Good morning, everyone. With another day before we get back to World Cup matches, I thought I’d take this opportunity to write about a couple different things.
I’ll be disappointed once the World Cup ends, but it’ll be nice to have time to focus on baseball again. The Red Sox seem hell bent on keeping fans away this summer though, as they continue to find ways to lose. Yesterday’s game was yet another in which the Red Sox showed glimpses of last year, this time coming back from a 6-1 deficit with a five run seventh. But yet again, all clutch hitting disappeared and the Red Sox fell once more in extra innings. The late-inning magic epitomized by Jonny Gomes that the Red Sox had an abundance of last year has not existed this year when it is needed. They’re a frustrating team to watch at the moment.
It seems fitting that our defending World Champions have only one all-star on the roster selected by their own manager. Jon Lester will be the only one donning the special all-star game hat next week in Minnesota. Reports say David Ortiz told John Farrell that he preferred time off this year, but really, was Ortiz even worthy of a selection? While I do think Lester was deserving of a spot, he hasn’t exactly been the stopper his team have needed at times. He’s had a lot of games where he pitched well, but not well enough. For an ace to beat other aces, he needs to be almost perfect. And Lester has been far from that.
I made the case for John Lackey to be an all-star a few weeks back, but he’s cooled down a bit since then. The only other player I think should have made it from the Sox is Koji Uehara. It’s hard to believe there have been many relievers better than him this year, and I would have thought Farrell would have wanted to turn the ball over to his closer at the end of the game. Uehara’s success over the last 12 months certainly merited a spot, but ultimately, his team’s failure cost him his place on the team, as Farrell couldn’t give his Red Sox an extra spot they didn’t deserve. Hopefully Uehara gets in as a replacement, but I understand why there is only one Red Sox on the roster this year.
Maybe this announcement will serve as a wake-up call for Dustin Pedroia. The former MVP has seen a dramatic drop in production this year, and it seems like there’s no injury to blame this time. I’m sure Pedroia likes to think of himself as the best second baseman in the game, but he was not even close to making the American League roster this year. Even if the Red Sox don’t turn things around as a team, for Pedroia, a return to his best could help get next season’s team back on the right track.
On a different front, Arsenal’s pre-season is about to get under way. I love the World Cup, but I am dying to see Arsenal get going again. Personally, I really enjoy watching preseason games, as I like seeing young players like Chuba Akpom, Thomas Eisfeld and Kristoff Olsson get run outs. It’ll be fun to watch those guys get another few games under their belts to prove they belong at this level. The friendly against Boreham Wood on July 19th can’t get here soon enough.
But as pre-season heats up, the transfer sagas begin to get more important. It’s at this point that I, along with just about every other Gooner in the world, would like to see Arsene Wenger get something done. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a big slash yet, but I would just like to see some movement. There are a lot of signings needed this summer – backup goalie, right back, center back, holding midfielder, forward – and I would hate to see Wenger need to fill all of those on the last day of the window. Getting a signing out of the way now would help ease some pressure off of his overall load.
I don’t like to comment on transfer rumors because they rarely turn out to be anything more than letdowns for Arsenal supporters. But I will say that a certain Chilean attacker currently heavily linked with a move to North London would be an incredible signing – one that would legitimately put Arsenal squarely in next season’s title race. The other major link – the one with a certain French right back – would also be a useful signing. I’d like to see that deal get done in the next couple days to get things moving towards the new season. I won’t name any names until the signings get done, but these rumors excite me. It’s going to be a fun year.
And on a similar note to yesterday, I’d like to thank How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor for reading my post about HIMYM and favoriting my tweet. Little votes of confidence like that inspire me to keep writing, and I’m incredibly thankful for what Josh Radnor and Craig Thomas have done for me over the last few days. If I go on to become a writer full-time in the future, I’ll have them to thank.
As the How I Met Your Mother post has now nearly quadrupled the number of hits that any other post has gotten, I want to ask if anyone has any desire for further HIMYM content. If you have an idea of another piece I could do, put it in the comments or tell me on Twitter (@MrMcGinnis94). Writing a non-sports piece every once in a while would be a nice change of pace, and people seemed to enjoy the one I did. Hope your day is wonderful. And thanks for reading.