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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.

 
COLUMNS
Alex Speier
03/20/2009 - 6:19am
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Everyone knows that Jonathan Papelbon features one of the most powerful fastballs in baseball. But there are those – foremost Papelbon – who insist that he is nearly as powerful with a bat in his hands. “I’ve got mad power, bro,” Papelbon said. “I (expletive) raked, dude. … I’m being dead serious.”
Alex Speier
03/19/2009 - 3:57am
Apparently, Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia are inseparable. The fact that an injury has now forced Youkilis out of the World Baseball Classic, just as happened for Pedroia over the weekend, merely reflects the latest chapter linking the players. As Pedroia burst onto the scene in 2007, the two felt a kinship thanks to motivation drawn from the desire to win and to prove their doubters wrong while defying expectations. Both are champions, Gold Glovers and Silver Sluggers.
Alex Speier
03/18/2009 - 5:03am
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Even now, there are those who have a difficult time embracing the concept. THAT Kevin Youkilis, hitting cleanup for a Team USA lineup that includes some of the top sluggers in the majors? THAT Kevin Youkilis, entrusted with the responsibility of occupying the Red Sox cleanup spot that was once the domain of Manny Ramirez?   Certainly, the notion was once unfathomable. The idea that Youkilis could emerge as a power hitter worthy of that spot seemed far-fetched, at least for those willing to judge a book by its cover.  
Alex Speier
03/12/2009 - 2:30am
FORT MYERS, Fla.—The pair of shock-the-world wins by the Netherlands over the Dominican Republic came as a bolt from the blue to most baseball fans. The mere name for the sport of baseball in Holland (“honkbal”) does little to suggest an international powerhouse capable of making noise in the World Baseball Classic.
Alex Speier
03/11/2009 - 7:38am
FORT MYERS, Fla. – How did a Quality Assurance Coach help to push the Tampa Bay Rays past the Red Sox into the World Series? For that matter, what is a Quality Assurance Coach? The answers to both questions require an introduction to new Red Sox first-base coach Tim Bogar.
Alex Speier
03/09/2009 - 7:41am
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Jon Lester may be going where no pitcher has gone before. Yahoo! Sports reported on Sunday that, according to a source close to the Red Sox, Lester has signed a five-year, $30 million deal with a $13 million option for the 2014 season. Red Sox officials, including CEO/President Larry Lucchino, GM Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona, all declined to confirm, deny or comment on the report.
Alex Speier
03/08/2009 - 6:46am
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- David Ortiz had just concluded a live batting practice session against Red Sox prospect Junichi Tazawa. It was early in the spring, but the slugger was nonetheless impressed after an introduction in which he swung and missed at a number of pitches. Ortiz was asked whether the young hurler, who came to the Sox directly from a Japanese amateur industrial league, created deception in his delivery, and whether he hid the ball well.
Alex Speier
03/04/2009 - 9:12am
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The natural tendency would be to look at the fact that J.D. Drew was flown to Boston to receive a pain-killing injection in his lower back and conclude that trouble’s a-brewin’. Clearly, the starting right-fielder has yet to answer some of the injury questions that plagued him last year, and for that matter, throughout his career. As such, there will be questions about his ability to stay in the lineup that, in turn, will play into broader uncertainties about the Red Sox lineup.
Alex Speier
02/27/2009 - 9:41pm
FORT MYERS, Fla.--Spring training is typically the story of renewal and promise. That notion rings especially true for Red Sox prospect Anthony Rizzo. While Feb. 27 marks the official start of minor-league camp, the 19-year-old has been in Fort Myers since Feb. 1. He is in what he describes as the best shape of his life, an apparently robust slugger-in-the-making.
Alex Speier
02/25/2009 - 3:53pm
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Jason Varitek wants to act as a bridge to the future of Red Sox catching. When he discussed his return to Boston, he spoke of not only the chance to come back to Boston and compete for more championships as a member of the Red Sox, but also his ambition to leave an imprint at his position after he leaves.
