ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni to discuss many things that have been plaguing the Red Sox lately, most notably whether to move Daniel Bard to the bullpen, who to try to trade for to fill any holes and who to blame for the team's early struggles.
No issue, however, was more pressing for Olney than the news that Carl Crawford will visit the renowned Dr. James Andrews to get a second opinion on his ailing left elbow that has kept him sidelined throughout the 2012 season. Olney said Crawford's elbow is a serious matter that still has a ways to go before getting better.
"Talking with sources this morning, they basically said that if he has any kind of a throw beyond flipping the ball, it really hurt his elbow," Olney said. "It doesn’t hurt him when he hits, it doesn’t hurt him when he does other stuff, but he can’t throw a baseball.
"It will be interesting to see what exactly Andrews says. I know Carl’s felt a little better about his elbow in recent days, but the bottom line is he’s not close to being ready to play. We’ll have to wait and see. It’s certainly ominous when you go and see a Dr. Andrews, but when you have pain when you make any attempt to throw a baseball over 15 feet."
Olney previously released an article on ESPN.com in which he assessed blame on the slow start of the Red Sox, and much of it did not have anything to do with two figures of intense criticism -- manager Bobby Valentine and general manager Ben Cherington. For Olney, many of the team's problems were in place before the current administration took charge.
"Here’s the thing on Ben -- he’s basically made two significant moves," Olney said. "One was on Andrew Bailey, who got hurt, and the other was on Mark Melancon. When he did it, there were concerns because of Melancon’s history with the Yankees and whether or not he would be a good fit with the team.
"With Bobby, over the weekend when he was getting booed, you could see the fans really reacting badly to him and he’s certainly made mistakes. But ultimately, they’re probably four or five pitchers short, and that’s not really on him."
When asked about the clubhouse environment, another topic of consistent speculation, Olney noted that there are still some unresolved issues and that with a new manager, there could very well be changes coming soon.
"I still think that within that clubhouse it’s still a work in progress," Olney said. "I covered Bobby in ’97 and he used that beginning of the season to break down the roster and get guys out of there that he didn’t want on the team and to go to guys that he did want on the team. I think that’s what we’re right in the middle of right now."
Following are more highlights from the conversation.
On whether Red Sox management has likely talked to Daniel Bard about moving to the bullpen: "Not to this point. I thought Daniel’s comments this week were kind of a shot across the bow. He had done everything that the Red Sox had asked him since he joined this organization. He was told last fall after he talked to them about making the transition into the rotation, ‘OK this is what you’ve got to do,’ and he did it and he won his spot. The general manager of the team came out 10 days ago and basically indicated, ‘Look, he’s going to remain in the rotation.’ Then they lose a couple of games, the city’s booing the manager and all of a sudden there’s talk about him being moved back into the bullpen. I do think this is potentially a problem area. They’ve got to be careful about jerking the guy around, about not allowing him to get into a routine and do his preparation. I think he’s earned the right to start and moving him to the bullpen isn’t going to fix the fact that they need three or four or five other pitchers."
On people to possibly trade for to fix the team's woes: "Grant Balfour of the Oakland Athletics. You can call them now and trade for him. He’s off to a really good start, he’s 34 years old, he’s pitched in the American League East, so he knows the division. And he’s got something else that makes him really attractive -- he’s got a $4.5 million option for next year beyond the $4 million he makes this year. That’s a very affordable option in line with what relievers are being paid. He could close, which is what he’s doing for Oakland right now. There’s probably a couple of other lesser guys, but I think in terms of being able to make a deal right now who could help you in that division, but Balfour’s probably the best guy."
On Clay Buchholz' struggles: "The questions started Saturday. I talked to scouts who were at that game and their big question was, ‘Hey, how come he can’t get the ball down?’ We know that in 2010, when John Farrell remade him, it was about keeping the ball down, pitching contact, getting some easy ground balls. The other day he could not get the ball down."
Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.
Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.
Sam Packard is joined by Celtics 2nd Round draft pick Abdel Nader to discuss his path to the the NBA and how he plans to improve his game. Sam then talks to Player Development Coach Nick Friedman from Elite Skills Training, the pre-Draft camp Nader attended. Friedman also gives his opinion on the Celtics performance at summer league and the development of Jaylen Brown.
