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Kevin Millar on M&M: Red Sox ‘lack of identity right now’

04.25.14 at 2:36 pm ET
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MLB Network analyst Kevin Millar made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the Red Sox‘ recent series against the Yankees and MLB’€™s decision to tweak the transfer rule. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Thanks in part to a 14-5 loss to the Yankees on Monday, the Red Sox dropped two of three to New York this week. Along the way, they were outscored 24-13 during the series.

“They just look like they have a lack of identity right now,” Millar said. “They’€™re not very fast. They’€™re not very athletic from first to third — from (Mike) Napoli to (Jonny) Gomes to (David Ortiz) to (Daniel) Nava to whoever you want – A.J. Pierzynski. The moral of the story is you’€™re just missing the athleticism.

“When you’€™re not hitting homers and driving the ball at the Green Monster, it makes you look sluggish. … The Red Sox, now, like John Farrell said the other day, are finally getting a chance to break the guys he wanted to break camp with. You got (Shane) Victorino coming back. You got (Will) Middlebrooks coming back. You know I love this kid Brock (Holt) but … the athleticism is one thing that stood out to me.”

Millar added that one of the team’€™s major issues is its lack of a consistent leadoff hitter.

“I think the problem is when we got rid of (Jacoby) Ellsbury, they didn’€™t know who to replace him with,” Millar said. “I’€™m going to go back real quick — we had Johnny Damon, tremendous leadoff hitter, and they replaced him with Coco Crisp (another) tremendous leadoff hitter. They replaced him with Ellsbury, tremendous leadoff hitter. All of a sudden, it’€™s like boom. When you see Ellsbury play and how athletic he is and the 35 to 70 stolen bases he’€™s going to bring, now you have this void. It’€™s tough — they’€™ve had five, six different leadoff hitter. And to me, that’€™s the big point.”

Ken Rosenthal broke the news Friday morning that the league was planning to make changes to the transfer rule. The story came the morning after Dustin Pedroia did not get an out at second because he dropped the ball on the transfer.

“It’€™s just obvious,” Millar said. “I mean it’€™s like an obvious thing. A catch is a catch and all of a sudden we’€™re worried about the ball dropping and bobbling. It’€™s the right move — give credit to MLB to at least make this change during the season and in the month of April. We can move forward now. We know all the plays that happened. We know what happened in Texas and all these little transfer plays that happened in Boston and whatever. This is the right thing to do.”

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