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Ryan Has Random Thoughts..

Observing a few thoughts while figuring out what the over-under on Red Sox losses will be this summer......

The University of Maine hockey team looked every bit like a team that hadn't played in several weeks in getting swept at Boston College this weekend.

The losses, which dropped the Black Bears to 2-9-1, were a reflection of the Red Gendron era in Orono: Not enough offensive consistency, and the opposing team peppering UMaine netminders with rubber.

Freshman goaltender Victor Ostman was outstanding in making 56 saves in Saturday's loss, but the Bears are too thin on offensive playmakers to stay back on their heels for an entire game. UMaine played hard and fought in each game, but as has been the case most of the Gendron era, it just wasn't enough.

Yes, Boston College is one of the country's top teams and UMaine hadn't played a game in nearly a month due to Covid-19, but with every loss, the writing appears more on the wall a new coach will be behind the bench next October.

When was the last time the Boston Red Sox were this irrelevant heading into Spring Training?

Pitchers and catchers reported to Fort Myers this week, but many in Red Sox Nation aren't expecting much in 2021, in particular after last year's questionable trades of Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers and the recent dumping of Andrew Benintendi, who is now a Kansas City Royal.

Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy has repeatedly let Sox baseball boss Chaim Bloom have it - don't forget Sox owner John Henry also owns the Globe - and the noise got louder after the small-market San Diego Padres and Fernando Tatis, Jr., agreed to a 14-year contract extension last week.

Betts, like Tatis, is a generational talent, but instead of opening the checkbook, Bloom resorted to Tampa Bay-esque tactics and shipped him out of town.

The term "Tampa Bay by the Charles" has been used frequently among the Boston media this winter.

Yes, the Sox still have a team capable of scoring a lot of runs with guys like Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez and Xander Boegarts, but I have an issue with the Sox trying to be a Moneyball team while charging expensive ticket prices at Fenway Park.

Thankfully Billy Beane is not walking through that door......

My longtime colleague and friend Larry Mahoney hit the nail on the head in a piece last week that upgraded facilities alone won't bring championships to UMaine.

Yes, the upgrades to the University's athletic facilities are going to be outstanding recruiting tools. But the players still have to execute on the field, court and ice and the coaches have to do the same.

In a year that has been anything but normal, one thing that hasn't changed has been the dominance of UMaine women's basketball in America East.

The road to the conference's NCAA Tournament berth will go through Memorial Gym, and coach Amy Vachon and company deserve a lot of credit for another outstanding regular season.

Vachon's positive presence on the court, off the court and on social media is a ray of sunshine and has provided Mainers with something to be happy about as the state continues to navigate the uncertainty of Covid-19.

It's not impossible that Cam Newton could be back in New England next season.

I'd like to see what a healthy Newton can do in this system with a full offseason and a competent group of wide receivers and tight ends. It's no accident he was the NFL's MVP in 2015.

Unless the Patriots figure out the quarterback situation quickly, are free agent receivers going to be attracted to Foxboro?

When is NASCAR going to realize that it rains in Florida more often than not when it comes to the Daytona 500?

You can always count on the Super Bowl of stock car racing having some sort of weather delay, and alas, race fans were blessed with a 5-plus hour delay and a near-midnight finish of the Valentine's Day race.

A simple solution would be to drop the green flag shortly after noon. That way, the weather window is larger and fans can actually enjoy the race without having to fear late-night finishes on a Sunday.

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