Thursday, August 30, 2012

Refreshing comments from Daniel Bard

ESPN.com's Joe McDonald joined Thursday's show to talk Red Sox and the NHL Labor negotiations. Tune into "I'm Just Sayin" with Danny Picard every weekday LIVE at 9 a.m. ET, and subscribe on iTunes, via BlogTalkRadio:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

200th Broadcast

It's the 200th episode! Comcast SportsNet's Mike Giardi joined Wednesday's show to talk Red Sox and Patriots. The Red Sox aren't really contemplating trading for a MANAGER, are they?!?! And my reaction to T.J. Simers vs. Josh Beckett. Tune into "I'm Just Sayin" with Danny Picard every weekday LIVE at 9 a.m. ET, and subscribe on iTunes, via BlogTalkRadio:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Red Sox send a message

With no show on Monday because of the afternoon Red Sox game, I returned on Tuesday with my reaction to the weekend's blockbuster trade. The Red Sox clearly sent a message to their players, stealing a page out of Bill Belichick's playbook. But are the Dodgers really "losers"? And while I love what Ben Cherington did, let's wait to see what they do this offseason, before we call the Red Sox "winners". It's national sports talk, with a Boston edge. Tune into "I'm Just Sayin" with Danny Picard every weekday LIVE at 9 a.m. ET, and subscribe on iTunes, via BlogTalkRadio:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Talkin' NFL with Tom E. Curran

Comcast SportsNet NFL Insider Tom E. Curran joined Friday's show to talk all things football. Plus, my reaction to another Red Sox loss. Tune into "I'm Just Sayin" with Danny Picard every weekday LIVE at 9 a.m. ET, and subscribe on iTunes, via BlogTalkRadio:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Patriots vs. Red Sox

Comcast SportsNet's Kevin Walsh made his debut on Wednesday's show. We discussed the difference between the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox organizations. It's national sports talk, with a Boston edge. Tune into "I'm Just Sayin" with Danny Picard every weekday LIVE at 9 a.m. ET, and subscribe on iTunes, via BlogTalkRadio:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Will Bobby Valentine be back in 2013?

Now that Carl Crawford's season is over, the Boston Red Sox decided to end Bob McClure's short tenure as the team's pitching coach. And ultimately, he lost his job because of his pitchers, not because of his relationship with the manager. So, does this mean that Bobby Valentine will be back next season? Also on Tuesday's show, a quick Patriots/Eagles recap, and some MLB talk. Is Roger Clemens really trying to make a comeback? It's national sports talk, with a Boston edge. Tune into "I'm Just Sayin" with Danny Picard every weekday LIVE at 9 a.m. ET, and subscribe on iTunes, via BlogTalkRadio:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Red Sox vs. WWE

Boston Herald Patriots beat writer Jeff Howe joined Monday's show to talk NFL. Plus, I compare the Boston Red Sox to the WWE. It's national sports talk, with a Boston edge. Tune into "I'm Just Sayin" with Danny Picard every weekday LIVE at 9 a.m. ET, and subscribe on iTunes, via BlogTalkRadio:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Culture Shock

If you believe the Boston Red Sox' struggles in 2012 have more to do with off-the-field issues, then perhaps you need to start re-evaluating where those issues are coming from

The Red Sox need a culture change.

At least, that's what everybody keeps telling me.

"Josh Beckett's got a bad attitude. John Lackey has a drinking problem. They're bringing the rest of the team down!"

Look, I don't walk up and down the streets polling the general public. But that seems to be a pretty popular belief. So much so, that some are pulling for the Red Sox to just "dump" Beckett and Lackey for nothing in return.

These people keep using the phrase, "culture change," when describing what they'd like to see happen to the Red Sox clubhouse. It would be the best way -- in their opinion -- to rid the organization of what is so commonly referred to as the "cancer in the clubhouse."

In recent days, the soap opera that is the Boston Red Sox has made for a storyline that only Vince McMahon could create. Instead of, "Fans & Media vs. Beckett & Lackey" it's now, "Players vs. Bobby Valentine."

But only 17 players, according to reports. Those reports claim that 17 Red Sox players called for a meeting with ownership to express their displeasure with the manager.

Leading the way -- according to the Yahoo! report -- was Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez. If the story is true, then these two players were the most vocal during the meeting that took place in July.

