ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to talk about the Blue Jays-Marlins megadeal that sends All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, right-hander Josh Johnson, left-hander Mark Buehrle and others to Toronto.
"I really feel sorry for the people in Miami who were told last year, 'We're getting a new stadium, we're going to build a team for the future, we're going to win a whole bunch of times here, get on board because we have the money and we're going forward.' Instead, they turn around and gut the entire team and now they completely started over," Kurkjian said. "And I'm sorry, if I'm a Marlins season ticket-holder, I have to say to myself, 'What are we doing here? What happened to this great promise that you made?'
"On the other hand, you look at the Blue Jays -- and this is something that I wasn't completely aware of -- they have so much money to deal with on that team. The owners of that team, Rogers Communications, is a multibillion-dollar corporation that can do whatever it wants financially, and now it appears the Blue Jays have said, 'We haven't been to the playoffs since 1993, it's time for us to win. What do we have to do to win?' They have to go out and do something and get immediate help, and they did that with two starting pitchers and an everyday shortstop.
"They have put themselves with this trade right in the middle of the race in the AL East. Suddenly the door's open in that division, which it rarely is. I think they've just knocked it down."
The key question for the Blue Jays might be how the new players transition to the American League.
"I'm still going to need to see this," Kurkjian said. "I have no doubt that Reyes will be a dynamic leadoff hitter for the Jays. And as you know, they absolutely had to have a leadoff guy, because their leadoff numbers last year and in recent years have been terrible. So, there's no doubt in my mind that he can switch leagues.
"But let's not fool ourselves. You start pitching in the American League East -- at least, the American League East that we used to know -- and it is a gigantic adjustment for anyone coming from the National League. And yes, Mark Buehrle is a soft-throwing left-hander. And even though he's got a great idea of what he's doing, he makes mistakes in the middle of the plate, he's going to get pounded in the AL East, period.
"And Josh Johnson is the guy that I'm still not sure about. I can tell you fellas having seen him pitch at his best, nobody can hit that guy when he's right. And yet, he hasn't been right for the last couple of years. He gets hurt a lot, and then last year he was healthy and he still got knocked around.
"I still need to see how well these guys do in this division. But again, the division is not exactly what it's been in recent years. The Yankees are in trouble at the moment. The Red Sox are in obvious trouble. I can't imagine the Orioles being as great as they were last year, winning the same way that they did. The Rays lost a lot of players again to free agency. That's why I say the door's open. Not that Toronto is that great. It's that everyone else has taken a bit of a step back."
Touching on the Red Sox' situation, Kurkjian said Boston faces major challenges this offseason.
"Boy, do they have a lot of work to do," he said. "Then when you look at the free agent players available, it's just not a real productive group there. Meaning, they have to get a first baseman from somewhere. Are they going to overpay for Adam LaRoche, to bring him in and have him hit fourth for the Red Sox?
"He's a good player, he won a Gold Glove and he hit more homers than any first baseman in the major leagues last year. But is he the guy that's going to help take the Red Sox from fifth place to contention? That's a lot to ask. So, there's a lot of holes to fill with the Red Sox and not a whole lot of free agents to fill them with."
The guys have even more reaction to Deflategate and if this is actually a showdown between Bill and Roger.
Tom E. Curran calls the boys during his layover in Denver and gets right into the Deflategate craziness. Tom talks about his knowledge of the situation including his thoughts on if the NFL was indeed trying to set up and catch the Pats in the act. He gets into the relationship between Belichick and the league office, Belichick and Kraft and the actual game on Super Bowl Sunday.
Greg and Steve discuss the Deflategate debacle with callers and give their theories as to what went down in Foxboro last week against the Colts. Both guys think that Pats may be guilty of doing something to the balls, but that so do most other teams. Will Belichick and Brady be punished? Not if the NFL doesn't have proof, which it's looking more and more like they don't.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out of hardware, and give their Finals predictions
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
The Red Sox have taken over Foxwoods and Red Sox Manager John Farrell sat down with Mut and Bradford to talk about the roster and how the 2015 season is looking.
Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly and 3B Pablo Sandoval sat down with Mut and Bradford. Joe Kelly had a few interesting proclamations. First he said that 95% of pitchers use some sort of grip enhancer, and then he said he was going to win the Cy Young. Pablo leaned over and promised 10 HR's, explaining to Joe that the trick is to set the bar low.
Mut and Rob are in on the Hot Stove Show this week and they're taking calls and talking about the Red Sox pitching as we are 5 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.
Pierre McGuire talks about ways hockey players skirt the rules in the NHL and the development of Dougie Hamilton.
Pierre McGuire joins Lou, Christian and Tim to discuss the resurgent Bruins, the emergence of David Pastrnak, and former Boston College stand-out Johnny Gaudreau looking to trademark the name 'Johnny Hockey.'
We get our state of the B report from NESN's Jack Edwards, right in the midst of a 4 game winning streak and hot return for David Pastrnak.
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show to give his expertise on deflate gate.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys opened the show discussing who was lying yesterday.
The guys react to comments made by Former Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney
After Tom Brady answered questions for a half hour about Deflate-Gate, the guys discuss whether or not they believe him.
Adam Schefter, ESPN, talks everything Deflate Gate with Lou, Christian and Tim on Patriots Friday
We get the national perspective on Deflategate and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.
We discuss deflategate and move beyond it for some game talk with Tom E Curran of CSNNE
Michael, Jerry and Andy Hart of PFW continue the dialogue and try and find some sanity in this sea of madness.
A caller named Jumbo from California raises a question that hasn't been talked about too much, what happens if it's determined that the Patriots aren't found responsible for the deflation of the footballs?
Mut and Lenny continue talking and taking calls on deflategate, as well as hearing the sound from Kirk Minihane's appearance on the O'Reilly Factor.
Mut and Lenny are talking deflategate and what impact it could have on the Patriots organization.
Chris and comedian Mike Mulloy recap the final Raw before the Rumble and preview the Rumble itself.
Would you rather watch important games in the stadium or on TV? Also we discuss our worst experiences at stadiums.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out some hardware, and give their Finals predictions.
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show to give his expertise on deflate gate.More from this show
After his emotional reaction on NFL Live following Tom Brady's press conference yesterday, Mark Brunell joins Lou, Christian and Tim about all things Deflate GateMore from this show
The guys react to comments made by Former Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty HurneyMore from this show