With a new class of baseball legends on the verge of entering the hallowed halls of Cooperstown, Turner Sports' Rachel Nichols sat down with two Hall of Famers and one star who's days away from being enshrined for a brief interview.
Goose Gossage, Ozzie Smith and Greg Maddux discussed some of the biggest issues in the game today, along with a couple of other topics.
Maddux is one of three players to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, with Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine joining him. Fifteen years have passed since three players were voted in after only being on the ballot for one year, per ESPN Stats & Info:
Maddux, Glavine, Thomas going into the Baseball Hall of Fame. First time since 1999 that 3 players were elected in their 1st year on ballot.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 24, 2014
One of the highlights of the interview includes Gossage's contention that hitters in modern-day baseball take inside pitches too personally.
He complained that stars today jump immediately to the bench-clearing brawl at the first sign of trouble, whereas back in the day, the hitter had a more innate understanding of when he'd get buzzed and wouldn't take offense.
The three also waded into the issue of steroids in the game.
Maddux was one of the few pitchers who played through the steroid era yet remains unscathed statistically. He believed the biggest indication that something was going on was the number of hitters who were hitting opposite-field home runs. The four-time Cy Young winner said that when he started in the mid- to late 1980s, hardly anybody was hitting the ball to right field.
Gossage believed that alleged steroid users shouldn't be allowed in the Hall of Fame because that would validate and honor cheating, while Smith felt that whatever the writers decided in terms of voting was the only argument necessary in terms of their HOF candidacies.
Hearing insight from some of the best baseball's had to offer is always enjoyable. Fans might not agree with everything the trio had to say, but there's no question that there's a great amount of value to be culled from their opinions.