The signs point towards Koji Uehara joining Jon Lester as the only Red Sox in the 2014 All-Star Game next week. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The announcement of the rosters for the 2014 All-Star Game included just one member of the Red Sox–pitcher Jon Lester. In recent years, usually a group of Boston players would make the trip, including regulars like David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia. Yet after fans and players gave their opinions on who will get to make the trip to Minnesota next week, Ortiz along with other Sox candidates such as Koji Uehara and Brock Holt were nowhere to be found.

Offensive struggles, competition keep Ortiz off roster

After finally getting the Red Sox to bite on a two-year contract, Ortiz has put up his worst numbers at the plate since 2009 when it seemed like his career was over. While there’s no doubt he remains the most dangerous hitter in the Sox lineup with an impressive 19 home runs before the break, Big Papi has been hitting closer to .250 than .300 for the majority of the year.

Additionally, the competition in the American League at the designated hitter position actually exists this season. Nelson Cruz has played DH in about half of his games this year for Baltimore and made the roster as a starter and earned his position on the team from the fan vote, even after recently dealing with his PED suspension.

The American League has four potential backup first basemen; Jose Abreu, Edwin Encarnacion, Victor Martinez, and Brandon Moss. Of the bunch, Moss’s numbers are most comparable with Ortiz, but at the end of the day the 2014 season has belonged to Oakland, and they will be well-represented at the game with six All-Stars. Ortiz would be the first to admit that he doesn’t belong in this mix of players, and will probably benefit from a few days off for a change.

Uehara will be first alternate roster option

Closer Koji Uehara seemed like a serious candidate for the All-Star Game, and he is the first option to replace a pitcher who is injured or ineligible to pitch, so he’s certain to end up joining the roster eventually. The 39-year old has been close to flawless in 41.2 innings this season, striking out 52 batters while walking just six and maintaining a 1.30 ERA.

When comparing Uehara to the other right-handed relievers elected, it does seem like he should have been initially chosen. Kansas City Royals reliever Greg Holland has been terrific but less effective than the automatic Uehara, who deserved his spot on the roster, especially since the Royals are already represented with both Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon attending.

Unproven Holt doesn’t belong in Minnesota

As for Brock Holt, the super utility rookie extraordinaire has played unbelievable on both sides of the ball this season, by making the loss of Jacoby Ellsbury at the top of the batting order relatively painless and by playing nearly every position in the field. While his numbers are crawling back down to Earth, only playing in 55 games to this point in the season prevents Holt from being realistically considered, especially given how little his great play has impacted the success of the Red Sox.

Ultimately, the Red Sox are going nowhere in 2014. The bridge is in full effect as the team and the media focuses more on the upcoming Jon Lester free agency than the actual standings. It is unusual for the Red Sox to be out of a playoff race before the All-Star Break, especially for the defending World Series champions, but the future remains bright and it’s fair to expect multiple All-Stars from this promising franchise in the years to come.

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Andrew Rector

A 26-year-old man is suing Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees, and ESPN New York for character defamation after cameras caught him slumped over, sleeping on April 13th 2014, at Yankee Stadium as the Bronx Bombers faced off against the Boston Red Sox.

Andrew Rector is seeking $10 million in the suit he filed in Bronx County Supreme Court. He says that ESPN commentators Dan Shulman and John Kruk made fun of him, calling him “fatty, unintelligent and stupid.” Continue reading Sleepy Yankees Fan Sues MLB, ESPN for Defamation »

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1. Cliff Notes:

* Beautiful weekend – 4th of July a celebration of the greatest country known to man
* Patriots camp around the corner
* Can golf be any more boring without Tiger
* Wimbledon proved yet again that the server has too much an advantage with the rackets built as they are

2. World Cup:

* If Brazil loses – Colombian Juan Camilo Zuniga is going to receive more death threats than JFK got
* My Germany over Argentina prediction is alive
* Dan Shaughnessy said it Saturday in the paper – USA won one of four games and is being celebrated as the nations greatest team (he asked – “which one was Eruzione”)
* The elimination round is not as good as teams are playing not to lose Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Back To Work We Go »

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Jon Lester

Last week, CBS Sports reported that a contract extension for Red Sox ace Jon Lester would not come during the season, making the lefthander a free agent for the first time in his career after the season.

According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, Lester would consider negotiating with the team during the season, as long as there is an indication it would be a brief process instead of a process drawn out over several weeks.

This would be great news for the Red Sox, who should do what they can to secure Lester, who has nailed down a 9-7 record on this mediocre Red Sox squad. The hurler has a 2.92 ERA in 114 innings, with 115 strikeouts and 29 walks this season. Continue reading Jon Lester Willing to Negotiate Contract Extension Mid-Season, Reports Say »

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Well, it’s only day two of the NHL free agency, and already things are getting a little intense. Day one of the free agency showed us several moves that occurred impacting the Boston Bruins, which leads one to believe that there is more to come.

1. Money talks- One of many signings to occur this week was Jarome Iginla leaving the Boston Bruins and heading west, where he signed a 3-year, $16 million dollar deal with the Colorado Avalanche. Continue reading Jarome Iginla Departs Bruins in Flurry of Moves Across NHL »

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1. Game Stuff:

* Amazing, amazing sporting event – almost broke my clicker, hand and TV – tantalizing, agonizing, what sports are all about – the ultimate in competition
* An indication of the respect FIFA has for USA – they were put in the Group of Death and had to travel more than any other team 5,900 miles to less than a 1,000 for Belgium
* Are we sure Landon Donovan couldn’t have helped at all?
* The team did the country proud they fought hard

2. Stats:

* Belgium 38 shots to 14
* Belgium 27 shots on net to 9
* Belgium 19 corners to 4 Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Tim Howard Heroic Efforts Not Enough in Classic »

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Shawn Thornton (Bob DeChiara, USA TODAY Sports)

Today marks the beginning of NHL Free Agency and it has been a whirlwind of activity so far. The Bruins have been quiet so far, but we have seen two friendly faces part ways: Shawn Thornton signed a 2-year deal with the Florida Panthers and Chad Johnson has signed a contract with the New York Islanders. Neither of these are surprises and both should do well with their respective new teams.

Other Notes:

  • Jason Spezza has been traded to the Stars. They also signed Ales Hemsky. Those are some great deals that make huge additions to their top 6.
  • Paul Stastny signed with the Blues. Good chance you see him centering Olympic teammates TJ Oshie and David Backes.
  • Ryan Miller signed with Vancouver.
  • Jonas Hiller to Calgary.
  • Benoit Pouliot signed with Edmonton for 5 years. Laughable contract.
  • Brooks Orpik signed with Washington for 5 years. See above.
  • Tomas Vanek signed with the MN Wild. Great signing for them.
  • Dan Boyle to the Rangers. He left money on the table because he really wanted to be a Blueshirt.
  • Mike Cammalleri to the Devils.

 

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