LETTER TO THE EDITOR: It's a New Day for Baseball

Mike Hodge and Paul Blanchard respond to Jim Furlong's baseball letter.

Letter written and submitted by Mike Hodge and Paul Blanchard, Northborough 

Mr. Furlong’s facts are distorted. He was not at the meeting. We were and would like to clarify his opinion of what happened.

Regarding Mr. Leonard, he was not discussed at the meeting and we hope he continues to be a valued member of the organization. We’re not sure how Mr. Leonard was brought into this.

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Mr. Murphy was not discussed at the meeting, nor any action taken regarding Mr. Murphy.  He is not a board member, volunteer, nor coach.

The time and location of the meeting was publicly posted. The turnout was the highest in years. Many parents want to become involved and should not be vilified for wanting change.

Board members are elected annually; They are not lifelong appointments. The position of vice president, previously held by Mr. Durkin, was contested and a new VP was elected by a vote of 32-4.

We agree on one point with Mr. Furlong: We are grateful to the countless and selfless hours Mr. Durkin has dedicated to this organization. It is sad Mr. Furlong, in defending his friend, has decided to engage in a smear campaign against those who wanted change. It is imperative to remember why we all volunteer.

It is all about the kids!

Patti Lima October 06, 2012 at 11:24 AM
Here's the facts boys! You will never ever replace Sean Durkin. So don't waste your petty little time trying. You held that meeting in a calculated twisted manner to eliminate Sean. Had you played fair which is how we want to teach our children correct? The meeting would have had to be held at Fenway Park to accommodate all of the supporters for Sean! Parents, kids past and present. Guess what boys? Lets hope that with your so called want for change that the children of Northborough have a chance to play baseball and actually have fun . Thank god my kids were coached by real men! Patti Lima
Chris Cotillo October 06, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Michael L Durkin October 06, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Michael and Paul, First it puzzles me why it takes two of you to write such diatribe , perhaps your foundation is not as strong as it may seem . It appears that a conspiracy is a foot when two have to write a simple defense of the actions .It is apparent that you dont even know what the definition of a volunteer is as you disparage Murphys work over the years .It is evident to all but you two, that Murphys work exemplifies the definition of a "volunteer'. As for proper posting and notification it is extremely doubtful your veracity will not be challenged . If it is all," About the kids"as you claim. Why not have a new Annual Meeting with full participation?Why not invite all of the familys ,coaches, and candidiates to an open forum . I suggest that you and your current cronies could not handle the scrutiny of such a meeting . As for Mr Furlong defense , only somebody with an agenda would suggest it was purely an act of frienship , Instead of realizing that He was past President of Northboro Baseball and he himself put in countless hours for the kids.He knows what is right and wrong and obviously you two do not . Those things cannot be taught . I stand by my letter to the Board . It was a gutless and shameful act . Either man up and do a redo, or quit trying to defend such an egriegious decision. It only portrays you two as ;complicit" doing your President biding... as he hides behind a vote taken against an empty chair ..in a relocated meeting site. Michael L Durkin
Lynne Winter October 06, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Actions speak louder than words boys that's what I was always taught so your words of appreciation wring hollow in comparison to these egregious cowardly acts. I am so glad my son was mentored by men like Sean and "Murph" rather than those who stoop to such tactics. My son was also proud to wear the "N" on his hat and I am pretty sure he still has every single hat he ever wore. Now there is only shame associated with that "N".
Chris Cotillo October 06, 2012 at 01:20 PM
On the Northboro baseball website, the post about the board meeting, including date, time, and location, was posted on October 6th (today) at 12:20 AM. Not sure how that helps anyone other than the new regime trying to cover their asses.
