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.
Price calls Butch to discuss the March 2nd deadline for franchise tags, free agency and the Pats' plans going forward.
Shortly after the NFLRA released its statement demanding an apology from ESPN, Jim Quirk, the NFLRA's Executive Director, joined Mut to talk about the statement
WEEI's Chris Price joins Mut to talk about his experience of being in yesterday's Patriots championship parade, and which New England free agents could return to play for the Pats next season.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Jessica Camerato of basketballinsiders.com joins the show to talk about Marcus Smart, the starting lineup, and trade deadline.
The one and only Rob Bradford calls Butch to discuss his early thoughts on this Red Sox team, the potential in the rotation, how the outfield will shake out and more.
David Ortiz takes a few minutes to talk with Mut, Bradford, and Tomase about some of his new teammates, who Pablo Sandoval reminds him of, and the rules aimed at speeding up the game of baseball.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are talking Red Sox spring training. and talk with Red Sox DH David Ortiz about the rules aimed at speeding up the pace of the game
In the second of Sunday Skate, DJ and Joe discuss the approaching NHL trade deadline and what the B's will do. They get into the Boychuk move at the beginning of the season and Boychuk's brother venting on Twitter this morning about complaining B's fans. There is more discussion on the 3rd and 4th lines, their playoff chances and then they are joined by ESPN's Scott Burnside.
Another edition of Sunday Skate is upon us and DJ and Joe get into the B's big win over Arizona last night and the improvement of Ryan Spooner. They get into the Blackhawks giving up a 1st round pick for C Antoine Vermette - someone the B's could certainly use but weren't willing to give up the steep price of a 1st rounder. DJ and Joe also get into Claude's willingness to switch up lines as well as the performance of the 3rd and 4th lines. Finally, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman sits down with the boys.
Scott Burnside joins the boys to discuss the Bruins and the NHL trade deadline.
All the latest stories brought to you by Kirk Minihane.
Curt Schilling didn't back down when twitter trolls took shots at his daughter. Dino, Gerry and Kirk applaud Schill's stand.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk look back at their weekend in Fort Myers. Who visited Mommy and Daddy over the weekend?
Dunkin Donuts liked Christian's "bacon covered doughnut" idea. SNL does an ISIS skit. The Pittsburg Pirates issued a statement condemning "Jihadi John's" Pirates hat.
With free agency looming, Adam Schefter, on Sportscenter, said that he thinks Darrelle Revis will NOT be re-signed by the Patriots and that they will cut him instead, making him the most coveted free agent on the market.
Barry Melrose joined the show to talk about the NHL trade deadline. Although Melrose likes the trade of Brett Connolly from Tampa to Boston, he thinks the team needs to make more moves to keep ahead of Florida, who just traded for Jaromir Jagr. He also weighs in on the job security of Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli.
Michael, Mike Mutnansky and Jerry Thornton talk Bruins AFTER the trade-deadline and check in with the fans.
We examine four trade deadline day deals that helped or affected Boston teams in recent history.
Michael, Mike Mutnansky and Jerry Thornton talk Bruins before the trade-deadline and check in with the fans.
Mikey, Mut, and Lenny are joined by the Rev girls, who are revealing the New Revolution uniform Tuesday at the House of Blues in Boston and talking about the Revs.
Mikey, Lenny, and Maggie talk Red Sox baseball with Red Sox Hall of Famer Bill Lee, who is in Florida and out of the snow that's perpetually burying the area.
Mikey gets a call from Kirk Minihane, who wants to clear the air with Mikey and get everything settled. It goes better than you think.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk talk about their time in Fort Myers and are joined by a special guest, Doug Lane.
Boston University coach David Quinn joins WEEI’s Scott McLaughlin to discuss the Terriers’ Beanpot title and how he feels about his team as the postseason approaches. Quinn also discusses reports about NHL interest in goalie Matt O’Connor and briefly touches on a recent misstep by Jack Eichel.
After a wild trade deadline, Ben Kichen and Sam Packard breakdown the Celtics and the rest of the NBA. Then Sam yells at Ben about the use of analytics in basketball. Ben yells back.
All the latest stories brought to you by Kirk Minihane.More from this show
Dino, Gerry and Kirk look back at their weekend in Fort Myers. Who visited Mommy and Daddy over the weekend?More from this show
With free agency looming, Adam Schefter, on Sportscenter, said that he thinks Darrelle Revis will NOT be re-signed by the Patriots and that they will cut him instead, making him the most coveted free agent on the market.More from this show
Butch talks with callers about the polarizing pace of play debate and gets some pretty strange ideas on how to speed things up. He also gets into the how the rotation is shaping up for the Sox and other Red Sox related issues heading into the season.More from this show