The Gammons was interviewed yesterday on WEEI to pimp Saturday’s “Hot Stove, Cool Music” extravaganza. He took the opportunity to touch on plenty of other topics, as only the Gammons can. Our pal Chad Finn sums it up for your reading pleasure over at Extra Bases.
On Mark Teixeira:
He wanted to go to the Yankees, his wife doesn’t like Boston — apparently she doesn’t like the stores on Newbury Street or something — and in the end that’s the way it goes.
As you probably remember, there was a lot of testiness between Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira when they played in Texas together . . . and I don’t think Alex really cares about communicating with other players, we know [that] from Derek Jeter. Also, we haven’t really seen Teixeira in a situation where the expectations are really that high, and he’s going to have to deal with them in New York. It will be very interesting to see how it goes with the Yankees.
I’d pay a buck to see a Teixeira versus A-Rod slapfight. On Scott Boras and Jason Varitek:
I don’t know what’s going to happen . . . I still think the Red Sox will trade for a catcher, whether it’s now or the 15th of March, and I don’t know what’s going to happen with Jason. It’s too bad. How Scott Boras looked him in the eye and said, ‘By the way, I turned down $10 million [in arbitration],’ is beyond me.
And using his Gammons-vision, the 2009 AL East prediction:
I took Tampa third, and I really like Tampa. Buster Olney disagreed — he thinks Tampa is the team to beat with all of their young pitching . . . I don’t see their bullpen coming close to doing what they did last year. I picked the Red Sox second, just because we don’t know about the health of David Ortiz and Mike Lowell, and I think Josh Beckett will be fine. You never know about J.D. Drew’s health. And the Yankees, with the innings that [CC] Sabathia and [Chien-Ming] Wang can give them and all the offense they should have, they clearly have to be the favorites.
And here is where I respectfully disagree, in part, with the G-man. While we are simpatico on the Rays (I am on record as saying they will be a sub-500 team), I think the Sox will take the division over the Yankees. Certainly the Teixeira/Swisher duo is an upgrade over Abreu and Giambi, the Yankees lost 30 wins between Pettitte and Moose, and their bullpen is suspect top to bottom. Sox take the East, Yanks take the wild card.