Buster Olney on M&M: 'If you're a Red Sox fan, you're going to want to see the Indians'

September 25, 2013 - 9:14 am

ESPN'€™s Buster Olney joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday and attempted to clear up the murky MLB playoff picture. Olney started by discussing the Red Sox'€™ potential postseason opponents. If the Sox secure the No. 1 seed in the American League, they would host the winner of the one-game playoff between the two wild card winners. The Rays and Indians are tied for the two wild card spots, while with the Rangers are one game back and the Royals four behind with five games left for all four teams. Olney opined that due to the familiarity between Tampa Bay and Boston, Cleveland could be a more appealing opponent. '€œIf you'€™re the Red Sox, you probably don'€™t want to see the Rays,'€ Olney said. '€œBecause they have more starting pitching depth, and on top of that, and I'€™ve always thought this, and part of the reason why I always thought that the Red Sox had much better success against [Mariano] Rivera than other teams, was that when you face a team so much you sort of lose the awe. The Rays aren'€™t going to walk into a series against the Red Sox and say, '€˜Oh my God, their home-field advantage is so great,'€™ because they play there all the time. "And that'€™s why if you'€™re a Red Sox fan you'€™re going to want to see the Indians." Another postseason storyline is the potential availability of Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta and Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz. Both were issued 50-game suspensions on Aug. 5 for their involvement with the now-defunct Biogenesis drug clinic, and both are eligible to return for the postseason if their teams will take them. Peralta has been playing outfield in the minor leagues in preparation for the postseason. Cruz'€™s situation remains more complicated because Texas currently sits outside of the playoff picture, and he has a tenuous relationship with the organization. '€œIt'€™s probably a lot like the Tigers with Jhonny Peralta where the initial thing was, '€˜Well, you know what, we'€™re not very pleased with you, we had to go out and trade for a shortstop, we used use some assets and we'€™re ready to move on,'€™ but when you start getting into the practical needs of the team, yeah, absolutely they could bring him back. And if the Rangers, who'€™ve struggled for offense, feel like they could benefit from having him in the lineup, I'€™m sure they would find a place,'€ Olney said. To hear to the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.