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.
We get deep in to some quarterback discussion with ESPN analyst/former NFL starter Trent Dilfer.
Head Coach Bill Belichick on Patriots Monday
Former Patriot Heath Evans, now with the NFL Network, joins Dale, Holley and Thornton every Monday for a thorough analysis of the Patriots and the NFL. This week we break down the shutout of Houston, and look ahead to the Bills.
Sam Packard is joined by Celtics 2nd Round draft pick Abdel Nader to discuss his path to the the NBA and how he plans to improve his game. Sam then talks to Player Development Coach Nick Friedman from Elite Skills Training, the pre-Draft camp Nader attended. Friedman also gives his opinion on the Celtics performance at summer league and the development of Jaylen Brown.
Isaiah Thomas talks to Glenn and Lou about why he loves Boston, the NBA Money Bump, oh, and some Durant guy
Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.
Rob Bradford is joined by former Red Sox, and current Cubs, catcher David Ross, who admits to joining teammates Jon Lester, John Lackey and many members of the Chicago front office in at least contemplating the idea of a Red Sox vs. Cubs World Series. Ross also compares his retirement tour to David Ortiz's, reveals stories of clubhouse celebrations, while suggesting that Lester is pitching better than ever.
Dale, Michael and Jerry speak with Sox slugger David Ortiz in his final regular season week of his career. We touch on the 2016 Sox heading into the playoffs, retirement, memories and Jose Fernandez.
Joe and Tim talked to the Sox catcher, who caught 23 strikeouts from Sox pitchers in the extra-inning win in Tampa Bay.
Joey Mac joins Ken Laird on his Saturday show to discuss the David Backes addition and Loui Eriksson departure in NHL free agency
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.
Gary Tanguay walked out on the show for the second time in three months this morning. Here is the management approved version of today's events.
Kirk flipped out at Curtis and Fred Couples cried.
In hour three Tomase, Callahan and Minihane discuss Trump's comments this morning on Fox and Friends as well as Big Papi's farewell weekend at Fenway.
Glenn, Lou and Christian joke around with audio from a grab-bag of topics, including David Ortiz driving for Lyft, Rex Ryan joining the Buffalo media conference call, and Jim Mora coming back with another great rant.
Red Sox President of Baseball Ops. Dave Dombrowski checks in with Glenn, Lou and Christian to talk about what the playoff roster might look like, and to give the latest update on Pablo Sandoval.
Tom E. Curran joins Glenn, Lou and Christian to talk about Jimmy Garoppolo & Jacoby Brissett, and talk about what he say from a day of practice and press conferences down at Gillette.
Vintage Rex today... while Belichick is deep in to game film and preparation, Rex is making practical jokes against Julian Edelman and getting testy with the Boston media.
John joins us from NY and tells us why he left Price in, what to expect from the rest of this Yankees series, and more.
Inspired by what should happen at Yankee Stadium tonight or tomorrow, we look at four other memorable moments in which the Red Sox clinched a playoff berth.
Kirk Minihane sits down with the Boston Globes Sports Media Columnist, Chad Finn. Kirk and Chad talk about the long and storied feud between WEEI and the Boston Globe and the ongoing ratings war between WEEI and the Hub.
Kirk and Gerry talk about how the show is going since the departure of John Dennis, how the fill-in hosts have been doing so far, and what they are looking for in a third host.
Kirk Minihane loves TV and movies, he sits down with TV critic and author of the new book "TV (The Book)" Alan Sepinwall to discuss the best TV shows of all-time and which show should be number 1. Kirk and Alan disagree on which show is the best of all-time and they both have compelling arguments. Kirk and Alan talk about "Cheers" being one of the most underrated and forgotten TV shows of all-time.
Gerry Callahan and Jeff Kuhner react to the first presidential debate of this election season. Gerry is convinced Trump lost the first debate while Jeff thinks otherwise. Gerry and Jeff talk about what Trump needs to do better in the upcoming debates.
K&C producers Ken Laird & Chris Curtis are joined by WEEI intern and Recap Show host Lucy Burdge to discuss another explosive Gary Tanguay appearance on the program that featured Tango's second walkout.
Rob Bradford is joined by Alex Speier of the Boston Globe to discuss some of the issues that popped up in the Red Sox' loss to the Yankees Tuesday night. Both Rob and Alex agree winning the division is a forgone conclusion for the Sox, but the storylines surrounding Drew Pomeranz, Henry Owens, Sandy Leon and David Price all warranted discussion heading into another crack at winning the AL East
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