Hall of Fame MLB pitcher Goose Gossage has been a vocal opponent of some of the elements that have seeped into the modern era of baseball.  

One of those is instant replay, which Gossage expressed his lack of fondness for Tuesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida, where he’s serving as a guest instructor for the New York Yankees. The New York Post‘s Kevin Kernan relayed the former pitcher’s comments:

Now you sit there for five minutes and wait for a f—ing replay. And half the time, you can’t even tell.

Who’s died in the last 100 years because of a bad call? They say, ‘Well, they lost a World Series and the kid lost his perfect game.’ I said, ‘Who died?’ Leave the human element in the game. You cannot take the human element out of baseball because it is the fabric of the game.

Gossage also dismissed criticism from those who believe he’s become a curmudgeon, stating, “They can say all they want to about ‘old school’ and the game has passed me by. Let me tell you something: The game has not passed me by.”

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports is prominent among those who would strongly beg to differ:

It’s evident the 64-year-old pioneering reliever wants to allow the field umpires to do their jobs as well as possible. Some would argue that the advent of replay leads to more correct calls.

But Gossage has a point about replay slowing the pace of the game.

Although baseball may traditionally be America’s pastime, it doesn’t excite people as much who are growing up in an era of instant gratification brought on by rapid technological innovation. The NFL has taken over as the USA’s most popular, visible major sports league.

Reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper recently argued baseball lacks excitement in an interview with ESPN the Magazine‘s Tim Keown. Harper said players should essentially embrace showboating and exuding their personalities to spice up the game:

Baseball’s tired. It’s a tired sport, because you can’t express yourself. You can’t do what people in other sports do. I’m not saying baseball is, you know, boring or anything like that, but it’s the excitement of the young guys who are coming into the game now who have flair. If that’s Matt Harvey or Jacob deGrom or Manny Machado or Joc Pederson or Andrew McCutchen or Yasiel Puig — there’s so many guys in the game now who are so much fun.

Those remarks don’t reflect a paradigm Gossage would take to particularly well.

Preserving the integrity of baseball is important, but if it comes at the expense of ignoring potential enhancements made possible with modern technology, baseball will likely be viewed more widely as antiquated.

That doesn’t seem to impact Gossage’s thoughts. He called the analytic side of baseball that’s grabbed the spotlight in recent years “revenge of the nerds,” per Kernan.

Although Gossage’s testimony comes from a place of loving the game, he may be doing more harm than good by not acknowledging the other side of the argument. Being such a staunch opponent of evolving the sport also diminishes the impact his words have as an MLB legend.

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