Pete Sheppard and Andy Hart fill in for OMF and talk about last night's joke of an All Star Game, the rumors about Jimmy Butler to the Celtics and DeMarcus Cousins getting traded to New Orleans.

[0:08:15] ... comes right after the all star game. We find out that these Sacramento Kings have indeed traded booking causes the markets causes of the Wallace. Pelicans for body healed Tyreke Evans let him go way. And ...
[0:12:52] ... bring him in who's gonna. Well reign him in oak Greivis socket Isiah Thomas even though the bodies right it's that makes it a trial offer we know by all accounts is a great teammate. And ...
[0:15:31] ... to win it and and about talking about going after you know PJ Tucker that's not. Is there a possibility that it happened jets arcade and that's it that that's just a minor move then I ...
[0:18:52] ... on talent who they are going to that they're gonna swarm on. Isiah Thomas if you rely on Kelly Olympic. Or well harper continues to play the way he is which is outside the perimeter and ...






Pete Sheppard and Andy Hart fill in for OMF and talk about the Celtics trade rumors -- specifically for Jimmy Butler. Also, the guys get into what Isaiah Thomas' future looks like in Boston.
John Henry and Tom Werner met with the Red Sox media last week. (WEEI.com photo)

John Henry and Tom Werner met with the Red Sox media last week. (WEEI.com photo)

Earlier this month, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred revealed how the league is trying to shorten games. The proposals, which include limiting mound visits, are unimaginative. If Manfred truly wants to quicken up the pace, he should pay a visit to Red Sox camp in Fort Myers, Fla. this spring. Team chairman Tom Werner is the perfect person for him to speak with.

It’s fair to have apprehension about Werner presumably taking on a larger role in the day-to-day operations of the Red Sox. In Terry Francona’s 2012 tell-all book, Francona: The Red Sox Years, he says he nearly walked out of a meeting in 2010 when the former television executive told him to “win in more exciting fashion.” His tenure as majority owner of the Padres ended in disaster, with fans filing a class action lawsuit against him amidst one of the most infamous fire sales in professional sports history.

While Werner’s baseball acumen is questionable, there’s little doubt about his credentials in the entertainment industry. He served as executive producer of “The Cosby Show,” “Roseanne” and “That 70s Show,” all of which were ratings successes. In a meeting with reporters last week, Werner said his primary goal is to push the average game time to under three hours. One of the ways to get there would be shortening commercial breaks.

“And one of the things that I saw that the NFL did this year, they had an experiment at the end of the year where they moved their commercial breaks,” Werner said, via the Boston Herald. “One network tried it one way, another tried it another way. I’d be for less commercial breaks, because I think that increases the ratings. So in the end, I think is a good idea.”

Cutting back on commercials would possibly force television partners to take short-term monetary hits. But if more people wind up watching the games, then those networks can charge more money for spots. Thanks to an influx of multi billion-dollar TV deals, MLB has been able to avoid addressing the long-term issues that plague the league. Radical change, such as starting extra innings with a runner on second base, are needed to make the game more attractive to young people.

Werner seems to recognize this.

“There are experiments going on. I’m for experiments,” he said last week. “There’s a lot of debate about how to deal with extra innings. … The group that is talking about it is going to be expanded to players and general managers. Hopefully we’ll make some improvements to make the game as crisp as can be.”

The monstrous ratings for last year’s Cubs-Indians World Series shouldn’t deter Manfred from trying to dramatically alter how MLB presents its product. A seven-game Fall Classic that featured the Cubs trying to end their 108-year championship drought is what’s known as an anomaly. According to Nielsen ratings, the average age of a baseball viewer is 53, and half of the audience is older than 55. The average age of an NFL viewer is 47, and the average person who tunes into the NBA is 37.

