In which Peter Gammons acts like the Red Sox homer he really is

Remember Ed Barrow
Transforming the Stadium

Perusing the Internet this afternoon while waiting for my chance to head outside to enjoy this 75-degree weather we’re having, I came across that clip from last night’s Baseball Tonight via The Big Lead. As I watched Peter Gammons offer up his holier-than-thou take on Kyle Farnsworth’s seventh-inning pitch to Manny, I couldn’t believe how biased Gammons was being.

In the clip, he laughs off Kyle Farnsworth as “AAA pitchers … I mean, please.” Please, Peter. Please.

Please go back and watch the clip of Farnsworth throwing behind Manny. Please note that Farnsworth’s pitch, had it hit Manny, would have hit him in the exact same spot as A-Rod‘s hit-by-pitch the night before. And please spare us the faux-outrage. You’re better than that.

Kyle Farnsworth shouldn’t throw at Manny’s head, and he didn’t last night. He threw Manny an exaggerated brushback pitch after Manny had spent five of the last seven days taking batting practice off the Yankees’ starting pitchers. Biased TV commentators…I mean, please.

Remember Ed Barrow
Transforming the Stadium
  • Frank

    Gammo the Clown strikes again. He gets worse and worse every year.

  • Geno

    I wish he were better than that Ben, but sadly, he’s not.

  • Yankee1010

    Where has that fuckjob been the last few years? Just look at how many more Yankees have been hit by Red Sox pitchers in games between the two teams. I, for one, am glad that there is a possibility that the Yanks will not just let other teams use their batters for target practice.

    How does this asshat think that throwing behind Manny is worse than hitting A-Rod between the shoulder blades? Because he’s just like every other Masshole.

  • Dan

    You’ve nailed it with this Peter Gammons story. I can’t believe I’m not reading more about this today. This kind of behavior seriously diminishes his credibility as an MLB analyst. ESPN should definitely take issue with him as they stand to lose credibility as well by allowing such biased behavior from one of their premier analysts……..

  • Guiseppe Franco

    Isn’t Farnsworth one step away from being a AAA pitcher?

    Everyone on this board hates him and would DFA him today (in favor of a kid from the minors) if they had the opportunity.

    I don’t really care whether Gammons is biased or not. He still knows the game and inside info as much as anyone in the business.

  • Bruno

    I’m glad SOMEONE threw at Manny, and even happier it was Farmworthy, since if he gets suspended it’ll be doing us a favor because he IS a AAA pitcher.

  • Count Zero

    Heh – I’m actually glad he did that. It serves notice to the league that we will have our hard stuff guys brush people back.

    Joba’s semi-admission that he plunked the Greek God of Walks on purpose last year was one of the highlights of that Yesterdays episode. :-)

    I’m all for more retaliation against the teams that habitually do this to us — and in order for retaliation to have the proper deterrent effect, it needs to be well publicized. I think next time, Farnsworth should locate Gammons in the stands and hum one directly at him. REFLEX CHECK! :-)

  • Mike R.

    What is Peter Gammons doing crying like a little…well…nevermind…ESPN analysts…I mean please.

  • joba

    farnsworth isnt good but he hasnt been extremely bad this year either

  • Mike A.

    I can’t listen because I’m at work, but did they include the part when he said that the gap between Beckett and second best pitcher in baseball was bigger than the gap between numbers 2 and 5? I sure hope so, that made for a great laugh.

    • Tripp

      What? Becket is better than Santana? Better than Brandon Webb?

  • Adam

    i think the stroke destroyed the part of gammon’s brain that allowed for him to be partial.

    yeah, i went there.

  • Matt

    Sorry, but I have to (respectfully) disagree on this one. What Farnsworth did last night was wrong. I’m all for sticking up for A-Rod; I’m all for keeping Manny honest, I’m all for evening up the score after years of getting plunked by Sox pitching. But throwing inside is one thing. Hell, throwing at somebody is one thing. Throwing behind a guy is quite another. It’s dangerous, it’s wrong, and to my eyes that’s what Farnsworth did.

    Gammons may have a bit of an affinity for the Sox, but no more so that any of us here have a loyalty to the Yankees. I find Gammons to be fair and objective most of the time. To me, there’s no better ambassador for the sport, but your mileage may very and probably does.

    And it’s really not that far off the mark to call him a AAA pitcher.

    • Ben K.

      How is throwing behind someone dangerous? Throwing at his head is dangerous, and he didn’t throw at his head.

      And all things considered, Farnsworth is a Major League. He’s got a career ERA that’s on par with the league average during his time in the Bigs; he’s got a career K/9 IP of 9.00. As much as we hate Kyle Farnsworth, he’s a serviceable, if unspectacular, Major League reliever. To call 10-year Major League vet a AAA pitcher on TV is simply insulting, demeaning and rather unprofessional.