Isaiah Thomas talks to Glenn and Lou about why he loves Boston, the NBA Money Bump, oh, and some Durant guy
Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.
Drew Pomeranz looked stronger in his second Red Sox start but the offense wasn't there to back him up tonight. Mut recaps the 4-2 loss to the Tigers. Thoughts on the manager, the bullpen, and your Sox calls as well.
Joe Castiglione & Tim Neverett talked to the new Sox reliever, who got his first save for the team today against the Twins.
Christian recaps the Sox 2-1 loss to the Twins. Eduardo Rodriguez had a good showing tonight but couldn't get the run support needed to secure a W. Thoughts on all of that as well as your calls on Red Sox Review.
Joey Mac joins Ken Laird on his Saturday show to discuss the David Backes addition and Loui Eriksson departure in NHL free agency
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Dino, Gerry and Tango discuss a few Patriots storylines as Pats camp is about to open.
The 8am hour with Dino, Gerry and Tanguay is a bit of a hodge-podge of discussion, starting with the Democratic Convention and moving on to marathon swimming and archery at the Olympics and ending with Tanguay's defense of Hillary during the Benghazi attacks.
Tanguay and Dino team up to read the day's 'Headlines', including gross reports of the water quality at the Olympic water locations in Rio.
The guys listen to Belichick's press conference and break down what he has to say. They also discuss what they think the Pats should do with their qb reps during camp
The OMFers are joined by Red Sox President Sam Kennedy to discuss the current state of the Red Sox.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian open the show discussing the latest Red Sox pitching implosion. They get into Steven Wright's struggles pitching in humidity, and David Price not living up to expectations.
Dale and Holley w/Thornton talk about some of the lingering issues about the Pats heading into training camp.
With the news that Tom Jackson is leaving ESPN we take a look back at some of Jackson's greatest hits.
Dale and Holley close out the show with the best sound of the day!
Kirk Minihane is joined by Boston comedy legend Lenny Clarke. If you are a fan of stand up comedy this is the podcast for you. Kirk and Lenny talk about Carlin, Pryor, Williams, Murphy and many more.
Kirk Minihane is joined by former ESPN ombudsman and New York Times writer Robert Lipsyte. Kirk and Robert discuss the current state of ESPN and how Robert feels he did in his role as ombudsman. They both criticize ESPN for the lack of journalism at ESPN and look at some of the curious decisions the world wide leader has made in the past few years.
Kirk Minihane is joined by Lenny Dykstra to talk about his book, his life pleasing older women, and Lenny tries to avoid his past issues with money. This is one explosive episode.
John Dennis and Gerry Callahan bring Gary Tanguay in the podcenter to discuss Tango's bargaining position for Dino's job when it opens next year. The guys also discuss Kirk Minihane's latest podcast with Lenny Clarke.
Christian Fauria and Dr Gill talk about what you need to do to be in the best shape to help your golf game. What exercises you should and shouldn't be doing so you can impress on the course.
Uncle Buck breaks down the WWE Draft and the new rosters for Monday Night Raw and Smackdown Live.
John, Gerry and Bradfo discuss a rare political stance by Michael Jordan, and the ensuing criticism he received from ESPN talking head Kevin Blackistone. A Black Lives Matter discussion ensues.More from this show
Dino, Gerry and Rob Bradford give their thoughts on the opening night of the Democratic Convention in Philly. Paul Simon, Al Franken, Sarah Silverman, Michelle Obama and Bernie are among those discussed.More from this show
Rob Bradford is thrust into 'Headlines' duty by John Dennis, and Bradfo does his best to spin a few entertaining news yarns.More from this show
Rob Bradford is in studio with Dino and Gerry to discuss Red Sox trade possibilities and to throw cold water on Chris Sale trade chances.More from this show
"No credible evidence" frees Peyton Manning from any guilt in the NFL eyes on P.E.D usage, and Josh Gordon is reinstated into the league after multiple suspensions. John Dennis, Gerry Callahan and Rob Bradford discuss.More from this show