WEEI>On Demand>>Buster Olney, ESPN, on the new attitude in the Red Sox clubhouse

Buster Olney, ESPN, on the new attitude in the Red Sox clubhouse

Apr 10, 2013|

Buster joins Mut and Merloni to talk about the chemistry the Red Sox team is building, the AL East, and the decline of black athletes in MLB.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

-- our -- -- not a 37 WEEI every single week at this time we talk baseball with buster only on buster joins us. He's brought to you by -- space by Toyota Nashua and buy -- rent ARS. Restoration specialist. -- you talked in spring training about the renewed attitude this team you're around them and how they just they felt different to you and you believe that it was a different. Feeling club did you think it result in a five and two start for seven games the Boston Red Sox. I give the Detroit it is that I had one question for what little if it Wade Boggs continues it is. Campaign okay my question he was will you give up number 26 for weight. I absolutely will give up 26 and to be an -- look up there and see that number that I -- up in the rafters buster. I'll tell tell my grandchildren it was really mean they'll remember way. Except what. I didn't think it was gonna make it different today at a different culture in fact -- I. Within the Red Sox camp for that day in spring training and then I popped into. Some other players when they play exhibitions. Elsewhere during spring training and I think how the dollar and and they would look at me and they ago. And it's a different and it was quite the same team and they were just happy group of guys. And I and I. In sort of assessing the team this year you're trying to figure out a way to. To apply some sort of number -- that you know because last year when they won sixteen games you look at the players and I know it was awful with a yen which has taken. That's not at 69 win team they got more talent than that. But you know how much difference does it make and I do think that there's something. To be -- for showing up but at the park every day feeling like you're excited to be there as opposed to so many days last year when catcher just miserable. But I mean clearly the the biggest tangible difference. He is what's happening with the starting pitching which had to happen if they were gonna have a chance to turnaround they give. John Ferrell I think tangible credit for the change they made with a pitching staff. Yeah I think we talk about how his team gonna compete you know two of the biggest thing was starting pitching those two guys in particular in the bullpen living up to the hype. And I think he can say check mark here in the first week is there. What else is there is they're just just staying healthy is just being consistent in your mind well the other big things -- the Red Sox to compete. What -- Ortiz going to be when he comes back it's going to be. A guy who hit like he did last year. And could -- be that good and what he's Jacoby Ellsbury bring to the table over the course of the season I think that. You know big expect I was actually talking with the general manager yesterday about Jacoby free agency and -- made the point you said. You know he Jacoby right now as well as players nobody really knows what he is. And you know if he had a superstar MVP caliber type player like we saw. In 2011. Is -- guy is gonna battle through injuries you see an above average players. We don't really know obviously he -- back to what he was doing in 2011 this year. And -- -- just that whole lineup we'll just look so different and I do think another factor. What happens with the other teams you know to the Yankees figured out and so far they're they're doing a rope a dope sitting there hanging in there -- -- grows soft a good start. Travis Hafner has really played well open and kanell was killing the ball in recent days you know do the rays. Figure out there rotation they've got good thing that Alex Cobb and Matt -- so far. You know -- Orioles need to pull things together I think that's a big factor in about a waste time goes on I do you think that you know the more more side of the Blue Jays are really in for a season. Well again back to Jacoby you know how much an impact you think with what it's been going on lately with Scott you know Boris and and -- -- leaving in. If there were some extension but we Vernon and Carlos Gonzales an interest. I don't think to Kobe's a twenty million dollar player but if you put him in that BJ Upton range and I'm not a 100% convinced. That he's leaving and try to pick up a scenario where he might stay it would be an in season extension. His biggest free she's gonna be going correct. Oh yeah well I don't think is any question about it but I think all those things you talked about -- huge factor. Bad. And and that's why you know the conversation came up with a general -- yesterday because Jacoby -- -- puzzle. In terms of what he would -- in part of that for me is. What did he really want. And I don't know him that well and I'll just tell you what the perception of him that. You know among the Scott Boras client there's their guys to have more control over their free agency there's some guys who -- Scott. You've got more money to players and anybody any agent based on they'll let you run the show. That that was the perception about Mark -- one who's going to free agency that. He was a guy that it was -- -- and that's exactly what happened in each -- the biggest dollar went the Yankees. And the perception about Jacoby is he's got god he's not going to be Elvis Andrus. Who's gonna go to. I got into my wanna make a deal he's not going to be Jered Weaver who's basically gonna