Thursday, February 23, 2017

Promise Broken, Again

Dan Shaughnessy, October 25, 2015:
I promise never to rip Sandoval for being out of shape or going on the disabled list.
Dan Shaughnessy, earlier this afternoon:
FORT MYERS, Fla. — It was good to see Pablo Sandoval playing baseball again Thursday afternoon. The slimmed-down Kung Fu Panda started at third base against the Northeastern Huskies,
The last time we saw the Panda in action was last April, when his belt succumbed to his swollen gut and literally exploded in mid-swing at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
The Panda has been a punch line around here for the better part of two seasons.
No. Nothing like that. We watched the Panda’s BMI rise while his OPS fell.
In the wake of a second straight last-place finish by the Red Sox in 2015, Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez became Boston baseball’s Pinata Twins — blamed for everything that was wrong with the team. (blamed by...whom? - ed.)
He showed up looking out of shape, and no one believed the Sox when they insisted he had only 17 percent body fat (“Did they say 70 percent?” we wondered).
We know he’s on a low-carb regimen and he dropped a few lbs. by riding his mountain bike to the park and doing some boxing in the offseason. He says he has something to prove. He says his shoulder is healed. He says he’s OK again from the right side. (surely not trying to create doubt here, right? - ed.)
Sandoval played three grueling innings against Northeastern.
Much like Shank's daily grueling one mile run!

Surprise, Surprise

What is this - an actual baseball story by Shank?
FORT MYERS, Fla. — There don’t seem to be any openings in the Red Sox starting lineup. The outfield is flush with young stars, Hanley Ramirez is going to be the designated hitter, and the infield is set with Mitch Moreland and Pablo Sandoval anchoring the corners. Despite what the Sox may say, there is virtually no competition for jobs.

Except behind the plate. Watch out for Christian Vazquez.

Vazquez lost the job to Sandy Leon last season. He tried to come back from Tommy John surgery too soon, struggled behind the plate, hit only .227 in 57 games, and was sent back to the minors. Leon, perceived as a journeyman even though he’s only a year older than Vazquez, had a career year, hitting .310 with 7 homers and 35 RBIs in 78 games. Vazquez played in only six games for Boston after July 2.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Remembering His Good Buddy Pedro Martinez

Hey, Pedro - remember when I called you a diva when I was running you out of town, then continued to talk shit about you later on?

We're good now, right?

Your pal, Shank
FORT MYERS, Fla. — He is Red Sox royalty, a Hall of Fame talent who already had won a Cy Young Award when he first came to the Red Sox from the small market of Montreal in 1998.

The buzz these days is that it takes a year for a star pitcher to acclimate to Boston — Josh Beckett, Rick Porcello, and David Price all come to mind — but it didn’t take long for Pedro Martinez. He was great at Fenway, right from the start.
Then Pedro says...
He signed autographs for 45 minutes after the session, then took a few minutes to talk about what it’s like for an ace pitcher (this means you, Chris Sale) to introduce himself to the Boston baseball market.

“I think it’s having to restart your mind,’’ said Pedro, cradling a baseball in his right hand. “For a guy like Price, he pitched in Tampa, where it is quiet and not a lot of attention. It was the same for me in Montreal. It took me almost a year to finally settle in and finally understand what to expect and what I wanted to do.
You were saying, Shank?

Trying To Create Doubt - III

Shank's still hoping for Armageddon at Fort Myers for the Red Sox this spring:
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox players sat still for a 30-minute media training session before their workouts Saturday morning at Fenway South. The tutorial was hardly necessary. Most of these young guys know how to present themselves to fans, and how to work with the no-longer-carnivorous Boston baseball media. (my bullshit meter just broke! - ed.)

Seriously. The 2017 Red Sox have a raft of homegrown young stars who are polite, cooperative, and careful with their words. If you are a baseball fan, you see the sound bites on TV every night during the regular season. Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi, and the rest of them all sound as if they majored in public relations.

“I think individually we all grew up the right way,’’ said Bogaerts, an Aruba native who first came to the big leagues when he was 20 in 2013. “The Red Sox are one of the top organizations in the game and you’ve got to bring that with you. You can’t be disrespectful or impolite; that just doesn’t fly around here.
Read the rest of the column that harkens back to the old days when the Red Sox and local media were more, shall we say, carnivorous.

And the big finish:
True. Call me a dreamer, but with Chris Sale, Pablo Sandoval, and Hanley Ramirez in the fold, I’m hoping there’s still a chance for some old-fashioned clubhouse chaos here in Camp Tranquility.
He wants chaos so he can rip any player or member of management / ownership who contribute to it. Little wonder trust in the media is at or near all-time lows.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Trying To Create Doubt - II

Alternative title - Another Colum About Nothing, a continuing series.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The glow from Super Bowl LI will never dim. Snowflakes aside, our region has been in a good mood almost every hour for the past two weeks. Folks are still agog about the Patriots’ dramatic comeback, and they watch their DVR-preserved copy over and over, like teenagers playing a loop of a favorite song.

