Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Mr. October

Shank starts his annual sporadic coverage of the baseball postseason and, as luck would have it, writes a column about the Chicago Cubs and former Red sox general manager Theo Epstein.
Theo Epstein isn’t complaining. His Chicago Cubs just finished their regular season with 97 wins, which hasn’t been topped by any Cubs team since 1945, and the Cubs’ whole season could be over Wednesday night . . . but Theo knows that’s how the playoffs work. He was a little kid in Brookline when the 99-win Red Sox were taken out of the playoffs by a swing of Bucky Dent’s bat back in 1978.

Doesn’t matter. That’s October baseball. And there’s no crying.

Nothing in baseball beats a one-game playoff. That’s what we saw Tuesday night when the Astros beat the Yankees, 3-0, and that’s what we get Wednesday night in Pittsburgh when the Cubs and Pirates — two of the three best teams in baseball — play a single game for the right to move into the Division Round.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Funny Shank Story

I should have posted this in a more timely manner, but I still need to mention it even after this brief passage of time. It sometimes makes me wonder why Shank doesn't do this more often, given that he could tell more of these stories, but then I realize he just loves being a negative asshole.

In any event, Shank was on the Bertrand & Zolak radio show three or four weeks ago about his trip to New Orleans during Super Bowl XXXI when the Patriots were playing the Green Bay Packers. It was the Saturday night before the game, and Shank was with some people on Bourbon Street when a bunch of revelers were bopping around, including one guy dressed up as a clown. The clown goes by Shank & company, takes a few steps, then turns around and yells out - 'Shaughnessy - YOU SUCK!'

Monday, October 05, 2015

Deep Thoughts, By Dan Shaughnessy

Tin Foil Hat Securely In Place

I'm not saying Shank's a conspiracy theorist, but sometimes you have to wonder...

He Came To Bury Them

As the Red Sox wrap up their 2015 season, Shank expands on his douchebag tweet from yesterday (which one? - ed.) and gives his negativity a full column.
CLEVELAND — In an effort to “close that loop’’ and “make sure we protect ourselves,” Red Sox baseball boss Dave Dombrowski announced Sunday that John Farrell will manage the team next season and that Torey Lovullo has signed a two-year extension to remain as bench coach while forfeiting his right to interview for managerial positions for one year.

Swell. The Sox do not intend to replace the skipper who stepped aside in mid-August to undergo treatment for Stage 1 lymphoma. Meanwhile, the Sox have secured the services of Lovullo, the popular interim manager who was at the helm when the team played better (28-20) over the last six weeks of yet another last-place season. If Farrell at any point is not healthy enough to manage, Lovullo will be present and prepared to take over.

All good.

But what if Farrell is healthy and the Sox get off to another bad start? What if things go sour for a prolonged stretch next season? A number of fans and some voices in the media already have made it clear they believe Lovullo deserves the job. Won’t Lovullo’s presence create a massive distraction?
Looking at the time line of his two tweets on the subject (the first being the announcement of the signings, then the douchebag follow-up tweet posted below), it took him a whopping six minutes to think of the best negative angle available to him. What Shank 'accomplishes' with this column is interject his perpetual negativity into these recent signings and keep people talking about the Red Sox and himself. Mission accomplished.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Doubling Down

Leave it to Shank to put negative spin on today's Red Sox announcement that manager John Farrell and bench coach Torey Lovullo are coming back next year:
Of course Shank has to guess that Lovullo was 'taken care of', since he's persona non grata with the Red Sox.

Fantastic Timing, Shank!

Here's Shank with his most recent column, written yesterday around 12:00 PM:
CLEVELAND — Red Sox manager-on-leave John Farrell is still battling cancer, and interim manager Torey Lovullo is likely to be a hot commodity in a few days.

It is a big bowl of awkward.

The Sox finish their season Sunday at Progressive Field against the Indians. That’s when the managerial firings will start around baseball. That’s when Sox boss Dave Dombrowski might start getting calls from folks who want to interview Lovullo.

Lovullo has been the manager since Farrell went on medical leave to be treated for Stage 1 lymphoma Aug. 14. The Sox were a whopping 13 games under .500 when Lovullo took over and have been one of the top teams in baseball since. ASaturday night’s loss, the Sox were 28-19 under Lovullo.
A mere twenty-four hours later:
CLEVELAND — John Farrell will be back as manager of the Red Sox in 2016, the team announced on Sunday.

Bench coach Torey Lovullo, who has managed the team since Farrell took leave to receive treatment for cancer, agreed to a two-year contract and waived the right to pursue any managerial positions for 2016.
My my, that was... awkward!

