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."
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
WEEI's Chris Price joins Mut to talk about his experience of being in yesterday's Patriots championship parade, and which New England free agents could return to play for the Pats next season.
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.
Jessica Camerato of basketballinsiders.com joins the show to talk about Marcus Smart, the starting lineup, and trade deadline.
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.
All the latest stories brought to you by Kirk Minihane.
Curt Schilling didn't back down when twitter trolls took shots at his daughter. Dino, Gerry and Kirk applaud Schill's stand.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk look back at their weekend in Fort Myers. Who visited Mommy and Daddy over the weekend?
Dunkin Donuts liked Christian's "bacon covered doughnut" idea. SNL does an ISIS skit. The Pittsburg Pirates issued a statement condemning "Jihadi John's" Pirates hat.
With free agency looming, Adam Schefter, on Sportscenter, said that he thinks Darrelle Revis will NOT be re-signed by the Patriots and that they will cut him instead, making him the most coveted free agent on the market.
Barry Melrose joined the show to talk about the NHL trade deadline. Although Melrose likes the trade of Brett Connolly from Tampa to Boston, he thinks the team needs to make more moves to keep ahead of Florida, who just traded for Jaromir Jagr. He also weighs in on the job security of Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli.
Michael, Mike Mutnansky and Jerry Thornton talk Bruins AFTER the trade-deadline and check in with the fans.
We examine four trade deadline day deals that helped or affected Boston teams in recent history.
Michael, Mike Mutnansky and Jerry Thornton talk Bruins before the trade-deadline and check in with the fans.
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.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk talk about their time in Fort Myers and are joined by a special guest, Doug Lane.
Boston University coach David Quinn joins WEEI’s Scott McLaughlin to discuss the Terriers’ Beanpot title and how he feels about his team as the postseason approaches. Quinn also discusses reports about NHL interest in goalie Matt O’Connor and briefly touches on a recent misstep by Jack Eichel.
After a wild trade deadline, Ben Kichen and Sam Packard breakdown the Celtics and the rest of the NBA. Then Sam yells at Ben about the use of analytics in basketball. Ben yells back.
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