Alex Speier
02/19/2009 - 2:00am
Alex Speier
02/17/2009 - 3:00am
FORT MYERS, Fla.—In recent years, it has not been unusual for the Red Sox to report to spring training with the roster all but set. Barring injury, players have often come to camp knowing exactly what the starting lineup, rotation and even bench and bullpen would look like. This year, that is not the case. For the second straight spring, the Sox have a legitimate battle for a starting role at a premium on-field position.
Alex Speier
02/15/2009 - 1:00am
FORT MYERS, Fla.—If Jason Varitek was defeated by an offseason of seemingly agonizing negotiations, it wasn’t apparent. The Red Sox catcher spoke on Saturday for the first time since signing a one-year, $5 million deal that includes both a club ($5 million) and player ($3 million) option for the 2010 season. He suggested that the contract that he ultimately received featured what was most important to him: a chance to stay in Boston for as long as possible.
Alex Speier
02/14/2009 - 1:00am
Alex Speier
02/12/2009 - 1:00am
Alex Speier
02/11/2009 - 6:00am
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The notion sometimes got lost. Amidst the obsessive monitoring of key negotiations this winter, or the disbelief at watching the Yankees hand out almost as much in guaranteed contracts to free agents ($446 million) as the other 29 clubs combined ($602 million), it was easy to overlook what was actually taking place in Boston.
Alex Speier
02/06/2009 - 8:07am
Alex Speier and Christopher Price throw down to determine whether the Patriots should trade or keep newly franchised quarterback Matt Cassel in 2009.
Alex Speier
01/30/2009 - 10:18am
In one respect, it should come as little surprise that the fate of Jason Varitek has consumed all the oxygen of conversations about the Red Sox. The man who has served as captain of the Red Sox since signing his last contract in 2004 has long been described as the backbone of a club that has won two World Series.
Alex Speier
01/08/2009 - 10:18am
It was an offseason so extravagant that it was ripe for parody.
Alex Speier
12/29/2008 - 10:00am
It used to be an annual rite of passage to see great sports teams miss the playoffs. But then, computers were once 18-feet tall and the interweb was a pre-zygotic glimmer in Al Gore’s eye. Amidst the steady playoff expansion in pro sports, it’s rare that outstanding teams spend the postseason on the sidelines. Since the NFL increased its playoff roster to 12 teams in 1990, there have been more undeserving teams playing football in January (cough, 2008 Cardinals, cough) than excellent teams left to lament the injustice of the football gods.
Alex Speier
12/25/2008 - 4:18am
In retrospect, nothing about Mark Teixeira’s signing should have come as a surprise. The Yankees had a weakness in their lineup and at first base that could be addressed by the best position player in the free-agent market. That shortcoming created an opening for Teixeira to seek an eight-year, $180 million windfall. The sum might seem absurd. Even so, it would be difficult to identify a deficiency that would have prevented Teixeira from becoming one of the top paid players in the game.
Alex Speier
12/22/2008 - 12:18pm
Mark Teixeira’s qualities as a baseball player are far-reaching, but his allure has always centered around the easiest skill to comprehend. The 28-year-old switch-hitter is, quite simply, capable of destroying a baseball. It started when Teixeira was at Mount Saint Joseph High School in Baltimore. A stream ran behind the field where players would take batting practice. Behind the stream, roughly 450 feet from home plate, Teixeira would take aim at apartments that had no business being in harm’s way.
Alex Speier
12/19/2008 - 11:01am
On one point, at least, the Red Sox are not bluffing. The team may or may not still be in the running for Mark Teixeira. Though Sox owner John Henry emailed a statement that the Sox “are not going to be a factor” in the bidding for the first baseman, there was plenty of reason for skepticism about his statement.
Alex Speier
12/18/2008 - 5:01am
Rafael Furcal concluded a messy foray into free agency yesterday by officially agreeing to re-sign with the Dodgers. The decision left plenty of distressed suitors. The Red Sox were not among them. Boston never showed an interest in the top free-agent shortstop on the market this offseason. The club did not call Furcal’s agent, Paul Kinzer, even to kick the tires on the 31-year-old. The development was, in some ways, uncharacteristic for a Red Sox front office that tends to look into every possible means of improving.


