WEEI>On Demand>>Buster Olney, ESPN: Red Sox are the team to beat heading into playoffs

Buster Olney, ESPN: Red Sox are the team to beat heading into playoffs

Sep 18, 2013|

Buster Olney joins Mut and Merloni and says the Red Sox are the team to beat in baseball right now. He also discusses the Sox weak bullpen.

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

Let's talk up this would bust -- is from ESP NE joins us every single Wednesday. -- at this time buster yet to make out your power rankings -- include the Red Sox here who is the current team to beat in the American League. So they're at such a respect for the dignity and baseball right now I don't think there's any question about it innovate. They get everything comes together. Especially with -- -- that I know we had it fits and starts in command issues especially early that. The -- he finished and and you consider the way that you would expect that he's going to be able to finish the season. Their rotation and he's in excellent shape you probably would take it over. Any the other teams they're going to be in the postseason right now that they would definitely be that can debate. It and the touchy about Oakland because -- we -- which -- Detroit and I'm looking at -- I like their starting pitching I think Cologne obviously the year seven. Think it's our young consideration and -- their bullpen. And their lineup is good you know book. How -- this team there right now Massachusetts because situationally hitting we've seen he's a lot of reforming they got some better hitters. What's your punitive. Well it's interesting because when you look at. When you look at their team and I you know I had talked to get about this they say the thing about Oakland -- that. That's mentioning is that every -- and seemingly at the back and you know players number 2325. Our guys who weren't really that good they just kind of filling up a roster. When you look at the the athletic roster that they've got 25 guys none of them are superstars is not a single. Superstar in the team but you at 25 guys who were all good baseball players. An and and and maybe that's where it separates where they're -- I think comes into play if they have guys -- -- platoon players who really good. At what they do they stay -- very specific roles and I think they're dangerous and you know Lou I won't be offended by eight year commented you know it's a great advantage to big game. While at Vanderbilt okay. And they had against university Tennessee. I'm -- I like -- -- a good guy and I'll just get that I've known -- since he was you know early at school at Vanderbilt -- that's that's what I went and heat. I don't think you will all be paid by the moment and then he's got that type a personality. I think another thing too is -- that those guys. Have the mentality because -- Oakland they got to see that six million dollar payroll -- sewage going and they dug out. They're always a loose I'm -- just never they never seemed to play like there's any pressure on them. And they they are really good defensive team and yet unique in -- -- that you -- you now wanna play Detroit or Oakland. I know local or Detroit is the bigger names. But if you're talking about you know how -- Justin -- throwing right now. I I'd rather play Detroit's. Quite frankly and and and also given all the physical issues that you would you have -- Miguel Cabrera. In the defensive issues that they have a person to base that they get more opportunity we play Detroit. It is general John earliest they say you know we play so well at home and number one seed is important and that's kind of like the marcher right now but it's also forget the number one seed that we -- the choice to play one another and I think that would be more reason. Got the and that I I would agree we -- now the ones it eventually did last night's game I think probably. You know may have been one of the first nail in the coffin it seemed that in America we don't wanna play right now a short series that -- city. Because their bullpen is lights out. They've got GQ they got Ervin Santana. And you know they've got this really talent group young players -- but there's good defensive team there is in baseball right now. But it looks like they're not gonna make it on the other hand if you get hit the day you get taxes you get Cleveland. Coming off with a one game playoff and your -- accuse you probably gonna have those guys with a -- -- model which is the way it should be. -- -- SP and joining us he spent the weekend around the red socks buster there was a year ago -- -- -- spent some time around this team and it came up with. A lot of stuff people didn't wanna hear -- feel like it's a complete 180 and I was curious your takeaways this late in the year this team now ninety plus games what you thought about be around this group over the weekend. They remind me so much in terms of how they're invested in each other. In the Yankee teams that I covered in the late nineties and in terms. You know these guys I think that you know last year unit the big guys with a mentality like Dustin Pedroia. We're so much in the minority and and and I think dust and even probably would admit