Thursday, December 14, 2017
Sports

Gossage calls Jays' Bautista a 'disgrace'' for ALDS bat flip

TAMPA — Yankees Hall of Fame reliever Goose Gossage criticized Blue Jays star Jose Bautista and Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes for the way they celebrated home runs during the playoffs last year.

Gossage called Bautista a "disgrace to the game" during a profanity-laced interview in Tampa on Thursday.

"He's embarrassing to all the Latin players, whoever played before him," Gossage told ESPN. "Throwing his bat and acting like a fool, like all those guys in Toronto. Cespedes, same thing."

Bautista memorably flipped his bat after hitting a three-run homer that gave the Jays the lead in Game 5 of the AL Division Series against Texas.

"He's entitled to his opinion," Bautista said. "I don't agree with him whatsoever. I've never talked to him. I don't know him. Whatever reason or agenda he's on is fine with me. I'm not going to start picking a fight, let alone with a Hall of Famer."

Gossage, 64, a guest spring training instructor for the Yankees, made his comments before a Yankees split squad lost 11-4 to Toronto.

Bautista said he had no plans to reach out to Gossage.

"I don't think it's my job," Bautista said. "I'm just going about my work."

Mets manager Terry Collins said Cespedes and Bautista aren't the only ones who flip their bats: "The old-timers, that's something that wasn't approved of years ago. Today it's different."

Yankees: Chapman struggles in debut

TAMPA — LHP Aroldis Chapman had a shaky Yankees debut, failing to complete his one scheduled inning against the Blue Jays at Steinbrenner Field.

Chapman walked two and hit two batters and was charged with one earned run in two-thirds of an inning.

"I didn't have my control but I feel great physically," Chapman said after the 26-pitch effort, nine for strikes. Chapman struck out one and did not permit a hit.

Phillies: Franco stays hot with two home runs

CLEARWATER — Maikel Franco hit a pair of two-run homers off Jordan Zimmermann, giving him four in eight spring training games and helping the Phillies tie the Tigers 6-6. The 23-year-old hit 14 home runs in 80 games last year in a breakout rookie season cut short by a wrist injury in August.

"He looks so much different than he has in past springs," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "I think he feels he's in for a big year, and I'm hoping he is."

Philadelphia led 5-4 entering the ninth, but Ernesto Frieri gave up a sacrifice fly and a home run to consecutive batters.

Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola gave up a wind-aided two-run homer to James McCann in the third. Nola has allowed six earned runs in 42/3 innings in two starts.

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