Audio On Demand

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It Is What It Is Cast: Has Darrelle Revis' impact actually been underplayed?

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the latest development at Patriots training camp. Chris says Darrelle Revis has looked great, and that his impact on the defense is actually being underplayed nationally.

It Is What It Is Cast: Gronk will continue to smash and dash

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Rob Gronkowski's meeting with the media on Friday. Gronk said he doesn't anticipate changing the way he plays, noting that he wants to "keep smashing and dashing."

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Julian Edelman joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz after Patriots training camp.

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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.

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Tim Kurkjian, ESPN: Red Sox are in a tough place with Lester 7-28-14

Tim Kurkjian joins the program to discuss the Red Sox options at the trade deadline.

Christian Vazquez with Joe & Daveafter the win at Tampa Bay

Kevin Millar, MLB Network: David Ortiz not afraid of David Price, 7-25-14

Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to discuss David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia's struggles, and Jon Lester's contract.

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

How does Tom Brady's lead…

How does Tom Brady's leadership help the Patriots? 7-29-14

John, Gerry, and Steve DeOssie discuss Tom Brady's impact on the rest of the Patriots, plus Steve tells tales from his old days as a NFL linebacker

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A whale watch boat is stranded overnight in Boston Harbor

Red Sox are destroyed by the Blue Jays 7-29-14

Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront certainly put on quite the pitching performance, as the Red Sox were trounced by the Jays. Does this change the team's approach to the trade deadline?

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Three For All: Christian's girlfriend calls him out, 7-29-14

Christian tells a story about taking his girlfriend to see "Jersey Boys" in NYC, but he leaves out some crucial details. Luckily, she was listening and called the show to clarify exactly what kind of shenanigans he was trying to pull.

The NFL is taking a look at "high-stakes" Fantasy Football, 7-29-14

MFB discuss a Peter King article that suggests many NFL coaches and assistant coaches have felt increasing pressure over big-money fantasy football players. Christian also weighs in specifically on how his knowledge of game-plans resulted directly in him winning his first season as a fantasy football player.

Red Sox routed by Blue Jays as trade rumors swirl, 7-29-14

The Sox lost 14-1 as Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront both had awful performances. On the heels of the loss, rumors began to fly regarding Jon Lester and John Lackey possibly being traded.

Have we seen the last of …

Have we seen the last of Jon Lester in a Red Sox uniform?

The tweet is a little ominous sounding. Dale, Buck and Greg Dickerson discuss what very well could be the end of the Jon Lester era with the Boston Red Sox.

Dale and Holley's Four at Four - Championship Hangover Edition - 7-29-14

We tackle four topics all sparked by the Red Sox worst to first to worst run in 2012-2014.

Jon Lester is on the table, will he end up in LA? 7-28-14

We talk about the latest news surrounding Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Could he be dealt to the Dodgers?

Jon Lester's Contract Sit…

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.

The All Star Game and the Worst Ideas in Sports

Mut and Villani are talking about the MLB All Star Game, Adam Wainwright and Derek Jeter, and what are some of the worst ideas in sports.

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Producer's Podcast-Is Lebron a Genius? 7-29-14

Sam and Zach discuss changing the format of the Podcast, the Chris Archer-David Ortiz debacle, and LeBron James being a super genius

Minor Details Ep. 94.2 with Jim Callis of MLB.com: Are Red Sox prospects overvalued?

Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.

Minor Details Ep. 94.1: Are prospects overvalued? Andrew Miller on being traded for Miguel Cabrera

With the trade deadline looming, the next few days will be defined by how teams value prospects -- and their potential long-term contributions -- against big leaguers with established track records who can address immediate needs. Are prospects being valued accurately? Red Sox left-hander Andrew Miller -- once one of the two key chips that sent Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins to the Tigers -- assesses the matter.

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Rob Bradford on the latest with the Sox at the deadline 7-28-14

Rob gave the latest on Jon Lester trade talks and the flap between Ortiz and the Rays.

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Minor Details Ep. 94.2 wi…

Minor Details Ep. 94.2 with Jim Callis of MLB.com: Are Red Sox prospects overvalued?

Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.

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Jon Lester is on the tabl…

Jon Lester is on the table, will he end up in LA? 7-28-14

We talk about the latest news surrounding Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Could he be dealt to the Dodgers?

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David Ortiz offends the Rays again 7-28-14

John, Meter and Buck opened the show by discussing the latest flap between the Red Sox and the Rays.

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Tim Kurkjian, ESPN: Red S…

Tim Kurkjian, ESPN: Red Sox are in a tough place with Lester 7-28-14

Tim Kurkjian joins the program to discuss the Red Sox options at the trade deadline.

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