Here come two words for you: Me and Adam 12, talking all Red Sox hot stove matters. Call us Moron 1 and Moron 2 if you wish, but at least listen to the segment before you do.
I'm turning the intro to our RadioBBC segment over to host Adam 12 today, since he got it absolutely right:
Mike Napoli. Comes to Boston, helps the Red Sox win an improbable World Series, rides in the rolling rally, then wanders the streets of Boston shirtless. How do you not re-sign this guy?
Exactly. Two years, $26 million. Who says no? Listen to Adam, Steve Silva, and me talk about Napoli, the parade, and Bob Ryan's Top 25 all-time Red Sox right here.
Also, here's our chat with Adam from the morning after the clincher. You can hear the exhilaration and exhaustion in our voices. Mostly the former, I hope.
Finally, a podcast from another baseball country: I chatted with Sports On Earth's Will Leitch, a faithful Cardinals fan, on his podcast last night about -- you've got it -- the World Series. That can be found here.
During this week's RadioBDC Red Sox segment with Adam 12 and Steve Silva, we tipped our cap to Mariano Rivera while acknowledging, unlike the Red Sox, that he actually saved a few at Fenway over the years. Plus, plenty of talk about how the 2013 Red Sox came to be such an unexpected juggernaut. Always a good time, give it a listen if you could.
Talking Jacoby Ellsbury's foot, Clay Buchholz's arm, and Xander Bogaerts's brilliant future during this week's RadioBDC chat with Adam 12 and Steve Silva. Always a good time, especially when the Sox are rolling like they are right now. Check it out.
We didn't have a formal vote, but it's fair to say that it was unanimous between me, Adam 12 and Steve Silva during our RadioBDC segment this week that "Angry Jake" Peavy is an absolutely riot to watch.
Sometimes even those in the batter's box agree:
My favorite memory playing against Peavy is listening to him scream at himself on the mound-"C'mon, Peave!", he'd yell after delivering.— gabe kapler (@gabekapler) August 26, 2013
Here's this week's segment, which includes much more on Xander Bogaerts, the state of the rotation, and high hopes after an impressive series in LA.
The one in which I recover from the haunting Nick Punto Song to have the usual good time talking Sox with Adam 12 and Steve Silva.
During this week's RadioBDC podcast, I somehow managed to resist turning every topic -- Jake Peavy's dazzling debut, the A-Rod suspension, and why Adam 12 needs his own personal catcher -- into an appreciation of Stephen Drew. Thank me by listening, will ya?
That was one topic I discussed with host Adam 12 and Steve Silva during our weekly Sox talk on RadioBDC.
Also lots of chatter on Monday morning's win over the Yankees, Monday night's series opener against the Rays, what their needs are as the trading deadline nears, and much more.
Love doing this segment each week, so check it out if you get the chance. Me and Roger LaFrancois here appreciate it.
With the All-Star break upon us, yours truly, Steve Silva, and Adam 12 take a look back at a remarkably successful 58-win first-half for the Red Sox. Also, some donut talk, because, you know, donuts.
(Or maybe the donut talk was pre-show. Can't remember. Listen and tell me!)
Related to nothing in the podcast, a Home Run Derby pick: Michael Cuddyer. I consider it the Home Run Derby equivalent of picking Douglas over Tyson.
Can't top Adam 12's intro, so here you have it:
Chad Finn is back from vacation, tan and well-rested (yet, somehow, still looking like he just stumbled in from an afternoon on the beach). Steve Silva is always tan (but rarely well-rested). Adam 12 is on vacation from his vacation. Let's talk Red Sox.
And there's plenty to talk about, what with John Lackey's dominance of late, a bullpen that's in desperate need of a break, and the All-Star break looming...but not before a West Coast road trip that could prove treacherous. Listen:
Meanwhile, over in baseball season ...
In this week's episode, host Adam 12 and yours truly look on in horror as Steve Silva hits Jonathan Papelbon with a verbal folding chair.
(Also: Much calmer takes on Jacoby Ellsbury, Alfredo Aceves, Terry Francona, and Beloved Fan-Favorite John Lackey. Greatly enjoy doing this segment each week. Give it a listen if you could.)
