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Saturday, October 14, 2017

DHL Dan LX - The Hunt Begins

In the latest issue of the Picked Up Pieces column, Shank tells us about the first candidate to be interviewed for the Red Sox' next manager.
Picked-up pieces along the baseball trail . . .

■ Red Sox baseball boss Dave Dombrowski is expected to be in New York Sunday to interview Houston Astros bench coach Alex Cora for the Sox’ managerial opening. The 41-year-old Cora played 14 major league seasons, 3½ under then-Red Sox manager Terry Francona from 2005-08. Cora will be in New York Sunday with the Astros, during the day off between Games 2 and 3 of the American League Championship Series featuring Houston and the New York Yankees.
Also, self-awareness has never been a strong point for Shank:
■ Francona (who has his own problems now that he’s lost six straight elimination games) had this telling quote when he heard of Farrell’s firing: “I do think for whatever reason, that place is a little crazy . . . I think he’ll probably end up feeling like he’s in a better place, because I think that place can age you a little bit.’’ Continuing on this theme, we have Dombrowski’s answer when he was asked about the scrutiny of Boston: “I’ve had really qualified managers that I know and respect that said they would not manage in Boston.’’ Wow. So I guess we’re not making it up when we speak of the dreaded Boston Baseball Experience.
Being a Boston Globe sports columnist means never having to look in the mirror.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Farrell Fired

It seemed inevitable, with early and one-sided playoff exits over the past two years. For some reason, Shank seems to have a problem with it:
The Red Sox fired manager-under-siege John Farrell Wednesday. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, sitting at a dais without ownership, provided no explanation for the dismissal of the five-year skipper who won a World Series in 2013 and just finished in first place in back-to-back seasons.

And yet, the move will be almost unanimously applauded by Red Sox Nation.

It’s one of those “only in Boston” things.
It seems like Shank has a little problem with the firing, doesn't it? He then proceeds to reel off the reasons it's justified:
While the Sox were winning 93 games each of the last two seasons, fans fumed about Farrell’s strategic moves. The manager sometimes seemed to panic when the situation called for calm. The game often got too fast for him. His communication skills were challenged by some players.
How many times have we seen Shank bitch about Farrell leaving in Chris Sale over the past couple of weeks?
Farrell demonstrated zero leadership when $217 million ace David Price acted out. He claimed to have no knowledge of what was going on when his players were caught in an electronic-device cheating scandal.

Farrell’s daily press conferences were peppered with annoying corporate-speak. Local sports talk shows and social media platforms called for the manager’s head almost daily.

When the big-payroll, top-talent Red Sox flopped badly in the playoffs for the second straight October, there was little question Farrell would be sacrificed by a front office ever-focused on optics and television ratings (down 15 percent this year).

A ticket-price increase has already been announced for next season. The Red Sox needed to do something after getting pantsed by the Houston Astros in a four-game ALDS. So they gave fans a feel-good moment by firing the manager.
This is typical of Shank, attempting to have it both ways - he tweets out about Farrell leaving Sale in, constantly reminds us of the Red Sox lousy playoff record the past two years, and now he can't even state 'yeah, he should be fired'? Come on.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Shots Fired?

A few days ago, Shank was rubbing Dave Price's balls. Now we get this:

Is this the usual Shank, trying to have it both ways or has he turned on David Price? Time will tell.

Dump Taken

In a column that he's been working on for a couple of days now, Shank finally gets to deliver his eulogy for the 2017 Boston Red Sox.
There were classic moments in the final hours of the 2017 Red Sox season. The last game of the season was a hardball epic, featuring multiple lead changes, Chris Sale and Justin Verlander locked in a late-game duel as relief pitchers, dozens of scoring chances, a (Red Sox) guy gunned down at home plate, the symbolic ejection of John Farrell, and a ninth-inning, inside-the-park homer by Rafael Devers — a doughboy third baseman who will be a Fenway thrill ride for years to come.

Despite all that, the last drops of blood drained from the Sox season at 5:16 p.m. on a gloomy Monday when Dustin Pedroia closed out a wildly entertaining 5-4 loss with a grounder to second base on a 3-and-2 pitch.

