The Red Sox are conducting a workout on Tuesday, the first of three straight days in which the team is taking to the field at Fenway Park in order to stay sharp for the start of the American League Division Series on Friday following four off days. The team is still finalizing its roster decisions, and it’s also holding off on announcing its starting rotation, but overall, manager John Farrell suggested that he is in charge of an extremely well-rounded team that is a credit to the work of GM Ben Cherington in taking a team that went from 69-93 a year ago to a 97-65 record that was tied for the best in the majors this year.
“He’s done an outstanding job. I’m certainly not one to compliment him on it because he lives it, as do we. But his vision clearly started last August with the trade with the Dodgers. Where we stand today was initiated 14 months ago,” Farrell said, alluding to the blockbuster deal with the Dodgers that sent out Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to liberate tremendous resources. “It’s tremendous foresight on his part, but to select the people, in addition to the talent that he brought in, everyone has fit well. It didn’t stop after the free-agent signing period this winter. Quintin Berry is another example of maybe a less publicized acquisition that can maybe fill a pivotal role or pivotal contribution on our end. It’s a never-ending pursuit on his part, whether it’s looking at internal options, his ability to outline things to us in uniform from a staff standpoint, he includes us in that whole process and it’s worked very well. But he’s done a great job of revamping who sits in our clubhouse today.”
Farrell praised the work done by Cherington in finding players of character to come to Boston, something that became most evident when the team took the field on April 16, the day after the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
“The one moment that stands out in my mind is standing on the … during the moment of silence in Cleveland following the bombing here. And it wasn’t so much about on field performance. We had gotten off to a good start the first two, three weeks of the season,” said Farrell. “We saw some things come out of the individuals. Spoke to their understanding that they were in a special place and showed some [character] at a very difficult and unique time. Whether that was the galvanizing moment for this team, I can’t say that. But it was a moment in time where guys showed a different side of them that this was a special group. What the performance was going to be, the total number of wins achieved, we didn’t know. But there was a [character] that showed through in that moment that was special.”
While Farrell did not make any formal announcements about the roster or rotation, he did confirm that Clay Buchholz and Jake Peavy would throw multiple innings in Wednesday’s intrasquad scrimmage, a signal that the team plans to have Jon Lester and John Lackey start the first two games of the ALDS.
Other notes from Farrell:In addition to Buchholz and Peavy, the Sox will want to get action for a number of relievers. It will be up to the team’s hitters whether they want to face live pitching, and Farrell said that some may prefer not to do so. The game will have an umpire, and players will run the bases and play the field as opposed to simply stepping in the box as might occur in a simulated game for a rehabbing pitcher. Farrell suggested that, even though the demands of a five-game series with two off days are distinct from those of the 162-game regular season, he does not want to drastically alter his roster from the one he used for the lion’s share of the season. “There will be some of that involved but the one thing I want to be clear at is we’ve set a pretty clear approach to how we’ve used all of our position players throughout the course of the regular season,” said Farrell. “To make a drastic shift from that, I don’t know that it would be putting guys in the best position to succeed so this is a team that, we’ve had a couple of situations where we’ve pinch hit before or we’ll use a pinch runner. We’ve demonstrated that. so to say that we’ll look to do something completely different because we’ve got a five-game series with two off-days in it, I think that would be running from what our strengths have been established all year.” Farrell said that the team is unlikely to factor in the possibility of having Mike Napoli catch into its roster decisions: “I don’t think at this point of the season we would consider him behind the plate,” said Farrell. “That would be a major shift from anything that we’ve communicated to him throughout the course of the year or anything that we’ve chose to do inside of a given game, whether we’ve put [Jarrod Saltalamacchia] back in behind the plate in a game that David Ross will start, or vice versa. That’s one thing that will be considered when we look at the 25-man roster as a whole. I can’t say that’s an overriding factor.” On the structure of the bullpen bridge from the team’s starters to closer Koji Uehara: “We have the ability to match up, to bridge from whoever the starter is that given night to Koji closing things out, we’ve got options. Guys have been very dependable, they’ve been durable, whether that’s been [Craig Breslow], whether that’s been Junichi [Tazawa], who’s done a very good job for us. At times, there’s been some challenging moments for him. The emergence of Brandon Workman, was encouraging his last outing in Baltimore, coming off the outing over in Denver. So, we feel like we’ve got ample options to go to. Franklin Morales‘ last six weeks of the season have been very encouraging and then we’ve put some veteran presence back there with Ryan Dempster in that role as well to bridge to Koji. Koji’s abilities have finally been highlighted because of the role he’s in. He’s been a very good pitcher his entire pro career, both in Japan and here. To see the efficiency with which he pitches, he’s having an outstanding year for us. We’ll need it to go forward.” Farrell said that his contact with former Red Sox manager Terry Francona has been “minimal,” limited to “a congratulatory text” since the Indians clinched a wild card berth. At the same time, he acknowledged that the cross-pollination of the Indians and Red Sox organizations would lend itself to a number of interesting storylines if the two teams face each other in the ALDS. “There’s a lot of quality and talented people over there. To see it come together with a chance to advance after tomorrow night, I think because you have past experiences with many people, you want the best for them,” said Farrell. “There would be an incredible amount of side stories if we do meet up with them in the Division Series. In some ways, it’s reminiscent of the ALCS in ’07. There’s so much crossover that still exists between people that have worked, either starting in Cleveland and coming here, and now it’s in some ways reversed with Tito going back there and leading their team. Hopefully we get a chance to meet up. Four players who are not candidates to participate in the postseason have been sent home: Allen Webster, Brayan Villarreal, Steven Wright and Brock Holt. The intrasquad scrimmage on Wednesday and the working, which starts at 2 p.m. and is scheduled to run until approximately 5 or 6 p.m., will be open to the public for no charge. “I think it’s more of a gesture to those who have stood by us throughout the course of time, and give them an opportunity for our season-ticket holders to be presented something unique and maybe in some small way, an indirect way, a thank you,” said Farrell. Regarding the 5:37 p.m. start time of Saturday’s game, Farrell noted that the teams would have to contend with shadows in the early innings but that the sun would set relatively early in the game.