      • Matt

        Throwing behind someone is considered more dangerous than throwing at someone because batters are taught from an early age to “bail out” when a ball is coming at them. A pitch thrown behind a batter thus becomes more dangerous as the batter is moving into the pitch rather than away from it.

        Maybe he didn’t throw at his head, but he threw close enough to it. The pitch was definitely up. If you’re going to throw at somebody, the “acceptable” way of doing it is to go for the ribs or the thigh, not up in the zone. The height of the pitch coupled with it sailing behind Manny made it wrong in my opinion.

        Fair enough point about the length of Farnsworth’s career and his career ERA line. But I think it’s a bit of a double-standard that the guy gets bashed daily for going on three years and Yankee fans come to his defense because Gammons says something that’s no worse than what’s said in comments here on a daily basis. Or maybe it’s just that he had the stones to throw at Manny and everyone hates him more than Farnsworth.

        And please don’t take me to be a Manny defender here either. AFter that pitch last night I asked myself who I would root for had Manny charged the mount. I decided mutual annihilation was the most desirable option. Of course, Manny being Manny didn’t have all that much of a problem with the whole thing. Go figure.

        • Ben K.

          Players aren’t taught to bail out from an early age if the ball’s heading at them. They’re taught to drop the bat, tuck your head and expose as much of your back as possible while dropping down. Players are taught not to bail out for exactly the reason you described above as the balls continue to tail inside.

          Jacoby Ellsbury did it perfectly last night the first time. The second time he hardly moved. Manny did not do a fundamentally-sound job of making himself a less risky target.

          • Matt


            You’re absolutely right – let the Sox bear the brunt of a suspension. Fine with me. But don’t you think there’ll be more outrage here if A-Rod or Jeter or anyone else takes one on July 3rd? Or what happens if someone gets injured this time around?

            If your beef is with Gammons, then so be it. Because I’m at work I can’t access the clip, so I don’t know what to make of his comments on this particular incident. I’ve read here and elsewhere that people think he’s biased. I don’t agree with that. We’ll just to agree to disagree on that one.

            Back to your comment above about technique for a minute. Perhaps my use of “bail” wasn’t the proper term. Yes, turning and ducking is part of the evasive process. But it doesn’t end there – the batter isn’t just supposed to square his shoulders to the mound and take it between the numbers a la Tino vs. Benitez in 98. After turning your momentum and your fear of getting hit carry you out of the box.

            I never said that the pitch was at Manny’s head. It was below, but if he turned, ducked, and backed, it would have hit him right in the back of the neck.

    • Yankee1010

      Throwing behind someone is more dangerous than actually hitting someone? Wow. Just wow.

      I guarantee if you were in that batter’s box, you’d pick getting thrown behind instead of getting hit like A-Rod did on Wednesday night. Both pitches were slightly below shoulder level.

      • Matt

        Am I the only one who’s heard that before? If I recall correctly, Kay, Flash, and Leiter spoke about it after the pitch last night.

        Most Major League hitters have the ability to get out of the way of a pitch coming at them. How often do you see a guy, outside of say Don Baylor or Craig Biggio, just stand there and take a HBP? Not very often. Most guys that get hit are hit despite trying to back out of the way. Throwing behind someone is cheap and dangerous because it takes advantage of the batter’s natural reaction and lures him right into getting hit.

        I don’t think I’d like getting thrown at or thrown behind very much at all. I’m not saying that the Sox were somehow right in hitting A-Rod Wendesday night. I’m not saying that Sox pitching hasn’t taken liberties with HBPs over the past several years. I’m not saying that some form of retaliation wasn’t in order or that Manny didn’t need to feel a little less comfortable up there. But to my eyes, what Farnsworth did violated “the code” and I’m sure there will be a price to pay for that come July.

        • Ben K.

          I’m sure there will be a price to pay for that come July.

          Fine. Let the Red Sox bear the brunt of that discipline if they want to start that fight.

          My beef here is more with the unprofessionalism spewing out of Peter Gammons’ mouth on national television than it is about whether or not Kyle Farnsworth threw too close to Manny’s head or too far behind him or juts flat-out threw a bad pitch.

        • Yankee1010

          Do you have the exact coordinates that Farnsworth should have thrown the ball then? Would it have been better if he tried to throw the ball through Manny’s shoulder blades?

          A price to pay come July? So the way this works is that the Red Sox get to throw at guys for years, but if the Yanks have the unmitigated gall to throw at the Red Sox, well then cue the outrage?

    • SavePhil

      “Gammons may have a bit of an affinity for the Sox, but no more so that any of us here have a loyalty to the Yankees.”

      Come on, bro. The dude is supposed to be an unbiased baseball analyst.

