Friday, December 30, 2005

Dave Barry He's Not

The man with the Will Ferrell perm's tongue-in-cheek take on the headlines of 2006 is notable only for its lack of humor.

He does manage to flame nemeses past and present including, in order, Bob Kraft, Jim Rice, Peyton Manning, Theo Epstein, Bill Parcells, Manny Ramírez, Johnny Damon, the Red Sox, Theo Epstein (again), the Red Sox (again), "dome-bellied Curt Schilling," the Celtics, Nomar Garciaparra, Charlie Jacobs, Theo Epstein (again), and the Red Sox (again). And he throws in a few buddies -- well, Larry Lucchino, four times -- for balance (or lack of creativity).

Dan, you may look like Will Ferrell and you may dress like Will Ferrell, but you ain't no Will Ferrell. And if you must rip off Dave Barry, it helps to be funny.

Larry Bird watch: "Dec. 7: FRENCH LICK, Ind. -- Larry Bird turned 50. He said he still loves Ron Artest."

Sensitivity watch: "A couple of 30-something fanboy bloggers posed as reporters, but were banished when they used their notepads to procure autographs (the Schilling jerseys gave them away). One of their moms picked them up in a minivan." I guess the CHB is not happy about this site. Wonder why?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Dr. Dan

One of the things I've learned from being married to a neuropsychologist is that it’s a long expensive process to become one. If only they knew what Dr. Dan knows, they'd skip med school and go straight into column writing. The latter pays better, and they'd avoid all the student loans too.

On to today's column.

In February 2004, the son of former major league pitcher Jeff Reardon died of a drug overdose. This week, Reardon was arrested for allegedly robbing a jewelry store. In today's piece, amid odd tangents on Reardon's pitching career, Tony Dungy's dignity, Dan Duquette and Tony Fossas, Dr. Dan dissects whether the two incidents were related. Judging by the evidence, Dan lingered a little long at the yuletide eggnog bowl.

Let's start with his conclusion. "No need looking for explanations," he writes. "It will never make any sense. Jeff Reardon's world stopped making sense in February of 2004."

Dr. Dan apparently forgot what he wrote just three grafs earlier: "But it's clear that the once-dominant pitcher never got over the death of his son. And why would he? Why would anyone?"

And he apparently forgot that in the second graf he wrote: "No. It wasn't about money. It wasn't about debt. In all likelihood, it was about loss."

Mmmmm ... ten cent psychoanalysis ... mmmm.

It's hard enough for professionals to analyze a patient, and no professional worth their salt would make an assessment from afar. More worrisome, though, is that Dr. Dan -- who has always struggled remembering what he wrote weeks and years before -- now can't seem to recall what he wrote a few sentences earlier. (Personal note to the good doctor: If you want some memory help, I'm sure my wife could hook you up with a few good specialists.)

And finally, let's, er, bury once and for all this idea that somehow racking up high saves totals means you were a good pitcher. The save rule is a joke, and if that's the only case one can make for a pitcher's worth, then they are better off not making it at all.

Dan Watch Interrupted

Sorry for the lack of posts; my 11-week-old son was hospitalized for a few nights. Will be back later today with some updates.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Dan Interrupted

With Dan off today, we take a moment to remind readers just why this blog exists.

Contrary to what you might think, this is not a fan blog. This blog exists to add weight to the widespread thinking that Dan Shaughnessy is a devil who must be stopped.

Now I'm not saying he is The Devil, big d, red tights, goatee. Nor am not saying he has a forked tail (although he might, and as the overwhelming evidence shows, he certainly has a forked tongue). No, he is a devil, small d, a symbol of all the negativity, poor judgment and hysteria that plagues journalism.

Here's my take on how Dan researches a piece. He listens to talk radio for a couple of hours, gets a sense of the prevailing winds based on a small and hysterical bunch of morons, and writes down the best one-liners. He then goes to Fenway, eavesdrops in the lockerroom while freeloading a meal, then wanders up to the booth where he eats a few more times. Somewhere around the 7th inning, he cuts out and heads for home or the bar.

That night, the Red Sox lose. In the paper the next day runs some brilliant analysis about how the season is over and what went down was "a bag job," whether it was the sale of the Red Sox or the MVP vote. And when the hate mail starts pouring in, he shrugs it off, saying "I'm paid for opinions."

That's the classic fallback and it's why writers love to be columnists: They don't have to think. They don't have to understand (let alone use) math or logic. They are, in essence, paid to do nothing.

I think of the times in the middle of the day when I've seen him in the Borders Bookstore at the Atrium Mall in Chestnut Hill looking at his own books, and I wonder, How is it that guys like Jay Jaffe can hold down day jobs and still write scintillating, revealing columns, while guys like Dan are making the high salaries?

And, is this really the best Boston can do?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

No Goodwill in Dan's World

I was curious what would happen in Dan's World if and when Damon left. Who would he trash: Red Sox management, or Damon? (That Damon simply felt that the best place for him would be New York would never have crossed The CHB's mind, of course.)

