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."
Rodney Harrison, NBC Sports, joined MFB to discuss last night's game against the Chiefs, the Patriots' issues on both offense and defense, and how he feels Brandon Browner will impact the defense as he returns from suspension.
Greg, Steve and Chris zero in on the O-line specifically and look at what it will take to right the ship. Is the running game a solution or more blocking from TE's, LaFell etc. ?
The boys discuss what is going on with the Pats offense and why Brady has looked a little off so far. Is it O-line or WR issues? They specifically discuss Amendola, Thompkins and Dobson - who's the odd man out?
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Joe Castiglione does his annual wrap-up of the season by reading the poem by Bart Giamatti.
Mut and Rob discuss the "kids" and the variety of young bodies the Red Sox called upon this season. Specifically, they look at Bogaerts and Bradley, Jr. and where things went wrong. They give their opinions on which one will right the ship next season.
Description: Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett looks back at the 2014 Red Sox prospect season by answering listener questions about a number of Red Sox prospects as well as broader issues and themes in the farm system.
DJ Bean, WEEI.com, joined the guys to talk about the Bruins signing two young stars to 1-year contracts.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys opened the show discussing the Pats brutal Monday night loss.
John Dennis left the show mid segment.
Christian's nephew twisted his ankle and missed Sunday's game because he (supposedly) slipped while rushing down the stairs to stop his puppy from peeing on the floor. Lou addresses the Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty from last night's game, in which a Chiefs player was flagged for dropping to his knees during a TD celebration. And Christian is dubious of some photos of LaRon Landry.
A familiar sentiment has arisen regarding the Patriots offense. Tom Brady is locking in on 2 guys (Edelman and Gronk) and no one else seems to be getting a look. A 37 year old, future Hall of Fame QB, has little to no weapons in 2014.
Lou, Christian and Tim break down last night's embarrassing loss on national television. They wonder just how much progress has been made towards building a championship team.
We discuss the Rajon Rondo injury and conspiracy theories, and whether or not his tale about falling in the shower holds any water. Get it? Shower... water? Nevermind.
We bring you the stuff you might have missed that we didn't have a chance to touch on today.
We tackle four topics all inspired by Derek Jeter's long goodbye.
Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.
Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Ben and Russ break down some rumors surrounding Real Madrid and Manchester United. Also on the docket is the MLS and your New England Revolution.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk talk about Gerry's passionate defense of Tom Brady, going to lunch and clock issues in the third edition of Breaking Balls.
Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett looks back at the 2014 Red Sox prospect season by answering listener questions about a number of Red Sox prospects as well as broader issues and themes in the farm system.
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