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Keeping Score

Keeping Score: Play Ball

Friday, February 27, 2015

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 … 0

Keeping Score: Playing tag

Friday, February 20, 2015

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 … 0

Keeping Score: Knight moves

Friday, February 13, 2015

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 … 0

Keeping Score: Writing lesson

Friday, October 24, 2014

Good morning! One morning over coffee at Green Fields Market, my friend Bob Diamond guessed how long it takes for me to write the Saturday column: “What, a couple of hours?” Guess again. Assumptions like Bob’s are what caused German essayist Thomas Mann to wryly observe: “A writer … 1

Keeping Score: The long goodbye

Friday, October 17, 2014

Good morning! Mike Russo’s career coaching soccer at Williams College is drawing to a close. “Probably if I was smart I would’ve gone out last year when we went to the Final Four,” joked Russo, who grew up in Deerfield. One win in the Ephs’ final three matches … 1

Keeping Score: No win situation

Friday, October 10, 2014

Good morning! How would you like to be football coach for a day, have a 27-point lead and try keeping it for the last 31 minutes of play? Think you could do it? UMass coach Mark Whipple couldn’t. He let what was a 41-14 blowout slip away last … 0

Keeping Score: Lost Cat

Friday, October 3, 2014

Good morning! Every Saturday each fall Rick Farnham leaves his home in northern Vermont to watch a college football game, be it at Middlebury, Dartmouth or UMass, where he and his wife Diane tailgated prior to last week’s game against Bowling Green. What’s easy to spot is the … 0

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 … 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 … 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 … 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