Celtics GM Chris Wallace appeared on the WEEI midday show. I came into in the middle of it, he was talking about Kedrick Brown, he is expected to make a big impact this coming year. This past year he had been starting in the middle of the season, sprained his ankle and then after two practices was back starting. When the trade for Rogers and Delk occurred, Kedrick’s season was basically over. There became an immediate need to play veterans “because the stakes were so high” and from that point on he didn’t play. He did gain an immeasurable amount of experience over the course of the season, mostly from guarding Paul Pierce everyday in practice. Quite a change, said Wallace, going from Junior College to going against Paul Pierce everyday for 7-8 months. Going to be a defensive stopper, being able to put some points on the board and help them athletically. Joe Forte needs to work on some PG skills, if he’s going to make it in the league he needs to be a 1/2 Point and 1/2 two-guard. He’ll be working on that over the summer and both of those guys will be in the Shaws summer league. The trade will only be considered an 100% success if they re-sign Rogers. They got an immediate short term boost out of it, but to push it over the top, he needs to be re-signed. He’s not sure what the competition for Rogers is going to be. There are about 16 teams in the same boat as the C’s with the luxury tax. But it only takes one team out there to push an offer out of reach. Kenny was a great surprise this year, great in the playoffs, timely offense, key steals, expects him to do the same this coming year because he’s had a taste of success and wants more. Jim O’Brien spent those years with Pitino watching, thinking about how he would do things when his time came and put those things into practice this year. The first thing he did when named coach was to get Walker and Pierce on his side. Ended the conversation raving about Caron Butler, he’ll be one the 3 most productive rookies this year.
Shea Hillenbrand came on WWZN this afternoon, doesn’t think too much about the All Star voting even though its overwhelming for a guy like him. Not considered one on the best players in the league.The Colon trade was pretty amazing he said, but they’ve got faith in their management to put the best team on the field. Jageler asked him about trade rumors involving himself, he said rather not play anywhere else, but you can’t control it. Asked if he’d prefer them to acquire pitching or hitting, Hillenbrand didn’t say either way, he likes the team they have now, and it’s not their decision. He likes the way Thome plays the game. Johnny Damon’s triple the other night was huge, he’s been an incredible addition to the team. Getting on base, his glove, he’s an incredible teammate. As for his own comfort level at third base, it’s a matter of stability, never played one position consistantly before, and he’s getting experience there. Facing Maddux, he grew up watching him, getting to face him is incredible, he’s always around the plate, and they need to take advantage of that. Need to do the small things. On Interleague play…it’s more difficult as a hitter not facing these pitchers, its tough. As for a day off, the rainout last night was perfect, the body does feel it playing day in and day out, nights like that help you to recover.
Couple small updates on the Thome situation. WEEI reports that he did indeed fly back on the Indians charter last night. Tony Massarotti on WWZN says the Red Sox don’t have the prospects to make any major deal, though he does say the price for Thome is going to be much lower than it was for Colon. He advocates going for Chuck Finley. (Ugh).