Keeping Score: Trophy time
At this writing the L.A. Kings were battling the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Kings’ trainer Chris Kingsley is a GHS grad who learned to skate on Highland Pond and at the Collins-Moylan Arena. Maybe he’ll bring the Stanley Cup to Greenfield, and maybe Robert “Shel” Evans will bring the Belmont Stakes trophy to Deerfield.
Evans owns Tonalist, the winner of last week’s third leg of the Triple Crown. He’s also an Eaglebrook graduate and a former chairman of its board of trustees. “A good guy!” texts Greenfield’s Doug Stotz.
Evans owns a 500-acre farm in Maryland and his father’s horse Pleasant Colony won the 1981 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. He empathized with California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn despite his rant calling everyone from Evans on down to the hot walker a “coward” for not racing in the first two legs of the Triple Crown.
“I’ve been where Steven Coburn’s been and it’s not fun when you don’t win,” he told the media. “It was very disappointing. It was very quiet in our box. My father, my brother and myself just turned and walked out. That was it.”
It took two days to cool off, but Coburn apologized on Monday and said he was ashamed of himself.
But think Coburn’s was a sore loser? When Birdstone beat Smarty Jones in 2004, somebody threw a beer can at owner Marylou Whitney in the winner’s circle.
“Marylou was terrific,” said trainer Nick Zito. “She just waved.”
Betting is always easy in retrospect. Three weeks prior to the Belmont Stakes, Tonalist and Commissioner ran one-two in the Peter Pan Stakes. A $2 exacta in the Peter Pan paid a paltry $15.40, but the Belmont Stakes exacta was $348.
Also noteworthy was the superfecta payoffs that resulted from California Chrome and Wicked Strong finishing in a dead heat for fourth place. The 11-8-1-9 (Wicked Strong) paid $5,733.50 and the 11-8-1-2 (California Chrome) paid $3,808, both on $1 wagers.
Recorder handicapper John Dobrydnio picked Medal Count to beat odds-on choice California Chrome. The colt came close, finishing third, while Paul Matteis’s longshot pick Matterhorn saved it for another day.
Also on Saturday, the 3-year-old colt named for former UMass receiver Victor Cruz — Kid Cruz — won the second race and Wes Welker’s 4-year-old chestnut gelding Undrafted won the fourth race.
That’s it for the Triple Crown. Next stop, Saratoga.
NESN this year is broadcasting Red Sox baseball Martha Stewart style. During games Jenny Johnson and Billy Costa are in the broadcast booth pumping their “Dining Playbook” show while Gary Striewski’s on the field reporting that Jackie Bradley Jr. needs an hour to do his hair. Between pitches, the camera pans to fashion designer Joseph Abboud or shows Wally the Green Monster teaching pink hats to do the Wally Wave.
If I was at a game and saw Wally coming at me, I’d turn and run like it was the Walking Dead.
It used to be that commercials were only shown between innings and during pitching changes. Now the screen’s constantly cluttered with ambush ads and 15-second sound bites. Meanwhile, viewers are encouraged to respond to text polls, send Red Sox photos and videos, and test their baseball IQ with the “MLB PrePlay app.”
Watching the game is as interactive as I want to get. Years ago, before a Game of the Week on NBC, a dimwitted television producer asked Hall of Fame broadcaster Curt Gowdy, “What’s the story line?”
“Story line?” snorted Gowdy. “How about we just follow the ball?”
Greenfield native TJ Hanley reports his brother, Tim, is an assistant coach on the Newtown High School hockey team that won this year’s Connecticut Division III championship and that his son Connor played left wing.
Hanley played for Deerfield Academy the year he and four other local skaters — Brian Fusonie, Doug Weiss, Paul Amstein and Brian Jurek — helped the Big Green win the 1984 prep school championship.
“Thirty years later, his son wins a schoolboy championship,” writes TJ. “Pretty cool.”
Reader Bruce Hart of Keene writes, “Just realized that Mariano Rivera’s son is playing for Laconia in the NECBL this summer.”
Mariano the younger is a 5-foot-11, 155-pound right-hander who pitches at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. In his only start for the Muskrats he gave up one run in six innings. He was a 29th-round pick of the Yankees in the June 5 draft.
Laconia plays at Keene on June 24 at 6:30 p.m. and Hart wondered, “Might get a glimpse of the Hall of Famer?!”
There’s a place in Belgrade Lakes, Maine, that makes a good doughnut, but not as good as Ken and Sue Cook’s treats at Adams Donut Shop — not Krispy Kreme, Dunkin Donuts or Tim Horton’s — which is why Thursday’s news that the shop is for sale did indeed belong above the fold. People like Russ Hudson need ’em for when he’s bus driving the North Adams Steeplecats baseball team around New England, and I need ’em to kickstart the first few miles of my Florida roads trips. Before you sell, let Bill Finn and the rest of us give the new guy a taste test.
Eighteen of the 23 players on the U.S. World Cup soccer team were born in the U.S., four were born in Germany and one in Norway.
The team has players from 11 different states, including Attleboro’s Geoff Cameron, who was an all-conference midfielder for URI in 2007. Many of the players’ last names are distinctly American: Davis, Johnson, Jones and Wondolowski.
The U.S. kicks off in Group G on Monday against Ghana at 6 p.m., plays Portugal on June 22 at 6 and Germany on June 26 at 1.
The best the U.S. has done in World Cup competition was a third-place finish in 1930, the first year the World Cup was played.
Squibbers: Headline in the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel after Miami’s 21-point loss to the Spurs on Thursday: COMPLETE NO SHOW. ... Rick Reilly wrote his last sports column this week. Like most, it’s a classic. ... As of this week, the replay room in New York had upheld more than half of all umpires’ calls that had been challenged, although rookie ump Seth Buckminster was reversed three times in the same game. ... Asked if he’d ever had nine RBIs in a game before doing it against Texas, Cleveland infielder Lonnie Chisenhall said, “Yeah probably. I played some pretty long Wiffle ball games when I was a kid.” ... Happy Father’s Day to Corey Greene, a devoted husband and father, and a terrific son-in-law.
Chip Ainsworth is an award-winning columnist who has penned his observations about sports for four decades in the Pioneer Valley.