Machado is Worth Every Penny

Fourth and Goal With The Bam! Baseball is upon us once again!!! The national media, unfortunately, still has the same talking points they have had since the World Series ended. Where in the world will Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sign? And more importantly, for how much cash? Half of that was answered last week when Machado signed in San Diego for $300 million over 10 years. Harper will probably sign this week, likely with Philadelphia and possibly for slightly more Benjamins. And there is no problem with that. More and more we hear from fans that these salaries are ridiculous and that no player is worth that much money. Well, to teams that sign these players, they are more than worth it.

3 FROM WAAAAAAAY DOWNTOWN!

The "Unamed Source" is famous in media circles these days. This one in particular works in local sports media, but for any number of reasons, wants to stay anonymous. Robert Kraft. What's Next? (Disclaimer, this was written Sunday afternoon, if startling revelations emerge after this writing and before it’s posting, they were not taken into account.) There a wide range of how this will play out. The Source has run the gamut of opinions on this latest Patriots scandal. The initial headlines made it sound like the owner of the team was the kingpin of a prostitution ring throughout the state of Florida. The second thought was, is this really a big deal or is it a momentary embarrassment because

So, Maine Hockey is a Disappointment, Huh?

Over the last few months, I’ve read a lot of negativity about the University of Maine Black Bears men’s hockey team on the pages of this blog. I’ve read that, after a season in which they finished two games over the 0.500 winning percentage mark, anything less than NCAA tournament berth in 2018-19 should be viewed as a colossal failure. I’ve even read that Head Coach Red Gendron should be shown the door midseason from my friend Jeff Solari. I’ve kept my opinions to myself, but Ryan McLaughlin’s column last week linking the Maine Black Bears “disappointing” season to the same level of that as the Boston Celtics was as much as I could bare without a response. First, if your expectations for th

Maine Black Bear Hockey is at .500!! 14-14-4!

Who are THESE Black Bears? Didn't we leave this University of Maine hockey team in the Hockey East graveyard after they spent the first semester losing to Tomato Cans such as UConn and Princeton? Didn't we just declare them as big a disappointment as a Celtics team that just lost by 10 to the woeful Chicago Bulls on Saturday? Well, I guess coach Red Gendron's crew is proving Solari wrong. Maine is playing its best hockey of the season, riding a five-game unbeaten streak after sweeping Boston College at home, including a thrilling 2-1 overtime win on Saturday. It guarantees the Bears can finish no worse than sixth in Hockey East and will finish conference play above .500. Maine has two games

Chicken Cams, Ballet Dancing, and V-Day Love for the Celtics

As Huey Lewis reminds us, “The power of love is a curious thing. Makes one man weep, makes another man sing. Change a hawk, to a little white dove. More than a feeling….that’s the power of love!” That signature song from Huey (remember the 1985 movie “Back to the Future?”) speaks the truth; love is indeed a powerful force, and inspires us to do brave, stupid, illogical, and yes-even embarrassing things. Case in point: me. Recently we installed some cameras at the McKay compound. Why? Not for the reason you might think. We aren’t trying to catch thieves making-off with my dilapidated, rust bucket of a truck (a ’99 GMC.) No, the reason we now have cameras beaming into our backyard is so the Fa

3 FROM WAAAAAAAY DOWNTOWN!

The "Unamed Source" is famous in media circles these days. This one in particular works in local sports media, but for any number of reasons, wants to stay anonymous. 3 Reasons to Sign Craig Kimbrel NOW Tom Werner said on Monday that “it is extremely unlikely that the Red Sox would re-sign Craig Kimbrel.” Here is why that’s insane. You don’t have a replacement. The rumored thinking is that Matt Barnes or Ryan Brasier could step into the closers role. What? Barnes has been Jekyll and Hyde during his entire Sox career and just over a year ago Brasier was pitching for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. Could either be the closer? Perhaps in theory but I’ve long said you can tell what kind of outing Barne

Bigger Bust This Season: Celtics or Maine Hockey?

It's easy to wilt under the pressure of high expectations. Unless you're the New England Patriots. The Boston Celtics and the University of Maine hockey team came into their respective seasons with the expectation of success. After coming one game short of the NBA Finals last spring, and with a healthy Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, the Celts were expected to run all over the Eastern Conference, and challenge the Golden State Warriors. At the All-Star break, the Celtics are a disappointing 37-21, fourth in the East and six games back of Milwaukee. As for the Black Bears, they are in 7th place place in Hockey East, just ahead the league's final playoff spot. Now I have to ask, which team is

The High School Tourney Is Part Of Our DNA

The high school basketball tourney is a cultural phenomenon. It transcends its status as just a local sporting event. Locals live for it. People who move here from away get it quickly. Tourney week as a whole has evolved. The uniforms, style of play, classes, venues and media coverage have all changed. But the appeal and the legend continue to grow. The tourney is unique a melting pot of Pine Tree State humanity. Current students and recent grads mingle with parents of players and adults of all ages, unified as one cheering for their team and basking in community pride. Attendance, especially in Bangor, remains strong at more than 40,000 people per year. The economic impact on the region is

Red Sox Rebuild Broadcasts with "All Star" Radio Team

“I love listening to baseball on the radio!” Is this something you say on occasion? If so, I bet if I press, you’d have to admit if your next birthday cake is lit properly it will feature enough smoke to set off the sprinkler system at work. Hey, I’m with you. I love listening to Red Sox games on the radio. But I’m no rookie any longer myself. Folks who listen to baseball the most on the radio are closing in on, or have passed, the half century mark. Heck the average age of the World Series viewer on TV is in the mid 50’s. Only The Masters viewers tend to have an older average age. With this in mind, the Red Sox and WEEI, the flagship radio station, have tried to find a way to reinvent the S

