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Yankees instructor Gossage absent after controversial remarks

TAMPA — After making comments critical of instant replay in baseball and Panthers QB Cam Newton, Hall of Famer Goose Gossage was not at Steinbrenner Field on Wednesday night when the Blue Jays played the Yankees.

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Gossage, a Yankees spring training instructor, criticized Toronto star Jose Bautista last week for his bat flip during last year's playoffs, calling him "a disgrace to the game" during an interview with ESPN.

In remarks about replay published Monday, Gossage told the New York Post: "Who's died in the last 100 years because of a bad call?" He also said "do we want a bunch of Cam Newtons running around?" a reference to the flamboyant NFL player.

Gossage met Friday with New York manager Joe Girardi and GM Brian Cashman. Girardi said there have been no meetings with Gossage since.

"I heard a great comment the other day," Girardi said Wednesday. "There's freedom of speech in our country, but that doesn't always mean that's there not freedom of consequences. Sometimes people want to say there's freedom of speech, but sometimes you're going to be judged on what you say. So, that's part of life."

GARDNER RETURNS: LF Brett Gardner went 0-for-2 in his spring debut during the Yankees' late game against the Blue Jays. Gardner had been held back as he recovered from a left wrist injury suffered in the AL wild-card game.

Phils: Bailey hopes to close

RHP Andrew Bailey, a nonroster invitee to Phillies camp, is making a good impression in his bid to win a spot in the bullpen.

Bailey, 31, struck out all three batters he faced in an inning against the Rays on Tuesday. He has pitched four scoreless innings this spring, allowing one hit with no walks and five strikeouts.

"Bailey looks awfully good," manager Pete Mackanin told CSN Philadelphia after Tuesday's game. "He has a great attitude and a good demeanor on the mound. He throws strikes."

Bailey could be an option to close and said he'd welcome the opportunity. The 2009 AL rookie of the year and a two-time All-Star with the A's, he has battled shoulder problems for years but says he's healthy now.

"They signed me to compete, and I feel like I've put myself in position to see what happens at the end of camp," Bailey said.

Jays: Estrada nears return

TAMPA — Blue Jays RHP Marco Estrada continues to make progress from a lower back injury and could soon appear in a spring game, mlb.com reported.

Estrada, who has been dealing with tightness in his lower back, made his first spring appearance Tuesday with two scoreless innings in a minor-league game. He's expected to be ready for the start of the regular season.

"He threw in the minor leagues and felt really good," Toronto manager John Gibbons told mlb.com.

Estrada, 32, had a career-best 3.13 ERA in 34 appearances, 28 starts, last season.

Yankees instructor Gossage absent after controversial remarks 03/16/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 9:23pm]
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