Over the last few years there have been quite a few closers who have been elected into baseball’s Hall of Fame. In 2004 Dennis Eckersley was voted in, and he was followed by Bruce Sutter in 2006 and Goose Gossage in 2008. It’s a pretty remarkable feat for the three of them, as historically, the closer position hasn’t gotten that much love from Hall of Fame voters. Of course while all three of those guys had amazing careers and deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, there is something else they have in common.
None of them have as many career saves as Lee Smith. When Smith retired from the game, he was the all-time leader in saves with 478, and he held on to the record until Trevor Hoffman broke it in 2006. Now most people are saying that Hoffman, along with Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, is a sure thing to enter the Hall after he retires. All of which confuses Smith more and more every year as he sits around and doesn’t get elected.
• DEADSPIN helps unhooks some of Boston’s lastest Red Sox merch.
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• While Lee Elia tries to cash in on his 25-year-old tirade, WALKOFF WALK remembers another memorable MLB meltdown courtesy of Goose Gossage.
• THE SCORES REPORT is overwhelmed with all the underclassmen declaring for the NBA Draft.
BUSTED COVERAGE has this poignant moment between Goose Gossage and his fellow Yankee coaches at Spring Training in Tampa:
Caption from the photo, found on Flickr.com: “Notice the placement of the fingers. Someone on the coaching staff was throwing some standard baseball insults after he signed autographs for about 30 minutes and talked to the fans.“
Either that, or someone’s going to be hitting Sunglass Hut after today’s split-squad against the Orioles.
We really wish Goose Gossage was still around. We remember watching him at then-Royals Stadium, he was a giant, and threw harder than anyone we ever saw in person (and that’s coming from an eventual 10-year professional baseball announcer).
We’re not saying he was the fastest on a radar gun, but because of his hulking stature and violent gyrations before releasing the pill, he looked like the fastest, and that’s all that counts if you aren’t holding a bat.
In a sign of these sad times for baseball, the media focused on steroids during Gossage’s first major press conference since being elected to the Hall of Fame. Instead of recounting his battles with Jim Rice and the Red Sox, Gossage was asked to weigh in on performance enhancers.
While saying his drugs of choice during his playing days were “donuts and coffee,” Gossage made an admission about steroids that probably caught the Cooperstown brass aghast.