Cleaning out the sports files on this final week of 2015…
— Think MLB’s hot stove season is over? To borrow the Lee Corso phrase “not so fast, my friend”. Still out there to be snatched up — Alex Gordon, Chris Davis, Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton, Scott Kazmir, Wei-Yin Chen.
— Interesting list of ‘50 Most Influential People In Sports Business’ by the ‘Sports Business Journal’. Six of top 10 are media execs led by #1 Bob Iger (Disney Company) and #3 John Skipper (ESPN). Patriots owner Bob Kraft is #11.
— I hear some grumbling about the new five-class high school hoops system and it’s coming from the south!
— Red Sox pitchers and catchers report February 18.
— My MLB Hall of Fame ballot (not that I have a vote): Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey Jr, Edgar Martinez, Curt Schilling. I will leave the final five spots blank, thank you.
— As the best young hockey players gather in Finland for the World Junior Championship, keep an eye on three Boston Bruins draftees for Team USA. Ryan Donato(Harvard), Anders Bjork(Notre Dame) and Brandon Carlo (WHL).
— I can’t wait to see what a hockey rink with 60,000 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough is going to look like this Friday afternoon.
— Bangor vs Brewer boys hoops Wednesday. Brewer vs Hampden boys hoops Saturday. An interesting week awaits!
— Peyton Manning accused of using human growth hormone in an undercover report by Al Jazeera. Do me a favor — say that out loud to yourself.
— Now for my year-end Maine sports awards…
BEST GAME TO CALL PBP: Hampden 65 Lewiston 57 Eastern Maine Boys Hoops Final: I’m not sure I still believe Lewiston actually had a 21-0 run. Then Hampden had a 15-0 run. I remember thinking the Broncos are done. Then I remember thinking the Blue Devils are done. What a game!
BEST SPORTS EFFORT UNDER DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES: The Senior League World Series baseball team from Saipan playing in Bangor August sunshine while their homeland was getting hit by a typhoon.
BEST SPORTS SCENE FOR EMOTION: The news conference at UMaine when football coach Jack Cosgrove announced he was stepping down. The facial look of I-can’t-believe-this-day-has-come, combined with, I-know-this-is-the-right-time!
BEST EFFORT IN A LOSS: Husson RB John Smith in ECAC Bowl loss. 276 yards rushing, 3 rushing touchdowns and a TD pass catch.
BEST SPORTS EFFORT THAT IS LEAST UNDERSTOOD: Bangor golfer Jesse Speirs making the Web.com Tour. Most sports fans don’t understand how grueling, taxing, heart-breaking, expensive, et al it is to qualify for this tour.