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TWO OF A KIND AND WHAT A PAIR

By Murray Chass

June 24, 2018

I could never throw a baseball as fast as Rich Gossage. Goose, in fact, could probably throw two pitches from the mound to the plate in the time it would take one of my pitches to arrive there. I am confident, however, that I can write better than Gossage. On the other hand, he speaks a better game than I do, and all I can do is nod in agreement with his views.

Take, for example, the incident in 1982 in which he deftly turned an innocent question from me into one of the best all-time rants of his verbally raucous career, highlighted by the memorable statement to “take it upstairs to the fat man,” meaning George Steinbrenner, of course.

I might write harshly at times, but I don’t think I rant and rave. Nevertheless, Gossage and I find ourselves in a similar situation in our post-career lives. We have both made comments that have estranged us from our former employers.

Gossage has been banned from the New York Yankees’ Old-Timers’ Day and spring training instruction. I have been banned from appearing in The New York Times and speaking to Times editors.

This column was prompted by a terrific article by Billy Witz, who covers the Yankees for the Times, that appeared in the paper last Sunday. Sadly, the Times rarely publishes baseball stories like that one. It’s not soccer or cricket or rugby or cup stacking.

Cup what? Now there I go again.

However, before I revisit that most bizarre Times incident, let’s get to Gossage, who is the reason for this column. I spoke to Gossage last week for the first time in years, and we had a delightful conversation. Goose seemed to enjoy hearing a familiar, friendly voice after suffering the indignities heaped on him by the Yankees.

Like the Times, it seems, the Yankees are ultra-sensitive to and above criticism …

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HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION—15 YEARS AGO

By Murray Chass

June 4, 2018

When you woke up today, you very likely had no thought of celebrating anything, unless you’re the kind of person who gives thanks just for being able to wake up every day. But when I woke up today, I had an extra special reason to celebrate, and I invite everyone to join me.

Today marks the 15th anniversary of the operation that freed my head from the potential ravages of a malignant brain tumor. I don’t know what, if anything, occupies the space that the tumor held, but it’s a lot better, a lot more welcome than the tumor.

Brain tumors don’t wait for an invitation. They show up unannounced at their own initiative. It’s not known why brain tumors afflicted some people and not others. It’s not known either why some people who get brain tumors get one kind and others get other kinds, why some brain tumors are malignant, others benign.

Then there is the variety of brain tumors within each category …

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IN JUDGE-STANTON, ECHOES OF RUTH-GEHRIG

By Murray Chass

May 27, 2018

Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have been teammates with the New York Yankees for only a couple of months, and already they have hinted at the possibility that they could hit themselves into a class with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

I am not speculating here, nor am I making some wild guess or even projection. Stanton and Judge have demonstrated on a regular basis that they can strike out often enough to match the Ruth-Gehrig feat of 1927.

In that memorable season Ruth hit 60 home runs, a number that will retain its singular fame despite Roger Maris’ legitimate 61 and Barry Bond’s illegitimate number whatever it was.

But in 1927 Ruth also …

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