Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan joined Dennis & Callahan to talk about the Red Sox' offseason, the Angels' signing of Josh Hamilton and other baseball offseason news.
The Red Sox have acquired Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino and Ryan Dempster this offseason (assuming the Napoli and Dempster deals are made official), and Passan gives the team mixed grades for the moves.
"Napoli I get. Napoli makes sense," he said. "I'd prefer to pay a guy $13 million a year if he was going to catch more. But I think that he had a down year last year. And I'm not saying he's more like 2011 Napoli than 2012, but I think he's a comfortable in-between, and he's got a swing that was built for that ballpark, and he's got a personality that fits there. I didn't mind Napoli very much.
"Victorino was absurd. Shane Victorino might be a good fourth outfielder these days. Look, he can catch the ball a little bit, but they're paying him center field money to play a corner outfield spot with Jacoby Ellsbury there now and Jackie Bradley coming. Center field money for a guy who hits like a center fielder, like a mediocre center fielder that they're playing in a corner outfield, that one made absolutely no sense to me.
"Dempster's fine. There's a reason that nobody would give him three years, though. He had Tommy John surgery back in 2003. Elbows tend not to last very long -- somewhere usually between seven and 10 years or so. We're getting to the 10th year of his elbow holding at this point. I know that the medicals on him turned out all right, but there was still quite a bit of concerns from other teams about his arm holding up. Especially with all the sliders he throws. You'll see, he throws about one-third of his pitches are sliders, and those can be very, very harmful on the arm. I think that was the big question mark about Dempster and the reason that nobody gave him a third year. You just hope for the Red Sox' sake he lasts two."
All three new Red Sox are known as solid clubhouse guys, but Passan questions the team's strategy in that regard.
"That's the thing that I don't understand about this plan. Just because you bring nice people together doesn't mean that they're going to get along. … It doesn't always work that way," he said. "Sports chemistry is a very organic thing. It is something that happens, it is something that comes together. And when you try to force chemistry through people's reputations, I think that's a very dangerous way and a backward way to build a ball club -- and a very surprising way, for a general manager and a team that has been steeped in analytics, in numbers driving so much of what they do, to go out and do this, a lot of which is based on having a better, friendlier, more-palatable-to-the-fans clubhouse, that's the part of the Red Sox' offseason I just don't get."
Looking at the 2013 season, Passan said the Sox appear to be in for another challenging campaign.
"I still think their rotation is mediocre," he said. "I think they'll hit. They will hit. I think they're sort of like an off-brand Angels roster right now. They're built like the Angels, but they're not as good as them.
"To me, this is a year where I'm going to look down at Pawtucket as much as anything. I want to see how Jackie Bradley looks. I want to see eventually how Matt Barnes and Allen Webster look. I want to see how Xander Bogaerts looks. Because that's the linchpin of this team right now. Those guys should all be there come 2014. If that's the case, then I think 2014 and beyond is going to be very exciting for them. They're not going to be down in the doldrums for a long time. They're not -- they're the Boston Red Sox. But I don't see this year being a ton better than last year."
With Hamilton leaving Texas for Los Angeles, Passan noted that the American League West rivalry between the Rangers and Angels has become the game's most intense, surpassing the one in the AL East.
"This is a better rivalry than the Yankees and Red Sox. I firmly believe that," Passan said. "The Yankees and Red Sox right now are dead. The Yankees and Red Sox right now are stale. There's nothing to that rivalry. The Red Sox are rebuilding in a weird way, and the Yankees can't get a contract for more than one year except for a 39-year-old outfielder [Ichiro Suzuki]. Is that really where they're supposed to be going at this point?
"It's a weird situation in the AL East right now, where the three teams that seem positioned best for the future are the Orioles, Rays and Blue Jays. How the hell did that happen?"
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Gabe calls the boys to handicap one of the biggest gambling days of the year - Super Bowl 51! Gabe has all the point spread info down and gets to all of the major prop bets that interest him.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
The NBA trade rumor mill is beginning to swirl as the deadline approaches and Picard is ready to go! He talks about the possibility of Jimmy Butler coming to Boston, why Isaiah Thomas is not getting enough respect and the future of the Celtics.
Rob Bradford is joined by Tom Caron, the man responsible for guiding the ship when it comes to Red Sox pregame and postgame shows, along with various other important duties with the New England Sports Network, including offering the play-by-play for both TV and radio throughout spring training. Tom and Rob discuss a variety of topics, such as nickname conundrums, radio vs. television, criticizing the team, behind-the-scenes for the broadcasts and where the industry is going.