During this week's segment with Adam 12 and Steve Silva on RadioBDC, we discuss the Red Sox' 5-1 start to their road trip, the success of David Ortiz and struggles of Jacoby Ellsbury, and how wardrobe decisions are helping team camaraderie, with random shots at my wardrobe scattered about. Listen for the baseball, stay for the cheap shots about my nice blue shirt from Kohl's.
OK, that's probably not happening. And I didn't really need a calculator to figure that out.
But they're not as bad as they've looked recently. Honest.
Click below to listen to my chat with Adam 12 and (via email correspondence) Steve Silva about the state of the Sox from earlier Monday on Radio BDC.
(OK, there's much more that that. Promise. Give it a listen below.)
The Red Sox have 18 wins in 2013 -- or 51 fewer than they had in the entire 2012 season. It's no wonder my Radio BDC Sox podcast brothers Steve Silva and Adam 12 are joining me in buying in. Listen in below for the reasons why:
Join host Adam 12, Steve Silva, and Chad Finn (me) on this week's RadioBDC Red Sox chat, which happens to be a very special edition since it's Opening Day and all. Special guest star: A bag of Fenway peanuts.
During this week's predictably raucous segment-turned-podcast with Adam 12 and Steve Silva, we each predict what the Red Sox lineup will look like come April 1 in the Bronx. And yes, we're all in agreement that Jackie Bradley Jr. will be in it, though I'm the straggler who still stays the 12-day stay in Pawtucket is the way to go.
During this week's RadioBDC podcast with Steve Silva and Adam 12, I continue to celebrate the entire Drew family catalog, while Silva sets the offensive bar very low for Jose Iglesias. And we continue to debate whether keeping Jackie Bradley Jr. on Opening Day is worth sacrificing a year of service time. It takes a turn for the terribly sad when Adam pleads for us not to fight anymore. OK, that part doesn't happen -- he likes it when we fight. But lots of good stuff does happen. Thanks in advance for checking it out.
During this week's podcast with Steve Silva and ringmaster Adam 12, we discuss David Ortiz's injury, Manny Ramirez's new baseball home, and praise Jackie Bradley Jr. so much that I'm actually the cautious one, which never happens. Listen up here:
My short answer: Nope, though I understand where Nick Cafardo was coming from in his Sunday piece. The Red Sox do have a lack of star power by their usual standards in the heart of their order, and the best of Josh Hamilton would be fun to watch.
My long answer: Hamilton turns 32 in May, has played more than 133 games once in the past four years, hit .259 with an .833 OPS in the second half last season, struck out a career-high 162 times, missed three full seasons while battling substance abuse issues in the minors, and had a brief alcohol relapse just last February. He's a wonderful talent and seems to have his life together, but after the Dodgers rescued the Red Sox from the Carl Crawford contract, I don't think it would be good karma or business to turn around and commit five years and $125 million to a player with as much baggage as Hamilton has.
We discussed Nick's column and much more on this week's RadioBDC Red Sox segment with host Adam 12 and Steve Silva. Check it out if you will.
During this week's RadioBDC podcast with Adam 12 and Steve Silva, we discuss Steve's Fort Myers adventures, Tom Caron's "rage,'' the affable side of Jim Rice (no, really, it exists), and why I celebrate the entire Drew family catalog, among many other actual baseball topics.
Check it out, and remember that it airs live every Monday at 2 p.m.
NFL season concluded Sunday night, the equipment truck departs tomorrow, and Red Sox players are already trickling in to Fort Myers, ready to get the stench of 2012 off them and begin the new season.
All of that in mind -- as well as my own eagerness for baseball season, which never wanes -- Monday seemed like the perfect time to debut a new segment on Radio BDC. So we did. I joined Steve Silva and host Adam 12 for the first of what will be a weekly conversation (2 p.m. first pitch) about the state of the Red Sox.
I had a blast doing this and can't wait to see how it evolves once there are actual games being played. I'll post the podcast version here each week. Thanks for listening.
Let's see, we've had two ex-big-league pitchers stop by the podcast this year. Between them, they played 49 seasons in the majors, pitching 1,969 games and winning 474 of them.
