WEEI>On Demand>>Alex Speier on Spring Training and Oscar picks

Alex Speier on Spring Training and Oscar picks

Feb 24, 2013|

WEEI.com's Alex Speier joins John Ryder to breakdown the Red Sox and the rest of the AL East and how they project the 2013 season to end up. They also talk Jacoby Ellsbury's future and Ryan Dempster before moving on to Sunday night's Academy Awards ceremony and who they think will win.

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That's right John Ryder Williams and always have to be joined by. The great Alex spirit WEEI dot com who has made his away from the more balmy situation down in Fort Myers to the third straight weekend of us know here in Boston -- -- and Alex. Well you know ordinarily I would say that it was a pretty crafty maneuver split up but Oscars Sunday is kind of it's kind of almost as big as the Super Bowl for my left me and actually. Because it's a whole lot bigger my wife in the Super Bowl I would say that doctors Sunday is is our our big perhaps -- -- entertainment and that. Yes and I won't I won't keep it certainly it will wanna get your Oscar picks more wrap up after the baseball conversation because. Last time we spoke and I previewed this as well. My conversation which will be read -- in baseball heavy but also given the Oscars since he spent some time in Fort Myers going through. All of the films that were nominated for best picture just did you make it through all of them get through all the. I've been through all the best picture nominees impact my wife and I were -- spent the last we've seen thirteen film from last 48 hours as part of the annual Oscars portion. Granted I'd include a bit short in that category so you to -- to range from two to four minutes. That might be you know that that might be a little bit of a -- I but nonetheless. You know this is we've we've made our way down got a pretty wide slot of the way. Incredible what are you sleep like on averaged three hours a night or something -- get all this it. Or another two to four minute shorts of just died about everything with -- Yeah well I think it's -- I would say it you know stated that the month. If the month of which there is definitely a little bit of a sacrifice -- for the greater good of knowing what's happening with the red carpet. Well you still sounds bride despite the sleep deprivation. Oh colonel John all always. And while let's move on first at least to -- well I'll I'll let I'll get this out of the way to Alex is I think you might find his humorous people -- -- my case on the export them I have a vote. Of all things for the screen actor's guild awards. Well. As member of after in this and sagged. So they -- me neither of them. -- -- in the mail. All of the best picture nominees on dvd. And I'll I only ended up again it NA of this big disclaimer. At the beginning of them. Where you know -- to break the dvd when you finish which and now I'm not gonna do that. -- too you know imprisonment and fines if you endeavor to you know trying to sell these but. People -- case he probably as well I only ended up watching ones so far and I was silver linings. Corporation and right now -- -- -- had figured you'd be upset about that as worthy us as where the techsters. I got a lot of catching up to do it won't happen and I'd like -- Yes exactly. A great idea it really is. Actually putted. I should be well sanity and my girlfriend had to make in the boat. As did the right side so. So so really all of you know -- Nate Silver is done. It but at ES AG. At the fact -- the correlation but that's it might go to away after saying this on the Academy Award but at the same like. You know uses the fact at the best predictor of Oscar. And you know just put the lie -- that because. If it's if it's your girlfriend whoever during the voting then it should really have you know who I'm not even sag member then everything -- just not. Right but she knows more about these things that I do so it's probably better vote. Anyway. Possibly while the Red Sox I don't know if they'll be any awards given to some of these Red Sox players wondered when this season finished his job. Trying to forecast this Red Sox team. This season and try to forecast. How much do you I said at the beginning and way Alex with John Lackey and -- story yesterday which you really read anyway. Into. Spring -- when it comes to starting pitchers especially established veterans but to working on that it's -- Well for the most part I give it very little import and John Lackey is actually really good example of that because you've been kind of -- spring training hero is -- -- him -- -- was. When he was still pitching for the Red Sox are recovered from surgery. If you look back at 2010. He looked like he was primed for a dominant first you're the Red Sox because. You're getting you're still at that point generating pretty easy velocity had a phenomenal strike -- a -- -- And and said you know -- -- very purposeful I'm getting ready for the transition to the -- or walked the -- felt. You know the truth that is all part of a blueprint it looked like Hewitt you know he was ready to. It's just air servicing when it started then as we know well. He did not I'm and then in 2011 -- one that always look like he's in great shape you're starting out even. Although he was showing diminished velocity. And that kind of put up a yellow flag I was you know at that point at the end of spring training it was adult life -- -- quiet -- diminished velocity. Even after kind of dropped them off you know dropped some patently. During the Aussie men in retrospect we -- know it because he didn't have an elbow anymore felt. In terms -- you look -- you that you look for general now. It's a guy who looks like