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Is Peter Gammons Reporting the Truth or Seeking Revenge?

May 22, 2007 – 1:45 PM
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Matt Watson

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Peter GammonsI'm an unabashed Peter Gammons fan, and I don't think I'm alone. But is he letting personal politics taint his role of an independent journalist? That's what Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News suggests after hearing Gammons say the following in response to a question about Joe Torre's fate during ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball:
"There are some problems (for Torre). Randy Levine, the club president who apparently is back in power, is no Joe Torre fan," Gammons said. "There is no question there is pressure coming from George Steinbrenner and some other people in the organization who question Joe Torre despite his resume of remarkable achievement."
Fair enough, right? But for those familiar with the situation (and I'm not, I'm taking Raissman's word on this one ...), Gammons' inclusion of Levine was surprising:
Bringing Levine into the equation is curious. Or is it? In recent years Levine's role with the Yankees has been clearly spelled out. He is in charge of the business side, so it must have been surprising for him to hear he is back in power.

It really does not matter what Levine thinks of Torre. Even in Steinbrenner's weakened state, he - or the family member running the Yankees that particular day - is not going to place an urgent call to Levine and get him involved in pure baseball decisions.
So why would Gammons throw out his name? Was he just unaware of Levine's true role on the team, or was there something else behind it? Raissman thinks it may have been the latter:
For many years - and this is not a well-kept secret - there has been animosity between Levine and Gammons. They don't speak. The bad blood came as a result of Levine taking issue with a Gammons report about the Yankees acquiring a player for major dough. Levine called an ESPN executive directly, telling him Gammons' report was not accurate.

Needless to say, Gammons was not thrilled about this.
It may not be a well-kept secret among media types, but I'm assuming the casual fan watching the telecast was clueless. So was Gammons simply reporting the truth or taking advantage of an opportunity to hang Levine out to dry? We probably won't ever know, and as someone who admittedly eats up most of what Gammons has to say, that's at least a little troubling.
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