Peter Gammons: Another February traveling through Florida

PHOENIX—The flight from Tampa to Phoenix is a time to think about how different spring training is in the two states that equally divide the 30 training teams. The difference is driving. Arizona’s longest ride from the Biltmore area of Phoenix is 40 minutes. You can do that simply turning off 17 towards Dunedin, let […]

Peter Gammons: Chase Utley, Mattingly’s roster decisions, the Mets, and more

Understand, the return of Chase Utley was not a luxury item, a Rodeo Drive trinket. It was, in many ways, Farhan Zaidi and Andrew Friedman’s exercise in baseball democracy. It was clearly peer driven, respect from teammates, young and old, that even with the acquisition of Logan Forsythe—which was universally applauded by the Dodger players—the […]

Peter Gammons: The Mattingly/ Leyland Letter, “Little Things”

Most everyone across baseball leaves for spring training this weekend in Florida or Arizona, with some form of preparation behind them, physical, mental, winter baseball experience, rest for the nearly nine months required to get to the final day of the World Series. Recently, everyone in uniform or in the Marlins organization received a letter […]

Peter Gammons: Showalter, Butterfield, Belichick, and the details

Understand, Buck Showalter is the son of a high school coach and principle. He’s from a military background. One of the first days of spring training two years ago we were wandering the fields of the Oriole facility as the players took a February ritual known as infield. Defensive drills. Like pitchers covering first and […]

Peter Gammons: Swihart and the Red Sox catching depth chart

Brian Bridges was still an area-crosschecking scout for the Braves in 2010, helping coach the high school Team USA team. He had a particular player he thought was special, a kid out of New Mexico named Blake Swihart. “He would be the shortstop,” Bridges said that summer as the team toured. “But we have a […]

Peter Gammons: John Lynch and the game for athletes

Orrin Freeman knows Gary Hughes is very happy now. “Gary is a huge 49ers fan,” says Freeman, “and now he can just call the general manager and get a nice, comfortable box to watch them.” The General Manager, of course, is John Lynch, one of the great safeties in the history of the National Football […]

Peter Gammons: Quick notes for a Wednesday in January

There’s been a lot of discussion as to whether or not Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds will creep up to the necessary 75% with five more shots on the ballot. But it may not be that easy, because despite their increases, it’s difficult to ascertain how fixed hard-liners that did not vote for them will […]

Peter Gammons: The Padres pillar in San Diego grows stronger than ever

The first time the ad for “The Founder” ran, the first thought wasn’t about a Big Mac or McRib sandwich, it was about who would play Doug Rader taking the lineup card up to home plate in a chef’s hat, the night after Ray Kroc called his newly-owned Padres a bunch of “short order cooks.” […]

Peter Gammons: Kansas City looks to cope as more tragedy touches the game

Any premature death is tragic, be it a former baseball phenom like Andy Marte, a 30 year old man trapped inside his Mississippi trailer home in yesterday’s tornadoes, a 23 year old Stradivarius of a pitcher named Jose Fernandez, or a 25 year old kid named Yordano Ventura. Many of remember how distraught Ventura was […]

Peter Gammons: Reflection of Hall of Fame inductees Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell

Tim Raines signs HOF after his name, the second greatest leadoff hitter in history, a man who reached base more often than Tony Gwynn or Roberto Clemente. So does Jeff Bagwell, who statistically is one of the six best first basemen ever, second only behind Albert Pujols since World War II. And Pudge Rodriguez, one […]