The answer: Red Sox management!
Johnny Damon is a Yankee and it looks like the Red Sox don't know what they are doing. ... So now your Boston Red Sox have no center fielder, no shortstop, and no first baseman to go along with no Theo Epstein and no clue. It's fair to say this is becoming a winter of discontent in Red Sox Nation. Ben and Jed and Craig and Larry and Tom and John and Crosby, Stills & Nash can spin this anyway they want, but Sox fans can't escape the conclusion that there's chaos at the top. The Josh Beckett trade bought some goodwill and glad tidings, but losing Damon to the Yankees is a devastating blow to the foundation of the Nation.

Pouring it on a little thick this morning, aren't we Sybil? Want to pick a few nits? OK, let's go!

"[N]o Theo and no clue." Here's what Dan wrote on Nov. 29: "Josh Beckett, Guillermo Mota, and an overpaid Mike Lowell for two Double A players and two Single A players? Back in the days when Charlie Finley was strip-mining the Oakland A's, commissioner Bowie Kuhn used to block these kinds of deals. Could the trade have been any sweeter if Theo were still on the job?" Not to mention that in his infamous Dirty Laundry column, Dan made the case that Lucchino, not Theo, has been the brains behind the operation all along.

"[L]osing Damon to the Yankees is a devastating blow." Was it just April 2, 2005, when Dan wrote: "Then there's Johnny Damon, who wants to be a movie star and gives a whole new meaning to the term 'idiot.' "

"Johnny Damon is a Yankee and it looks like the Red Sox don't know what they are doing." That's a switch. Less than two months ago, in his infamous Dirty Laundry column, Dan/Sybil wrote: "It was downright hilarious to read agent Scott Boras and Johnny Damon claiming the Sox weren't communicating with them because of Theo's own contract status. This from an agent who likes to make his deals on the eve of spring training. If there's silence from the Sox regarding Damon, maybe it's because the Sox are waiting for Johnny and Scott to get off their ridiculous five-year contract demand."

Indeed, if there's "chaos at the top," maybe it's because Lucchino, Steinberg et al are spending all their time looking for an intern.

Leave it to Dan to get hysterical. Cult of personality notwithstanding, the Damon of today is just another player, on the decline due to age and injuries. The Yankees are paying for past performance, and by the end of this contract will likely be getting little return for their investment. But in Dan/Sybil's world, every story has a villian. Some perspective, please.

2 p.m. edit: A great breakdown of the signing here by Joe Sheehan. Excerpts:
Despite all the attention paid to him, however, Damon is not a superstar, or arguably even a star. ...

As much as anything else, Damon looks like a lesser version of the center fielder the Yankees recently became so disenchanted with. ... Damon, like Nomar Garciaparra, got a big boost from Fenway Park, on the order of 50 points of batting average and OBP the last three seasons. The Yankees aren’t really getting a .310/.370/.450 guy so much as they’re getting a .285/.345/.425 guy. ...

Like many free-agent contracts, the problem with this one isn’t the immediate future. Damon is enough of an upgrade on the available options to help the Yankees in 2006. As he declines, however, he will present the dual problem of hurting the team in center while not hitting enough to be a viable option on an outfield corner. I don’t see where a 34-year-old Johnny Damon is going to return enough value to be worth $13 million, meaning he’ll be just another aging Yankee in decline at the back end of this deal.

The Red Sox could actually end up huge winners here. There’s a rumor making the rounds that they’re trying to deal Matt Clement to the Mariners for Jeremy Reed. If they can do that, they will have replaced Damon with, essentially, a Damon Starter Kit, complete with functional arm and 25-year-old legs, and saved $20 million a year in the process. ... If they get Reed, they’ll never miss Damon.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

New York Post State of Mind

Here's the start of Jay Jaffe's column today on relief pitchers and the Hall of Fame.
In the past quarter-century we've seen a drastic change in pitching usage patterns. Not only has every team gone to a five-man rotation, but starters rarely pitch complete games anymore. Instead they routinely yield to a bullpen which, if the lead fits into a narrow box outside of which 95 percent of all managers are afraid to think, passes the baton to a one-inning specialist imbued with mystical powers that relievers of an earlier era somehow did not possess.

If this specialist, called a closer, is successful--and for the most part, such success is as attainable as that for an NFL placekicker--he collects a statistical cookie called a save (mmm, cookie) and is exalted by the media. Meanwhile the closer’s fireman predecessors, who often pitched two or three frames at a clip and entered when the score was tied or (heaven forbid) tilted in the other team’s favor, receive little love from the Hall of Fame electorate, which has trained itself to value an 80-inning/40-save season more highly than the 110-inning/25-save ones of that bygone era.

We shouldn’t be fooled by high save totals; it’s the runs that matter, and due to the limited innings they throw, the Davenport numbers tell us that it’s nearly impossible for the best late-model relievers to be more valuable than the best everyday players or starting pitchers. Annual Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP3) totals above 10.0 are common for elite players at their peaks, but the best relievers--of either variety--top 8.0 only in a rare Mariano Rivera/Eric Gagne-caliber year. The three enshrined relievers (Hoyt Wilhelm, Rollie Fingers, and Dennis Eckersley) have a combined two seasons above 8.0 as relievers (Eck topped 8.0 twice as a starter).
Jaffe goes on to explain the arguments for and against enshrining various relievers and the methodology behind it.

Also today, Joe Sheehan posts an elegant piece arguing that Nomar will not be a good buy for the Dodgers. Unlike a few folks we know, here's the most inflammatory line: "Garciaparra is at a point in his career where you have to question his ability to both stay on the field and be a productive player when he does so." Sheehan then makes the case that L.A. will be paying more (and getting less production) than it would had it just stuck with its incumbent first baseman.

