SAN DIEGO — Relief pitcher Rich (Goose) Gossage was suspended without pay for the rest of the 1986 baseball season by the San Diego Padres today.
Club President Ballard Smith said the suspension was effective immediately and was brought on by Gossage's repeated "personal attacks" against team owner Joan Kroc and Smith. Gossage, 5-7, with a 4.31 earned-run average, told a newspaper this week that Smith "doesn't know anything and doesn't care" about baseball.
The former New York Yankee said he missed playing there.
"I'd rather have a guy like George (Steinbrenner, Yankees owner) who wants to win every game than have the guy we have here who doesn't know anything and doesn't care," Gossage said. "He (Smith) cares more about our citizenship than winning. He wants choir boys and not winning players. What are we in this game for, to show what good people we are or to win games?"
"I never sang in a choir. I didn't know you had to go to church before you could play baseball," Gossage said.
In a statement read by team spokeswoman Bea Barnes, Smith said he was suspending Gossage under Major League Rule 13, which gives owners the right to discipline players for "repeated and continuing insubordination and similar player behavior that is not in the best interest of the club."
Gossage has verbally attacked Manager Steve Boros this year and complained at length about owner Kroc when the Padres removed beer from the home clubhouse.
"Players have a right to speak out. I welcome anyone coming to me personally to air grievances or make suggestions to improve the organization and the team," Smith said. "However, as in any business, we expect our employees to conduct themselves professionally.
"Mutual respect must be a part of any employer-employee relationship. Gossage's repeated personal attacks on the owner and management of the Padres are not in the best interest of this organization."