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Keeping Score
Nick Pace with Thurman Munson bat that was specially inscribed by a Detroit Tigers bat boy. It says, "Reggie thinks you suck." Contributed photo

Keeping Score: Disappearing act

Friday, February 12, 2016

Good morning! It’s time for a good baseball yarn on the eve of spring training. My friend John Blair is a regular at a Dunkin Donuts that’s over the bridge from “Paws 4 Play” in Tequesta. Blair said it’s a “doggie sauna” owned by Bobby Orr’s son, but that’s hockey and not baseball. “There’s a guy I have coffee with … 0

Keeping Score: Whip gets a Ford

Friday, February 5, 2016

Good morning! All eyes were on Punxsutawney Phil this week when up popped Andrew Ford, a junior college quarterback unearthed by UMass coach Mark Whipple. The 6-foot-3, 211-pound Pennsylvanian was two-time All-State and a Gatorade Player of the Year, but past performance doesn’t always equate to future gridiron success. Ford played at Cedar Cliff near Hershey, the same high school as tight end … 0

Keeping Score: A long story

Friday, January 29, 2016

(Second of two parts) Good morning! When the mercury dips below 50 in South Florida, people don’t come out for the newspaper, but Burmese pythons will come out from the underbrush. “This cold weather’s perfect,” said Brian Wood, an alligator hunter who’s lived in Florida for more than 40 years. “They’ll get up … 0

Keeping Score: Honor System

Friday, October 30, 2015

Good morning! The days are dwindling down to a precious few, as the song goes. Baseball’s done, the leaves are down and darkness looms at 5 p.m. Just shoot me. It’s easy being on the front end of John Steinbeck’s remark, “What good is the warmth of summer … 0

Keeping Score: The frozen few

Friday, October 23, 2015

Good morning! They raised the banner to commemorate the 2015 NCAA hockey championship prior to the Providence College’s 4-1 win against Holy Cross last week. The NCAA title game was played last April 11 at TD Garden in … 0

Keeping Score: Just a thought

Friday, October 16, 2015

Good morning! Almost every morning I take a slow jog on the empty campus in Northfield. The property remains meticulously landscaped, like a Hollywood movie set with empty buildings and unused parking lots waiting for the next cast and crew to arrive. Occasionally a busload of South Korean … 0

Keeping Score: Overseas Blogger

Friday, October 9, 2015

Good morning! Jamin Hemenway’s “Pigskin Pursuit” college football blog is coming to you this year from France. The Deerfield native works in Paris for Danone, aka Danon. “Specifically, I work on global marketing for the Activia brand,” he wrote in a recent email. Coming into this season, Hemenway … 0

KeepingScore: Sports pourri

Friday, October 2, 2015

Good morning! The UMass football team hosts Florida International University this afternoon at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. The Panthers are 2-2, including a 15-14 upset win in their season opener against the University of Central Florida. The Minutemen, who are 1-2 versus the spread this season, are 3-point favorites. … 1

Keeping Score: Properly motivated

Friday, September 25, 2015

Good morning! Success is equal parts skill and hustle. “The difference between champ and chump is u,” local gridiron coach Jim Smith liked to say. At Turners Falls High School, Craig Bodenstein had the skill but not always … 1

Keeping Score: Bucking the trend

Friday, September 18, 2015

Good morning! Tiger Woods’ fade from golfing glory is the downside of the golfing surge that began in the 1990s. Golf’s greatest and most polarizing figure since Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus helped grow the game, but as … 0

Keeping Score: Gar Story

Friday, September 11, 2015

Good morning! Garfish lurk in the murky waters of the Mississippi River and other parts of the world. The largest and creepiest are alligator gars. They grow to be seven feet and weigh over 200 pounds. Their long, … 0

Keeping Score: Bad call

Friday, September 4, 2015

Good Morning! I was sitting next to the cash register in Brad’s Place Thursday, enjoying a toasted sandwich packed with lettuce, tomatoes and three slices of hot greasy bacon. “Best BLT east of the traffic light,” boasted owner Dan Devine. Grillmaster Phil Courtemanche walked past me and asked, … 0

Keeping Score: Behold the Pharoah

Friday, August 28, 2015

Good morning! The gates opened early today at Saratoga Race Course, where 50,000 people are pushing and tugging for a look at Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Not since hippies danced in the mud at Yasgur’s farm has upstate New York been inundated by such a celebratory crowd … 0

Keeping Score: No breaks

Friday, August 14, 2015

(Second of two parts) Good morning! Monica Driver was “catatonic with nerves” before the seventh race at Saratoga Race Course on August 3. Turf races favor horses that have drawn the inside posts, and her 5-year-old gelding named … 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