Kaat, who will be the game analyst for MLB Network's two exclusive Division Series playoff games Oct. 7 and 10, had a pitcher's insight on why Jon Lester has seemingly regressed (punctuating his point with some wisdom Johnny Sain once imparted on him), shared his admiration for what the A's and Orioles have accomplished, and agrees wholeheartedly with the opinion here that the Nationals have made a mistake by shutting down Stephen Strasburg.
If you have a few minutes, give it a listen. Kaat is always worth the time.iTunes. Find its archive here.
If you will, bear with me for a brief moment of full disclosure: As the Red Sox have nosedived toward the bottom of the American League, it's been more challenging for us -- "us" meaning mostly the tireless Daigo Fujiwara with some input from me -- to come up with 3-4 topics to discuss on the podcast each week.
I love doing the thing, I truly do, but there are only so many different ways you can talk about whether Pedro Ciriaco is going to be a contributor next year before you start daydreaming about October 2004 again.
Which is my roundabout way of thanking this week's guest, Nick Cafardo, for going on an unexpected rant toward the end of this week's podcast regarding the weak-armed Red Sox outfielders and how much they could benefit from instruction by Dwight Evans.
I'm not sure he could help, as much as I respect Evans, but it was a fun topic to discuss in a season in which the good times haven't seemed so good.
(Yes, it's so bad I'm paraphrasing Neil Diamond. My apologies, and thanks for listening.)
I'm not saying Bobby Valentine's departure is ridiculously overdue, but if I happened to have a functioning time-machine handy and could zip back to his playing days and fire him in advance just to prevent this abomination of a season from happening, well, just let me get the keys and my Randy VanWarmer records and I'll be on my way to 1979 in no time.
Yep, it's that kind of podcast this week. Please listen anyway.
I'm joined by Eric Wilbur and host Daigo Fujiwara, and I'm going to reiterate one point here that was made in the podcast: Yes, I agree with the oft-repeated sentiment that sending Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and special guest star Nick Punto to the Dodgers sounds like something a sports-radio caller would cook up. But the difference is that trade-happy sports radio callers would suggest getting Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, and Hanley Ramirez in return.
Also, that's Rubby De La Rosa in the picture. Figure it's a good idea to learn what some of these new Sox prospects actually look like.
Or, the one in which Peter Abraham and yours truly discuss the various messes with the Red Sox, agree that it's time to start playing any young players who may contribute next year, and praise Carl Crawford for the way he's handled the team's bizarre treatment of his injury.
This team may not be much fun to watch, but it's still interesting to talk about. I think.
I've often said that Dennis Eckersley is the best baseball studio analyst around, and I don't mean just in Boston. (ESPN hired John Kruk over him years ago. Let that one percolate for a minute.) His candor is unmatched, which has made him less than popular with several Red Sox players through the years, and the cool part is that he doesn't care, which is kind of extraordinary for an ex-player. He has the rare cachet of a Hall of Famer, something NESN is wise to promote, but his genuine, relatable passion is the reason you always hope he's in the studio after a big win, a tough loss, or pretty much everything in between.
So, yeah, it was fun to have the Eck as our guest on the Red Sox podcast this week, joining yours truly and host Daigo Fujiwara. The Eck is as insightful as ever, though he's also mystified by some of the first-half failings, including Jon Lester's regression and Adrian Gonzalez's lack of home run power. Give it a listen.
This week's episode, hosted as always by Daigo Fujiwara, opens with the obvious topic of the week: The Kevin Youkilis trade. Michael Vega and I put an epilogue on his memorable Red Sox career while also discussing the expectations for his talented successor, Will Middlebrooks.
Also, we discuss the state of the Red Sox' starting rotation, and if you're already presuming I brought up Baseball America's 2008 top 100 prospect rankings yet again when discussing Franklin Morales, well, thanks for reading all those other times I've mentioned it.
I just can't get over it. I mean, how eclectic is this group of pitchers? Morales, just 26, power-armed, and discarded by the Rockies, was eighth on their list -- one spot behind Clayton Kershaw and two ahead of David Price.
Also in the top 10: Joba Chamberlain (3), Clay Buchholz (4), and Homer Bailey (9). That's six starters, or two more than the current Rockies can muster for a starting rotation.
Anyway, check it out. Always appreciate the listen.
