This entry was posted on 6/5/2009 10:39 AM and is filed under uncategorized.
A few helpings from Peter Gammons during his weekly radio spot with Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio this morning. Among the most interesting tidbits:
*Gammons lists the Texas Rangers and LA Dodgers as two teams that may end up kicking the tires on the recently released Tom Glavine.
*Gammons said he consulted with two clubs and the two pitching prospects received by the Pirates in the Nate McLouth deal are viewed as a three or four starter in the big leagues (Charlie Morton) and a potential No. 2 starter (Jeff Locke).
*The Mets could be in the market for a big bat, or a veteran starting shortstop, as a result of the deluge of injuries that seem to be befalling them -- including an elbow problem for JJ Putz and a torn hamstring for Jose Reyes.
Randy Johnson is the sixth left-handed pitcher to win 300 games, and you start to put together the list of best left-handed pitchers of all-time. How far do you go down the list before he gets into it? PG: Well, I think he goes into it. I think Lefty Grove is the greatest of all time, and I think Randy Johnson goes into that next category. You have (Warren) Spahn, you have Steve Carlton, you have Sandy Koufax and you have Randy Johnson. It’s hard to say one is any better than the others. I think you have Grove and then you have that next group of five.
What fascinates me about him is that I actually saw him pitch in Alaska between his freshman and sophomore year, and to think that he got where he got having seen him there as a long reliever for Palmer in the Alaskan League. The work, the effort that he put in. This isn’t a guy born a natural left-handed star. What he did is make himself a great player.
You look at his career and he went from Montreal to Seattle in a trade for Mark Langston because Montreal was trying to sort of save of their franchise, and that was a franchise-changing trade for Seattle. What he did in that run along with Junior Griffey in 1995 built the ballpark and probably saved baseball in Seattle.
Then he ends up going to Arizona as simply the greatest free agent signing of all time – four straight Cy Youngs – and then 300 wins, so it’s a remarkable career for a guy that was hardly a natural.
How about the modern era and pitchers overall? Where does he stand? PG: Well, you have Randy, you have (Greg) Maddux, you have (Roger) Clemens and very underrated in all of this is Tom Glavine. But I think Johnson, Clemens, Maddux are arguably the three greatest of the last 30 years and it’ll be really interesting to see where Clemens ends up because of the last couple of sort of unsavory years. But his performance was certainly great.
Have we seen the last of Tom Glavine? PG: I know he’d like to pitch again. I think there still might be a possibility. Whether it’s Texas, and I thought the Dodgers would be a natural (fit). I understand that they might not be big on it (right now), but they might reconsider that because their pitching is thin and they might have a chance to win the World Series.
I still think there’s a chance.
It was an odd thing. Understand there were some bumps in Tom Glavine’s day (in Atlanta). There was one negotiation in which he felt like he was insulted by the club president; he ended up getting ripped in John Schuerholz’s book. To go down this road and then all of a sudden be told ‘You know what? Nah, we’re not going to do this’ where they’re going to go with Tommy Hanson, which I understand, and they need the money for the Nate McLouth trade. So goodbye.
It seemed very funny that he was allowed to go as far as he did in this process to get back to the big leagues, and then he was cut short. But his leaving there is a bad taste just as John Smoltz’s leaving there left a very bad taste.
What is going in Pittsburgh? If you’re not going to build around players and you keep trading them away, why do people even bother going to the games? PG: Well, they’re trying to be good rather than some year win 83 games, which is what they’ve been trying to do since Barry Bonds left. It’s time for that franchise to build from the bottom up and they have a long way to go because of terrible trading and drafting that they’ve done. Nate McLouth is a good player.
He’s not a guy you build around, but he’s a good player. He won a Gold Glove, but I think there are a lot of people that would argue with you on that one and would say that (Andrew) McCutcheon is definitely a future Gold Glove winner in centerfield. They’re trying to rebuild their pitching inventory.
I got reports in from two clubs on (Charlie) Morton – they think he’s a three or four starter in the big leagues -- and (Jeff) Locke, they think he’s No. 2 starter in the big leagues. That’s the only way. They’re not going to go anywhere trading older veteran players, well they don’t have many older veteran players. It’s a long year.
They’re going to be in the top third of baseball in signing bonus money spent at this year’s draft, which is something they weren’t in the last 10 years and they’ve already tripled the money spent in the Latin American budget. They’re trying to build long term and that’s the only way you’re going to survive in a market of Pittsburgh’s size.
It’s a gamble and I understand that, but the Pirates have tried for 15 years to put out a .500 club that’s going nowhere. This ownership, Bob Nutting, is trying to build a franchise to at least be what Cincinnati has been.
The Mets got bad injury news with Jose Reyes and people think it’s ‘Uh oh’ time with them. What do you think? PG: I think it’s going to be difficult for them. I thought it was very interesting that Carlos Beltran erupted after last night’s game because I think Beltran has been misinterpreted. The guy plays hurt and he’s a really good player. I was glad to see him get angry.
But if indeed (J.J.) Putz needs elbow surgery that takes another chunk of the bullpen. It’s not mechanics, it’s his elbow. Then you take Reyes out of the lineup and you’re not going to get (Carlos) Delgado for a couple of months. I don’t know if the Mets can go out and trade for another bat, but they may have to unless they’re willing to take on a veteran shortstop that makes a lot of money. I’m not sure if that’s going to happen. They will have some problems.
The good news is that the division doesn’t appear to be great. The Phillies should be starting to scare them. Cole Hamels performance last night. There are some people in San Diego that didn’t like the (Antonio) Bastardo kid that much, and there are others that think he’s going to be a nice fourth starter in the big leagues, which is all the Phillies need right now. I think all the Mets have to do is keep an eye on the where the Phillies are and hope they don’t get over the horizon between now and the first of August.