The moral to this story - if Shank hadn't nuked his bridges with the Red Sox, he would have known this was coming and could have avoided embarrassing himself once again and providing more fodder for us.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

DHL Dan XLVII - Picked Up Pablum

In today's installment of the Picked Up Pieces column, we have confirmation of Shank's bandwagon Patriots columns being complete and insincere bullshit. While the majority of the column is the standard, boilerplate Shank filler to fill his meager monthly quota, the real intent of the column is to pile on the New England Patriots, like that's a shocking revelation. Why else would he repeat this little snippet from a New York gossip column?
■ Thanks to the New York Post, we know that Judge Richard Berman and Bob Kraft had a brief conversation at a large party in the Hamptons a few days after the judge vacated Brady’s suspension.

According to a piece in the Cornell Daily Sun, Berman’s wife teaches at Wellesley College three days a week.

“She said that in Boston, I could become a celebrity,’’ Judge Berman told the student paper. “Or maybe I already am.’’

Judge Berman said that observing the post-verdict reaction of Patriot fans “was a lot of fun.’’

Here’s former NBA commissioner David Stern speaking to Sports Illustrated regarding fanboy Berman: “In a court with one of the busiest dockets in the nation, Judge Berman was dazzled by the headlights of professional sports and crossed into the wrong lane and engaged the federal courts in the intricacies of running a sports league. Where they have no business.’’
I would pose a few questions for our intrepid Boston Globe columnist:

Is there any evidence that Berman is, in fact, a 'fanboy' of the New England Patriots, or is that just poetic license?

Is there any indication that these conversational snippets are anything other than standard 'small talk' that is the norm at 'a large party' and / or that they may have influenced his decision? Or is that insinuation now on the table, regardless?

Did you take issue with any of Berman's legal reasoning? It sure as hell doesn't show here; in fact, it's quite the opposite.

When you're Shank, you pile on public figures. If they were not public figures, the following would be borderline slander:
■ There’s a lengthy profile of Kraft in October’s Boston Magazine. Written by Robert Huber, the theme of the piece is, “Something about Robert Kraft feels . . . off.’’
Big Papi's post-baseball career is revealed:
■ When David Ortiz was asked by the Players Tribune what his dream job would be if not for baseball, Ortiz said, “Porn star.’’ A day after that was revealed, Ortiz got an offer of $100,000 from porn boss Steve Hirsch of Vivid Entertainment.
Speaking of shithead media types:
■ This from the intro of Colin Cowherd’s new book, “Raw’’: “It was nothing short of jaw-dropping to witness the performance of the Boston media during the entire [Deflategate] episode. In one of America’s most educated cities, with perhaps our nation’s richest sports history, local outlets transformed themselves into pom-pom waving, jersey-wearing, fist-pumping superfans . . . It was a hazmat spill of homerism . . . Do we want a media that makes us comfortable by placating and pandering to the dimmest and least discerning?’’

Cowherd recently left ESPN and can now be heard on Fox Sports.
Anyone in the New England area could tell Cowherd the opposite, including listening to Felger & Mazz for any stretch as well as reading certain Shank columns like this one, or these tweets, or this column.

Other than that - great column!

On This Day In DSW History

2014 - Shank takes a world-class shit on the New England Patriots.
So here you go.

The Patriots are free-falling and it’s open season on the arrogant/smarter-than-you “System.” Folks are lining up to skewer the franchise that has consistently given the NFL and the national/local media the finger during a decade and a half of division dominance and Super Bowl contention.

Listening to the postgame fallout from Monday night’s 41-14 Arrowhead massacre made your ears bleed. It was a field day for Patriot haters. And they are legion.

You could tell that folks have been waiting for this.
Including a certain Globe sports columnist!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Curses - Foiled Again!

Three weeks into the Patriots' 2015 season, Shank is predictably declaring them AFC champions and riding his new Curse cliché hard:
Patriots romp while Curse of Deflategate rages on in rest of AFC

FOXBOROUGH — Can we just fast-forward to Feb. 7 in Santa Clara for Super Bowl 50? The Revenge Tour looks like it’s going to roar into Levi’s Stadium where the Patriots will dare Roger Goodell to show up and present another Lombardi Trophy to Bob Kraft.

