Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Goose Loves Dick
2008-01-07 05:58
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Goose Gossage on Dick Allen:

I had the priviledge of playing with so many great players, but Dick Allen was the best player I ever played with.

In '72, it was the greatest year I've ever seen a player have. I would have loved to have seen him if he just set his mind to, "I'm going to put up numbers." The numbers would have been staggering. But if we had a four-or five-run lead, it was like, "Hey, boys, I'm out of here, you've got to take it on in from here. You guys can hold them from here."

He'd take himself out if we had a big lead, so every RBI he had that year was serious damage. There was no padding. Defensively, he was unbelievable. And running the bases. To this day, I have never seen anyone that could run the bases like he did. He was phenomenal.

The shots that I saw him hit throughout all the ballparks in the American League.

And what a great guy. He took me under his wing. What a wonderful guy. There was never an ounce of phoniness in Dick. What you see is what you get. He was his own man and he still is. I saw him recently, and to this day I still love the guy.
From Phil Pepe

For what it is worth, I think Allen was a better hitter than Tony Perez, Orlando Cepeda, Dave Parker or Jim Rice.

And the Winner Is...

Here's my latest piece for Variety. It's about genre films and the Oscars:

So what genres play best when it comes to Oscar?

"The Academy favors a genre called the earnest drama," film historian David Thomson says. "(The members) want to be taken seriously. That has always been their besetting sin. Their decisions are a reflection of the Academy itself. They are always a little ashamed that they are sitting on a huge moneymaking business. They don't want to be as vulgar as that, so they search for something to lend them dignity."

The floor is open. Clemens on "60 Minutes." The evolving role of Brian Cashman. Whatta ya hear, whatta ya say, y'all?

Comments (61)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-01-07 06:15:43
1.   ny2ca2dc
Dude, "Goose Loves Dick", that's rough. Hope Goose has his bags packed & a hotel reserved in upstate, he best be traveling Cooperstown's way this year.

'Evolving' (read: diminishing) role of Cashman scares me.

2008-01-07 06:49:40
2.   Murray
From today's Post, courtesy of Mike from Hoboken:

January 7, 2008 -- BOW, NH - Some Rudy Giuliani volunteers bused here from New York City struck out as they went door to door in advance of Tuesday's Granite State primary while wearing caps or jackets of the hated New York Yankees.

"Some people really don't think," said a person with knowledge of the situation.

"You're in the middle of Red Sox Nation wearing stuff from their enemy. It's absolutely ridiculous.

"Can you image if people were running around The Bronx in Red Sox hats?" he added.

Giuliani reps didn't immediately return calls for comment.

Giuliani, a longtime Yankee fan, raised eyebrows in his home state this fall, after the Bronx Bombers were eliminated from the playoffs, when he said he would root for the hated Red Sox to win the World Series because they are an American League team.

2008-01-07 06:57:28
3.   Bruce Markusen
Alex, one of the things that strikes me about Dick Allen is that his contemporaries, almost without fail, talk about what a great baserunner he was. Though not a basestealer, he ran well, ran aggressively, and had a reputation for taking out the middle infielder on the double play. Baserunning can be difficult to quantify statistically, but it appears to be another point in Allen's favor when discussing his HOF worthiness.
2008-01-07 07:03:27
4.   Raf
1 Yes, but since the Yanks haven't won a World Series since 2000, and have been eliminated in the first round 3 years in a row, I cannot say that I am surprised.

I don't think it's right, but I'm used to the way things operate in the Bx.

2008-01-07 07:03:57
5.   Alex Belth
I didn't watch him enough but I heard that Larry Walker was a great base runner too.
2008-01-07 07:08:03
6.   Yankee Fan In Boston
alex, in light of last night news magazine fare, it is fitting that your article you linked to this morning is titled, "The importance of appearing earnest".

a nice piece, too. thanks.

2008-01-07 07:23:47
7.   OldYanksFan
Wow... Allen's numbers blow Rice away.. without even accounting for his better defense and baserunning. I believe Allen also played before the mound was lowered?

Rice broke a .900 OPS four times, while Allen did it eight times, 3 of those times posting over a 1.000 OPS. I don't know how they adjust Rice's numbers, but his OPS at Fenway was .131 pts higher and his HRs 20% great then on the road.

A .911 career OPS (Rice at .854) during the '60s and '70s is quite studly.

If Rice gets into the HOF, Fenway Park should get in too.

