Futures League has future to consider, plus other items of interest
There’s a lot going on behind the scenes this summer so let’s give you some tids and bits to keep you up to date:
—We may have jumped the gun late last month when we said the Futures Collegiate League was in the clear in terms of possibly losing the strong Worcester franchise to a possible move to that city by the Pawtucket Red Sox. Logically, you figure state approval of some $85 million in funds to build a new stadium in Pawtucket would definitely keep them the PawSox instead of the WooSox. But we forget that the shrewd Larry Lucchino is running the show down there and that Worcester will likely offer $100 million to build a new park and doesn’t need state approval. There are those who are almost certain Lucchino would rather take the Worcester deal – which has yet to be made public, by the way — but won’t tip his hand because he doesn’t want to lose the current gate. This probably wouldn’t be a reality for three years or so, but it certainly would cripple the FCBL, which isn’t in the greatest of shape with just seven teams as it is.
— Still on the FCBL, it’s becoming more and more apparent that it has an umpiring problem. Bad enough that it still goes with just two umpires – the NECBL just went to three recently – but the two who are working a lot of the games just aren’t getting things right. OK, sure, it’s foolish to keep whining about officiating in any sport, but when Silver Knights manager B.J. Neverett doesn’t go out to argue a call,lately it’s been the exception rather than the rule.
How bad a year for these umps? They were late for the start of Thursday’s twinbill vs. Martha’s Vineyard, the start delayed for nearly 15 minutes. Not good, and in the off-season the issue needs to be addressed. Many other things do, too, which is why one team exec said that when the league has its annual off-season meeting in the fall, “This will be the most important off-season meeting in the history of the league.”
— We always hear about the Bill Parcells or the Bill Belichick Coaching Tree, but how about the Craig Kolek Tree? The Rivier University head men’s and women’s volleyball coach has his share of former assistants or players out there working the sidelines at various schools. The latest is Craig Martin, who served as an assistant to Kolek from 2005-2011 (six Raider GNAC titles won in that time, four men, two women). Martin, who was the men’s/women’s head coach of the now departed Mount Ida College for the last seven years, was recently named as an assistant coach at UMass-Lowell, landing on his feet.
Also, still on Riv, word is a new women’s head soccer coach has been hired. Baseball coach and sports info director extraordinaire Anthony Perry had been keeping the program together in the off-season on an interim basis, but it’s likely is he can now take that responsibility off his long list. Stay tuned.
– Sad to learn, as Telegraph sports editor Alan Greenwood wrote the other day that the Nashua City Golf Tournament will be taking a year off, but this could be a good thing. Organizer Ryan Brogan, who rescued the early September annual event when it appeared to be on life support about 10 years ago, figures this will be addition by subtraction. The tourney usually includes such courses as Green Meadow, Souhegan Woods, Overlook and its anchor, Nashua Country Club. He would like to get input from the pros at such courses and go from there next year.
“Take a year off, and come back with a good clean slate,” he said. “We’ll look at what we can do to make it better and come back strong.”
— Nashua resident Rico Petrocelli is part of another book. The former Red Sox Hall of Famer is the subject of a book by Tom and Ellen Zappala, “An All-Star’s Cardboard Memories”. In the book, Petrocelli talks about, according to a release, “the personalities, playing styles, and basebal trading cards of 56 Hall of Famers who played from the mid1960s into the late 1990s.” Petrocelli talks about his relationship with these players, their personalites, etc. while collectibles expert Joe Orlando talks about the card aspect. The book, published in coffee table format, will be unveiled at a signing at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland August 1-5.
— On Sunday, a local standout will be returning home where he thrived. Hudson’s Derek Griffith will be back racing at Hudson Speedway, with the return of the Granite State Pro Stock Series. It’s been three years since the series raced there. “It’s my home track, where I began racing years ago,” Griffith, the 2015 Series champion, said in a release. Always good to see a local return to compete.
Tom King can be reached at 594-1251,firstname.lastname@example.org, or@Telegraph _TomK.