It's a twist that has made both the fans and media pick a side. Is Valentine the problem? Or should the players just shut up and play?

The storyline has also taken some of the attention away from guys like Beckett and Lackey, and the popular belief that their clubhouse presence is pulling this team deep into the depths of hell. Because of that, it's taking the attention away from the clubhouse "culture change" as well.

But should it?

We don't know that Beckett and Lackey were part of the 17 that went crying to ownership about their manager. But even if we assume they were, we know that they weren't leading the charge.

That was Pedroia and Gonzalez.

Before we go any further, let me declare what I believed in before the report of this "heated" and "ugly" meeting.

I believed that all off-the-field issues were blown way out of proportion, both at the end of 2011 and throughout all of this season.

I believed that any and all failures of this baseball team were because of a lack of on-the-field production, especially with the "star" players, and more specifically, with Beckett and Jon Lester's production, or shall I say, lack thereof.

I believed that a "star" player's relationship with his manager should have absolutely no affect on that player's production, either on the mound, at the plate, or in the field.

And because of all that, I believed the need for a "culture change" inside the Red Sox clubhouse was unnecessary.

But that was before Pedroia and Gonzalez -- in the heat of a playoff race in July -- decided to lead the charge in a mid-summer meeting that was meant to express their great displeasure with the manager.

Pedroia and Gonzalez. These guys are leaders. At least, they're supposed to be.

In their own different ways, of course.

Pedroia is outspoken. He's not afraid to talk. But he also speaks through his actions on the field, with his dirt-dog mentality.

Gonzalez, on the other hand, is more of a silent leader. His preparation and actions on the field speak louder than his words.

But they're both leaders. Again, that's what they're supposed to be, at least.

In recent days, I've had to go back and refresh my memory as to what being a "leader" actually meant.

While searching for the answer, I came across a story from April of 2007, in which George Steinbrenner was contemplating firing the legendary Joe Torre, after his New York Yankees began the season with a 9-14 start that left them in last place in the American League East.

Derek Jeter -- the Yankees' leader -- stood in front of his locker, after losing eight of nine games, and defended his manager, whose job was in question.

"It's unfair," Jeter said. "There's no way he's responsible for us performing. He's not hitting for us. He's not pitching for us. He puts the best players out there on the field, gives us an opportunity to win. We're just not doing the job. That's unfair, and it should stop. He's doing a great job this year. We just haven't done the job on the field. That's the bottom line."

This example isn't meant to compare Torre and Valentine. Because we all know the two cannot be compared. Instead, it's meant to define the role of a leader. And not just a leader, but a leader in the face of adversity.

Jeter didn't just defend Torre because it was Torre. He defended him because it was his manager. He defended him because it was the right thing to do. He defended him because he's a leader.

And regardless of who the Yankees manager was at that point in time, Jeter was right. Torre wasn't hitting for them. Torre wasn't pitching for them. He just puts the best players out on the field. From that point on, for 162 games a year, it's those players' responsibility to perform.

All managers are different. Some have better personalities than others. Some are strict. Some are considered "players managers."

Valentine isn't and never will be Torre. But at the end of the day, as managers, both do the same thing. They toss a lineup card onto the wall.

Is there more to it? Sure. But to say that the 2012 Boston Red Sox are four games under .500 in mid-August -- and essentially eliminated from a playoff spot -- because of Valentine's late-game decision-making, is just not real life.

These Red Sox are where they are because the lineup card that Valentine throws up every night -- with the best players that he's had available all season long -- isn't producing at the level everybody expects it to.

Regardless of how much he may dislike his manager, Pedroia knows one thing to be true each and every day he arrives at the ballpark. He knows that he'll be starting at second base, and he'll be hitting in the first inning.

In fact, most of the "star" players have the same exact role every single night. Their relationship with the manager doesn't change that.

The example I always use is, if you're at the plate with a runner in scoring position, you have one goal, to drive that runner in. If you're thinking about how much you hate the manager during that at-bat, then maybe you're the problem, not the manager.

And if you want to go into specifics, with regards to failed on-field production, then look no further than Lester and Beckett. How their relationship with the manager should affect what they do on the mound every fifth night is beyond me.

Both have been downright awful this season. To think that those struggles would have turned into gems, had another manager been in place, just doesn't make any sense.