2008-01-07 07:31:18
8.   Rob Middletown CT
Don't give Peter Gammons any ideas.
2008-01-07 07:33:38
9.   williamnyy23
Dick Allen was a monster hitter. I think he is one of the most deserving hitters not enshrined, as well as the perfect example of a high peak player. Unless you had a long career, I think you'd have to pass the Allen test before getting in on your peak. As mentioned, Jim Rice woefully fails that test.
2008-01-07 08:00:10
10.   pistolpete
2 So if GWB campaigned in 2004 wearing a Varitek jersey, that would make it perfectly acceptable to vote for him?

When you're letting your baseball rooting interest affect your political decisions, I can say without hesitation that you truly are a moron.

2008-01-07 08:06:31
11.   Yankee Fan In Boston
2 10 well... speaking of baseball mingling with politics and the GOP in NH, schilling shilling in NH for mccain can't help rudy much either.
2008-01-07 08:59:21
12.   Mattpat11
2 I'm not taking my hat off because I'm in New England. If these people are going to vote for the President of the United States based on baseball preferences, there was little hope for them to begin with.
2008-01-07 09:01:32
13.   JL25and3
11 Schilling's monster post on his blog a couple of weeks ago convinced me of one thing: he's even more of a sanctimonious ass than I thought, and he really needs to STFU.
2008-01-07 10:36:29
14.   Chyll Will
10 I wouldn't vote for the George Washington Bridge even if they draped Mo's jersey on it (though I'm sure it would solve some middle-late inning relief issues).

Brooklyn, on the other hand...

2008-01-07 10:55:27
15.   The Mick 536
Had the privilege to see him play many, many times during my years at Penn, 1965-1969. Carried his card in my wallet until it melted. He wore a hard cap. Hit some homers that are still in orbit. Fielded effortlessly. Don't remember seeing a fielding error. Didn't always plant before he threw. Could run the bases, too. Didn't run out all of his outs. No Manny's in my memory. Used to swat the players with his glove when he couldn' find the base with his foot. Drew words in the diirt using big letters. Some thought they were the names of horses he bet on or substances he took. He talked to the fans, sometimes when he was on the field waiting for the pitcher to throw. Like the other big ones, The Mick, Reggie, A-Rod, Papi, when he came up, you stopped drinking and talking and just watched. The best. Soft swing, as opposed to Sheff. And the ball just whizzed. Just the best. Love the guy. Wish the game had treated him betta. Should be in the hall. Probably won't on the character issue. He was a character, wasn't he?
2008-01-07 11:18:22
16.   Yankee Fan In Boston
15 that inspired me to look for a bit of video.

i didn't have to look too hard. here's an 8.5 minute clip:


2008-01-07 12:06:11
17.   Bama Yankee
14 It's no surprise that you wouldn't vote for the George Washington Bridge. Everyone knows that you are a big Tappan Zee supporter. Rumor is that you have even made a few contributions to the structure's campaign for office... curiously in $4 installments.

Don't get me wrong, I'm with you on voting for Tappan Zee. I always vote for the Cantilever Party candidate. You have to watch out for those Suspension Party candidates, they can be such flip-floppers. Remember Galloping Gertie:


(boy, I hope Randym reads this post so at least someone will get my feeble attempt at bridge humor)

2008-01-07 12:28:36
18.   wsporter
17 The Tappan Zee is I think the longest bridge in NY but it is a Moses bridge. There seems to be an undemocratic quality to it's magnificent span. I don't know if I could vote for that bridge. Give me a bridge from good solid immigrant stock like the Brooklyn Bridge and you'll get my vote. If nominated do you think it will run? If elected do you think it will serve? We should consider a draft petition for the BB.
2008-01-07 12:38:11
19.   JL25and3
Chyll and I are well acquainted with the old Tappan Zee. The house I grew up in has a fabulous view of it.

There are serious questions about how it's managed to function so well for so long. It doesn't have as sturdy a frame as many of the others, but it still manages to carry a heavy workload year after year. It has remained remarkably durable despite all expectations.

There have been rumors that Zee has been given megadoses of solder and other substances to improve its performance, but those remain just rumors.

2008-01-07 12:42:05
20.   williamnyy23
I vote for the Willis Avenue and 3rd Avenue Bridges...anything that helps you avoid the Major Degan gets my vote.
2008-01-07 12:45:02
21.   Chyll Will
17 You don't give yourself enough credit, my friend >;) The problem with suspension bridges is that you never really know what they're up to. Cantilevers on the other hand are very stoic and family-oriented; there's a lot of give-and-take, which the Tappan Zee definitely has. Brooklyn may have the name-recognition, but it can also be bought pretty easily...
2008-01-07 12:49:14
22.   Chyll Will
20 I don't know if you can truss them. They do have "short attention" spans...
2008-01-07 12:52:35
23.   OldYanksFan
17 I'm sorry... but you can't trust a bridge that runs on a platform of stability, and then acts like that.

