Rivalry Special: Interview with Yankees legend Goose Gossage.
Jorge Camargo Contributing Writer
Photo obtained in the Baseball Hall of Fame gallery.
Earlier this morning I had the opportunity to talk to Yankees legend, Goose Gossage. For the younger readers who may not know a lot about Gossage, he is a right-handed relief pitcher who entered the Hall of Fame in 2008. Gossage spent most of his career with the New York Yankees and the San Diego Padres, where he became one of the most clutch perfomers of all time. He recorded the final out to clinch a division, a league or a World Series title seven times. Now Gossage lives in Colorado Springs, where he is an active promoter of youth sports. He is teaming up with Hormel Foods, to promote tips for a no hassle Major League tailgate.
Here's a transcript from the interview:
Q: What recommendations would you make to teams like the Chicago Cubs or the Boston Red Sox that are trying to earn a spot in October, but have strong teams ahead of them?
Baseball has always been a game of fighting to get into the playoffs. It's a marathon. Just because the Red Sox got off to a slow start doesn't they're out. I look at them to be a contender in the end. We have a long way to go. People forget about how long the baseball season is. I don't think that the fans really realize the grind that 162 games really is. You can start slow like the Red Sox did, and I really believe that the Red Sox are gonna be knocking on the door on September and we'll see in October where everybody ends up.
Q: We know that the All-Star game marks the end of the first half of the season. Given that the game is next week, which team do you think has the most impressive players to win?
I really don't know, they're both great teams. These teams are power houses, so I think whoever gets the best pitching, the timely hits and the great plays has a chance to win. There's always a fine line between winning and losing and I think pitching will determine who wins the All-Star game.
Q: So talking about pitching... From Scherzer's almost perfect game and Zack Greinke's previous starts, there have been a lot of great pitching perfomances. Who would you say are the favorites to win the Cy Young?
Scherzer is gonna be in that running along with the kid out in the Dodgers, Kershaw. These guys are quality starters. When I try to think who comes to mind to win the Cy Young, I realize we just have to wait and see. I've never tried to predict this game because this game is unpredictable. They're trying to control this game to the point that a lot of things are going to backfire them right to their faces with things like instant replay. I'm not a big fan of replay because I think that they have to leave the game alone. We'll see where this goes and how the fans take to it. Baseball's like life itself, you can't control it. To certain extend you can, but I gave up a long of time ago trying to figure this game out.
Q: You're right, they're trying to control this game too much.
Oh absolutely, in my mind they are. It's not different that anything else. Everything else in this world is trying to be totally controlled by people and they're gonna find out that you can't control baseball. I don't like to see the game being manipulated by money and that's exactly at the root of the problems that I think baseball faces. I say that if you're an owner and you get into the sweepstakes of owning a ballclub you think to take the inherent risks, to go with the game like fighting in the home plate, taking out the catcher. Learn how to block the plate! It's all because Buster Posey getting hurt at home plate. He got caught in a bad position at home plate. Everybody is gonna get hurt if they get caught in a bad situation with a runner bearing down on you. Learn how to block the plate and you won't get hurt! Years ago nobody liked to fight with the older catchers at home plate because would carry off, they knew how to block the plate. I think that the torch is not being passed on teaching these kids the fundamentals of the game, how to block the plate, how to turn a double-play. I don't think you can control the game by money and I think they're letting money control and dictate the way the game is being changed.
Q: One last question.. What inspired you to join Hormel Foods and promote a campaign for healthy tailgating?
Well, I've always been a fan of Hormel Foods. They're an excellent option for snacks and lunch on the go. Now they've really integrated a lot of great products such as Skippy Peanut Butter, which is an staple in our family, we always have a jar of that. Another great options are Hormel Gatherings Party Trays which come ready to eat with pre-cut cheese, meats and crackers for a convenient tailgate treat. As an active lifestyle that we have, specially right here in Colorado and across the country where you go hiking and have other activities, the Hormel Rev Wraps are a wonderful snack that combines real meat and cheese. These delicious wraps are ready to go and fit right into your jacket, purse or backpack. I take Hormel Foods with me when I go fishing or hunting, when I have family gatherings where the Party Trays come in handy. There's also a preservative-free option called Natural Choice, these are lunch meats along with cheese with no added nitrates or nitrites. I've been a fan of Hormel Foods and continue to be a great fan with my whole family. Pick these Hormel Foods products at your local supermarket and enjoy your summer. As you know we're all on the go and these are great products for people on the go.
What do you think of Gossage's comments about the Red Sox? Do they really have a shot at coming back in September? What are you favorite moments of Gossage's career? Leave your comments below and don't forget to follow us on Twitter at @RedSoxLife and once you're there follow me at @iamjorgecamargo.