Michael Bonner October 06, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I played Northborough Baseball from the time I was a little child till my last year of American Legion and no one was more important in my experience than these guys. I guarantee that every other kid in the organization feels the same way. Sean Durkin is the best baseball coach and volunteer this organization will ever find. Who coaches for as long as he has and doesn't even have a kid on the team. These guys are the reason Northborough pumps out some of the best baseball players in central Mass and so many of us go on to play college baseball. They teach you team work and respect for the game. Murph makes that all possible with having the field in top shape every day. Are the new guys going to be down there cutting the lawn for three hours every morning and dragging the infield? Who's going to fix the batting cage when it falls in the next ice storm? and it could go on forever. Big mistake people, think about it. Its nice having baseball guys down the baseball fields, not people that just want their name known around town. "It is all about the kids!"..... ask them Michael Bonner
Craig D. Murphy October 06, 2012 at 11:17 PM
I appears I have been sovietized by Messrs. Hodge and Blanchard; I am a non-entity. I have been field director, coach, umpire and sometime hotdog vendor over a 15year period, but now my name has been scratched from the wall of soviet heroes. Off to the gulag, condemned by apparatchniks. Craig Murphy
Sandra F. Calder October 07, 2012 at 12:48 AM
I'd like to respond to the fact that people state they did not know about this board meeting. As a parent and volunteer for NBSA I can vouch that NBSA posted the meeting date, time, location, agenda and email contact information on the website on 9/18/2012 and also distributed to all members of the NBSA website on 9/18 @ 8:07pm. Members who do not have children eligible to play sports with the organization are automatically purged from the system. This is not an NBSA driven action. This is a website host driven action. The message is as follows: NBSA Annual Board Meeting - October 2, 2012 by NBSA posted 09/18/2012 The annual meeting for the Northboro Baseball and Softball Association (NBSA) will be held on Tuesday, October 2, 7:00PM at the Northborough Free Library. The proposed agenda is as follows: 2011-2012 Highlights - Jim Forbush 2011-2012 Annual financial review - Ed Tache 2012-2013 Annual board member election All are welcome to attend. Nominations for board positions will be accepted at any time with voting taking place at the board meeting. All NBSA volunteers (CORI-checked) from 2012 can participate in voting. If you have any topic requests or are interested in further information on board positions, please contact Jim Forbush at forbush@charter.net.
E October 07, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Mr. Murphy, I just want to say something I think needs to be said once more. Thank you so much for all that you do for Northborough and Northborough Baseball. I can't remember the last time I was at Memorial Field and I didn't see you being the man I have grown to know and have the utmost respect for. You will never know how much your work means to us, those who will stand by your side through all of this. Thank you so much.
Ryan Moynihan October 07, 2012 at 04:27 AM
It is a sad day when such great guys get little respect. I've been playing baseball at Memorial Field for a while and the memories that comes with playing for Durks will stick with me my whole life. Some of my best days as a player have been with Durk on the side and Ump Murphy behind the plate. I respect guys that show up to the field every weekend and do a great job. Baseball without these guys would be no fun. They are the life of Northborough baseball and they will always be. I respect these guys. I think of respect when I hear a that beeping of a big red truck backing up into the velvet lounge. I can't imagine what the younger kids would be missing without these guys. Big mistake Mr. Pesident
Mary October 07, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Terence Moynihan October 08, 2012 at 04:02 PM
What a lousy thing to do to someone who does so much. I wonder if any of the coaches who voted Coach Durkin out, or the board that orchestrated it, will match his twenty plus years of volunteer service.
lmiller October 08, 2012 at 05:36 PM
these local heroes have demonstrated all class all the time on and off the field. they have served as wonderful role models for our children. thank you for all that you have done, gentleman. with sincere gratitude,
Dave Lorenzi October 09, 2012 at 01:02 AM
I am a former board member who has been out of the loop for a few years. I can't pretend to know the inner workings of what recently happened with the Board. What i do know is that if it really is "all about the kids", nobody in this town has done more for them than 'Durk'. His will be big shoes to fill.
Paul Sawyer October 09, 2012 at 01:46 AM
I have had the pleasure to coach against Sean and with Sean numerous times over the years. I have also, on many occasions, cooked burgers and dogs with coach Durkin to benefit Northboro Baseball. The only reason he did all of the above was for the kids. Every kid that I know who was on one of his teams always had a fun time while learning and playing the game.