We bring this up only because they are shining examples of what strong and relevant columns are being written today.

Then there's the CHB (aka Sybil). Today's missive, likely written on a napkin over lunch, is on the selling of various Manny Ramirez memorabilia.

What, is Shaughnessy primping for a spot on Page Six of the Post?

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Sybil Award (More Dan-isms)

Quick: What’s the significance of May 1, 2003 in Boston sports history? Would it help if I narrowed it down to the Celtics?

“If you are the Celtics, you have to hope you win tonight, or even Saturday. Win either game and the horrors of Game 5 at Conseco Fieldhouse become nothing more than a footnote. But . . . If the Celtics lose two more times, then Tuesday's nightmare in Indianapolis goes down in infamy. It will simply never be forgotten. It will take its place in the New England Sports Museum Hall of Shame alongside Bill Buckner's error and Too Many Men on the Ice.” (Boston Globe, May 1, 2003. For the record, the sixth-seeded Celtics beat the third-seeded Pacers. Big deal, wasn’t it?)

Based on the 1500 or so hits received after our first column on Dan-isms, perhaps we should throw out a few more:

“So, what exactly were the Houston Astros thinking when they shipped Carl Everett to Boston in exchange for minor league prospects Adam Everett and Greg Miller? Everett had three more hits and four RBIs in yesterday's 14-2 rout of the Oakland A's. In 10 games with the Red Sox, he's hitting .444 with a team-high four homers and 13 RBIs.” (on Carl Everett, Boston Globe, April 16, 2000)

“Could this have worked out any better for Carl Everett and the Red Sox?
Doubtful.” (Boston Globe, May 27, 2000)

“Carl Everett was the Ebola virus of the Boston clubhouse. The Sox should have dealt him for a sack of doorknobs if that's what was offered." (Boston Globe, Dec. 13, 2001)

Based on what we have seen in April of 2002, the best move by the loathed and deposed general manager was the December 2001 trade in which he dumped nutcase Carl Everett …” (Boston Globe, May 1, 2002)

“The best man for the job is getting the job. ... Such a concept.” and “It makes so much sense. How can it be true?" (on the hiring of Dan Duquette, Boston Globe, Jan. 27, 1994)

“The Red Sox in this holiday season have become Fools 'R' Us.” (on Dan Duquette’s offseason moves, Boston Globe, Nov. 27, 1998. The Red Sox made the playoffs in 1999)

“Dan Duquette has gone from doofus to genius in less than 24 hours.” (on signing Manny Ramirez, Boston Globe, Dec 13, 2000)

“But spare us the tears, Dan. Where was all that emotion when you heartlessly bulldozed dozens of people in the organization and ran the team in a completely bloodless, corporate fashion?” (on the firing of Dan Duquette, Boston Globe, March 1, 2002)

“Fourteen starts. Three wins. Roger Clemens is never going to be confused with Mr. October. Clemens is Wilt Chamberlain and the postseason is one gigantic free throw. Last night, he was given the ball with a chance to close out the Oakland A's in the fourth game of the American League Division Series. (on Roger Clemens, Boston Globe, Oct. 8, 2000)

“The hair on his head is starting to thin, but Roger Clemens still throws 96 miles per hour, hits all the corners, and wins more than any pitcher in the American League.” (Aug. 31, 2001)

“How could anybody miss that butt?” (on Shawn Estes’ attempted beaning of Roger Clemens, Boston Globe, June 16, 2002)

“Roger Clemens is 40 years old and will be a free agent at the end of this season. … The new Red Sox management should explore the possibility of mending fences and signing the Rocket to a one-year contract. Sox fans may hate the guy, but a Pedro Martinez-Derek Lowe-Roger Clemens top three would look pretty good next spring.” (Boston Globe, Sept. 4, 2002)

“But now it’s time to come back to his basketball roots. It's time to return to the land of Jack Leaman, Dr. J, Al Skinner, Dave Gavitt, Ronnie Perry, Joe Mullaney. It's time to come home to the New Garden where Red and K.C., and the Cooz and Tommy Heinsohn still prowl. It's time to come back to New England to rescue the once-proud Boston Celtics.” (on the hiring of Rick Pitino, Boston Globe, July 7, 1997)

“Thanksdad Gaston has to be wondering if he made a wise move when he turned over complete control and $50 million to a man who we know is a terrific college coach, a snappy dresser, and a top-shelf motivational speaker.” (on Rick Pitino, Boston Globe, May 25, 1999)

“The Cowboy Uppers of last year did not bring a World Series to Boston, but few would argue that it was among the most thrilling of all Boston baseball summers, taking a place alongside pennant-winning years of 1967, 1975, and 1986. All three of those embraceable teams flopped badly the next year and the 2004 Sox are threatening to do the same thing.” (on the Red Sox, Boston Globe, July 1, 2004)

“The Red Sox really are put on this earth to torture and test the faith of their fans. Just when you thought it couldn't get any more hideous, the Sox did it again last night. The Red Sox really are put on this earth to torture and test the faith of their fans. Just when you thought it couldn't get any more hideous, the Sox did it again last night.” (on the Red Sox, Boston Globe, July 2, 2004. Four months later, the Red Sox were World Series champions)

