ESPN columnist Bill Simmons joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about the Celtics’ offseason, the rest of the NBA, Bill Belichick and the David Ortiz contract situation. Simmons isn't on board with picking up the $12.5 team option on the DH, who hit his 31st home run of the season in the Red Sox 6-1 win over the Orioles on Wednesday night.
"Why wouldn't they just not pick up his option and sign him for a lesser price? Or is that too logical?" asked Simmons, who noted that there was "no way" the Sox win the 2004 and 2007 World Series without Ortiz. "I wouldn't pick him up at $12.5, but is he worth $8 million? Yeah, why not?"
As for the Celtics, Simmons was initially "horrified" when the Celtics signed Shaquille O'Neal but has "talked himself" into the benefits of the move. As for Jermaine O'Neal, Simmons feels he's an upgrade from Rasheed Wallace but questions if O'Neal will be able to stay on the floor.
"Well, I think it's a little bit different because Rasheed just didn't care -- he wasn't in shape," said Simmons. "He played himself into shape in the playoffs, which I think is a little embarrassing if you are a professional athlete. Jermaine O'Neal, I think, his knees went on him. I do think he cares, I just don't think he has his knees anymore. I think he's a better character than Rasheed and I think getting someone off the team who intermittently cared is probably a good thing."
Does Simmons agree with Jeff Van Gundy's assertion that the Miami Heat will break the Bulls' 72-win record and win the NBA title?
"I totally disagree, I think they have a lot of questions," said Simmons, the author of the best-selling "The Book of Basketball." "I don't trust Dwyane Wade's ability to play 100 straight games -- he's had a lot of health problems over the years. To some degree he's been able to cruise through the season and take jump shots and it's going to be a totally different animal this year because every game they play is going to be the biggest game of the season for the other team. On top of that, defensively, Chris Bosh is a terrible defensive player. If he's going to play center for you you're in real trouble."
After the Week 2 loss to the Jets, Simmons has doubts about the Patriots' defense and wonders if the head coach has lost a step .
"Can we agree that our [Patriots] defense isn't good? It seems that anyone in the league can go down and go 80 yards on this defense," Simmons said. I wrote this last year and I took some heat for it, but I do wonder if with Belichick -- and just in general with NFL coaches -- if you hit a certain age if that starts to hurt your performance … I think this guy eight, nine years ago, this was a guy that was in the film room until 3:30 in the morning. How do you keep that going when you are 58?"
To hear the interview click on the Dennis and Callahan audio on demand page.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Rob Gronkowski's meeting with the media on Friday. Gronk said he doesn't anticipate changing the way he plays, noting that he wants to "keep smashing and dashing."
Julian Edelman joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz after Patriots training camp.
We return to our weekly segments with the one and only Peter King of MMQB and NBC's Football Night in America.
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 of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
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.
Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to discuss David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia's struggles, and Jon Lester's contract.
Texas Rangers General Manager, Jon Daniels, joins Rob Bradford and Alex Speier to discuss the upcoming trade deadline.
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 discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
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
Kirk breaks down the media criticism he has received.
The stories of the day brought to you by Kirk Minihane
Dino, Meter and Kirk discuss the light punishment given to Ray Rice by the NFL.
Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to talk about David Ortiz, the struggles of Dustin Pedroia, and the Jon Lester contract.
Patriots Wide Receiver Julian Edelman joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz after Patriots training camp.
Given the recent Ray Rice suspension, many people are comparing it to Josh Gordon getting suspended for repeated drug abuse. Tim Benz doesn't think this is a fair comparison. He explains why.
We discuss the return of Rob Gronkowski, his comments to the media today, and what a healthy (or unhealthy) Gronk will mean for the 2014 Patriots.
We discuss the suspension of Ray Rice, and how the act he committed certainly seemed like it warranted a harsher penalty from the strict front office of Roger Goodell.
We tackle four topics, all sparked by our interest in the story about the Browns fan peeing on Art Modell's grave this past week.
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.
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.
With the trade deadline looming, the next few days will be defined by how teams value prospects -- and their potential long-term contributions -- against big leaguers with established track records who can address immediate needs. Are prospects being valued accurately? Red Sox left-hander Andrew Miller -- once one of the two key chips that sent Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins to the Tigers -- assesses the matter.
A compelling case can be made that July 24, 2004, represents as significant a landmark as any date in modern Red Sox history. On that day, a memorable brawl between the Red Sox and Yankees served as a catalyst for an epic 10-9 walkoff victory for the Red Sox over New York and indomitable closer Mariano Rivera, a game cited by many members of the 2004 team as pivotal in Boston's first championship run in 86 years. Ian Browne, who covers the Red Sox for MLB.com and authored Idiots Revisited, discusses the landmark game.
With Training Camp starting this Thursday and the August Draft Season inching closer, Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are ramping up the Fantasy Football content to meet the demand! Today’s podcast gives an in depth look at Pete’s Top 50 Wide Receivers Article that is LIVE on WEEI.com right now. Pete breaks down the receivers by Tiers and the podcast gives full analysis of those Tiers and the players who occupy these spots and why. Get prepared for your drafts and enjoy!
We discuss the return of Rob Gronkowski, his comments to the media today, and what a healthy (or unhealthy) Gronk will mean for the 2014 Patriots.More from this show
Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to talk about David Ortiz, the struggles of Dustin Pedroia, and the Jon Lester contract.More from this show