Friday, May 27, 2016

Column on Boggs a Sad Affair

I looked at the headline of today's piece on the retiring of Wade Boggs' number, and said the following:

  • Chicken
  • Riding the cop's horse after the World Series win
  • Margo Adams.

Then I read the column.

"Only Wade could insist that he ate chicken three times a day, 365 days a year." Check.

"Boggs won a World Series with the Yankees and infuriated more Sox fans when he hopped on a New York City police horse to celebrate the victory at Yankee Stadium." Check.

Surprisingly, there was no reference to Margo Adams (although The CHB did throw in the anecdote about Boggs' wife running over him during spring training).

The rest is the usual soulless recitation of facts. So dull, in fact, a reference to Boggs' widely known affair with Adams would have been welcome.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The One Where Shank Lectures Robert Kraft

Not exactly sure what prompted this little fit of pique (probably this column), but there it is:

You still mad, bro?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Backhanded Compliment

Watching the beginning of tonight's Red Sox game, when the 1986 Boston Red Sox were being honored, I was sitting there, thinking - 'I'm imagining Shank doing a column right now, larding up the insults and cheap shots for coming one strike away from winning the World Series'.

I wasn't far off the mark - check out the massively insulting nickname Shank conjured up to 'commemorate' this team:
They were Boston’s One Strike Away Boys of Summer. Coming off a perfectly boring .500 season, the 1986 Red Sox took over first place in mid May and stayed there the rest of the season. They staged (what was at the time) the greatest comeback in ALCS history in Game 5 in Anaheim. Then they came closer to winning the World Series — without actually winning — than any team in history. They were the ones who could have broken the Curse, purged the ghosts, and prompted New Englanders to ring church bells and place Sox artifacts on gravestones of those who never lived to see it happen.
This insult is repeated throughout the column, with a paint by the numbers recollection of various points of that season. Typical Shank hatchet job.

Trolling Tweets, by Dan Shaughnessy

Shank doesn't do subtlety very well:
In May of 2013, I interviewed Ortiz in person and asked him about PEDs. It was a taped conversation. Among other things, I asked him if he understood why people might be suspicious of his performance and bat speed at his age. A few of his answers are worth repeating now:

“I don’t care what people say, bro. That’s the bottom line. If you struggle, it’s bad. If you do well, it’s bad, too. I don’t care. I got nothing to hide, bro.

“Testing is not my problem. Being tested — I ask to go in and get it done. I got no problem with that. I’m not going to screw everything that I have done in my career because I test positive for steroids. That’s not going to happen.

“I guarantee you that later, you are not going to find out that I tested positive for some [expletive]. It’s not happening. Guaranteed. Guaranteed.’’

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Rehash Radio - XII

Clockwork Shaughnessy, everybody!

How predictable was yesterday's Picked Up Pieces column? I e-mailed the following to my co-blogger at high noon yesterday: "I can feel a Picked Up Pieces column being written as we speak; Shank needs it (or something else) to regurgitate on 98.5 tomorrow." He even managed to rehash his PED accusation to Ortiz from 2013. Now that's going through the motions!

Dan Does Drugs

Expect to see this theme often this year: Papi and PEDs.

It's a one-man meme with The CHB, who can't seem to move off the refrain that no man in his 40s, save for a few dead white guys, could possibly be capable of the assault on pitching that Papi is administering this season.

Perhaps it's because he was so fooled by Barry Bonds, whom Shank feted for years even after Bonds' head had grown to the size of one of those watermelons you might see at an Arkansas county fair.

Let's go back to The CHB's comments from Oct. 18, 2002, on the eve of the Giants-Angels World Series, when he all but proposed to Bonds:
Why does America hate Barry Bonds so much? Is it because he's too good? Is it because we constantly hear that his teammates can't stand him? Is it the phony, Carl Everett-esque point to the heavens when he crosses the plate after homering? Is it because he sounds so insincere? Are we threatened by the prospect of him passing hardball gods Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, and Hank Aaron on the all-time homer list? Bonds is the central figure of this World Series. It is difficult to come up with another player who's gotten more attention before the start of the event. We want to know how/if the Angels will pitch to him. We want to see if he can finally perform in the clutch. Despite his (relatively) strong showing in the first two rounds, Bonds will still be remembered as a postseason bust if he fails in this World Series. And so many are rooting against him. It should make for fascinating theater.
In the midst of all that manlove, nothing there about steroids. Oops.

Another highlight (lowlight?) of this picked up pieces (of shit) column: A shot at "the increasingly unhinged Curt Schilling," who says Red Sox owner John Henry is "not a good person."

Ironically, snark aside The CHB would probably agree, but honestly, who cares? Henry is there to win World Series and write checks. Personally, if he does those two things, I could care less if he spends his nights putting up all the stray kittens in Brookline into a sack and tossing them into the Charles.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Tito Lay

With the Indians and former Red Sox manager Tito Francona in town, The CHB opts for nostalgia today, for reasons unknown.

We say reasons unknown because Francona is now in his fourth season as skipper of the Indians. During that time, he has visited Fenway Park 11 times. It's old news, except to those with severe memory problems who are resigned to repeating themselves.

Just like Dan!

