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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

By land or air

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Good morning! Early last February I purchased a new Subaru Legacy that gets roughly twice the gas mileage as my trade-in, a Toyota 4Runner. In four months I’ve put over 18,000 miles on the odometer. See the world today in my Subaru. Three times I’ve been to Florida, … 0

Bayer pain relief

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Good morning! For the first time in years, having his shoulder iced won’t be part of Jeremiah Bayer’s routine this summer. “Any pitcher that tells you he doesn’t have some sort of arm issue is lying,” said Bayer, who retired from pro baseball this spring after four seasons … 0

Summer job

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Good morning! Greenfield’s Russ Hudson was in Adams Donut Shop a few weeks ago with news that his son Joe is a strength and conditioning coach in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. On Friday, young Mr. Hudson will put his new Jeep Patriot on a train bound from Clearwater … 0

Loyalty rewards

Friday, May 17, 2013

Good morning! If you miss the wedding don’t go to the funeral. It’s a common refrain among railbirds who know that opportunity usually strikes but once. The rare exception occurs when a horse melds ability, fitness and opportunity into a perfect storm of racing magic. A horse like … 0

Two for the money

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Good morning! A father who involves his children in sports expects little more in return than a vicarious thrill or two, but for Bob Weiss the payback has been enormous. The 72-year-old Weiss grew up in Deerfield and slapped the puck around Highland Pond with rink rats Nook … 0

Dog tales

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Good morning! A recent article about the Iditarod by Ben McGrath in the April 22 issue of the New Yorker Magazine rekindled memories of long-past autumn afternoons when Deerfield veterinarian Charlie Belford trained his sled dog team in Old Deerfield’s north meadows. Belford, who died in 2005, lived … 0

Long-distance friends

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Good morning! Two nights before the Boston Marathon, Greenfield native Joe Martino was Bill Rodgers’ guest at the Mayor’s Reception at the Fairmont Copley Plaza. “It was such a festive night, incredible how things can change so quickly,” said Martino, referring to the Patriot’s Day bombing. Rodgers and … 0

Orb’s the one

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Good morning! The Bluegrass State doesn’t have much to cheer about, nary a pro sports franchise or NASCAR race, only a mere two minutes of fame each year on the first Saturday in May. The first Kentucky Derby was run in 1875 when a chestnut colt named Aristides … 0

Tops in his field

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Good morning! Mike Russo grew up in Deerfield under the shadow of Mount Pocumtuck in a section of town that came to be called Russoville, where the townies would convene to play pickup games with all the other Russos, including Mark, Rick, Vic and Steve. After Mike graduated … 0

Close to home

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Good morning ... Until last Patriot’s Day, there was a sense of detachment; that the evil was far enough away not to worry for family and friends. But this time I had people calling me, asking me if I was all right. This time the death and chaos … 0

On a mission

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Good morning! Fans will soon be streaming into Fenway Park wearing pink hats, staring at their iPhones and singing Sweet Caroline. It wasn’t always this way. There was a time when the women and children were advised to stay home, when a blue-gray cloud of tobacco smoke hung … 0

Difference makers

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Good morning! The drive north was an easy 60 mph cruise through Winchester and onto Route 9 in Keene, eastward past small ponds and streams surrounded by forests still knee-deep in snow, past the Hillsborough homestead of our 14th president, Franklin Pierce, and on through Henniker where Red … 0