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."
Christian joins the boys to discuss bye weeks and when the ideal time is to get one. The guys ask him about a permanent team in London and his opinion on if it would work. Then he gets into the Pats and if any team in the AFC East will step up.
Greg and Chris discuss the debacle that is the Miami Dolphins in the midst of getting beat pretty badly in London by the Jets a week removed from getting destroyed by the Bills. Where does Miami go from here?
Curran calls Greg and Chris to discuss the struggles of the Dolphins and Colts along with the state of Pats durng their bye. He gets into the defense and how they've performed, specifically the secondary and Devin McCourty.
Sam Packard is joined by his brother Nick, as he breaks down his favorite moments from Celtics Media Day. Sam then tries to compare each member of the Celtics roster to a character on The Wire, with varied results.
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Dave O'Brien has called Red Sox baseball games with Joe Castiglione since 2007. Dave is going to the NESN booth next season to take over for Don Orsillo as the Red Sox TV play-by-play man. Dave talks about his time with Joe and the Red Sox Radio broadcast and closes out a very meaningful chapter of a tremendous career. Joe Castiglione offers his thoughts and well-wishes to Dave and closes out, as is tradition, with the Bart Giamatti poem.
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Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
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Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss Jackie Bradley Jr, Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, and who should play where. Also, the current outfield in context with Sox history.
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