Due to an impassioned playing stye that includes massive bat flips and the occasional disagreement with umpires, Jose Bautista has picked up his fair share of detractors in his 12-year MLB career. On Thursday, a Hall of Fame player joined the list.
Former reliever Goose Gossage did not mince words in denouncing the Toronto Blue Jays slugger in an interview with ESPN.
“Bautista is a [expletive] disgrace to the game,” Gossage said. “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.”
During Game 5 of the ALDS, Bautista authored a bat flip that is deeply engrained into the memory of Canadian baseball fans, and even spawned it’s own best-selling christmas sweater. However, the bat flip has been a constant for Bautista, who has no hangups about displaying his emotions on the field.
Upon hearing of Gossage’s comments, the 35-year-old slugger responded with both deference for his position in the game, and firm disagreement.
“He’s a great ambassador for the game,” Bautista told ESPN. “I don’t agree with him. I’m disappointed that he made those comments, but I’m not going to get into it with him. I would never say anything about him, no matter what he said about me. I have too much good stuff to worry about his comments. Today’ is my first game [of the spring,] getting ready for a new season, hopefully, we will whoop some more [expletive].”
Bautista was not Gossage’s only target in his ESPN interview. The 64-year-old took aim at the “nerds” in front offices he feels are turning baseball into a “joke”.
“I’ll tell you what has happened, these guys played Rotisserie baseball at Harvard or wherever the [expletive] they went and they thought they figured the [expletive] game out. They don’t know [expletive].”