Cabrera has given switch-hitting Sandoval a few tips on improving his right-handed swing, which has produced only a .198 average in 338 at-bats since the start of the 2014 season. And it was Cabrera who introduced Sandoval to Echevarria. In addition to boxers, Echevarria trains football players and lists New England Patriots defensive lineman Chris Long among his first clients.
The idea, according to Echevarria, wasn’t to turn Sandoval into a fighter but rather to provide an up-tempo cardiovascular workout. Moving around the ring for three-minute rounds can help with conditioning and footwork. Echevarria also noted that delivering a power punch and throwing a baseball require a similar set of muscles and movements.
And if the Red Sox get into any bench-clearing dustups, well, beware of the Panda.
“I made a joke with him about that,” Echevarria said. “I said, ‘I hope no one throws at you this year.’
2014/2015, AS Monaco FC 0-2 Arsenal FC (agg: 3-3, Monaco win on away goals). The hope! Always the hope. Olivier Giroud scored in the 36th minute, Arsenal took 16 shots, got seven on target, and Aaron Ramsey scored in the 79th. Just enough time to inspire that dreadful hope within a fan base that has suffered the subsequent disappointment many times. “The valiant effort to overturn the first leg deficit was in vain” could very well replace the present Arsenal motto, “victory grows through harmony.”
2015/2016, Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal (agg: 5-1). Mathieu Flamini started the game in a midfield two with Mohamed Elneny. Flamini did as Flaminis are wont to do and was yellow carded by the 32nd minute. Realizing his mistake, Wenger subbed off Flamini at halftime for Francis Coquelin. Coquelin did as Coquelins are wont to do, Arsenal as Arsenal does, and Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi both scored to end the game … as they are liable to do.