Chat with Peter Gammons
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, longtime baseball writer Peter Gammons stops by to chat about the launch of ESPNBoston.com and the MLB pennant races.
Gammons serves as a studio analyst on Baseball Tonight and Baseball Today. He also provides "Diamond Notes" and other reports for SportsCenter. Gammons has been a senior writer for ESPN The Mag since December 1999 and contributes to ESPN.com. Prior to working for ESPN, Gammons worked at the Boston Globe and Sports Illustrated.
Send your questions now and join Gammons Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:01 PM)
Peter is here!
Peter Gammons (2:02 PM)
Living in Boston, I'm really happy that ESPN is launching this ESPNBoston.com project. The more voices that are heard, whether sports or politics, the better we are. I first started in the business, there were at least 6 newspapers in the Boston. I like to see there are at least now 6 sports sites. It's like Back to the Future.
for everyone wanting to get rid of clay buccholz hes been close to the sox best pitcher the last month ..has he solidified the #3 spot for when the postseason comes around? And what are chances the Sox going after Joe Maur or Felix Hernandez this offseason..
Peter Gammons (2:03 PM)
I absolutely do. When the Orioles were in town the last week, Jim Palmer observed there isn't a pitcher in the AL with the combination of four above average pitches that can match Buccholz. He predicted he'll be a 20 game winner in the near future. Sometimes the old cliche about the best deals are the ones you don't make. He could have been gone for Halladay or Lee.
Tom Jutras (Ohio)
peter, is there a chance that Dice K is going to be ready for the Sox stretch run to the post season?
Peter Gammons (2:05 PM)
I don't think anyone knows. I talked to a couple of people who saw his last start in the Carolina League last week. While they said his stuff was outstanding the last four innings, there's a big difference in pitching in Winston-Salem to pitching against the Angels, who are second in the MLB in runs. I do believe he's in better shape than when he started off two years ago. I believe he's an extremely prideful man who has a lot to prove.
Peter Gammons (2:05 PM)
If it doesn't happen this year, I think he'll come back very strong next year.
Joe (Boston, MA)
Hey Peter, just wondering, am I the only person in Boston concerned about Jacoby Ellsbury's defense? Small sample size and all, but it seems all the advanced fielding metrics hate him in '09. Any chance the Red Sox could go after Carl Crawford instead of Matt Holliday to play center, let Bay walk, and move Ellsbury to LF where he seems worlds better?
Peter Gammons (2:06 PM)
I've noticed that. There have been some times when he's taken some odd loops to fly balls. There were a couple of balls in the last few days that fell in front of him that he normally would have caught. But I'm not very worried, because he has been much better in the past. What he's shown this year is a willingness to sacrifice his body running into walls and diving on the warning track.
Steve (Shadow of the Tetons)
Sabathia\Burnett\Petitte vs. Beckett\Lester\Buchholz. Who do you like?
Peter Gammons (2:08 PM)
Right now, I would say Beckett/Lester/Buccholz. I do think that now Beckett is recovered from whatever kind of flu bothered him for two weeks, he will get his curveball back. I think Lester might be the best pitcher on either team. Buccholz has the advantage of being fresh because he hasn't thrown that many innings.
Mike (Falmouth, ME)
Hi Peter, Big fan of yours!! How hard do you think Terry Francona will push Billy Wagner when it comes to pitching in the postseason? I think he will play more than once every 3 days (As is the case now), but how hard do you see Billy being pressed?Thanks Peter!
Peter Gammons (2:10 PM)
I think Billy will pitch every other game when needed. Right now, he's a very valuable weapon. They don't want to push and endanger him. But Billy clearly wants the opportunity to shine in the postseason. Those games, when they can finish the last three seasons with Wagner, Bard and Papelbon, they could be close to unbeatable. Somehow, I see one Red Sox-Yankees playoff game ending up at about 1:30 in the morning because no one can score against Hughes, Rivera, Wagner, Bard or Papelbon.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Taking a left turn here. As a rock and roller, what do you think of the new Beatles Rock Band video game?
Peter Gammons (2:11 PM)
No, I haven't, but I will try it. To be honest, growing up in the 60s, I was much more of a Stones guy than a Beatles fan. So if I can recreate Keith Richards on video, I'll immediately buy that game.
When was the last time Pedro pitched the way he did last night? I honestly can't remember.
Peter Gammons (2:13 PM)
I think it was probably in his second to last year in Boston, which would have been 2002. As you may know, last week was the 10th anniversary of the 17 strikeout game at Yankee Stadium in a September in which he struck out 70 in 41 innings.
Rockies of giants for NL wildcard?
Peter Gammons (2:14 PM)
Rockies, because of their depth. This week, getting Lincecum, Zito and Cain in San Francisco could be a repeat of the sweep that the Giants had last month.
