More negative fallout from the nightmare that is #Corona2020. The University of Maine baseball team, which had its season ripped away from them by the NCAA several months ago, was in my estimation on its way to its best season in a few years. Perhaps the result might have even been an America East title.
Initially, this really sucked for the seniors. Their last hurrah. UMaine’s 2 best players, Hernen Sardinas and Trevor DeLaitte were poised to lead this team to greatness and set the tone for those coming after them. They were getting robbed of that opportunity.
Thankfully the NCAA, perhaps for the first time in it’s history, did the right thing and granted seniors another year to compete in spring sports. A reset button had been granted and this years Black Bears would just have to wait until next year to have that magical season.
Then came this past week.
Both of the aforementioned players announced they were not waiting around and would transfer. This was a huge blow to the program. For Sardinas, I sort of understand. He’s a Florida kid who decided to go back to Florida and play his final year for a Florida school while pursuing a Masters degree.
For the other, it’s hugely disappointing, and that’s putting it nicely.
The highlight of every UMaine season for me, is watching kids FROM Maine competing at a high level. In this case in particular, a really high level. We are talking about the best pitcher in America East and a likely draft pick in the Major League Amateur draft.
Like those that came before him, Bill Swift, Mike Bordick, Cody Lawyerson, it would have been really cool to see another name added to that list. Now, the likelihood of him being drafted doesn’t go away, but unfortunately, the UMaine tag that goes with it is history.
They often say there is no loyalty in sports, and nothing rings truer than the events of this past week for the UMaine baseball program. There is no magic bean to replace this talent. It’s going to be a process. Coach Nick Derba in an outstanding baseball coach and he will get the absolute best out of the guys, who do care to stay with this program for 2021. And I believe it will be very successful going forward.
Former UMaine Men’s basketball coach John Gianninni said it best many years ago when John Gordon left for Delaware: “The sooner we get people out of here that don’t want to be here and get people in that do, the better off we will be.”
It’s just truly disheartening that this time one of those players is a local kid. A Maine kid.
By The Bam