Wild American Gooner

When Sports Are More Than Just Sports

The Calm Before the Storm

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Good morning all. Today is the calm before the storm World Cup wise. We get the third place match tomorrow and the final Sunday, but today we have to wait. I don’t have much time today so that suits me just fine. But all day, I’ll be thinking about this weekend. It’s going to be fun.

Yesterday was quite a day for Arsenal supporters, and frankly I still can hardly believe that happened. We signed Alexis Sanchez… It’ll take a while for that to sink in. It seems strange that he took number 17, given that Nacho Monreal was currently wearing it. The options weren’t great for numbers, with 13 and 18 being the two best available, so you can see why Sanchez wanted something better. But what does it say to Monreal about his importance that his number was just given away? I guess there’s no way of knowing if he gave it up willingly, but it can’t be a good sign for the Spanish left back. Hopefully this doesn’t signal the end of Monreal’s time in an Arsenal shirt.

Hopefully there will be more good Arsenal transfer news to come in the immediate future, and now that Arsene Wenger has proved he can buy someone before the end of the window, everyone will be expecting big things. There is still a need at right back, center back, defensive midfield and goalkeeper, so this shouldn’t be the end of Arsenal’s spending. If Wenger plays his cards right, Arsenal could be a feared side come late August.

On a different front, the Red Sox won their second straight game in walkoff fashion yesterday, beating the White Sox in extra innings after Koji Uehara had blown a save. These last two games have been ones the Red Sox wouldn’t have won earlier in the season, but it would seem naive to consider everything fixed after two games. There are still lots of issues offensively – Jose Quintana had a perfect game into the sixth for the White Sox – and there’s a rapidly rising concern about the bullpen. Two walkoffs could help change the momentum and improve the vibe in the clubhouse, but in order to make a second half run, they’ll need to start hitting. Three hits in 10 innings won’t get you too many wins.

However, it is a good sign that the team hasn’t given up after the A.J. Pierzynski dismissal seemingly signaled that the front office was throwing in the towel on the season. That the players still have each others’ backs says a lot about the character of this team. We knew it was strong last year, but nobody seemed to be stepping up this year. It would be wise to try and ride this momentum out for as long as possible, but I don’t see it lasting much beyond the all-star break. However, if the Red Sox can make a legitimate push in the A.L. East in the next few weeks, maybe they can be buyers at the deadline after all. There’s no telling what will push the players’ buttons in times like these, but maybe the fear of getting traded or released could be the needed motivation.

It isn’t always pretty, but at least the Red Sox games have been more watchable in recent days. If there’s any more Arsenal news today, I’ll have some analysis, but otherwise, it’ll be a pretty quiet day. Thanks for reading.

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