Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who now provides analysis for ESPN, voiced serious concern about new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine during an appearance on Tuesday's Mut & Merloni show.
Schilling said, "I like Bobby. I like him a lot," after working with Valentine at ESPN last season. However, Schilling said, "I thought that the manager that managed the Mets that I was not a big fan of was now going to be a different manager, and I don't think there's anything different at all. And I don't think that that is going to be conducive to doing well here. There's a lot of things I think that are happening not just from his perspective, but when you talk to these guys -- and I'm still talking to some of these guys -- I don't think this is going well. And I think it's going bad quicker than I expected it to."
Asked for specific criticisms of Valentine, Schilling said: "It's little stuff. One of [Terry Francona's] strengths I think was understanding that to be a great big league manager, you don't have to know when to hit and run, bunt and change pitchers as much as you need to manage people. I think the major league manager has so little to do with wins and losses, more so in baseball than just about in any sport.
"I think it's about managing people. Because you're looking at an eight-month schedule. You're interacting with your players on a very different level, on a very different scale. And I think that becomes the most important trait, characteristic of a manager. And I always -- kind of like I felt with Tony La Russa in a sense -- I always feel like Bobby's trying to re-invent the game. I don't think players have ever responded well to that.
"The point I made the other night was that he's doing a lot of things right now that are forcing his players to extend their media involvement to answer questions about him and the situation when it's already a challenge enough to do it, to play in this market and to win."
When it was suggested that Valentine would keep the players on his toes because they don't know what he's going to say, Schilling explained that that does not make for a good locker room.
"That's not a good thing. That's not a good thing," he stressed. "Because the game is hard enough to play as it is and challenging enough to play as it is. And every player has their self-doubt within their makeup. The last thing you want to be a wild card in this whole mix is the manager. That's your stability. That was one of the things that kept Terry I think so close to his players. You knew when you were struggling, if you were doing everything you could do, he was going to be, 'Hey, listen, you guys are playing, I know it's not working out, get after it tomorrow.'
"Any time you introduce the wild card, the guy who's going to flip over the spread or throw something against the wall or act and react in an unpredictable way, it's not a positive thing."
Following are more highlights from the conversation.
On the team's handling of Daniel Bard: "I think this is probably the one player that's being mismanaged all to hell right now. I don't see the pitching depth to just put this guy where you feel like he's going to pitch the best. This guy is a No. 4 in a championship rotation. If he's your No. 4, you have a leg up on just about everybody in baseball. The key for me is I want him to get into his midseason routine for preparation. And so I want him to go out there and start thinking like a starter.
"It becomes challenging because Bobby's not a pitcher, never pitched in the big leagues. I've played for managers like this. They're sitting there talking about things about pitching, and then they walk away and the pitching coach goes, 'You know what? Just kind of let it go in one ear and out the other and we'll work on pitching.' It's a dangerous place for a manager to go that doesn't pitch. Bobby can't tell me what it's like to execute my third pitch with runners on first and third in the seventh inning. Bob McClure can tell me, 'Hey, listen, you need to dial back mentally, and emotionally you need to make sure you're under control when you throw the pitch,' and blah, blah, blah. None of my other coaches can do that. Plus, I think you undermine your pitching coach in just staggering ways when you don't allow him to coach and manage his pitchers."
On reports of a power struggle between Valentine and general manager Ben Cherington: "Let's put it this way: You're not building a winner if it's a power struggle. If those two guys aren't collaborating -- yeah, they're going to argue. And I know Terry and Theo [Epstein] -- I was involved in some of those arguments -- if they're not arguing, they're not being productive. But at the same time, it can't be a power struggle. Both guys have to know the direction the organization's headed, have to know the direction and the intent with their talent and their top prospects. And whether they agree or disagree in the room, when they walk out of the room, they have to be on the same page. If it truly is a power struggle, then one of those two guys is an ex-something waiting to happen."
On Jose Iglesias, who was optioned to Triple-A Tuesday: "I think you're looking at a Rey Ordonez until he matures offensively. And I think Rey Ordonez, had he hit .280, would have been in the Hall of Fame. … If he's not ready offensively, the worst possible thing he could do is start his season in the big leagues. The beatdown that you get early in your career, you have to be mentally strong enough to overcome that. And they know this kid better than I do. My assumption is defensively he was ready five years ago. Offensively, he's still not there."
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox left fielder, who had five hits in the Sox win in Baltimore.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts after he provided the big hit in the 10th inning driving in 3 runs as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 4-1. Mookie talks about playing behind a pitcher like Chris Sale, and the amount of strikeouts from Sale lightens his work in the outfield.
In the final hour Christian talks about the Celtics and their poor performance and how they can not let a player like Rondo beat them. The Aaron Hernandez saga in Christian's opinion is similar to a TV show. In the late night low light a mystic has predicted that WW3 will be starting in a few weeks and Christian wonders how do you become a mystic and can you make a career out of it.
Hour 4. While discussing what kind of music Aaron Hernandez may have liked, the guys realize they hate musicals. Robert Kennedy Jr. has voice spasms. The week ends with a tragedy.
Hour 3. A game by game breakdown of the Patriots schedule. Kirk has the Patriots losing 12 games. There is breaking news that Hernandez left a note for his gay jailhouse lover.
Hour 2. Mut, Gerry, and Kirk compare LeBron to Bird. Is he the second best player of all-time if he wins a fourth title? Headlines with Kirk features sound from “Hot Chocolate.” Rear Admiral broke down the B’s playoff series with Arcand.
HOUR - The last hour of the show was all over the place as the guys did a dry rehearsal of a wacky video they're supposed to record next week. They also look at the biggest games in the NFL next year, and Fauria rips off "Keefer Madness" with his "Fauria Euphoria."
HOUR 3 - The guys get into expectations for the Celtics who are down 2-0 to the Rajon Rondo-less Bulls. They also wonder how much the Celtics are listening to Brad Stevens. Christian is excited for Caitlyn Jenner's nude spread.
HOUR 2 - News breaks that Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely with a fractured thumb. Rondo was dynamite in game 2. The guys discuss whether or not the Celtics now stand a chance.
Last two hours focused on our winter teams as they struggle in their first round match-ups.
Finish out the week on Freestyle Friday talking mostly about the Aaron Hernandez suicide and how it will affect his family in hour #2.
Hour One of freestyle Friday focused mostly on the Celtics and their matchup vs the now Rondo-less Bulls.
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Ben sits down with Diego Fagundez to talk about Diego's rise through the ranks of the academy, his accomplishment of reaching 10,000 minutes as a homegrown player, and how he has evolved his game.
Rich and Ben discuss the Celtics poor performances in Games 1 & 2, how we have to change our predictions, Rajon Rondo's thumb injury, and who is to blame for the terrible start to the series.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap the entire week of K&C shows in one mega Friday edition
Danny talks about the Red Sox and Orioles game and the fireworks in the 8th inning when Matt Barnes threw at Manny Machado. Pedroia was shown talking to Machado saying he wouldn't have thrown at his head and Danny wants to know how bad does this make Pedroia look throwing a teammate under the bus.More from this show
Michele McPhee joins Kirk, Gerry, and Alex to talk about Hernandez’s suicide and the accusation that she may have contributed to his suicide.More from this show
Hour 4. While discussing what kind of music Aaron Hernandez may have liked, the guys realize they hate musicals. Robert Kennedy Jr. has voice spasms. The week ends with a tragedy.More from this show
Hour 3. A game by game breakdown of the Patriots schedule. Kirk has the Patriots losing 12 games. There is breaking news that Hernandez left a note for his gay jailhouse lover.More from this show
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.More from this show