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.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

That's right John -- William and always have to be joined by. The great Alex spirit WEEI dot com who has made his away from the more -- 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 -- up but -- Sunday is kind of it's kind of almost as big as the Super Bowl for my left -- and actually. Because it's a whole lot bigger my wife in the Super Bowl I would say it's Oscars 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 red sex and baseball heavy but also given the Oscars since you 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 outwards from the last we've seen thirteen film from last 48 hours as part of the annual Oscars Porsche. Granted -- include a bit short in that category so you -- range from two to four minutes. That might be you know that that might be a little bit of a shortcut -- but nonetheless. You know this is we've we've made our way down at a pretty wide slot of the -- Incredible what are you sleep like on average three hours -- 9% the body get all this it. Or another two to four minute shorts have just like 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. 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 -- I think you might find this humorous people -- -- my case on the export a mom I have a vote. Of all things for the screen actors guild awards. Well. As member of after in this and sagged. So they -- me neither of them. -- be 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. And to you know imprisonment and fines if you endeavor to you know trying to sell these but. People army case he probably will be as well I only ended up watching ones so far and I was silver linings. Corporation and right now I have figured you'd be upset about that as a worthy as -- the techsters. I got a lot of catching up to do it won't happen and -- record of yes exactly. A great idea it really is. Actually it'd. I should be well sanity and my girlfriend had to make in the vote. As did the right side so. So so really all of you know -- -- work is done. It but at the at AG. At the fact that the correlation -- probably -- my -- away after seeing this on the Academy Award but -- the same -- You know uses the sat at the best predictor of Oscar. And you know just put the -- -- that because. If it's if it's your girlfriend whoever during the voting then it should really have you know who do not even sag member then everything -- just about. Right but she knows more about these things that I do so it's probably better vote. Anyway. Possibly while -- -- I don't know if they'll be -- 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 -- John Lackey and a story yesterday which you really read anyway. Into. Spring trail when it comes to starting pitchers especially established veterans who want to working on that it's -- Well for the most part I give it very little import and John -- is actually really good example of that because you've been kind of race spring training bureau now as it 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 is still at that point generating pretty easy velocity had a phenomenal -- -- operate until. And and said you know it's -- very purposeful I'm getting ready for the transition to the elite or -- for one -- itself. You know the truth that is all part of a blueprint it looked like -- you know he was ready to. It's just air servicing markets started them as we know well. He did not and then in 2011 everyone said -- 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 -- -- little -- and -- quiet shoring diminished velocity. Even after kind of dropped them off you know dropped -- patently. During the out these men in retrospect we now know it because he didn't have a nobody more so. In terms -- you look -- you that you look for general. 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 a that's a good indicator about. How guys you're not -- for. I'd general command -- the guys simply didn't -- -- 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 -- district while rebuilding their arms during. Look at those things to monitor by. It never it's really it's -- you so little that -- it's just a matter of someone having terrible start. There it's really difficult -- have a degree from the spring on what the atmosphere 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. -- -- 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 -- different now. Would anyone be surprised if you ever before you are in the you're actually not. And then there's there's equipment of how are ready -- -- but really you know let's turn buckle 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 both of their cases I I would I would not be surprised by the potential for dominance -- but it seems a measure that and you know you get a greater likelihood is. Now dominant seasons especially for buckled because he has a one surpassing great season and then other Matt he has seen in the future. And -- inconsistencies there weren't great Lester is the guy who's -- who really for four straight years was. You know was close it was among the best pitchers in America. So it certainly is what you say we Hewitt said not having the biggest bounced back. John Ryder tackle with the Alex spirit has tremendous job for WEI -- can't cover the red sex Major League Baseball of course a must follow on Twitter and Alex beer. We -- 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 decades right like you come back 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 buckle -- let you know people had 2012 even fit. Pretty considerable question marks -- -- really. You know acting -- the default assumptions should be their stuff is -- not to be at least above average starting pitcher. There wasn't -- up last year -- -- -- yielding and pitching and that sort of thing meaning if you strip out eight of the group. 