The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
WEEI » This Just In » Olney on M&M: Sox losing faith in Salty?
Wed, 05/01/2013 - 1:14pm  

Olney on M&M: Sox losing faith in Salty?

Buster Olney of ESPN joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about perspectives on Will Middlebrooks and Jarrod Saltalamacchia from outside Boston, the rest of the AL East, and the state of the Red Sox in general.

From what he’s heard from scouts, Olney said most believe Middlebrooks will be fine if he can be more patient at the plate, but that the Sox might be looking to improve their catching situation.

“From scouts, I’m hearing on Middlebrooks that he simply has to put himself in a better position when it comes to counts and not be as anxious at the plate,” Olney said. “That sounds simple, but Josh Hamilton‘s dealing with the exact same thing, where the fact that he’s anxious is something pitchers are going to take advantage of. I’m sure that that’s in the reports that are being sent back to teams, because I’m hearing it from some of the advance guys. They’re saying that [Middlebrooks] just simply is really pumped up at the plate, and he needs to reduce that level of adrenaline that he has in his at-bats and be a little bit more relaxed.

“With Saltalamacchia, I’ve heard this from executives of other teams: They say they think that the Red Sox will be looking for an upgrade at that position, possibly even before the trade deadline at some point. They feel like, given the money that they’re paying him, he’s got to perform better than how he’s been performing at the beginning of this year.

“It was an interesting moment last night where that happens — he gets interfered with by the umpire and doesn’t say a word about it. Having heard a lot of things from a lot of players through the years, [not knowing the rule] isn’t as much of a surprise to me. What’s surprising to me is that there isn’t that instinct there, where he doesn’t immediately turn around and say, ‘Hey, you hit my hand.’ I can’t say that I know every rule in the rule book, but in that situation, you say, ‘Wait a minute, you interfered with me, you bumped me.’ And you at least put your coaches and your manager — who were in the dugout and probably aren’t aware of it — in a position where they at least come out and ask the question. You do wonder where the dominoes would have fallen if they say something to the home plate umpire.”

In general, Olney said he believes the Sox players have come to trust John Farrell and his coaching staff, and that that’s reflected in they way Joel Hanrahan has responded to having to work to get his closing role back.

“He’s got a lot at stake as a prospective free agent, to step out of that role,” Olney said. “But one of the things the Red Sox have been talking about internally with their relievers is, don’t worry about role. Just worry about what you do when the phone rings. That’s exactly the conversation that’s been taking place with the Rays in recent seasons. That’s a hard thing sometimes to sell the players, but the fact that Hanrahan has bought into it and supportive of it, I think, is a great sign for where this team is.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Red Sox coverage, to go weei.com/redsox.

On the Blue Jays: “The one thing that really concerns you is the pure stuff we’re seeing out of the rotation. Is Josh Johnson going to get back to what he’s been in the past, because he certainly hasn’t looked the same for the last year and a half. Is Mark Buehrle going to be different facing American League teams than what he’s been during the course of his career? Is R.A. Dickey going to become more consistent?

“The idea of throwing together so many people for the first time — you have John Gibbons who is the manager there, yes, but it’s a whole different cast of players. How does he deal with Colby Rasmus, who’s not viewed as someone who takes instruction well? Or Brett Lawrie, Jose Bautista — right away there were questions about, is he going to talk to him about how he deals with umpires. We’ve kind of learned that when you throw a bunch of guys together like that, sometimes if takes longer than we expect, but the most important thing is they’ve got to get better stuff out of that rotation.”

On the Yankees: “Mark [Teixeira]‘s progress has been steady, but it has certainly been slower than I think maybe they had hoped initially. He is taking some swings now. The big thing with him is, if he has any kind of a setback, he’s probably going to face season-ending surgery. … Curtis Granderson‘s making a lot of progress and he could be sent out for a game sometime in the next week. I think the Yankees feel really good about their start, but I think they’re also aware of how fragile it is, considering the names that they’re throwing in the lineup every day. It’s really an amazing job where they pulled nickels out of their couch cushions to get some of these guys, and these guys are playing well.”

