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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Great Free Agency Calls, By Dan Shaughnessy

Dan Shaughnessy, on the roster needs of the Boston Bruins, three days ago:
I say, “Go Big or Go Home.”

Make a splash. No more talk about “assets.’’ Get some proven players. Durant. Butler. Cousins. Stamkos. Subban.

Now.
I bet you're wondering just how well those two calls turned out?
(Steve) Stamkos surrendered his free agency Wednesday. He agreed to an eight-year, $68 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The person requested anonymity because the contract has not been announced. Although he would have become an unrestricted free agent Friday, Stamkos realized his best move was to stay put.surrendered his free agency Wednesday. He agreed to an eight-year, $68 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The person requested anonymity because the contract has not been announced. Although he would have become an unrestricted free agent Friday, Stamkos realized his best move was to stay put.
...
After the P.K. Subban-for-Shea Weber trade, the Predators have the Warriors’ same winning combination of an innovative system and the personnel to execute it. And like Steve Kerr’s system, Peter Lavioette’s succeeds by redefining positions. It allows defensemen to play more like forwards, pinching as far as the goal line in the offensive zone and carrying the puck end-to-end. Granted, Nashville is not the only team to give their defensemen the green light to do this, but the Predators make it a feature, with at least one player abandoning the blue line on every offensive possession.
I can understand not knowing about the Subban trade, as it seems to have caught a lot of people off guard, but you would think a sports columnist may have read a column or two about Stamkos' situation and wondered if it would be a good thing for him to leave a perennial playoff team. Not Shank, apparently.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Kiss Of Death

NBA superstar Kevin Durant becomes an unrestricted free agent in about nineteen hours, and Boston is on his list of franchises he will talk to in the upcoming days. Leave it to Shank to nuke any chance of the Celtics landing him, with The Big Lie saved for last:
As for the media, they are a bunch of softies. You may have heard that we are a tough media town, but that is no longer the case. Nobody wants any trouble anymore. You will never be criticized. The Green Teamers at Comcast will basically give you their entire network to use as your own. Just wait until you get your first Tommy Points.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Rehash Radio - XVI

Here to re-read yesterday's column is:

Just Do It?

Shank's not impressed with the recent drafts by the Celtics and Bruins:
Our winter sports teams are taking the prudent, patient path in their efforts to return to championship level. And it’s driving me crazy. I keep hearing thoughtful, measured analysis of the Celtics’ and Bruins’ drafts and their shared reluctance to mortgage their futures.

Count me out.

I say, “Go Big or Go Home.”

Make a splash. No more talk about “assets.’’ Get some proven players. Durant. Butler. Cousins. Stamkos. Subban.

Now.
Get them all! Why let a little thing like the salary cap get in the way? And does Shank really want the Celtics to sign a known head case like DeMarcus Cousins? He'll trash whatever chemistry this Celtics team has.
I know this is the kind of overreaction that prompted the Red Sox to sign Pablo Sandoval to a $95 million contract after the Panda’s Giants won the World Series while the Sox were finishing last in 2014. I don’t care.
And you remember who was the biggest cheerleader in Boston for that trade, don't you? How'd that work out, Shank?

He's right - he doesn't care. Just sign, sign, sign those players, and when one of those signings turns to shit, Shank will write a column or two second-guessing that signing, because it's a no-lose situation for him.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Second Blue Moon Observed

Shank takes another break from crapping on the local professional sports teams to eulogize a former teammate of his.
Stanley J. Kopec Jr. died of brain cancer at his home in Pepperell at the age of 63 last week. He taught math, worked in high tech for three decades, and loved to play golf. By all accounts, he lived a quiet and happy life in Central Massachusetts. He leaves his wife, his sister, and extended family members. His obituary read, “As genuine as they come, there was not a bone of pretense in his body.’’

I know that’s true. Fifty years ago, Stan was my baseball teammate. We always called him “Woody.’’

I lost touch with Woody a long time ago. We connected a few times at reunions and funerals — and occasionally he’d send me an e-mail about something in the world of sports — but life and choices simply sent us in different directions.

When a friend sent me a text notifying me of Woody’s passing, I got to thinking about the bonds we form as teammates.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Once In A Blue Moon

The day before the Boston Celtics exercise the third overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft, we witness a very, very unusual event - a decent column by Shank:
At times like this we need Red Auerbach.

Red always knew what to do. Red was thinking at a higher level than the other guys. Red knew how to pick the pockets of the other general managers. Red knew how to get a better player with a lower selection.

As we sit here on the threshold of the 2016 NBA Draft — with the Celtics in need of help and holding the third overall pick — it is comforting that we have Red’s basketball progeny calling the shots.

Danny Ainge is Red Auerbach’s basketball son.
A bit of a stretch, but Shank does a good job explaining why in the rest of the column.

This part stood out for me:
Still, Red was bloodless, a forefather of the Bill Belichick method.
So in Shank's eyes - Red = good; Bill = bad.

The first comment sums up the column nicely:
OK, what have you done with Dan! Who really wrote this...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Rehash Radio - XV

Prepare for a few insufferably smug segments of radio:
Well, I'll have to cop to being wrong on that call.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Letter To Cavaliers Fans

Dear Cleveland Cavaliers fans:

Remember that time I took a massive shit on all of you guys and your city during last year's NBA finals, half disguised as praise for your long suffering fans?

We're good now, right?

Your pal,

Dan 'Shank' Shaughnessy