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: Transition trouble

Friday, May 15, 2015

Good morning! Last weekend, six Atlantic 10 softball teams converged in Amherst to play at Sortino Field, the complex named for the longtime coach who passed away two years ago this August at age 63. Fordham won its third straight A-10 title by beating Dayton, 8-2, in the … 0

Keeping Score: Louisville Upstart

Friday, May 1, 2015

Good morning! Railbirds who are betting their vacation money that either American Pharoah or Dortmund will be wearing the blanket of roses at Churchill Downs today might be staying home this summer. “My first look if somebody told me you gotta pick now or you’re going to the … 0

Keeping Score: Sports sampler

Monday, April 27, 2015

Good morning! Either get the yard work done early or pray for rain next Saturday. Nice weather or not it’ll be the one spring day to be inside watching the Red Sox versus the Yankees, the Kentucky Derby, the NHL and NBA playoffs, and the “Fight of the … 0

Keeping Score: Staying Power

Friday, April 17, 2015

Good morning! Dave Whalen is an intrinsically upbeat sort who works for Bay State Reference Labs in Turners Falls drawing blood for Connecticut River Internists. Seeing him in his white smock with his full head of brown hair … 0

Keeping Score: Slow start

Friday, April 10, 2015

Good morning! The yellow flag’s out at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H., where winter’s lingering effects has owner Larry Cirillo spinning his wheels. “We’re going to wait until May 2,” said Cirillo. “One of the bathrooms had so much ice we couldn’t get the door open, so we … 0

Keeping Score: Spring picking

Friday, April 3, 2015

Good morning! Neither wind nor rain nor an endless winter will stop the start of the baseball season, which for the Red Sox is Monday afternoon in Philadelphia. The Carmines’ April schedule is a hump buster that’ll have skipper John Farrell hollering Mayday unless his team’s primed from … 0

Keeping score: Cagey stories

Friday, March 27, 2015

Good morning! The information booth inside Roger Dean Stadium was stacked with free copies of Baseball America programs for the day’s game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros cost $6 and St. Louis Cardinals T-shirts were selling for between $25 and $53. Baseball was back in … 0

Keeping Score: Biding time

Friday, March 20, 2015

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 … 0

Keeping Score: Letting go

Friday, March 13, 2015

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 … 0

Keeping Score: Stormy weather

Friday, March 6, 2015

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 … 0

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 … 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 … 0