|Curt Schilling on D&C: ‘I can’t imagine’ Red Sox will sign Jon Lester to long-term deal||11.14.13 at 11:46 am ET|
ESPN’s Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning to discuss the MLB offseason, the Red Sox’ World Series title and the results of the Manager of the Year vote.
The AL Manager of the Year was announced on Tuesday, as former Red Sox and current Indians manager Terry Francona narrowly edged Boston manager John Farrell, with just 16 points separating the two skippers.
“It was hard,” Schilling said. “I thought the American League one was incredibly challenging, because I thought you had a bunch of guys that had phenomenal seasons. … I thought either one of them could have won it. I think the job that they both did was amazing.”
The offseason is in full swing, as the annual GM meetings have kicked off in Orlando. The Sox already have been linked to multiple players, including Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Carlos Ruiz.
One storyline that has been discussed is what the Sox will do with pitcher Jon Lester once he enters free agency after the 2014 season. If Lester is able to post another great campaign in 2014, the southpaw could command a long-term deal worth over $100 million.
“I think if [Ben Cherington] is allowed to do the things that baseball ops people should be allowed to do and there’s no interference from people that shouldn’t be interfering, I think he’ll stick to [his previous offseason plans],” Schilling said. “You’re not going to see another eight-year, $240 million deal out of this organization, and rightfully so. … There’s literally almost maybe two or three guys in the history of the last 25 years that would have played to [$200 million-plus contracts]. He can’t do it.
“I can’t imagine they would [sign Lester to a six- or seven-year, $100 million-plus deal]. I don’t think you’ll see any team other than probably the Dodgers with [Clayton] Kershaw turn around and give their homegrown player six or seven or eight years, I don’t see it, not from this team anyway. You saw what happened when they tried to go down that path, and I think that is going to be fresh in their minds as long as these guys are still making decisions here.”
|Buster Olney on M&M: ‘I thought [John] Farrell was going to win’ AL Manager of the Year||11.13.13 at 1:54 pm ET|
ESPN’s Buster Olney joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to discuss the American League Manager of the Year award, as well as a number of Red Sox free agents.
The BBWAA announced on Tuesday that former Red Sox manager and current Indians skipper Terry Francona won the AL Manager of the Year award, his first in 13 years as the top man on the bench for a major league team.
“I think it’s a great award and it’s pretty cool for Tito that he won,” Olney said. “But I have been doing this for a long time and I have no idea what the criteria is, and I don’t think anybody else does. … Generally speaking they make those choices through the prism of who won and who lost and team success. I always thought that the big market teams were always at a big, big disadvantage.”
Francona (16 first-place votes) edged Boston’s John Farrell (12 first-place votes), with Oakland’s Bob Melvin third. Many expected Farrell, who led the Red Sox from a 69-93 season in 2012 to a World Series in 2013 in his first season at the helm, to be the winner.
“I thought Farrell was going to win, it surprised me that he didn’t,” Olney said.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Stephen Drew and Mike Napoli rejected Boston’s qualifying offers, which means they now can enter the offseason as free agents.
Ellsbury is expected to receive the most lucrative contract of the three. He’s been linked to a number of teams, most recently the Mariners and Rangers.
“I think the Texas Rangers are viewed as the wild card, because they so desperately need help with their lineup,” Olney said, adding: “I think Jacoby will end up getting an offer in the [Carl] Crawford range, because the Mariners know by now that they’ve got confederate money, that free agents don’t want to go there, and if they’re going to be interested in somebody like Jacoby, they’re going to have to go above and beyond to get him.”
|BBWAA member Asuka Brown on leaving John Farrell, Terry Francona off AL Manager of the Year ballot: ‘My heart says my votes are correct’||at 11:42 am ET|
Asuka Brown of the Japanese wire service Jiji Press, one of two members of the Baseball Writers Association of America who did not include Red Sox manager John Farrell on her ballot for American League Manager of the Year, joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to explain her thought process.
Brown tabbed Athletics manager Bob Melvin first, followed by Rays skipper Joe Maddon and Orioles manager Buck Showalter. Brown’s vote for Showalter, last year’s runner-up, was his only top-three vote this year. Melvin, last year’s winner, finished third this year, behind winner Terry Francona and Farrell.