step in and do we don't deal related Jerry did. And again it's got to -- eight. And -- done with the Angels. Is that the feeling about people who no Jacoby. Who worked for the Red Sox you know will be they tell you that they think he's more of the guy who's gonna say. Scott successful I'm gonna do what he tells me to do. What did you think of the Stephen Drew signing in the offseason was -- December when they got him to a one year deal up buster and what is the scouting report on this guy 'cause Lou keeps tell me that he's a better player than Jose Iglesias and -- -- back to 2010. Last time with helping was actually the only productive offensive play your thoughts on him and when they signed the deal at -- threats. I will not carried some things that I heard from other people that it seemed they were surprised that the dollar -- they thought that was a little -- they thought he was more of -- six million dollar guy. A rather in the nine and a half million but that might have been the -- covering themselves. Not knowing exactly what Iglesias who's gonna bring to the table. Because when you talk with people that he's medically he's generally speaking the perception of them among evaluated that I've spoken with a it is he's not gonna get enough to be an everyday shortstop in the big leagues he's an outstanding defender. But he never going to be that guy I read that probably we're looking to buy some time to figure out. You know what exactly they have in their farm system. And what exactly ugliest peace is. Drool when he came back from his what was is significant ankle injury you know dislocation. Terrible injury last year. The feeling what the defense wasn't really that good that he still in the process of sort of getting his. Is it that part of this team together. He can hit with power for sure. But they got the big question going Indian dish about him this year is -- get back to being close to what he was the past. That's why it was a good strategy for him to sign a one year deal. And it terms of ugly -- long term it if there. If they get to appoint buster where either Steven grew Joerg Lacey is -- to go the trade market the issue you've ever double the Cardinals and their. Shortstop situation let's say for example. They decide the other jurors kind of been okay anyplace is they want them short every day with a B a market. For Stephen Drew up their team's gonna need a shortstop come the all star break on the second half. It depends obviously -- important -- he shows but I do you think you're potentially could be a market and I don't think he'd get a lot formula they had a whole lot of money because. The perception of him now among other general managers is that he's overpriced. So yeah I he couldn't move him but in order to get you know probably a bad could be managed prospect he got thrown to -- it. Don't look at around the league couple question marks -- think -- Anaheim with Jered -- what do -- think Duke is -- rotation. If the end what's Ruben Amaro doing down there with Roy Halladay because he's off to a rough start after having a rough spring. Yeah the Angel season adopted a disaster. It's disastrous start and we saw this in spring training I can make the play out so I'm not do it all second guess anyone for thinking that they could be okay. What absolutely shown up early. In this seat in the with something that we began the first -- spring training. They just don't have that much pitching depth. There rotation is essentially comprised of a lot of number four number five type starters. And yes they're gonna mr. Weaver. You know for 46 weeks he's a great competitor he's a great leader the guy his first start. The average that's all the Latin 85 point eight and 85 point six needs to start because the guy who last year was throwing 88 miles an hour. There are significant questions about him. Before he gets injured we don't know he's going to be when he comes back -- And there's just a weird vibe around that team that was around them over the weekend when they're playing in the Rangers -- -- Josh Hamilton. It's ahead gradual white handled everything the way that he did you know always constantly interacting with the crowd in Texas is supposed to be gracious and moving on. And I. Can't put my finger but the -- with Mike -- -- the you know it's almost like -- -- -- gonna have a little bit of that contract -- in spring. Wouldn't know that only through with the idea that he moved at a center field. It hit the different feel. So I think that there are some issues to be played out there and I think -- bit. Certainly yesterday Ruben Amaro the general manager mentioned that you're gonna give -- as much time as possible. I've seen this act before. It in the past you like covered David Cone. In 2001 he can in 1989 -- throw perfect -- is a great leader and it seemed he came in 2000. Awful and the Yankees were saying the same things were committed to -- -- any given time. -- know what once every five days to have a starting pitcher go out there not only not pitch well but also -- crush your bullpen because he's not giving up innings. I don't necessarily buy that that they just didn't get the whole season distinct I think he's got a -- on something and I penalty that does start the other night. He's got no command. And you have to ask questions about whether or not he -- there's some physical issue going out with a well. ESPN had a great shot -- him throw one of the backstop on a warmup pitch and in terms of his old team. You already -- laid it out there you think Toronto the way they've started here. -- do you think this is not a blip not a Jose Batista he's her lately it's back you think