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."
Daniel Jeremiah calls NFL Sunday to preview the NFL Draft and discuss what the New England Patriots will be looking to do starting Thursday night.
In hour 2 of NFL Sunday, we get more draft talk from Price and Dickerson. They discuss if the Pats will trade up or down at all or what they can get by staying put. Also, what does the RB position look like for New England? We hear from Daniel Jeremiah from the NFL Network and NFL.com and get his thoughts on the NFL draft and what the Patriots will do. Finally, the boys talk about the Greg Hardy situation in Dallas.
It's finally the week of the NFL Draft and the guys are psyched. They kick off the show discussing the release of the NFL schedule and how they expect the Pats to do against a relatively easy road for the Super Bowl champs. Greg and Chris talk about any difficult match-ups and if any teams in the AFC East can contend with the Patriots. Then the boys move on to the Draft and where the Pats may go. WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia joins the program to discuss his thoughts on the upcoming draft, the Pats needs and his ideas on why the Patriots may in fact trade up this season.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
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.
Joe and Lou Merloni talk with the hero of the night, Mookie Betts after the Red Sox come back to beat the Toronto Blue Jays in walk-off fashion in the first game of the series
Joe and Dave talk with Red Sox super utility man Brock Holt, who hit the game winning 3 run home run that propelled the Red Sox over the Baltimore Orioles, and played some stellar defense to seal the win.
Continued Red Sox talk on benching Victorino and the Red Sox pitching issues..and Sean's love for the band Poison.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
DJ, Naoko and Pete get into the huge week for the Bruins that saw the franchise move on from GM Peter Chiarelli. They discuss why that was done and if they agree. What does this mean for Claude? They talk about Claude and if he can exist here. If not, who would work in Boston? They also get into the NHL Draft Lottery last night and talk to ESPN Boston's Joey "National" McDonald live from Tampa, Florida.
Frank Perullo joined the show to defend his poll.
Stephen A. expressed his thoughts on Tom Brady's White House snub and Floyd Mayweather's past.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The Celtics, unsurprisingly, were swept by the Cavs and Jackie helped the guys recap the season, and the crazy final game which saw some hard fouls as well as an ejection of JR Smith.
The guys dissect Bruce Jenner's interview with Diane Sawyer on Friday night.
The Red Sox rotation has the worst ERA in the league. No one thought this team had a true Ace, but did we think it was going to be this bad?
Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss the struggling Red Sox, in particular the tattered shape of their starting and relief pitching.
Dale and Michael discuss the sweeping nature of the exit of the Celtics, and whether or not Kelly Olynyk made a dirty play when he injured Kevin Love's shoulder early in the final game.
We look into four injuries in pro and Boston sports where a debate erupted about whether or not there was an intent to injure on the play.
Mikey, Lenny, and Erin talk about the Sox 7-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Patriots Day and the Sox hold on first place in the AL East. Also, the Celtics trail the Cavs 1 Game to 0 in their 1st Round series and the 2015 Boston Marathon is in the books.
Mikey Adams, joined by Lenny Megliola and Chris Villani, talks about the Red Sox home opening win at Fenway and the Bruins fallout after missing the playoffs including the future of Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Gerry, Kirk and Glenn discuss Bruce Jenner's interview with Diane Sawyer and Chris Gasper's latest column.
Football fans and Fantasy Footballers know that there is NO Offseason in the NFL, so Jim and Pete are back with the first of a series of Fantasy Football Podcasts of the “NFL Draft variety.” Tune in and you’ll get an in depth analysis on Pete’s most first batch of scouting reports on this year’s crop of Rookie Targets. Jim and Pete kick it off with a lot of focus on a Runningback rich draft class, some of the top Wide Receiver talent and touch on the top Quarterbacks, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. Enjoy!
Uncle Buck joins Chris on the show again to talk about Raw from 4/20, finishing maneuvers and gives a few classic match picks.
Stephen A. expressed his thoughts on Tom Brady's White House snub and Floyd Mayweather's past.More from this show
Gerry, Kirk and Glenn discuss Bruce Jenner's interview with Diane Sawyer and Chris Gasper's latest column.More from this show
The Celtics, unsurprisingly, were swept by the Cavs and Jackie helped the guys recap the season, and the crazy final game which saw some hard fouls as well as an ejection of JR Smith.More from this show