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 he's -- good numbers go down to. In that span of about three starts in July the -- you know he finished reasonably well buckles was great for for a couple months. After he got up its horrific start so problem. -- is relatively predictable -- meet their baseline is that at least slightly above average. And potentially well -- upper dumpster yeah I think that there is some elements of Vietnam. Because even though it was. Wildly into your junior year you know central there is that transition going on. In -- brunt of course we we just because the he has one year data. Under development so let me know he can remain healthy little on whether or not his performance -- take a turn towards being. May be an all star -- -- 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 -- 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 give 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 it could step of the Red Sox lineup is underrated like -- 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 them via some of our. Because it means that you know you have let's say. Let let's say -- and I hypothetical scenario. Adding eight you have your salt Lamotte yet adding one starting pitcher. Now it is kind of red light about a 110 pitches and a in the fifth inning -- the start six and you know become a better -- -- -- -- -- it just worked -- like that so I actually think the Red Sox rely -- should be. You know to me I'd say yeah. I might might might supposition that the direct such and how 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 -- -- in the top five. Together some watched in their but do some strikeouts in their two Arthur. Yeah but I don't -- personally I'm not epic you know I I believe that the negative value of the strike out -- limited. I I do think that they strike out is the worst outcome then upon played because they can apprehend the underside by. You know if you haven't been on base percentage then you also impact of the strike outs so -- out direct talks a strike at -- are at a number where they are. Art Bell -- back to the war was a really really good player or commute Maurice struck at a time. There are a lot of guys Major League Baseball or terrific players even -- -- strike out. So I don't think that that's necessarily that huge deal. Yet the corner outfield spots Jonny Gomes Shane Victorino. And some of the struggles they've had against right handed pitching. -- 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 urgent and let's not forget about it might start. I albeit one without any power -- before he had a compassion that is number one into the tank. I'll let you advocate tracker against right handers. Up my car has shown has shown interest in things it's time. In his career and against right handed pitching he's in treatment I was outside the major points 602011. A collection of very good player. -- we don't really realize that because -- Seattle but. And ended up I think as a guy who. Employment like out there about you kind of you know mediocrity body -- Let me for a while he was healthy last year with a guy -- -- -- percent of well over 400 felt. Deep into their. There are some guys who can put in that group who can put together solid competitive at -- are they going to be all -- I'm not sure about that but immediately. Average against right handed pitching it took those guys are all doing that which case you know what you what you factor Altman that does -- you look at about jewels. Jacoby Ellsbury. Huge year for him in so many ways of course being a block here this season. -- day 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 he come into the draft pick setter -- do you think that they end up moving Ellsbury this season. I think that getting your first question. Super should they have don't -- after 2011. To meet -- greatly. He was you know they had a World Series aspiration. Here. After entering I realize that some. And certainly after a 69 and 93 eaten by they thought they have a nucleus -- -- -- -- -- -- baseball. All very Pedroia in David Ortiz. Adrian Gonzales haven't you quote we still thought had a he's from -- and we realize how empty was. So note to meet you would 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 when your team it is clearly going for the threat 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 -- pat about the group but it was so difficult to establish. A valued it would be a value point it would make sense for both the Red Sox in any team extreme form. -- it was point mr. really. Pushed you -- in marketing and it has who is going to put -- -- now very fact there are there lessons to trade opera 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 -- him in watching it might have been interest to them where I felt. You know it. If you're Red Sox. If you're in it and you probably -- -- -- -- -- pretty excited about getting yeah getting to traffic compensation. And blocks and if you are in the if you saw a lot of it. Then you make another team -- something in return to fixing that traffic compensation. I think at Erin I think is buried in fine shape I think that this probably was the most sensible course. For -- -- -- -- and kind of explore trade market during the season depending on whether or not there inspiration not earned the right into let them you know. Let them prove themselves down the hot -- so far and the senate 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 contract in baseball Alex I was saying that even if he has a sub -- -- a look at what BJ Upton signed with -- Atlantis so. There will be no matter what ends up happening. Probably. A decent market for Ellsbury. I agree with that and accusing it in contrast to that -- -- which was one that was flushed with center fielder. Next offseason looks like one that's going to have. And they -- -- -- the 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 -- -- -- find out. You know of the Michael -- -- on some aspect. The of the twelve and 48 even if he goes off the rail machine victory noted last year -- -- -- exceed that of victory in a -- I think that he would still get. A better deal in the green 39 the Katrina got out. So the question that you raised is. Is it inevitable that you end up not returning to the Red Sox. I wouldn't say inevitable never say never things can always change and as you point out reject Bradley development dispenses though then. And perhaps that would prompt the Red Sox to explore. The possibility of bringing out in fact may be may -- has market is killed. Desperate -- wend directs our -- traffic forever. A qualifying offer that would require drastic compensation. So that would certainly. It's there's a there's a chance there's a chance but I would I would. Suggest that it -- is very limited chances out there is a very difficult -- 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. Had a more seasons at any level professionally investor mobiles Perry felt. They are there aren't really any other data point to look like him you can't say. I'll -- sky at a at a career -- that was a lot like him now you just don't know what to copy Pillsbury is going forward so I indexing direct talks. That's why the Red Sox have been reluctant to even try to -- engagement long term talks. That the fact that he showed very little inclination. To explore long term extension so. I would say that the great. And they -- great likelihood is they'll -- -- -- by you know it can never say never Jackie Bradley junior development after an -- they -- the -- victory no end up being injured. Or you know maybe they can steal victory in -- and you know then there's there'll be -- avenue or multiple avenues to explore greenback helped -- you -- 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 -- along with Alex bureau of WEEI -- -- I was talking a little bit before we ended up getting on the for the -- Alex