Actually, those '80 Lynn numbers would sound good for Gonzo and his .718 OPS right now. Pretty sure the Home Run Derby invite isn't coming this year.
Also in this episode, we talk about the "toxic'' clubhouse, which players should be untouchable in trade talks, the good and bad of Bobby V., and lots of other stuff. Kindly give it a listen.
Nick Cafardo thinks Daniel Bard should go back to the bullpen. I think he should get a longer shot to prove himself as a starter. We discuss this and much more this week's podcast. I'm guessing you guys will side with Nick. Bring it on, I'll fight all of ya.
Yep, that's Salty as an Atlanta Brave in 2006, when he was regarded as one of the premier prospects in baseball. He was ranked 18th on Baseball America's top 100 prospects list, ranked right between No. 17 Conor Jackson and No. 19 Andy LaRoche. He was the first catcher on the list, 14 spots ahead of the Mariners' Jeff Clement, and his promise was acknowledged with this comment by an anonymous scout: "He's got a chance to be Jason Varitek to me. The size, the strength, the power are all there."
The card is from the season before he'd make his major league debut, a season and a half before he'd be dealt to the Rangers (along with Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, and Beau Jones) in the Mark Teixeira deal, four seasons before he became Varitek's teammate and understudy ... and six seasons before his true big-league breakout, if you believe that's what we're witnessing right now.
Saltalamacchia has been outstanding this season, especially in May, with 9 home runs overall (second on the team only to David Ortiz) and an .883 OPS. In early April, some among us were wondering when he'd lose his job to Ryan Lavarnway. Now, he's looking like a reasonable candidate for a contract extension.
Saltalamacchia's emergence is one of the topics I touched on with Michael Vega and host and producer Daigo Fujiwara in this week's Red Sox podcast. Give it a listen here.iTunes. Find its archive here.
Or, the one in which Tony Mazz and yours truly banter about whether the rotation finally has its collective act together, among other topics. Guess who's more optimistic? Hint: It's the one of us who has never tried to beat Dana Barros off the dribble.
Checking in with some linkage to this week's Red Sox podcast, where the topics of the day were the emergence of Will Middlebrooks, Clay Buchholz's generous attempt to make John Lackey look capable, and the short memories of fans who are turning on Adrian Gonzalez.
Well, that's how I saw it, anyway. Tune in to learn whether Steve Silva and host Daigo Fujiwara dared to disagree.
While I'm here, a couple of half-formed thoughts on Middlebrooks.
* He's a wonderful prospect, and his start has been a blast, justifying the belief of some that he should have come up sooner to give this laconic team a jolt. But let's not jump to conclusions and suggest his immediate success means fellow prospects Jose Iglesias and Ryan Lavarnway would do the same. Iglesias is starting to hit a little by his standards down in Pawtucket (.243 with a .601 OPS), and I do think Lavarnway eventually takes Jarrod Saltalamacchia's job. But neither is quite ready -- Iglesias offensively, Lavarnway defensively -- and patience is more likely to produce rewards than rushing them up now.
* That Scottsdale Scorpions AFL team must have been something to see, with Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Middlebrooks in the lineup last fall. But the three prospects aren't equal -- Harper is four years younger than Middlebrooks for starters, and has more raw talent than any prospect since probably Alex Rodriguez. And Trout, who is baseball's best prospect if Harper isn't, appears on the verge of a breakout if Mike Scioscia plays him every day. As promising as he is -- and he looks like a 25-homer guy with an .850-.900 OPS and good defense at his peak -- he's not quite their peer.
* I'm not saying they should trade him for a couple of bratwursts, but Kevin Youkilis would make a wonderful Milwaukee Brewer, and not just because he looks like he could be related to their mascot.
Just a quick link to today's podcast, during which, among other topics, I state my case to Peter Abraham and Daigo Fujiwara that if Alfredo Aceves is going to be the closer, Bobby Valentine should not be shy about using him unconventionally, such as two innings at a time. He threw 114 innings last year. I say cutting him to the usual closer workload of 65-70 just because the relief role has a different title is counterproductive. Pete kindly offers a different view.
Warning: A phrase that's vulgar to some is used in this podcast. That's right. I dropped a "closer by committee."
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.