Archive - 2011 - Sports Article
PAWTUCKET --- Lincoln High made good on its first splendid day of the spring to play baseball.
The Lions scored four times in their opening swings and tacked on three runs in the third inning before settling on a 10-5 victory over St. Raphael Academy on Thursday afternoon in the Division I-North opener for both teams at sun-drenched Vets Park.
University of Rhode Island-bound Ryan Oâ€™Dell went 3-for-4 to propel the Lionsâ€™ 11-hit assault, and Kyle Jacksonâ€™s two-run double in the first inning and Matt Sorkinâ€™s two-run single in the third were the key hits for the visitors.
The 2011 season for the PawSox is finally upon us, and with it brings the promise of intrigue and discovery. Who will produce enough to get summoned to Boston? Answers will start to reveal themselves beginning with tonightâ€™s opener against Rochester.
Here are five items one scribe plans to closely monitor in the early going until the picture becomes clearer:
1. Good gloves will always travel, but be patient with the hitting.
LINCOLN â€” As Bill Lee and Bob Montgomery swapped stories and shared laughs Wednesday afternoon at Kirkbrae Country Club, the former Red Sox pitcher-catcher battery took time to address some of baseballâ€™s hidden truths that todayâ€™s coaches and players like to put a different spin on.
WOONSOCKET â€” Cumberland High coach Marty Crowley believes he has a strong enough team to contend for a state title come mid-June.
But in his eyes, and perhaps most in Division I, the squad that everyone in the league should be concerned about is last yearâ€™s state runner-up Mount St. Charles Academy.
â€śAbsolutely,â€ť he said. â€śThey went to the finals last year. They (basically) got everybody back. They should be the favorites to win the whole thing. Theyâ€™re good.â€ť
LINCOLN â€“ At the core of Bill Leeâ€™s multi-faceted personality is a baseball pitcher who remains fascinated -- even at the age of 64 -- by the process of getting batters out.
Lee came here on Wednesday to serve as keynote speaker at the annual â€śWelcome Home, PawSoxâ€ť luncheon hosted by the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce. He walked into Kirkbrae Country Clubâ€™s dining area a few minutes before noon, dressed like a cowboy, his still-athletic frame topped off by a wide-brimmed hat that identified the former Red Sox pitcher as a man of great presence.
PAWTUCKET â€” Relief pitchers inherently are the most fickle commodity in baseball. Thatâ€™s why teams are inclined to stockpile as many candidates as they can each season, crossing oneâ€™s fingers that one or two arms pan out and solidify the foundation already in place.
PAWTUCKET â€” Mike McKenry doesnâ€™t completely feel like a stranger in a strange land. The new PawSox catcher has St. Raphael alumnus Chris Iannetta to thank for that.
Ed Hunt knows that all three subdivisions in this yearâ€™s Division I circuit are going to be tough, but not as difficult as the battles awaiting his Lincoln team in the Division I-North ranks.
â€śThere are no weak sisters in our division,â€ť the veteran coach said before his Lionsâ€™ workout on Monday afternoon. â€śI think we have the toughest division from top to bottom, whereas most of the other divisions, theyâ€™re balanced this year, but they still probably have four good teams.â€ť
For the past two years, race director Kerri Stenovitch has had no problem deciding on a rightful beneficiary for the Phantom Farms Planting Footprints 5K road race. Considering that the 3.1-mile event takes place at the popular Cumberland apple orchard, most of the proceeds went to the R.I. Fruit Growers Association.
Stenovitch, a former star runner for St. Raphael Academy in the early 1990s, has decided on a new cause for this Sundayâ€™s race.
And like the previous one, this one truly made sense.
Baseball Prospectus is in the business of projecting big-picture truths. Through a series of trained eyes and statistical inputs, the publication dishes out bold predictions designed to shed serious light on the performance players and teams can expect.
Letâ€™s start with a simple premise: Realistic baseball fans donâ€™t get upset over what their team looks like in the first week, or month, of the season. They know that playoff berths are achieved over a 162-game season, and that 11 postseason victories are required to rule the world.
Baseball season is a long haul, lasting from March 31 (this yearâ€™s Opening Day) through late October. Smart baseball fans just sit back and relax, knowing that players and teams will eventually achieve their normal production goals as the games pile up.
The sights and smells that remind us a new baseball season is dawning are everywhere at McCoy Stadium.
PAWTUCKET -â€“ Pawtucket Red Sox President Mike Tamburro remembers former Boston Red Sox general manager Lou Gorman, who died Friday at the age of 82, as a personable man who grew up in Rhode Island and never lost contact with old friends.
â€śIt was like having your best friend as general manager of the Red Sox when Lou held that job,â€ť Tamburro said on Friday afternoon while discussing the life of the long-time baseball development official who helped build successful teams in Baltimore, Kansas City and New York.
The toughest division in high school softball just got a whole lot tougher.
Yes, the heavyweights are back in Division I-North -- state finalist Mount St. Charles, Cumberland, and Lincoln -- and with each team only losing a couple of key players to graduation, they should again be forces to be reckoned with this spring.
There is no need to start a countdown. Slick-fielding shortstop Jose Iglesias is ticketed to be a member of the Pawtucket Red Sox on the first day of the 2011 season.
Jamie Silva isnâ€™t immune to the uncertainty thatâ€™s hanging over the NFL like an ominous cloud. In fact, Silva may just find himself caught in the eye of the labor storm that has threatened to tear at the very fabric of the sportâ€™s once-perceived mighty empire.
CUMBERLAND â€” For the first few weeks of the spring season, the courts have been empty at Tucker Field, the home of the Cumberland High boysâ€™ tennis team.
Thatâ€™s doesnâ€™t mean the Clippers havenâ€™t been practicing for their upcoming (and very challenging) campaign in Division I after a four-year absence. While work is in the process of being done to reconstruct the courts, longtime CHS head coach John Jasionowski has managed to prepare his squad by first utilizing the courts at the Abbott Run Valley Club and then over at the nearby Sher-Le-Mon Swim Club.
PROVIDENCE â€” The indoor track season officially concluded with a â€śClassical Winter finaleâ€™â€™ weight throw competition at the PCTA facility Monday night.
Central Falls senior Aleide Fernandes, the state indoor champion in the 20-pound weight, won the girlsâ€™ event with a throw of 52 feet, 3 1/4 inches.
The Warriors had three other throwers place among the top 10. Kadi Johnson was second at 48-6 1/4, Nicole Johnson finished fourth at 42-3 1/4 and Jenn Cabral was eighth overall at 37-1.
PAWTUCKET â€” The Pawtucket Red Sox have announced that every PawSox player will wear a patch with the name BEN on their right uniform sleeve this season in honor of late PawSox owner Ben Mondor who passed away last Oct. 3.
The patch will be worn on each home uniform and will measure 5.5 inches long by 3.25 inches high.
â€śBen always wore his love of the PawSox on his sleeve so itâ€™s only fitting that we carry Ben on our sleeve for the 2011 season,â€ť said PawSox president Mike Tamburro.
CUMBERLAND â€“ Dan Oâ€™Brien has several memories of retired Cumberland High swim coach Bruce Calvert.
His first three years for the Clippers, Oâ€™Brien recalled a person that was not only dedicated to his craft, but a person that knew how to motivate with his unique style of dealing with student-athletes.
â€śYou could go out and drop ten seconds and he would still have something to tell you that would improve it,â€ť he said. â€śI guess some people would say that he had a negative outlook on your swim, but in a way it motivated us to try harder and drop our times more.â€ť