You hate the cold, remember?

The slush, sleet, freezing rain and snow just aren’t your thing. Neither are temperatures that dip or tumble below zero.

I get it.

I hope this (lovely) heat and humidity bring you great happiness.

Now please bear with me as I clean out the inbox and a few things on my mind as I patiently wait for fall …

• I received an e-mail from a University of Maine men’s hockey season ticket holder who finally opened his renewal letter outlining plans for this season, the first in the Dennis “Red” Gendron era.


He forwarded me a copy of the letter, which Gendron apparently signed, and it’s clear the university doesn’t “get it.”

The reader spent $1,592 on four season tickets last year. The cost for renewal this year?


The letter went on to read that the season ticket holder would receive a T-shirt as well as save a whopping $40 compared to buying single game tickets for the season.

He was stunned, and so am I.

While it’s rare to see ticket prices actually get slashed — at best they often do stay the same for consumers — there are other ways to reward your more loyal fans, which include more than a free T-shirt.


Maine finished 11-19-8 last season and barely squeaked into the Hockey East playoffs as the No. 8 seed. They were swept in the quarterfinal series at UMass-Lowell. The Black Bears went a dismal 2-9-6 at home — their first Alfond Arena victory came Feb. 3.

If that isn’t enough to re-examine ticket prices then a look at the 2013-14 schedule should.

Maine will play Boston College, New Hampshire and Boston University once at Alfond.

The schedule dives off a cliff from there.

It features non-conference doozies against American International and, of all schools, Bentley. Throw in three exhibition games against Canadian universities Dalhousie, St. Francis Xavier and bitter rival New Brunswick and what you have is one of the most unappealing home schedules in years, if not decades.

And, yet, season ticket prices stayed firm.


Needless to say, the reader said he wouldn’t renew the tickets. He’s contemplating writing Gendron a letter, too.

I wonder if others feel the same …

• The Boston Red Sox have the most wins — 58 — in team history at the All Star break.

Who saw that coming?

The Sox, despite a shaky two months from the increasingly maddening Jon Lester and the increasingly fragile Clay Buchholz have managed to stay atop the AL East, the toughest division in baseball this side of the NL Central.

The baseball operations people will have some interesting decisions to make as we inch closer to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.


The Sox certainly have the prospects to make a bold move and they have the financial flexibility to take on payroll.

The question, of course, is will they do either?

The Sox open the second half — which really isn’t the second half because they’ve already played 60 percent of the regular season — with 10 consecutive games against the Yankees, Rays and Orioles.

They go 6-4 or better and management will be tempted to make a big move or two.

Here’s hoping they hold on to their biggest “chips,” even if it means not going for it this season.

Brandon Workman, Jose Iglesias and Jackie Bradley, Jr. will hopefully stick around for awhile. These are exciting young players and it would be a shame to see any of them, or other top tier prospects in the system for that matter, get shipped out for someone like, say, Cliff Lee.


• The line between pro athlete and hero has long been blurred. Let the Aaron Hernandez murder mystery help bring clarity.

The murder charge brought recently against the former New England Patriots tight end is yet another opportunity for parents to remind their children that a great route runner with smooth hands and a penchant for the end zone are hardly requisites to being a hero — even if it is Tom Brady throwing those passes.

The ability to throw 95 mph or belt a baseball 450 feet also doesn’t make one heroic. Nor do hat tricks or gravity-defying dunks.

So use this case, as surreal as it is, to help educate your young fans out there that professional athletes, no matter how talented, are just that.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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