April 21, 2019
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Bordick playing waiting game for baseball deal

Mike Bordick is coming off one of his best seasons which was capped by an appearance in the first Subway Series since 1954.

But the former University of Maine star from Winterport is playing the waiting game these days.

Bordick, who was traded to the New York Mets by the Baltimore Orioles this past summer, is an unrestricted free agent and has been contacted by several teams.

The Orioles, California Angels, Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners and Chicago White Sox have all contacted Bordick’s agent, Joe Bick, but the White Sox re-signed shortstop Jose Valentin so that takes them out of the running.

“But nobody has been contacting us consistently,” said Bordick.

“Things have been kind of slow but the baseball winter meetings are this weekend so, hopefully, things will start to pick up,” said Bordick.

The 35-year-old Bordick is coming off a regular season in which he set personal highs for homers (20), runs batted in (80), slugging percentage (.443). He made just 16 errors in 156 games and was involved in turning 81 double plays.

But he slumped in the playoffs and was replaced in the lineup by Kurt Abbott in the World Series finale against the Yankees.

He isn’t sure what kind of impact that will have on his future employment.

“Getting to the World Series was a positive. Unfortunately, I didn’t play as well as I had hoped in the Series,” said Bordick who was hampered by a bruised thumb obtained when he was hit by a pitch during the National League playoffs.

Bordick, wife Monica and their four children have a home in Baltimore and he said “ideally, we’d like to stay on the east coast.

“But I’m also realistic about the fact I’m not a young shortstop people are really going after. I’m more of a veteran type of player at the autumn of my career. I certainly feel like I can play some more,” said Bordick, who works out religiously during the offseason.

“Ideally, I’d love to play for a contender. But the situation doesn’t always work out that way. I’m just hoping to get a job,” said Bordick.

Bordick’s stint in New York was his first duty in the National League after 10 seasons in the American League with Oakland and Baltimore.

“I honestly enjoyed the National League and that style of baseball. You’ve got to utilize all of your bench players and there is more of a team feeling. But I’m more familiar with the American League so I’d probably prefer to stay in the American League,” said Bordick.

He would like to sign a two- or three-year contract.

“I don’ t think too many teams would be offering me any more than that,” said Bordick, who is a career .262 hitter with a fielding percentage of .981.

“And, hopefully, I can play well enough to get another contract after that,” said Bordick.

With three of his four children now school-aged, he and Monica are giving serious thought to returning to live in Maine, especially if he winds up on the west coast.

His family could spend the summers with him.

He has no timetable for signing but he says “the sooner the better.”

Maine’s Shields keeps working

Colin Shields was dealt a bitter setback just before he was to take the ice for the University of Maine’s hockey team in their season-opening series against defending national champion North Dakota.

Shields, a forward, was ruled ineligible for the season because he had taken a full course load at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland.

That made him a transfer student and transfer students must sit out a year by NCAA rules.

Shields, who was playing for Cleveland in the North American Hockey League, had a unique predicament.

He explained that since he is from Scotland, “I had to take a full course load to keep my visa.”

But he has adjusted and continues to practice with the team in preparation for next season.

“Things have been going good lately. We’re at the halfway stage of the season. It was tough at first,” admitted Shields who has played for Great Britain’s junior national team.

“But I’ve tried to turn a negative into a positive. I work out with coach Saint [strength and conditioning coach Jim St. Pierre] four times a week,” said Shields.

Shields, the leading scorer in the NAHL with 46 goals and 49 assists in 55 games, says he uses practices “as my games.

“I want to keep improving,” he said.

Maine compliance officer Tracey Flynn said the university hasn’t appealed Shields’ ruling as yet but said it still could do so.


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