you people have. You know which is that you really cool thing which are pretty good velocity and that's that's a good indicator about. How guys you're not look for. I'd general command of the guys simply didn't get -- command especially when you're coming back from Tommy John Mike. Like Lackey because that's so that's the real question for a lot of guys back coverage on how how well and they execute pitches in the strike while rebuilding their arms during. Look at those things to monitor but. You never aids and really it's -- you so little on base and less is just a matter of someone had a terrible start. There it's really difficult that have a degree from the spring on what -- -- -- during the regular. Out of all the pitchers that have the best potential of bouncing back cool would you put in that category would you put Lester in that category. Sure because -- clear track record of of consistency is so compelling bit that you would say yes last year was. -- big drastic out liar to what his career has been. To such a degree that you would assume bit. I think he's you know by default in line for a correction that kind of put different now. Would anyone be surprised if he had a four ERA but you're actually not. And then there's there's equipment of how our attitude but really you know let's turn -- with a -- guys were shown the ability to be. Really only pitchers in the last few years. And -- so you know a I would be surprised. In in both of their cases I I would I would not be surprised by the potential for us dominance -- but it seems a measure that and you know he's -- a greater likelihood is. Not dominant seasons especially for buckled because he has a one surpassing the great season and then other Matt he has -- in the future. And out inconsistencies there weren't great Lester the guy who's -- who really for four straight years was. You know was close it was among the best pitchers the American League. So certainly he's the one you say we Hewitt -- have been the biggest bounced back. John Ryder tackle with the Alex spirit has tremendous job for WEI -- can't cover the Red -- Major League Baseball of course a must follow on Twitter at Alex beer. We mentioned Lester I think his toughest and that's why eternity you really forecasting. Any of the five starting pitchers for the Red Sox. I don't think you can you can certainly decade right like you comeback from Tommy Johnson there's certainly. Uncertainty there especially given given the trajectory and we're following before it went under the knife. With Lester -- -- let you know they both had 2000 -- even fit. Pretty considerable question marks -- -- really. You know acting -- the default assumption should be their stuff is not to be at least above average starting pitcher. There's stuff wasn't good enough last year if you look like fielding independent pitching and that sort of thing meaning if you strip out -- it -- and a good luck bad luck on ball play and they looked like. Above average pitchers which is consistent with their. From a year ago they were just really consistent Lester basically -- good numbers go down to. In that span of about three starts in July -- Matt you know he finished reasonably well buckles was great for for a couple months. After he got up its horrific start so up. -- is relatively predictable perk for me their baseline is set up at least slightly above average. And potentially well -- upper dumpster yeah I think there is some element of Vietnam. Because even though he was. Wildly consistent year after year -- year you know central there is that transition going on. In into brunt of course we we just because the he has one year data. Under his belt -- -- -- let me know he can remain healthy little on whether or not his performance can -- -- turn towards being. May be an all -- Alberta -- at the very peak of his doing or is going to be able effort pitcher. And I guess maybe event it would further making it a question mark is. What -- do think dead and most of these teams expect the American League east to score some runs but still. You've got the uncertainties. Or at least health wise the middle of the lineup -- Napoli and Ortiz as well. Sure I think that the idea of expecting neither of those guys did you 162 games is probably. I don't think there's a great likelihood that happens by. If those two guys are able to give the Red Sox let's say between 120 in under forty games each. Then acting that you still have. To me I think -- -- depth of the Red Sox lineup is underrated IQ in Tibet or approach of having guys with high cooperates. Guys with a proven ability to work the pitch count work he's been the pitch count. When you when you cluster all the guys together it makes the whole let -- -- some of our. Because it means that you know you have let's say. Let let's say in and I hypothetical scenario. Batting -- you have Jared Saltalamacchia batting won a starting pitcher. Now is it and it read like a 110 pitches and a the fifth inning -- the start six and you know become a better -- pitchers it just worked over like that so I actually think the Red Sox rely heavily should be. You know to me I'd say yeah. I had my my my supposition that the direct such and have one of the top five offenses. In the American League and then within that you have some uncertainties it will dictate ultimately. You know how good or bad they -- within the top five. Together some walks in their but do some strikeouts in their two Arthur. Yeah but I don't and personally I'm not that big you know I I believe that the negative value the strikeout is limited. I I do think that they strike out is the worst outcome then upon play because they can apprehend the underside by. You know if you haven't been