Goose Gossage refuses to stop sticking his foot in his mouth. The old man yelling at everyone to get off his lawn can't stand bat flips, sabermetrics, nerds, Cam Newton, or anything that resembles fun. He actually got on the radio and complained that players today are the way they are because they don't have to fear being hit with a dangerous object flying over 90 mph.
The game has changed and continues to change. Hopefully that will never stop being true. Players are not made into better men by fearing that a pitcher will throw at their head. Baseball's current issue is that they have not found a way to really tap into a younger audience. Having old guys like Gossage ranting immature sound bytes into articles isn't going to make that younger audience feel any more welcome.
Baseball has made it so difficult for today's generation to consume their product. Don't live in a certain territory? You're not watching these games. Want to see GIFs online? You can't. Want to celebrate a big moment? Some old guy is going to swear at you about it. The idea that everything old is the way it should be is a tale as old as time. It's up to everyone to stop thinking that the antiquated way is the best way.
Bryce Harper and Jose Bautista, regardless of Gossage's comments, are good for baseball. Harper being a young star gives a new generation of fans someone to try and emulate. Why wouldn't you want to be the best player in a sport? That's what Harper is. He has been getting ragged on for being immature since before he stepped foot in the big leagues. Who says that the only way to act is one where you show no emotion, and why should it be that way?
The Yankees have been known as an uptight group for a very long time. You can't have a beard and professionalism reigns over fun. There's nothing wrong with being professional, but there's nothing wrong with fun either. Baseball is a game! Not everything has to be so vanilla and void of expression.
Letting Gossage continue his rants even after being spoken to makes the Yankees look complicit in his commentary. Yes, they had a meeting with him where they presumably told him to pipe down. He didn't and Brian Cashman refuses to tell him he's no longer welcome at camp. When someone comes to your house and acts unruly, you tell them to stop. If they don't, you tell them to leave. Otherwise it looks like you're okay with them causing a scene.
Yes, it is the fault of the media who can't wait to see what the old man will come up with next for continuing to put his mouth near a microphone. However, the Yankees could eliminate the temptation. Not sending him away makes it look like they don't entirely disagree with his comments when they absolutely should.
The biggest issue with Gossage's comments are that they reek of subtle (or not-so-subtle, depending on your position) racism. Save your "wah, politically correct" comments because it's undeniably true. Gossage doesn't "want a bunch of Cam Newtons running around" but says nothing of the J.J. Watts of the world. He knows exactly what he's saying, and "play the white way" is not a new phenomenon. "Those players play the game that way and I don't like it" has been going on for far too long. The year is 2016 and those kind of comments need to stop.
Any team would be lucky to have a Bryce Harper or a Cam Newton. They are relentless competitors who are at the very top of their game. Every team should experience the exhilaration that came with Jose Bautista's home run that produced the Bat Flip Heard Round The World. At the end of the day, these players are playing a game. If their celebration isn't hurting anything except someone's pride then it actually isn't hurting anything at all.
You can be a team player and celebrate big success. Showing excitement or joy or frustration or despair shouldn't be frowned upon because the people playing the game aren't robots. They are humans with feelings about every pitch and every out. Why not let them show that on the field, and why do we care if that isn't how it has always been done?
Gossage is entitled to his opinion like everyone else, but his opinion is a bad one. It's great that he enjoyed the way baseball was played when he was still relevant, but that time has passed. Hopefully the Yankees realize that his comments do nothing but alienate the vast majority of people who aren't interested in watching statues play stick ball.
The vanilla approach has its place, but it doesn't have to be the default. There is room for all kinds, and that should be embraced, not ripped apart.