“But hubristic Bill erred when he dealt Bledsoe to a division rival. It was the football equivalent of telling Roger Clemens he was in the ''twilight'' of his career. And let's not forget a transaction 82 years ago when the Red Sox sold their best player to a division rival from New York. That one hasn't worked out too well, either.” (on Bill Belichick, Boston Globe, Nov. 3, 2002. Since the trade, the Patriots have a regular season won-loss record of 46-16 and two more Super Bowl wins; Bledsoe has a regular season won-loss record of 31-31)

“The University of Belichick takes its rightful place alongside Harvard and MIT. And the New England Patriots of the 21st century are established as an NFL dynasty on par with the Packers of the 1960s, the Steelers of the '70s, the 49ers of the '80s, and the Cowboys of the '90s.” (following the Patriots’ third Super Bowl Win, Boston Globe, Feb. 7, 2005)

“A fourth straight one-and-out would expose the myth of Billy Beane’s ‘ Moneyball’ A’s.” (during the AL playoffs, Boston Globe, Oct. 6, 2003)

“Having the top payroll doesn’t guarantee that you're going to win the World Series, and we worry about the small markets, but we’ve seen Oakland compete in the last couple of years with teams that finish in the first place. … You need good management in addition to money; having the money is not enough.” (on WGBH Forum, March 30, 2004)

Lock Down

"The greatest Patriots victory of them all."

Was it Super Bowl XXXVI, a upset of the heavily favored Rams? Was it the Snow Bowl, which took a dizzying combination of elements (not the least of which was 40+ years of animosity between the Raiders and the NFL) to pull off? Was it the back-to-back wins in Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX?

No, claims Dan-O today. "The Patriots are going to beat the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs Jan. 15 at the RCA Dome. Set aside the Super Bowls, Tuck Rule Games, and annual playoff conquests in Steeltown; in the long, lofty reign of His Hooded Holiness, this will be the greatest victory of them all."

I don't think I can summon the energy to point out all the things that are useless about this column. Let's just recall this column from June 26,, where Dan wrote:
It's OK to say it. Don't worry about jinxing them. The 2005 Red Sox are going to win the American League East. By a landslide. Come late September, this is going to look like Secretariat at the Belmont in 1973.

Sounds like he's a little behind on his Christmas shopping, so he just updated an old piece. Nice work.

Inane baseball reference alert: "In 1986, Red Sox lefthander Bruce Hurst missed more than a month in the middle of the season with a groin pull. The good part of the injury was that it enabled him to be strong in October when he pitched better than Roger Clemens, who was worn out after going 24-4. These Patriots in December (and January) look like Bruce Hurst in October of '86."

Inane basketball reference alert: "Remember when the 1969 old-guard Celtics finished in fourth place, then rallied in the playoffs and won Bill Russell's final championship? They beat a Lakers team that had Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, and Elgin Baylor. And they won Game 7 on the road. That's a little bit what this will be like."

Friday, December 16, 2005

Mueller's Tale

There's nothing quite like the media complaining about a subject's lack of press.

Dan's take today on the departure of unsung Red Sox 3B Bill Mueller is characterized by a pair of eyebrow-raising comments:

"How could anyone fly this far under the radar while playing a big role in the success of the Red Sox at a time like this?"


"The Sox manage to make big news almost every day, even when they do nothing but turn the light on for Theo."

No kidding. Remind me, how many times has Dan mentioned Bill Mueller during his three years in Boston? (Answer: Sixty-seven.) Of those, how many were anything more than a shoehorned-in afterthought? (Answer: One. Today.)

Let's look at a recent sampling of Dan's Bill Mueller mentions:

*Oct. 9, 2005: Tony Graffanino certainly deserves another look, and the Sox may try to work out a short-term deal with Bill Mueller, though that's unlikely.

*Oct. 8, 2005: The Sox are bound to undergo a major makeover before they next meet in Fort Myers, Fla.; well-known characters such as Johnny Damon, Kevin Millar, Bill Mueller, Mike Timlin, and maybe even Manny Ramirez are likely to be gone.

*Oct. 7, 2005: If the Sox lose today, it could be Damon's last game with the Red Sox. Same goes for Bill Mueller, Millar, and maybe even Manny.

*Sept. 3, 2005: If not for a tough error on Bill Mueller, all four Oriole runs could have been earned.

Why so little press for the man the CHB calls the "Sox' Stealth Star?" We need look only to Aug. 14, 2005, when one Dan Shaughnessy wrote: "Sorry, Bill Mueller fans. Your guy is simply too boring for words."

That one instance in three years that Mueller rated more than a footnote in a Shaughnessy column? July 25, 2004, after he hit a walkoff homer to beat Mariano Rivera and the Yankees.

In fact, on the Dan dedicated column count, Mueller is tied (at one) with hitting coach Ron (Papa Jack) Jackson, one behind Framingham Lou Merloni.

Wholly disengenuous.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


"I always say I look at the bright side." (ESPN Outside the Lines, Oct. 22, 2000)

And yet ...

