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."
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Gabe calls the boys to handicap one of the biggest gambling days of the year - Super Bowl 51! Gabe has all the point spread info down and gets to all of the major prop bets that interest him.
Fauria is still down in Houston and calls live from NRG Stadium to give his take on what will go down later on in Super Bowl 51. He likes the Pats and gives his reasons why, but also gets into the scene in Houston all week, famous people he met and why he is tired out from a wild week.
The NBA trade rumor mill is beginning to swirl as the deadline approaches and Picard is ready to go! He talks about the possibility of Jimmy Butler coming to Boston, why Isaiah Thomas is not getting enough respect and the future of the Celtics.
Adrian Wojnarowski has been talking about the possibility of the Celtics making a trade with the Bulls to bring Jimmy Butler to Boston. He actually thinks it may be the the marquee deal to keep an eye on this week heading into the trade deadline. Pete and Jerry discuss and give their thoughts on if they would want Butler. Pete thinks it will happen, Jerry thinks Ainge will stay put. The guys get into more Celtics, present and future and if they can battle with the best of the NBA.
Anna Horford, sister of Boston Celtics Al Horford, makes her Boston radio debut. She talks about Twitter and reacting to mean tweets about her brother. She also gives us her thoughts on the city of Boston and racism.
Bradford checks in from spring training to give us all the media dirt he can dig up...oh, and talk some baseball too.
Rob Bradford is joined by Lou Merloni to talk life in spring training, his toiletries, sleeping arrangements, and facing off with Red Sox personnel that he might have been critical of. Rob and Lou also get into the dynamic of electronic and print media when it comes to ripping the Red Sox.
Pete, Bradford, and Tomase are talking all about the Boston Red Sox, who opened spring training on Monday with pitchers and catchers reporting. They talk about what the Red Sox approach at the plate will be to replace the loss of David Ortiz bat, the impact of some players participating in the WBC, and of course the pitching rotation.
Guys talk the Bruins season so far and the All-Star Break
Guys discuss if or when the Bruins will fire Coach Julian
Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.
Hour 4. Milo is done after advocating for pedophilia. The guys dive into the Red Sox roster.
Hour 3. Kirk and Gerry's dream of doing play-by-play is over.
President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski joins Kirk and Gerry in Fort Myers.
The Dallas Mavericks traded for Nerlens Noel, and dumped Andrew Bogut in the process, leading the guys to wonder why the Celts weren't pursuing 6'11" power forward/center.
Chris Mannix, Yahoo! Sports joined the show to give the latest on the NBA trade deadline.
The guys acknowledge that the Green-teamers will defend Danny whether he makes a move or not.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe discuss the C's lack of moves at the NBA trade deadline and try and figure out why, and what is the next best opportunity for the Celts to make a move?
Dale, Michael and Keefe discuss the comments made by Dave Dombrowski on K&C this morning concerning John Farrell and his in-game management.
We close out the show with the best sound bites of the day.
Kirk and Glenn continue their conversation from last week. In this episode Kirk and Glenn scream at each other about the infamous "station incident", what the news of the merger means to WEEI and the Sports Hub, and Kirk tries to get Glenn to answer what the perfect "Big Show" would be. You will not find a better look behind the scenes of radio.
Kirk sits down with the legend Glenn Ordway to talk about when Glenn got fired here at WEEI, his start with the station, the controversial decisions he made when he was the Program Director, and he relationship with Eddie Andelman.
Kirk chats with David Duchovny about his current music tour, which takes him to the Wilbur on February 22nd, how David got his start in television, from his first stint on Red Shoe Diaries, becoming a superstar on the X-Files, and his hilarious appearances on the Larry Sanders Show. This is a fascinating discussion about show business and controlling your own career.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap Wednesday and Thursday's K&C shows on location in Ft. Myers
Kirk and Glenn continue their conversation from last week. In this episode Kirk and Glenn scream at each other about the infamous "station incident", what the news of the merger means to WEEI and the Sports Hub, and Kirk tries to get Glenn to answer what the perfect "Big Show" would be.
Rich Keefe & Ryan Davey talk best and worst movie/TV presidents. Plus the always important "This Week in #DORK" and the Pick of the Podcast.
Hour 4. Evan Drellich joins the show. A fight for the ages ensues.More from this show
Kirk and Glenn continue their conversation from last week. In this episode Kirk and Glenn scream at each other about the infamous "station incident", what the news of the merger means to WEEI and the Sports Hub, and Kirk tries to get Glenn to answer what the perfect "Big Show" would be.More from this show
Hour 1. Evan Drellich attacked Kirk and Gerry for their interview with John Farrell. Kirk had an accident.More from this show
Kirk and Glenn continue their conversation from last week. In this episode Kirk and Glenn scream at each other about the infamous "station incident", what the news of the merger means to WEEI and the Sports Hub, and Kirk tries to get Glenn to answer what the perfect "Big Show" would be. You will not find a better look behind the scenes of radio.More from this show
Hour 2. Curtis brought his dog. Kirk saw Fences. Lou thought Trenni got in the way.More from this show