on base percentage then you also impact the strike outs so yeah out direct talks a -- -- at -- at a number where they are. Art Bell -- back to the war was a really really good player -- -- -- DeMaurice struck at a time. There are a lot of guys Major League Baseball were terrific players even when they strike out. So I don't think that that's necessarily that huge deal. Yet the corner outfield spots a Jonny Gomes Shane Victorino. And some of the struggles they've had against right handed pitching. Eat you mentioned depth on this team but is there enough outfield depth. Well I think if you factor in guys like car and like and like Ryan Sweeney who even though. At last here especially at target and what not forget about -- might start. I albeit one without any power up the -- he had a concussion that is number one into the tank. I'll let you -- track record against right handers. Up my car has shown has shown interest in things it's time. In his career and against right handed pitching is intriguing guy with upside future points 602011. Protection of very good player. -- we don't really realize that because -- Seattle but. And ended up I think as a guy who. -- like out there or not but you kind of you know mediocrity body -- -- me for a while he was healthy last year with a guy on base percentage well over 400 felt. Deep into their. There are some guys who can put in that group who can put together solid competitor -- -- are they going to be all -- I'm not sure about that but immediately. Average against right handed pitching it took those guys are capable of doing that which case you know what you what you factor Altman that does -- you look at about -- Jacoby Ellsbury. Huge year for him in so many ways of course being a -- here this season. Today you have in hindsight of course being 20/20 but should they have maybe made the move up suggested maybe it was a better time for them to make the move last offseason and try to deal him of course that looks great now in his their potential. I guess it's where the Red Sox are but say. There have been 67 games out of that second wildcard spot I know there's a lot of variables as well Alex when you come into the draft pick setter -- do you think that they end up moving Ellsbury this season. I think -- getting your first question. Super should they have -- Welker after 2011 -- -- to -- -- crazy. He was you know they had a World Series aspirations. Here. After injury I realize that some. And certainly after a 69 in 93 eaten by they thought they had a nucleus that was good is that of any in baseball. All very Pedroia in David Ortiz. Adrian Gonzales haven't you quote we still thought had a he's from Madden and we realized how empty was. So -- -- you and you know he was a centerpiece our franchise. Who you know. You you have to hope that he could repeat sustained an MVP caliber level performance for your team it is clearly going for the artwork to doubt well. You keep that guy. As for whether or not yet they'll dispute I think it's certainly it would be a possibility certainly. They would listen to various proposals that is pat about the but it was so difficult to establish. A valued it would be a value point it would make sense for both the Red Sox and any team extreme form. That it was pointless to really. Pushed you hard in marketing and it has who is going to put it on the -- very fact there are there lessons to trade -- on them. Last year prior to turn to the trade deadline but there was just no you know they were coming nowhere close to finding. A match in terms of how they've valued him in watching it might have been interest to them where I felt. You know it. It's -- Red Sox. If you're in it then you probably keep those Berrian you're pretty excited about getting yeah getting to draft pick compensation. If he walks and if you are in if you saw a lot of it. Then you make another team you see something in return to fixing that draft pick compensation. So I think at Erin I think is -- in fine shape by I think that this probably was the most sensible course. For -- -- -- felt Berrian. And kind of explore the trade market during the season depending on what they're not there in the race -- not earned the right into let them you know. Let them prove themselves down the hot -- so far -- -- the pennant race. And he can be an exceptional performer let's not forget that. Any chance of the Red Sox -- that keeping him further in signing him to an extension. After this season I'm sure plenty has to do with the Jackie Bradley and how he progresses. And even if Ellsbury it's amazing the contracts in baseball Alex I was saying that even if he has a sub par season look at what BJ Upton signed with -- Atlanta has so. There will be no matter what ends up happening. Probably. A decent market for Ellsbury. I agree with that and accusing fit in contrast to that thought -- which was one that was flushed with center fielder. Next off season look like one that's going to have. -- -- a paucity of them so I think it felt very is going to be very attractive regardless of what kind of even you end up having so kind of it's it's a pace find out. You know of the Michael Bourn BO on some aspect. The of the twelve and 48 even if he goes off the rail machine victory noted last year in upside exceed that of victory note sell I think that he would still get. A better deal -- the green 39 the victory that got out. So the question that you raise is. Is it inevitable that you end up not returning to the Red Sox. I wouldn't say inevitable never say never Singh can always change and as you point out it checked Bradley development dispenses though that. And perhaps that would prompt the Red Sox to explore. The possibility of bringing out in back