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McGair: Mark Melancon hopes to straighten himself out with PawSox

April 20, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer
PAWTUCKET – Friday saw Mark Melancon begin what he hopes is a short stint with the Pawtucket Red Sox.
“I’m just excited to get out there and throw strikes and kind of get on a roll,” Melancon said. “I haven’t been able to do that.”
Truer words have never been spoken. Melancon was demoted by Boston earlier this week, his ERA an unsightly 49.50 (11 runs on 10 hits in just two innings). The hope is that by pitching in a less stressful environment, the 27-year-old Melancon can get himself in order and back up to the Red Sox.

POLITICS AS USUAL (By Jim Baron) How many legislators have been arrested now?

April 8, 2012

I’m going to be watching the House and Senate Finance committee hearings to see if any more money is being funneled into the ACI kitchen budget. I figure that, at the rate senators and representatives are running afoul of the law these days, legislators are going to have a vested interest in improving the quality of prison food.

POLITICS AS USUAL (By Jim Baron) 'Policy agenda' smells a lot like campaigning

April 2, 2012

Those of you who don’t get around much in the world of cyberpolitics might be surprised to learn that Gov. Lincoln Chafee has his very own channel on YouTube.
You can click on to YouTube and then search for either “Rhodeislandgovernor” or “Governor Lincoln Chafee” and you can get a list of a whole bunch of videos that either the governor’s office made, or that show some of his TV appearances or speeches at various public events.

POLITICS AS USUAL (By JIm Baron) Never a dull moment in Central Falls

March 25, 2012

Writing a weekly column like this, it is always a good idea to have a different mix of subject matter each week to keep things interesting for readers. Well, someone please tell that to Central Falls. That unfortunate municipality just can’t seem to keep itself out of the headlines, so we’ll have to keep discussing it here.
Besides, if you live in Pawtucket or Woonsocket and you think what’s going on in Central Falls doesn’t matter to you, then you’ve got another think coming.

McGair: Locals partaking in postseason hoops

March 14, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer
It might not be the glitz and glamour of NCAA Tournament, but a pair of local Division I players – two seniors, mind you – find themselves involved in postseason play.
Woonsocket’s Tyrone Nared and his Oregon teammates rocked LSU, 96-76, in Tuesday’s opening round of the National Invitational Tournament. Playing 19 minutes off the bench, Nared registered two points (both coming on free throws) along with three rebounds and three assists. Next up for Oregon is a second-round matchup with Iowa, set for Sunday night in Eugene.

McGair: Bryant University completes next step toward NCAA Division I certification

March 7, 2012

Per the Bryant University athletic department:
SMITHFIELD -- Bryant University announced Wednesday it has successfully completed the self-study process for NCAA Division I Certification.

McGair: Cumberland's Patrick signs on with South Florida baseball program

March 5, 2012

Cumberland High School senior Justin Patrick recently signed a letter of intent to accept a baseball scholarship to Division 1 Big East power, the University of South Florida.

McGair: Thoughts on Jim Baron; Big day for Rakim Sanders

March 4, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer

A little of this, a little of that …

The leaders currently in place at the University of Rhode Island did not hire Jim Baron, who on Sunday was relieved of his head coaching duties with two years left on his contract. School president David Dooley and athletic director Thorr Bjorn were years away from taking their respective jobs at Rhody when Baron was lured away from St. Bonaventure in 2001.

McGair: Big East unveils 2012 Big East Tournament field; PC to face Seton Hall on first day

March 3, 2012

Per the Big East Conference:

FIELD SET FOR 2012 BIG EAST MEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
PRESENTED BY AMERCIAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS

PROVIDENCE – On the heels of a historic regular season in which it won 30 of 31 games, including a 17-1 mark in conference play, Syracuse has earned the 2012 BIG EAST regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the 2012 BIG EAST Championship presented by American Eagle Outfitters.

McGair: Cumberland's Roose raves about culture Sox skipper Bobby Valentine has created

February 28, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer
Hopefully the passion and enthusiasm that Cumberland native Mike Roose has for his new venture with the Boston Red Sox – that of strength and conditioning coordinator of the entire minor-league system – came across loud and clear in an article that ran earlier this week. Here’s the link in case you missed it: http://pawtuckettimes.com/content/rising-through-ranks-cumberlands-mike-....

McGair: Getting to know Cumberland native Mike Roose

February 26, 2012

Editor's note: This story about Cumberland's Mike Roose first appeared in The Times on July 7, 2010. To follow what Roose is up to nowadays, click here: http://pawtuckettimes.com/content/rising-through-ranks-cumberlands-mike-...

