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Keeping Score

Keeping Score: Inner strength

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good morning! Marathon runner Ben Simanski crossed the finish line 30 minutes ahead of the mayhem that ensued at 2:49 p.m. last Patriot’s Day, a stroke of good fortune for a man who’d recently received his share of bad news. A 30-year-old attorney with a passion for criminal defense, life was good for him until the wintry day in 2013 when he walked into the the Valley Medical Group in … 0

Keeping Score: Meal Call

Friday, April 11, 2014

Good morning! The Red Sox were trailing the Texas Rangers by one run with two runners on base in the bottom of the eighth inning on Wednesday when David Ortiz hit a 1-1 pitch deep into the right field bleachers. Ortiz stayed in the batter’s box until first base umpire Jerry Meals signaled it was fair, causing radio announcer Dave O’Brien to blow … 0

Keeping Score: Home trip

Monday, April 7, 2014

Good morning! Searching for a local restaurant on the drive out of Florida I stopped at Granny’s in Starke, home of Florida State Prison where 86 convicts have been executed since 1976. At the main intersection a sign for the prison points west, and I wondered if any of the condemned knew the town well enough to order their last meals off of … 0

Difference maker

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Good morning! On New Year’s Eve in Hanover, N.H., the UMass hockey team won its first holiday tournament in five years. The Minutemen came from behind twice, winning the first game, 4-3, against Bemidji State and beating nationally-ranked Dartmouth, 3-2, in the title game of the Ledyard National … 0

Have pen, will travel

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Good morning! Long highway journeys require something besides staring at mile markers, grumbling at tailgaters and looking at the gas gauge. Experience says to avoid the $3.83 pump prices in the Nutmeg State and fill up when entering and leaving the Palmetto State, where a week ago today … 0

Hold all wagers

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Good morning! News today regards developments from over the border in New Hampshire, where Bill Faucher wants to build a harness track. Yes, a harness track with pari-mutuel wagering and slot machines, built in part with money raised from an off-track betting parlor across the road from the … 0

UMass aftershock

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Good morning! The folly that was UMass football’s move to Foxboro has earned the university unwanted national attention. Two years ago, this little lemonade stand of a column asked if a move to Gillette Stadium was necessary. Now much larger newspapers are echoing the same sentiment. Within the … 0

Fish stories & other tales

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Good morning! Ask an old-timer from New Hampshire a simple question and you’ll get a simple answer. “When’s it gonna freeze?” “Freezin’ already,” answered Marvin Carley, who was sitting in his pickup truck and staring at the thin glaze of ice on the setback above the Vernon Dam. … 0

Konieczny — The real Rudy of Notre Dame

Monday, December 24, 2012

Before there was Rudy Ruettiger, the Notre Dame football walk-on made famous by the movie, there was Rudy Konieczny. He wore number 73 for the Blue-and-Gold, played offensive tackle and hailed from Chicopee, where he’d played his schoolboy football for coach Bill Moge. He’s lived in Greenfield for … 0

Expert picks

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Good morning! Looking for a book to give that somebody might actually read? Easier said than done. Good sports books are hard to find, so we asked Larry Pruner to recommend a few of the oldies but goodies he kept on the shelves at Valley Books in Amherst, … 0

The real Rudy

Friday, December 21, 2012

Good morning! Before there was Rudy Ruettiger, the Notre Dame football walk-on made famous by the movie, there was Rudy Konieczny. He wore number 73 for the Blue-and-Gold, played offensive tackle and hailed from Chicopee, where he’d played his schoolboy football for coach Bill Moge. He’s lived in … 0

Not in the cards

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Good morning! If the steroids scandal hits Hall of Fame balloting as hard as it’s hit the baseball card business, it’s unlikely Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Bonds or Sammy Sosa will be making travel arrangements to Cooperstown next summer. Instead they’ll fall in behind Mark McGwire, who’s … 0

Scouts honor

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Good morning! Before putting the baseball season to bed and firing up the hot stove, a few thoughts on the movie “Moneyball” and its portrayal of the A’s baseball scouts and its manager Art Howe. The good guys in this movie were Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane … 0

Lost cause

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Good morning! Greenfield’s Henry Josephson was in Amherst recently. “I drove by McGuirk and there was sagebrush blowing out,” he joked. What a shame, considering the money used by John McCutcheon’s UMass athletic department to lure fans to Gillette Stadium could have been better spent upgrading the school’s … 0

Travel delays

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Good morning! This week’s season-opening win by the UMass basketball team was the sort that scriptwriters dream up, a game-winning basket with two seconds left before a nationally televised audience. If Harvard was a good barometer — and the Crimson looked like a solid opponent — then UMass … 0