The Seattle-based Brown, who said she has been covering Major League Baseball since 2002 and joined the BBWAA in 2011, indicated Farrell had a stronger lineup and a higher payroll.
“I think Boston had so many premium players like [David] Ortiz, [Dustin] Pedroia. They have enough leadership to manage itself pretty well,” she said. “There’s no doubt Farrell is an outstanding manager in a competitive division. However, my first vote went to Bob Melvin. I highly respect those teams that [succeeded] on very limited budgets. So, my first two votes went to those managers — Melvin and Maddon.”
Added Brown: “Also the payroll was the reason I didn’t choose Boston. I always highly respect those teams with limited budgets. Boston and maybe the New York Yankees, they have I think big payrolls. Probably managers have, if they correctly manage, they have resources, always. That’s why.”
As for the absence of Francona, who won the award, Brown said his team’s record against weaker teams played too big a role in Cleveland’s success.
“My first two votes went to those managers from limited-budget teams. Then I thought that third vote should come from the division which is the toughest division in Major League Baseball,” she said. “The reason why I didn’t vote for Francona was that a number of their wins came from easier teams to beat, or struggling teams. So, that’s why my third vote went to Showalter, who maintained the same level as last season.”
Brown said she does not regret her choices despite the criticism she has been receiving.
“That’s what I thought,” she said. “They should be honored. My heart says my votes are correct.”
The other writer to leave Farrell off her ballot was Christina Kahrl of ESPN.com, who chose Francona first, Melvin second and Maddon third. She explained her vote in an article for the website, using the Red Sox’ big budget as the main reason for the exclusion of Farrell.
|Red Sox manager John Farrell to take calls on WEEI Wednesday afternoon||11.06.13 at 11:59 am ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell will be in studio with Salk & Holley on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. and will take calls from WEEI listeners.
Farrell on Wednesday was named a finalist for American League Manager of the Year as voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Farrell took a Red Sox team that finished last in the AL East in 2012 and led it to 97 wins and a World Series championship in his first season as manager in Boston.
Former Sox manager Terry Francona (Indians) and Bob Melvin (Athletics) also were named as finalists for the award, for which voting took place at the end of the regular season. The winner will be announced next week.
|David Ross on M&M: ‘Can’t wait to celebrate with my guys tomorrow on the duck boats’||11.01.13 at 12:53 pm ET|
With the 2013 World Series championship in the books, Red Sox catcher David Ross joined Mut & Merloni to talk about his experiences with the team and how he’s handling the success.
“I’ve done a ton of interviews and some media stuff. It doesn’t really sink in when you’re doing it,” Ross said. “But last night I fell asleep — I put my kids down at about 9:30, which is way earlier than I’ve been going to bed. So 1:30 rolled around and I rolled over and my mind started racing, what all had happened. I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned for about 30 minutes.
“Finally I just got up, flipped on the TV, and MLB was recapping the whole thing. I just started to watch it. I was smiling one minute, I had tears in my eyes the next, and happy. Just watching the whole thing, it was really, really cool. I think it’s setting in at some points in the day. But I can’t imagine it right now, so far, just, we’re world champs. I just can’t wait to celebrate with my guys tomorrow on the duck boats.”
Ross was one of the team’s key offseason signing following the disaster of 2012. Ross, who previously played for the Sox in 2008, said every player had a clean slate to start the 2013 season.
“When I came in to spring training, and the new guys, the thing that I liked the most is that there were some guys still with a little bit of a bitter taste in their mouth from the year before, just hearing some comments,” Ross said. “The core that was here was so talented to begin with with. One, the pitching staff, that’s part of the reason I signed here, the pitching staff was so talented. And the core group with David [Ortiz], Ells [Jacoby Ellsbury] and Pedey [Dustin Pedroia], those guys in the lineup are just really, really talented players.
“The one thing I think about the new guys that came in that people like is we weren’t judging anybody from anything in the past. I was almost numb to what went on here before. I’d been in the National League and didn’t know much about it. I just remembered the good times in ’08, and that’s what I wanted to get back to, that’s what I was familiar with. And that’s what John [Farrell] was familiar with.
