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Sports Columns

On The Trail: Legal issue

Midday has passed, it’s cold as a witch’s dark heart, wind blowing, ice getting harder and slicker by the second — and the phone rings. The caller-ID informs me it’s old pal Killer, a hunting buddy who spent many a day with me chasing pheasants and deer, more of the former than the latter but plenty of both. I gotta give the man credit: he consistently displayed the uncanny ability to bring down faraway ringneck roosters with his 12-gauge howitzer ... on his third shot. 0

Keeping Score: Play Ball

Good morning! Spring training in Florida began in 1888 when the Washington Statesmen worked out in Jacksonville. It would be 15 years before another team returned, but the early visit portended a hardball migration that saw 1.4 million fans go through the turnstiles to watch 212 games last year. There were two rainouts, but management is loathe to issue rain checks. At Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, a thunderstorm flooded the dugouts and hundreds of frogs splashed around the infield. That was several years ago 0

On The Trail: Live & learn

March is near, the deep-freeze just won’t let leave, and I’m dry-docked, thinking about place — my place and that of my ancestors, the one I chose not to leave and continue to learn about by the day, the month, the year, and when things get really exciting, by the very minute. It all started as a young South Deerfield lad following frozen Bloody Brook on skates, a human snowplow pushing a shovel from Urkiel’s to Yazwinski’s, building streamside forts and fires, getting into the 0

Jaywalking: Teamwork

Just as expected, the Hampshire League proved to be full of intrigue this season. We figured back in early December that the HL schedule would be full of exciting weekly games and it lived up to the billing. There were many nights when at least one game would turn out differently than expected. League parity was probably the best it’s been in my eight years in this seat. Perhaps you think that is due to the fact that there are no great teams this season. 0

Keeping Score: Playing tag

Good morning! The lifeguard station at Hobe Sound Public Beach reminded me of an air traffic control tower with enough height for lifeguards to spot flailing swimmers or dorsal fins sluicing toward surfboards. The yellow flag was flapping in the wind one January morning, meaning conditions were good but not great. The outgoing tide had washed ashore ocean litter that formed a jagged line of crumpled plastic bottles, cigarette butts and decaying Styrofoam cups that were tangled in brown clumps of seaweed. At resort beaches 0

On The Trail: The key factor

Isn’t it refreshing to discover that indeed an old dog can learn new tricks? I rode just such an updraft earlier this week while reading with interest a fascinating R. Dale Guthrie book titled “The Nature of Paleolithic Art” — cutting-edge analysis of deep-history art forms, such as but not limited to cave drawings and decorative, symbolic carvings on bone and stone tools and weapons, all told through the insightful lens of a North American artist/naturalist/anthropologist/archaeologist. The subject was a large-mammal rule of thumb I 0

Jaywalking: State glory

It’s funny where one little letter can lead you. A few weeks ago I received an email, then a letter regarding the 10-year anniversary of the Mohawk Trail Regional High School boys’ indoor track & field team winning a state Division IV title. The actual anniversary is Feb. 19, so I figured why not follow up on it as part of this week’s column? It proved to be even more timely with the postponement of the State Division V championships from Sunday until today at 0

Keeping Score: Knight moves

Good morning! Reader Doug Stotz forwarded a photo of his friend and cycling companion Mike Caouette on the job in Los Angeles. Caouette was accompanying Marion Hugh “Suge” Knight Jr. after the Death Row Records founder was arrested for murder and other charges last month. According to news sources, Knight had allegedly backed his car into two men in Compton, Calif., then pulled forward and ran over them again. One man died and the other was hospitalized. Caouette is a real-life Harry Bosch, the protagonist 0

On the Trail: Snowed in

More than a month, now, sleeping in a La-Z-Boy recliner, and the winter doldrums have set in. I’ll get through it. Always have. So why dwell on it? Which brings me to an interesting development brought by unexpected visitors. They left their tracks overnight Tuesday along the wide path my snowblower cleared to the backyard kennel and beyond, along frozen, snow-covered Hinsdale Brook’s elevated southern bank. And to think I was committed to writing about extinct passenger pigeons and a beautifully illustrated Princeton University Press 0

Jaywalking: Tourney talk

The depths of winter are upon us. It’s Sunday night and I’m banging away on the keyboard. The Boston Bruins are playing their final regular-season game against the hated Montreal Canadiens, and when Max Pacioretty scores in the first minute of the third period, I decide its time to make the B’s background noise and get to work. Outside, the snow is falling steadily, piling atop what’s already there. It’s been a week since Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and signaled six more weeks of 0