Peter Gammons is leaving ESPN. Some people in the sports world are baffled by this move. Gammons has been one the familiar faces on Baseball Tonight, sideline reporting and ESPN’s in-house baseball ‘expert’ if you will. But why would he leave? ESPN is great right? Let’s think about this for a minute. As a kid ESPN aired Sportscenter about seven times a day in the morning. Then again at 6 and 11 pm. Those early in the day shows were the exact same show. Yes they showed the same highlights, but that’s not what I am talking about. It was taped once then aired multiple times in a row until Wimbledon or Horse Racing started. Now a days they have moved from their comfy Bristol, Conn digs (some shows are still taped there) and moved their studio to LA. So as they say when they small town actor gets to big for his britches, ESPN went Hollywood. And instead of airing the same show over and over, they film it live each time. Sometimes with different anchors but always the same highlights. So after all this rambling, yes ESPN is great. There is no doubt about this.
The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) was founded by the father/son duo of BIll and Scott Rasmussen and with funding provided by Getty Oil Company it launched September 7, 1979. Again not important. Why is Gammons leaving? Was it because he is following in the footsteps of late founder Bill, who himself left after only one year being in broadcast? No, not sure if he even knew Bill. Was it the money, the fame? Or is just because he loves baseball that much? In a nut shell, that’s why. But this didn’t stop the sports loving duo of Kevin and Tim debate this very issue. I will post excerpts from their conversation. The only reason I don’t post it all, is for the fact I am not sure anyone could handle it.
1. espn is kicking him off air because he is old….really old. It is an unagruable fact that Peter Gammons is on borrowed time. With each day that passes with Peter Gammons on espn’s payroll, they get dangerously close to an unavoidable tradgedy….peter gammons dying while on air. In my opinion it is a smart move. He is on air so much, and is soooo old, why not let the MLB network take the heat for having the first person to keel over on their airwaves
2. Peter Gammons is using steroids. It is a well known fact that Peter Gammons has covered many MLB stars over the years. Peter Gammons has interviewed Barry Bonds, David Ortiz, Manny Rameriz, Jose Cansaco, A-Rod and Rodge Clemmons just to name a few. It is plausible that Gammons had a connection with one or more of these players to get ”the clear.” If that is not enough, just look at the numbers…Gammons on air average during 1990-1996 was 1.76 TV appearances per day….nothing crazy there. But look closer. In the 1997 season, Gammons numbers sky rocketed. He went to 5.67 TVAperD. And his numbers only rose for the better part of a decade. His average TVAperD for 1997-2004 was 7.34. Then just as MLB started to crack down on steroids, his numbers plummeted. 2005 was 1.99, and in 2006 1.45. These numbers are all facts. Peter has also been ordering Larger glasses frames. Is this because of an increase in the size of his head?
3. Peter Gammons is having an affair. As we well know in this day in age, powerful men think that they can get away with anything. Even adultery. Text messages and voice mails are starting to surface. TMZ is reporting that as many as 45 mistresses have come forward. His wife is quoted as saying, “45 women??? What 45? Im not even mad…at 85 years old thats just impressive.”
Aside from MLBN being far superior in reporting of everything baseball – leaving an easy decision, for a baseball enthusiast such as Gammons, to exit through the big, yet ill-focused doors of ESPN – there are deeper, darker demons afoot here.
It is public record that ESPN was founded in Bristol, Connecticut by former-communist ruler Fidel Jeter-Rodriguez. ESPN’s crooked past troubled Gammons (dubbed early on as “the Patriot” for his youth in Cape Cod, MA) early in his on-air, sports reporting career from 1990-1996. The stress from working in such an environment took its toll – leaving his TVAPD averages very low. In an effort to bring Americanism back to ESPN (remember: baseball is America’s pastime), Gammons increased his appearances in hopes that his reporting would drive the communism straight out of town. In few, measurable outcomes his efforts were successful – with the addition of female on-air reporters and the adoption of HD cameras – they even hired special-needs employees (ie. Stuart Scott). This helped shape Gammons as a reporter and a person – as he’s credited ESPN for many of his character traits along with his super-human knowledge of baseball.
At age 64, a man – broken down by years of ‘fighting the good fight,” but still proud of his small, yet significant moral victories – is faced with a tough decision.
Now, it is also public record that the New York Yankees payroll reaches ends of the Earth never before seen by man. Under the out-stretched arms of this enormous beast lies the modest, baseball machine known as MLBN – run on pure passion, hot dogs, cracker jacks and a few steroid-pumped ex-baseball players. Peter Gammons was the piece MLBN needed to make its long awaited (1 year) run as the undisputed Major League Baseball Reporting Champion of the World. Well, the only organization on the planet that could pry a HOF reporter away from your supposed Golden Goose, is the New York Yankees. So, they did what they had to do – just after plucking Curtis Granderson from the Detroit Tigers – they nabbed Peter Gammons in a trade for some leaked, elicit photos of Harold Reynolds and Keith Obeman at a local Anime Convention.
But this is where Gammons’ dilemma arises – he has an established no-trade clause. Gammons was happy in CT – so familiar with his life and slowly settling into the idea of retiring with ESPN. Now, before you begin to believe that Gammons traded in his morals and standards for a deal with the devil and a taste of Baseball reporting immortality – we have to look past the obvious to find the real reasons behind his decision.
The New York Yankees are primed for another return to the World Series in 2010. This infuriates Gammons – having notoriously rooted for underdog teams his entire life (with his allegiance falling to the Boston Red Sox, before all others). Gammons, along with the rest of the world, doesn’t want to see New York win another championship. But he is a rational man, and he knows that with all the money, steroids and closet homos they’ve pumped into that team – they are well on their way to another World Series parade and there is not much anyone can do about it. Except for one lowly, beaten down Red Sox fan turned baseball reporter. Gammons decided to take the job because of his love of baseball, but what really sealed the deal for him was his hatred for the New York Yankees.
This was Gammons’ opportunity to slay the beast from the inside! A baseball Trojan horse – if you will!
Upon reading this, Tim does not quite fully agree. But the one of they can agree on is that the baseball world needs more people like Peter Gammon.
Obviously, many of these facts are fictional and just intended for humor.