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: Faded glory

Friday, February 14, 2014

(First of Two Parts) Good morning! Shortly before the first bell of the Golden Gloves regional finals at the Log Cabin Restaurant in Holyoke on February 6, ring announcer Dean Fay strode up to PA announcer Mike Burke and told him, “We had to shut it off at … 0

Keeping Score: Number nine

Monday, February 10, 2014

Good morning! One summer day during my youth I saw Ted Williams hit an arcing fly ball that disappeared into the afternoon sun and reappeared on its way into the bleachers. Seeing a Williams home run was like glimpsing a shooting star, but my grammar school friend Crosby … 0

Keeping Score: Road food

Friday, January 31, 2014

Good morning! A recent “My Turn” column by Estelle Cade that appeared in The Recorder’s editorial page characterized me as a “sun follower” and chronicler of road travel who eats bad food and drinks bad coffee. She got the first part right — I bought a new Subaru … 0

Keeping Score: Florida Dispatch

Friday, January 24, 2014

Good morning! Greetings from Florida, the state that writer Graham Greene called a “sunny place for shady people,” where weirdness and mayhem run amok under the coconut trees, and where Justin Bieber sat in his yellow Lamborghini at 4 a.m. on Thursday morning and asked the police, “What … 0

Keeping Score: Repair work

Friday, January 17, 2014

Good morning! The Mark Whipple hiring got plenty of media coverage but credit the Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley with getting the scoop on the new UMass football coach. The finalists interviewed at Bradley International Airport and everyone was sworn to secrecy, but Buckley had Whipple’s name on his … 0

Keeping Score: Climate change

Monday, January 13, 2014

Good morning! Grandchildren make Christmas fun so I didn’t leave for Florida until after the presents were opened and my daughter April had given me the good-to-go sign. It was nearly midnight when I pulled into a Country Inn outside Fredericksburg, Va., 475 miles from home. I’ve driven … 0

Keeping Score: Bowl sampler

Friday, January 3, 2014

Good morning! The weather in Tampa on New Year’s Day reminded me of an April afternoon in the mid-1970s at Fenway Park — an easterly wind was blowing rain in from the ocean, and the infield was covered. We were sitting in the dugout — a cop, a … 0

Keeping Score: Good pay, bad move

Friday, December 27, 2013

Good morning! Imagine you’ve convinced your boss to sell air conditioners on the North Pole. Two years later the company’s losing millions and the new boss calls you into his office. You’re gonna get fired, right? Not if you’re John McCutcheon, the UMass athletic director responsible for putting … 0

Keeping Score: Off the grid

Monday, December 16, 2013

Good morning! The UMass football team died another slow, agonizing death this fall, outscored 396-140 compared to 482-152 a year ago, a slight improvement but not enough to prevent another 1-11 season. It’s not easy winning only one of twelve games. It takes bad decisions, crucial penalties and … 0

Keeping Score: Runner without a country

Monday, December 9, 2013

Good morning! Mohamed Hussein is proud of his heritage. He was born and raised in Somaliland (not to be confused with Somalia), which borders Ethiopia to the west and Somalia to the south and is across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen. A senior at Northfield Mount Hermon … 0

Keeping Score: Jeff and Hubie

Friday, November 22, 2013

Good morning! Former Red Sox publicity director Bill Crowley liked to say he could listen to a broadcast team for five minutes and tell if there was a rapport or if they were simply vying for air time. Crowley died in 1996, probably never having heard Bear Country’s … 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