Rob Bradford is joined by two-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Quentin, who is attempting a comeback with the Red Sox this spring. Quentin's path back to baseball involves almost quitting the game less than a year ago, losing 40 pounds and trying to sell himself to general managers all over Major League Baseball. Quentin explains his journey, which has led him to the back fields at JetBlue Park.
Rob Bradford catches up with Clay Buchholz to discuss the former Red Sox pitcher's new lot in life with the Phillies, while reflecting on his up and down tenure in Boston. Philadelphia general manager Matt Klentak also joins the podcast to discuss his team's pursuit of Buchholz.
Hour 4. Albert from RI battles Alex, who is actually Tomase, over racism in Boston. Kirk says he has great gaydar, proving it by identifying who is gay at the station. A high school coach in Washington put his hot dog in a bun.
Hour 3. Tomase reiterates that white people cannot speak on racism in Boston. Tomase thinks Bomani Jones may have a better perspective than Kirk and Gerry.
Hour 2. Kirk, Gerry, and Tomase discuss the ongoing Hernandez trial. Headlines features Ellen’s finger injury. Tomase says that getting mad at Bomani Jones for calling Boston racist means you’re racist.
HOUR 4 - The guys get into more talk about the negative ramifications of LaVar Ball's antics, and whether NBA teams will be hesitant to draft Lonzo, LaMelo, and LiAngelo. Also, the argue whether or not trading Isaiah Thomas is an option.
The No Fun League will be posting a "Do's and Don'ts" video to help NFL players prevent themselves from getting flagged for excessive penalties. Another Cleveland journalists says the Browns will make a run at Jimmy G next week at the NFL owners meetings. LeBron James fires back at LaVar Ball.
HOUR 2 - The ESPN talking heads think that Colin Kaepernick is getting blackballed. The guys talk about the type of team that he COULD thrive on. Jason Whitlock compares Kaep to a former Patriot QB.
With so much legal stuff swirling around New England sports right now, Dale, Michael and Rich spoke to Michael McCann, law professor at UNH to get his insight to it all.
Dale, Holley and Keefe discuss the Bruins on the heels of a bad loss at home to the Senators.
So the Patriots knew all along that Aaron Hernandez was murdering people and still gave him a contract extension? That's what some folks would like you to believe. Dale, Michael and RIch Keefe delve in to the Hernandez talk to dissect what's real from what's BS
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
SI's Richard Deitsch returns to the podcast to talk with Kirk about the K&C casting couch, how ESPN wimps out when they are called out for slander, what's going on with Bill Simmons, and the rise of podcasting.
Kirk and Glenn continue their conversation from last week. In this episode Kirk and Glenn scream at each other about the infamous "station incident", what the news of the merger means to WEEI and the Sports Hub, and Kirk tries to get Glenn to answer what the perfect "Big Show" would be. You will not find a better look behind the scenes of radio.
Rich Keefe & Ryan Davey rank the Quentin Tarantino movies and discuss how they all connect in the Tarantino-verse. Plus "This Week in #DORK," "Davey's Video Game Minute," "Pick of the Podcast," and "Black Panther Reads iTunes Reviews."
Ken Laird & Chris Curtis recap a Wednesday K&C with John Tomase back in for the first time in several months to discuss Boston’s reputation of race among other items.
Uncle Buck, George, and Nick "Fitzy" Stevens talk about Boston Sports Movies, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Hour 1. Alex Reimer joins Gerry and Kirk the morning after Kirk’s epic Early Edition. Kirk gave quite a performance on Comcast and says he’s officially done with TV. Gerry is in a bad mood because of the A-hole tournament. Jared Carrabis took down Pete Abraham in a blog on Barstool.More from this show
Hour 4. Kirk said goodbye to Comcast on Monday night. It was great television.More from this show
Hour 3. Pete Abraham tried to defend himself on Brand X. Pete’s explanation for calling “Brad T” the grand wizard was embarrassing. Gerry, Kirk, and Alex argue about Kaepernick and whether or not the national anthem is important.More from this show
Hour 2. Brady’s jersey was found in Mexico. In Headlines, Gerry is angry at Chelsea Handler for a tweet. Ken Laird says he’s worried the Bruins won’t make the playoffs.More from this show
Hour 2. Kirk, Gerry, and Tomase discuss the ongoing Hernandez trial. Headlines features Ellen’s finger injury. Tomase says that getting mad at Bomani Jones for calling Boston racist means you’re racist.More from this show