Christian Miller October 09, 2012 at 01:54 AM
I could not have asked for a better coach than Sean Durkin. Sean Durkin is a man who stands up for his players, loves what he does, and treats each player with equal respect. He took an immense amount of time out of his day to coach and build relationships with the players. Coach Durkin never played favorites and gave everyone equal opportunity. That is what Northboro baseball is all about. He redefined baseball as fun and taught me that winning is not all that counts. When I think of Northboro baseball, the first thing that comes to mind is sitting in lawn chairs around Coach's grill, talking about life, and eating sausage. Those were the best memories to me. In the end, it is not only the baseball that matters because, if my calculations are correct, most Northboro baseball players do not make it to the pro’s or even D1 baseball. Instead, we take away life lessons, teamwork skills, and love for the game. That’s what it is about. When a coach does not have a son on the team, you know they love what they are doing. Cheers to Coach Durkin.
Christian Miller October 09, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Craig Murphy has put his life into that field. I am so grateful to have played on such a beautiful diamond. It was funny how often he was working on it. We would go take some b.p, Mr. Murphy would be there. We would drive by the field, Mr. Murphy would be there. We would go watch another game, Mr. Murphy would be there. The problem is people expected Mr. Murphy to single handedly take care of that field. This led to people taking his countless hours of volunteer work for granted. I do not know too many people who would take so much time out of their day to keep the field in perfect shape for the kids. I respect his work. Mr. Murphy is one of a kind.
Christian Miller October 09, 2012 at 02:04 AM
And Mr. Leonard is one of the nicest men I know. He is full of wisdom and great life lessons. He went out of his way to make Northboro baseball a better experience. I appreciate the time he gave up to support our team.
william barton rogers October 09, 2012 at 04:32 PM
In my opinion, Sean Durkin is a lifetime appointee in Northborough, transending baseball. So now the part-time volunteer-while-my-kid-plays vote him out, then quit when their kids move on, lessons learned- relearned & history repeats. The problem with Sean is those that KNOW his value, have already had their kids move on. I'm sure Jim Forbush is following by-laws by having vote, but leadership requires stepping in and advocating for those whose committment goes beyond their own kids play time.
Steve Herdman October 10, 2012 at 01:11 AM
I am not sure if everyone is reading all three of the chains on this subject. So I encourage you all to read Jim Forbush's recent editorial response to get some clarity on the facts on how this all transpired. Thanks
Sandra F. Calder October 10, 2012 at 01:19 AM
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: President of Northborough Baseball Speaks Out: http://northborough.patch.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-president-of-northborough-baseball-speaks-out
The Outside Press October 10, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Listen folks it is all about the kids.... These guys are just doing what they are told. Mr. Blanchard, Mr. Forbush and even our new Vice President. They are all doing what they are told by the one man we haven't herd from. Mr. Rafferty When are you going to come to the aid of your own puppets?
DLF October 11, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Thank you Paul and Mike for trying to clarify the facts here, I stress trying because you basically just got crucified by most of the above people who I suspect don't really know you. I am sad that this town has so many townies who are resistant to change. This was clearly a publicly announce meeting. If people cannot read email or check the website, that is their own fault. Show up at the meeting if you want to participate, is that so difficult? So what if you were inconvenienced by the change of location, you should have known. My son has been in the program for a number of years and has been coached by Coach Blanchard and Coach Rafferty and Coach Forbush and he LOVED them all. So did I. All of the wonderful testimonies to Mr. Durkin are great but my son and I can give you an equal amount for the current coaches. So, people IT IS about the kids and mine is a better player and person because of these guys who you are comparing to the prior guys. Get off your slandering, high horses and stop bashing our current guys and let them share their talents with the kids.


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