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?"
Ian talks with Chris about the NFL offseason and specifically what the Pats have done and will do. He talks about NFL free agency, if Brandon Spike will come back to New England, all things NFL Draft and more in an extensive interview.
in hour 2 of NFL Sunday, Greg and Chris discuss some news from around the league including the Philip Rivers situation in San Diego, if the Titans may sign Rivers, where Marcus Mariota may end up, and what the Jets will do. Price talks with NFL Network's Ian Rapoport about all things NFL offseason and the draft. Finally, the guys touch on if the NFL is over-saturating fans with too much coverage all year round now.
Greg and Chris talk a ton of NFL Draft in hour 1 of the show. They discuss what the Pats might do with their early picks and get Mike Petraglia's thoughts on the issue as well.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Xander had the game winning hit in the bottom of the 9th to get the Red Sox on top of the Baltimore Orioles 3-2, he talked with Joe and Dave after the game about what his thought process during the at-bat was and the excitement of a walk-off.
Buster Olney of ESPN joins the guys to talk about the first two weeks of the baseball season. They discuss the struggling Red Sox rotation and the potential of the high-powered offense.
Joe and Dave talk with Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan after the Red Sox come back to beat the Nationals 8-7.
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.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
DJ, Naoko and Pete get into the huge week for the Bruins that saw the franchise move on from GM Peter Chiarelli. They discuss why that was done and if they agree. What does this mean for Claude? They talk about Claude and if he can exist here. If not, who would work in Boston? They also get into the NHL Draft Lottery last night and talk to ESPN Boston's Joey "National" McDonald live from Tampa, Florida.
Bryan Price lost his mind.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Gary, Gerry and Kirk opened the show by discussing the Olympics in Boston.
Kyle Draper and Sports Radio Hack Lou Merloni make up after beefing earlier in the week, Aaron Hernandez gets taken down by Larry Willmore, and our very own Christian Fauria makes his Country Music Debut
Celtics play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman joins the guys to defend his prediction of Celtics in 6.
After some suspicious outfield play from Red Sox Left Fielder Hanley Ramirez, the guys question whether or not he has what it takes to play in the outfield, a position he has never played before.
Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss the Celtics loss in game one, and whether or not they can steal game two before returning to Boston on Thursday.
We wrap up the day with some of the best sound you may have missed.
Michael, Jerry and Andy Hart discuss this year's Celtics as they enter the playoffs to take one of the best teams in the East in the NBA Playoffs.
Mikey, Lenny, and Erin talk about the Sox 7-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Patriots Day and the Sox hold on first place in the AL East. Also, the Celtics trail the Cavs 1 Game to 0 in their 1st Round series and the 2015 Boston Marathon is in the books.
Mikey Adams, joined by Lenny Megliola and Chris Villani, talks about the Red Sox home opening win at Fenway and the Bruins fallout after missing the playoffs including the future of Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Ben and Sam are joined by Julian Edlow from WEEI.com to give their predictions on every series in the NBA Playoffs.
Jerry is joined by hockey writer Brian "Rear Admiral" McGonagle of Barstool Sports to perform a post-mortem on what happened to the 2014-15 Bruins, who's to blame and where the team goes from here.
Ben and Alex break down Leg 1 of the quarter finals of the Champions League and talk about some of the most interesting transfer rumors.
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The guys talk with Christopher McDougall about his best selling book, "Born to Run," and its future adaptation into a movie.More from this show