“I don’t think we judged anybody from the outset. I don’t think anybody had any preconceived notions of this player or that player. We wanted to form some bond and talk baseball and go out and compete together. We just grew and grew and grew together as far as our personalities and how much we like being around each other.”
|Gabe Kapler on M&M: ‘Red Sox are going to win this series in seven’||10.30.13 at 1:50 pm ET|
Fox Sports baseball analyst Gabe Kapler joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday afternoon to talk about the World Series as the Red Sox prepare to host the Cardinals in Game 6.
Kapler, a former Red Sox outfielder, predicted the Tigers would top the Sox in the American League Championship Series. He’s going with Boston in the World Series, but he predicts it will take one more day.
“The Red Sox are going to win this series in seven,” Kapler said. “But tonight, [Michael] Wacha‘s going to be too much for the Red Sox to handle. I was breaking down his mechanics yesterday, and this is the reason that this kid is so strong and that he’s not going to falter: His shoulders have zero percent tilt. That allows him to pound the strike zone accurately and not utilize his shoulder tilt for power.
“So, on top of this crazy deceptive delivery, straight over the top, he’s also got really good lower-half and upper-half mechanics. And that’s why — even if the pressure gets to him a little bit — he still is able to maintain that focus and pound the strike zone. And I just think that he’s going to be too much for the Red Sox tonight. But I will take the Red Sox in seven.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell turned some heads by electing to start Jonny Gomes in left over Daniel Nava in Game 6. Kapler said Wacha’s changeup might have played a role in that decision.
“The reason that I think, perhaps, that John Farrell may go with Jonny Gomes over Nava is because of that equalizer changeup,” Kapler said. “Because otherwise, the weighted on-base average for Nava is so significantly better than Jonny Gomes that there’s no other reason or answer why Jonny Gomes would be in the lineup. So I think maybe that changeup equalizing the left-handed bat might be the reason that John is deciding to go with Jonny Gomes.”
David Ortiz has been an offensive force through the first five games, leading to speculation that the Cardinals will try a new approach with him.
“You have to move his feet. If you don’t throw the ball up and in tonight and get him a little bit uncomfortable, you are doing yourself a huge disservice,” Kapler said. “And I understand [Mike] Matheny‘s take, and also [Adam] Wainwright‘s take. He’s like, ‘We want to just go after these guys, we don’t want to show anybody any fear.’ But at the same time, this guy’s been so incredibly dominant. He’s reached base 15 of 20 times in the World Series. That’s unheard of. It’s not like he’s reaching base against the fourth and the fifth starters; he’s reaching base against the aces.
“This guy is as good as he was in 2004. And as we all know, he was pretty good back then.”
ESPN’s Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday and voiced his opinion on some of Red Sox manager John Farrell’s decisions this World Series, and he tried to explain why St. Louis pitched to David Ortiz in Game 5.
Farrell announced on Tuesday that, with the return of Shane Victorino to right field, Jonny Gomes would receive the start in left field over Daniel Nava in Game 6 on Wednesday at Fenway Park. Schilling said, “No, not at all,” does starting Gomes over Nava make sense to him.
“I love Daniel Nava, I think the kid is just a complete player,” Schilling said. “I think that the Gomes thing is exactly what John said — I think it’s a hunch, and he’s continuing to play it.”
Schilling also questioned Farrell’s decision-making throughout the series.
“I thought John had made some questionable moves and changes, and I thought got outmanaged a couple of different times,” Schilling said. “They’re playing poorly, but they’re good enough to play around that. I guess they’re one of the few teams that can do that.”
If not for Ortiz, the Red Sox likely would find themselves in a significantly different situation. St. Louis continues to pitch to Ortiz despite the fact he possesses a .733/750/1.267 batting line, with four extra-base hits in five games.
“The problem is that he’s so locked in, it’s very Barry Bonds-like in the sense that when he was going well, he would literally get one pitch, not an at-bat, a game, and when he got it he would never miss it. David is getting a pitch an at bat and he’s not missing it,” Schilling said.
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