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Sean Casey on M&M: Interleague play has ‘run its course’

06.30.11 at 12:58 pm ET
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MLB Network analyst and former Red Sox first baseman Sean Casey joined the Mut & Merloni show Thursday to talk about the Red Sox. To hear the full interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

With the league in the interleague portion of its schedule, Casey feels that maybe it’s time to get rid of interleague play all together.

“I think it’€™s run its course,” he said. “I think it’€™s time to go back to National League and American League and see each other in the World Series. I don’€™t love the schedule. I look back at times when I was in Cincinnati and we were playing the great Cleveland teams and we’€™re trying to fight St. Louis for first place, and they are playing Kansas City for six and we’€™re playing Cleveland for six, we go 0-6 and they go 6-0. I just say let’s go back to American League, National League and we will see each other in the World Series.’€

Casey also discussed Adrian Gonzalez playing at Fenway and how that has benefited him, David Ortiz‘€™s role during road games during interleague play, how he expects the Red Sox to approach the trading deadline, and the perception of J.D. Drew. A transcript of highlights is below:

How playing at Fenway has benefited Adrian Gonzalez:

That inside pitch he can go to left-center with it, that’€™s not easy to do with authority. He gets his hands inside the ball and is able to drive the ball to left-center off the wall. You go back to Petco [home of the Padres] and some of those balls are warning track, now they are off the monster. That is why he is hitting .356. ‘€¦ This guy is tailor-made, came out of the womb to hit at Fenway. It’€™s been impressive what he’€™s done.

On the dilemma of whether or not to play both Ortiz and Gonzalez at the same time during road games during interleague play:

Obviously you’€™d like to have Gonzo and Papi in the lineup at the same time, they are two of the best hitters in the game. I think when you’€™re in the National League defense is such a big part of the game. For me you’€™re risking A-Gon getting hurt, that’€™s worst case scenario. You’€™re throwing a guy out there that hasn’€™t really run a sprint in the gap and hasn’€™t really moved like getting going on a ball.

Why he feels that Ortiz should be getting more playing time during this recent road trip:

To me you can’€™t let Papi sit this whole time either though. He has to get some at bats. You take 8-9 days off and you’€™re getting a pinch hit here and there that’€™s starts to mess with your mojo and timing. Tito [Terry Francona] has that dilemma of trying to get Papi some at bats, three and four a game.

Casey doesn’€™t think the Sox need to make any moves at the trading deadline:

I don’€™t know if they need to do anything. [John] Lackey going 7 2/3 innings yesterday is a good sign for them. If Lackey can get back to pitching the way he knows how to pitch then that’€™s almost like going and getting a good starting pitcher. I think this team is built to win right now. I don’€™t think you need to go out and search for a piece. I think they have a good bullpen with [Daniel] Bard and Pap [Jonathan Papelbon] and [Bobby] Jenks coming back. I think they are built to win now.

On J.D. Drew’€™s laid back approach and what he could have been:

You watch him take batting practice, everything he does is easy. I think he’€™s a legit five-tool guy. I think there was more production in him throughout his career. J.D. gets misinterpreted at times because he really is that laid back country boy that goes about his business and everything comes easy. But when you start not putting up numbers you think he should when you pay him all this money, you start to think does he care, does he want to do well? He wants to do well. He’€™s not having a great year this year, but I think that’€™s the question about J.D. his whole career, could he be a better player than his numbers show. … You don’€™t ever see him dogging balls and not running down balls in the outfield. He cares. I feel like there was another level that J.D. could have gone in his career because he has so much talent.

Read More: adrian gonzalez, David Ortiz, john lackey,
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