BOSTON (CBS) – Here are some random thoughts on the Red Sox as I hope all of you are enjoying a baseball/softball-filled Fourth of July week.

– First off, Jarrod Saltalamacchia deserves to go to the All-Star game. He’s hitting .254 with 15 home runs and 37 RBI and playing well at his catcher position. Maybe he’ll go if Mike Napoli, Joe Mauer, or Matt Wieters bow out.

– It was great to see two things from David Ortiz when it comes go the All-Star game. First, nice to see him get in again. Big Papi is raking (leading Boston in nearly all offensive stats) and certainly deserves to go. And second, it’s great to see he’s not participating in this year’s Home Run Derby. I’m not a fan of what the derby does to players after they are in the competition. I think it definitely does something to their swing. We’ve seen it first-hand with Adrian Gonzalez.

Read: Ortiz Named Lone Red Sox All-Star

– One final note about the All-Star game. I say this every year, but it’s true: being selected for the All-Star game matters. Head to Cooperstown and the first thing you see under each Hall of Famer’s name is how many times they were chosen as an All-Star. When a player passes on it’s usually right there; ‘Six time All-Star Joe Smith’… So even if players try to downplay it, it still means something to them.

On to a few other things…

– It’s strange how things work in baseball. Kevin Youkilis gets dealt and Will Middlebrooks goes 1-for-16. Eventually Middlebrooks will turn it around, but there is some concern after he had to leave Sunday’s game due to a hamstring injury

Watch: Youk’s Final Interview

– You have to feel real bad for Daniel Bard. It goes to show you just how tough this game is — both mentally and physically. Here’s hoping things click again soon for the young right-hander. Maybe he should talk with his buddy Andrew Miller, who seems to have found his own way… finally.

– What makes Dustin Pedroia so special? He never stops battling. Every day.

-Note to Ben Cherington: please don’t think of trading Cody Ross.

Read: Red Sox- A’s Preview

– It looks like the Red Sox logjam of starting pitchers can be solved by giving Felix Doubront a two-week rest-your-arm DL vacation. He is only at 89 innings pitched, but all those high pitch counts will catch up to the 24-year-old at some point…

– Can the Red Sox bullpen be any better than has been this first half?

– If Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, and Clay Buchholz (currently a combined 17-14 with a 4.69 ERA) can pitch anywhere close to their career numbers… at least one game of October baseball is likely in Boston’s future.

Enjoy the games………

Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on twitter @RochieWBZ


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