      • Matt

        You’re absolutely right. In my opinion, he’s unbiased. Just because he’s from Boston and grew up pulling for the Sox doesn’t make him a homer every time he finds himself on their side of an argument.

        If we’re going to start harping on biased baseball analysts we can begin with Michael Kay, John Sterling, Suzyn Waldman, et al.

        • david

          theyre covering the yankees. ESPN doesnt cover the red sox, they cover sports. nobody on a show like BBTN is covering a specific team. they are analysts and supposed to be impartial

        • Count Zero

          Dude – that’s a poor comparison. You’re comparing the Yankees team analysts to a national sports network analyst. The NESN guys are every bit as bad as Kay and the bunch — but that’s fine because they are the NESN analysts. Last time I checked, Gammons is on ESPN which is not supposed to be biased.

          Honestly…that was just a pointless comment.

  • pete c.

    Yeah throwing behind someone, head high is more dangerous. If you want to hurt a batter throw behind him. Anyone who’s played baseball past 14 knows that. I didn’t see it but it sounds like ramirez would have hit if he put it in reverse, That’s a trip to the hospital if the Farnz hits him with a fastball in the head. It’s a bruise and a limp, maybe if it’s the hip.

    • Yankee1010

      One, he didn’t throw at his head. My God. Have people actually seen the pitch?

      Two, just so we’re clear here, if the Yanks want to really retaliate for beanballs, they should throw everything behind batters’ heads. Forget hitting them. Throw behind them.

  • pete c.

    Bob Ryan on PTI just said, no big deal with Manny except for the Pitches location, at his head and behind him. He writes for the Globe. Just goes to show sometimes “hometown” doesn’t mean, “homer”.

    • Yankee1010

      Bob Ryan also is wrong about the location. It wasn’t at his head. I’m sick of beating this dead horse though.

  • kunaldo

    the man has a CAREER ERA of 3.71!!! He has one cy young caliber season and everyone needs a tissue?

    • kunaldo

      scratch that, 3.76….doesnt exactly scream elite(although very good)

  • Chip

    People, this isn’t about where the pitch was. It’s about Gammon and the whole ESPN gang deciding that they love the Red Sox. If that exact same pitch were from Beckett to A-rod, nobody would have said a thing. It’s pathetic if you ask me. It’s just purely unprofessional. If he had said something like, “I just don’t think that’s a proper location to be throwing at people” it would have been one thing but these biased comments about Farns being a AAA pitcher is rediculous.

    BTW for all the idiots out there who are bitching about the location. Farnsworth can’t hit a location in the strike zone so what makes you think that he can hit on out of it?

    • Count Zero

      “Farnsworth can’t hit a location in the strike zone so what makes you think that he can hit on out of it?”

      On point. Really — Farnsworth is lucky if he can hit the catcher’s mitt 1 in 10 pitches…it’s every bit as likely he was aiming directly for Manny’s head as it is he was aiming for behind his head. :-)

  • Matt

    I don’t have exact coordinates. I have a general location, as in, not violating the unwritten rule that you don’t throw behind somebody.

    I never once said that the Sox should be able to plunk whomever the choose. In fact, if you read my comments above I said not once, but twice, that some for of retaliation was in order. But to me, what Farnsworth did was using an A-bomb when a fly swatter would have sufficed.

    And for the record I’m not outraged. Incredulous, maybe, but not outraged. I find it hard to believe that all Farnsworth had to do was drop one behind Manny and everyone comes rushing to his defense. I bet you he wishes he knew that two years ago.

  • JimT

    Ben, you are dead wrong about the Farnsworth pitch. Concerning Gammons I’ll leave you to your opinion. Even as a Red Sox fan I find Gammons a bit too sanctimonious at times. The guy that really drives me crazy though is Steve Phillips, a terrible GM that is suddenly a know it all.

    Everyone that follows basesball understands the need for a brushback pitch, especially when a hitter is going as hot as Manny. The position (behid the batter) and height of Farnsworth’s pitch were un-called for. You need to remove your “Yankee colored” glasses this time.

  • Nate

    First of all, if you think that pitch from Fucksworth was aimed betweeen Manny’s shoulder blades or “got away” from him, you haven’t been watching baseball very long. Second, if Manny didn’t lean forward as the ball was coming towards him, it would have hit him right in the earhole. Finally, David Aardsma hit Arod with an 88 mph fastball. Kyle’s pitch came in at 98. BIG difference- career ending difference. I understand you all are yank fans (it’s ok- nobody’s perfect), but some semblance of rationality would do you good. I’d like to see your reaction if the roles were reversed and it was Delcarmen throwing at Jeter’s head…

    • Yankee1010

      You’re right, last night was the first time I ever watched a game. Please enlighten us all and tell us where it was aimed. Please.