All of which has me wondering about the official passing of the Boston sports torch.

Have we really become a football town more than we are a baseball town?
Yes, we are a football town, but it turns out baseball is not dead. This point was hammered home last week when the Globe conducted an online poll asking readers, “What is the greatest story in Boston sports history: the 2004 Red Sox or the 2016 Patriots?’’

More than 5,000 readers responded in a 24-hour period, and the ’04 Sox bagged 73 percent of the vote.
A couple of things here - a) Boston Globe 'readers' taking a poll and responding in a single day do not in any way represent a large enough sample of New England sports fans to draw this conclusion, and b) responding to 'the greatest sports story in Boston sports history' likewise does not necessarily translate to whether Boston is a Patriots or Red Sox town. This isn't the first time Shank has pulled this false / bogus premise and passes it off as a column.

I bet he's hoping Pablo Sandoval puts on 20 pounds over the weekend eating at Chinese and Golden Corral buffets so he can write on, you know, actual baseball things.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Trying To Create Doubt

Smooth sailing for the 2017 Boston Red Sox? Leave it to Shank to take care of that.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Accompanied by club chairman Tom Werner, Red Sox owner John Henry endured his annual “state of the team” press conference at Fenway South Friday morning.

It was positively positive. And dull. Nothing the owner said will change the nap-time narrative of this Red Sox camp. JetBlue Park in 2017 is Tranquility Base. Henry and Werner love it that way.

Me? I miss the bad old days when there was a little hunger, restlessness, and indecision at the top.
Hence the reason for this column.
This week last year, Henry came to Fort Myers and told us, “I was shocked at how bad we were last year . . . We were wrong about everything.’’

In that same session, the owner — the man who hired Bill James and became a billionaire with the help of numbers — also dropped the bomb that the Sox were “overly reliant” on analytics.
News Flash - Shank still hates numbers!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Stick To Sports

Shank's trying to make a political joke here:

Readers give him the business:

Great question...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Obligatory First Red Sox Spring Training Column

Yes, indeed - Shank abandons his family and leaves them alone with the shoveling chores in the middle of winter and beats his pasty white ass down to the confines of sunny Florida to give us his first Red Sox spring training report.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, David Price.
Who are 'Red Sox pitchers that Dan Shaughnessy ran out of town', Alex?
In the last two decades, the Red Sox have acquired several established All-Star pitchers, some with championship rings, some with Cy Young hardware, all with hard-earned reputations and maybe a little baggage.

Now it’s Chris Sale. He’s the new ace in town. And he comes to us with a four-seam fastball, a filthy slider, and a big bowl of badass.
Despite Shank's bravado, the rest of the column is worth reading, especially for any of you going through football withdrawal.

When Sports And Politics Collide

Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't. In this case, Shank stirs the pot by calling out not the players boycotting the White House visit, but those in the Patriots organization who support Donald Trump.
These empty-calorie ceremonies have traditionally taken place in the White House’s Rose Garden. That’s fitting because the Patriots’ support of Trump has become a thorny issue.
It's only a thorny issue for the reporters covering the Patriots, because they're all fucking Democrats.
The Patriots made history in Super Bowl LI, but some feel they’re on the wrong side of it with their coziness with Trump.
And one of these 'some feel' people is Dan Shaughnessy. Gotta love the use of the passive voice...
The Patriots don’t have to stiff-arm the president, but they would be wise to at least start distancing themselves from some of his polarizing policies..
This has to be the most bogus charge, making a politician's supporters speak out on every damned policy. Do you recall reporters shoving a microphone in a Democrat's face every time John Kerry or Joe Biden said something galactically stupid? Me neither.

Oh, one more thing - remember that time Shank's wife tried donating some money to Nikki Tsongas from a joint checking account? Shank didn't have anything to say about that, yet he now expects the Trump supporters in the Patriots organization (all of three the last I checked) to 'start distancing themselves from some of his polarizing policies'? Funny how that works when the shoe's on the other foot, isn't it, Shank?

This is classic Shank - making a mountain out a molehill.

UPDATE AT 2:25 PM - See what I mean? This USA Today reporter put words in Tom Brady's mouth / deliberately misquoted him to get a clickbait headline. And people wonder why the media is nearly universally hated?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Delusional Dan

The Boston Bruins have won three games in a row after shitcanning Claude Julien six days ago, including a satisfying 4-0 shutout over the Montreal Canadiens last night. Shank manages to talk himself into a ludicrous comparison. Either he's delusional, or he's trying to get a rise out of Bruins fans. Here's his third tweet (yes, the third) of the season on the Bruins (because he's really into hockey):
My buddy John (who would put Kevin Paul Dupont to shame on hockey knowledge if he was writing a column about hockey) sends me this:
If the pooh bear lemmings think a new coach cures the lower lines, defense & backup goaltending, I have some kool aid.
Shank gets some other reminders as well: