You remember:

Gossage went on to complain about the "nerds" who are running baseball now, but that's probably just another subject for another time. The problem with Gossage's remarks is not just the way he's represented himself and his opinions on the sport so poorly, but it's this attitude that there's some expectation of decorum residing over the sport, and that expectation just doesn't allow for flair or self expression. In fact, it's stamped down when it pops up. Even Bryce Harper agrees, as in an interview with ESPN Magazine, he expressed some of his frustration with this problem. The article as a whole is definitely fascinating, but what he said about the lack of expression in the game was most interesting to me:

"Baseball's tired," he says. "It's a tired sport, because you can't express yourself. You can't do what people in other sports do. I'm not saying baseball is, you know, boring or anything like that, but it's the excitement of the young guys who are coming into the game now who have flair. If that's Matt Harvey or Jacob deGrom or Manny Machado or Joc Pederson or Andrew McCutchen or Yasiel Puig -- there's so many guys in the game now who are so much fun.

"Jose Fernandez is a great example. Jose Fernandez will strike you out and stare you down into the dugout and pump his fist. And if you hit a homer and pimp it? He doesn't care. Because you got him. That's part of the game. It's not the old feeling -- hoorah ... if you pimp a homer, I'm going to hit you right in the teeth. No. If a guy pimps a homer for a game-winning shot ... I mean -- sorry."

So of course, I fully disagree with Gossage. Fully. Really, the sad irony in his remarks is that I think his attitude stands to ruin the game if it isn't supplanted with the attitude we see represented in Bautista's bat flip or Harper's comments. Even with all of the excitement surrounding the Cubs during last year's playoffs, Bautista's homerun and bat flip is still my favorite moment of the postseason as I look back on all of it, and I don't think I'm the only one who feels this way. On Cubs Insider, Evan Altman touched on the subject of baseball's need to appeal to a younger generation in a fantastic post, and I was reminded of a special moment of the kind that Harper is describing by a friend on Twitter:

 

It's precisely the kind of thing that reminds us that this is a fun game, and that even the guys who play it for a living haven't lost sight of that, for the most part. I am reminded too of the first time I started watching games in the World Baseball Classic in 2009. I was struck back then by the atmosphere in the games in Japan in particular. By the buzz in the crowd that just did not cease. The unrelenting enthusiasm for the game, no matter what was happening. For the same reason, I make it a point to watch the Carribean Series when it is aired during the first week of February each winter. This might be partially due to the baseball withdrawal symptoms I'm experiencing by that point, but it's also because the atmosphere at those games can often feel more like a carnival or a festival than just a dry old baseball game.

Gossage, sadly, wasn't done there, and doubled down on his remarks when he was asked if he wanted to clarify any of his comments. Basically, he was offered an out, but he didn't take it. He made some strange claims about how the way professional baseball players act affects kids, and even somehow drawing a line from there to the country's political climate. At some point, just decline the interview, Goose. Again, the problem here is that baseball has a future that needs to be allowed to be fun. Yes, just fun. Celebrate, flip bats, pump your fist. Smile. It's a beautiful thing, baseball, and expecting it to be stodgy and rigid and formal kills that. It's been a lively and colorful game since its inception, so if it is going to stay that way, bats are probably going to have to be flipped. Baseball is not boring, Harper is right, and when we stifle the characters who play it, it stops being fun. And this is supposed to be fun.

 

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  • Gooses comments make you think he has dementia or something... an interesting day for people speaking out.. I don't mind a little pimpin when your doing it big.. and your right these games don't matter at all, wait til opening day to really pay attention to records.. they will be golden, now hopefully schwarber injury really isn't bad like my there saying..

  • It's cultural bigotry of a sort. Of an ignorant sort. Silly Goose.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Idk, why can't cultural idols be Tony Perez, Preston Gomez, Frank Robinson, Hammering Hank, etc. I prefer Barry Sanders to 'look at me' Cam Newton. It's team sports or individual 'poor' sports after a point. Spontaneity can be fun, but contrived is professional wrestling.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Personally I don't see anything contrived with Cam Newton. That kid's joy of football is infectious IMHO. Ditto guys like Bautista and Cespedes in baseball. John Baker wrote a great piece last year about this and a conversation he had with Anthony Rizzo at the time. Here's an excerpt the "Me" is Baker and the "Him" is Rizzo.

    Him: “Bro, wait till you see a game here. It’s incredible.”

    Me: “Whaddaya mean? Like, the atmosphere or something? I’ve seen a lot of games.”

    Him: “No, everyone pimps everything down here. Everything: groundball base hit in the four hole: huge bat toss, and wait until you see the antics after homers. It’s unbelievable, I love it. I can’t wait to hit a homer and pimp the hell out of it. The best part is that no one cares. It’s just part of the game down here. The pitchers will do ridiculous fist pumps after strikeouts, and infielders will pimp ground balls. It’s crazy!”

    Me: “Seriously, all of that is just part of the game?”

    Him: “Yep. Part of the game.”

    http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/just-a-bit-outside/story/playing-baseball-right-way-depends-three-factors-when-who-where-061615

    There's a lesson to be learned there.

  • In reply to TC154:

    There's lots to like about Cam and I do like him, but he could dial back his individual celebrations making them more team oriented. I don't care much what football does, but baseball should retain its class.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Baseball can still keep its class while also embracing the fun in the game. When I was a kid we would celebrate the hell out of everything because baseball was fun, and we genuinely enjoyed it. As I got older coaches kept telling us to tone it down, it's not part of the game, etc. What ended up happening is we started to not have as much fun; it felt too serious. A good 10-12 of our guys quit after freshman year of high school because they just didn't have fun with it anymore. It felt more like a job than anything else. I was a part of those 10-12 guys. I still love baseball, but my point is that you can have a balance between showing some class and having fun. The exchange between Phillips and Strop is a perfect example. Strop is excited on getting a huge out, and Phillips understands how big it is and gives him props with the thumbs up. There can still be class in baseball while also maintaining the fun in the sport.

    I am 23 years old now, and I can tell you first hand that the younger generation are less and less interested in baseball. Why? because the fun is not the same in the sport as it is with football, basketball, and hockey. Football players celebrate team and individual success whether it's a touchdown, a huge sack, an interception, etc. Basketball players get excited over insane plays like alley oops, dunks, big time shots, etc. It is shown a lot by how the bench reacts. I love the reaction of the bench when a huge dunk is thrown down and the bench is going crazy where one of the guys holds back the teammates. Hockey players celebrate goals in flashy ways as well. All of this is good for the game because it shows people how much fun these "pros" are having while playing the game. It's infectious and makes the game better as long as they maintain the class part (Don't show people up).

    My friends who don't like baseball say it's boring. We need more flair in this game for people to get interested. During the playoffs last year some of those friends said that it was the first time in years they enjoyed watching baseball. There was excitement and drama with bat flips, fist pumps, etc. This stuff is needed. It only helps the game, and doesn't hurt it.

    Let the ball players enjoy the game like it's meant to be. Pure fun and joy.

  • In reply to JLynch2247:

    Maybe you and the others that quit were more about 'shucking and jiveing' then playing the game. Baseball itself is fun. One doesn't need fist pumps or bat flips to enjoy the game. To be sure it's slower and different than basketball or football, but that's not the same as boring. It should be fun with or without dancing. There plenty of room for fun at the ole ballpark, but it's not what the game is about.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Whoa! "Shucking and jiveing". Seriously? I loved the movie "Crash", btw. Your use of that accusitory term to discribe young fans that quit playing as they moved towards pre-adult life may have been for the skill set that it takes to continue playing as you get older and professionally. Your comments are spot on, yet I wish you would allow for SOME s&j!

  • In reply to rickmonday:

    Me too! I could have picked a better phase to make my point.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I remember that article, TC. I thought it was so well thought out and written that I had saved it to a favorite (on a prior computer) and perhaps even copy and pasted it to a word document to try to better explain this mindset to others. IIRC, there was an even a more important and better point to the story also. Articles by John Baker are wonderful!

  • In reply to TC154:

    During the playoffs last year, Rizzo was caught taking batting practice and repeatedly imitating Bautista's bat flip. http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2015/10/15/9545397/mlb-anthony-rizzo--chicago-cubs-blue-jays-jose-bautista-bat-flips-for-everyone

    I'm not young any more and well remember the old style of play. But I agree that we need to let the players today express the joy of play or we really will lose the younger generation. And the article you reference makes it very clear that there is truly a cultural difference in Latin America as to how they express thmselves in the game. Before judging someone, you've got to know where they come from.

  • I am an old 65, but I am in the middle. I thought the Bautista HR response was great! It was a great moment befitting his response. Gibson's jack on a broken knee was worthy of the pump fists. There are those moments which make the game special. Those actions are just icing on the cake.

    I haven't watched a game of football since Steve Largent, Walter Payton, Mike Singletary, Roger Staubach, and Tom Landry left the game. The celebrating is, "look at me". It ain't about you! You didn't throw the pass. You didn't get a bloody elbow getting knocked down after blocking the defensive tackle. Team? Heard of it? I think Joe Horn's hidden phone schtick epitomized what I am talking about. I find the whole charade classless.

    So if it about you, doing your job, then count me out! But Bautista was not only celebrating his feat, he was celebrating for his team in a very special moment!

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    I watched one college football game last year, and haven't seen a pro game in two. You're absolutely right, football has turned into a 60-minute chicken dance with a little sports thrown in for good measure. Self-expression is fine, but I really hope baseball doesn't go to the extreme that football has.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I think football also has the problem of so little real game action sprinkled in around dozens of commercials. It's rendered the game nearly unwatchable for me. I went to a Bears game at Soldier Field the first weekend of January and was surprised at how much time the players spend just standing around while the game's in commercial break.

    Ironically, baseball is concerned with pace of play, but football seems to care less.

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    I agree, it is first and foremost a team game. I have no problem with Bautista's bat flip because it won the game for the TEAM. Or, Gibson's fist pump after winning the game for his TEAM.

    What I don't like is the "look at me" attitude in sports. If Bautista hit that home run in a 8-1 game they were losing, it becomes about me which is, to me, not what a team sport is about. Like when you celebrate a meaningless sack in a game you are losing by a substantial score and tear your ACL.

    Also, if Bautista hits that home run and the pitcher feels he is a little too comfortable at the plate and wants to make sure it doesn't happen again, then a pitch inside at the ribs is the consequence. I hope Bautista doesn't get angry. That is also the way the game is played.

    It is all a matter of time, place, manner, and respect. You can have fun, be excited, show emotion, but do it in a manner that is respectful of the individual, the team and the game.

  • Bautista is one of the great men in the game. He does a lot for people. Can't see why anyone needs to dump on him about a spontaneous expression of triumph.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    That bat flip in the playoffs is one of the things that I will always remember about the 2016 playoffs. That's a good thing.

  • I don't remember anyone in baseball getting a 15 yard penalty for excessive celebration, nor being assessed a technical foul and free throw for taunting.

  • In reply to jack:

    No, they just get knocked on their ass. That's old school. Bitching to the press is what, exactly?

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Somebody has to fill up all the blogs, sports talk shows, fansites, whatever. You fell for it, so Goose's mission is accomplished.

  • I'm probably not the best guy to comment on this. When I played in HS and younger I was as cocky as any baseball player. I was more of a talker than the bat flip or antics type, and as a catcher I had plenty of opportunity to have "discussions" with the opposing team, but well who am I kidding I did the occasional bat flip, fist pump, and probably everything else people get upset about. I never did anything aggressive and it was all meant to be in good fun, but it was certainly not always taken that way by the opposition. I was thrown at multiple times, and guys tried to start fights with me on and off the field.

    There is no penalty or rule against unsportsmanlike conduct against opposing players like there is against umpires. That is going to become an issue in baseball eventually. Because right now, the only "penalty" in the game, is throwing at someone. I have always hated the beanball. It is dangerous, and on top of that is rarely even directed at the offending player. It can also escalate into bench clearing brawls, which is even more dangerous.

  • Definitely a Get Off My Lawn moment for the Goose.
    And I'm not that much younger than him.

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    I see the Bautista bat flip and all I can think is, when can one of the Cubs players do something similar in a big situation. Baseball is so much about failure, why not celebrate the successes?

  • Jared thanks for bringing up this topic and I'm right with you. In simple terms Goose has it wrong and Harper has it right but I think it's more complicated than that. They've been talking about this on MLB radio this morning and Todd Hollingsworth, who's on Harper's side btw, talked about how when he hit his first HR in MLB that he kept his head down and didn't even crack a smile until he was almost at home plate because that's what he was taught. then he shared an anecdote about his son hitting the winning HR in a youth tournament last year and running around the bases with his hands up and fist pumping in an expression of joy. this happens at all levels of baseball and even in other leagues in the world, all except MLB where somehow expressions of joy become "showboating".

    There has to be a happy medium somewhere. No one wants taunting of players but personality and expressions of emotion are not always that. If the player is expressing himself at a great play, a great at bat or a great pitch to strike out a batter what's the harm? This "act like you've been there before" nonsense overstates the case. There should be respect, it should become taunting but I see nothing wrong with personal expression or for players to have fun. If you're on the wrong end of that celebration then that should motivate you to do better next time. It's the nature of competition and I don't know why that has to be squelched in the ranks of the MLB.

  • In reply to TC154:

    This sounds right to me. I didn't have problem with Bautista' s bat flip because it fit the moment, but I don't want see it become routine for every walk off. As far as the Strop ring up of Phillips, I think Pedro's emotion was excessive, but honest. Phillips professionalism kept it from becoming something ugly and Strop seemed to have learned from it.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Yes it was and yes he did and I think he has. That was a very good point you made about Phillips' professionalism and the calming a/effect that it had on that situation.

  • Kris Bryant doesn't do any of that. He says he doesn't watch his home runs. He just puts his bat down and runs the bases. I don't think Bryant's "attitude stands to ruin the game" if everyone were like him.

    On the other hand Kyle Schwarber goes to the edge with his bat flips. He hasn't done any Bautista style - in your face, Sam Dyson - I just dominated you, but definitely demonstrative.

    So our own team has people who obviously are on both sides of this argument. I think there is room for both. If you ask me I probably lean more toward Bryant. (But I have to admit I enjoyed Scwharber's flip in Pittsburgh). To me the point is not showing people up. It may be a fine line, but to me it's about the intent of the action. Is it about happiness or a mean "I just beat you - you suck" attitude. Carlton Fisk's pure joy wasn't showing up anyone. The stare downs and over-the-top bat flips just aren't good sportsmanship. The pitcher is very aware of what you did to him (or the batter on a strikeout). Does he need you to rub it in his face?

    Ultimately, this seems like one of those fighting in hockey arguments. We are talking about things that happen when play is stopped and as such are not really "part of the game", thus unnecessary if you really love the stuff that happens while play is in motion.

  • Cubs seem really out of sync right now.

    I get all the "rest the veterans" and "ease everyone in slowly" stuff, but by now I figured we would have at least a couple of guys (not fighting for the 25th spot) who were hitting above .250.

    Fortunately, we still have a couple of weeks to see it all come together.

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    Anthony Rizzo sucked last spring, and then turned it on once the season started. Most of the players are working/tweaking things at this point. They don't care about results nor does the manager to an extent. Yes, they would like to see success, but it's more about progress. They will be fine once the season starts plus if you noticed outside of Jon Lester yesterday that the reasons they are losing games is more about the pitchers that will not be on the ball club come April.

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    One of these years, we'll all understand what Spring Training is and none of us will freak out about batting averages in games that don't count.

    Just chill, man. All that matters is nobody important sustains a catastrophic injury. That's it. They can all go hitless every fake game until Opening Day for all that you and I and everybody else should care.

  • Respect 90

    Harper is not one who should talk much. Run out the ground balls! Respect your teammates, the team and the game by giving it your all, all the time.

    There were certain ex-Cub players who bothered me. How many times did we see someone who hit, what he thought was a home run, only to see it bounce off the wall and be held to a single. You earn the right to showboat some when you play hard all the time. And, don't get upset when someone shows you up!!

    It is the name on the front of the jersey not the one on the back that is most important in a team game. I root for the Cubs, not Rizzo, Bryant, or Castro. I still like Castro, but I am ultimately a Cubs fan first.

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    In reply to dad1:

    Harper gets a lot of unfair grief, IMO. He's potentially a generational talent -- he got that label before he turned 20 -- and that puts a bright spotlight on everything he does. But he is as hard nosed a player as you're going to find. He plays extremely hard all the time. One of the few instances where he gets frustrated and doesn't run out a fly out -- because the team is falling apart around him, perhaps? -- turns into an incident because a guy with a long history of problematic behavior goes crazy. I'll take Bryce Harper on my team any day of the week. Just very unlikely given the probable price tag when he hits free agency.

  • I could do without the type of blatent bigotry that Gossage shows in his comments. We're better than that as a country. Thank God the rest of us has moved on. BTW, I wonder how Goose would far in today's bullpens? I bet he wouldn't even stand out.

  • In reply to NDCUBSFAN:

    Interesting comment. Can you define his bigotry? Does he have the right to state his opinion as a long term major leaguer? Where do you think the problem lies these days?

  • Gotta admit that I now have no interest in reading Gossage's comments, but ...

    I always liked

    - Sammy's enthusiastic hop after hitting a long one
    - Mark "the bird" Fidrych's antics on the mound
    - Pedro Strop's celebrations (Lord knows he's been on the other side plenty of times)
    - EVERYTHING that Hunter Pence does
    - The smack talk between Sean Casey and Ryan Dempster
    - Jose Cardenal, a man who truly loved playing the game
    - Joe Gariagiola of the "Baseball is a Funny Game" legacy
    - Bob Uecker, who mastered the art of poking fun at himself "I knew my career was over when my 1965 baseball card came out with no picture on it"

    I never liked
    - Alfonso Soriano standing and admiring his long drives, some of which didn't quite make it out
    - Roger Clement who, instead of saluting Mike Piazza for besting him once in a while, threw the next one at Piazza's forehead.
    - John Rocker's mouth
    - Analyst John Kruk who seems to have forgotten why people were intersted in him to begin with
    - Whatever it was that Goose Gossage did ...

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Like button clicked

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Nice!

    At one point I wanted to 'be' Jose Cardenal.

    And it's really too bad about Fidrych's extremely short career,... That undiagnosed rotator cuff injury he got his second season did him in. Was sad to year about his accidental death a few years back.

  • I loved the Schwarber vs. Peavy at bat last year where Kyle winked at him after Peavy got upset he was listening to his walk up music too long. I believe Schwarber stepped out and kept listening to it. Loved it.

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    In reply to IndicaPro:

    Missed the wink. Looked like he said what did he say.

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    Fantastic article, Jared. I've enjoyed your writings since you joined Cubs Den, and this one in particular has been my favorite this year. The link to another great Cubs writer in Altman is also awesome. Harper is right, Goose is wrong, and the Bautista bat flip was just too good! The excitement he and his team are effusing is infectious, and I can't help but feel the joy they are experiencing.

  • In reply to Blaine Jacobs:

    Thanks, Blaine!

  • First, a bit of Spring Training results from the winners and losers of the World Series since 2009:
    2015: W - Kansas City – 20-10 L - Mets 19-12
    2014: W- San Francisco – 17-12 L - Kansas City – 12-16
    2013: W- Boston – 17-17 L - St. Louis – 15-15
    2012: W- Giants – 18-15 L - Detroit – 20-8
    2011: W - St. Louis - 14-16 L - Texas – 13-16
    2010: W - Giants 23-12 L - Texas – 10-19
    2009: W - Yankees 24-10 L - Phillies – 13-19

    So of the winners, an overall record of 133 - 92 and the losers 102-105. So what to make of that? Um, nothing!

    As far as Goose, he once was in a clubhouse altercation with teammate Cliff Johnson that put him out for six weeks. I'd rather a role model flip a bat than punch a teammate. Glass houses and all that.

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    I TOTALLY I agree that ST results aren't incredibly important. I find it humorous, however, that when a player or the team is doing poorly, "it's only ST" and nothing to worry about but when Arrieta pitches well, then its a sign of good things to come. I personally would like to see them closer to .500 but again I have no concerns over their start to the spring.

    Regarding Goose.... While it seems many of us do not necessarily agree with him (in full at least), I am disappointed that the media is making him out to be a lunatic. Once again it seems a person is only allowed to have an opinion, without being chastised, unless it meets with what the media says is right.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    I think those are two different things. Arrieta throwing 96 with nasty breaking stuff and good command is far more important than whether Rex Brothers or Andury Acevedo loses a game, or an offense with Juan Perez and Kris Negron fails to put up enough runs.