Those numbers are troubling, but baseball’s lack of popularity among young people is what should make Manfred shudder. In a 2015 ESPN poll, adults aged 18-34 were 14 percent less likely to say they were interested in baseball than the overall population. Making subtle changes –– forcing players to stay in the batter’s box and putting a time limit on mound visits –– aren’t enough to bring the masses back. MLB needs to think big.

Despite years of minor tinkering, the average MLB game rose to above three hours in 2016 for the second time in three years. This is because pace-of-play rule changes can only go so far. Due to the prevalence of analytics, the majority number of teams now favor a deliberative approach to the game: work the count on offense, create favorable match-ups on defense. As a result, strikeout rates have risen for 11 straight years, setting a new record each time. In 2016, there were more pitching changes than ever before, too.

MLB can’t dictate how teams play. But it can change the rules they play around. Maybe it’s time to mandate that relief pitchers face at least two batters, or put a cap on the number of timeouts each club is allotted. Sports Illustrated scribe Tom Verducci argues for doing something crazy, like introducing a bonus batter (under this rule, each manager would be able to select any player and have him take a random at-bat once per game).

One of the knocks on Werner as a Red Sox executive is that he thinks like a TV guy. But that’s exactly the kind of perspective MLB needs right now. Werner may not know how to build a winning baseball team, but he knows how to make good television.

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer
Hour 4. Gerry went for a walk and discovered a nude beach.
Hour 4. Gerry went for a walk and discovered a nude beach.
Hour 3. Gerry went for a jog and dipped his clothes in the pool. Trenni didn't want to report on Swihart's throwing problems.
Hour 3. Gerry went for a jog and dipped his clothes in the pool. Trenni didn't want to report on Swihart's throwing problems.
Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis (24) runs off the field after a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Darrelle Revis has three years remaining on his contract with the Jets.(Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Darrelle Revis saga continues to get more bizarre.

Revis is accused of knocking out two men during a street fight in Pittsburgh last weekend. TMZ Sports posted a video Sunday of the altercation that shows the two victims laying unconscious on the sidewalk while an unidentified man boasts about punching them out.

“Hey, I knocked both of these mother f—— out, both of them,” he says in the eight-second clip. “They both asleep. Shut up before I knock your ass out next.”

The Pittsburgh Police Department confirms the video is from the incident in question. Revis, 31, is the only person who’s been charged. He’s facing two counts of aggravated assault, and one count each of robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, as well as a misdemeanor count of terroristic threats.

In a statement obtained by the New York Post, Revis’ lawyer says his voice isn’t featured in the video.

“Darrelle Revis absolutely, categorically and positively did not knock out anyone, did not conspire with anyone to commit an assault, did not say ‘shut up before I knock your ass out next’ and surely did not ‘rob’ another of a cell phone,” Robert Del Greco Jr. said. “The voice and admissions made on the video are NOT that of Darrelle Revis. We have no doubt but that further investigation relative to the clothing and voice verification will corroborate the above assertions.”

According to law enforcement, Revis had an altercation with two men who recognized him and approached him at 2:43 a.m. last Sunday. One of them took out a cell phone and started recording the star cornerback, who allegedly took the device and threw it onto the street. An unidentified male then supposedly came to Revis’ aid. The 22-year-old and 21-year-old victims say they were knocked unconscious shortly thereafter. Their story is corroborated by witnesses.

Revis has maintained his innocence from the start. His Pittsburgh-based attorney, Blaine Jones, told the NFL Network last week Revis wasn’t the aggressor. The seven-time Pro Bowler turned himself into Pittsburgh police Friday night and was released three hours later. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

Given Revis’ struggles on the field last season, the Jets may look to cut him if he was involved in the incident. He inked a five-year, $70 million deal with $39 million guaranteed to return to New York in 2015. If the Jets release him this offseason, they’ll be on the hook for at least $6 million.

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer
Hour 2. Shaughnessy writes that the 2004 Red Sox is a better story than the Patriots. Headlines with Kirk.
Hour 1. Gerry and Kirk are live from spring training as they analyze the 2017 Red Sox.