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About Alex Speier

Before he joined WEEI.com, Alex covered the Red Sox for several New England and national publications, including the New Hampshire Union Leader, Boston Metro, Boston Herald and Baseball America. Alex graduated from Harvard, where he served as the captain of the debate team, an experience that has been of surprisingly little use in press boxes across the country.

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MOST RECENT COLUMNS
08/25/14 08:01 EST
Not everyone is thinking about the future. When the Red Sox gutted their veteran core at the trade deadline last month, it opened the door to use the final two months of the season as a sort of player evaluation trial for some of the team's prospects and new acquisitions. But that shift -- and its consequences -- put some of the veterans of last year's championship run in an uncomfortable place. The Red Sox are spiraling toward what has a chance to be an even more embarrassing fate than the one they suffered in a 69-93 2012 campaign. With Sunday's 8-6 loss to the Mariners, the team is 54-76, on pace for a 70-92 finish, but even that mark is starting to seem unrealistic amidst an eight-game losing streak. For the 10 players who were on last year's postseason roster, the one-year pivot from an existence where every game was critical to a point where losses mount with seeming inevitability has been difficult to digest. "It’s not where you want to be. You always come in, every year,
08/24/14 08:08 EST
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Why is Rusney Castillo now rich? Why did the Red Sox open the vault to confer $72.5 million upon a center fielder who has never played a single game in the majors and who hasn't been seen in a game of any sort since 2012? Goldilocks comes to mind. Castillo represents a rarely available sweet spot in the talent pool. The 27-year-old Cuban arrived in the perfect place at the perfect time: In possession of a broad skill set, but perhaps just as importantly, not too old to have inordinate risk of a disastrous performance decline somewhere in the middle of a seven-year, $72.5 million deal (more accurately characterized as a "six-plus" year deal); not too young, with the chance of a devastating struggle in his transition to the big leagues. Castillo, at least in theory, represents something that is just right, a player who has tremendous physical talent and who is at a career and life stage that suggests he is just getting ready to arrive at the peak of his abilities. The contract will
08/22/14 07:37 EST
Perhaps as soon as today, Rusney Castillo will become a very, very rich man. For that, he may be able to offer a word of thanks to Yoenis Cespedes. In some ways, Cespedes was a game-changing trailblazer for elite Cuban position players when he signed a four-year, $36 million deal with the Athletics prior to the 2012 season. A number of renowned Cuban pitchers -- Orlando Hernandez, Livan Hernandez, Jose Contreras, among others -- had made the transition from Cuba to the States. But the successes of Cuban position players had been more limited, and most of the position players who had come over had done so in their early-20s, requiring considerable time in the minors before they were ready to make a big league impact. There were exceptions -- such as Alexei Ramirez, who went straight to the big leagues as a 26-year-old with the White Sox after signing a four-year, $4.75 million deal in late 2007 -- but there hadn't been a star-sized contract for one of the established, elite Cuban position
08/19/14 08:51 EST
The question isn't unreasonable, and there have been times where some Red Sox officials have at least mulled it, even if the answer came down on the side of a resounding no: Why not send down Xander Bogaerts? After all, the demotion of Jackie Bradley Jr. to Triple-A Pawtucket brought into sharp relief Bogaerts' struggles. Bradley was hitting .216 with a .288 OBP and .290 slugging mark, whiffing in 28 percent of his plate appearances, when the Sox optioned him to the PawSox after Sunday's game. Bogaerts, meanwhile, is hitting .226/.293/.339 while striking out in 24 percent of his plate appearances. So why isn't Bogaerts with Bradley in Triple-A at this point? A few reasons, but it's worth starting with one of the most glaring: The Red Sox have a potential 2015 Opening Day center field alternative to Bradley in their system in the form of Mookie Betts. The team needs a) to figure out if Bradley can hit against pitching in the big leagues, with the hope that a stint in the minors



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Julian Edelman on MFB, 9-…

Julian Edelman on MFB, 9-2-14

Julian Edelman joined the show to talk about the departure of Logan Mankins, whether he would be ready to go at QB if necessary (he's not), the Miami Dolphins, and ... fanny packs.

Tom Brady on the Logan Mankins trade 9-2-14

Tom Brady discussed his feelings on the Logan Mankins trade and the return of Gronk.

Bill Belichick joins Dale and Steve to talk about the next round of cuts, 8-25-14

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick joins Dale and Steve DeOssie to talk about cutting the roster down to 53 players. Jimmy Garoppolo is set to start and play most, if not all of the preseason contest against the Giants. Bill also expressed his thoughts about the kicking game and how some of the new rules have affected the importance of it.

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Bo…

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston, "I think Rondo is going to go, I just don't see where and how yet" 7-17-14

Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston: I believe Rondo will be traded 7-10-14

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.

OK State Men's Basketball coach, Travis Ford, joins MFB to talk about Marcus Smart, 6-30-14

Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.

Clay Buchholz with Joe Ca…

Clay Buchholz with Joe Castiglione after his shutout in Tampa Bay

Joe talked to the Sox right-hander, who allowed three hits and zero walks in the 3-0 win over the Rays.

Dale and Holley are joined by John Farrell

Red Sox Manager John Farrell talks about Bogaerts' concussion and the youth movement.

