Peter Gammons on M&M: Ellsbury ‘possible’ MVP candidate
|08.04.11 at 1:14 pm ET|
MLB and NESN analyst Peter Gammons joined the Mut & Merloni show Thursday to talk Jacoby Ellsbury and his break-out season, Erik Bedard coming to Boston, as well as all other things Red Sox related. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
After Wednesday night’s walk-off home run–his second walk-off hit in as many nights, Ellsbury is continuing to have his best season as a professional and may now be mentioned as a potential MVP candidate.
“I think it’s possible because it is not a dominant MVP season,” Gammons said. “I mean, I think there are a number of guys. I was thinking about this yesterday, you can make arguments for all three guys at the top of the Red Sox order. When you get down to the discussion, and I’ve voted for MVP many times, you boil it down to six, seven, eight guys and you go from there, but it is fascinating at the monster years those three guys have had.
“What I was getting at, when I was on the phone at the trade deadline with other teams is the regard he has around baseball. Managers and general mangers going, ‘this guy has got to be one of the five best players in the league.’ … It is amazing the reputation he has as a player. Now he is a dominant center fielder, he has so much speed. … When you have a leadoff hitter with the highest on base, the highest OPS, the highest pitches per at bat and the guy hits 18 home runs, that is amazing.”
Gammons added: “I actually got to know Jacoby well in 2004 [playing in the Cape League] and I went to a lot of games in Falmouth when he played for Falmouth. A lot of times he hit ninth, he was a left fielder. I still don’t understand why he wasn’t playing center, but that’s OK. It is hard to picture the power he developed, he was just a developing athlete and it’s been fascinating to watch. He is really ripped. It is almost like a guard in basketball kind of body. He is extremely strong he just doesn’t look it.”
Bedard will be making his Red Sox debut Thursday night and it has been speculated that he is not good with the media, but Gammons does not expect it to be an issue because of the guys already on the Red Sox roster.
“The one thing about dealing with the media, I know he isn’t a lover of the media, but at the same time it a lot different here than it was in Seattle or in Baltimore,” he said. “This is a clubhouse full of stars and star personalities. You go in there and I mean, the two big personality pitchers [Josh] Beckett and [Jon] Lester are the two most accountable players I have ever known in my life. It is never anybody else’s fault. They are big personalities. [Jonathan] Papelbon is a big personality. You have guys like Papi [David Ortiz] and [Dustin] Pedroia and people like that are characters of personality and people go to them everyday. When times have been tough, I mean John Lackey, he only has to talk once every five days. That’s all he has to do I think that really helps. Being in that kind of environment will help him.”
Gammons closed by saying that he liked the Red Sox being aggressive for staring pitching at the trade deadline.
“I didn’t mind them trying to do [Rich] Harden too,” he said. “Those guys can make you swing and miss and those guys are hard to find. It’s a lot easier than taking a guy like Jeremy Gutherie who doesn’t make you swing and miss.”
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