Diamondbacks infielder John McDonald checked in with Mut & Merloni on Tuesday to talk about his experience playing for new Red Sox manager John Farrell. McDonald, a Connecticut native and former Providence College standout, played under Farrell with the Blue Jays until being traded to Arizona late in the 2011 season.
McDonald said Farrell will bring stability to a Red Sox team that desperately is in need of it.
"[He's] a guy that has high expectations for players, a guy that can use his coaching staff, going to allow them to do their jobs, to help the players become successful. That's what I liked about John," McDonald said. "He's a guy at the top that wants to takes all these resources, and what he has in mind is to try to put the players in the best position to be successful. It never really seemed to be about him in the time I was with him in Toronto. It was collectively a group of guys in a room trying to figure out the best team to put on the field, how to prepare them the best way, and then allow them to go out there and do their jobs -- coaching-wise and player-wise."
McDonald lauded Farrell for his ability to communicate and understand players' perspectives.
"He's fair," McDonald said. "He played the game. He's seen it from all different angles. He's still learning. I heard him talk about that -- the learning process, what's he's learned over the last few years in Toronto, what he learned when he was in Boston. He's going to sit back and tell guys how they can get better behind closed doors, in his office, in the locker room, on the bench. I don't see him calling players out.
"He's a steady hand that doesn't get too high, doesn't get too low. The emotion stays close to the vest, unless it has to be shown. He's somebody that protects his players -- while I was there -- will go out on the field and fight for them. He's not going to show up players in the dugout. You leave that to other people. There's times when players need to do it, there's times when coaches need to do that. But as a manager, you look for that even-keeled man at the end of the bench that's not going to let you know when things are going bad and is not going to get too high when things are going good."
While Farrell might be more reserved, McDonald said Boston's new third base coach, Brian Butterfield, won't hesitate to let players know if he's unhappy with their effort.
"If you don't slide hard into second base, and it makes the third out of the inning if they turn a double play, he'll be sprinting out to second base to get the helmet from you -- not just to get the helmet, but to let you know that he's not happy with you, that you didn't do a good enough job getting into second base, you didn't try to divert that throw," McDonald said. "The last thing you want to do with Brian Butterfield at third base is to peel off and to be peeling off into right field when somebody's making a double play. He'd rather you head butt the ball into right field."
Butterfield also is known for his sense of humor, but McDonald said players have to be willing to work hard to enjoy the coach's lighter side.
"He just wants to be out on a baseball field preparing guys to win a ballgame, and he has a lot of fun doing it," McDonald said. "You watch him during batting practice, hitting ground balls. When you're going good, as an infielder, when you're fielding the ball really well during batting practice and making all the plays, he has a lot of fun with you. But if you're not there mentally, he's going to let you know. He's going to let you know in a way that you'll respond, to kick yourself in the butt and start getting prepared, because you've got a big league game to prepare for and it's important. … He wants you to take ground balls with a purpose. And when you do that, it's an awful lot of fun, because he has a great way of allowing it to be that much more fun when you're doing it with a purpose."
We check in on the Patriots off-season with ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss. Mike updates us on Revis, McCourty, Wilfork and more.
Price calls Butch to discuss the March 2nd deadline for franchise tags, free agency and the Pats' plans going forward.
Shortly after the NFLRA released its statement demanding an apology from ESPN, Jim Quirk, the NFLRA's Executive Director, joined Mut to talk about the statement
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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.
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The one and only Rob Bradford calls Butch to discuss his early thoughts on this Red Sox team, the potential in the rotation, how the outfield will shake out and more.
David Ortiz takes a few minutes to talk with Mut, Bradford, and Tomase about some of his new teammates, who Pablo Sandoval reminds him of, and the rules aimed at speeding up the game of baseball.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are talking Red Sox spring training. and talk with Red Sox DH David Ortiz about the rules aimed at speeding up the pace of the game
In the second of Sunday Skate, DJ and Joe discuss the approaching NHL trade deadline and what the B's will do. They get into the Boychuk move at the beginning of the season and Boychuk's brother venting on Twitter this morning about complaining B's fans. There is more discussion on the 3rd and 4th lines, their playoff chances and then they are joined by ESPN's Scott Burnside.
Another edition of Sunday Skate is upon us and DJ and Joe get into the B's big win over Arizona last night and the improvement of Ryan Spooner. They get into the Blackhawks giving up a 1st round pick for C Antoine Vermette - someone the B's could certainly use but weren't willing to give up the steep price of a 1st rounder. DJ and Joe also get into Claude's willingness to switch up lines as well as the performance of the 3rd and 4th lines. Finally, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman sits down with the boys.
Scott Burnside joins the boys to discuss the Bruins and the NHL trade deadline.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk chat with Tom Curran about the Patriots declining Vince Wilfork's option and the status of Darrelle Revis.
All the latest stories brought to you by Kirk Minihane.
McPhee joined Dennis, Callahan and Minihane to give a first hand account of the proceedings inside the courtroom during the trial of the Boston bomber.
Peirre McGuire of NBC Sports to talk about the snake-bit Bruins and their chances of making the playoffs. Pierre then weighs in the idea of Christian Fauria playing goalie
Steve Cooper, reporter for 7 News, joined the show to talk about the first day of the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial.
Legalization issues, substitute teachers shower outrageous movies, and Auntie Fee, the best cooking show host.
Michael, Dale and Jerry reflect on the career of Vince Wilfork with the Patriots, and wonder if it's really final... whether there's any chance at all that Vince could return to the Patriots.
Michael and Jerry talk about the Celts win last night, and a great play drawn up by Brad Stevens for the win.
Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss how losing Wilfork's salary cap hit might be part of a bigger plan to hang on to Darrelle Revis and others.
Mikey, Mut, and Lenny are joined by the Rev girls, who are revealing the New Revolution uniform Tuesday at the House of Blues in Boston and talking about the Revs.
Mikey, Lenny, and Maggie talk Red Sox baseball with Red Sox Hall of Famer Bill Lee, who is in Florida and out of the snow that's perpetually burying the area.
Mikey gets a call from Kirk Minihane, who wants to clear the air with Mikey and get everything settled. It goes better than you think.
Adam Himmelsbach, Celtics beat reporter for the Boston Globe, joins the show to share his love of the Brow and discuss the surging Celtics playoff chances. Then we take a field trip to the MIT Sloan Analytics Conference and analyze the data with Rick Friedman.
Chris and comedian Will Noonan discuss the events of last night's Raw.
WEEI’s Scott McLaughlin previews the opening round of the Hockey East tournament with Northeastern coach Jim Madigan and Mike McMahon of College Hockey News and The Mack Report.
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