Darren Pare

Joined February 2014

I am a freelance writer who concentrates on sports and entertainment. I am from Orono, Maine where I live with my wife and two children.

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Hellickson deal points to complete overhaul for Rays

On Friday, the Tampa Bay Rays traded starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson to the Arizona Diamondbacks for outfielder Justin Williams and shortstop Andrew Velazquez, both prospects in the low minors. The deal is a clear indication that the Rays are ready for a major overhaul. The offseason has already been one of major changes for the franchise as general manager Andrew Friedman and manager Joe Maddon have already exited for franchises with deeper pockets.  Hellickson had a rough 2014 making only 13 starts and posting a 4.53 earned run average. The former Rookie of the Year Award winner is looking to bounce back after two difficult years.  It will be a while before fans know if the Rays made a good deal. Williams is just 19 years old and Velazquez is 20. The Rays will still have a decent rotation, but you would think that the team could have received somebody in return that might be ready t...
By on Nov 15, 2014

Stanton deal could tie Marlins hands for years

The Miami Marlins and star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton are on the cusp of the biggest Major League Baseball deal in history, a whopping 13-year deal worth a reported $325 million. The 25-year-old is coming off a season in which he finished second in the National League Most Valuable Player Award voting, an award he might have won if he hadn't been hit in the face by a pitch Sept. 11 and missed the rest of the season. Now I am not a guy that usually complains about the salaries of baseball players and Stanton is definitely one of the biggest talents in the game, but the deal could cripple the Marlins for more than a decade. Worse if Stanton plays great the first five years of the deal it appears that he will have a chance to opt out of the last eight years, so this deal is almost guaranteed to not work out well for the Marlins. Add to that the fact that the deal will also contain a no-tr...
By on Nov 15, 2014

Brady vs. Manning XVI

This Sunday Peyton Manning will lead his Denver Broncos into New England to take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. This will be the 16th time the two quarterbacks will square off against one another and it is certainly one of the biggest player rivalries the NFL has ever known. Brady currently holds a 10-5 record in these matchups, but coming into this game the Broncos are favored by a field goal. This game could mean a great deal when it comes to who is the top seed in the AFC. The Broncos are 6-1 and with a win they would have a nice edge on all the other teams in the conference. If the Patriots win they will vault into first place, but they will still have a very hard road ahead. After they go on bye next week they will face the Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers, with three of those games being on the road, in a formidable four week s...
By on Oct 31, 2014

I can't wait for Election Day

Is it Nov. 4 yet? I can't wait for Tuesday to finally roll around so I can vote and be done with it all. Now, don't get me wrong, I appreciate the sacrifices others have made so that I have the opportunity to vote, but I must say the political ads just get to be a bit much this time of year and I'll be happy when they all go away. I live in Maine and this year has been a bit nastier than previous years with tight races for governor and the second congressional district meaning lots of attack ads. I am not totally against pointing out another candidate's flaws, though I would rather have you tell me why you are right for the job and not just the lesser of two evils, but if you do, have the guts to attach your name to it. Instead, candidates hide behind names of groups most people have never even heard of before the election cycle began. Why don't they make the negative ads and then be bol...
By on Oct 31, 2014

Cubs to hire Joe Maddon as manager

Former Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon wasn't on the market for very long as just five days after he left the Rays he was scooped up by the Chicago Cubs.  Maddon had a nine year run in Tampa Bay before he decided to opt out of his contract last week. He was very successful at raising the Rays from annual cellar dwellers to contenders. He led the Rays to four postseason berths including a World Series appearance in 2008. He was named Manager of the Year in 2008 and 2011. Chicago is a good landing place for Maddon as he is known for his ability to work with young players and the Cubs have a lot of young talent in their system. He should be able to cultivate that talent and make the Cubs meaningful again in the very near future. He will also be with a team that is willing to spend more on players than the Rays ever did. One man that got the short end of the stick in the whole deal is Rick...
By on Oct 29, 2014

