And why not? In a world filled to bursting with talking head nimrods like John Kruk and McCarver, The Gammons was the one guy I could rely on. Perhaps the only baseball commentator who didn’t make me want to bang my head on the wall or bust open the TV with a Louisville special. His Sunday baseball columns in the Globe from back in the day were required reading; pretty much the only reason to drag my ass out of bed on Sunday morning. And with all due respect to Nick Carfado, they should have chloroformed that section the minute Gammo walked out the door.
He’s the real deal, as the cliche goes, second perhaps only to Remy in these parts in terms of beloveditude (and there is such a word. I think).
Needless to say, I was saddened to hear that Gammons is leaving ESPN, and leaving me absolutely no reason to ever tune into Baseball Tonight again. Unless, of course, they replace him with a denim-pantsuited Hazel Mae.
“My decision to leave ESPN and move on at this point in my life has been conflicted. I owe a great deal of my professional life to ESPN, having spent more than half of my 40 years in journalism working for the network, and the choice to move on was made with nothing but the strongest feelings for the people with whom I worked. ESPN gave me a great deal more than I gave it, and will always be a huge part of who I am.”
The news leaves a bittersweet taste in my mouth, mostly because he doesn’t really mention where his next destination will be.
Will he come back to the Globe? Head up Fox News’ recently proposed Baseball and Soft Porn channel? Or just strap that guitar on his back and hit the road, playing every gin joint and concert hall from Chelsea to Tijuana, enlightening crowds with his favorite rockabilly tunes and the occasional Craig Grebeck anecdote?
Whatever he does, wherever he ends up, I’ll be there. And we wish him success.
UPDATE: Sweet Halloween Pie! Right after the winter meetings, The Gammons will be joining MLB-TV and NESN.
“A big part of it is that I just want to be home more,” said Gammons, who has residences in Boston and Cape Cod. “And it’s a slight change of pace. A lot of opportunities came up at the same time and I put them all together and it looked very appealing. But it’s very much a lifestyle thing.”
ESPN’s loss is our gain. Heidi Watney and Gammons together? Hell, I might as well throw away my remote. I’m never changing the channel.