Pats Fans Don't Need No Stinkin' New Pro Football League

The new Alliance of American Football (AAF) kicked off Saturday. While social media is giving the product some love, I can guaran-damn-tee you nobody in the six state area known as New England cares. Well, at least not Patriots fans. After dining on lobster with the Pats, theres no appetite to munch on sea urchins with the AAF. The first game was broadcast on CBS. I have not looked this up but while the games did ok ratings nationally, I’m sure the Puppy Bowl had better numbers around here. Not even kidding. As Pats fans we have all of the football we need for usually 19 games each season. If we want to see a bunch of borderline players running around on the field we can just check out the r

The NFL Sure Does Love Cheaters

Fourth & Goal with The Bam! Hypocrisy in sports has once again reared it's ugly head. Let’s take a walk down memory lane. Alex Rodriguez was essentially run out of baseball because he used PED's. Mark McGwire, same thing. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, despite zero evidence of PED use, continue to get the shaft from Hall of Fame voters because they are unfairly judged to have used steroids. Julian Edelman used PED's. Got suspended for it, much like Arod and McGwire, but is welcomed back to the NFL and is heralded as the MVP of the Super Bowl. As if nothing ever happened he is crowned king of the weekend in Atlanta. The hypocrisy is real. So, why then does Julian Edelman get a free pass? Base

High School Tourney Preview

Mid-February for some means a trip to Florida. But for many in eastern and central Maine, it means one thing...Tourney Time! The high school basketball kicks off with play-in round games on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the “real” tournament beginning on Friday in Bangor, Augusta, and Portland. Here are a few things to watch out for. Class A and AA - On the boys' side, the Bangor Rams are back. They go in #1 in “Northern Maine” AA. It’s in quotes because, well you know. It should just be one AA class, but my words don’t carry a ton of weight unless you live in my house, where they carry no weight. In A North, Hampden is still a power at #2 and Brewer had a great, late-season surge and go in #6

3 FROM WAAAAAAAY DOWNTOWN!

The "Unamed Source" is famous in media circles these days. This one in particular works in local sports media, but for any number of reasons, wants to stay anonymous. I said before the playoffs that if the Patriots won it all, they might have to travel down the toughest road they’ve ever faced while winning a championship. This year’s road was as difficult as it could have been, but was it the toughest ever? If not, what was the toughest road taken by one of the six Patriot Super Bowl championship teams? 3. 2018 Tied for the second toughest total opponent record at 37-11. The Patriots had to beat the two best records in the AFC in the playoffs, not to mentioned go into Arrowhead and beat the

The Best Fans in the State of Maine

Students create the atmosphere at college games. You see it on TV at every major college sporting event. Throngs of rowdy and jubilant students, united in dress and cause, chanting, cheering, standing and taunting. Cameron Crazies exist at most major universities these days, especially when the TV cameras are watching. It’s a scene that has been played out at UMaine hockey games for decades. The balcony in the end of the Alfond Arena is packed with Maine students, standing elbow to elbow, gleefully giving the refs and the opposing team the business. The Naked Five primed and ready to sprint when a Black Bear lights the lamp. And I’m here to tell ya they are all as good as ever. Friday night

Black Bear Hockey Mediocrity Continues

When rivals meet, you always throw out the records. Even when both teams - in this case, the hockey teams of the University of Maine and New Hampshire - are both mired in mediocrity. The Black Bears and Wildcats split a thrilling Hockey East series in Durham this weekend, with the 'Cats winning in overtime on Friday and Maine pulling out a 5-3 win on Saturday, but these teams, as Dennis Green would put it, are what they are. Middle-of-the-pack teams in a very average Hockey East. And frankly, it's sad to see these two proud programs mired in such mediocrity, while teams we're used to seeing in the cellar - yeah, UMass, I'm looking at you - are controlling Hockey East. Heading into this serie

Russell Era Was Great. But Brady Era Reigns Supreme.

My former WZON co-host Pat Spekhardt started a lively Facebook debate last week. His contention: the Tom Brady era is amazing but not as impressive as the Bill Russell era. As often was the case on our Shootaround radio show, I feel the need to set him straight. Let’s be clear out of the gate. Bill Russell was a superior athlete, a perpetual winner, and is a great human being. Just because I think what Tom Brady has accomplished is more amazing doesn’t imply disrespect to a living legend. But Tom’s reign over the NFL is light years ahead of Bill’s dominance. Russell won 11 NBA titles in 13 seasons. It is unlikely that will ever be accomplished again. Mainly because the NBA is a vastly superi

They Are Indeed "Still Here"

So here we are. The first Monday in February, or what is more consistently called the day after the Patriots 19th scheduled game of the season. Kind of surreal for me watching last nights game to be honest. Having been blessed to be on the field when this whole thing started on February 3, 2002 against the Rams, there was no way I could know or anybody else for that matter, what kind of an unprecedented, historic run had just gotten started. I remember as clear as day, rushing onto the field as soon as Adam Vinatieri’s field goal went through the uprights, confetti falling, and the first two people I came into contact with, were Ty Law, and Lawyer Malloy. They were obviously happy, but at th

Jeff's Take on Super Bowl XLIII

The Patriots just won their 6th Super Bowl! Since I have no shot at sleeping any time soon, I think I will bang out a few post game “takes” about our World Champion New England Patriots and Super Bowl XLIII. Next to the win over the Rams 17 years ago, this was the most surprising big game win. As I look back to the off season drama and the 2-2 start, I was sure the Pats would not be in this spot. Too much drama. Too few weapons. Slow defense. Behind the scenes issues. I am shocked and awed that they are the champions. The "tomato can” talk does not apply to this postseason. What a gauntlet!New England had to beat a twelve win Chargers team; take out the high scoring #1 seeded Chiefs IN Kansa

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