"Imagine a 2-0 lead and Pedro Martinez hasn't even started yet? However, if you are old enough to remember 1986 or 1978, maybe you are not so certain." (Boston Globe, Oct. 26, 2004)

"Personally, I already miss the old Red Sox a little. ... They never again will be the cuddly team on a near century-long, quixotic quest. ... Buckner and Friends are off the hook. All of them." (Boston Globe, Oct. 29, 2004)

"In my mind there's no question that the O'Donnell group was the way to go." (to USA Today, Jan. 22, 2002)

"[T]he bag job of a major league franchise sale..." (on the Henry group, Boston Globe, March 27, 2005)

"[David Ortiz is] a giant sack of you-know-what ..." (on WWZN, Jan. 4, 2003; link unavailable)

"I don't care." (quoting Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive, to Marjory Eagan on 96.9 FM, when asked how he felt when the Sox recorded the final out of the World Series. Dan replied he had a perfect analogy, referring to Jones' glib response to Harrison Ford when the erstwhile "Han Solo" says he didn't kill his wife; Oct. 28, 2004)

"Why does this stuff always happen with the Red Sox? Why can't it just be about the baseball? Even for one day." (on Pedro Martinez leaving a game early, Boston Globe, April 6, 2004)

"It is therefore no surprise that [Dr. Charles] Steinberg took an interest in the young Theo Epstein. By 1992, he was the Orioles' director of public affairs, overseeing four departments. He'd reviewed 10,000 resumes and interviewed more than 1,000 young candidates when Epstein went to see him during spring break in 1992." (Boston Globe, March 27, 2005. Ed. note: Ten thousand resumes, at one minute per resume, comes to 166.67 hours, or a little more than four workweeks. One thousand interviews, at roughly 30 minutes per candidate, comes to 500 hours, 12.5 workweeks. Combined, that equals nearly 17 workweeks -- one-third of the working year -- devoted to finding a single unpaid intern. No wonder the Orioles were such a mess. Or maybe Dan just made it all up.)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Before and After

Dan, on Roger Clemens, Dec. 14, 1996:
But on this day of new beginnings and inestimable wealth, there was no glory, no grace in either Toronto or Boston. Clemens bolted Boston and he spit on Fenway on his way out the door.
... Let the record show that The Rocket is 34 years old and went 40-39 over the last four (injury-filled) seasons while earning $20 million. Despite those numbers, he's now the highest-paid pitcher in baseball (Atlanta's John Smoltz got $31 million for four years). ...He didn't take any lumps yesterday. He took $31.1 million. And he dumped all over the Boston Red Sox, who were good to him for 13 big league seasons.
Dan, on Roger Clemens, following the Red Sox-Yankees playoff game/beanball war:
Which one would you rather have now, Sox fans? Roger Clemens -- who kept his composure and behaved like a professional Saturday night, winning the game for his team despite his obvious anger? Or Pedro, the baby who hits a guy after he blows a lead, then points at his head and at Yankee catcher Jorge Posada, threatening "you're next"?
And on May 13, 2005:
Roger Clemens is the greatest pitcher in the history of baseball. The Red Sox should do whatever it'll take to bring him back home for the stretch run in 2005.
On Pedro Martinez, Aug. 26, 2003:
He's the greatest pitcher we've seen since Sandy Koufax. ... Too bad he got it in his head that we don't respect him. Too bad he wants to leave.
On Pedro, Feb. 21, 2004:
... the Dominican Diva ...
On Curt Schilling, Nov. 29, 2003:
Schilling is back with the Red Sox. Oh, happy day. Son of Tito can leave Schilling on the mound to pitch the eighth and ninth and no one will call for the manager to be fired.
On Schilling, Feb. 21, 2004:
The day he signed with Boston he said, "I guess I hate the Yankees now." He has already looked at the schedule and concluded it'll be his turn to pitch when the Yankees first come to Fenway April 16. He spends time in cyberspace, conversing with Red Sox fans. ... Any wonder Curt Schilling is a hit with Red Sox Nation?
On Schilling, Nov. 9, 2005:
It's not a suggestion from Curt Schilling or any of his little late-night, on-line friends. ... It's just something that makes sense. ...
On Nomar Garciaparra, July 10, 2000:
In Boston, there never has been a ballplayer like him. Red Sox manager Jimy Williams said it best two years ago when he observed, "It’s like he’s been here before." True. Sometimes it seems as if Garciaparra is the reincarnation of Tris Speaker or Rogers Hornsby - an old hardball soul in a young man’s perfect baseball body.
On Nomar, June 10, 2004:
By any measure, Garciaparra is one of the most popular Sox players of all time. He's the fourth-leading hitter in franchise history, trailing only Ted Williams, Wade Boggs, and Tris Speaker. He has played hard for every inning of every game since he first got called up at the end of the 1996 season.
On Nomar, Aug. 1, 2004:
Thank the baseball god, he's gone. We no longer have to watch Nomar Garciaparra pretend that he cares about the fortunes of the Boston Red Sox.
Now that the Red Sox need a shortstop, will Dan next write about how they need to bring back Nomar? Stay tuned.

The Recycler

Tom Brady and Larry Bird must be the same person. After all, Dan says so: "This was one of those days when Tom Brady -- and we've said this before -- was Larry Bird."

Just like he did less than three months ago. And one year ago. And on Feb. 4, 2002.

Not to mention on Feb. 3, 2004, the notorious day when Dan ripped off Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. Here's what Dan wrote:
HOUSTON -- Get out the chisels and sand blasters. Time to put Tom Brady's handsome face on Boston's professional sports Mt. Rushmore Monument.