Those struggles have turned into losses. Those losses have turned into the nitpicking of clubhouse issues. That nitpicking has turned into the news of an actual clubhouse issue, led by two star-players who were thought to be leaders of the Boston Red Sox.

And in the face of adversity, those leaders, instead of pulling their teammates together to tell them to look in the mirror and that they are the ones at fault, Pedroia and Gonzalez gathered the troops and stormed to ownership, expressing their frustrations with the guy that fills out their lineup card.

Leadership -- in the face of adversity -- doesn't include throwing your manager under the bus, especially if you're pulling the rest of your team onto that bus with you.

Before this story came out, so much had been made of Beckett and Lackey, and their clubhouse demeanor. But in reality, their personalities have never changed. In fact, it's that stubborn mentality that made them great pitchers to begin with. Problem is, nobody complained about it before, because they were producing on the field at the time.

Now that Beckett is beyond struggling, and now that Lackey is being paid millions to essentially do nothing this season, those personalities have created a revolt throughout Red Sox Nation that's committed to "changing the clubhouse culture."

And after hearing about the revolt that Pedroia and Gonzalez started against their manager in July, I'm ready to revolt as well.

But I'm joining your revolt, because you were right.

I get it. You want a culture change.  And now, even I agree.

I just think Pedroia and Gonzalez are the players that need to go.


Respond to Danny on Twitter: @DannyPicard

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Callin' out the Red Sox 'leaders'

Is "leadership" gathering a group of players and storming into your owner's office looking for a managerial change? C'mon now. Time for the Red Sox "leaders" to look themselves in the mirror. Also on Wednesday's show, ESPN.com NHL Insider James Murphy checks in with an update on the NHL's labor negotiations. Tune into "I'm Just Sayin" with Danny Picard every weekday LIVE at 9 a.m. ET:



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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Talkin' NFL with Barstool's Jerry Thornton

Barstool Sports' Jerry Thornton joined Tuesday's show to talk NFL, Shark Week, and the Olympics. Plus, my take on why Derek Lowe would NOT have been the Red Sox savior. Tune into "I'm Just Sayin" with Danny Picard every weekday LIVE at 9 a.m. ET:



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Monday, August 13, 2012

Red Sox are still done

It's too little, too late for Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox. At least, that's one man's opinion. But Comcast SportsNet's Mike Giardi hasn't thrown in the towel just yet. He joined Monday's show to explain and to talk Patriots. Plus, a recap of everything that happened over the weekend in the world of sports. Tune into "I'm Just Sayin" with Danny Picard every weekday LIVE at 9 a.m. ET:



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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Throwin' in the towel

I threw in the towel on the 2012 Red Sox season, Thursday. Also, WEEI.com's Rob Bradford joined the show to play the blame game. Tune into "I'm Just Sayin" with Danny Picard every weekday LIVE at 9 a.m. ET:



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Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Defending Bobby Valentine

Don't worry, Bobby V, I got your back, big dog. Some believe the Red Sox manager is the problem. I couldn't disagree more. Tune into "I'm Just Sayin" with Danny Picard every weekday LIVE at 9 a.m. ET:



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Friday, August 03, 2012

Latest Red Sox loss is pathetic

ESPN Boston's Joe McDonald joined Friday's show to talk Red Sox. And I rant on what Bobby Valentine SHOULD have said to his team after Thursday night's pathetic loss. Tune into "I'm Just Sayin" with Danny Picard every weekday LIVE at 9 a.m. ET:




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Thursday, August 02, 2012

Red Sox players must do their job

More clubhouse controversy for the Boston Red Sox? Or is it just more of the same? Bottom line, the players need to stop whining and play baseball. MOVE ON, FIGURE IT OUT, and DO YOUR JOB. Comcast SportsNet's Mike Giardi joined Thursday's show to discuss all things Red Sox. Plus, what's up with SportsCenter's infatuation with New York Jets training camp? Tune into "I'm Just Sayin" with Danny Picard every weekday LIVE at 9 a.m. ET:




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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Dan Shaughnessy's take on Josh Beckett

A day after the MLB Trade Deadline, Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy joined Wednesday's show to discuss Josh Beckett's injury and the Red Sox' minor moves. Tune into "I'm Just Sayin" with Danny Picard every weekday LIVE at 9 a.m. ET:




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