Peter Gammons is a great sportswriter. It can be hard to gauge what makes a bad sportswriter and what makes a good sportswriter. On a national basis many people begin to form strong opinions about the people who regularly appeared on ESPN and some of the other, larger media sources out there.
A great sportswriter and commentator is going to be excited whether they are talking about the Anaheim Angels making a huge move in the offseason or the fact that the Cedar Rapids Kernels may be leaving the Angels as an affiliate and may in fact join the Minnesota Twins organization. I am not talking about the over excitement that many of the talking heads on ESPN and other networks exhibit, I’m talking about the genuine love of the nuances of a game. The technique of the stolen base and what a true talent a guy like Vince Coleman was for example, the world of blogging and the fact that everyone can now write about sports may diminish some of the things that a great writer like Gammons will offer because his work will just get lost in the shuffle. A person should really study Peter’s columns if they one day aspire to be a sports columnist. Gammons has now been working for the MLB Network in recent years and writing for MLB.com. There is no denying the fact that Gammons has a certain passion for Red Sox baseball, but it doesn’t really slant his analysis in any way.
“Beyond The Sixth Game” gives a great amount of analysis about has changed in the game of baseball since 1975.
Gammons does not pull any punches about the different aspects of the game that have changed for the better and which aspects may very well be headed in the wrong direction. It is not a grumpy book about how baseball has changed too much in the wrong direction, many people would of course criticize Joe Morgan and other people of being too hypercritical of today’s players. Gammons never had that kind of feel to his commentary.
Some websites out there in the 1990’s and early 2000s may have made fun of Gammons for saying the same thing over and over such as throwing in veteran right hander Kevin Tapani into every trade under the sun, but of course most of these websites were meant to be nothing, but well meant ribbing. A good columnist has to learn how to take some of that good n ribbing.