A Letter to Goose Gossage From The Nerds

By Ben Leonard

Dear Mr. Gossage,

On behalf of the nerd community, I agree with you —  baseball needs to get its bleeping act together. And it starts with us.

We’ve turned the game into a “freaking joke” because we’re running it. Most of us haven’t even played anything close to “rotisserie baseball at Harvard,” so of course we don’t know bleep about bleep. After we got our degrees in nerddom from FanGraphs, or Baseball-Reference if you’re one of those weirdos, we really did think we “figured the game out.

From behind our computers in our laboratories, we came up with an idea we thought was brilliant: protecting catchers like Buster Posey by preventing collisions at home plate. It seemed pretty reasonable at first: forcing catchers to give runners a lane should have stopped violent collisions.

But clearly it didn’t: it just created more collision between the honorable rules of baseball — the way it should be played — and empirical data from us nerds. For that, we sincerely apologize. We never should have bothered with shifts or protecting pitchers with pitch counts — that was just bleeping ridiculous on our part.

What was even more bleeping ridiculous was that we stopped pitchers from “pitch[ing] inside.” We never should have prevented pitchers from throwing lethal weapons at hitters– that’s just a disgrace to the game. We need some way to keep bleeping Jose Bautista and those other “Latin players” in check. “Throwing that bat” up in the air — what a “fool.” Vile, “disgrace[ful]” celebrations are destroying the game of baseball as we know it, and we should have done something about it.

After your enlightening comments, we realized that need to fight back with raw, masculine power and aggression. When pitchers’ feelings get hurt by blasphemous bat flips, we need to let them “knock some of these bleepers” like Baustista on their “bleeps.” Give ’em a lesson or two.

We would go out there and do it ourselves, but we can’t. We don’t understand the game because we’ve never played it. We’ve destroyed the game with no sound reasoning of any sort on our side. Players have a right to be violent when opposing players show any semblance of emotion — that’s the way it’s always been played.

You see the thing is, we had thought we were doing the right thing. We went wrong when we started valuing players’ safety and livelihood over tradition and preserving grown men’s fragile egos.

For that, we apologize. We’ll try to use our computers and degrees to implement more appropriate changes to the game, like arming pitchers with assault rifles. That ought to do the trick.


Ben Leonard

A Bleeping Nerd


Cover Image: With tears in his eyes baseball relief pitcher Goose Gossage offers a toast at his home in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008. His wife Corna joins him. Gossage choked-up while talking about his parents after he learned that he had been selected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)