Keeping Score: Leftovers
Opening the sports cabinet and looking at expiration dates, we’ll begin in Fort Myers, Fla., where spring training tickets go on sale one week from today.
Tickets at JetBlue Stadium are priced from $5 to $48, and the Red Sox website is offering travel packages.
For the fun of it I booked seven nights at the Crowne Plaza, rented a medium-sized car from Hertz, bought tickets for four games (they’re on the road the other three days), signed up to take batting practice, go on a ballpark tour, partake in a pre-game barbecue and stick around for a player meet-and-greet.
That came to $3,313 and didn’t include airfare, so I went to JetBlue’s website and found a roundtrip flight from Bradley to Fort Myers for $699.80. Throw in $1,000 spending money for meals, gas, souvenirs and other incidentals, and the approximate cost for one person, from doorstep to doorstep, comes to $5,012. No thanks.
Former Recorder sports staffer Cam Ward remembers covering the 1998 Central/WMass Super Bowl when Turners Falls was beaten by Northbridge High School of Whitinsville, 41-0. “Early in that game their quarterback, Jeff Altieri, skipped a lateral pass off the turf to Rick Asadoorian, who launched a bomb down field to receiver Matt Blood. He intentionally skipped it off the freakin’ turf. Who does that? That was a great team that beat a great TF team led by Chris Lapointe.”
Asadoorian was an outstanding baseball player who was Boston’s first round pick in the 2009 draft, inking an astounding $1.7 million signing bonus. The Sox gave up on him after two seasons and traded him to St. Louis. He stayed in the minors for 12 years, and in 2007 when it was obvious he couldn’t hit his way into the big leagues he tried to make it as a pitcher. That didn’t work either. He batted a career .248 and struck out once every 3.8 at-bats, and pitched 235 innings and walked 129 batters. His last pro season was 2011 with the Worcester Tornadoes of the Canadian-American Association.
Trivia: The Massachusetts Turnpike’s logo on its signs is a pilgrim’s hat. Years ago the Turnpike Authority bowed to political correctness and they removed something from the logo. What was it?
More than one UMass alumni has been treated rudely when visiting football practice this season. Apparently coach Charley Molnar thinks every face he doesn’t recognize is an opposing scout.
“Here’s this 22-year-old kid running over wanting to know who I am, then running back to the coaches, then telling me to call ahead and they’ll put my name on a list,” said a well- known, well-respected football official and UMass alum. “If I’m driving through town and feel like stopping by I’ll do it, but it’s not a big part of my day where I’m going to call ahead. What a shame what’s happening over there.”
It’s puzzling that Molnar thinks he needs to protect the play calls of a team that finished 1-11 after Friday’s 51-23 shellacking at the hands of mighty Ohio U.
In the words of a former UMass assistant coach, “Molnar still thinks he’s at Notre Dame.”
Tim Gochinski and his daughter Miranda stayed to the end of Sunday’s OT win by the Patriots over the Broncos and were back in Deerfield at 3:30 a.m.
Asked if he considered leaving when the Pats were trailing 24-0 at halftime he said, “Are you kidding me? They could be down 56-0 my daughter would never leave.”
Gochinski was the line judge at the Pioneer-Franklin Tech game on Thanksgiving and five days earlier was part of the seven-man crew officiating a Division III first round playoff game between Hampden-Sydney College and Maryville (Tenn.) College at Everett Stadium in Virginia, only a few miles east of Appomattox, where 98 years ago General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the Civil War.
Pioneer quarterback Cole Tognarelli will likely transfer to prep school next year. He’ll attend the Noble and Greenough School of Dedham and be enrolled as a junior.
Three years ago, Forbes Magazine ranked Noble and Greenough as the 18th-best prep school in the country and its football players usually continue on at schools like Middlebury and Bates.
South Deerfield’s Bernie Sadoski keeps in touch with fellow South Deerfield native Mark Chmura, who played at Frontier and for Boston College and the Green Bay Packers. During a phone conversation he told Sadoski his son Dylan is a 6-foot-4, 245-pound redshirt freshman at Michigan State. Chmura played for Waukesha West (Wis.) High School and was ranked the 24th-best tight end in the country last year by MaxPreps.com.
During his senior year at Waukesha West, he was the Division I state champion in both the shot put and discus.
“One athlete hasn’t won both events in nine years,” his coach, Jim Brennan, said in an email. “Dylan didn’t set any state records, but he did set the school record in the shot put.”
Former Amherst Regional High School athletic director Tom Cullen was in Westfield last Saturday to watch Springfield Central play St. John’s of Shrewsbury. Cullen was recruiting for Worcester State, where his brother Brien is the head coach.
A Milford native, Cullen played for Youngstown State and got his first coaching job under Jim Reid at UMass.
“My first game we got beat by Maine at home,” said Cullen. “Coach Reid comes in the office, picks up a chair and smashes it against the wall. ‘How do ya like coaching now?’ he says, then hits me on the shoulder and says, ‘We’ll be okay.’ We went 3-8 that season.”
Trivia Answer: It was an arrow shot through the pilgrim’s hat that was removed from the Mass. Pike logo. Too bad, it was a nice touch.
Tom Brady’s reaction after Rob Gronkowski’s touchdown catch Sunday night revealed a competitive spirit that’s probably genetic. His eyes bulging, Brady bumped chests with Gronk and screamed a primal scream that went back to when one of his clan stepped out of a cave looking for dinosaurs.
Squibbers: Trailing Toledo 10-7 at halftime on Nov. 20, Northern Illinois head coach Rod Carey was asked by a TV sideline reporter what he’d say to his kicker after he’d missed three field goals: “Nothin’. He’s a kicker. Leave him alone, he’ll figure it out.” ... Asked how he’ll be spending the winter, GHS baseball coach Tom Suchanek replied, “A little golf at Myrtle Beach, go to some baseball clinics, and shovel snow.” ... Eighteen yearlings sold for a million dollars or more at the recent Keeneland sale, the most since the 2008 Great Recession when “those louses went back to their spouses,” as Marilyn Monroe sang in “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.” ... Deerfield’s Tom and Sue Antonellis were named “season ticket holders of the game” during last week’s UMass hockey game against Vermont. ... A Toronto Argonauts spokesman said the club wasn’t happy to see Mayor Rob Ford wearing one of its jerseys while haranguing at the Toronto City Council. “These latest remarks, while wearing our team’s jersey, are particularly disappointing.”
Chip Ainsworth is an award-winning columnist who has penned his observations about sports for four decades in the Pioneer Valley.