Kevin Millar on M&M: ‘In the big leagues right now, there’s not one team clicking’
|04.18.14 at 1:07 pm ET|
MLB Network analyst Kevin Millar made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Friday to talk about the Red Sox‘ slow start to the season. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
“It’s a whole different year, and there’s going to be a whole different identity,” Millar said. “You have a great nucleus of guys … but at some point the identity is going to have to figure out what are we as a group? Are we a power-hitting team? Are we a run-scoring [team]? Base-stealing? And right now, it’s just a little bit slow going for the Sox and deservedly so — we’re in the first two weeks of the season.”
The Red Sox have struggled at the plate and are ranked 23rd in the league with a .232 batting average.
“Early on everything’s a little bit magnified,” Millar said. “You’re trying to get your swing. You’re trying to get your numbers. You’re trying to get that scoreboard to not look at a .150, .200 average. You understand the team’s good right? The one thing I see is just figuring out who’s going to lead off consistently.
“The main thing is that [Dustin] Pedroia — the X-rays are negative, he got a cortisone shot in the wrist — that would have been a huge loss. [Mike] Napoli had the finger thing. So there’s a little nagging, a little injuries that they’re going to go through. They’re not clicking on all cylinders yet, but in the big leagues right now, there’s not one team clicking.”
Along with their struggles at the plate, the Red Sox also are dealing with the distraction of Jon Lester‘s contract negotiations. A report Saturday indicated that the team offered Lester a four-year, $70 million deal.
“Let’s not fool anybody — it’s a negotiation,” Millar said. “It’s big money we’re talking about. You’re talking about Lester and the one time he gets a chance to go out there and pop financially. At the end of the day, it’s a time to set up your family, and Lester loves Boston — loves playing there. I know this guy has been a bona fide big horse for this team for many years. He’s pitched many big games. This is a great pedigree.
“You’ve just got to understand, you allow this guy to leave, you better have a replacement. … That market we all know is a little bit tougher to play in if you don’t have the makeup to deal with the media, to deal with the down times when your feelings are hurt. We’ve seen that happen over the years, but I think Jon Lester — at some point they’ll get closer, they’re just a little off right now, but it’s the business side from the Red Sox front office.
“There’s no doubt in my mind he’s been everything that they’ve wanted him since he’s been in this organization, and he’d be a tough one to let go.”
For more team news, visit weei.com/redsox.
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