ESPN baseball insider Buster Olney made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about Red Sox and other MLB news.
Olney noted that at least some of the executives involved in the Red Sox' managerial search took some family time over the holiday weekend, and now they're returning their focus to trying to land John Farrell from the Blue Jays.
"I think when they got back after the holiday on Tuesday, I think a lot of the people involved went back to work," Olney said. "I would not at all be surprised if we hear something in the next 24-48 hours. Because let's face it: It's a pretty clear situation. If Toronto really values John Farrell, if they don't want to lose him and he's someone that they want to try to build around going forward, they're going to say no. If they have even lukewarm feelings about him, then they should aggressively move to make something happen. Because they know he's probably going to walk away at the end of next year anyway."
Added Olney: "There's been a lot of speculation about John's relationship with the Blue Jays, how the Blue Jays feel about him. It all depends on whether or not [owner] Paul Beeston will allow a Blue Jay employee to go to a division rival, and whether or not he sees as important John Farrell as part of the Blue Jays' future. If he's OK with John leaving, I think it's one of those things that can get done very quickly. If he hems and he haws and he fights and he claws and tries to convince John, I think the Red Sox will be prepared to move on. I do know that they have been in the process of preparing other candidates as well."
Olney said he does not expect that the Red Sox will spend a lot of time trying to negotiate with the Jays if Toronto takes a hard-line stance.
"I think if you're the Red Sox you just move on," Olney said. "Because I think there's motivation on the Blue Jays' side. If they don't want John Farrell, if they don't really view him as part of the future, wouldn't you want to just get this over with and get your new manager in there, whether it's Torey Lovullo or Sandy Alomar Jr. or somebody else? Because I think through this whole process, it's become fairly apparent that John Farrell is probably not going to be their manager past 2013 no matter what happens. You might as well get something in return. And I can't imagine that the Blue Jays and the Red Sox can't find some middle ground if the Blue Jays say, 'OK, we're ready to talk.' Now, I say that, and we're all going to look back on the Theo Epstein negotiation, which only lasted what seemed like about 45 years."
Former major league catcher and current Padres executive Brad Ausmus, a Connecticut native who attended Dartmouth College, is a name that has surfaced as a potential candidate if Farrell doesn't work out.
"He is sort of a new model of managers -- the understated Robin Ventura, Mike Matheny. That's Brad," Olney said. "Brad's one of those personalties where you could have a fight on the field, total chaos, teammates throwing punches at each other in the dugout, and Brad will be the guy whose voice tone never changes, never rises. His heartbeat probably stays at 65. He's always been really good dealing with the media. He never overreacts. And he certainly knows pitching. To me, that's one of the big questions about any manager, is dealing with the pitching staff, running a bullpen. He's going to have a leg up on those things. I think he's an excellent candidate.
"The question for the Red Sox I'm sure is: Do you want to have a first-time manager breaking in in Boston. I think the fact that Brad's a native New Englander, he knows the intensity, the velocity of the passion of baseball fans up there, is a huge thing. If they hired him, it wouldn't surprise me -- if John Farrell doesn't take the job -- because I think he would be an excellent candidate."
Bobby Valentine has been quiet since his dismissal as Red Sox manager. Olney said it's clear that there was an agreement that both sides would avoid criticizing each other publicly.
"Yes, and I talked to some officials who say that that's standard operating procedure with the Red Sox and standard operating procedure with other teams," Olney said.
Terry Francona was named manager of the Indians, a move that caught Olney by surprise.
Said Olney: "People around baseball are absolutely stunned that he took this job because of the issues with the rotation, the questions as to the viability of baseball in Cleveland going forward and their short-term prospects, and they think that there probably would have been better jobs out there in other places. But here's the thing: Terry I think really wants to work with people that he knows and gets along with."
Patriots Safety Devin McCourty joined Glenn, Lou, and Christian, and talked about covering the Steelers Wide Receivers, and how he's helping the players who are in the AFC Championship for the first time prepare.
ProFootball Talk's Mike Florio told Glenn, Lou, and Christian that the Patriots have a quiet confidence that they can outscore the Steelers, since they've proven they have the ability.
Holley and Keefe check in with NFL Network's Heath Evans for some final thoughts on the Houston win and to look ahead at the Steelers in the AFC Championship.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about Isaiah Thomas' flagrant foul against the Heat, and also discuss why it's time for the Celtics to address their biggest need.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the "Dale and Holley Show" discuss the latest news on the injury that has kept Isaiah Thomas off the court and how valuable it is for Marcus Smart to stay in control.
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.
