ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about the Red Sox and news from around Major League Baseball.
The Astros, who recently fired manager Brad Mills, have begun interviewing candidates for next season. Olney said it shouldn't be a concern to the Red Sox, who might look to replace Bobby Valentine this offseason.
"I don't think that the Red Sox will lose any ground because they're not interviewing the candidates who are available," Olney said. "I think ultimately, let's face it, John Farrell is probably going to be the first choice. They'll see if Toronto is going to be willing to talk about letting him go. And I think [Mike] Scioscia's going to be an interesting manager if the Angels let him go.
"And Jim Leyland would be, for me, really sort of a fascinating choice if the Tigers were to not make the playoffs and fire him. And I don't know if that's going to happen. All I do know is they spent an awful lot of money, and I can't imagine a situation where they not make the playoffs and then something doesn't happen. And I personally think that firing Jim Leyland would be silly. They've got a team that you can't necessarily win with because of the defensive issues. But if he's out there, shoot, if I'm the Red Sox, am I talking to him? Absolutely. … He is great in a clubhouse, guys. You talk about contact with players and that type of thing, he would be tremendous."
Asked about Valentine pinch-hitting for Jose Iglesias with a 2-2 count during a recent game in Toronto, Olney said he has seen such a situation happen before, although, "There's no question it's very unusual."
The Red Sox' megatrade with the Dodgers has had some time to sink in, and it hasn't gone so well for Los Angeles. Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .233 with one home run and 16 RBIs in 21 games, during which time the Dodgers are 8-13.
"I don't think they're necessarily surprised," Olney said of the Dodgers' expectations for Gonzalez. "Let's face it, it's a small sample of games. They did hope that he would come in and put them over the top. They thought that he would come in and be the guy. I'm curious to spend more time with Adrian. … Because when I was there a couple of weeks ago, he did seem down. I can't tell you a reason, I can't give it to you. The one thing that I wonder about, and I'm sure you guys were aware of this, when the whole coup d'etat story broke, people were [saying] Adrian Gonzalez texted the owners, and he got some criticism, I was thinking to myself, you know what? This is one of the first times in his career when he got some criticism for something. You just hope it doesn't really sort of rob the joy he would take going to the park every day.
"But I've seen it happen before. I'll never forget how different Roberto Alomar was after the [John] Hirschbeck incident because of the fact that he got really criticized. And he never was the same, in my opinion. And I covered him at that time, on a daily basis. And that's what I wonder about Adrian. This is the first time where he really sort of got whacked publicly, whether it's fair or not. Personally I think it was him trying to be a leader. I wonder how much it's affecting him."
Greg and Chris talk more offseason happenings with the Pats and their plans. They talk about some of the free agents toward the bottom of the list with Stevan Ridley and Dan Connolly. Price thinks that Connolly could end up back with the Pats and Ridley elsewhere (Cowboys?), but Greg thinks they both could be back. They also chat about the departure of VInce Wilfork and what he meant to the organization, the re-signing of McCourty and more.
The very first airing of the offseason edition of NFL Sunday gets underway with Greg and Chris delving into the free agency period and how the Pats made out. Of course they lost Revis to the Jets, but what else went on? Greg isn't over the loss of Revis yet and the guys discuss what went into that whole ordeal. Price is looking forward to the additions of Chandler and Cadet. They also get a call from Mike Petraglia and get his thoughts on the Pats offseason moves.
We talk to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News about his column today which basically accuses the Patriots of sour grapes for asking the league to enforce their own rules against tampering.
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.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Mut, Tomase, and Bradford kick things off talking about Shane Victorino taking offense to people reading into some comments he made about trading for Cole Hamels. They also discuss Blake Swihart and how soon he could be up if Christian Vazquez starts the season on the DL.
Joe Kelly joined the Hot Stove show where he talked about being ready for his next spring training start after a biceps ailment forced him out of his last outing, he talks about his NCAA brackets and how teammate Wade Miley has a perfect bracket still.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase kick off this weeks show by talking to Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly about his biceps recovery, getting ready for the season and his NCAA brackets. They then talk about the Red Sox depth at closer with Koji Uehara questionable for the start of the season.
Jack Edwards of NESN joins Dale, Michael and Jerry. With 9 games left the Bruins don't have much if any margin of error, and Jack knows it.
DJ, Joe and Pete talk more playoff scenarios in hour 2 and if the Bruins can get in, they'll be a very dangerous team... to the point where DJ thinks teams would much rather face the Senators and are doing their best to oust the Bruins from the equation. It's become apparent now more than ever that Chiarelli probably needed to pull the trigger on a deal for a defenseman at the trade deadline. Also. Bruce Garrioch from the Ottawa Sun joins the boys to discuss the Hamburglar and the Senators and Bruins being neck-and-neck for a playoff spot.
With the Senators hot on the tail of the Bruins for a spot in the playoffs, Bruce Garrioch from the Ottawa Sun calls into Sunday Skate. He talks about "the Hamburglar" craze sweeping through the league as goalie Andrew Hammond has really stepped up for Ottawa. They discuss playoff chances, the fans' reaction in Ottawa and more.
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Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton discuss David Ortiz's self-penned piece which took on such topics as steroids, the media, his contract and more. And we get into a back and forth about the fan perception of him in Boston, and why he can be so polarizing at times, even with the on-field track record he has.
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton discuss some of the testimony from Aaron Hernandez' fiancee, and try and judge how her words might change the outcome of this case.
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Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
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Mike Mulloy joins Chris in the studio to talk Raw and Wrestlemania.
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