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."
WEEI's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price examine what direction the Patriots might take in the upcoming NFL draft and how the team will go about filing their needs, including replacing Darrelle Revis. Petraglia and Price also take a close look at the Patriots' 2015 schedule and what to expect this season.
Ian talks with Chris about the NFL offseason and specifically what the Pats have done and will do. He talks about NFL free agency, if Brandon Spike will come back to New England, all things NFL Draft and more in an extensive interview.
in hour 2 of NFL Sunday, Greg and Chris discuss some news from around the league including the Philip Rivers situation in San Diego, if the Titans may sign Rivers, where Marcus Mariota may end up, and what the Jets will do. Price talks with NFL Network's Ian Rapoport about all things NFL offseason and the draft. Finally, the guys touch on if the NFL is over-saturating fans with too much coverage all year round now.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Joe and Dave talk with Red Sox super utility man Brock Holt, who hit the game winning 3 run home run that propelled the Red Sox over the Baltimore Orioles, and played some stellar defense to seal the win.
Continued Red Sox talk on benching Victorino and the Red Sox pitching issues..and Sean's love for the band Poison.
Dale and Michael check in with the Red Sox manager John Farrell for his weekly take on all things Boston Red Sox.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
DJ, Naoko and Pete get into the huge week for the Bruins that saw the franchise move on from GM Peter Chiarelli. They discuss why that was done and if they agree. What does this mean for Claude? They talk about Claude and if he can exist here. If not, who would work in Boston? They also get into the NHL Draft Lottery last night and talk to ESPN Boston's Joey "National" McDonald live from Tampa, Florida.
Gary, Gerry and Kirk talk about a set of parents who decided to have their child's gender changed into being a boy.
The guys talk about the Tsarnaev family arriving in Boston and staying at a local hotel. Michele McPhee joins the show to talk about the family.
Gary, Gerry and Kirk argue about whether or not Tom Brady's absence from the Patriots' trip to the White House was disrespectful or not.
Led by Christian Fauria, the guys delve into 5 topics relating to all the hometown teams. There is a new intro by a special guest, plus Lou Merloni, DJ extraordinaire, nails the post.
The guys debate whether or not the Celtics even have a chance against the Cavs in game 4 and what the mentality of fans should be.
We check in with Senior White House Correspondent Joe Zarbano on this edition of Aloha Friday
Michael, Jerry and Dale speak with draft guru Todd McShay of ESPN for some insight on what the Patriots might do in the upcoming draft.
We talk to Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com and discuss his column on Rajon Rondo from ESPN and ESPN the Magazine.
Dale and Michael discuss some news on deflategate as the 100 day mark approaches us.
Mikey, Lenny, and Erin talk about the Sox 7-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Patriots Day and the Sox hold on first place in the AL East. Also, the Celtics trail the Cavs 1 Game to 0 in their 1st Round series and the 2015 Boston Marathon is in the books.
Mikey Adams, joined by Lenny Megliola and Chris Villani, talks about the Red Sox home opening win at Fenway and the Bruins fallout after missing the playoffs including the future of Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Football fans and Fantasy Footballers know that there is NO Offseason in the NFL, so Jim and Pete are back with the first of a series of Fantasy Football Podcasts of the “NFL Draft variety.” Tune in and you’ll get an in depth analysis on Pete’s most first batch of scouting reports on this year’s crop of Rookie Targets. Jim and Pete kick it off with a lot of focus on a Runningback rich draft class, some of the top Wide Receiver talent and touch on the top Quarterbacks, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. Enjoy!
Uncle Buck joins Chris on the show again to talk about Raw from 4/20, finishing maneuvers and gives a few classic match picks.
Ben and Sam are joined by Julian Edlow from WEEI.com to give their predictions on every series in the NBA Playoffs.
We listen in on the Patriots Super Bowl visit to the White House, and then discuss why MVP Tom Brady was not in attendance.More from this show
The guys talk about the Tsarnaev family arriving in Boston and staying at a local hotel. Michele McPhee joins the show to talk about the family.More from this show