This is no small honor. Only four men have had their faces carved into the side of our imaginary mountain -- Ted Williams, Bill Russell, Bobby Orr, and Larry Bird. Four seemed like the right number when Bird went up and we thought his big beak might be the last nose sculpted on the side of Mt. Fame.
And here's what Guregian wrote -- the day before (no link available):
HOUSTON - If someone were to sculpt a Mount Rushmore of Boston sports legends, the faces of Ted Williams, Bill Russell, Bobby Orr and Larry Bird would hold some serious rock space.

Prior to last night, there would be no Patriot players etched in stone. There would be no football representatives getting face-time on our pretend mountain.
Coincidence, I'm sure.

He also pitched the idea on Bob Lobel's show in September 2002.

Indeed, Dan's Dec. 4, 2004, column reads an awful lot like today's, rife with comparisons between the Celtics and the Patriots. I know, I know...different sports, different eras. Just don't tell Dan that.

(As an aside, Jackie McMullen used the same tired cliche following the 2005 Super Bowl: "He is unbeaten, untied, and unequivocally the king of the football world. Tom Brady may not have been voted the most valuable player of last night's Super Bowl, but he is the quarterback of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots (again), and when all the dynasty talk begins in earnest this morning, it starts with the former sixth-round draft choice from Michigan, who has earned his rightful place among Boston legends Bill Russell, Bobby Orr, Larry Bird, and Ted Williams." Time to give it a rest, guys.)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Forget Me Not

Dan hates the world of online journalism. Except, of course, when he needs it to do his job.

Here's what Dan wrote on Nov. 9:
It's not a suggestion from Curt Schilling or any of his little late-night, on-line [sic] friends.
Here's what Dan writes today:
The closest the Sox have come to ruling out a return of Epstein came when Henry went online with the Sons of Sam Horn Nov. 22 and wrote, "Theo was clear in his press conference when he opted not to close the door to the future. But life is constant change and for the most part it is exceedingly unpredictable. He is not going to return as our surprise GM in this process. We are proceeding carefully to make the right choice. There are more potential candidates than is known simply because a number of people prefer to avoid, if at all possible, a highly charged, circus atmosphere that ends with only one candidate being chosen."
So when it's Schilling -- whom Dan despises because, well, he won't talk to Dan (wonder why?) -- the Sons of Sam Horn board is mocked. But what happens when those "little late-night, on-line [sic] friends" happen to do Dan's work better than he ever could? Simple. He steals it.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Predictable World of the CHB

That didn't take long. On Saturday, Dan advocated for Jeremy Kapstein as Sox GM. On Wednesday the Globe's Gordon Edes shot that down, writing in his blog:
Jeremy Kapstein, who at one time cut a deal with Larry Lucchino to do the job on an interim basis, was telling people here that he is no longer in the picture.
Of course, Dan gave himself an out. Here's what I wrote Saturday:
But he also writes, "This typist strongly doubts the Sox will turn to Kapstein, even on an interim basis ..." So if Kapstein falls by the wayside, Dan has his out. Brilliant.
Rarely do things fall in place so quickly, except in the utterly predictable world of the CHB.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Dan Plagiarizes Nomar?

It's not my job to help them [sportswriters] do their job. Nomar Garciaparra, winter 2003.

"It's not their [athletes'] job to help us [sportswriters] do their job." Dan Shaughnessy, Dec. 6, 2005

Is Dan finally coming around? He even sucks up to Jim Rice in today's piece. Not surprisingly, it wasn't long ago he was trashing the former Sox slugger:

* On Jan. 11, 2004, Shaughnessy says in an interview that he votes for Rice “even though he was borderline, because I don’t want that charge leveled at me”: that reporters penalize Rice for being uncooperative, surly and even intimidating toward them. ... Shaughnessy laughs: “So there’s a vote for him because he was a churl.”

* On Jan. 9, 2002, he wrote in the Globe: "[Rice was] a one-dimensional, no-speed, no-defense left fielder ..."

There's more, much more, but I'm on another deadline today.

So when it comes to Jim Rice, is DS full of BS? Or is he really just courting the graces of the Red Sox (who for the first time are pushing Rice's nomination hard)?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Kicking the Pig(skin)

Adam Vinatieri takes over the Patriots all-time scoring record. In itself, it's not that big a deal. The top 20 scorers all-time are all kickers. And he's not even halfway to the NFL record of 2,448 points, held by Gary Anderson.

Still, in discussing Vinatieri's "feat" (get it?) today Dan recycles for the millionth time Vinatieri's famous game-tying kick against the Raiders in the playoffs, comparing it to " 'Havlicek stole the ball,' and Dave Roberts's steal and Curt Schilling's sock and Bobby Orr's dive through the air.

And in just a wee bit of hyperbole, the CHB intimates that, sans The Kick, the Pats might as well be sporting Houston Texans jerseys: "[I]t led to a championship. Maybe three." OK ... maybe I'm not looking at this right, but football always seemed to me to be a lot harder than that.

Can't wait to see what Dan writes when Adam finally misses one and costs the Pats an upset over the Colts in the playoffs come January.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Every Which Way You Go

This one will be fun to watch. Dan, per usual, plays it both ways in today's column on the Red Sox' GM search.

