Keeping Score

Keeping Score: Welcome home

Friday, September 26, 2014

Good morning! A sellout crowd of over 17,000 will be at McGuirk Stadium this afternoon to watch the UMass football team play Bowling Green State University in the Mid-American Conference season opener for both teams. The last time UMass played in Amherst was Nov. 19, 2011, when the Minutemen lost to JMU, 34-17. I’ll refrain from any long monologues about what a mistake it was to move to Foxborough, except … 0

Keeping Score: Ups and Downs

Friday, September 19, 2014

Good morning! Pilots have been landing at the wrong airports this year but our pilot simply couldn’t pronounce the name, welcoming us aboard our flight to “Wooster.” JetBlue began using Worcester’s regional airport last winter to accommodate the overflow of travelers who were clamoring to escape the frigid weather. I’d never frequented the tiny airstrip but my travel agent Mary Greene at Cruise … 0

Keeping Score: So long, sport

Friday, September 12, 2014

Good morning! Jet Blue Flight 2016 from Worcester to Fort Lauderdale landed at 10 a.m. last Sunday with a solid contingent of Patriot fans on board. The airport was a mere 20-minute drive from Dolphins Stadium, but I wasn’t there for the game. On Sept. 5 my 75-year-old friend Jimmy Johnson had passed … 0

Keeping Score: Same ol’ song

Friday, September 5, 2014

Good morning! The sun angling downward past the three-quarter marker on Monday portended the beginning of high school football, and Kevin Hollister claims the game of the year will be Mohawk versus Tech on Oct. 11. “They hate each other,” said Hollister, a West County native who works … 0

Keeping Score: Whipple effect

Friday, August 29, 2014

Good morning! The Mark Whipple Show debuts today at Gillette Stadium, where the UMass Minutemen are 17-point underdogs against Boston College. UMass athletic director John McCutcheon took his mulligan the day after Christmas when he fired Charley Molnar with three years and $836,000 remaining on his contract. “There … 0

Keeping Score: Caught looking

Monday, August 25, 2014

Good morning! A while back I wrote a column about a local teacher who aspired to be a major league umpire. His career path began in the New York-Penn League, and on a summer evening I watched him ump a Single-A game in Lowell. We met in the … 0

Keeping Score: Summer travels

Friday, August 15, 2014

Good morning! My annual sojourn to Saratoga Race Course resulted in a whopping $5 profit. I put the pen away this trip and enjoyed sitting with friends under a television carousel near the Big Red Spring where brave hearts with strong stomachs drink mineral water that tastes like … 0

Keeping Score: Bottom’s up

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Good morning! The long slog up Crittenden Hill is the closest that today’s Bridge of Flowers runners will come to what a local quartet accomplished on June 21 when they completed the 54th annual Mt. Washington Road Race. Leverett’s Ethan Nedeau, 41, was the fastest to the top … 0

Keeping Score: Fade to Green

Friday, August 1, 2014

Good morning! Former Deerfield Academy teacher, administrator, coach and Mr. Everything Bob Merriam passed away last week at age 90. Merriam was interred at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Deerfield, a pastoral burial ground that holds the remains of many of the school’s iconic figures, including legendary headmaster Frank … 0

Keeping Score: Road rage

Friday, July 25, 2014

Good morning! There’s nothing like an old fashioned rhubarb to liven up the dog days of summer at Monadnock Speedway, where Mini-Stock driver Mike Stebbins’ six wins in two months had his fellow competitors conspiring to snatch the … 0

Keeping Score: A Manny moment

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Good morning! In Arizona this summer Greenfield’s Joe Hudson got something the Red Sox would love to include in their rewards program: a big bear hug from Manny Ramirez. The 42-year-old slugger is currently a player-coach with the Chicago Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate in Des Moines, Iowa, having come … 0

Keeping Score: The Darke side

Monday, July 21, 2014

Every four years a soccer ball crosses over the horizon and we become enthralled with a sport that’s worshiped every place but North America. Thrilling as the U.S. team’s game against Belgium was on Tuesday, it was a loss and it sent the Damn Yankees home with an … 0

Keeping Score: Saving par

Friday, July 18, 2014

Good morning! On Monday morning Allen Boudreau of Hinsdale, N.H., grabbed the clubs from the back of his pickup, slung the bag over his shoulder and trekked up to the first tee of the Northfield Golf Course. “Thumbs … 0

Keeping Score: After the gold rush

Monday, June 30, 2014

Good morning! Tuesday’s ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court to allow an anti-casino referendum on November’s ballot promises to liven up the debate about the pros and cons of slot machines and table games in the Commonwealth. A … 0

Keeping Score: And all his horses

Friday, June 20, 2014

Good morning! All hail the Kings, winners of two Stanley Cups in three years, patched up and sent back onto the ice by trainer Chris Kingsley, the kid who grew up on Elm Street in Greenfield and hung out with his buddies at Jimmy’s Market, now JC’s on … 0