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ESPN "Gammons"

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Since the dawn of fantasy-baseball-league time, Peter Gammons has been something of a god for people who feel an urgent need to know about roster moves on the big-league teams. When this spot (via Wieden & Kennedy) for ESPN refers to him as "baseball's ultimate insider," the claim will have the ring of truth for viewers. Given his performance in the spot's comedic shtick, he shouldn't quit his day job as the network's veteran baseball analyst. But then, the material he has to work with isn't as good as what we've seen in many other ESPN spots over the years. It's funny, but just mildly so, to see Gammons receiving some inside info via carrier pigeon. The humor feels similarly labored when we see him holding a Gold Glove trophy hostage until its owner, Red Sox star Kevin Youkilis, comes across with answers to some interview questions. The humor is a bit more humorous when a colleague is in need of a quick birthday present for his son and Gammons reaches into a desk drawer and casually tosses the guy a baseball autographed by Babe Ruth. (In light of Gammons' years at The Boston Globe, it's probably a ball from the Babe's days on the Red Sox.) -Mark Dolliver