EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

July 17, 2013

Three pleas for area sports scene

A thumping for Alexis, a break for TD and a more relaxed Brady

Basking in this amazing heat, my mind tends to wander.

Yesterday, I thought about my sports wishes. There are the usual standing pleas: A Web.com Tour win for Andover’s Rob Oppenheim; promotions for the region’s minor leaguers; a 10-homer in 10-game tear for Carlos Pena, a 16 for 20 for Ryan Hanigan; me breaking 80 just once in my life on the golf course, etc., etc., etc.

But I came up with three yesterday that are a tad selfish on my part, but in the end can really help the region’s sports following.

So here goes:

1. A Santos stomping — When ESPN’s Friday Night Fights hits Rockingham Park this week, it’s the biggest break of Alexis Santos’ young career.

The boxing world, suddenly stabilized and now heating up again, will be watching the 9-0 heavyweight from Lawrence, just to see if he’s got something.

Folks who have already jumped on the Santos wagon — and there are hundreds of them right now — feel that same electricity I do when the 200-pound wrecking ball hits the ring. You watch him thinking the next punch will be the one that goes viral on Youtube. It’s not quite the same frenzy as a rising Mike Tyson — remember the night he battered Marvis Frazier? — but I’ll tell you, it’s pretty close.

He needs an emphatic win over journeyman Marlon Hayes (23-11) Friday night at the Rock. Here’s hoping Santos gets it.

By the way, there’s still plenty of room on this express train of a bandwagon. Tickets for Friday night’s card are still available at the Rock. Call 603-898-2311.

2. Sox give TD a shot — Look, I’m no blind champion of all that’s local, just because it’s local. I see Terry Doyle’s 5.44 ERA at Pawtucket and Portland over the first half.

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