Sports Columns

Keeping Score: Biding time

Good Morning! Two summers ago I was dropping off a Daily Racing Form for handicapper John Dobrydnio when the scent of his wife Paula’s marinara sauce drew me into the kitchen. She was ladling tomatoes that were simmering in a five gallon pot, careful not to overheat, while John cracked open the form and brother Myron was tending to the garden. “Just tomatoes?” I inquired of the pot’s contents. “No! Whattya kiddin’ me?” popped John. “Garlic, basil, onions all sortsa stuff! Ya can’t see it, 0

On The Trail: Fish tales

The cardinals have been singing their happy song this week, brightening my outdoor morning chores with the dogs as the snow cover shrinks. Who knows? Perhaps those beautiful red birds, too, can hear the brook gurgling through widening gaps in the thick, punky ice out back, massive, foot-thick ice chunks still strewn high along both banks, tangled among upslope trees but finally shrinking before breaking loose during the first major freshet. Or maybe my feathered friends can see that the roof slates are finally high, 0

Jaywalking: Top scorers

It was a good year to be a Pioneer Valley Regional School basketball player. The girls’ team won the Franklin County League South Division and wound up making it to Curry Hicks Cage for the WMass Division IV semifinals. The boys’ team also had a successful season, finishing third in a very tough Hampshire League with 14 wins for its best season since 2009-10. The Panthers were knocked out of the tournament in the WMass Division III quarterfinals but also had one of the youngest 0

Keeping Score: Letting go

Good morning! I wrote today’s column plucking away with my left index finger and my right arm in a sling. The good arm, the strong and useful limb, was broken while chasing a foul ball at a spring training game in Jupiter, Fla., last week. It could’ve been worse, people have died trying to get foul balls. At Arlington Stadium in Texas, a father fell over a railing and landed headfirst reaching for a ball that was tossed to him by outfielder Josh Hamilton. Pursuing 0

Jaywalking: Goal oriented

Nowadays, you can find Dr. Reza Namin at the Franklin County Jail, where he serves as the Chief Academic Officer for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department. But once upon a time Namin was a soccer star in his native home of Iran as well as around New England. Namin was 19 years old when he moved from Iran to America in 1979. It wasn’t always his plan to come to this country. He was a star soccer player when he graduated high school in Iran, 0

Keeping Score: Stormy weather

Good morning! Spectators at last Saturday’s third round of the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens got a lesson in what a “chance of showers” can mean in South Florida. The afternoon “mini-hurricane” delivered 60 mph winds and dumped four-and-a-half inches of rain in three hours. Putting a red Honda on a platform in the lake next to the 18th green had seemed like a good idea at the time. In the sun it looked like a mirage, but when the lake rose three feet 0

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