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."
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