On the possibility of a gay baseball player coming out: “In 1993-94 I covered Billy Bean, who came out after he retired, and I talked to Billy since Jason Collins‘ announcement, and we looked back at that team and would it have been a good time [to come out]. And it’s Billy’s opinion that it would be tougher in baseball than in a lot of other sports, because of just the nature of the sport. You’re out on the field every day, there’s a lot of standing around time. The culture of it just feels different. I think the players are progressing a lot of the way society is. It mirrors society with this growing feeling of, you know what, who cares?

“For years there was fear for someone like Billy Bean to come out because of the reaction. We saw it this week: Now the fear is on the other side. If you say something about it out loud, the backlash you’re going to face is enormous. Look what happened to Mike Wallace, the wide receiver from the NFL. When he tweeted something out, he got hammered. Even if you’re not comfortable with it, it’s probably smarter to keep that to yourself. If you’re a player now, you’re not going to come out and say, ‘I’m not comfortable playing with someone who’s black. I’m not comfortable playing with someone who’s white, or is Latin.’ You’re going to shut your mouth even if you feel that way. and I think going forward, that’s how players are going to be with playing with someone who’s gay.”




Audio On Demand

Tom E. Curran, CSNNE, Rec…

Tom E. Curran, CSNNE, Recapping Patriots OTAs 6-20-14

Tom "Eugene" Curran joins the guys to discuss how the Patriots look coming out of OTAs. Then Christian and Lou discuss the Patriots playbook scandal.

It Is What It Is Cast: Tom Brady's present and future

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Tom Brady's work in mini-camp and his response to recent criticism of his play.

Tiki Barber discusses Stevan Ridley's fumbling problem. 6-12-14

Former NY Giants running back, Tiki Barber talks about Stevan Ridley's fumbling problem and reflects on what he did to fix the problem while he was still playing

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Bo…

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston, "I think Rondo is going to go, I just don't see where and how yet" 7-17-14

Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston: I believe Rondo will be traded 7-10-14

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.

OK State Men's Basketball coach, Travis Ford, joins MFB to talk about Marcus Smart, 6-30-14

Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.

Stephen Drew after the Re…

Stephen Drew after the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 14-1

Stephen Drew joins Joe Castiglione and Rob Bradford after the Red Sox offense continues to roll in a 14-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Jon Lester with Joe Castiglione after completing the sweep of the Royals

Joe C. talked to the Sox ace after he

Rubby De La Rosa with Joe & Dave after his first win of the second half

Joe & Dave talked to Rubby De La Rosa after the rookie pitcher went seven innings in the one-run win against the Royals at Fenway.

The Bradfo Show: Talking …

The Bradfo Show: Talking Bruins roster moves with DJ Bean, Turtleboy

Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.

DJ Bean breaks down the first hours of NHL Free Agency 7-1-14

DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla

DJ Bean, WEEI.com. The Bruins are not traded Marchand 6-13-14

DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau

Steve Buckley on Tony Dun…

Steve Buckley on Tony Dungy's comments 7-22-14

Steve Buckley joined the show to discuss Tony Dungy's comments on Michael Sam.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Energizer Bunny and Bill Clinton 7-22-14

The top stories of the day as recounted by John Dennis.

Tony Dungy would not draft a gay player 7-22-14

The guys discussed Dungy's comments on Michael Sam.

Upon Further Review: What…

Upon Further Review: What is clanging around in my ratty old backpack? 7-22-14

Christian started the day by packing up his back pack as he always and heading to work. He noticed that the zipper was broken on one of the pockets. As the show was ending, he remembered this and reached into the bag and pulled out not ONE, but TWO New England Patriots Super Bowl rings. His response: "Oh! There they are." Much to the shock of Tim and Lou, Christian was completely unfazed by the fact that he hadn't seen his SB rings since the NCAA National Championship game 7 MONTHS AGO!

