In today's episode of Season Ticket, The Boston Globe's Chris Gasper (@cgasper) welcomes two guests to discuss a weird day in the NFL and a Red Sox team fighting to stay alive. Topics include Mike Pence walking out of the Colts game over the anthem protests, the muddled AFC playoff picture, David Price as an unlikely hero, and the Sox's stellar outfield paying dividends.
Please note: Today’s podcast was recorded prior to the start of Game 4 of the ALDS between the Red Sox and Astros.
On Vice President Pence leaving the Colts game before it even began over the anthem protests
Ben Volin: That statement from Pence rings so hollow because, unless you've been sticking your head in the sand for the last year and a half, you know the 49ers are going to kneel. They're the kneeling team. They started it and they've had anywhere from 10 to 20 players weekly kneeling. You had to understand and expect that the 49ers were going to do this. So, you know, just a total publicity stunt from the administration, obviously. What's even more fascinating to me [is that] this kneeling issue had almost gone away and the administration pours gasoline on the fire to reignite it. So, for all the people who just wants to stick to sports, your president and your vice president are the people who are bringing politics back into sports.
"Just a total publicity stunt from the administration."Ben Volin, on Pence walking out of the Colts game
On the tough road ahead for the Patriots
Ben Volin: [The Patriots] still have to play at Mexico City against the Raiders, at Denver. They still have all their division games ahead. Even this game against the Jets [on Sunday] is not going to be easy, going into the Meadowlands against the Jets' very good defense. Tom Brady better get healed up this week because he's going to get battered and bruised a little bit. I just think the margin for error now for the Patriots is razor thin with those two losses and Kansas City already being 5-0.
On whether the Red Sox should have used David Price as a starter
Alex Speier: The fact that he was throwing 57 pitches on one day of rest suggests, yes, they could have [used Price] as a starter. However, there is a question of whether or not in the postseason that is more valuable than the guy who can come in and do what he's done so far and what the Red Sox hope that he can do going forward...Let's say you would have used Price in Game 2. Then he wouldn't have been available in Game 3. [By bringing him out of the bullpen], you're maximizing the number of games that he's able to influence.
"You're maximizing the number of games that he's able to influence."Alex Speier, on the advantage of using David Price out of the bullpen
On the Red Sox's advantage having a talented outfield
Alex Speier: It is such an impactful thing to have guys who are able to chase down fly balls, especially in the postseason, especially in an era when everyone is trying to hit the ball in the air. [The Sox] have a very significant opportunity to have the game pivot on just the ability to track down fly balls from left-center all the way down to the right field foul line. We have seen it in action. We certainly saw it in action over the course of Game 3.