Another excerpt from an excellent new book, Keepers of the Game: When the Baseball Beat was the Best Job on the Paper; this time around, a snippet of memories from the estimable Peter Gammons:
I think it's much harder to get to know the players today because clubhouse access is so restricted. In my day, right up to 1985, you could just walk into the clubhouse at any time. On the road, I used to work out every day. I'd go into the clubhouse some days and throw batting practice or shag flies. I think it afforded me the opportunity to get to know the way the players think. I think that's terribly important. It's not just holding up a notepad or a recorder and getting words.
Certainly, we had people who occasionally hollered at me and so forth. But by getting to know them and understanding them, you could develop a relationship. Jim Rice once told me, "You know, you come to the ballpark every day and go out there and work out. If I'm really mad at you, I know I can find you naked in the shower."