EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

May 16, 2013

Sports in a minute

David Willis
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — A Valley divided

Boston Bruins fandom may be reaching heights it hasn’t seen in decades, but don’t be surprised if you see some fans around the Merrimack Valley rooting for the New York Rangers in their playoff series against the B’s.

The Rangers, of course, feature former Phillips Academy star Chris Kreider of Boxford. These playoffs haven’t gone quite as well for Kreider as his inaugural postseason last year, when he scored five goals after having never played an NHL game. Kreider had one assist and no goals in the Rangers’ first round series win over the Washington Captials.

Hanigan’s back

Speaking of local pros, Cincinnati Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan of Andover has come off the disabled list red hot. In his three starts since returning, he has collected four hits and two walks, including two-hit games against Milwaukee and Miami. He was 3 for 35 on the season before going on the DL in April with a strained left oblique.

Londonderry’s Brian Wilson, the former San Francisco Giants All-Star closer, on the other hand still has no job following Tommy John surgery last year.

See her story

Yesterday’s Eagle-Tribune featured a story on Lawrence track star Aneisha Berrios overcoming insecurity to becoming a star thrower.

For a video interview with Berrios, plus video and pictures of her throwing, visit eagletribune.com/sports.

An odd couple

It’s very common to see a talented track athlete win multiple events, especially in a dual meet.

But win the pole vault and the shot put? Now that’s just odd.

Pentucket’s Ali Attenasio did just that earlier this week, and added a victory in the 100 hurdles and also ran on the winning 4x100 relay.

Pole vault is Attanasio’s premier event. She set the school record with a vault of 11-0 last week, best in the area this season and tied for the third best all-time, and scored a 10-6 on Monday.

Tower of terror

I was watching the movie “X-Men: First Class” over the weekend, and was stunned by the height of a massive actor playing a supporting role.

An internet search revealed the actor to be none other than 7-foot-7 former basketball star Neil Fingleton, who faced Central Catholic in the 1999 state title game while playing for Holy Name.

Fingleton, the tallest living person born the United Kingdom, currently has two movies in production according to imdb.com, including one hilariously-named “ShortFellas.”

Betcha didn’t know

Haverhill’s Carlos Pena, currently of the Houston Astros, holds a few impressive marks in his major league career. But did you know he holds the record for being on the losing end of a perfect game three times?

Pena is actually one of five players to have been on teams that were no-hit five times in their career. As a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, he saw Felix Hernandez, Mark Buehrle and Dallas Braden throw perfectos.

Yeah, we get it

No one is questioning the success he has had with the Tampa Bay Rays, but at what point has the whole “Look how cooky Joe Maddon is” thing run its course?

When you hire a merengue band to dance with your team in the clubhouse before the game, that seems like a good sign he is begging for attention. Enough Joe, we get it.