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."
The boys get into the media and how they cover the Pats. It's not always easy covering Belichick and a team that will not give any substance to reporters, but things could be worse.
The guys discuss the upcoming week for the Patriots with the Bills coming to town.
Curran joins the boys live in studio to discuss the future of the QB position in New England.
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.
Joe and Tim talked to the Sox catcher, who caught 23 strikeouts from Sox pitchers in the extra-inning win in Tampa Bay.
Joe and Tim talk with the Red Sox DH, Big Papi, who provided the only offense for the Sox with a 2-run home run that gave the Red Sox a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays
In the midst of the Patriots routing the Texans, Mut recaps the game marking the sweep of the Orioles. David Price picks up his 17th win as the Red Sox have all but cemented their strangle hold on the AL East. They finish their final game with Baltimore in a 5-3 win.
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.
Mike Lombardi discussed Bill O'Brien's tough night and Bill Belichick's approach to dealing with injured players.
In the final hour of the show Sean, Gerry and Kirk heard from some drunk callers to the Real Postgame Show and discussed how the Sox fared head to head against the Patriots last night on TV.
In hour three of the show Sean, Gerry and Kirk discussed the Pats win and took calls on Brady vs. Jimmy G.
Patriots DB Duron Harmon joined Glenn, Lou, and Christian. He talked about playing against Brock Osweiler, and the team's mindset at 3-0.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian are joined by Mike Florio of ProFootball Talk. He thinks Brady will eventually win out over Garoppolo, and Rex Ryan will be out of a job soon.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian talk about the surging Sox and their new mission of Playoff positioning.
We check in with the playmaker, hall of famer Michael Irvin breaks down the Pats win over the Texans and whether or not he'll be changing those Lombardi trophies.
Dale, Michael and Jerry spend the majority of our show breaking down an amazing win for the Patriots on Thursday night football.
We look at four instances in the NFL in which Bill Belichick earned his 'genius' title for coaching.
Kirk Minihane sits down with the Boston Globes Sports Media Columnist, Chad Finn. Kirk and Chad talk about the long and storied feud between WEEI and the Boston Globe and the ongoing ratings war between WEEI and the Hub.
Kirk and Gerry talk about how the show is going since the departure of John Dennis, how the fill-in hosts have been doing so far, and what they are looking for in a third host.
Kirk Minihane loves TV and movies, he sits down with TV critic and author of the new book "TV (The Book)" Alan Sepinwall to discuss the best TV shows of all-time and which show should be number 1. Kirk and Alan disagree on which show is the best of all-time and they both have compelling arguments. Kirk and Alan talk about "Cheers" being one of the most underrated and forgotten TV shows of all-time.
After another big win for the Pats on Thursday night, New England rejoices so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson get their thoughts in on the game, the Pats future at Quarterback and the difference between the Patriots organization and everyone else. Then the conversation turns to Fantasy Football featuring the slew of injured Runningbacks and who you need to get and start in their place, including Jerrick McKinnon, Charles Simms and Theo Riddick. The boys wrap it up with a look at solid Starts & Sits from RB to WR to TE. Something for every Fantasy Footballer and Football fan. Make sure you join Jim and Pete on Sunday at 8:00am for the WEEI Fantasy Football Hour.
Lucy Burdge is in to host the second edition of the K&C Recap pod with producers Ken Laird and Chris Curtis, but they don't get far as Kirk Minihane hijacks the program to dish on the show hosts and to blast Curtis.