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Trump taps Greenfield’s Hassett as U.S. spending czar


Friday, April 21, 2017

Good morning!

Earlier this month President Trump named Kevin Hassett to serve as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, meaning he’ll be the president’s point man for economic policy.

Hassett was born, raised and educated in Greenfield. He played Little League Baseball for Turnbull’s Restaurant in the Greenfield Minor League and ran track for Green Wave coach Pete Conway. In the classroom he teamed up with Doug Stotz and Drew Burns to represent GHS on “As Schools Match Wits,” a popular show hosted by Channel 22’s Phil Shepardson.

Hassett received a B.A. in economics from Swarthmore College and a doctorate in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. His current title is “resident scholar” for the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C.

The Wall Street Journal called Hassett the right choice for Trump’s plan to “merge populist interests with pro growth reform (and subsequently) raise wages and expand jobs.”

Economics reporter Josh Zumbrun wrote on foxbusiness.com: “His selection gives the mainstream GOP an ally in an administration consumed by tension between trade hawks and economic nationalists on one side and Wall Street moderates and establishment Republicans on the other.”

It’s not all numbers and broken pencils for the studious Hassett. Two years ago he co-authored AEI’s response to the “Wells Report” that gave Roger Goodell the ammo to go after the Patriots.

AEI’s counterpoint methodically debunked investigator Ted Wells’ conclusions, specifically that the Patriots “probably” used deflated game balls in the AFC championship game on Jan. 18, 2015.

Reached by email, Hassett said he couldn’t comment until after the confirmation hearings. “Anything can and will be used against me,” he joked.

The aforementioned Doug Stotz works in Atlanta and was at the Braves’ home opener at the new SunTrust Park. Commissioner Rob Manfred and 39th U.S. President Jimmy Carter both had front row seats to see 83-year-old Henry Aaron throw out the first pitch a few miles from Fulton-County Stadium where he broke the home run record almost 43 years ago to the day.

This time it was Venezuelan outfielder Ender Inciarte who made history by being the first to hit one into the stands at the 41,149-seat ballpark.

The Braves beat San Diego, 5-2, and Stotz filed this report: “The traffic wasn’t bad but I came early. The super deluxe premium seats looked about 30 percent full just like at Yankee Stadium. I paid $20 to park in moonlighting suburban office park lots a mile walk across a 12-lane interstate. I put a bike in my trunk and rode the last mile each way.”

Stotz added that it cost $6.50 for a hot dog and $5 for a 12-ounce beer, but that he passed on the $12 blackened catfish po’boy taco.

In March, a bill passed the New Hampshire Senate to allow two casinos in the state, and Hinsdale’s Bill Faucher doesn’t want to miss out on the action. A former legislator, he was in Concord this week attaching a rider attached to the bill that would give him slots at his OTB parlor.

The bill still needs to be passed by the 400-member House of Representatives, and Faucher knows it’s a long shot. New Hampshire was the first in the nation to have a lottery and might be the last to get slots.

Rockingham Park and Hinsdale Greyhound Track both went belly-up and the Old Man in the Mountain turned to dust waiting to take a pull.

Faucher says he’ll put the slots in the old Wal-Mart, but realizes it may have been a wasted trip to the state capital. “That’s what my lawyer wanted and why have a lawyer if I don’t do what he says?”

Olympic gold medalist Frank Shorter will be the NMH commencement speaker at Thorndike Field on May 21. Shorter graduated from NMH in 1965 and won the Olympic marathon at Munich in 1972.

Shorter has compared running a marathon to reading a good book — “After a while you’re just not conscious of the physical act,” he said.

That’s easy for him to say.

The Deerfield Academy lacrosse team is ranked 19th nationally by USA Today. Darien (Conn.) High School is the only other New England school with a team in the Top 20.

The Big Green is coached by Chip Davis and his assistants are Drew Philie and Jan “Polar Bear” Flaska. Now in his 26th season, Davis was named Western New England Coach of the Year in 2016, the latest of many plaudits for his successful run as the longtime coach.