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    So 6 of the past 7 series winners did not have losing records during Spring Training? I guess I'll be the only one on this board who takes the opposite view of the consensus that "these games don't matter" and instead realizes that for all the anointing going on so far during the pre-season, the Cubs haven't won the 2016 World Series yet, let alone made it to the playoffs.

  • In reply to Lildude:

    The games do matter. The score not so much.

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    Yes, I agree w/this. Look at today's game. Cubs WIN!! 7-4. Vogelbach & Fedorowicz go yard, Rucinsky picks up the W, Patton the Save, Jokisch a hold. Kalish pinch ran stole a base & was 1 for 1. Okaaaaaay, 5 guys that helped them win this game, but "should" not have any baring on the regular season short of massive injury plague &/or ineffectiveness from many players...

  • Reggie would watch his homers and I remember "One Flap Down" quite well. So it's not like nothing ever happened in Goose's day.

  • Yes, the young have the advantage of inexperience

    I do pity these poor miserable misunderstood baseball players...Having to keep all of their pent-up emotions under control for 2-3 hours each day. Imagine, the pressure of actually having to set an example for the youth that adores them. Examples of humility, sportsmanship while at the same time be competitive. Oh the humanity of it all.

  • In reply to MilwaukeeRoad:

    They are setting an example, of expressiveness. You are putting a moral judgment where it doesn't belong.

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    If Goose can remember the past, the players that played before him were probably complaining that "pitchers today can't even complete a game". What's with all the relief pitching?
    I enjoyed watching Pete Rose running the bases, every base. I enjoyed watching game winning HRs then and now. All the things that Break the Curse was saying.
    If Goose can the old saying duck, duck, Goose, because if the player before him hit a homer the pitcher would aim right at his head. We don't need that today, but we do need to be enthusiastic about playing. I don't like football players celebrating a sack when their team is down 20 points, or basketball players celebrating a dunk when their down 20 points. Individuals playing team sports have to respect the team but can also show joy while playing.
    I'm 65 and still enjoy all sports. I don't like the too much celebrating in the end zone penalty--let them have fun!
    Respect 90 and enjoy the moment.

  • Jared, sorry.....totally disagree with you regarding Gossage.

    Here is where his point really originates from: The Respect for the Game.......

    This is what the younger people don't understand, the reverence that was always given baseball......not to say there is something wrong in celebration, but, it has to be done in controlled limited respect NOT the over the top guarantee me on Sport Center junk which it winds up being.

    Papalbon was not wrong calling Harper out for lack of hustle.
    Fisk was not wrong chewing out Sanders.
    Gossage was not wrong standing on the mound after caving in Ron Cey's earflap.

    Ernie Banks was put down 2 or 3 times by Don Drysdale throwing at his head but he never retaliated or went off the reservation......

    All he did after that during the same at bats was hit the ball over the wall.

    That's baseball the way it should be and if Harper thinks that is boring then he should just stick to his GQ stuff.....

    One more thing.......anyone ever see Kris Bryant pull this crap?
    Enough said.

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    In reply to Wickdipper:

    It's unclear to me that the only way to enforce "tradition" is by literally putting someone's life and livelihood in danger by throwing at them.

    And it depends what you mean by "this crap" but Bryant certainly wasn't just running around the bases with his head down when he hit that home run against the Rockies.

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    Still like the saying acting like you been there and done it before.

  • I always loved Walter Payton's TD celebrations. I wonder if this new or newer generations when they do something good at work, or get a compliment from their boss get up & do a dance or spike a ball of paper or whatever or whatever celebration they love seeing out of athletes. Or taunt their competitor when they get the sale... **rolls eyes**

  • Goose's opinion is a bit antiquated, but this pendulum is swinging and nothings going to stop it except its own weight once it goes too far. Eventually it will find its center. Everyone has a different opinion, and that is just life. No reason to fret either way as far as I can see. Baseball is fun even if everyone isn't the same and I for one welcome those differences.

  • The other thing about Gossage in this story is how hypocritical he is. First he complains about the bad example baseball players are setting for kids. But then, when the reporters asked if he wanted to apologize for using th F-word multiple times, he said “No. Why? You can’t take an F-word?” Seems like he's undercutting his own argument.

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