maybe maybe his market is killed. -- the Red Sox when the Red Sox operate in traffic forever. A qualifying offer that would require draft pick compensation. So that would certainly that -- there's a there's a chance there's a chance but I would I would. Suggest that it probably is very limited chances out there is a very difficult guy predict going forward. Based on his statistical profile which is virtually unprecedented Major League history there's one player in Major League history to hit thirty home runs. As a 27 year old without ever having it. -- -- more seasons at any level professionally invest Jacoby Ellsbury felt. They are there aren't really any other data point to look like him you can't say. I'll -- guy at a at a career -- there was a lot like him now you just don't know what Kobe Pillsbury is going forward so I indexing the Red Sox. That's why the Red Sox have been reluctant to even try to -- engagement long term talks. That's the fact that he showed very little inclination. Side to explore long term extension so. I would say that the great. And that they're great likelihood is they'll various arm but you know it can never say never Jackie Bradley junior development -- -- they -- pitching victory no end up being injured. Or you know maybe they can steal victory -- it and you know then there's there'll be that avenue or multiple avenues to explore bringing back -- very even though I don't think it's likely. My last baseball question before we get into your Oscar picks which everyone including myself as definitely anticipating and again as. Yes it's that said John Ryder along with Alex -- of WEEI dot com. I was talking a little bit before we ended up getting on the for the -- Alex about his American League east and predicting the American League east. I mean if someone told me the Yankees are gonna finish first Tampa Bay is gonna finish first Toronto's -- gonna finish first I would say well you know I can't disagree I. I think it's really tough to predict this American League east isn't it. Yeah how wide wide wide open and some of it relates to the fact that you have some teams that are kind of pop at me. -- -- -- -- -- out if they have a great court let's say it's been able to sustain them are. You know almost two decades -- at the same time. Their depth is is not -- -- its about being exposed a little bit more and they want to early -- granderson has suffered that injury could keep -- may. They don't they don't have the same kind of stepped in they're out certificate. Even a year ago they -- predict I'd like Ibanez. You know and and Andruw Jones as size -- options so you know that are hurt -- they don't have A-Rod. You know their their depth is. -- -- in trouble I think it's the same -- very true Blue Jays. For a very top -- team. You know they gave up basically every significant. Major League ready prospects they have April 1 or two in so if they are getting any injuries. Been there in trouble clearly their ceiling as they ever -- -- roster. Exceed that of anyone else in the division by. You know -- a couple of injuries could change their sport quite a bit. Yeah I think that this is the division that is. You know in which literally expect it's for virtually any -- division. First place team except for in my mind the Orioles I still don't think they have the talent base -- do it -- I don't think that lightning can strike twice for that team. But he got -- But I can beat any the other fourteen and first place I can see any team finished in last place. Mean I'm way beyond that I mean there -- so it was unbelievable last year the one run wins and what the bullpen did -- center would that Baltimore team. The you know it's amazing though lastly on -- baseball. This could be the first time Alex overstating. And you have to go all the way back -- in 1992. The last time the Red Sox and yankees didn't finishing either first or second place. Yeah that would be pretty extraordinary a five forward dialing the way back machines over a decade but you know as we've seen this is. An interesting time transition in the in the division obviously the fact of the Red Sox suffered. Essentially their worst season in almost fifty years flat or should tell you something. About the fact that the operating in order that we that we had seen and gotten so accustomed to. -- about 2007 you know there was there -- -- in. 1015 years where it just seemed like the -- technique you were destined to be first and second place. The Raiders were the first to kind of intrude upon that and you know and now the Jays in last year the Orioles obviously join the party. And if the Jays seem like parity take their -- so absolutely. Anything can happen in the division including I took the Red Sox nor the Yankees finishing in the top two spots. Which is extraordinary. It is what else is extraordinary is not only is Alex spear right on -- baseball. Extraordinary -- film critic as well. Although it now let's transferred -- and look at some of the -- of -- go over best picture best actor best actress and best director. Our school the day inside getting a little boring we're not gonna go to pre game trivia -- short. Not well. You can you can do that if you wish but outta here. What do you think wins best picture who would you go for best picture. Yeah I think it first thought -- thing like I don't think that there's a standout pitcher in this year's class one that transcends every other one and they say that is clearly. Far and away the best of all the all movies that came out of the out of this year so. I don't think you have a runaway Oscar. School American out. A your record received awards. Pretty well split across the support. And indeed I think it I think it is pretty clear