Interview: Steve Gardner (7-2-2018)

Wes McElroy
Monday, July 2nd
Steve Gardner joins Wes to discuss the Nationals still looking for their swing, buyers and sellers at the trade deadline and the rising amount of strikeouts in baseball this season.

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

For joining us right now they. Is Steve Gardiner from USA. Today as the hero before I dive into Major League Baseball teams. I was discussing this before the break the NBA waiting around for the bronze free agency decision. And we make that decision we have this this is makeshift of the east of the west. Is there any baseball player right now they could breeze baseball B were freeagent and that everybody awaiting decision. Hi I think Mike Trout will it will do that in 20/20 one wind hit contract expired domain his. He is unquestionably the best player in the game right now and she more I think I think that would be. I go along the lines of of LeBron James it's if you were to be create your right. As opposed to it appears down the road. I don't it's different in baseball and basketball because there's more players there's different variables scenarios positions. But is there a player that you feel could size meekly shifted they moved a LT and now our NL to ale like LeBron moving from the east the west. Is there anybody who could. Cause that that an earthquake like move give those that there is I'm traffic and a new shockwaves throughout the sport. I think so and we may see that here in the next couple of weeks I think in the shot it was that kind of player and I talked about changing leagues still. That would be the most likely destination for him this is the team in the National League you look at. The American League it we we see five team that are pretty much ahead of the pack. And probably not. Anybody else is gonna jump into that but if you take any which out of view putting them on just about any contender in the National League. And that he would fit on those scenes look the Dodgers don't have Corey seeger and they're making do with shortstop. The Arizona Diamondbacks are playing it got bad news hitting 210 or whatever. At shortstop the thing was cardinals could use them the Chicago Cubs could trade out of the rubble and still have plenty of middle infielders even if Machado. Decides not to resign there. You've got the Phillies are playing it. You know nothing at shortstop Milwaukee nothing it's all of those teams that are computer competing in the NL playoff to sit in upper position. All of those teams could use as shortstop in any good shot though is available and so I think we will see him go somewhere that the trade deadline. And cause that kind of seismic shift kind of like Justin Verlander did last year when he went to instant. And two teams you mentioned right there Milwaukee and Arizona both in first place in their divisions but not by much Steve Gardiner USA today joining us talk and some baseball indeed Mercer wrote thing hotline. The other team a first place nationally. That would be the Braves. And I'm looking at the nationals this morning and Steve knowing we know how this goes in April and today you you talk about I don't give me a mattered sound they turn it on the nationals will be fine but get the bats gone. Steve Witt it's July and there are six back I. I can't use those lines anymore what what concerns you the most about the nationals in their current status at 42 and forty. It is getting late early two quote Yogi Berra for the for the nationals I think that's the one thing that concerns me come. Most and there are several things that concern me that the national but the one thing concerns me the most. We kept talking and he said left about well wait till they get everybody healthy and at a meeting comes back in the ending a Mercury comes back. Well look I haven't really jump start at the top that this is that seemed that is. It's rank in the bottom third in runs per game. They just lost the series to the raising got outscored twelve nothing and they lost three out of four to the Phillies over the weekend. Although they did explode in their one win. The offense that has just been awful and that's what one sort of coming in their twos so that bothers me if I'm a national standard. Getting nothing I know production out of the catching spot. Have to concern me about a national standards cannot say what Bryce Harper needs to start hitting until I think that's one of the big things if it Bryce Harper is not. Being the bright harper that we know and he's hitting Elliott I think like. Below 200 in the month of June. Not slugging for a very high percentage all of those things combined. Yeah you've got to work especially when you've got those two teams ahead of you that you have to jump over in the standings. Nationals got crafty in Iran got killed in herera from my Kansas City and that that was an excellent move considering the state of their bullpen. We're here in July will soon start talking about the trade deadline and give it a dvd and that's the Braves in the Phillies go one by a line. Tell me what they most need in their current state here as we begin the month of July. All right with the nationals. I think catcher is is an important position and they'd been talking about JT real NATO from the Miami Marlins. Even back in the spring training. May be this and get the deal done. Are at least push to the national wanted to act there I think that's their biggest weak spot. Or maybe it's starting pitcher at GO Gonzales continues to be so. Ineffective and then being saluted at times. But the Phillies I think we've seen a carousel of closers for them it would not surprise me if they went out and tried to get somebody to lock down that ninth inning role. On the end and possibly maybe get that Freddie outfield there and the Braves. Break a pretty good they got Ronald Acuna back and they they look fairly solid I think if you look for the Braves to do anything. They might look at the bullpen as well they're they're ranked in the bottom third in bullpen ERA they lost their closer. Eroded its gut you know to the DL so that's kind of been plucked. Mom and possibly. Possibly at third base they might want to go out and get somebody if somebody's available. At that point I think the Braves would be looking bullpen as well. Steve peruse the NL and the jail standings who is a team to watch this month where they've got to decide this month would dictate whether they're a buyer or seller. I mean that's a tough one and let it said earlier you know the American League I think we know who the the contenders are so it would have to be in the National League. I look up and down the standings and the one team that that looked like to meet its stand out hey is this thing look cardinals. There it seemed that. The French typical wild card there about 500 they've missed the playoffs the last two years. If they miss it again I think you'll be the first time in you know very long time that they is that they've gone three years without a playoff berth felt. The cardinal for a are an interesting team on the block their last four. And I. This is a team that has a lot of flaws then M when you're in the division with the cubs who are very good and the brewers who were very good. And then you're gonna have to fight for a wild card spot against the teams in the west and the teams in the east. I think the cardinals if this losing streak continues then they could be one of the team that. Mike starts so I just wonder you know if they had anything to sell that that's the the difficult thing for the cardinals at this point. 54 and they go body solar report out last nicer clothes dynamo on the baseball now June in the books we've now had two months. At a three where we've had more strikeouts than hits and and your colleague Bob nightingale. We can have a goat just lit up Major League baseball's product. Steve I love the game I know you love baseball and you're not big on changing certain things in baseball right now. You gotta agree with me here that the product is just not good. It's not and I I think what we saw from the Yankees and Red Sox over the weekend. Is one of the things that I think is concerning. You've got you know they. Head back to what back to back eleven nothing game between two of the premier team in baseball what we won a seat. Competitive baseball we wanna be more than just home runs and strike out and locks. And our payless I keep looking at it and I keep hoping that as we get toward. That the playoff sedan and September when these good teams start facing each other. That maybe that takes center stage and we don't see as much as you know there are a lot of bad scene doubt they're still I think he had the imbalances is another thing. The kind of contributes to making the product. Where it is right now so. I don't know what the solution is I'm hoping that when we see that good teams play each other that will fall back in love with baseball again heartless people that have been turned up a little. We'll come back to it but when you get back to back eleven nothing gained from that two of the three best teams in baseball. That's got to be concerning. Steve don't enjoy your Independence Day Bonnie appreciate it to the next Monday. All right so let's take care.