The Patriots clinched another AFC East title Sunday with a 51-17 blowout of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The non-contest featured another glut of Patriot riches while The Curse of Deflategate raged on in the rest of the AFC. The Deflategate-ratting Ravens lost yet again (now 0-3), the Jets were beaten by the winless Eagles, the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger suffered what could be a season-ending injury, and Philip Rivers got hurt and was pulled from a Chargers loss. Looks like Cincinnati’s overmatched Bengals and clueless Marvin Lewis might be the best bet to get crushed at Gillette in the AFC Championship game come January. The Waltz of the Tomato Cans is a marathon dance number that never stops playing on the flagship station of the New England Patriots.

UPDATE AT 9/30/2015, 2:25 PM - Linked to article added; apologies.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Column of Contradictions

"Hope" a word not often found in The CHB's vocabulary, and when it does make one of its rare appearances, it's typically delivered in snide fashion. Which is why today's column is a treat -- ostensibly on the increasing odds of the Red Sox improving in 2016 but in fact a true column of contradictions in which The CHB even manages to refute himself in a single paragraph.

With that, on with the show:

Contradiction 1. "[U]nlike last year, the Hub’s hardball high hopes might be rooted in reality rather than ball club propaganda and wishful thinking."

Compare that to April 3, when The CHB's pick to win the AL East was none other than the Orioles saying, "Why does everyone think the Red Sox made up 25 games on these guys?" Which came just a few months after he wrote that the Red Sox should be applauded for spending money.

Those Orioles, by the way, are same team the Red Sox beat three games straight this weekend while allowing ZERO runs, and which the Sox are now in position to relegate to the cellar.

Contradiction 2. "Despite the shattered dreams and yet another lost summer of meaningless games, the Red Sox have managed to make changes and showcase skills that generate legitimate hope for 2016."

What changes, exactly, have they made? A bunch of front office hires who have yet to put their imprint on the team. The other "changes" were made for them: John Farrell started cancer treatment, Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez hit the DL, allowing the Sox the convenience of replacing them with better players (Sandoval and Ramirez had a combined WAR of -2.0 this season). What's really happening is that the Sox are at least playing to their level of ability; it just came too late to make a race of it.

Contradiction 3. "New boss Dave Dombrowski is an old-school baseball guy who’s got prospects, cash, and vision. Now all he has to do is rebuild a terrible pitching staff."

Yet in May and in August this year, The CHB called those same prospects "universally overrated" and "over-valued."

Miley, Porcello and Kelly combined for 4.7 wins above replacement this year. Not great, but hardly "terrible." Buchholz, the guy who wasn't a No. 1 in Shank's eyes, was on a All Star caliber pace (2.7 WAR in 113 innings) before getting hurt. In truth, the starters were decent if occasionally erratic. The bullpen dragged everyone else down.

Contradiction 4. Again on April 3, The CHB predicted the Red Sox would make the wild card this season. If the Sox were so overrated -- "ball club propaganda and wishful thinking" is how he now describes them, why did he pick them for the playoffs?

Contradiction 5. Will Dave Dombrowski trade "some of the coveted prospects who were always overprotected in the slow-moving Cherington regime"? That slow-moving regime produced two outstanding players in Betts and Boegarts (the latter of whom is having one of the six best seasons for a 22 year old shortstop in major league history)

Contradiction 6. "We don’t have enough space here to address the Hanley/Pablo problem."

In October and again in November of 2014, The CHB insisted the Red Sox sign Sandoval. "The Red Sox can’t sign Pablo Sandoval fast enough," he wrote. (For the record, we argued against it.) Sandoval was flat-out awful. Against all odds, Ramirez was even worse. Yet The CHB called his signing a "boffo day." John Henry and Bill James are looking smarter and smarter.

Contradiction 7. All these changes will "undoubtedly vault the Sox back into contender status with media outlets and in Vegas." Besides the O's and Sox, here are the rest of The CHB's picks for the rest of the MLB playoffs were the Tigers, Angels, Indians (wild card), Nationals, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants (wild card), Pirates (wild card), with the Nationals over the O's in the World Series.

How did that compare to the Vegas preseason favorites? In order by division, they were: Red Sox, Tigers, Angels, Mariners (WC), Athletics (WC), Nationals, Cardinals, Dodgers, Cubs (WC), Padres (WC).

So not only did Vegas match The CHB with three correct picks each, but Shank did no better in forecasting the World Series participants. So much for old school.

Sunday Patriots Tweets, By Dan Shaughnessy

Here's Shank, beating a dead horse:

We already ran the numbers for you; do try to keep up!

Here, a pasty-white Irishman with curly hair makes fun of other people's physical appearance / stature:

Did he start early today?

Whatever that's supposed to mean...

Tongue-in-cheek humor or mathematically challenged? You make the call!