Lots of things to take note of as we wrap up June
Here are some final June tids to toss on the grill and turn into bits as we not only head into July but head into that zany NHL and NBA free agency period that begins on Sunday and Monday:
Don’t look now, but the Nashua American Legion Post #124 baseball team is off to a flying District B start, 7-0 after a doubleheader sweep of Londonderryand win over Derry to end the week before heading to the Providence, R.I.area to play in the Firecracker Showcase through Tuesday. They’ve gotten contributions from a lot of players, including Noah Therrien, Zach Finkelstein, Will Brooks, Hunter Routhier and more, a lot of players who have already wrapped up high school careers (recently or otherwise) and moved on to college – plus some top current high schoolers like Bishop Guertin senior-to-be Brett Anderson. Manager Tim Lunn’s crew’s next big home game will be a week from Sunday at Holman Stadium (2 p.m.) when it hosts defending state champion Rochester.
—- Here’s your hockey/hoop free agent frenzy outlook:
The Bruins: Fuggedaboutit. Boston got hit with a lower than expected league-wide cap number, and the Bruins may actually have to trade a key player or two to shed salary. It’s even possible a Cup winner like David Krejci may have to go in a trade with someone for draft picks. Amazing.
Celtics: The NBA is crazy league. Max salary, Super Max salary, how about Mad Max salary? Anyway, it looks like their best bet is Kemba Walker, who likely will either go to Boston or Los Angeles. You’ll probably know sometime tomorrow.
Other than that, the rest is too crazy to predict.
—- All systems are go for the Eagles of the International Soccer Club of Nashua to have their home opener today at 2 p.m. – in Manchester. Yes, it became official late this week that the Eagles will play their home games at Manchester Memorial High School this summer due the construction at Rivier University. Riv officials informed the team a few days ago that this year was out.
“We’re excited, but we’d rather be playing at Riv,” Eagles GM and co-owner Jared Barbosa said. “But it is what it is. We’re happy to finally have a home game.”
The silver lining: If everything works out, they will play in a palace up on Raider Hill at new Joanne Merrill Field next summer.
“That’s how we’re looking at it,” Barbosa said. “So we’ll get through this season.”
— If you missed the “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel” segment this past week on HBO on former Celtics standout and NBA coach (Bucks, Knicks, Warriors, Mavericks) Don Nelson, try to find it somewhere. It’s gold.
You’ll barely recognize Nelson, who now lives in Hawaii, hangs out with country music great Willie Nelson (no relation) and has a medical marijuana license to smoke and grow the stuff. There’s that, a reunion with a daughter he never knew he had, and his recollection of when he suggested to the Knicks they trade an aging, 33-year-old Patrick Ewing to Orlando for Shaquille O’Neal. That thought, he said, helped get him fired.
“I said ‘You need to trade Patrick Ewing and you need to trade him right away,'” Nelson recounted. “‘There’s a guy by the name of Shaquille O’Neal that’s available, would love to come to New York. And we can jump in there and beat the Lakers out and get this guy. And we should do it. And of course it got back to Ewing, and I was done. I was toast.”
Great stuff. And Nelson was probably right. So if you can, check it out. You’ll be glad you did.
—-Those who have watched the Nashua Silver Knights over the last few years with keen interest probably were also eyeing the College World Series, in which Vanderbilt won two out of three over Michigan, capping it off with a win in the deciding game on Wednesday night. That’s because on that roster, according to the FCBL, some 13 Commodores played in the Futures League at one time or another the last three seasons, mainly for Nashua’s opposition. If we’re right, a few were on the now departed (to the NECBL) Martha’s Vineyard Sharks.
—- So what did anyone think of Silver Knights manager B.J. Neverett’s – and other FCBL managers – desire to ditch the Home Run Derby and have a game end in a tie after 10 innings, starting the 10th with a runner on second?
We’d say go to 12 innings, then settle for the tie. What that will impact is winning percentage, it will be just like a loss – for both teams. So give it three innings.
— There’s been some very, very good youth coaches in Nashua over the years, and one of, if not the, best was Duane Erickson. Erickson had been the Yankees coach in Nashua Babe Ruth for years, and retired in 2017. Well, as you’ll see in Sunday’s Kids Sports, the Yankees won the city title for the first time since under their new skipper, Todd Holbrook, a BG baseball alum. First thing Holbrook did was pay tribute to Erickson, “to honor Duane’s long history with the Yankees.”
A lot of service to youth on the part of one Duane Erickson, that’s for sure.
Tom King may be reached at 594-1251, or@Telegraph_TomK, or firstname.lastname@example.org