The Recorder – Keeping Score: Back to Basics by Danielle Henderson UMass
The UMass softball program is fully funded, with Fordham and URI. Every year he is expected to finish first or second in the A-10 and sink into the playoffs. The late Elaine Sortino set the standard. His teams have won 23 A-10 titles, qualified for 21 NCAA appearances and made three trips to the College World Series.
Hers was a difficult act to follow. Fallen coach Kristi Stefanoni wasn’t up to the task, and now it’s Danielle Henderson’s turn. A maestro on the mound at UMass, in 1999, Henderson set the NCAA record (since broken) by pitching 125 scoreless innings. She was named NCAA Player of the Year in her senior year and went on to help the United States win gold at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
After a stint in the professional ball, Henderson was the Ohio State and Stanford pitching coach until Sortino fell ill. According to multiple sources, she had been Sortino’s handpicked successor. “Danielle left Stanford at the behest of Elaine Sortino but (Sortino) died before she could tell AD John McCutcheon what her intentions were.”
It’s unclear why McCutcheon hired Stefanoni, but this is the same guy who hired football coach Charley Molnar. Whatever the reason, Henderson left to coach UMass-Lowell, who was only two years away from playing in Division II. According to the state’s payroll website, she earned $ 78,000 this year, compared to Stefanoni’s $ 100,000.
But Henderson didn’t leave UML to make more money, it was to go back to his place. She can drive the Cadillac, as TFHS coach Gary Mullins would say, to run a fully funded Division I program with a long history of success. She helped build the legacy, and now she must preserve it.
“I think they offered Danielle the job as a makeup artist,” the source said. Indeed, better late than never as the saying goes.
Athletic has ranked the 25 best entry songs of all time and walk-in music. Unsurprisingly, Mariano Rivera’s “Enter Sandman” tops the list. By the time he retired in 2013, Rivera had recorded 652 regular season saves. Kenley Jansen of the Dodgers is the closest among active closers with 327.
Add it all up – wins and losses and playoff stats – and Rivera was 90-61 with 694 saves.
Former Red Sox closest, Jonathan Papelbon, used a Woody Guthrie song popularized by Dropkick Murphys called “I’m Shipping Up to Boston”.
The Closers get the glory, but what about the pitchers pitching the middle innings? How about “Bridge over troubled waters”.
But not all players choose their music. Sparky Lyle wasn’t thrilled that Yankees organist Toby Wright played “Pomp and Circumstance” every time he walked into a game, but White Sox hitter Dick Allen was flattered that organist Nancy Faust played ” Jesus Christ Superstar “as he walked over to the plate.
Todd Frazier’s walk-up music is Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon”; Manny Ramirez liked a rap song called “I Get High” which was taken off the playlist because it contained 12-letter profanity. “I am far from the idea of understanding the psychology of what makes a player tick,” Red Sox spokesman Charles Steinberg said.
Two years ago in Gainesville, I wrote to Florida slugger Jud Fabian and suggested that he use Fabian’s 1959 hit, “Turn Me Loose”. Fabian never answered. Like Manny, he was into hip hop, not doo wop.
Most, if not all, of the Amherst College lacrosse team remained loyal to former coach Jon Thompson after his dismissal, causing problems for new coach Rashad Devoe. Last fall, Devoe reportedly dined with a few of the players alongside several members of the women’s lacrosse team. “Is that your midnight snack?” Devoe asked.
The sexist remark was reported to the administration. “Social media about NESCAC’s laxity has sparked a number of delays around the idea that Amherst will soon be looking for a new coach again,” reports the father of a former player. “The idiots at school hired a mediator to sit down between the players and the coaches. According to the parent, I know the mediator was blown away by the feedback from the players. Only a stupid liberal arts college ** would think that hiring a mediator is the way for a team and their coaches to develop a relationship. The head coach’s summer camp ad on Twitter was deleted shortly after. Stay tuned.
SQUIBBERS: A memorial service was held Sunday in Plymouth, NH for former Deerfield Academy AD Dave Hagerman who coached the Big Green in the New England prep school hockey title in 1984. Five local kids were part of that team – Brian Fusonie and Tim Hanley of Greenfield, Paul Amstein of Buckland, Brian Jurek of Turners Falls and Doug Weiss of Bernardston. Hagerman passed away Feb. 11 in Hanover, NH… I don’t know what’s harder to believe, whether former UMass defenseman Cale Makar played in 35 Stanley Cup Playoff games or that he accumulated 31 points in those games. … Listening to Felger and Mazz share their conspiracy theory on why the Blue Jays hit 13 home runs in two games against the Red Sox was more fun than hearing Professor Alex Speier preach why their cheating theory isn’t. just not so. … Mike Florio and Chris Simms speculated the Pats might have a hard time trading Stephon Gilmore. “You don’t want to pay a guy a lot of money for the years he starts going down,” Florio said. “I don’t see the Patriots moving and paying him a lot of money,” Simms added. … Dodgers reliever David Price pitched two-thirds of the inning for a win on Monday. Price has made 16 appearances, walked seven goals and made 24 in 21 ⅔ innings. … Dolphins may revisit trading for Deshaun Watson after Tua Tagovailoa threw five interceptions in competitive passing drills on Monday… Rumor has it that Buck Showalter will replace Aaron Boone if the Yankees aren’t in contention before the all-star break. …. Native of Amherst, Mike Hixon already has an Olympic medal in diving and has just qualified to try another at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Hixon was trained by his mother Mandy Hixon while she was the diving coach at UMass. Her husband Dave was the very successful hoops trainer at Amherst College. … Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy on UMass’s decision to place Marcus Camby and John Calipari statues outside the Mullins Center: “Camby admitted to lying to police [and] Coach Cal is the only coach in NCAA history to erase two Final Four appearances. Now the school dedicates statues to criminals. … Cleveland and Tampa Bay – both on their way to qualifying for the playoffs – have the lowest salaries and fifths lowest in baseball according to spotrac.com, while half of the 10 teams with the highest salaries – the Yankees, Phillies, Angels, Nationals and Cardinals – struggle to stay around 0.500. … Bruins fans don’t like to remember the trade that sent Dougie Hamilton to the Flames for first, second and third round picks that turned out to be Zachary Senyshyn, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and Jeremy Lauzon. … A Minnesota woman documents her hike on the Appalachian Trail to nearly 20,000 social media followers. That’s good, but isn’t the great outdoors a way to get away from social media? … Sparky Lyle’s “Bronx Zoo” includes this pitching story for Red Sox manager Eddie Popowski in 1969: “Eddie Popowski was one of those managers who would give the operator a baseball. elevator and say to him: “Whoever comes in after two the clock in the morning, have him sign.”
Chip Ainsworth is an award-winning columnist who has written his observations on the sport for four decades in the Pioneer Valley. He can be contacted at [email protected]