The Recorder – Keeping Score: Chelsea Janes at bat

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Good morning!
Chelsea Janes was born and raised in Longmeadow and her father is a lawyer in Springfield. In her youth, she fell asleep listening to Yankees announcers John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WCBS Radio. She learned to keep score and her favorite player – no surprise here – was Derek Jeter.

She attended Longmeadow High School, was accepted to Yale, and played on the Bulldogs softball team. “I caught and played a little bit in the field,” she once told me outside Roger Dean Stadium where the baseball talks were taking place in Jupiter.

Asked about New Haven’s famous pizza, she replied, “I’m not convinced. It’s a thin crust.

When I asked what newspaper she worked with, Janes said she covered baseball’s National Rhythm for The Washington Post.

“I don’t think I expected much, luckily,” she said after landing the drummer job in 2014. After all, she majored in history and international studies at Yale. .

But one day during her freshman year, a classmate got tangled up in her homework and didn’t have time to write a story for the Yale newspaper. Janes volunteered and a career was born.

“I loved writing and I loved sports, but I never considered combining the two,” she told Mike Gambardella, Yale’s associate AD for strategic communications, in an episode of This Is Yale: The Official Podcast of Yale Athletics.

After graduating in 2012, her bags were packed and she was on the move. Janes started as an associate reporter for MLB.com covering the Padres and spent the next year at Stanford earning a master’s degree in communications. The same day she graduated, she was back in the capital to cover all nine premises.

Writing baseball for a major national newspaper was her dream job, but after the 2018 season, her editor called her into the office. “Would you like to be in Iowa in January?” He asked.

Janes was stunned. “It was so far off my radar that I took a second to think about what it meant,” she said.

In Iowa and later nationwide, she covered the presidential campaigns of Democrats Pete Buttegieg, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris. “It was deadly but incredibly energizing to be so close to the center where things are done and to see how everything works, for better or for worse,” she told Gambardella.

She wasn’t particularly thrilled with what some perceived as an upward trajectory, however. “It became clear to me that, like baseball, if you’re going to cover politics full time, you have to really like it.”

Quite frankly, Janes said, “I’ve missed baseball. I’m obsessed with baseball. Spring is baseball time in my brain. It’s how I think about the year. It’s instinctive . »

Last spring, she resumed her passion. “I’m lucky to be here for sure,” she said, even though “here” was sitting outside a locked ballpark.

His little journalist’s notebook was filled with hastily scribbled notes by recent pressers. I asked a friend to send me the 1,200-word story she submitted before the first deadline to save the full season.

It was precise, crisp, intellectual and informative.

The players, she wrote, were “stuck and furious… stuck in a more existential sense – stuck between what’s best for the sport and what’s best for each side, stuck between hoping they’ll feel compelled to give a little for the sake of everyone and the reality that is big business no place for teamwork.”

After two years in the political trenches, Chelsea Janes was back in her wheelhouse.

No spring training game meant no $44 tickets to watch single-A players in St. Louis Cardinals uniforms. Instead, I drove to Palm Beach Gardens and watched Dwyer High School host St. John Paul II Academy on Tuesday.

The anxious parents behind the backstop included a former Westfield State student. “I played for Howie Burns,” smiled Bill Jackson, a Weymouth native who stayed in Florida after his brief stint as a pro ended.

His son, Bryce Jackson, plays third base for the Panthers and is committed to the University of South Florida. “He is one of three sophomores who have committed to USF,” Jackson said.

“What is Bryce doing for the summer prom?” I asked.

“Travel baseball, TBT out of Boca Raton,” he said.

“How much does it cost and how far do you go?”

“North Carolina, Georgia, New York, Fort Myers and Sarasota. The league fee is $2,000, there are hotels, gas, equipment…”

Another player’s mother overheard us and said, “We put all baseball expenses on one credit card last summer. It was $8,000.

Dwyer won the match, 11-7. I was long gone before the Finals, but saw Bryce Jackson walk in and score on a Kris Blanks three-run homer. The season has started. Next stop, Gainesville.

The Kentucky Derby is eight weeks away from today and usracing.com’s futures book lists Corniche, Messier and Epicenter as lukewarm favorites at 12/1.

Last weekend at Gulfstream Park, Simplification under Jose Ortiz won the Fountain of Youth Stakes by going six wide around a pileup on the turn to head home. Two horses cut heels and fell, including High Oak owned by former WFAN host Mike Francesa. The men and their animals emerged unscathed from the accident.

At Aqueduct last week, Steve Asmussen’s 3-year-old colt Morello won the Gotham Stakes, and at Santa Anita, Richard Mandella’s Forbidden Kingdom won the San Felipe Stakes. The two couriers left on a par.

Today at Tampa Bay Downs, Classic Causeway will likely be the favorite to win the Tampa Bay Derby under jockey Irad Ortiz.

Sixteen Bob Baffert trainees have been named in the Triple Crown by their owners. Baffert’s training license in Kentucky has been revoked, but insiders expect he will file a lawsuit shortly before the race and the court injunction will allow him to saddle his survivors of the preparatory race.

SQUIBBERS: Patriots owner Robert Kraft found out what kind of guy Vladimir Putin was the day he showed him his Super Bowl ring and the super jerk put it in his pocket. … Talkmaster Dan Patrick explains the genesis of the best-known scouting tool: “Punts are 40 yards. Paul Brown wanted to know how fast a player could run on the pitch. That’s why we have the 40 yard dash. Brown owned the Cincinnati Bengals. … Angels slugger Mike Trout hasn’t played in a major league game since May 17. Her strained calf never healed. Trout, 30, is a career .305 hitter with 310 home runs… The Bradley OTB and Sportsbook are hosting a Fan Appreciation Day on March 16. “… Congratulations to Coach Adam Bouchard and the GHS Hockey Team on a 13-7-2 season, and NMH Coach Kevin Czepiel on an 18-win season at the frigid McCollum Arena. … DA finished 8-16 and swept four straight in the prestigious Flood Marr tournament, not a good look for the Sons of Bob Merriam. …NY Post’s Larry Brooks on Alex Ovechkin posing with Vladimir Putin for his Instagram avatar: “Those who continue to wear his jersey and chant his name after he scores a goal, their ignorance is noted, their behavior is sickening. “

Chip Ainsworth is an award-winning columnist who has written his observations of the sport over four decades in the Pioneer Valley. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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