Scenario A is the status quo. He writes: "Why not just stay with the old guard (Bill Lajoie, Jeremy Kapstein), new guard (Ben Cherington, Craig Shipley, Jed Hoyer) Gang of Five that worked so well making the biggest baseball trade of the offseason thus far?"

Of course, he then immediately shoots it down: "I don't think that's an ideal structure," Lucchino said yesterday afternoon ..." If A comes about, Dan will say it's his idea. If it doesn't, he was speaking rhetorically. Neat, huh?

Scenario B is Bill Lajoie. Dan gives this one the least play. Per Dan, Lajoie said, "We go day-to-day with our present system and it seems to be working pretty well. We are working together and getting along." Dan doesn't give this a thumbs up or down, but shoehorns it in, just in case.

Scenario C is Jerry Kapstein. His candidacy gets more than 800 fawning words of the 1217-word piece. Kapstein is called a "brilliant, likable, veteran baseball man." Dan quotes Carlton Fisk as saying, "No one knows more baseball than Jerry Kapstein." And he digs up a statement from the late Twins owner Calvin Griffith from 1976: "Sure, I'm afraid of him. ... He can decide who wins pennants. He can regulate the structure of baseball." If Kapstein gets the gig, Dan has his in, the maker of kings.

But he also writes, "This typist strongly doubts the Sox will turn to Kapstein, even on an interim basis ..." So if Kapstein falls by the wayside, Dan has his out. Brilliant.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Ringing Familiar

The Mailman's back, and we don't mean Karl Malone. Dan sends in yet another one from the couch in Newton. (Note: His copyeditor doesn't even try to disguise it, titling it, "Leftovers on menu today.")

It's a jumble of tossed out one- and two-liners, none of which would earn him a nickel if he were on the comdey club circuit. Here's a curious bit:
If you want to know Belichick, buy David Halberstam's ''The Education of a Coach." Disclosure of a particularly salty sideline exchange between Belichick and Bill Parcells (when they were still working together) is worth the price of the book."
We wonder whether Dan actually read the book (unlikely), or whether he happened to read ex Globe writer Jeff Sullivan's blog, which just yesterday referenced the same passage.

And Dan takes a swipe at Theo Epstein, perhaps forgetting that on Nov. 9 he wrote a piece proclaiming the ex Sox GM the best man for the job ("The Red Sox should offer the job to Brookline native Theo Epstein."). (Of course, that came just days after he flamed Theo, then complained that his son could no longer take out the garbage without passersby hurling insults.)

He does ask one relevant question, though: "Has there ever been a greater waste of man-hours than the Terrell Owens hearing?" Answer: Yes -- the time some poor typesetter spent laying out this so-called column. (Talk about setting yourself up.)

Edit (3:09 pm): Why is it that the several contributors at Baseball Prospectus can write three or more columns each a week, some as many as 2,000 words, using lively prose and fresh, data-filled arguments, all while covering a single sport, whereas the Boston Globe can't find one columnist capable of the same?

Monday, November 28, 2005

More Puke

More on Dan's regurgitated column.

Here's what he wrote on Oct. 3, 1999, after an interview with Pedro Martinez"
He is proud of his fluency in a second language. The joke around the pressbox is that Martinez speaks better English than Clemens. It's not far from the truth.
And every fifth day from April to October, Pedro Martinez takes his tiny frame to the major league mound and humbles hitters with his 97 mile per hour fastball.
Martinez makes the Red Sox a threat in any short series. ... But teams don't want to play the Sox because Martinez can pitch (and win) twice in a five-game series.

Hmmm...praises Pedro, trashes Clemens...praises Schilling, trashes Pedro...praises Beckett, trashes are getting very will read what I write because I am the great Dan Shaughnessy and the Boston Globe continues to publish my dreck....

Post Thanksgiving Regurgitation

Dan's mancrush on Josh Beckett knows no bounds. Spewing love for the new Sox ace from the opening line ("Time for the Red Sox to reissue old No. 21, don't you think?"), the next 875 words are a collective big sloppy French kiss to the ex Marlin.

But there will be a new sheriff in town when the Red Sox hit Fort Myers in February. He's a big, strong Texan ...

The new Sox ace said all the right things in his introductory conference call with the media ...

There he is, ladies and gentlemen, your new stopper. The torch has been passed from Clemens to Pedro to Schilling to Beckett. Time to pass along No. 21 now.

Ugh. Jump him now, Dan, and get it over with.

It's instructive to recall what Dan said about Schill when he was the Red Sox ace du jour.

He was gracious toward Pedro Martinez and was happy to accept the role as No. 2 starter.

Think Schilling would blow a 5-2 lead in the eighth against the Yankees, then throw his manager under the bus? Which guy do you want pitching Game 7?

That's the beauty of Schilling. He lives for the big games, has played in the big games, and won't take the apple if things get a little tight and testy in this town without pity.

Schilling is back with the Red Sox. Oh, happy day. Son of Tito can leave Schilling on the mound to pitch the eighth and ninth and no one will call for the manager to be fired.

To recap: Dan 1) warms quickly to the new guy while 2) trashing the old one. Nice. Looks like he simply regurgitated his post Thanksgiving column from 2003. What's the Globe policy on self-plagiarism?

