Cashman: Goose welcome as instructor

Hall of Famer criticizes replay, Panthers' Newton in New York Post

Cashman: Goose welcome as instructor

TAMPA, Fla. -- Hall of Famer Goose Gossage was not present at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Wednesday after making comments critical of instant replay in baseball and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, comments published on Monday by the New York Post.

This was the second round of controversial comments made this spring by Gossage, who also criticized the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista for flipping his bat during last year's playoffs, as well as baseball's increased use of analytics.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that Gossage continues to be welcome as a guest instructor in camp. Cashman and manager Joe Girardi met with Gossage after the first comments to explain their positions, but they do not plan to do so after these most recent remarks.

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"I heard a great comment the other day: There's freedom of speech in our country, but that doesn't always mean that there's freedom [from] consequence," Girardi said. "Sometimes people want to say that there's freedom of speech, but sometimes you're going to be judged on what you say. That's part of life."

Regarding what he believes to be excessive celebration in today's game, Gossage told the Post, "It's a shame, it breaks my heart to see the direction this game is going. What, do we want a bunch of Cam Newtons running around?"

The Panthers responded via their official Twitter account on Wednesday, posting a video of Newton with a brief comment: "We love the way this guy runs around."

Smokeout: A notice was posted in the clubhouse urging players to see a trainer if they desired nicotine treatment gum, lozenges or patches, a response to a memo sent recently by Major League Baseball. AT&T Park, Fenway Park and Dodger Stadium have banned smokeless tobacco, and Yankee Stadium could soon follow.

"It's not healthy. It's dangerous," Girardi said. "I wouldn't recommend it. There's a lot of other things in our world that are dangerous too that aren't outlawed, but I would recommend our players don't do it."

Worth noting
• First baseman Greg Bird traveled to New York this week for a checkup following surgery on his right labrum and said that everything is healing as expected. The Yankees have ruled out any possibility that Bird could return this season, instructing him to focus on 2017.

"I just try to take it day by day and do the rehab," Bird said. "It's frustrating at times and a little bit disappointing, but that's just how it goes. It's part of the sport. It's gotten better as I've been able to do more."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.