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Keeping Score

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 wasn’t the sense we were where we needed to be,” said McCutcheon, who two years earlier had hired Molnar because his “... … 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 umpire’s room underneath the grandstand, where he was rubbing up game balls with mud taken … 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 stale pickle juice. I had taken the scenic route through Brattleboro on Route 9, stopping … 0

Keeping Score: Reprieve

Friday, November 8, 2013

Good morning! On Thursday night, Pioneer Valley Regional School boys’ basketball coach Dave Hastings was notified by Principal Bill Wehrli that he’d be keeping his job. Hastings had been in limbo for six months, not knowing if he’d be back for a 12th season after being told the … 0

His Waterloo

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Good morning! Two weeks ago Derek Pratt’s suitcase landed inside the bedroom of an Iowa household, his next-to-last stop on a mission that began at the Collins-Moylan Arena and will culminate a year from now at the University of Connecticut. “I’ve been watching Hockey East all my life … 0

Honoring the bull

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Good morning! During that muddled time between college and finding a job, Conway’s Brad Scudder worked as a substitute teacher. Bored with the three R’s, one morning he broke out a deck of cards and taught his students how to play poker, for cash to better learn the … 0

Scenes from The Spa

Saturday, August 17, 2013

(First of two parts) Good morning! Race-goers beware, if the horses don’t get you, the hotel tab will. $399 at the Saratoga Hilton plus the 11.5 percent tax and $10 to park is $460.87. Bringing the Yorkie? Tack on another $50. I stayed 25 miles north, next to … 0

Saratoga misses

Saturday, August 24, 2013

(Second of two parts) Good morning! It was 10 minutes before the fourth race at Saratoga on Aug. 9. Six fillies — maidens all — had been called from paddock to post. They entered onto the track single file, their jockeys tugging reins leftward toward the railbirds standing … 0

Hone dem bones

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Good morning! Something you might be wondering about next month’s Bone Frog Challenge: What’s a bone frog? To answer that is recently retired Navy SEAL Brian Carney of South Deerfield. “It’s the skeleton of a frog. The majority of Navy SEALS have it tattooed somewhere on their bodies. … 0

Thursday, October 31, 2013

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Battle of the East

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Good morning! The skyline appeared over a hill on Route 2 in Belmont, the city a distant sprawl of skyscrapers, smokestacks and industrial storage tanks. It disappeared just as quickly, a tease, a promise of what lay past the apparition of Sammy White’s bowling alley and crew teams … 0

Track of dreams

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Good morning! Dreams die hard: Montreal wants another baseball team, Hartford wants another hockey team, and Hinsdale wants another harness track. Maybe not everybody in Hinsdale, but Bill Faucher does, and Faucher’s not the sort to be taken lightly. He’s part businessman, part politician and all horseman, a … 0

Uphill climb

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Good morning! Mike Townsley was the quickest of five Franklin County residents who ran, jogged and walked to the finish line of the Mount Washington Road Race on June 15. The 7.6-mile course is an ascent from spring to winter; from 60-degree temps and light breezes into a … 0

Numbers guy

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Good morning! Wade Boggs is a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, “One of baseball’s toughest outs” reads his plaque in Cooperstown. Yet despite being the only player in the 20th century to have at least 200 hits in seven consecutive seasons, the Red Sox are reluctant to put his uniform number … 0

Unexpected delays

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Good morning! A traffic jam is never a good way to start a 1,500-mile road trip, but Interstate 91 southbound was backed up two miles around the bend in Holyoke and I opted for the long way out of the Northeast. It was a Friday afternoon, the time … 0