about this American League east and predicting the American League east. Amend it 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. You know Princeton duke it out if they have a great court could say it's been able to sustain them are. In almost two decades -- at the same time. Their -- is is not and it's about -- -- a little bit more and they want to early ethnic granderson has suffered that injury could keep matter and may. They don't they don't have the same kind of stepped in they're out certificates. Even a year ago where predict guys like on has yeah you know and and Andruw Jones as sidestepped the options so you know that are hurt -- -- -- -- A-Rod. You know their their depth is. -- -- in trouble I think -- the -- election very true blue jays. For a very top of the eighteen. You know they gave up basically every significant. Major League ready prospect that they have paper one or two in so if they are getting any injuries. Been there in trouble clearly their ceiling as they ever ever roster. Exceed that of anyone else in the division by. You know -- a couple of injuries could change their work quite a bit. Yeah I think that this is the division that is. You know in which literally could think it's for virtually any human division. First place team except for in my -- the -- I still don't think they have the talent -- -- do it -- I don't think that lightning can strike twice for that seem. But he got -- But I can see 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 -- senator would that Baltimore team. The you know it's amazing though lastly on a 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 to second place. Yeah that would be pretty extraordinary -- -- -- dialing the way back machine to over two decades 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 work even 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. Or about 2007 you know there was -- Kirkuk 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 the casing like parity take -- -- -- absolutely. Anything can happen in the division including I took the Red Sox nor the Yankees finish in the top two spots. Which is extraordinary. It is what else is extraordinary is not only is Alex spear right on a baseball. Extraordinary is -- film critic as well. Although it now let's transferred -- look at some of the -- of this go over best picture best actor best actress and best director. -- -- the -- inside getting a little boring we're not gonna go to digging into the in the short. Well. You can you can do that if you wish but -- here. What do you think wins best picture who would you go for best picture. Yeah I think it first brought forth thing like I don't think that there's a standout pitcher in this year's class -- -- -- every other one and they say that is clearly. Far and away the best of all the all the movies they came out of the out of this year so. I don't think you have a runaway Oscar. Two -- DirecTV -- A you're you're going to -- award. 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 indicator. 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 either nominated for best director so that kind of suggests something about the nature of the years of of this year's movies in which. You know one of them wasn't just war wasn't a worthy. -- for every category. So we have Argo is -- to me Argo 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 term 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 -- -- members silver linings playbook about that I was was a really kind of exceptional exploration. You know of psychologically of -- I yeah out bipolar disorder. You know I thought that it was it was a really. Powerful in visual depiction. A -- or disorder I can -- I thought their flight which got nominated for almost nothing. It was a 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 -- focus of the movie instead that action sequences of your metaphor. For the more significant structure of the movie. So I acting -- our bill 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 at a cargo. All right nice now best actor and a leading role you mentioned flight 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 fashion -- compelling. And you know and emotionally real and you know. That this person -- kind of a god became a very human and indicate -- 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 awards split in the past between. Between -- and just contrasting -- -- zero dark thirty but I really found. Jennifer Lawrence would be such. You know such a compelling. Figure. And again in in this very challenging role I'd 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 of her character -- -- and civil. And best director and I love this -- because who we we've got this on it we're gonna see how well you ended up doing what qualities. But best director. The best director that -- has that's going to -- what I think that. For me it probably going to boil that and I'm actually get what was interesting because. Because. -- over you know the great needs sober who did. Whose book a master of -- of of baseball projections and looked a bit. Extraordinary job of predicting the election also -- it looks at data out in order to track record predicting -- on the I 38 flaws. Up to 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. It basically pick guys who won the other ones for instance Arco I and was -- named for some other one. They weren't even nominated so. So for me. I I'm guessing but it comes down to Gilbert -- -- David O. Russell so Lincoln verses 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 went into media is more film 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 and it -- who wanna get out there is first the Oscars because this is the last time will be talking about the Oscars. Let's see. Again I I would just I would put him a plug for anyone who has we've never done so. -- 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 and richness that it is kind of took blows your mind I mean to me. The greatest cinematic -- achievement -- 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 -- Renaissance man baseball film you name. On it that's at a Harvard education at work on older brother. -- Yes yes well that said you know Harvard education and work there although they probably want him maybe to time -- different subject but baseball and felt -- -- That's more at WBI's path ethnic. 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 I'm glad for that moment. Bring it also. Excellent stuff Alex really appreciate all the time his nose. All right Alex spirit WEEI dot com.

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Headlines Headlines Headlines: Aaron Hernandez in more trouble 4-15-14

The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. Today the guys discussed Aaron Hernandez getting in more jailhouse trouble.

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