Greg and Chris talk with Mike Reiss from ESPN Boston in hour 2 of NFL Sunday to discuss a variety of offseason happenings with the Pats and throughout the league. Greg and Chris also get into the NFL Draft and where Mariota and Winston will go.
Mike Reiss calls the guys to talk about the offseason news for the Pats. He talks about the Pats/Jets tampoering fiasco, free agency, where he sees Ridley and Connolly ending up, if the Patriots would be interested in Reggie Wayne and more.
In the first hour of the show, Greg and Chris discuss the news coming out of the owners' meetings this week and rule changes. Belichick's blow-up over the league not wanting to spend on endzone cameras was well documented and the guys react. They also talk about the Jets ridiculous tampering charges, free agents still lingering out there, where Stevan Ridley will land and the RB position in New England. Dickerson and Price briefly discuss the adventures of Tom Brady before being joined by WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia to talk all things Pats in the offseason.
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.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Joe and Alex talked with the Sox AGM about the state of the team as Opening Day approaches.
Mut, Tomase, and Bradford kick things off talking about Shane Victorino taking offense to people reading into some comments he made about trading for Cole Hamels. They also discuss Blake Swihart and how soon he could be up if Christian Vazquez starts the season on the DL.
Joe Kelly joined the Hot Stove show where he talked about being ready for his next spring training start after a biceps ailment forced him out of his last outing, he talks about his NCAA brackets and how teammate Wade Miley has a perfect bracket still.
Peter Chiarelli joined the Sunday Skate crew to talk about the Bruins playoff push heading into the final handful of games of the regular season. Chiarelli talked about avoiding some of the overly negative feedback he gets while realizing that the team does have real issues. He discusses what went down at the trade deadline and if he was happy with the outcome, Lucic having a down year and underperforming, the salary cap and if he considers it as big of an issue as it's been made out to be and what the future holds for the team.
It's a big hour #2 for the Sunday Skate dudes - they talk about the B's defenseman and what the future looks like at that position, with both moves the team can make and younger guys in the AHL. They also get into the Bruins philosophy on bringing guys up and sending them back down and how players deal with that. Finally, the boys are joined by Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli to discuss EVERYTHING.
The Sunday Skate crew gets the show going discussing the Bruins big, impressive victory over the NY Rangers yesterday. What can you take from that game? According to LB - Lyndon Byers - who called the guys from the road, not a lot. LB drops a dime on what was going on with the Rangers yesterday. DJ and Joe discuss Claude's lines and groupings and the importance of Ryan Spooner. They also get into Lucic, his contributions this year and if he can turn things around.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys discussed the controversial Indiana law.
The guys opened the show by discussing the Presidents visit yesterday.
Michael Holley comes in for the crossover, and continues the discussion with Tim over what will happen if the Patriots face any type of punishment for the deflated footballs in the AFCCG.
With the Wells report seemingly wrapping up (we hope), Tim and Lou got to talking about possible fines and punishments the Patriots must face. It's possible that the Patriots will face a small fine, but should they take that laying down? The conversation brings out a little passion from BOTH sides.
Jackie Mac talks about the Celtics win over the Hornets last night and their chances of making the playoffs.
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton discuss Robert Kraft's testimony and the Hernandez trial overall as it continues to unfold.
We wrap up the day with the best in sound that you may have missed from throughout the day.
Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss 'Pasta' and his solid rookie year, and make a few statistical comparisons.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Mut opens his show talking about the New York Jets filing tampering charges on the Patriots
Mikey, Mut, and Lucy are talking about all things New England sports, the Red Sox spring training, more Darrelle Revis and Jets talk, and some Bruins mixed in.
Will Noonan joins Chris in the studio to review Wrestlemania and Raw.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk talk about Kirk's massage and crap all over Sausage.
Ben and Adam finish the odyssey that is the history of Wrestlemania. Wrestlemanias 21-30 are discussed and analyzed.
The guys discussed the disgusting protests at the scene of Officer Moynihan's shooting.More from this show
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We listen in on Adam Shefter's deflategate report on NFL Live on ESPN, and discuss when we can expect this whole mess to come to a head.More from this show