      Do you really want to get into a physics lesson re: the difference between 88 mph and 98 mph? Don’t come to a gun fight with a sword.

      Roles reversed? Holy shit. Where the fuck have you been? Have you been paying attention to the games between these two teams the last 10 years? Hey fuckwad, sounds like you’re the dipshit who just started watching games.

    • Alan

      And how many times have we watched Sox pitchers go after Yankees hitters with brushback pitches the last few years, only to have ol’ Joe let it off with an indifferent shrug. Its about time the Yankees started protecting their own. You come at us, you better be ready for the same.

  • Realist

    About time Farnsy starts showing some life!

    Picking up for ARod , I like it! ….hit our best we hit yours.

    Old School…………

    • Micky#7

      Amen! 27/08

  • Wolf Williams

    I have no idea which team Nate roots for, but he should go pollute their blog, not this Yankee hangout. But since you’re here, Nate…

    What a Yankee pitcher does is Yankee business. Assuming you’re a Red Sox supporter, you’ve probably cheered over the recent years as the Sox staff has had its way with Yankee batters. And Pedro sending Yankee batters to the hospital, I’m sure, made your day.

    Personally, I never minded when Sox pitchers went after Yankee batters; I only minded when punks like Mike Mussina failed to retaliate. Baseball has its unwritten rules that the players choose to either enforce or not enforce. If a player goes over the line, opposing players have the right to correct him. Farnsworth’s pitch was harmless. But even if it weren’t, deal with it, punk. A baseball field isn’t a society cotillion. Good manners don’t always rule the day.

    Now take your punk-ass whining to another website.

    • Whitey14

      Oh my God!
      I’m agreeing with Wolf Williams….
      Do you think Red Sox Nation will revoke my membership?

      I’ve said it a couple of times in different comment threads here lately, but I was always shocked the yanks didn’t retaliate more when the sox pitchers were beaning guys left and right.

      I didn’t see the Farnsworth pitch so this statement is completely incongruous to it, but I’m all for pitchers pitching inside, I support brushbacks and beanings when necessary, but any guy who throws at, or close to, a batter’s head deserves to see the bat coming straight back at him. It’s just plain wrong, no matter who it is.

      By the way Wolf, I’m a Sox fan, but I enjoy your blog very much even though you wouldn’t want to eat dinner in the same restaurant as I (if I read that correctly) Also, excellent use of the word “cotillion”.

      Taiwan, huh? How is it over there? Just curious.

      • Wolf Williams

        Taiwan was dead quiet after that last Wang outing.

        If the RAB guys don’t mind, I’ll thank you here for checking in on the blog, and for your compliments.

        I just wonder how serious a Sox fan you are if you’re cruising Yankee websites. Are you going for the Michael Corleone, ‘friends close/enemies closer’ deal, or are you just that interested in what Yankee fans have to say?

        • Whitey14

          I’ve learned a lot here and I think true, knowledgable, honest baseball fans can get along, no matter who they root for. I do hate the yankees, but as an entity, not the individuals.
          I go to several Red Sox sites as well and find the commenting to be pretty similar in nature and there will be dinks on every site, no matter the fan base.
          My premise all along has been that sox and yankees fans are extremely similar creatures, just wearing different hats.
          As for my seriousness as a Sox fan, my wife will tell you that after ALCS Game 7 in 2004, I literally slept in my Red Sox jacket, never realizing in my euphoric state that I still had it on.

          By the way, I found the link to RAB on mlb trade rumors dot com, and I found the link to your site on RAB.

          Keep up the good work!

      • bostonsucks@life

        Whitey did you fall down and bump your head ? hahaha

  • Travis G.

    guess who’s led the league in beanings the last 10 years: yep, those scrappy underdogs from beantown.

  • Austin

    I guess Hankenstein was right about the whole ESPN thing

  • RustyJohn

    Is there some “unwritten rule of baseball” that says only your ace can throw at batter? What does it matter whether it is Farnsworth or Wang throwing at Ramirez? Would Gammons be less indignent if it were Wang or Rivera? Cause either one of them would have probably hit Ramirez.

    All of those idiots on baseball tonight are just that- idiots, which is why you shouldn’t watch them. Steve Phillips? Orestes Destrada? Wasn’t he the inaugural day first baseman for the Marlins? Tell us what it was like to have CHarlie Hough as your ace. The other players/commentators on that show are low grade morons….ugh, don’t get me started.

  • bostonsucks@life

    Our Yankees have really hit a low, how dare we throw at somebody,
    I’m glad Fransworth threw at manny, somebody had to whether it was manny or rat boy pedrioa who cares. The Yanks get plunked time and time again it is about time somebody sent the message other than Joba throwing at the dude with all the kiddie porn.

    • Joltin’ Joe

      wow that was rough even for the BoSox LoL