I have that URL bookmarked as it's one of the great examples of how bizarre natural law can be.

2008-01-07 12:56:07
24.   AbbyNormal821
17 et al...

where are all the Verrazano Voters???


2008-01-07 13:08:45
25.   Chyll Will
24 They've all been suspended... in fact, they're serving the longest suspension in US history...
2008-01-07 13:09:57
26.   rbj
Hmm, I'm not sure I like all this City centric bridge support. Given all the time I spent upstate, I'm throwing my support to the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge:

Besides, how can you not support a bridge named after the godfather of funk, George Clinton?

2008-01-07 13:12:49
27.   Chyll Will
26 Good thinking... that bridge is always pretty high...
2008-01-07 13:33:35
28.   Bama Yankee
18 Good call on the Brooklyn Bridge, although as Chyll points out in 21 the lobbyists would have a field day...

19 Performance enhancers for ol' Tappan Zee... there goes that Bridge HOF induction.

25 & 27 Nice.

2008-01-07 13:36:36
29.   Shaun P
26 The upstate underdog bridge would have to be the Green Island bridge:

Its a drawbridge, which has retro appeal, but man is that thing ugly.

2008-01-07 13:38:27
30.   Chyll Will
26 As a side note, my favorite memory concerning bridge crossings was crossing that bridge the first time... my family was on another excursion when we happened upon the bridge the for the first time. My sister Terry, who was afraid of heights, started screaming and hollering, which set off Mom on a hilarious fit of shadenfraude; I was kinda queasy myself when I observed that not only was the bridge very high (you couldn't see the other side considering the high arch), but it has absolutely no sides whatsoever... (well, low guardrails, which don't count)... the return trip in total darkness was fairly interesting as well, and didn't curb the screaming either >;)
2008-01-07 13:41:09
31.   williamnyy23
What about Todd Bridges? Or Tito Puente?
2008-01-07 13:43:39
32.   Chyll Will
31 Too street for main stream...
2008-01-07 13:46:15
33.   williamnyy23
32 What you talkin about chyll Willis.
2008-01-07 13:48:18
34.   Bama Yankee
Actually, I think I'll vote for this bridge:

Not only does it give fans safe access to Spring Training Yankee games, it was fabricated here in Alabama and I had a little something to do with it. So, even though I'm biased, I am throwing my support behind this bridge (notice I said behind and not under... we stand behind our bridges, just not under them ;-)

2008-01-07 13:48:45
35.   Chyll Will
32 ...
2008-01-07 13:50:41
36.   Bama Yankee
29 You ain't kiddin'. That's one ugly bridge.

33 LOL. Good one.

2008-01-07 13:52:57
37.   Chyll Will
33 ugh... I walked into that one (scraping shoe on edge of curb, located conveniently on 35 ) >;)
2008-01-07 13:56:41
38.   Chyll Will
29 Wowzers... seems like Wiki got that wrong, it's probably maintained by the Department of Corrections (my eyes!!!)
2008-01-07 14:01:51
39.   dianagramr
OK .... I think we've taken a bridge conversation too far ...
2008-01-07 14:02:47
40.   Mattpat11
The defamation lawsuit actually adds some credibility for me. If he loses this suit, he's sunk, so he must think he's going to win.
2008-01-07 14:05:50
41.   ny2ca2dc
39 Nonsense! Here's a vote for a foreigner, the good old Golden Gate.

I'd love to see the reaction to a vote for the Triborough.

2008-01-07 14:19:21
42.   OldYanksFan
Man, I had some idea, but I really had no idea...
2008-01-07 14:27:28
43.   OldYanksFan
Clemens news conderence on NOW LIVE. ESPN website
2008-01-07 14:27:31
44.   Bob B
Allen's omission from the HOF is one of the most egregious examples of what is wrong with the voting. No: 15 was and is one of the best players of his generation. Everyone made way too much out of his attitude. He was graceful in the field and running the bases and he hit the ball a ton.
2008-01-07 14:38:18
45.   El Lay Dave
I hear the 59th St. Bridge is feeling groovy.

Dick (then still Richie) Allen had a big year in his only season in L.A., but there was disappointment that he really couldn't play 3B any more (career fielding % .927 indicates plenty of errors there, plus the 1967 serious wrist injury - the infamous headlight incident) and he was flipped for the pre-surgical Tommy John. In his 1964-1974 peak years he put up big numbers, in both pitchers years like 1968 and hitters' years like 1970.

Allen did come out early in 23 games in 1972. Just judging by final scores, maybe six are highly likely to have been for defensive purposes.