Buster Olney talks Castillo, Stanton, Koji and Lester, 8-27-14

As he does every Wednesday, Buster Olney, ESPN, joins the boys of MFB to talk baseball. This week Buster shed some light on what to expect from Rusney Castillo, and how Cuban players are being viewed. He suggests that the acquisition of Castillo helps Boston's chances to get Giancarlo Stanton. Also, the Sox should shut down Koji if they want to re-sign him.

The Bradfo Show: Talking …

The Bradfo Show: Talking Bruins roster moves with DJ Bean, Turtleboy

Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.

DJ Bean breaks down the first hours of NHL Free Agency 7-1-14

DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla

DJ Bean, WEEI.com. The Bruins are not traded Marchand 6-13-14

DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau

Tom Brady on the Logan Ma…

Tom Brady on the Logan Mankins trade 9-2-14

Tom Brady discussed his feelings on the Logan Mankins trade and the return of Gronk.

Tim Hasselbeck on the start of the NFL season 9-2-14

Tim joined the show to discuss the start of the NFL season and the future of Tom Brady.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Hacked celebrities 9-2-14

The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

Tom Brady says Logan Mank…

Tom Brady says Logan Mankins stood for Patriots Football, 9-2-14

Tom Brady was on D&C this morning and spoke about the Logan Mankins trade. Brady spoke glowingly about his former teammate. MFB try to figure out how upset Brady is over the trade.

Julian Edelman on MFB, 9-2-14

Julian Edelman joined the show to talk about the departure of Logan Mankins, whether he would be ready to go at QB if necessary (he's not), the Miami Dolphins, and ... fanny packs.

MFB discuss the release of Michael Sam from the Rams roster, 9-1-14

7th round draft pick Michael Sam was trying to be the first openly-gay player in the NFL. With only 7 days to go before the season opener, the Rams released him on one of the last round of cuts.

Tom E. Curran, CSNNE, Pat…

Tom E. Curran, CSNNE, Patriots Preseason, 8-29-14

Tom Curran recaps the Pats preseason and talks about some of the players who may get cut.

Michael Irvin joins Dale and Holley 8-29-14

Michael Irvin talks about the final preseason game for the Patriots and the biggest storylines heading into the opening weekend.

Dale and Holley's Four at Four - Summer Memories, 8-29-14

We recap the summer's biggest sports stories leading into Labor Day Weekend.

Jim Koch joins Planet Mik…

Jim Koch joins Planet Mikey

Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.

Danny Picard talks Red Sox and Patriots with Mike Giardi

Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.

Jon Lester's Contract Situation and the Future

Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.

Fantasy Football Podcast:…

Fantasy Football Podcast: Auction drafts, big names to avoid, and more! 8-31-14

Fantasy Football Drafts are now happening every day, so Pete Davidson and Jim Hackett have you covered. The NFL season kicks off on Thursday night, so Pete and Jim get their final thoughts of some drafting strategies. They discuss their Auction draft from earlier in the week. Also, some big name players that smart drafters should avoid.

Fantasy Football Podcast: Late Round Targets Edition

We know your Fantasy Football drafts are happening right now, so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are here to help. We know you’d never blow off work to draft right? Turn up the speakers! Our fantasy guys chat up Pete’s most recent article on WEEI.com that offers background on several players you can target late in drafts across multiple league sizes; covering upside players to grab in 8-team leagues, 10-team leagues, 12-team leagues and 14-team leagues. Jim and Pete will be back at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday morning on your radio dial, 93.7 FM, with more ammo for all this weekend’s drafters. Good luck!

Minor Details Ep. 98: Youth without the transition - Rusney Castillo and Brock Holt

How can teams acquire players who are entering their primes without having to live through the potentially massive transition of prospects coming from the minors to the big leagues? The Red Sox have two such case studies. The signing of Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo represents one effort to acquire a player for his prime years for whom the transition to big league-caliber competition might not be turbulent. Red Sox assistant director of player personnel discusses the scouting process involved with landing Castillo. The episode also features Brock Holt, the one rookie who played at a consistently high level for the Red Sox this year. Holt explores some of the distinctions that might help to explain why he did not experience some of the struggles that characterized the seasons of Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr.

Tom Brady on the Logan Ma…

Tom Brady on the Logan Mankins trade 9-2-14

Tom Brady discussed his feelings on the Logan Mankins trade and the return of Gronk.

More from this show

Tim Hasselbeck on the sta…

Tim Hasselbeck on the start of the NFL season 9-2-14

Tim joined the show to discuss the start of the NFL season and the future of Tom Brady.

More from this show

Ryan Mallett traded to th…

Ryan Mallett traded to the Texans, 9-1-14

The Patriots finally completed a deal that was speculated for weeks, when they traded back up QB Ryan Mallett to the Texans for a conditional 7th round pick. Mallett will be reunited with former New England quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien.

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MFB discuss the release o…

MFB discuss the release of Michael Sam from the Rams roster, 9-1-14

7th round draft pick Michael Sam was trying to be the first openly-gay player in the NFL. With only 7 days to go before the season opener, the Rams released him on one of the last round of cuts.

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Headlines, Headlines, Hea…

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines - Nude Celebrities, 9-1-14

Hackers obtained hundreds private photo's of celebrities such as Kate Upton and Jennifer Lawrence. Also, Market Basket is back in business, and Pete Frates and his wife Julie have a baby girl, Lucy.

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