Sports Illustrated baseball writer Tom Verducci was a guest of the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to talk about the Red Sox' prospects for 2010. "I like what they did here, but what people have to remember is that this is Plan B. They went to this because they had to go to this," Verducci said of Boston's focus on pitching and defense. "I think they didn't have a choice. I don't think they sat down and said, 'Let's switch gears here, guys, and now we think that defense wins games.' I think they had to do it. In that sense, it was a very smart thing to do, They are going to be a very good defensive team, there's not doubt about that, it will help them a lot.
"The downside is they're very vulnerable against right-handed pitching, and I don't think they're going to be much better as a team that hits on the road. They're probably a middle-of-the-pack offensive team, which could be good enough if their pitching holds up and their defense is as good as we think. But any right-handed power pitching, sinker, slider-type pitchers, I think that's a problem for the Red Sox," he added, noting that Tampa Bay's pitching staff is a "bad, bad matchup for the Red Sox."
Verducci said right now he gives the pitching edge to the Yankees, although the Red Sox staff has the potential to be "dynamic." The key, he said, is "You've got to stay away as much as you can from getting down into that inventory where you're running out your No. 7, 8, 9 starters. That's going to catch up to you, especially in the American League East." Verducci also warned that the Rays should bounce back from a disappointing 2009. "We spend a lot of time talking about the Yankees and Red Sox, but I can tell you there's a lot of people who think the best team down here in Florida right now, at least the way they look on the field in spring training, are the Tampa Bay Rays. Do not discount them from this discussion, either."
Regarding Mike Lowell, Verducci said he expects the veteran to stay and try to contribute. "If he buys into that, I think they have a very valuable guy coming off their bench," Verduci said. "I don't know whether he's there mentally or not. That's a very tough downshift for any guy who's been playing as an everyday player."
Looking around Major League Baseball, commenting on the recent rumor that the Phillies were exploring the possibility of trying to trade Ryan Howard for Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols, Verducci said the trade would make no sense for the Cardinals, especially considering the way Pujols is viewed in St. Louis. "I think he's the most popular Cardinal since Stan Musial," Verducci said.
Regarding the revelation that Rangers manager Ron Washington used cocaine last year, Verducci said: "It's shocking. It doesn't make any sense. I don't know who's buying the story that it's the first time he tried it."
To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Mike Klis discusses Brady vs. Manning, Welker and Belichick, and the rest of the Pats-Broncos story lines.
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price preview the big showdown between the 6-1 Denver Broncos and the 6-2 New England Patriots and the 16th edition in the Tom Brady-Peyton Manning rivalry.
Chris Price, WEEI.com, joins the show to talk about the Patriots upcoming game against Denver. Chris got in the the DB match-ups with Denver's receivers, some ideas on how to blitz Peyton, Welker's impact, and a prediction.
Its time to start the season for the Celtics! We talk about the things we like about the Celtics and the things we dont like very much. Plus Sam feels like a jerk for laughing at Julius Randle.
Jackie MacMullan joins MFB for the first time this season. She discusses the rejection of NBA lottery reform, Rajon Rondo, and the Celtics chances this season.
Mut, Rob Bradford and Alex Speier are back and talking not only Red Sox, but MLB Hot Stove. They talk with Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, and take some phone calls about some of the Red Sox potential moves.
Mut, Rob Bradford, and Alex Speier talk with Red Sox GM Ben Cherington. Ben addresses some questions regarding Will Middlebrooks, Rusney Castillo, as well as Yoenis Cespedes' future with the club.
Joe Castiglione does his annual wrap-up of the season by reading the poem by Bart Giamatti.
We discuss the Bruins blown 2 goal lead against the Wild at the Garden and where they go from here with the great Jack Edwards of NESN.
NESN's Andy Brickley joined the show following Boston's 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild. Brick talked about Patrice Bergeron's line getting beat a lot, the Bruins' lack of focus in their 6 losses, and the big blow to the defense with Torey Krug's injury.
Joe McDonald joins the guys to talk to about the Chara injury and how the Bruins will move forward without him.
John Buccigross discussed the World Series with the guys. Also, does he cry at movies?
The guys opened the show discussing the Giants 3rd World Series win in 5 years.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
We listen to a tribute to the late great Mayor Thomas Menino who passed away at the age of 71. Produced by Joe Zarbano.
Pierre McGuire joins the guys to talk about the struggling Bruins.
Dale and Greg Dickerson try and find new and exciting ways to discuss Manning vs Brady 16, including how each QB fares in adverse weather conditions.
Dale and Greg Dickerson take a few minutes to remember Tom Menino.
We look at four free agents the Sox might have an eye on, two on the mound, two at third base.
Mikey, Villani and Lenny are talking about the 2004 Red Sox on the anniversary of Game 4 of the ALCS with Dave Roberts steal abd Bill Mueller driving him in and what it was like to witness.
Mikey, Mut and Lenny are talking about the Patriots and how they have stacked up through the years and what got them to the three championships and five Super Bowl appearances in the Brady-Belichick era.
Mikey and Mut take a call from someone who wants to criticize Belichick the GM and his history of drafting players and making moves in the draft.
WEEI.com’s Scott McLaughlin is joined by Joe Meloni of College Hockey News on the first episode of the College Puckcast. They talk about the wrist injury that will sideline Boston College defenseman Steve Santini until at least January, as well as the good start for Boston University and its star freshman, Jack Eichel. Other topics include fast starts for Vermont and UMass-Lowell and slow starts for Providence and Northeastern.
The morning show was having another great podcast, until the whole thing came to screeching halt. Halloween, Asian strippers and proctologists.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.More from this show