NEW YORK — It’s been a whirlwind for Jackie Bradley Jr. Prior to this weekend, he’d never spent any time in New York City, having come no closer than Poughkeepsie for a wedding this past offseason. He’d never experienced Yankee Stadium.
And so, first impressions of the venue?
“It’s pretty small,” he deadpanned, before quickly giving up on the jest. “It’s huge. April Fool’s. It’s really nice. It’s big. I started looking up into the sky seeing how far it goes up.”
While on the one hand, Bradley was likely using that view to take stock of his unexpectedly rapid path to the big leagues — at 22, he’s the youngest Sox Opening Day left fielder since Carl Yastrzemski, and a year ago at this time, he learned that his first full pro season would start in High-A Salem rather than Single-A Greenville — there was also likely a more practical purpose to his undertaking.
After all, Bradley likes to calibrate his feel for a ballpark prior to the game. His first opportunity to occupy the broad left field expanse at Yankee Stadium represents one of the key reasons why he’s in the majors.
While Bradley’s phenomenal offensive performance (hitting .419 with a .507 OBP and .613 slugging mark) in spring training proved a head turner, the Sox recognize that it’s difficult to forecast precisely what shape his offensive adjustment to the big leagues will take. Hence, Bradley finds himself in the No. 8 spot in the lineup — the lowest spot in the order in which he could ever recall hitting (the prior low having been when he batted sixth for the University of South Carolina after returning from a wrist injury in 2011) — where expectations may be measured.
But even if he does not prove an immediate difference-maker in the lineup, the Sox believe that he can still prove a meaningful contributor to their chances of winning.
“What we’ve seen in spring training so far is a very good defender,” said Sox manager John Farrell. “[He is] a mature young player [at] 22 years of age. A very consistent approach at the plate and he clearly makes our outfield defense better today. What he produces offensively remains to be seen. We’ll certainly take what he did in spring training. We’re excited to start his career today.”
“More than anything,” added Farrell, “we want Jackie to just go out and play his game, be himself. I know those are very simple answers but so much is out of a given players control but if he performs well, these situations have a way to work themselves out.”
For his part, Bradley expressed enthusiasm for his first big league opportunity. After forcing his way into the big leagues with a remarkable spring training, he required little encouragement to wake up on Monday morning. His alarm was set for 7 a.m.; Bradley found himself wide awake 15 minutes before that, with a sense of self-confidence and enthusiasm.
“I’m ready,” Bradley pronounced. “I’m excited and I can’t really wait to play.”
Giardi and Price discuss the mega deal that CB Josh Norman signed with Washington and if he is worth it. They also relate it to the Pats and Malcolm Butler. Does the Norman deal mean that Butler is about to cash in and will the Pats go along for the ride? This leads to a discussion on other players the Patriots need to extend very soon.
Danny Vitale, the SuperBack - a fullback/TE hybrid type - joins GIardi and Price on NFL Sunday to discuss the process of entering the NFL Draft, the combine and interviewing with various NFL teams including your New England Patriots.
With the NFL draft only a few days away, Mike and Chris preview how things are shaping for the Pats and the rest of the league. It will be a strange this year since they don't have a first round pick - how will Belichick and company approach this dilemma? Also, would the Pats contemplate the idea of trading Jimmy G?
Kevin O'Connor of CelticsBlog joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss for a breakdown of what went wrong in the Celtics series against the Hawks. they then played Celtics free agent tinder and looked ahead to the big moves in store for the offseason.
It wouldn't be a Celtics v Hawks Game 6 preview/Game 5 breakdown without ESPN's Celtics Whisperer Chris Forsberg joining Sam Packard and Jared Weiss for some WEEI Studio magic. They discuss the Hawks' transition dominance on their mega runs and the bizarre night for Isaiah Thomas. Of course they also answered your #WEEICeltics Tweet Bag questions!
The boys recap Marcus Smart and Paul Millsap's incredible battle in the Celtics' Game 4 win over the Atlanta Hawks with ESPN's Chris Forsberg. Jared Weiss and Sam Packard discussed Jared Sullinger's struggles and the reemergence of Machine Bun Kelly. They discuss inside media stuff like when to applaud for honorees and Chris' devotion to southern unsweetened tea. Of course they answered your #WEEICeltics Tweet Bag questions too.
Red Sox third base/infield coach Brian Butterfield joined Rob Bradford to get his take on Hanley Ramirez, Travis Shaw and Pablo Sandoval. Butterfield, an avid Patriots fan, also predicts who the Pats might take in the second round, while giving a very pointed message to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia after he had a two home run game, one of which was a grand slam that propelled the Red Sox to a 9-4 win over the Atlanta Braves
We sit down with the Skipper of the Sox, manager John Farrell joins Dale, Holley and Thornton for his weekly visit.
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Butch is joined by two-thirds of the Sunday Skate show in DJ and Pete. The guys discuss the problems with Bruins including leadership and grit, who should stay and who should go and if Claude is to blame.
Lucy calls in to talk about her podcast and the "More Than Mean" tweets. The guys are now big fans.
All the latest stories brought to you by Kirk Minihane.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk discuss what the Patriots will be looking for on the second day of the draft.
After forfeiting their 1st round pick, the Pats get to join the party and draft some new young talent. The guys look at who the team might select over the weekend.
Kirk took more shots at Glenn, Lou and Christian, so the midday show guys respond.
Glenn, Lou and Christian talk about how much money Laremy Tunsil lost when his Twitter, Instagram, and iPhone photos were hacked. The gang also addresses some ESPN on ESPN crime as Dan LeBetard took a few shots at Todd McShay.
We continue to talk NFL Draft, Brady's new lawyer, the Celtics playoff bouncing, Roger Goodell's award tour and more... its all on the table on a freestyle friday.
We discuss the hiring of a top notch litigator by Brady and the NFLPA, and how it might have been sparked by Roger Goodell's neverending award tour where he continues to spew lies and half-truths to the public.
We discuss the Celts exit from the playoffs, the steps they took this season to be better, and what steps need to be taken to keep getting better in the future.
It’s all about the music – the crew touches on Prince, and the greatest bands of all time
Mikey, Christian Arcand, and Chris Villani talk about the Sox horrific loss today, and MJ takes over the text line
Mikey, Christian Arcand, and Chris Villani talk about the Sox horrific loss today, plus they’re joined by Cassie, the Textress
SB Nation's Kevin O'Connor joins Butch Stearns and John Tomase to talk all things Celtics' offseason, including the upcoming draft
Schill joins Dino, Gerry and Kirk after his controversial Facebook post sparked outrage on social media.More from this show
Sausage tells the guys that he's moving onto greener (read: more lucrative) pastures. His potential replacement, Paul, is interviewed for the job.More from this show
As predicted, ESPN canned Curt Schilling regarding the North Carolina transgender laws. Glenn and Lou react.More from this show
Tomase calls in to defend his take on Curt Schilling being dismissed from ESPN.More from this show