Sports Columns

Jaywalking: Manny’s maker drifting off into the sunset

If you’ve been to a Manny’s home baseball game this season and felt like something was missing, well, join the crowd. There is definitely something different at Veterans Memorial Field on the nights that Manny’s is playing host to another Tri-County League team. Ubiquitous Terry Ruggles has not been making his typical passing-the-hat rounds through the crowd this season, asking folks to drop their $1 donation into his Manny’s lid. The sight of Ruggles walking around during the middle innings collecting his unspoken “admission” has 0

Keeping Score: Boston smug

Good morning, and happy birthday America! Last November at the Manchester (N.H.) City Marathon, Jason Ayr had a Rosie Ruiz moment. The 27-year-old Westfield native had broken free from the pack at the 20-mile mark and was within two miles of winning the $1,500 first prize. More important his running team, the Western Mass. Distance Project, would win the New England Grand Prix team championship sanctioned by USA Track & Field-New England. A UMass graduate, Ayr ran for Minutemen coach Ken O’Brien and prior to 0

On The Trail: Shad, salmon and cougars

Although a few stragglers may yet appear here and there in different watersheds, it’s July and the 2015 Connecticut River anadromous-fish-migration season is, for all intents and purposes, over as usual. A rule of thumb is that once the river temperature stabilizes around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, American shad stop running and start spawning, Atlantic salmon have found or are zeroing in on streams where they’ll reside till fall spawning, and all the rest of the migratory fish, such as herring and lamprey eels, follow similar, 1

Jaywalking: Busy B’s

Last Friday was shaping up as a splendid way to greet the weekend. I began working on the farm at 7 a.m., picking squash and cucumbers among other chores. That afternoon I was alone, weeding by hand around some of our later cucumber plants when my phone rang. It was my father, who was out of sight but only about 100 yards away, suckering tomatoes. We were both aware that the Boston Bruins were looking to make some moves that day in anticipation of that 0

Keeping Score: Local scholar

Good morning! Growing up in Greenfield, Kevin Hassett loved canoeing on Barton Cove, hiking along Sachem’s Head and watching the Fourth of July fireworks at Beacon Field. “There are so many wonderful things about Greenfield, it’s hard to pick a favorite,” said Hassett, who walks the trails behind Highland Pond with his father whenever he’s home. If he ever does come home for good, he would be a terrific mayor. Hassett is the Director of Economic Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington 0

On The Trail: Tick talk

Yes, it came out of the blue a couple of weeks ago by email from someone I did not know. No, her question was not unique. In fact, it seems I am asked the same question on every visit to my longtime vet’s office, and often in the public square: Are you finding a lot of ticks? Now, let me say I can understand why folks figure that, because my dogs and I routinely patrol off-road habitats with thick cover — traipsing through chest-high hayfields 0

Jaywalking: Hall of Fame Jim Woodward

Jim Woodward and John Cena share a common bond. That may seem a bit wild, since the former is the longtime football and track & field coach and athletic director at Mahar Regional School, while the later is one of the world’s most recognizable professional wrestlers. But in April, both men were enshrined into the Springfield College Hall of Fame during the 44th enshrinement ceremony, forever linking the men. “I mean, John Cena,” exclaimed Woodward of his 2015 Hall of Fame classmate. “I really would 0

Keeping Score: twice burnt

Good morning! Tampa’s Skip Smith has a travel tip for Caribbean-bound vacationers: watch your wallet. “Two guys on my crew learned the hard way,” said Smith. “One spent $12 on lighters in the casino shop and his card was charged over $950, and another guy in the same shop was charged $500 for a $20 purchase. Lots of tourists don’t realize they’re ripped off until after they’ve left the island.” Smith is a Shelburne native and sports cameraman. “A few weeks ago I was watching 0

On The Trail: One of the guys

A gray, rainy afternoon brought news of the same somber hue to my Recorder desk late Monday afternoon: old friend Walter T. Kostanski Jr., known playfully to me as Honorable Walter T., was dead and gone at 91. I had just put to bed the first draft of a column suggested by a female reader explaining my unscientific take on ticks when Recorder advertising sales rep. Mike Currie passed by as he often does at that time of day. He stopped to chat, not unusual, 0

Jaywalking: Payday

For the past eight years, I’ve covered Turners Falls native Sonya Lamonakis as she has risen from amateur Golden Gloves champion to professional women’s heavyweight world champion. Now, another local woman is trying to make a name for herself in the ring. No. Make that caged octagon. Greenfield native and 2006 Pioneer Valley Regional School grad Sarah Payant is quickly climbing the ranks of the rapidly growing women’s mixed martial arts world. Payant, who has the fighting nickname “Soulja,” will get a huge opportunity in 0