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Keeping Score

Keeping Score: Out of its league

Friday, November 27, 2015

Good morning! The second half was underway when I backed my car into an empty space near the softball complex and walked the last quarter-mile to the UMass football stadium. There was a time when fans got in for free after halftime, but not anymore. Six yellow-jacketed employees were guarding the turnstile, so I walked to the ticket window and gave it my best shot. “One senior halftime discount, please.” “Ha ha ha,” laughed the ticket seller. “Still gonna be $20.” I forked over the Jackson, got the ticket scanned and came out from under the concrete seats to the bright green gridiron, where Alonzo … 0

Keeping Score: rare opportunity

Friday, November 20, 2015

Good morning! A normally quiet November night in the city might become bedlam near Yawkey Way when Boston College hosts Notre Dame this evening at Fenway Park. The 3-7 Eagles have lost six straight games and are 161/2-point underdogs against the 5th-ranked Irish. The gridiron barely fits on what John Updike called Boston’s “lyrical little bandbox of a ballpark,” and stretches from under … 0

Keeping Score: Fantasy spoiler

Friday, November 13, 2015

Good morning! It didn’t take long for FanDuel and DraftKings to get too big for their britches. This week the New York Attorney General’s office ordered the two fantasy sports leagues to shut down by the end of the weekend. It’s called a cease-and-desist order, akin to your mother saying, Stop it! Fantasy leagues are kids games at heart. You pick your team … 0

Keeping Score: Group Analysis

Friday, August 7, 2015

Good morning! Before the seventh race at Saratoga on Monday, Bill Gutfarb and several of his syndicate partners were keeping a keen eye on Analysis, their gelded racehorse sired by Freud. “He gets rattled in the paddock,” said … 0

Keeping Score: Fleeting pleasure

Friday, July 31, 2015

Good morning! A slice of cherry pie and coffee was the capper at Timoleon’s in Keene recently. I was browsing the local sports section and noticed the Swamp Bats were in town against the Vermont Mountaineers at Alumni Field. With nothing else to do on a splendid summer … 0

Keeping Score: That’s the ticket

Friday, July 24, 2015

Good morning! South Deerfield’s Bob Ouellette had four box seats to see the Yankees play the Red Sox at Fenway Park two weeks ago but nearly wound up watching from a Boston barstool. A diehard Yankees fan named John Sullivan had given him the tickets as a get … 0

Keeping Score: The long run

Friday, July 17, 2015

Good morning! Some businessmen frame their first dollar, but Bill Faucher wants to frame his first millionth. The 75-year-old New Hampshire resident owns an off-track betting parlor two miles east of the Hinsdale Walmart. His deal with the state requires him to take the profits and build a … 0

Keeping Score: Safe holiday

Friday, July 10, 2015

Good morning! Two tennis players were toweling off on the clay court next to my house a week ago Friday when I looked at them and yelled, “Happy New Year!” It was little more than a senior moment and not altogether wrong considering the Fourth of July marks … 0

Keeping Score: Boston smug

Friday, July 3, 2015

Good morning, and happy birthday America! Last November at the Manchester (N.H.) City Marathon, Jason Ayr had a Rosie Ruiz moment. The 27-year-old Westfield native had broken free from the pack at the 20-mile mark and was within two miles of winning the $1,500 first prize. More important … 0

Keeping Score: Local scholar

Friday, June 26, 2015

Good morning! Growing up in Greenfield, Kevin Hassett loved canoeing on Barton Cove, hiking along Sachem’s Head and watching the Fourth of July fireworks at Beacon Field. “There are so many wonderful things about Greenfield, it’s hard to pick a favorite,” said Hassett, who walks the trails behind … 0

Keeping Score: twice burnt

Friday, June 19, 2015

Good morning! Tampa’s Skip Smith has a travel tip for Caribbean-bound vacationers: watch your wallet. “Two guys on my crew learned the hard way,” said Smith. “One spent $12 on lighters in the casino shop and his card was charged over $950, and another guy in the same … 0

Keeping Score: Stories of David

Friday, June 12, 2015

Good morning! It might take some prodding, but even a sports fan like myself can enjoy the theater. On May 14 in Keene, my friend Marilyn Medina and I had $59 orchestra seats for an evening with David Sedaris at the historic Colonial Theatre. The 58-year-old Sedaris is … 0

Keeping Score: Epstein’s legacy

Friday, June 5, 2015

Good morning! Come back Theo, the Red Sox need you. Owner John Henry will piggyback you to Secaucus for Monday’s draft. It starts at 6 p.m. and the first 75 picks will be televised. The Red Sox pick seventh and 81st overall, and they need to hit the … 0

Keeping Score: George’s car

Friday, May 29, 2015

Good morning! On February 3, I stepped off a JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale, picked up George Bush’s car keys at a Day’s Inn and drove his 2002 Buick Century back to Fort Lauderdale. This is the George Bush whose brother “Bullet” Lou Bush was an All-America running … 0

Keeping Score: Dry Run

Friday, May 22, 2015

Good morning! On a warm spring evening outside Fenway Park, Kung Fu Panda bracelets were selling for $3, vendors were hawking free “soxaholic” bumper stickers with each paid program, and parking attendants were getting $50 a car. They’ll take it while they can, because the most expensive division … 0