We’ve reached that magical time of the offseason where Hall of Fame reliever Goose Gossage rails about a current issue in baseball. You’ve seen him take on Bryce Harper, Jose Bautista and nerds before, and you can probably guess what this year’s rant is about.
Yep, it’s the Hall of Fame. The 2018 election just ended, but the entire circus surrounding it was more contentious than it has been in the past. That’s because former Cincinnati Reds legend Joe Morgan wrote a letter appealing to Hall of Fame voters to keep steroid users out of Cooperstown.
You’ll be shocked to know that Gossage agrees with that sentiment. He expressed his thoughts in the most Gossage way possible to Peter Botte of the New York Daily News.
“Absolutely, I agree with Joe Morgan, 100 percent,” Gossage said Wednesday in a telephone interview. “It’s a bunch of [expletive] that they’re even considering these guys. They don’t belong in the Hall of Fame.
“There are probably guys that (did steroids) already in there, and I think any guys that are already in ought to come clean for the sake of the game, and then we finally could put this to rest. I don’t blame the writers, I understand both sides of the coin. But if you don’t think Roger Clemens or (Barry) Bonds did steroids, you just got here from Mars.”
There you have it. Strong words as usual from Gossage.
None of this should come as a surprise by now. Gossage’s rants have become somewhat of an annual offseason tradition. It’s no different than an update on Pablo Sandoval’s weight or an exceptionally unusual player comparison from Scott Boras. You know it’s coming, and you hope you can handle the heat of the takes it will produce.
While Gossage delivered some harsh words, he probably didn’t say anything most baseball fans disagree with. Plenty of fans are against Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens getting into the Hall of Fame.
Voters mostly agree. Both players have received their fair share of support, but that leveled off in 2018. Not only that, but guys who actually failed tests, like Manny Ramirez, have received even less support from voters. They are also hesitant to vote for known users.
The problem with that line of thinking is knowing where to plant your feet. There’s evidence Bonds and Clemens used, but neither player ever failed a test. Do you base your vote on testimony from others even though both players have denied? Do you need a positive test? Do you simply trust your gut?
There are obvious flaws to all of those methods, making the voting process difficult. Trying to apply the same rationale to every single person on the ballot isn’t easy.
Then again, we’re not sure Gossage is interested in rationale. He’s never had a problem expressing strong opinions on a whim, so we’re guessing he falls more into the go with your gut category.
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