Peter Gammons, legendary MLB Insider, joined Tiki, Dana and Brandon on The Morning Show Wednesday after a month of baseball is in the books to talk about what he’s seen from the season so far.
The first topic as always was the new look American League East division.
“It really comes down to pitching, I said from the beginning I thought there wasn’t a team in the division that could win 90 games but I thought all of them could be above .500,” Gammons said. “The first month, there’s so many oddities in it. It’s been remarkable what the Yankees have done with all the guys they’ve picked up off the waiver wire, that were being released: the Vernon Wellses the Lyle Overbays, guys like that.”
Gammons, however, said if the Yankees falter it won’t be the offense, it will be the rotation.
“What I don’t know about the Yankees is whether a rotation built around guys in their mid-to-late 30s will hold up in July and August.”
What about the Toronto Blue Jays? The team picked by many to run away with the division. Gammons said splashy offseason acquisitions don’t necessarily mean success.
“Toronto has a lot of issues and the expectations there,” Gammons said. “When they opened up the season it was if, well this is the preparation for the playoffs. Well, when you bring a lot of guys in from different organizations you have to see how they fit and nothing has gone right for them thus far.”
Wrapping up the talk about the East, Gammons said it may be the most interesting in the league, but not for the reason it was in years past.
“It’s a fascinating division and I think what makes it most fascinating is it’s no longer the division with all the stars,” Gammons said. “It’s as if the whole Yankees-Red Sox Broadway notion has moved to Los Angeles, so they can go back and forth between Anaheim and Dodgers Stadium.”
Then the crew asked for Gammons’ thoughts on the two brightest young stars in the game: Bryce Harper and Mike Trout.
“The ceiling is really high,” Gammons said. “What I really enjoy about them both, is they think the game has to be played like George Brett or Pete Rose. Every day they come to the park, they play like maniacs. And I worry about Harper a little bit that he plays so hard he’s going to run into walls like Darin Erstad and Grady Sizemore and guys like that. But maybe he’ll learn that maybe he can’t move walls and he’ll learn to jump rather than crash into them. Being in the spotlight last year as they were at the age of 19 and 20 they never cracked they never stopped hustling they never stopped playing simply to win. Their maturity is remarkable.”
Finally, Tiki asked the veteran baseball mind what his thoughts were on all the sabermetrics that have become a part of the advanced analysis of the game.
“I like them,” Gammons said. “I get OPS because it’s on-base plus slugging, but there are no ultimate statistics that tell you everything. He continued to say that advanced statistics don’t replace good old on-the-ground scouting of players. You match up the analytics with the scouting, and you can’t have one without the other.”