The only two locals on the roster are Brian Davis (Chip’s son) and Colin McCarthy, whose parents Mike and Angela McCarthy live in Greenfield.

Deerfield has reeled off five straight wins and last week crushed Choate, 17-4. The Battle of Franklin County is May 8 when Deerfield hosts NMH at 4:45 p.m.

Tomorrow would be Warren Spahn’s 96th birthday. The big left-hander won 363 games and pitched two no hitters for the Milwaukee Braves, but his greatest feat was surviving the Battle of the Bulge, Germany’s last major offensive of World War II. Spahn said the experience toughened him and that some of the soldiers he fought alongside in the 276th Engineer Combat Battalion had the choice of jail or enlisting. “These were the people I went overseas with,” he told DefenseMediaNetwork. “They were rough and tough and I had to fit that mold.”

Football analyst Greg Cosell (Howard’s nephew) looks at every snap taken by every college quarterback who’s a potential draft pick. Sharing his insight with Sirus XM’s Ross Tucker, he called Pitt’s Nathan Peterman “the sleeper” who could develop into an Andy Dalton-type player, and that Clemson’s Deshaun Watson lacked the arm strength to throw the long ball.

Cosell said he considers Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer to be the most NFL-ready quarterback. “When you talk about Kizer, he is the guy that will make coaches excited.”

SQUIBBERS: Backup shortstop Brad Miller’s error on an easy force play let three unearned runs score in Tampa’s 4-3 loss to Boston on Patriot’s Day. He hasn’t played since, and what a difference a few days makes. Just when it looked like Kevin Cash wasn’t long for the manager’s job, his Rays went out and swept Detroit. Now it’s Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus who’s on the hot seat. “Our defense killed us,” said Ausmus, referring in part to two dropped pop-ups caused by fans yelling, “I got it!” inside cozy Tropicana Field. … Jose Bautista was 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts against the Red Sox this week. The $18 million slugger is batting .109 after hitting .414 this spring. … Barring a trade, the Patriots won’t pick until 72nd overall in Thursday’s draft. Mock boards are zeroing in on the Pats taking defensive end Trey Hendrickson of Florida Atlantic University. … Beat writers say Malcolm Butler to the Saints is all but a done deal. …. Henry Aaron got his first major league single and (a week later) his first major league home run off West Springfield’s Vic Raschi, aka the Springfield Rifle. Despite his prolific power and record breaking numbers, Hammering Hank won only one MVP award in 23 seasons. … Grandstand seats between first and third base for next weekend’s Cubs series are averaging $125 each; Monster seats are going for $750. … Upcoming Promos: Two weeks till Hanley Ramirez Gold Chain Day at Fenway. The Cardinals are giving out free dog dishes on May 20, and Robin Yount motorcycle bobblehead night is May 28 in Milwaukee. … “Bill Belichick wanted to go to Williams,” says Billsville SID Dick Quinn. “It was his first choice but the lacrosse coach couldn’t get him in.” … In Triple-A Charlotte, Yoan Moncada’s batting average dropped from .317 to .292 this week. Moncada was traded with three others to the White Sox for Chris Sale. If Sale blows out his elbow, remember the Red Sox traded Anthony Rizzo for Adrian Gonzalez. Rizzo was fourth in the 2016 NL MVP voting for the Cubs while Gonzalez lasted just two years with the Red Sox. He was traded to the Dodgers for five players who have done nothing.… Standing in line at the cash register reading the National Enquirer, America’s favorite tabloid reported that Bill Cosby flew from Portsmouth to “Turner Falls” airport, dropping the “s” as in Steve Klesaris’s horse Turner Falls, named after native son George F. Bush. … The late Phil Rizzuto played 13 seasons and moved into the radio booth. During a game toward the end of his broadcast career he watched players celebrating and concluded, “I’m glad I don’t play anymore. I could never learn all of those handshakes.”

Chip Ainsworth is an award-winning columnist who has penned his observations about sports for four decades in the Pioneer Valley. He can be reached by email at sports@recorder.com.