that's going to be a bumpy road. All year for Toronto. Yeah and I I think that it's a little bit like the Marlins last year where a year -- And I went to spring training thinking I was gonna pick OJ to win that division but then again you around the team and you like can bully the bullpen issues that they have. You know he is RA Dickey gonna have some sort of a difficult transition there. Because the young players and I'm sure you guys heard stories tell the feeling wasn't that that some of those guys too we're just tougher to manage. And because it's a weird mix of guys in the fact that they've gotten off to bad start he feels like a team that wants to snowball starts going downhill. They're not going to be able to get it back and RA Dickey had a terrible first in Toronto he boot basically off the mound. -- has that weird feeling around that club right now. That it's Red Sox are we joke around the Magic Johnson shall throw the first pitch given how everything is. Given how everything has changed around here but you -- it off the top us wanna get your thoughts Wade Boggs number not retired it's not my number it's his number. We'll probably get into a little but he talked to a local paper around here about it it's doesn't really make much sense. Now it surprised me actually when I -- saw that because I really thought that. You know being a hall of famers that not necessarily guarantee that you get you know former tide cut the guy to get the uniform retires or transcendent figures. And you know with all irrespective some of the guys that the Yankees have -- -- with their numbers I don't think all of them. Are necessarily the guy -- that would you do it with a K Williams. Now you do it with the Joseph DiMaggio Mickey Mantle. And I I'm from New England I grew up and followed wade bought I don't think it would be and that type of guy with a Red Sox. I think and as being a really terrific player. But he didn't spend his whole career and -- that team. And H one of the things to get that support you wonder if if it's really something that worthwhile. -- to get -- this USA today had a before the announcement but Major League Baseball. Is looking at there are declining number of African Americans on opening day rosters it's somewhere between seven and a half. And a half percent and -- captors got a story today. The last couple of hours or so with quotes from commissioner Bud Selig -- talking about the creation of a committee to look at exactly. Why they are not drawing a number of African Americans to their sport. As they used to how concerned does baseball with the strand. Well they're talking a lot about it and -- forming -- committee to talk about it but I wonder after -- -- contended advocate the decline of white players which he's proportionally the same. Basically what happened is that the there's been a tremendous shift. Demographically to -- baseball being played. And now baseball teams aren't that -- even more players from Latin America than they were thirty years ago which is why the number of white players than black players dropping. We have more Latin American players you have more players internationally I don't think it's some big mystery. Or I think it's much more societal. Than anything Denny has to do in any particular race and you guys drive around you to look at the baseball field skipped aren't out there and to be good at the public they are. Right yet and the up in new England and you you grow up and Vermont's you know what it's like if I remember time is a kid I'm sure you guys do to where. They were packed every Saturday couldn't get off field and I drive around same spots in new England and other fields empty buster there overgrown they don't exist anymore and is this your kids playing baseball. No no question about it and and also a baseball betting issue and I know the general managers have talked about that they're meeting. That. College scholarships if you wanna get it I think there's something in the range fifteen to sixty would be -- scholarships. We need to the division one football programs in baseball like eleven and a half. So get wide and I remember general manager -- that he said that the guys at third string safety an -- state he should be playing baseball. But he's not because he's the opportunity get a college education. Is coming to a football and that's something in my opinion I think he'd be really Smart for baseball to invest in an extensive scholarship program. The college to help. Bear the fruit but. Again a lot of it comes down to. -- labor costs and the reason why they're going down the Dominican Republic. And getting a lot of players Bears because it's cheaper. Buster great stuff as always we'll talk next Wednesday. I'll Austral EB SPN joining us on the AT&T outline AT&T forgy LT. With speeds of the ten times faster than three GT AT&T rethink possible Colleen on Twitter. The love that boss -- on WEEI talking about dysfunctional teams. That are not the red got a good feel. Last there we a lot of out past right buster took a lot of crap last year he's right he did from local writers -- outs and that there was a bad feeling over their turns out. Buster was right now we're talking about the Toronto Blue Jays as this on national and other teams the Angels injuries and Halladay. Not the Red Sox their five into the give Baltimore tonight at Fenway Park nine the second we come back at all your baseball calls and mix in. -- with that we he's a little bit that is. Why the hell they not retired Wade Boggs numbers in Boston says they shouldn't do it -- disagree talk about -- your phone calls and your next.

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