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‘Angry’ Goose Gossage: Bryce Harper has ‘no respect’ for game

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Goose Gossage is practically going scorched earth policy at this point with his “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” take on the condition of modern-era baseball.

In fact, Gossage actually said “Damn right I’m angry” to summarize his feelings about what passes for America’s Pastime these days.

A day after arguing that players like Jose Bautista and Yoenis Cespedes are bad for a game that already is a “freaking joke because of the nerds who are running it,” Gossage took to the radio waves on Chicago’s ESPN 1000 to discuss his polarizing, controversial and expletive-ridden rant.

And in the process of doing so, he set his sights on another target: Bryce Harper.

The Washington Nationals superstar made some polarizing comments of his own this week when he disparaged the long-revered unwritten rules of baseball while calling the game “tired.”

Not surprisingly, Gossage took Harper to task for the slugger’s take on the state of the game.

“What does this kid know? This kid doesn’t know squat about the game, and [has] no respect for it,” Gossage said, as transcribed by D.C. Sports Bog. “Here he is making millions of frickin’ dollars; that’s great. I’m happy for all the players and all the money that they’re making, because it’s hard-earned by all the players that came before these guys.

“Ninety percent of these guys never went through a strike, a work stoppage. They don’t know the blood sweat and tears that has been spent on what these guys are making. All we wanted was a piece of the pie. Marvin Miller did that, Curt Flood, from on up. My career started out on the first strike in 1972, and it ended in the last one in 1994, when we lost a World Series, which should have never happened, but it did. … We fought for everything these players are getting. So let me tell Bryce Harper something: go look at the history, figure it out and quit acting like a fool.”

Specifically speaking to his perception of the overall status of baseball, Gossage clearly has had it.

“I can’t stand to watch this game, the way it’s changed and the way guys act,” he said. “If I see one more pie in somebody’s face, I’m gonna break my TV.”

The comments made by both Gossage and Harper — and the same goes for the reactions by Bautista (here) and Cespedes (here) to the Hall of Fame pitcher’s denunciations — certainly initiated a dialogue concerning how a new generation of ballplayers perceive how the game should be played differs from those who take a more old-school approach to the grand game of baseball. Expect it to continue.