We close out this President's Day with the best soundbites of the day.
A. Sherrod Blakely joins Pete Sheppard and Andy Hart to talk about the Jimmy Butler to Boston rumors and the deal to send DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans.

[0:00:00] ... You may not like him personally if three guys individually Glenn Miller foray go screw yeah. He's a fan of the show on for so I like imitation of the export way Murr Loney and forty. Listen for 10 minutes until 2 o'clock on Sports Radio got. And Jimmy Butler in Boston paired with a Isiah Thomas. This Celtics team it would put Boston in position to seriously challenge Cleveland in yeast only in the short term. But over ...
[0:08:29] ... do when they when they make a minor deals say it's just PJ Tucker maybe. Accommodation Chandler Tucker that's a little more intriguing to me whenever it's just a minor move elect talked broken up a ...
[0:10:52] ... about it earlier with. Was would there ever be a discussion about Isiah Thomas being a piece of a trade either this year the off season next year as he approaches needing to get paid. I ...
[0:12:47] ... and I really worry about. How physical they're going to get what Isiah Thomas I'm just not sold on Kelly analytic stepping up in the playoffs I don't know what you're gonna get offered. In the ...






Pete and Andy fill in for Glenn, Lou and Christian. The guys talk Patriots and try to figure out where Jimmy G will play next year, and what the Patriots will get for him.

[0:01:23] ... I mean barring beat the tragedy that would be something happening to Tom Brady over the next year. Tom Brady's not going anywhere. In others already been reports been bowl and Jeff how they gonna redo his contract. He has said he wants to play a 45. He keeps telling his wife you know sorry babe I'm not retiring I'm having too much fun. Mean there is no reason to believe Tom Brady will not be the patriots starting quarterback. 171819. Totally agree maybe beyond nine meeting but Jimmie or Apple's not hanging around for ...
[0:02:30] ... Jerry Jones and on the other butt cheek it's a tattoo would Dallas Cowboys star. Let's throw that but please what is it about Romo last week you can you break. So don't so you know I then you read it says is irrelevant Adam Schechter who had sort of waffled back and north throughout all of this and may be getting used as as. His fellow ESPN employee Trent Dilfer said by the patriots I don't know threat will be wrong again as usual well well I'm not so sure I am ...
[0:09:06] ... interesting situation and if there's a bidding war involves that only benefits Bill Belichick and the pay. At Sam's shirt debt PF government on the issue guys insurer talked about and are running Hannibal don't agree ...
[0:09:59] ... he would pick a high level player now he's gonna get value Bill Belichick member may oh it was your seven and then down to attend a couple trade whatever he could do that. But that ...






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.