Peter, When will Boston ownership give long-term extensions to Tito and Theo? Do you see Theo in the same job ten years from now?
Peter Gammons (2:14 PM)
Theo did sign an extension a year ago. If some people get their way, 10-15 years from now he'll be the commissioner.
Peter Gammons (2:15 PM)
Terry Francona has earned another extension for all he goes through with this team and in Boston. With all the injuries he's had this year, if they ever make it to the ALCS, it might be his best managerial job yet.
I know the Cubs would love to move Soriano and/or Bradley but neither scenario seems likely. Is it conceivable that they would consider moving any of their more marketable vets(Z,Lilly e.g).? They need a shakeup of some sort.
Peter Gammons (2:17 PM)
I agree, but I don't think they'll trade Derrek Lee or Aramis Ramirez. My guess is they'll eat some of Bradley's contract and send him back to Texas. The Zambrano market will be interesting, but no where near what it would have been a year ago.
Peter Gammons (2:17 PM)
I can not see them taking any offers for Ted Lilly.
MattX (Long Beach CA USA)
Chances of Holliday staying in Stl.? Bay in Boston? Damon in NY?
Peter Gammons (2:19 PM)
I doubt the Cardinals can afford Holliday, unless he convinces Scott Boras to give the Cardinals a discount. I think the Red Sox will eventually get Bay done, for one thing, with the economy and the current attendance drop, the market won't be what it would have been last winter. Damon is hard to tell, because the Yankees could dable after someone like Chone Figgins. But he's proven to be a integral part of that clubhouse and a very reliable hitter.
Sam (Denver, CO)
Of the biggest surprise teams this year, the Rockies and the Rangers, which team has the brighter future?
Peter Gammons (2:21 PM)
Not to play dodgeball, but I think they both have very good futures. The Rockies have tremendous depth and a very good farm system, while the Rangers have one of the best farm systems in either league. The issue with both franchises will be economics. It's hard to believe the Rockies attendance is actually down from last year's. The Rangers ownership will be in a state of flux for most of this offseason.
What would it take for Verlander to win the Cy Young?
Peter Gammons (2:22 PM)
I think he'd have to reel off dominant starts from here until the end of the season. As of now Zach Greinke's ERA, quality starts and strikeouts make him very difficult to beat.
Peter Gammons (2:22 PM)
But Verlander, Felix Hernandez and CC Sabathia are right in the mix.
Sam (Orlando, FL)
Peter, what must the Cubs do to reshape the image of the team? What player would be ideal for them to bring in to help improve the chemistry Lou Piniella has begun questioning recently?
Peter Gammons (2:24 PM)
I think they need to find a couple of unselfish players like Figgins or Javier Vasquez if the Braves can't afford his contract. The Cubs are no where near as bad as they've played this season. But they do need to reshuffle the outfield and add one more starting pitcher.
Can Kansas City build around Greinke and finally become a contender? What do they need to do to be successful once again?
Peter Gammons (2:26 PM)
One of the biggest disappointments of this season is that the Royals talented young players like Alex Gordon and Mark Teehan didn't develop as you thought they would. They are still a long way from being contenders, but two years from now with Greinke, Carl Davies and Aaron Crow, they do have the makings of a solid rotation. So, if Gordon comes close to being the player they hoped, they may be headed in the right direction.
Envision a Rockies - Yankees world series. Would any game have less then 10 total runs scored? Would it be one of the most exciting offensive series we've ever seen?
Peter Gammons (2:27 PM)
It would be interesting, but if Ubaldo Jimenez faces Sabathia in two of the games, there won't be many runs scored. It's underestimated that the Rockies have led the NL in quality starts for most of the second half of the season.
frank (ontario ca)
Mr. Gammons, what do think of Joe Torre and his Dodgers are they World Series bound.
Peter Gammons (2:29 PM)
I think they have the potential, but I worry about their starting pitching, especially if Randy Wolf's elbow is a problem and there are any ramifications from Clayton Kershaw's dislocated right shoulder. The Dodgers are very good and Joe has held them together. But whether or not they can win series against the likes of Carpenter and Wainwright or Hamels and Lee, remains to be seen.
Hi Peter -- who would be your pick to win the WS right now?
Peter Gammons (2:30 PM)
At 2:28 on September 14, I would say Yankees beating the Cardinals in 7, which probably means the Rangers will beat the Giants in 6.
Peter Gammons (2:31 PM)
I'd like to thank everyone very much. I hope the postseason gives us a lot of Albert Pujols to see. In this decade when the game has been smudged and tainted, the more we get to see Pujols and Derek Jeter, the more all our faith will be restored.