Drumming up a few observations while pondering what the Dog Days of August will look like in a not-so-normal sports world of 2020.
The 2020 Boston Red Sox are an unwatchable product.
The opening-day beatdown of the Triple-A caliber Baltimore Orioles was all a mirage.
Bill Parcells once said "you are what your record says you are," and this band of Red Sox is a shell of the team that won 119 games and a World Series just a couple years ago.
The tone was set when Mookie Betts and David Price were shipped to the Dodgers in a Tampa Bay Rays/Oakland A's-esque salary dump. Chris Sale having Tommy John surgery and Eduardo Rodriguez opting out of the season due to COVID-19 - may both of them be healthy for 2021 - didn't help the pitching staff.
If Nathan Evoldi is your ace, you're not going anywhere.
If the losing keeps up, pending free agent J.D. Martinez may be gone at the trade deadline.
With Dont'a Hightower and Patrick Chung the most prominent Patriots opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, it begs the question, what will Bill Belichick's defense look like?
I'm not worried about the secondary. Even with the oft-injured Chung opting out, the Pats still have arguably the best secondary in football. But Hightower is the captain of the defense and one of the game's best linebackers.
That core already lost Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy to free agency. Ju'Wahn Bentley is the most experienced guy in that group.
Starting right tackle Marcus Cannon will also keep his helmet in his locker this fall, which is a significant blow to the offensive line.
The Pats are the AFC East favorites as long as Cam Newton is healthy but Belichick is facing arguably his biggest coaching challenge since the Art Modell drama in Cleveland in 1995.
The NHL and the NFL got it right in terms of protecting its players from COVID. That has come more into light recently as multiple Miami Marlins have tested positive for COVID.
How long will America's Pastime last before Rob Manfred shuts it down? Baseball fans better hope a big name such as Mike Trout doesn't test positive.
A big congratulations to longtime Brewer High School coach Glendon Rand for his induction into the Maine Running Hall of Fame.
I'm not just saying this because he was my coach for four years, two of which I was one of his captains, but Rand has done a lot for running in the state of Maine, whether it's coaching, promoting, or being in charge of the Maine Cross Country Festival of Champions, one of Northeast's largest fall invitationals.
The Maine Principals' Association deserves a lot of credit for continuing to find ways to assure a fall sports season in Maine will happen.
The MPA announced last week high school football teams will play no more than six regular-season games, while the maximum for soccer and field hockey will be 10.
The administrators understand how important athletics are to not only the student-athletes but to communities from Kittery to Fort Kent.
These athletes have worked hard to get back on the fields, courts and rinks, and the MPA deserves a lot of credit for trying to make it happen safely.
Whether or not spectators are limited to families, administrators and media staffing the games and meets remains to be seen, but all that matters is that the games go on somehow.
I can't help but think of "The Last Dance" when I see the minutes restrictions the New Orleans Pelicans have on Zion Williamson.
It takes me to Michael Jordan's second season when he returned from a broken foot to lead his Chicago Bulls to the playoffs, but Jerry Krause preferred to tank for a lottery draft pick, which angered his superstar.
Krause even threatened to fire then-coach Stan Albeck on the spot if Jordan played any more than 14 minutes per game.
Imagine if Albeck had listened to the maligned GM. The 63-point game at Boston Garden would've never happened.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed free-agent running back LeSean McCoy last week.
Tom Brady must be having flashbacks to 2007 in the context of the playmakers he has. I wonder how many Pats fans will play as the Bucs in Dynasty Mode once "Madden 21" comes out later this month?
RIP to former Red Sox skipper John McNamara, who was forever haunted by Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.
We seem to forget how great that Sox team was and how they were ohh so close to ending the Curse of the Bambino.