Peter Gammons (2:33 PM)
If you are a baseball fan, you have one of the great treats you will ever have .. that confrontation between Gagne and Bonds is as good as it gets! Gossage-Brett in 1980 was close .. on to your question ..
Hi Mr. Gammons. Don't you think there is a good chance that either the Red Sox or Yankees won't make the playoffs (beaten out for the wild-card by Anaheim/A's or the Orioles)?
Peter Gammons (2:34 PM)
I think there is a very good chance that could happen. The Sox have issues with the everyday players and the Yanks have issues with starting pitching. Anaheim has as good a team as anybody and Oakland is capable of winning 95 games. Very good chance the Sox or Yanks don't make it. Don't discout Minnesota or Chicago either.
John Lupton, New Orleans
What's your take on the umpiring situation this year, specifically regarding how they have become the center of attention in several games already?
Peter Gammons (2:35 PM)
I agree. It's been very erratic. Terrible in the Cubs-Reds series. Too much showboating. Some of it is a reaction to attempts by the commissioners office looking at umpiring. But having paid for tickets, I want to see a game, not the umpires.
Paul, Denver, Colorado
Good afternoon, Mr. Gammons! Nice to have a chance to talk with you! O.K., O.K., so let me get this strait. My Dodgers are off to their best start since 1983, with the best record in the Bigs thus far. Are they just off to a quick start, destined to dissappoint me; or should I keep my hopes up for post season play in October?
Peter Gammons (2:36 PM)
I think there are a couple things to encourage you .. Shawn Green is healthy. He looks terrific. Bradley has added a new dimension. They are much better offensviely. The starting pitching is thin but deeper than everyone else in that division. I'm sure they will deal for one more offensive player.
Is it just me or did A-Rod look extremely nervous against the Red Sox? It's not often the reigning mvp goes 0-12 against his teams rival.
Peter Gammons (2:37 PM)
You are right. He was trying too hard. He was jumping at a lot of pitches. His best at bat was today in the 9th against Foulke. But he's just trying to hard. He wants to please everyone but you can't do that in NY. Giambi went through the same thing. He will be just fine though.
Did somebody steal Toronto's bats?
Peter Gammons (2:38 PM)
You know Vernon Wells is going to hit but Delgado's knee is of concern. They don't have a really deep lineup. They need those two big guys.
Dan Ford, Andover, MA
Happy Patriots Day! Boston Marathon, you're camped out in Kenmore Square, one mile to go, and you're in control of the music. What's on your song list to power the runners to the finish?
Peter Gammons (2:39 PM)
(laughing) Knowing I couldn't get to mile 25, probably Running With the Devil.
What's the real deal with Prior? He's out, he's back next month... it's really confusing! Thanks!
Peter Gammons (2:40 PM)
He threw twice this week and they claim he is getting better. The reports about needing Tommy John surgery were wrong. I'm guessing it will be longer than originally thought. But the Cubs are better with 3 and a half months of a great Prior than a full season of a mediocre Prior. If you look at his August games in 2002, you can understand why they are so cautious.
Andrew Orefice, Neptune, NJ
Peter: Is Alfonso Soriano poised to stay in Texas this season and thereafter, or are they willing to deal him before July 31st? What are you hearing about the Mets' interest in him, given the uncertainty of Jose Reyes hammy?
Peter Gammons (2:41 PM)
I dont' think they will pay him what he can make on the open market. I think they will try to trade him for pitching. The question is who can afford 9-10 million and has pitching to give up? They would like to get a SS and some young pitching.
Tim Boston, Ma
Mr. Gammons, am I correct to assume after listening to you on WEEI on last Thursday that you think some of the pitchers on the Angels staff have taken steroids? If not, could you clarify your comments.
Peter Gammons (2:43 PM)
To start with, the percentage of pitchers who have used some enhancement is as great as hitters, I think. Ramon Ortiz you can be sure he hasn't But about one-third of the staff is very different from last year. I have a problem accusing anyone without proof. That is one of the problems with the media right now. It's easy sitting in a radio studio or writing a story. You don't want to see someone ruined who might be innocent.
Jurgen (Toronto, ON)
Thanks for the chat, Peter. I was wondering if you think Billy Beane is preparing to trade one of the Big Three (perhaps for another bat or two)? There was a lot of speculation when he traded for Redman in the off-season, and even despite Harden's struggles, he's still got Blanton and now Saarloos near-ready in the minors. Who is mostly likely to be dealt, and to which club?