2008-01-07 15:05:42
46.   OldYanksFan
Did anyone see that press conference?
Man... but this is getting INTENSE!
Roger is fighting balls-to-the-wall.
He sounds like a man falsely accused.
It's hard to believe he would go to this extent if he were guilty.

IF...if... and I certainly can't say...
but IF he is guilty, he will be FRIED like no other figure in the history of sports.

I hope he is innocent because this is getting ugly way beyond the initial reactions to the Mitchell report.

2008-01-07 15:31:49
47.   rbj
30 Yeah, my mom hated that bridge. I went to Bard, so she had to cross it a few times a year. I do get uneasy if I haven't crossed it in a few years, but constant crossing is fine.
2008-01-07 15:36:31
48.   williamnyy23
46 As one who has thought Clemens deserved the benefit of the doubt based on the evidence at hand, I think the press conference was a very positive step for his case. The public got to see a defiant Clemens, learned that he was willing to testify before Congress; heard from a lawyer who says he is convinced of Clemens innocence and heard a tape that at the very least make McNamee out to be a less than credible witness.

Unfortunately for Clemens, the press conference is only a small step toward clearing his name, but I think more people either will believe him or shift to undecided as a result.

2008-01-07 15:39:47
49.   Schteeve
Wasn't "Goose Loves Dick" the marketing slogan for Top Gun?
2008-01-07 17:04:40
50.   OldYanksFan
50 Not to infringe on this Bridge game, but am I only only one that thinks this affair may grow into the biggest scandal in MLB history, one that will make the Black Sox and Pete Rose look like bit players?

If Roger is indeed innocent, and continues in this pursuit, this will bring down the Mitchell Report, possibly Bud 'He Who Should Be Blamed' Selig, and give a number of members in the press a black eye, if not a banishment from a number of club houses.

This is big new gentlemen.
Don't we Banterers have an obligation to conclude how this will all turn out?

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-01-07 17:05:24
51.   OldYanksFan
P.S. That IS one ugly bridge.
2008-01-07 17:31:05
52.   Chyll Will
50 Bud 'He Who Should Be Blamed' Selig... nice!

Well, you're right to a certain extent. In today's culture of ADD, this will linger like old doo-doo; it will stink for a while, then dry up, only to re-manifest if stepped in again. But no one will want to pick up the mess and it will just sit there while people will pretend it's not there or step around it.

And, like the fertilizer this all implies, that's One To Grow On >;)

2008-01-07 17:58:19
53.   OldYanksFan
53 Cyll Whill - If this unfolds and the Mitchell report goes down, this will be serious stuff. More congressional involvement, player denials, Selig on the hot seat... lots of stuff. The story goes from steroids to corruption. It has some real nasty implications.
2008-01-07 18:37:16
54.   Chyll Will
53 The nature of this type of corruption would take down more than just baseball, but seriously injure the reputation of sports journalism (and maybe a few investigators and representatives) as well. I think more than a few people have a lot at stake here, which leads me to believe that they would do anything to redirect people's attention from the obvious, if it gets that far.

I don't think much of the general sports public in that it would have to take someone killing themselves or being killed as a result of all the coverage and investigating in order to sustain the public's interest for a long time. A spectacle of bloody and superstar proportions, higher than Anna Nicole Smith overdosing. Not that I'm endorsing that of course, but I'm skeptical that anything honest will come of this in the long run, unless Congress does revoke their antitrust exemption...

2008-01-07 18:53:14
55.   OldYanksFan
Comments anyone?
(Note: NOT Clemens related.)
2008-01-07 20:16:28
56.   williamnyy23
50 I don't think so. Whether Clemens is able to more convincingly porve his innonence or not, I doubt it will send showwaves through anything or anyone. After all, look at the LA Times retraction. That was a serious allegation that turned out to be flat out wrong. There were no repurcussions.

The media today is hardly a bastion of integrity, so this will simply go down as par for the course in an era of shameful journalism.

2008-01-07 20:40:25
57.   wsporter
21 Chyll I would like to point out that countless thousands have attempted to "buy" the Brooklyn Bridge but not a one has been successful. No my friend, the integrity of that magnificent edifice is unassailable. Those mighty caissons stand for the right things; honor is not on sale today. It has my vote.
2008-01-07 21:21:08
58.   dianagramr
And right on cue (speaking of bridges) ....

2008-01-07 21:30:06
59.   Chyll Will
57 Fair enough. Your superior reasoning has bested us again... you have my vote if you decide to run >;)
2008-01-07 21:34:22
60.   Chyll Will
58 Good thing they don't know about 30 >;)
2008-01-08 09:55:46
61.   dianagramr
And right on cue (again) ... even more talk of bridges ...

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