Three For All: Is 9 years old to young to be left alone? 7-22-14

A South Carolina mother was arrested for allegedly leaving her 9 year old daughter alone for hours at a local park while she worked a shift at McDonalds. This has sparked a national debate about whether or not the mother should have been arrested, since many are arguing that 9 years old is old enough to show dependency. The question arises: Where do we draw the line?

Cyd Zeigler of OutSports.com joins MFB, 7-22-14

Tony Dungy is catching a lot of backlash regarding his comments that he would NOT have drafted Missouri LB Michael Sam because of the distractions it would have brought to the team. MFB had Cyd Zeigler of OutSports.com on the show to discuss Dungy's comments.

What are the real reasons…

What are the real reasons behind Tony Dungy's latest comments about Michael Sam?

We delve into Tony Dungy's comments on Michael Sam and drafting him, and how there may be more at work here than on the surface.

Sox seem to be alive again, so are you back in?

We talk Sox after a sweep over the Royals at Fenway. We look at fan interest and how nothing in the AL East is even remotely decided at this point.

Dale and Holley's Four at Four - Future's Bet Edition - 7-21-14

We tackle four topics, all spawned by Rory McIroy's futures bet he placed on his own son 10 years ago.

Jon Lester's Contract Sit…

Jon Lester's Contract Situation and the Future

Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.

The All Star Game and the Worst Ideas in Sports

Mut and Villani are talking about the MLB All Star Game, Adam Wainwright and Derek Jeter, and what are some of the worst ideas in sports.

We're all yelling about LeBron James

Producer's Podcast with J…

Producer's Podcast with Julian Edlow 7-22-14

This week, Sam Packard and Zach Geld talk about the Post-Pierzynski Red Sox. Julian Edlow of the Green Street Blog, joins the program to analyze the Celtics off-season, and finally an over-eager discussion of fantasy football.

SoccerCast - Liverpool Midfielder Joe Allen

In this episode we talk about transfers across Europe, players we want to see in the MLS, and Liverpool's Joe Allen joins the show!

Fantasy Football Podcast July 18th

As we inch closer to August the initial Fantasy Football picture is starting to become more clear. Today, Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson of Rotobahn.com review Pete’s most recent article on WEEI.com featuring 20 High Value Targets to consider. The conversation features a deep analysis on upside players like Justin Hunter, Aaron Dobson, Tavon Austin, Michael Floyd and Martellus Bennett. As well as a breakdown on three Quarterbacks including Tom Brady who should be strongly considered ahead of their current Average Draft Position. Get ahead of the information while these great Fantasy Stocks are low!

Peter Gammons on the Sox …

Peter Gammons on the Sox and Jon Lester 7-21-14

MLB HOF'er Peter Gammons joined the show to discuss what the Sox will do with Jon Lester.

More from this show

Steve Buckley on Tony Dun…

Steve Buckley on Tony Dungy's comments 7-22-14

Steve Buckley joined the show to discuss Tony Dungy's comments on Michael Sam.

More from this show

Sox seem to be alive agai…

Sox seem to be alive again, so are you back in?

We talk Sox after a sweep over the Royals at Fenway. We look at fan interest and how nothing in the AL East is even remotely decided at this point.

More from this show

Jon Lester continues to d…

Jon Lester continues to dominate 7-21-14

John, Gerry and Jerry Thornton discussed the Red Sox sweep of the Royals.

More from this show

Jon Lester dominant perfo…

Jon Lester dominant performance capped off by huge Fenway ovation, 7-21-14

Lester went 8 innings allowing only 4 hits and striking out 8 as the Red Sox swept the Royals. He walked off the mound to a standing ovation from the Fenway faithful. With every dominant performance, the price tag goes up.

More from this show

Weei Writers