Red Sox manager Terry Francona made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday afternoon and talked about the team's philosophy heading into the final days of the regular season with a playoff berth highly unlikely.
"It changes, but the philosophy of our games certainly don't change," Francona said. "Regardless of who plays, you try to play the game right and you try to win. Obviously, we're incorporating some younger kids in the lineup, and we're trying to get them to understand what a huge honor it is to play in these games. If you're a Lars Anderson and you're playing a couple of games instead of a Mikey Lowell, he needs to understand that, 'Look, man, this guy has had a long career and you're taking some of his at-bats, so get after it.' And I think they're doing that."
Francona praised the work of Ryan Kalish, suggesting that he viewed the 22-year-old as "a true center fielder" who is "a better outfielder than I ever thought he would be." He could not say whether Kalish would be an everyday player for the Sox in 2011, but suggested that his time in such a capacity might not be far off.
"He’s done a great job. And he probably got here a little quick because of all our injuries," Francona said. "I think the at-bats he’s getting are huge in his development. I don’t know if he’s ready to be an everyday center fielder on our team next year — maybe he is. But even if he’s not, this six weeks is going to be huge for him. And at some point in his career in the not-too-distant future, he’s going to impact our team. This is a keeper."
At the beginning of the season, when David Ortiz struggled through a miserable April, there were calls for the Sox to sit the slugger. Francona was asked if he now felt vindicated for sticking with the veteran, who hit his 30th home run of the season Tuesday night.
"I think we've stood by people when we think that that's the best thing to do," Francona said. "And I believe in loyalty, believe me. But there's a difference between being loyal and not being very smart. When we felt like [Jonathan Papelbon] should replace [Keith] Foulke, we did it. But when I feel like somebody's struggling, and to make a knee-jerk reaction, that's not, to me, a good manager. That's just making a reaction. You've got to let these guys play a little bit. David's a great example of that. He's maybe the only one who believed in himself. And I'll be darned, you look up later, he's got 30 home runs, he's going to drive in 100 runs. Good for him."
Francona gushed about the contributions of Jason Varitek, who made his first start Tuesday night since returning from his broken foot. "He's been the captain," Francona said. "He's never once not been there for somebody. He supports everybody. He's vocal — he's probably more vocal than he used to be. He's done a terrific job being the captain. He's worked hard to get himself back to being available. … He's taken all his positives and all his attributes and he's taken them into his therapy and his rehab. And the way he helps the players, it's fun to watch."
Asked if Varitek can contribute next season, Francona said: "Certainly. Certainly. He was having a very good year as far as a backup catcher. And then he got hurt. He got a broken bone. That happens. This wasn't something out of old age or something. He just got a broken bone. I think he wants to play."
The Red Sox' 2011 schedule was released Tuesday, and Boston will open the season in Texas before welcoming the Yankees for the home opener. "I love opening on the road," Francona said. "I think there's so much going on, the first couple of games, all the pageantry and all that stuff. I love doing that on the road. Then you get all that stuff out of the way. Then you can come home and play. I've got no problem with that. I don't care who we open with. I don't care who we play. You're going to have to play [the Yankees] a certain amount many times, I [couldn't] care less when we play them."
Christian and Chris talk about overrated Pats players this season and in the past and then get into the QB issue on the team. They talk about all three guys, what they bring to the table and if they can keep their head above water without the best QB in the league for 4 weeks. Then...Karlos Williams was released by the Bills - should the Pats consider adding the overweight second year running back? Christian also brings up Dante Scarnecchia and gets Price's opinion on if this one man can truly improve a shaky offensive line.
Christian Arcand is in for Tanguay for NFL Sunday with Chris Price. The guys talk about the victory over the Bears, Jimmy G's progress and their expectations for the Pats defense this season. Arcand thinks that there are more holes on the D than some fans realize.
We check in with Bill Belichick after the first Preseason game for our weekly "Patriots Monday" discussion.
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.
Joe and Tim are joined by US Olympic Medalist and captain of the US Women's Gymnastics team Aly Raisman, as she was at Fenway to throw out the first pitch before the game.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts after the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1
David Price pitched a gem and Andrew Benintendi makes one of the top highlight catches of the year as the Sox take the first game of four against the Rays, 6-2. Christian Arcand recaps the game and takes all of your Sox calls.
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.
Kirk and Callahan start the 9am discussing the soon-to-come Tom Brady four game suspension and what will happen during that stretch for TB12 and the Pats. The guys then dig back into the Kaepernick discussion in this 9am hour podcast.
Kirk Minihane reads the Wednesday news & gossip headlines, much to the chagrin of the auditioning Gary Tanguay who had prepared to take the lead.
Kirk, Gerry and Gary Tanguay welcome Pats QB Jimmy G to the program, and then discuss the Pats' QB situation in this upload of the entire 8am hour of Wednesday's show.
Dave Dombrowski said the Red Sox weren't going to rush out to sign Tebow after his baseball workout yesterday. Lou and Christian talk about how obviously bad Tebow would be in the MLB and why this is just a stunt.
Dont'a Hightower calls in to talk to Lou and Christian about stepping up in the Patriots locker room, how his new locker means he's following the footsteps of some big names, and how the Patriots defense is shaping up heading into the season.
LaGarrette Blount calls in to talk to Lou and Christian about the end of the preseason, what the locker room is like during these cut-periods, and the overall feel of the Patriots offense heading into the season.
We discuss the role Mingo will play for the Patriots defense.
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In honor of tonight's game we look back at four moments where the Patriots and Panthers cross paths.
Kirk Minihane is joined by his long time nemesis Bart Hubbuch. Kirk and Bart discuss the incident between the two that led to Kirk being let go from Comcast and the long standing issue of deflategate. Bart annoyingly wouldn't get of his speaker phone. This is an explosive interview between two guys who admittedly dislike each other.
Kirk Minihane sits down with former producer Chris Curtis? Or is it current producer Chris Curtis? Either way, Kirk and Chris talk about what happened in their previous tenure together, where it went wrong, and why Curtis is now back with the show.
Kirk Minihane and Gary Tanguay sit down together on Enough About Me for the first time. These two divisive figures talk about Gary's career and his late evolution into a controversial broadcaster. Nobody is spared from Kirk and Gary's wrath on this episode and it will surely make some people at the two sports radio stations very uncomfortable.
College football is back, so Anthony and Austin talk about what they're looking forward to as the season starts up. Also, they ask a very, very important question -- is the Alabama dynasty finally dead?
The heart of draft season is upon us and as Jim and Pete gear up for their own big draft this weekend, this week’s podcast is filled with tips on Draft Strategy and how work your plan. Jim and Pete walk through the draft from the Elite players at the top, through the middle of the draft where you build your core, through the high upside targets at the back that can help steal you a league victory. Stars to sleepers and how to position yourself to get them are the topic of the day. Good luck with your drafts!
We are joined by David Amoyal or ESPNFC.com and GianlucaDiMarzio.com to talk about the transfer window closing and what may happen in the finals days of the summer.
Kirk Minihane is joined by his long time nemesis Bart Hubbuch. Kirk and Bart discuss the incident between the two that led to Kirk being let go from Comcast and the long standing issue of deflategate. Bart annoyingly wouldn't get of his speaker phone. This is an explosive interview between two guys who admittedly dislike each other.More from this show
Kirk and Callahan start the 9am discussing the soon-to-come Tom Brady four game suspension and what will happen during that stretch for TB12 and the Pats. The guys then dig back into the Kaepernick discussion in this 9am hour podcast.More from this show