Buried late in an article about Goose Gossage's visit to the Hall Of Fame is this story. I love hearing from the ballplayers about what they were really thinking at a pivotal point in time. Not right after it happens and they give us something they think we want to hear, but the truth some time later.
I love this stuff. Then the sidestory about drilling The Big Cat:
Gossage, that famous mustache now gray, claims to have hit only three batters intentionally in his major league career: Ron Gant, Al Bumbry and Andres Galarraga.
"They had it coming," he said.
Well, maybe not Galarraga. He was on a hot streak for the Montreal Expos in 1988 and Gossage, who was with the Cubs that season, said manager Don Zimmer warned the staff not to let Galarraga beat them.
"I'm in the eighth inning, Galarraga's up, first base is open, the game's on the line with two guys on, and I'm thinking back to the meeting before the game," Gossage said with an impish grin. "I was in my delivery when I thought, 'I'm not taking any chances.'
"Boom! I wasn't going to put him on, so I saved four pitches and drilled him as good as I can drill them. Right in the ribcage. You could hear the air go out. It was beautiful."
I'm not sure what's better: his story about deciding to hit a batter, the twisted joy he derives out of executing it perfectly, or the fact that he noted that he "saved four pitches" by doing so. Either way, I love it.