Celtics should part ways with Rajon Rondo

The NBA season hasn't just started and I am already sick of the act of Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo. On Tuesday he announced that he couldn't quite commit to playing in the team's season opening game on Wednesday and he wouldn't know what he was going to do until he woke up from his pre-game nap. Rondo is working back from an injured hand he sustained during the off season. I have long wanted the Celtics to trade Rondo because I just don't see him as a guy you can build a team around. He is often childish which he proved once again this week. On Monday he thought he was clever saying he was 79 percent healthy and he continued the weak joke on Tuesday when he told coach Brad Stevens he was now at 83 percent. I understand that Rondo is a different kind of guy, but the constant injuries and the smarminess when asked about his health is getting old. Also I need to address the cause of hi...
By on Oct 28, 2014

Cardinals rookie dies in car accident

The St. Louis Cardinals and the rest baseball world were rocked on Sunday when news of the death of top prospect Oscar Taveras was announced. The 22-year-old outfielder died in a car crash in the Dominican Republic. Taveras' girlfriend also died in the accident. Taveras played in 80 games for the big league club in 2014 batting .239 with three home runs and 22 runs batted in. He made his debut on May 31 and hit a home run in his second at bat with the Cardinals. He played in seven postseason games and hit a home run in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.  The Cardinals released the following statement on Sunday evening.  "We are all stunned and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of the youngest members of the Cardinals family," Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement. "Oscar was an amazing talent with a bright future who was taken from us well before ...
By on Oct 26, 2014

Joe Maddon ends run with Rays

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon has exercised an opt out clause in his contract and ended his nine-year run with the franchise. Maddon instantly becomes the hottest commodity on the managerial market. The Rays have had there best years under Maddon, including the franchise's only winning seasons from 2008 to 2013. His tenure included two Manager of the Year awards, three playoff appearances and a World Series appearance in 2008. Maddon's departure is likely connected with the recent exit of Rays longtime general manager Andrew Friedman 10 days ago. Friedman was wooed away from the Rays by the cash-rich Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers said Friday that Maddon leaving the Rays had nothing to do with them and that Don Mattingly is still in line to be their manager in 2015. So where does Maddon end up? There is some speculation that he could end up with the Chicago Cubs or that the Dodgers...
By on Oct 24, 2014

Urlacher takes cheap shot at Jay Cutler

A bad week for Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler just continued to get worse on Wednesday. After a disappointing loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday Cutler and the rest of the team got read the riot act by wide receiver Brandon Marshall in the locker room. Then on Wednesday former teammate Brian Urlacher piled on when he said that Cutler is paid like an elite quarterback, but he hasn't produced like one. Okay Urlacher may have a point, but one would think that he would treat his former teammate a little better. I used to think of Urlacher as a classy guy but kicking a guy when he is already down is quite lame. Maybe Urlacher syill has is jock in a wad about the way his playing career ended in Chicago and is now willing to take cheap shots at his old team. These statements make Urlacher look like a bitter old man, kind of like the grumpy Muppets Statler and Waldorf, and the new look i...
By on Oct 23, 2014

Will Royals' success add more speed to baseball?

The American League Wild Card game was the most exciting game I have seen in a couple of years. The Kansas City Royals were running all over the place and the fans had Kaufmann Stadium rocking. The Oakland A's jumped out to a 7-3 lead powered by two Brandon Moss home runs. The Royals came back with three runs in the eighth and one run in the ninth to send the game into extra innings. Then the fairy tale looked like it was about to end in the top of the 12th when the A's took an 8-7 lead, but the Royals wouldn't let the dream die and won 9-8. I'm hoping that the success of these Royals will have general managers and managers bringing more speed into the game. I know the sabermetric crowd doesn't like the stolen base they would rather just have a bunch of guys swinging for home runs not caring one iota about batting average or strikeouts. They could give me pages of stats about how there w...
By on Oct 01, 2014