So tonight, Major League Baseball hosts its annual Home Run Derby and we're sorry to say we're not going to be able to answer the bell. Much, obviously, to the disappointment of the far-flung fans of Captain Jack. Of course, we are Captain Jack.

We're scuffling with a bit of a wrist injury. Or maybe it's our back. Could be emotional problems or just our suspect credit score. Whatever, it's the pine for Captain Jack. Sorrow drapes Jack Nation.

We will still watch because we have a vested rooting interest in the MashFest. We happen to be in a home run pool at the Parker Street Palace, known from here to Lebanon as Pratty's, and five of our guys will be among the eight sluggers competing in tonight's pequeno juego.

The good news: We have five guys considered among the elite crushers in the game and our roster-building skills border on pure genius (kindly disregard our current fourth-place position . . . we're a second-half club. Our mascot is Surge Sevard).

But as always, the gods yet may rain on our dinger parade.

As gleefully pointed out by our pal Charlie (who walks like this), players who compete in the Home Run Derby often end up screwing up their swing for the rest of season. That would not be good for Captain Jack, nor for our lovely background singers, the Illinois Jacquettes, as we march toward infamy.

But here's the thing, and there's really no way around it: Charlie has an agenda. Though he remains co-owner of our autumnal fantasy football team (pending several litigations), he spends the rest of the year working against us in all manner of Kyrie-like conspiracy.

Charlie has his own struggling roster in the home run pool (Edwin Nunez over Christian Yelich or Cody Bellinger was enlightened. Dalton Jones? Verdad?) and thus jealousy rears its verdant head. He's also inexplicably crazy about Alabama Crimson Tide football.

Honestly, what more is there to say?

We'll, we say more. We say this: The naysaying, nattering nabobs of negativity (Spiro Agnew? Way underrated as a wordsmith) will neither dissuade nor deter us from our destiny.

A Jackster named Pete Alonso will go bombs-away tonight in Cleveland. Jack Nation will be on the duck boats in October.

It is written.

Roll Tide.

Dredging up the past

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers late last week finally put some motion lotion to the much-anticipated project to remove 140,000 cubic yards of sand and gravel from about 20 acres in various spots along the Annisquam River — most north of the MBTA Commuter Rail bridge — to return the federal channel to appropriate navigable depths.

The Corps issued an invitation for private contractors to bid for the project in anticipation of an October start to the dredging.

Check back with us when we update the story to give the full particulars of works schedules, mooring relocations, disposal plans and the like. 

A town called Friendship

A Maine lobsterman named Rodney Genther II owned a 34-foot wooden lobster boat named Rotten Hog, at least he did until last December, when someone stole it and sunk it. And now John Q. Law alleges the culprits were two fellow lobstermen from Friendship, Maine.

According to a story in the Portland Press Herald, Genther, on the morning of Dec. 16, reported his boat missing from where he had tied up the previous night.

"At 2 p.m. that day the vessel was located under water near Cow Island," the story stated. "Holes were found to have been drilled in the hull."

Perhaps a clue!

The Maine Marine Patrol went to the videotape and said it showed an unidentified person in a skiff near the Rotten Hog early in the morning of Dec. 16. And then the lobster boat is seen drifting away from the dock and one of the alleged perps — 45-year-old Lyndon R. Harrington — appears in the dock area late the previous night.

The Marine Patrol, according to the story, found messages between Harrington and 41-year-old Jason T. Weeks — also accused — that indicated they worked together the night before and during the early morning that the boat was stolen and sunk.

"In one Facebook message, there were the letters FTW, which the officer said stood for 'for the win'," the story stated.

Both men were arrested on charges of aggravated criminal mischief and theft. No motive has been given for the crime.

Apparently Friendship is anything but.

The Press Herald story related how another Friendship lobsterman was convicted last year of burning down a lobster boat and boat house in nearby Waldoboro in a lobster trap dispute.

"And in 2012, someone tried to scuttle two lobster boats that were moored in Friendship Harbor and owned by a lobsterman from Cushing," the story said.

Friendly hamlet. Might want to consider a name change to something more appropriate.

We vote for Hostility.

But then we usually do.

Recreational fish use

NOAA Fisheries last week sought to remind recreational anglers of the groundfish rules for the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank. So as a public service, we again pass them along.

In the Gulf of Maine, the two-week, open season for cod runs Sept. 15-30 and the bag limit is one per angler. The minimum size is 21 inches.

There will be no April season, as initially considered.

For haddock, the open seasons will be May 1-Feb. 28/29 and April 15-30. The bag limit is 15 per person and the minimum size is 17 inches.

That is an increase from the initial bag limit of 12 fish. It also removes the previously considered fall closure "to increase access to this healthy stock."

For Georges Bank, the open season for cod will run all year. The bag limit is 10 per person and the minimum size is 21 inches.

So, there you go. Get fishing.

As always, no fish were harmed in the making of this column. 

Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT.

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