Mut, Rob, and John are talking about some of the Hall of Fame candidates who gained or lost support within the last year. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds both gained support, while Curt Schilling lost a chunk of votes he had gotten last year.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are in after it was announced that Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. They also talk about some notable candidates who weren't elected this year like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
Rob Bradford is joined by Jackie Bradley Jr. to discuss race in baseball and in Boston, along with the importance of Martin Luther King Day. The Red Sox outfielder also dives into how he never really felt comfortable in a major league clubhouse until last year, the approach he's taking heading into 2017, and why he's not playing in the World Baseball Classic.
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.
Ken, Rear and Ty talk all things Bruins as they come off a 4-0 shutout win in Florida and head to Carolina later today. Did that victory save Claude's job? The boys get into Don Sweeney's recent comments on Claude's job and what the future holds for the black and gold.
Hour two of Saturday Skate as Ken Laird and Rear Admiral kick around the perception of backup goalie Anton Khudobin, B's coach Claude Julien, and possible trade target Gabriel Landeskog.
"D-Wood" Joins the show to talk Brady vs. Rodgers and predicts a Patriots-Packers Super Bowl.
Hour 4. Bill Belichick holds his Friday press conference while Mut and Kirk try and play a game. Mut has a big announcement. Gerry calls in from the Inauguration on his crystal-clear cell phone.
Hour 3. Ben Volin shares a stat about Trump that will blow your mind. Mut wouldn't answer any questions about Trump's alleged sexual assaults.
Old Friend Tim Benz joins OMF, and while they regale tales of dysfunction, Benz manages to predict that the Patriots will win Sunday.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian enjoy the festivities ahead of the Inauguration, and give their predictions for Patriots-Steelers in the AFC Championship Game.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian love how Bill Belichick reacts to the plethora of stupid questions he receives from the Media during his Press Conferences.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe spend the day discussing the AFC Championship.
We close out the work week with the best sound clips of the day.
We check in with hall of famer Michael Irvin to find out what happened to his Dallas Cowboys and look at the remaining playoff match-ups.
Kirk Minihane brings Chad Finn back to the show to talk about the Charlotte Wilder story about the relationship between the Pats and Trump. Chad defends Charlotte for some of the story and her previous articles, Kirk still has problems with what he thinks is lazy reporting. Kirk and Chad also talk about whether a third sports station in Boston would be viable and if Curt Schilling will ever make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Kirk Minihane has a loud and very confrontational argument with media personality John Ziegler about the guilt or innocence of Jerry Sandusky. Kirk believes him to be guilty, John believes beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sandusky is innocent. Yes, it may be an old case, but you all remember it and this episode may change your mind about some of the things you previously thought with regards to Penn State, Jerry Sandusky, and Joe Paterno.
Kirk Minihane wants to sit down with both sports editors at the major newspapers in Boston. Only Boston Herald sports editor Sean Leahy took Kirk up on the invitation to join the show. What you will hear is a great conversation between two people who are very interested in the newspaper business and how that business has changed over the years and what the future holds for newspapers. Kirk and Sean talk about the ongoing and longstanding rivalry between the Herald and Globe.
Uncle Buck, George from S**t Pats Fans Say, and Jerry Thornton talk about the Patriots history in the AFC Championship game, the big wins, the bad losses, and what it will take for the Pats to win another AFC Championship game.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis wrap up the K&C week after a Friday show with Kirk, Mut and Ben Volin in studio.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap the Thursday K&C show featuring Jon Meterparel back in the saddle.
Hour 4. Bill Belichick holds his Friday press conference while Mut and Kirk try and play a game. Mut has a big announcement. Gerry calls in from the Inauguration on his crystal-clear cell phone.More from this show
Hour 1. Gerry is going to Trump's Inauguration. Robert Kraft is still not happy with the NFL.More from this show
Hour 2. Ben Volin joins the show to discuss the Patriots game this weekend.More from this show
Kirk Minihane is joined by his long time nemesis Bart Hubbuch. Kirk and Bart discuss the incident between the two that led to Kirk being let go from Comcast and the long standing issue of deflategate. Bart annoyingly wouldn't get of his speaker phone. This is an explosive interview between two guys who admittedly dislike each other.More from this show
Kirk Minihane brings Chad Finn back to the show to talk about the Charlotte Wilder story about the relationship between the Pats and Trump. Chad defends Charlotte for some of the story and her previous articles, Kirk still has problems with what he thinks is lazy reporting. Kirk and Chad also talk about whether a third sports station in Boston would be viable and if Curt Schilling will ever make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.More from this show