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.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia talks to former federal prosecutor John Down about the NFL's discipline process and what should be changed.
We check in with Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater on a Patriots Monday as the Patriots prepare for their fourth pre-season game, and are 10 days away from opening the 2015 season.
We check in with the head coach of the Patriots on a Pats Monday to get his take on the win over Carolina, pre-season game number four, and the numerous cuts to the team's roster he must make in the upcoming weeks.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
Michael joins Ben and Sam to discuss the wild NBA Free Agency period and the upcoming Celtics season.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
We check in for our weekly visit with the interim Sox manager.
Joe Castiglione & Lou Merloni talked to the Sox outfielder, who had three hits and threw out a runner at home in the win over the Yankees.
Butch and John are talking Red Sox on the Sunday Sports Roundtable. They get into the current state of the rotation and how things have improved as of late. Joe Kelly has been on fire, but is he a trade asset? The guys discuss the starting pitchers that will be free agents this year and if any are good fits in Boston. Then they move on to the decision to let Orsillo go in favor of Dave O'Brien - Tomase has an interesting perspective on this topic.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
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!
Jason defended himself against Minihane.
The top stories of the day.
Former NFL running back Eddie George is upset that Judge Berman overturned Tom Brady's suspension and is speaking out, calling Tom Brady a cheater.
The guys continue to embrace the breaking news and listen to comments from Tedy Bruschi who happily reacts to the news that his former teammate is eligible to play on Opening Night.
Adam Schefter joins the show to talk about the breaking news that Tom Brady's suspension has been overturned, and gives his inside opinion on the result.
Now that the ruling has been overturned, Dale and Holley with Thornton check in with the legal analyst that was at the forefront of this case... SI's Michael McCann
Now that Brady is free, here's a recap of a good amount of the hate they faced the last 8 months.
We discuss Bob McNair's now infamous quotes about the Patriots, and how his comments, uniformed as they may be, are probably representative of other NFL owners, and thus the reason Roger Goodell can push forward with this situation without worrying about blowback from the owners.
Chris Villani and John Tomase discuss Tom Brady's suspension getting overturned by Judge Richard Berman and discuss in hindsight how obvious this should have been.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss the Thursday federal court decision to overturn Tom Brady's DeflateGate punishment.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss Jackie Bradley Jr, Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, and who should play where. Also, the current outfield in context with Sox history.
With the transfer window coming to a close, Ben, Russ & Alex hand out transfer grades for each Premier League team. They also discuss the Revs recent surge and debate if it will continue this weekend.
Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable are joined this week by special guests Jim Callis of MLB.com and Rob Bradford of WEEI.com to discuss what new GM Dave Dombrowski will do with his new prospect system. Also, do the Sox really have the best Farm system in baseball? Finally, Ken travels to Lowell to chat with Spinners' catcher Austin Rei and manager Joe Oliver.
It’s peek draft season so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are back with today’s Fantasy Football Podcast on Draft Strategy. Pete Davidson’s article at Rotobahn.com “The 2015 Draft Plan” fuels a deep conversation on how to approach the draft at all the key positions Quarterback, Runningback, Wide Receiver, Tight End and Defense. Get prepared and Happy Drafting!
Larry is still upset about Belichick's postgame answers, but Craig just wants Larry to admit that maybe Bill is not "the genius". In fact, maybe a lot of his success was due to having some pretty good players. The guys go on to discuss Belichick's legacy.More from this show