that he fell into it that they -- such negativity. Around that club. -- -- -- -- was going out with Bobby Valentine it started with a that was the first domino and it just got worse and worse and worse toward the -- as you went along. And now it's the complete opposite where you have guys. Dustin Pedroia is fully invested in the brain and it Jonny Gomes is fully invested -- You know on Napoli and as -- Victor Reno and against her. And it's like that the fact that I think they all look around and say well you know what that guy is gonna care that much. You know this coach is gonna care that much on the care that much in various. Such. Incredibly. High degree and the accountability. Player to player coach to player manager the coach. And that's why reminds me of those teams in the late nineties with the Yankees cause that's what they had. And I think about the state -- you know the Yankees. In 9125. Games and they were fueled in part because they were absolutely. Appalled. By -- 97 season ended they brought the play -- basically when they thought they were he notes that the best team in baseball didn't happen. And it rolled and the next year and that's what you feel like you know quite buckle said media that day. The people felt like we had something to prove after let you eat any I don't think that's it he could I think that what -- straight which is so bad -- -- want it to happen ever again. And that's what pushed them and there it really impressive group right now and -- -- they I don't think there's any question that is we speak. There in the World Series favorite. You know bush -- look at this Red Sox seemed that the one pick up a myriad of weakness they have is get -- -- coach you we are and we spent a lot of time talking about. Game once daughters because they don't have once because I mean they have to and when I look at it. Due to -- to get rid of that weakness. On Google got it gives me the most -- in the game -- to hand the ball off do we are with data I would go with Lester in your opinion who would be the number one guy and why. Totally agree with you especially after -- let the front Saturday you know. Besides the ability to command both sides and after the game Dave -- said to me when he pitches inside to left handed hitters. He's almost unhittable and you know he told me about how they go on in the game piled Robinson -- They're pitching him away and he talked a Lester after that happening in and Lester agreed -- and they started going inside. In he dominated I know it's not the best Yankee lineup ever. But he controlled that game. And it -- CNN map again he's pitching with such confidence right now. And I you know to me. Big game three starter would be for me. A Jake Peavy you know assuming that the Red Sox open at home and game three would be on the road and I would think back to what Joseph Torre really set I thought it was really Smart. That you're gained three starting your first game on the road. Should be a veteran guy who can handle the moment and Jake Peavy absolutely won't handle the moment got the -- like he wouldn't. But I feel really good to interpret how peavy throwing. -- in his presence on the man and his experience in the postseason. That to me would be that the number three and I think John Lackey really comfortable pitching at home now. Well you mentioned they experience the post season PB's our league was great experience for lack key member of this -- as as a youngster out of for the angels or not. Does that factor in all given how well you'll Lackey is pitch -- he's given given that opportunity for the angels buster. Well -- yeah absolutely that and -- goes into it to higher thinking. About it and it really comes down to really do what John -- seeing and boy what a great situation for the -- -- to have. If it's 218 whether they're up to one. They're down to want to have clay buckled did you know what he's capable of doing. If he's got his command and he's throwing the ball as well he's in the last couple innings against the Yankees the other night. We look at this bullpen. Would you agree there's still some question marks I get a ball. And that's you know I told you guys the ended the last few months that's what every one point do without it -- -- -- -- and you know let's see how it goes and you know that'd be the Red Sox. You know staff and the other players. Were raving about you we are over the weekend and they're saying man. He is such a knack for knowing when hitters are looking for a splitter. Knowing when they're looking fastball. When they're gonna swing. And that's. You know that certainly is an incredible talent he's pitched great but you guys know historically. The teams that do well in the post seasons are the ones with the power arms in the bullpen. You know the from the nasty boys on through and that's going to be the big -- for the Red Sox they don't. Have for example the type of group of armed with the Kansas City Royals have. In terms of the race for the wild card you mentioned the raised the Indians the royals the Texas Rangers are they in a must win. To say the manager's job there -- Texas buster. I think they are especially after -- rocket. Come data