Speaking of memory problems, The CHB must think these are the 1976 Indians. He refers to them as a team with "no stars and no payroll":

  • Cory Kluber, 2014 Cy Young Award winner, 2015 top 10 Cy Young votes; 
  • Francisco Lindor, 2015 Rookie of the Year runner up; lifetime BA .317
  • Michael Brantley; finished 3d in AL MVP vote in 2014; lifetime BA .292
  • Danny Salazar, lifetime ERA 3.48, averages 10Ks/9 innings
  • Carlos Carrasco, finished 13th in the Cy Young vote in 2015

So be it. The CHB wants to insinuate that Tito is such a great manager, the Indians on winning simply on the strength of his ability. And, he wants to needle Francona's former bosses -- John Henry, Tom Werner, et al -- for apparently no being pen pals with their ex employee. (You think The CHB keeps in touch with Arthur Sulzberger?)

And while it's true that in terms of salary the Indians are closer to the bottom of the majors than the top, when it comes to the alleged need to spend money, who is the loudest of them all?


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Positive Tweets, By Dan Shaughnessy

Shank didn't enjoy his latest journey near Fenway Park:


Reader feedback was fully understanding and supportive:

Revisionist History

Now that the 2016 Boston Red Sox are kicking ass, Shank decides to rub former Sox GM Theo Epstein's balls:
It’s not Dave Dombrowski. It’s not Ben Cherington, either. It’s not Mike Hazen. It’s not ownership. It’s certainly not Bill James.

None of the above.

No. This Red Sox team you have come to love early in the 2016 Boston baseball season — this team that looks like it might be a worst-to-first facsimile of the 2013 bearded wonders — was largely built by Theo Epstein.

He was the Camelot Kid from Brookline when he became general manager of the Red Sox at the age of 28 in November of 2002. He took charge of a roster assembled by Dan Duquette, made big bold deals, and got all the credit when the Sox won their first World Series in the biblical October of 2004.
Naturally, Shank was singing a different tune a few years ago:
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The blame pie is big and heavy.

There’s a giant slice for Bobby Valentine. We all know Bobby’s the reason everything went wrong with the 2012 Red Sox. Ownership gets three hefty slices. John, Tom, and Larry lost their way in the name of sellouts, bricks, and NESN ratings. Theo Epstein is a handy dartboard ornament. He gets a solid slice of blame pie.
Last but certainly not least, who can forget the infamous Dirty Laundry column?
Let's start with Theo being a ''baseball guy" while Larry is a lawyer with a lofty title (CEO). Granted, Epstein is a student of the game, but it's a mistake to say he knows more about baseball than Lucchino or anyone else in the Red Sox baseball operation. Theo is 31 years old and did not play baseball past high school. He spent four years at Yale and three years at law school. That hardly leaves time for much more than rotisserie league scouting. He can read the data and has a horde of trusty, like-minded minions, but we're not talking about a lifetime of beating the bushes and scouting prospects. Lucchino was a good high school baseball player and made it to the NCAA Final Four with Princeton's basketball team. He came to baseball as an executive in 1979, when Theo was 5 years old. That doesn't make him George Digby or Ray Boone, but he's not Les Otten, either.

Lucchino-bashers, and they are legion, maintain that he repeatedly has undermined Theo and on occasion killed deals made by Epstein and the minions. There was one, for sure. When Theo's assistant Josh Byrnes (hired by Arizona as GM Friday) made a deal with Colorado, Epstein thought he had a better deal with another club and requested that Lucchino fall on the sword and invoke the ownership approval clause to kill the Rockies deal. Accustomed to people hating him, Lucchino took the fall, killing the deal and saving Epstein.
Publicly, Theo always has talked about ''mutual respect" regarding his relationship with dad Larry. They know that their silence produced considerable speculation and acrimony. Fans and media members have taken shots and taken sides. The Sox tomorrow will present a united front. It still can work. The only unfortunate aspect is that the embers will smolder for years to come. We know too much now.
Dan Shaughnessy - the ultimate weathervane.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Rehash Radio - XI

Wash, rinse, repeat:

Random Tweets, By Dan Shaughnessy

Did I miss something, or is Shank going into a Cliff Clavin phase?

UPDATE, 2:12 AM: Yup - I missed something that was staring me in the face. RIP, Dick.

And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - XXXVII

With a Democrat in the White House for the past seven years and four months, the Boston Globe suddenly seems concerned about the potential abuse of executive power at the Federal level:
Donald Trump says so many things that are offensive, incorrect, and dishonest that it is often impossible to keep up. In just the past few days, he’s flip-flopped on his tax position, his support for raising the minimum wage, and his so-called Muslim ban.
But there’s a good reason why Bezos might be concerned about Trump going after him, if he became president.

Trump said he would.
So, Trump flip-flops on a lot of subjects, but Cohen takes him at his word on this one? How convenient, as the Church Lady would say!

Previous of Cohen's columns do not indicate an interest in this subject prior to Trump's bashing of Bezos, naturally. Da Tech Guy has a partial list of various authoritarian presidential actions since January 2009, not including the most recent and most ridiculous, under the threat of losing Federal funding.

Nice schools ya got there - would be a shame was sumthin' to happen to it...