Peter Gammons (2:44 PM)
I dont' think he will. None are eligible for free agency until after next year. I think he will get Hudson sign. I think he figures with Dye coming back he just needs to find an offensive 2B. He's convinced Bobby Crosby will hit 20 HRs by seasons end.
Mike B. (Baltimore, MD)
Do you get the feeling that Barry Bonds enters this season with a chip on his shoulders that is bigger than usual? (with the steroid scandal, pressures of surpassing his godfather and soon the Babe, and the passing of his father)
Peter Gammons (2:45 PM)
He may. He seemed very cynical about people assuming his guilt when it came to steroids. I think he's channeling it very well. I want to see him make a run at .400. I don't really care about the HRs anymore. I want to see him hit .400. He was close two years ago.
Andrew (Madison, WI)
Pokey or Belhorn at 2nd when Nomar returns? I'd go with Belhorn as the everyday guy, but Pokey when groundball-inducing Lowe is on the hill.
Peter Gammons (2:46 PM)
I think it will be a platoon. If Belhorn continues to get on base, he's a good offensive player. The infield was a mess early in the series so you saw a lot of errors and missed balls. But Pokey handled everything. He is magical on defense.
Imre Missoula, MT
Why is everyone so bent out of shape over Maddux's slow start? Give a guy a break, huh?
Peter Gammons (2:47 PM)
I agree. I saw Maddux pitch with a week to go in Spring Training and he looked great. I'm not worried yet. He's used to pitching in a perfect environment in Atlanta. That enviroment doesnt' 'exist in Wrigley.
Chunk and Chicago
What is your take on Dusty Baker? The more I watch him in action, the more my beleif is solidified. I think he is an excellent motivator who gets the most out of his players, but a HORRENDOUS in game managaer. I have yet to see him outwit an opposing manager. What is your take? What would be a way to neutralize this deficieny? Would you rather have a brilliant in-game tactician or a player's manager who loves to play for the coach..? Not everyone can get Joe Torre.
Peter Gammons (2:49 PM)
The handling of people is the most important thing a manager does. Is he a great tehnical game manager? Maybe not. Players really respect Dusty and that goes a long way. Players went to Chicago JUST to play for Dusty. That speaks volumes.
Don McLaughlin, Falls Church, Virginia
The Washington, DC, city government is offering to build and fully pay for a new baseball-only stadium, and local ownership groups are offering big bucks to buy the Montreal Expos. Lots of folks in the DC area are sick of the way Major League Baseball hems and haws and pretends that Washington is some kind of suburb of Baltimore. When is this Expos/relocation charade going to end, and when will Washington finally get a baseball team of our own again?
Peter Gammons (2:51 PM)
There are some holes in all those proposals. I would like to see a team in DC but I agree with Angelos .. instead of one great franchise we could end up with two mediocre teams. I'm not sure it's not more likely the Norfolk area gets a team.
Joe (Washington, NJ)
Do Larry Bowa & the Phillies finally have it together, or should we phillies phans continue to be prepared for the worst?
Peter Gammons (2:52 PM)
I would wait and see. They need to first start getting guys on base at the top of the order and not strike out as much. Too many guys swinging and missing too often. Thome and Abreau started to hit this weekend though.
Keith (LA, CA)
Have there been more day games than usual this year or is it my imagination?
Peter Gammons (2:53 PM)
I think it's your imagination. They usually try to play as many as they can in April. You may have noticed the Sox played on a Saturday night last week, a first for this early in the season. It's called Luxury Boxes.
How long can Griffey last if he's diving all over the place like I've seen him do in a few games recently? He scares me sometimes
Peter Gammons (2:54 PM)
Griffey can't play unless he plays all out. If he played conservatively he would get hurt. He's had so much bad luck, he deseves some good luck and to get back to where he belongs in baseball.
Doug, Forest Hills, PA
I noticed you seem to have had a few nice things to say about my Buccos. Do you think we can re-build a la the Indians of the 90s, or is this franchise jsut a wasteland now?
Peter Gammons (2:56 PM)
I think they can be much better this season. The rebuilding is predicated on pitching. They have four good starters now. They should be able to trade Benson. They have some good players on the verge of coming up .. there is hope. They just need a few more positional prospects to get in there. Thanks for the questions! I really enjoy chatting with you all ... we'll do it again in two weeks. Take care!