Okay...maybe we're talking about two different things here.
I completely disassembled my entire shift assembly and never encountered anything more liquid than a little bit of grease to help the shifter move smoothly, let alone anything spewing.
Are we talking about the rubber (or leather) thing around the stick, below the knob? If so, the knob just needs to be unscrewed...it takes a while, lots of threads. Then the bottom of the shift boot just needs to be stretched to pull it off the plastic base it is kind of wrapped around.
Here's the only pic I can find that may help...it's already got everything, including the console, removed. Since yours is a 2000, you'll have more white plastic where mine has metal, so if you look inside and see white plastic don't worry, it's normal.
I wish I had a pic for you without the console removed, but I can't find one.