EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 25, 2013

Sports in a Minute

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Connaughton loves baseball, too

While former St. John’s Prep star Patrick Connaughton, entering his junior year and one of the top players on the University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team, he is also a standout pitcher on the school’s baseball team.

Connaughton is noted for playing a major role in two close victories over Central Catholic boys basketball in 2011.

Sure, he has often talked about his passion for basketball, but MLB scouts feel he has potential to make it to the big leagues as a pitcher, maybe even a closer with his 95 mph fastball.

He was 4-2 with a 1.71 ERA over 10 starts and he spent two weeks pitching this summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League.

A recent tweet of his (‏@PlanePat2412) may speak volumes as to where he thinks his future is: “Watching the Red Sox vs. Yankees at Fenway makes me think of how awesome it would be to pitch here.”

Bird on “Next One” list for 2014

It is believed only four Massachusetts born-and-bred residents were on hockey’s Central Scouting Bureau, listing all of the prospect for next year’s 2014 NHL Draft.

Tyler Bird, of Andover (formerly of Nashua, N.H.), is on that list.

Bird, who attended St. John’s Prep for three years before recently transferring to Kimball Union in the fall, is nearly 6-foot-3, 210 pounds as a “power” forward.

He has already committed to Brown University for the fall of 2014. He was also drafted by the Tri-City Storm of the USHL.

Website wants ex-Sox PA announcer in Hall

Andover resident Ernie Paicopolos, who runs the popular website, fenwaynation.com, is trying to help the cause of baseball guru, Gary Titus. Titus has been a tireless advocate for the deceased Red Sox PA announcer Sherm Feller, hoping to get him into the Red Sox Hall of Fame.

I agree. Feller was a mainstay at Fenway.

His signature call was: “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to Fenway Park.” If interested you can sign Titus’ petition at www.ipetitions.com/petition/shermfeller/.

Call Welker a motormouth

We all knew Wes Welker was fast. At least his legs. We didn’t know his lips moved as fast as they’ve moved the last few months.

Is there an interview the former Patriots wide receiver won’t do?

I guess that’s a good thing, at least for our business, now that the Denver Broncos’ slot receiver seems to be a quote machine since leaving New England this winter.

He even said he was tired of “not be able to speak” while with the Patriots.

Welker has become a chatterbox since becoming a Bronco. He’s been on ESPN, the NFL Network and he’s done several one-on-one interviews with much of the Denver media. Most recently he did a Q&A on an ESPN college football blog about his former teammate and now coach at Texas Tech, Kliff Klingsbury, whom the Patriots drafted in the sixth round in 2003.

Sherman set up to fail

The pressure is on Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who like baseball’s Ryan Braun had his failed PED (performance enhancing drug) test overturned.

He has signed on a periodic contributor to Peter King’s new website (along with Sports Illustrated).

In his first column this week he explained his “verbal war” with Tom Brady last year saying Brady was upset with some trash-talking and told one of the Seahawks defensive backs to come find him after the Patriots win the game.

Well, the Pats lost and Sherman, who only heard about Brady’s comments, chased Brady down and got pretty nasty afterward yelling at Brady.

Sherman’s mouth is very good. So is his talents, though we have to see about his PED testing. If he doesn’t continue on his path of greatness, he will be a laughingstock.

Renaissance hosts another ‘Haverhill Day’

Renaissance Golf Club in Haverhill will be hosting another “Haverhill Day” for area residents to play the private course on Monday, Aug. 5.

There are only 10 tee times available.

Greens fee is $75, with a portion of the proceeds going to support “One Tail at a Time, Inc.” (onetailatatime.com/), a local 100-percent volunteer-based organization and a registered approved non-profit dog rescue.

Tee times will run from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. To register call 978-241-6710.