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The bottom line: Wake me up when February is over

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It's been a rough month. The weather has been lousy. And maybe it's just me, but there seems to be an inordinate amount of notable deaths this month that have struck home. Just a warning that today's Bottom Line may read more like an obituary, but here goes:

  • Farewell to longtime Boston College sports information director, Dick Kelley, who succumbed to ALS at the young age of 48. Here's an article by Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated which illustrates how great a person Kelley was.
  • Congratulations to Cranston, Rhode Island's Marissa Castelli for earning a bronze medal in figure skating with her partner, Simon Shnapir, from Sudsbury, Massachusetts. It was the first time any Rhode Islander has every competed in figure skating. The bar has been set high.
  • Poor Bob Costas. This was his shot at the Big Time and his eyes betrayed him. Hope he gets another chance. Kid has a bright future.
  • Why can't the Providence College Friars seem to win that one big game to get them over the hump to earn consideration for the Top 25? Losses to Marquette and St. John's sent the team spiraling after a nice 16-6 start. A win Tuesday night at home against No. 9 Villanova could go a long way to turning things around.
  • Don't look now, but the URI Rams have a star on their hands in 6-foot-5 freshman shooting guard E.C. Matthews. He's averaging 26.7 points per game over the last three games.
  • February is far and away the worst month for sports. And, no, the Olympics does nothing to change my opinion.
  • Is there a worse franchise in all of sports right now than the Cleveland Browns?
  • It wasn't too long ago that the New England Patriots were.
  • I might be in the minority on this one, but I had no problem with what Marcus Smart did.
  • I don't remember Pedro Martinez getting suspended for throwing Don Zimmer to the ground.
  • Flappy Bird, I hardly knew ye.
  • Happy trails to Ryan Dempster. Not everyday you see someone leave $13.25 million on the table.
  • With Dempster's departure, I am curious how much that speeds up Henry Owens track to the majors. One minor league teammate calls Owens "the next Kershaw." Yeah, I'd settle for that.
  • Speaking of pitching prospects-- happy trails, as well, to Roy Oswalt. He was one of the best pitching prospects I've seen in the last twenty years.
  • Derek Jeter announced this season would be his last. I expect the Yankees to sign him to a four-year, $60 million contract extension any day now.
  • Oh yeah, and Jeter made the announcement on Facebook, of all places. Could you imagine if Facebook or Twitter existed in the days of Lou Gehrig. "Status: Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." Just not the same.
  • No, I do not consider Jeter one of the top five Yankees of all-time. I'd put Mariano Rivera ahead of him, too.
  • How big of a star would Dustin Pedroia be if he played in New York?
  • R.I.P. Shirley Temple and Sid Caesar-- two entertainers many people probably thought had passed away years ago.
  • If I were Betty White, I'd be a little nervous.
  • Tip of the cap to Jim Fregosi who passed away days after suffering a stroke while on a cruise. Just another reminder how fleeting life can be.
  • Kudos to the Missouri Tigers football team. In this social media, gossip-happy age that we live in, it is remarkable that they would all keep Michael Sam's secret all season.
  • Maybe one day we will live in a society where no one will have to be ashamed of who they are.
  • On that same subject, actress Ellen Page made one of the best speeches I've heard on any subject recently when she "came out" in front of a crowd at a convention in Las Vegas.
  • A lot of talk recently about Mount Rushmores of sports. Made me wonder if Theodore Roosevelt belongs on the actual Mount Rushmore.
  • I'd be a happy man if I never heard the names Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin again.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays signed Erik Bedard this week. Probably means he'll win 17 games with a 3.50 E.R.A. this season.
  • Jon Lester's agent must be breaking glasses every time he hears his client talk about how much he wants to finish his career in Boston and that he would take a hometown discount.
  • Can MLB Opening Day hurry up, please?
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