Interview: Steve Gardner (5-25-18)

Wes McElroy
Friday, May 25th
Steve Gardner of USA Today goes around baseball just ahead of Memorial Day to talk the surprising National League, the Nationals slow start and a possible explanation of the increased home runs in the games.

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Ever we go on the show we're lucky enough to have our friend Steve Gardiner of the USA today joining us on the indeed Mercer rug cleaning hotline. Steve are you know my role that you know it's a rule that I learned from a friend I know you appear on his show John Kincade of CBS sports job title Franzen. Years ago I learned the Kincaid rule and that is. Don't open up the baseball standings to Memorial Day weekend but let the season breed for a little bit let's find a couple games here let's go through the pitching rotations a few times. Let injuries said in. Let's some early stories kind of fade out let's see who's really strong in the market may. If I win this weekend when I open up at Richmond times dispatch and I go through the baseball standings for the first time and I look through. What surprised me the most but I look at the standings. I think in the entire National League will probably surprise you. It it kind of turned upside down from what we thought from the beginning of the year with the Braves and Phillies for the top of the east. The Milwaukee Brewers with the best record in the the Los Angeles Dodgers down near the bottom. The National League west with Colorado and Arizona up top I think that the the real surprise the American League. Pretty much what we thought it would be at the beginning of the season they were left but the National League. Just completely upside down. We thought there would be one more year what was the nationals and they'll be more competition but it be the nationals. And then the rest of the National League east what happened here in the first two months of the NL east to the Phillies in the race specifically. I think with the Braves it's just the young talent that they have with Ozzie I'll be taken the next. Step and becoming one of the best players in baseball for the first two months of the season. And Ronald Acuna coming up in being a factor there. I am with the Phillies I think with them. If you get so it seemed that the idea but it was a year away from contending we thought at the beginning of the year but has kill. Very nicely in via the infusion of kick Ariana as a free agent and Carlos Santana. I think that the team that that's made some strides as well so. Apple haven't played well. In addition so that's one of the things that that contributed to the in addition. So this time Lester we're looking at the Yankees who have wondered how quickly they grow up today grow up quicker than we thought this is very much like we're looking at the Phillies in the Braves so. The Yankees end up in the post season they end up in the American League Championship Series now put the question to you know. Which one of these young teams that you mentioned braves. Phillies Rockies were in there which one of these teams has the best chance to sustain an end up as a post season team later in the summer. Great question. I play at I'd like what the Braves do and and the way that they've come together but the pain it's getting much better and Freddie Freeman finally I think. The big things for Atlantic is that they have pieces around Freddy Freeman now we see what an MVP candidate he would become. And how good he actually is I think these brave. Has some definite staying power you have the bubble that looks pretty solid. The everyday lineup is good the starting rotation it is in defense and and just getting better. Steve Gardiner witness who USA today moiso mackerel at fox sports 910. I'm I'm interested to see how this plays announced two months and and I know the national sustained. Injuries I know it's not exactly the line up that thought they would roll out there. You'll begin Daniel Murphy back here sometime soon you'll Adam Eaton can stay healthy when you get back later in the summer. I look at what the Washington Capitals just did in the capitals for years and had the best team in hockey dad presidents' trophy. The nationals and had the best record they run away with the National League east. This year the capitals had to run through the metro division which was really tough and they would in the final days of the season stutter wrap up the division. And it feels like it prior abdomen prepped him for the post season run. I do wonder about the nationals being in this fight is is not going to be the smooth seed that we thought it would be the National League east. I wonder what the competition around the nationals. Does to this team as the summer goes on and down the stretch and possibly into the post season. Advocate clashing in the capital and did. They're coaching staff would not use the way that the fassel's coaching staff is for the season so I think that's the one. And is it pal Dave Martinez and his staff. Can can navigate the waters you know will they take a team still with Dusty Baker at the nationals were never any more than I think two games out of first place. Its entire tenure and no they're sitting out there in fourth place since. Not that far out but. It's it's an uncharted territory for for this club with this manager and ended coaching staff so. It is important for them to get everybody back and he said and at once we see. The entire national team as it was constructed if they can get everybody back on the field and you know once so that would come up and then. A bit of a surprise nobody expected him to be up with the big club. He looks like he can play everyday and so you get another weapon there are different this is dangerous to make you know make no mistake this for the team that could certainly go. All the way to the World Series. And is a lot of young fund talent just in the NL east alone Steve though. I see your colleague game lacks this morning has appeased USA today dot com Major League Baseball on home runs strike on home run spike. Ball's not Joost but had greater aero dynamic carry the debate the past two years about what is the baseball Jews is it being built differently. Can you explain this in layman's terms what's been going on with the baseball in the past two seasons. Well it's interesting because what this study found is that the ball. Wasn't she used but. Somehow or another it's flying further now what is it reduced. Drag on the ball somehow or another is cutting through the air and nobody can explain it that's but the interesting thing with the study to me let. Is that you know you gotta a committee of ten people it fit this system all sorts of people that have all of this access to data. And yet they didn't find any real reason why. I end. That to me is interesting there may be some minor stacked in the in the ball that you know they're able to get the center perfectly alive. I'm in maybe that's why it's flying better. But. The bottom line is we don't know but except you know it's one of those where OK just sit back and enjoy it because. We're gonna have a lot oral raw. Run that looked like those are here to stay let you know Major League Baseball decides to put all of baseball and give it or not Justin in a Colorado and Arizona. The stats I was born here because I. We get we just went through an entire two wasted years of our lives in an oxygen over PSI as in football now to sign the baseball's not right leg was based on and do about that. That that's one of the changes that the commissioner rob Manfred and is considering but. You know there really doesn't seem to be everything that does that players are doing. Com or that the equipment is doing to these different it's just that. That's those are the result but we're getting. I let it go on this one we're getting ready to embark in the summer of 2018. Give me one thing in baseball you can hang your hat on too. You can you can hold tight to. That this is legit we saw the first two months of the baseball season this is real it's going to be upheld is going to last through the summer. A player a mark a record a team. We got police DO. Yeah I got some of this story of the year I think in baseball and will continue to be an actual NATO Connie. Indeed. What vehicles angels are making a play out that there they're playing very good baseball and they're doing it. It with a guy who's pitching in an elite level and hitting an elite level and you know at the beginning of the season. Well I think there are a lot more skeptics of the hitting side then the pitching side you would sit on both sides and that. And I think the angels as we're seeing their moving him back a little bit they're being very cautious with his workload. But surely it's sunny is the real deal and I think in the post season that the Eagles make it that far he's going to be huge weapon because they can use them in so many different ways. 23 yesterday he's not shown signs of slowing down nor Steve Gardner will do it again next week buddy had a great weekend. The fairway out how to get around it. And that Steve garner on the they're more indeed Mercer rug cleaning dot com.