With that, the long-suffering Houston Astros are headed to the American League Championship Series.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Staying Alive

The Red Sox won big this afternoon, 10-3 with David Price making an excellent contribution out of the bullpen. To hear Shank describe that contribution, you'd think he had just cured cancer.
He was Sidney Wicks, Jack Clark, Rick Pitino, Adalius Thomas, Carl Crawford, and Adrian Gonzalez. He was a top talent who made his professional bones and bags of cash in some other town, then came to Boston and offended an entire base of loyal fans.

Some of the treatment David Price received was unfair. Some of it was not.

But in the end, the lessons of professional sports are universal. Boston fans are no different from fans in any other sports-crazed town: If you perform, they will love you. If you don’t perform, be prepared to hear slander, libel, and words you never heard in the Bible.
Shank's one of the perpetrators; has been for well over three decades. There's little doubt in my mind John Henry told Shank to tone it down with criticism of Price.
Price performed in Sunday’s elimination Game 3 of the ALDS, coming out of the bullpen to stop the bleeding when it looked as if the Red Sox would suffer an ignominious sweep for the second straight October. Price’s four innings of shutout relief kept the Astros on the launch pad while the Sox ran to a 10-3 season-saving victory over Houston.

“The story of this one is David Price,’’ said Sox manager John Farrell, who might have been saved from the gallows with this win.
We'll see tomorrow, won't we?

It Begins

How could I possibly forget this angle? Shank is going to get multiple columns out of the 2017 Red Sox playoff exit.
The chair is hot in the corner office at Fenway. John Farrell could very well be managing his final game when the Red Sox take on the scalding Houston Astros in Game 3 of the ALDS Sunday afternoon on Yawkey Way.

The Fire Farrell chorus (includes me!) is loud and angry in the aftermath of bookend beatings the Sox endured at Minute Maid Park. Boston’s season-ending collapse is bearing remarkable similarity to the fall fold of 2016, and if the Red Sox are routed a third time by the Astros, something has to happen.

This time it might be the manager.
To be fair, I don't think there's any doubt that if the Sox lose this afternoon, Farrell gets the ax.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Gearing Up For The Big One

There can be little doubt that a) Shank's about to take a world class shit on the 2017 Boston Red Sox and b) the column's already halfway written, can it?

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Once A Dick, Always A Dick - II

If I didn't know any better, I'd swear that fewer things make Shank happier than a playoff loss by the Boston Red Sox.
HOUSTON — One word and one word only best summarizes Chris Sale’s first career playoff start:

Yuck.

“It sucked,’’ Sale said after giving up seven runs (and three homers) in five-plus innings of an 8-2 Game 1 loss to the Astros. “A terrible time for it to happen . . . Just made bad mistakes . . . This one’s on me. I take full responsibility for this one . . . Got to be better. No excuses. Bad time to suck.’’
Read the rest of this column, no doubt started in the fourth inning of the game, where Shank piles on and spreads blame far and wide:
Oh, and since we’re in piling-on mode, let’s not forget that the “we do it our way and we’ll keep doing it our way” Red Sox ran into another out on the base paths when it was still a one-run game in the second inning. Dustin Pedroia was the culprit. One hundred and sixty-three games into the season, the stubborn Sox are still confusing foolishness for aggressiveness.

Once A Dick, Always A Dick

This one went up when the Sox were down 4-2 in Game 1 of the ALDS:

Frauds

That's what Shank called the 2004 Boston Red Sox when they were down 3 - 0 to the Yankees. Kevin Millar, not too happy with that characterization, recalls his confrontation with Shank on the Toucher & Rich show this morning.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - LIX

So much for realizing my lifelong dream of seeing 135 Morrisey Boulevard turned into dormitories for UMass-Boston.
The development company that has agreed to buy the former Boston Globe complex on Morrissey Boulevard is proposing to renovate and re-use the existing newspaper facility as a hub for high-tech jobs, including robotics.

Todd Fremont-Smith, senior vice president of development at Nordblom Co., offered a short but warmly received presentation on the 135 Morrissey project to the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association at its monthly meeting on Monday.

Nordblom Co. agreed to purchase the 16.5-acre Globe property for an undisclosed sum earlier this year, but the final transaction has not yet happened. Fremont-Smith said his company has the property under a purchase and sale agreement, and has been putting in increasing deposits over time. They plan to close the sale in mid-November.