Title: Finding inner strength: Roose keeps PawSox in tip-top shape

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer

McGair: Flu bug could result in Friars' Coleman missing Georgetown game

February 17, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer
PROVIDENCE – It’s tough enough that the Providence Friars are struggling with a date against 10th-ranked Georgetown set for Saturday night at The Dunk. Now comes word that head coach Ed Cooley might not have Gerard Coleman available for the game. Coleman sat out Friday’s practice, the result of a flu bug that leaves the sophomore’s status against the Hoyas very much up in the air.
“Gerard hasn’t felt well all week,” Cooley said. “He’ll be a game-time decision.”

McGair: 2012 Minor League Baseball Analyst breaks down Red Sox farm system

February 16, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer
For those minor-league followers wishing to get a better grasp of the upcoming season, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of the 2012 Minor League Baseball Analyst (MLBA).
Co-authored by Rob Gordon and Jeremy Deloney, Minor League Baseball Analyst offers a refreshing take on the minor leagues based on two of the game’s most keen principles – sabermetrics and scouting. Blend the two together and what you have is a 146-page manual that serves as a sneak peak for 2012.

McGair: Friars' Coleman named to BE honor roll; Vote Kadeem Batts for Dunk of the Year

February 6, 2012

Per PC's athletic department:
PROVIDENCE - Sophomore men's basketball player Gerard Coleman (Boston, Mass.) was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll on Monday, February 6 for his performance last week versus Rutgers and West Virginia. Coleman averaged 22.5 points and six rebounds over the two games.

McGair: West Virginia's Jones will put Friars to the test

February 4, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer
PROVIDENCE – The often-used sports cliché “matchup nightmare” immediately springs to mind when referring to West Virginia sensation Kevin Jones. In this instance, the label is justified. A hulking 6-foot-8, 260-pound senior, Jones went into Saturday’s action with the distinction of being the Big East’s leader in scoring (20.9 ppg, good for 10th best in the country) and rebounding (11.5, the nation’s fourth-best figure).

McGair: Friars finally get their big man in Arizona transfer Johnson

February 1, 2012

Per the Providence College athletic department:

PROVIDENCE -- Providence College men’s basketball Head Coach Ed Cooley announced Tuesday 2012 that student-athlete Sidiki Johnson (Harlem, N.Y.) has transferred to Providence College. Johnson, a freshman, attended the University of Arizona for the 2011 Fall Semester.

McGair: Frank Spaziani on Paterno, O'Brien, BC's strong Super Bowl presence; Tamburro, Boggs should go into I.L HOF together

February 1, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer

A little of this, a little of that …

– After our discussion pertaining to Will Blackmon on Tuesday – you can read the story here by clicking http://pawtuckettimes.com/content/mcgair-where-theres-will-youll-find-gi... – I asked Boston College head coach Frank Spaziani to share some thoughts about recently deceased Penn State head coach Joe Paterno. According to his bio on Wikipedia, Spaziani played quarterback and linebacker for the Nittany Lions from 1965-68 before becoming a graduate assistant under Paterno for one season in 1969.

PawSox' Tamburro to be inducted into I.L. Hall of Fame

January 31, 2012

Per the Pawtucket Red Sox ...

The International League announced Tuesday that former pitcher Dave Eiland, former manager Bill Evers, and current club executive Mike Tamburro will be inducted into the circuit's Hall of Fame as members of the Class of 2012. The three men comprise the second Class elected to the IL Hall by a vote of current Hall of Fame members, longtime executives, broadcasters, and members of the media.

McGair: Talking high school hoops, pucks and pigskin

January 25, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer
A little of this, a little of that …
– Prior to the start of Tuesday’s game at league unbeaten West Warwick, an inquiring mind (me) went up to Shea head coach Matt Pita and asked if he was planning to start transfer Michael Neal, who was finally eligible after sitting out the first nine league games. Pita offered a slight grin as he said no before this reporter took the subject a step further, joking that Pita was probably going to wait for 30 seconds to go by before inserting the 6-foot-6 Neal.

McGair: Why Red Sox prospect Alex Hassan prefers to leave the cold behind

January 15, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer
Sunday in Southern New England saw Jack Frost get the last laugh with temperatures in some parts barely climbing above 20 degrees. Certainly a cold day doesn’t make one anxious to head outside to shag fly balls and perform baseball-related exercises geared toward maintaining sharpness.

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