at this point -- It's our go to court where all of the all the kind of historic indicators. Whatever awards couldn't get them suggested. If Argo is the clear clear front runner for best picture. And yet the director Fargo Ben Affleck and even nominated for best director so that kind of suggests something about the nature of this years of of this year's movie in which. You know one of them wasn't just -- wasn't a worthy. -- for every category. So we have -- is it -- me -- is about it Arco is going to win the best picture. I don't think it was the best movies that I saw that here I thought that I thought that the terms of in terms of our kind of artistic achievements. I'm going to probably remember. I'm probably going to remember. I'm Lincoln above about that and -- -- silver linings playbook about that I was was a really kind of exceptional exploration. You know of psychologically of -- I yeah up by or disorder. You know I thought that was it was a really. Powerful in that sort of fiction. -- or disorder I can -- I thought their flight which got nominated for almost nothing. Was really tremendous pitcher this year. In which you know it has one of the great action sequences it's memorable and it turned out that I didn't focus of the movie instead that action sequences of your metaphor. For the more significance of the movie. So I -- at -- will win best picture. For me I wouldn't vote for that picture up but I'm going to -- -- betting pool I will put my hand without my -- -- -- nice now best actor and a leading role you mentioned like Denzel Washington is nominated Bradley Cooper as well and others we've gone there. Yep that's a no brainer Daniel Day-Lewis doesn't really merit any discussion you've got like one of the most significant historic figures that. You know in in US history and so. In a -- compelling. And you know and emotionally real and you know. That this person -- kind of a god became a very human and integrate Lewis that's all right best actress and a leading role. Yeah on that was a little bit more interest in I think it's I think Jennifer Lawrence but silver linings playbook. She's achieved the person who I think you're going to end up winning it and there's been some award split in the past between. Between -- just contrasting at zero dark thirty but I really found. Jennifer Lawrence would be such. You know such a compelling. Figure. And again in this very challenging role I've really ought to just -- into the great job. And her understatement to. Kind of incredibly difficult situations and not here -- thirty -- my guess is that it's going to be. Jennifer Lawrence's. The depiction. Of a -- character people and they're going. And best director and now I love this -- because who we we've got this on it we're gonna see how well you ended up doing -- all of these. But best director. The best director that relatives side that -- top and I think that. For me it's probably going to -- and I'm actually -- -- -- interesting because. Because. -- over you know the great needs sober and did. Whose book a master of -- of of baseball rejection and looked a -- Extraordinary job of predicting the elections also kind of looks at that out in order to track record predicting doctors by 38 -- All the New York Times and he basically said it best there is no data no meaningful data that we can use in order to predict beat the best director winner because. Various awards are team in the other vote. They're just not. Basically pick guys who won the other ones for instance -- I think was -- was named first of other one. They weren't even nominated so. So for me. I I'm guessing that it comes down to Gilbert vs -- David O. Russell so Lincoln -- silver linings playbook in its kind of talk. Hopefully I am not even sure I remember which one I voted for. In this instance. My gut is that is that David O. Russell is is going to be the one is going to be the one who gets it because you know. Because Lincoln maybe it was -- -- -- media is more film it was about a couple of great acting performances. Perhaps less than it was about a a an unbelievable directing job by again for me it's a tossup between. Weren't and and excellent stuff anything -- who wanna get out there is first the Oscars because this is the last time will be talking about the Oscars. Let's see. I guess I I would just I would put them a -- for anyone who is that we've never done so. No find a way to watch as many of the of the shorts and you can particularly the live action short in the animated shorts. Which to me you know in a matter of minutes you can get a movie is such depth richness that it is kind of -- blows your mind I mean to me. The greatest cinematic -- achievement so -- just about any year are almost always I'd be found in -- And he's really rich stories that you get in five to twenty minutes. In the the live action or animated short. And they're they're terrific great pleasure to they're they're great pleasure to watch so I would encourage people just to explore that John -- If if they've never done so before. All right well excellent stuff Alex -- what are Renaissance man baseball film you name. On it that's at Harvard education at work on all -- -- Reached -- yes yes well that said you know Harvard education and work there although they probably want him maybe to talk about different subjects but baseball and felt -- -- That's more WEEI -- Yeah when I was skipping classes in order to all of baseball and and go to movies I think it was some kind of spun back in the days -- I'm glad that I'm glad for that moment. Bring adults have. Excellent stuff Alex really appreciate all the time his nose. -- all right Alex spirit WEEI dot com.

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