Lars Anderson is a huge football fan. But in his case, it’s the football played all over the globe.
(photos courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
The PawSox first baseman describes himself as a “soccer freak” and says he’s obsessed with the upcoming World Cup. Lars will be rooting for the USA, but admits that his favorite team to watch is Spain because of the Spaniards quick and intricate passing. Anderson can frequently been seen off of the baseball field wearing the jersey of FC Barcelona (Futbol Club Barcelona) – his favorite soccer club.
It’s been six weeks since Lars was promoted from Double-A Portland, and in his first 36 games with Pawtucket, the 22-year-old first baseman is batting .244/.350/.423 with 4 HR and 16 RBI. He’s batting .296 vs. right-handed pitchers, but has struggled vs. lefties, going 1-for-25 (.040).
Most hitters struggle at times in their first exposure to Triple-A pitching, and Anderson has maintained an upbeat attitude.
“There’s no use ripping my hair out over something that’s already happened because there’s nothing I can do about it,’ Lars told me. “It’s a process where you have to learn from it and move on to what’s happening in the moment. It’s such a challenge. This game can really wear you out mentally, and I’ve been letting it wear me out for however long I’ve been playing. I’m trying to reverse that trend, and it’s such a joy when you’re not killing yourself.”
Lars is currently ranked as the #2 prospect in the Red Sox organization by soxprospects.com, and while he’s not complaining, Anderson admits that being “rated” takes some getting used to.
“I’ve never understood how you could compare me to a shortstop or a relief pitcher,” Lars said. “We all play different positions and have different roles – maybe Angel Sanchez is the best guy in the organization at hitting a fastball to the opposite field. It’s a strange concept to me – it’s like ranking bands – it’s very subjective.”
But then again, so is picking a favorite soccer team.
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We had surprise visitors in the radio booth in Indianapolis on Wednesday – Don and Becky Nava – the parents of PawSox outfielder Daniel Nava.
Something tells me that he would not approve of the eating habits of Hoard and Hyder (chicken wings, burgers, nachos, etc . . . after night games). In fact, Mr. Nava noticed that Steve had a bottle of Mountain Dew in the booth and playfully disapproved.
The meeting did inspire a funny idea. I told Daniel after the game that we’re going to drive his dad nuts on a future broadcast by making up a list of all of the junk food that we’ve seen Daniel eat.
The reaction should be classic.
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The PawSox will look to snap a 2-game losing streak on Thursday as they face Indianapolis at 7:05. I hope you’ll join us for radio coverage beginning with the pre-game show at 6:50 on the PawSox radio network and pawsox.com.
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