Appearing with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning, the morning after the Red Sox moved over .500 for the first time this season, team president and CEO Larry Lucchino talked about the club's recent improvement, Bobby Valentine's coaching approach, and why the team elected not to sign Roy Oswalt.
Lucchino also extended an invitation to Dennis & Callahan's own Jon Meterparel to handle Fenway Park PA announcer duties Thursday and become a candidate to replace the late Carl Beane.
Boston, which has been struggling throughout the young season, is last in the AL East with a 25-24 record. But after beating Detroit on Tuesday night, the Red Sox are over .500 and only 3 1/2 games of first place.
"To finally get over .500 is something we should celebrate," he said. "I'm really pleased with the way the team is coming together."
Lucchino said the Red Sox might still encounter some difficulties as the season progresses, but the team's solidifying identity is a positive that will carry over.
"There will be some ebbs and flows during the remainder of this season, but the good thing is the team has kind of come together," Lucchino said. "I think there's an identity forming, some of the lesser-known players are making a real contribution keeping this team at around .500. That's where we want it to be until the cavalry comes over the horizon in the persons of [Jacoby] Ellsbury and Crawford and [Andrew] Bailey and ... Daisuke [Matsuzaka], of course."
Valentine has survived the struggles and the transition period thanks in part to a winning drive, Lucchino said. That allowed him to overcome being the scapegoat for the team's slow start.
"I thought he was a convenient symbol for people," Lucchino said of criticism of the new manager. "I didn't think it was certainly fair to focus on him. I thought that people who were upset had legitimate grievances with the performance of the club and the finish last year, and the manager was kind of a figurehead person or symbol that people could focus on.
"But I think he's done an exceptional job, with the series of injuries he's had to deal with, the restructuring of the bullpen he's had to do. And a number of the calls he's made have proven to be really insightful and very helpful to the club sustaining itself around a .500 record so far."
Added Lucchino: "It's undeniable that he plays every game to win. There's this commercial that NESN has: 'Every game matters. Every pitch matters. Every out matters.' He plays it like that. There's an intensity that I like. In the fifth inning he's pitching lefty, righty, lefty to get the matchup he wants. And I think that's the way to do it, particularly in this day and age when with the wild card system that we have, one game will make a difference, two games can make a difference. Last year one game made a difference in the final standings and that's been true for the last few years."
Following are more highlights from the interview.
On the team's decision to pass on Roy Oswalt: "It wasn't as though we were starting pitching short. We think that in a week or two we're going to have seven possibilities [with the return of Matsuzaka and Aaron Cook]. So, do you spend an extra six or seven million dollars to secure a guy when you've got that kind of pitching need and you may need that money come July 31st?"
On why the productive Daniel Nava should sit when Carl Crawford returns: "If [Nava] can sustain what he's doing, he's going to make some real money over the course of the year, but he's not yet a firmly established major league outfielder. But he's been an invaluable part of the first part of the season for the team. As I said, he's one of my favorite stories. But Crawford is somebody who has an established major league track record and we're eager to get him back in there and I think he's got something to prove. It appears that he feels more comfortable with his surroundings, his teammates. I know he's champing at the bit [and] just can't wait to get in there. And it's not that Daniel Nava doesn't play, it means that there will be some time-sharing I suppose among the outfielders given the number of injured outfielders we have."
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe speak with ESPN's Trent Dilfer and look ahead to the match-up with his old team, the Baltimore Ravens.
Butch Stearns joins Glenn and Fred to react to the Patriots victory over the Rams. They discuss Tom Brady's record setting 201st quarterback victory and debate if he is truly the greatest player of all time.
Glenn and Fred open the show reacting to the Patriots beat down of the Los Angeles Rams. They discuss the defense and debate whether todays game is a sign of things to come.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of 'The Dale and Holley Show' talk about last night's disappointing finish against the Rockets and they talk about their love for DeMarcus Cousins.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about what the Celtics will need to do in order to be considered one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference along with the Cavs.
WEEI's Mike Petraglia talks with Josue Pavon about how the Celtics are looking better with Al Horford back on the court and the overall toughness of this team.
Mut and Tomase are joined by Rob Bradford to talk about just how the Red Sox were able to pull off this trade. Rob's sit down with Dave Dombrowski helps to reveal the timeline of the mega deal.
Mut and John Tomase open the Hot Stove show debating the blockbuster Chris Sale trade. Tomase argues that you can like the trade, but dislike Dombrowski for gutting the Red Sox farm system.
WEEI.com's Rob Bradford sits down with Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski to talk about the Red Sox off season. They discuss how the blockbuster Chris Sale trade went down.
Hour two of Saturday Skate after a Bruins 2-1 over Buffalo, with Ken Laird and Rear Admiral debating the status of Krejci, Chara, Krug and Bergeron.
The first hour of Saturday Skate starts up against the third period of Bruins - Sabres, so Ken Laird and Rear Admiral give some Red Sox hot stove and Rob Gronkowski thoughts before moving into Bruins - Sabres game reaction
Ken Laird and Ty Anderson chat Bruins after a 2-1 win in Florida improved the team's record to 5-4.
Gerry was shocked that Ken Laird took his wife to see Hateful Eight. Bradford checked in from the WInter Meetings.
Chris Russo talked about the Winter Meetings with Gerry and Kirk and the guys discussed John Henry's brand new yacht.
Gerry and Kirk disagreed on whether or not LeBron James owes people an explanation for his boycott of Trump's hotel.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian are starting to think that the Ravens are the Pats biggest Rival. They cite the frequency with which they play, the importance of their games, the fact that the Ravens have won in Foxborough, and that they always play close games.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian react to John Tomase's comments on "The Hot Stove Show" last night, where he bagged on Dave Dombrowski fro decimating the Red Sox Farm System. Lou feels very strongly that Prospects exist to get big time Players. He also feels that the Red Sox are already the Chicago Cubs. Glenn rails against Tomase and other "Prospect Hoarders." Christian talks about "Beanie Babies."
Glenn, Lou, and Christian discuss Pablo Sandoval's conversation with ESPN Deportes, where he talks about a renewed interest in Baseball, getting healthy, and wanting his son to be able to see him play at a high level.
While driving around town, Curt Schilling decided to give Dale, Michael and Keefe a ring and discuss the Sox pitching staff with the addition of Chris Sale.
A lot of panic out there about Sox GM Dave Dombrowski "dismantling" the farm system. Dale, Michael and Keefe discuss it, and also how this rotation may play out. Is Clay Bucholz the odd man out?
Michael and Rich Keefe talk C's after they knock off Orlando in impressive fashion.
Kirk Minihane, WEEI Podcast King, talks to the Podcast Godfather Adam Carolla about his new documentary about Le Mans, the backlash from the Election, and his time with Donald Trump on the Apprentice. The audio quality isn't great but the conversation is.
Kirk Minihane is a non-believer, Larry Johnson is a preacher, when Larry found Kirk doesn't believe in God he challenged Kirk to allow him on to the podcast to talk about religion and faith. Kirk and Larry have a tremendous conversation about God and Larry tries to convert Kirk into a believer.
K&C Producers Ken Laird and Chris Curtis are back at it after Thursday's non-Casting Couch show to discuss the day's program and deliver the day's best soundbytes.
Episode 2 of the official podcast of Kirk & Callahan, as Kirk and Gerry acknowledge their first real on-air fight on that morning's show. The guys also discuss newbie Rich Keefe, Gary Tanguay, and Larry Bird's 60th birthday
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