radio yesterday describes what's going on -- quote unquote free fall. You talked about being concerned I you know mean Illinois integrate pro. Hey you -- unbelievable hall of fame career but I think that's one of those when you -- that interview like quite. I wouldn't want him to be in my foxhole and considered the middle of trust me they're trying to save their playoff spot any basically seemed concerned and and can't believe what happened that'll lead. There are all aware of that and they have a tough road ahead I think you know the Cleveland Indians right now if they make the playoffs. It would be shocked because of how easy this schedule is. After the play two night against Kansas City for game against the Astros game to get the white that you basically can't beat the Indians this year. In four games against the Minnesota Twins. So even in the race for the Rangers is not gonna make a play out and feel the Red Sox you probably wanna see the rays hit it. Because we see this where the Nash in the American League east teams are not all of each other you know they play each other so loft and and you know the rays have great starting pitching to give the Red Sox you'd rather see the Rangers. In order to clear this up because it allows wonder and look at this thing up here and -- in confusing army but if the Red Sox and the -- finish with the same record. And it three at three against one another this year is -- then go to intra division you know that. I don't know enough to have my head. Now canosa I was so I think that that's what is in the Red Sox like half game behind the ace. Injured -- my head would explode now decide exactly you know I started delving into that I'm gonna wait a couple more days because. That's good buster luggage out of one anywhere spend more time the offseason but that you wrote about yesterday the Kyle -- affect your college get their qualifying offered draft pick attached and nobody want to sign the got a Red Sox. Have a bunch of guys that might fit that bill Stephen Drew when Jarrod Saltalamacchia might be -- paid but. You might wanna offer that now I'm curious how the players view this now when his qualifying offer might. Keep teams away and how might affect the Red Sox this offseason. Well and a lot in the comparison I would take out of this before wrote that piece but I thought of yesterday you guys know in the NFL they of the franchise tag that's essentially what this has become and. Behind the -- agents argue shape -- had -- while the union got its rear end handed to it land. In terms of anticipating failing to anticipate what the effect of this is. You know in short. Teams value draft effective young players etc. much more than they used to and so you've got so I wonder when the -- such in the free agent market. If there was a guy out there who had a draft pick a -- -- and they would have to give a picnic it now. And that's where a lot of teams are going to sell in light of that. If the Red Sox giving qualifying offer to dilate your Saltalamacchia who set himself -- Grady that a terrific season. Certainly the picket line for multiyear deal. Right off the bat there would be some teens who would say we're not given up a draft pick for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. And they would go in the other direction the very least it would reduce the number came to Red Sox would be bidding against. And it's very possible. It's -- Montes that play would be to take a one year deal. With the rats like Stephen Drew the exact same situation. And united did GM said to me the other day. For big market teams yankees Red Sox Phillies. The it is a no brainer because it worse you get a draft pick compensation they contemplate dealt in his best. Probably. Chasing away the rest the guys market and so all you have to give up within one year deal which greatly reduce risks. It's a great play for the big market clubs. -- appreciate it a lot of Texans are asking if you got. If you don't want you up buckles is the number to start the playoffs the Red Sox GM -- four -- -- Texas picked up on that that you want it may be PV. Well I mean John Lackey at home and then I'll tell everyone to see I'd rather have Lackey at number two -- Based on net you know what we've seen with buckled so far I you know I just wanna see more out of but you so. He struggled with command so much early in the game the other day and is that might be a tough thing. Buster -- up is always we appreciate it we'll talk next week. I must surely be espionage -- this every single Wednesday at this time. I'll buster is brought to you by our friends at Toyota of Nashua goes to the guys Rick collaborate Bob Draper. Unable take carry it to the all new Toyota national megaplex and the hot deals during their summer cell -- going on now. Also brought to you by a arrests restoration special that's a good question about the the tiebreaker never figured out. You did get him to students in math try to figure out how far is pretty close if I give if couple minutes weeks ago on the other side I will do that plus couple your phone calls instant patriots nuggets as well keep it.

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