The column is also memorable for two blatant Danesque errors:
1. "[Beckett] said he talked to Don Sutton about pitching in Fenway and Sutton told him that the small venue made life exciting for a pitcher." Interesting hypothesis, but, like Dan, outdated and wrong. Baseball Prospectus' analysis puts Fenway as a "slight hitter's park." According to BP, Fenway ranks at 1.010, with a 1.00 being neutral. Seems the abundance of new, smaller bandboxes have displaced the Old Ballpark as hitters' Edens. But why let the facts get in the way of a column?

2. "With no hope for a new stadium, the Marlins are strip-mining the franchise, much the way Charlie Finley did with his Oakland A's in 1976." As Nate Silver argues here (subscription required), "Each team can enter the hot-stove season with one of three potential strategies: buy additional talent, sell off talent, or hold about the same level of talent as before. The key behind this choice of direction is performing an objective evaluation of how many wins the existing stock of talent is likely to provide, and the attendant probability of making the playoffs. The Marlins won 83 games last year. They had a couple of players, like Juan Pierre and Mike Lowell, who underperformed, but others like Dontrelle Willis and Todd Jones who overachieved. PECOTA projected the Marlins to win 81 games; their Pythagenport record was 79-83. By all indications, they were a .500 club."

Silver's research found that "a team that wins fewer than 82 games will essentially never make the playoffs, while a team that wins more than 96 games will almost always make the playoffs." So the critical range is 86 to 94 wins. And if you can't make it to 86 wins, better to save your bullets and regroup.

The Marlins are guaranteed to lose AJ Burnett (at a cost of about 5 wins, which takes them to 76-78 wins). A team projected to win 77 games will actually win exactly 87 games 2.4% of the time, and it has a 24% chance of making the playoffs when it does, and will win exactly 88 games 2.1% of the time and have a 34% chance of making the playoffs when it does that, Silver finds. His conclusion: "But the fact of the matter is that selling makes sense for the Marlins, and it makes sense in this market. It especially makes sense if they can get some true blue-chip prospects in return, but even without that, it makes sense from a profit-and-loss standpoint, and it does so by a fairly wide margin."

Thursday, November 24, 2005

To the Grave

Steve Belichick died. None of us have ever met him. You may have heard of his son: the coach of the New England Patriots.

Dan wrote a polite and respectful piece on the funeral today. Polite, respectful -- and intrusive. Would have been nice for coach Bill, I imagine, to lay his father to rest in peace, away from the media's prying eyes.

Cover Up

One of the nauseating traits of so-called professional journalists is their knack for looking the other way from each other's misdeeds. That is, when they aren't kicking their own when they are down. Yet another is their misplaced logic.

Sometimes, those three aspects swell together in what I would call the Perfect Contrivance.

Take the controversy surrounding Bob Woodward. The still-sober half of Richard M. Nixon's favorite reporting duo is taking heat in some media circles for not disclosing his role in Plamegate. (Never mind that to the rest of America this is a big snooze.) And certain Globe op-ed writers are among those throwing darts. To wit: On media critic and visiting Northeastern journalism professor Dan Kennedy's blog this week, the Globe's Joan Vennochi wrote:

[T]his is my last comment. Tell me, how do you serve two masters? Your book and your newspaper? You don't. Woodward needs to choose and the choice seems obvious to me( as well as to nearly all my emailers).

And by the way, what, exactly, does the Post get from an author whose loyalty is to his book publisher, not to his newspaper publisher?

And here's my response:

I would disagree with this. There's clearly no internal pressure on Woodward to choose. And there was no external pressure, not until this came up anyway.

If Woodward were made to choose, then wouldn't that Globe blowhard Dan Shaughnessy have to choose too? His column, it can be argued, is simply a vehicle for him to promote his contrived books. Let's see your column on that.

I have a feeling I'll be waiting forever for that column.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Right or Wrong?

I'm paid for opinions, says Dan. But are they accurate ones? I'm charting a list of his predictions and will post the results here soon.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Red Sox Owner Calls Out Shaughnessy (Sort of)

This from Dan Shaughnessy, in the infamous Dirty Laundry column:
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.

This from Red Sox principal owner John Henry, last night on the Sons of Sam Horn board:
In the Colorado deal late one night I called Theo with questions about that deal in comparison to the one the we actually ended up doing. I preferred the one we did. I didn’t want to give up prospects when we had a comparable alternative that involved paying dollars in lieu of prospects. It was that simple and that innocent. How Larry or anyone else got the blame – I have not a clue. What I didn’t know at the time was that Colorado made a trade thinking I was going to rubber stamp it that night, because that is usually what happens. It’s never been reported that I stepped into the middle of that. I wrote a note of apology to Josh over it, but Larry received the blame in the following days in the media. Then Theo took responsibility a few days later but the stories still continue about it.

Column No Pretty Picture

Today, that essence of hip, Dan Shaughnessy, trashes the Bruins. In a truly weak attempt to be cool he makes this reference to Mike O'Connell:
"It's good of Harry not to cut the legs out from under his GM, but The OC might be the one who gets canceled if the Bruins don't start winning some games.

Cute. Not funny. But cute. Like an iguana.

Amid the piling on, Dan finds time for self-pity: "Sadly, Bruins president Harry Sinden has nothing to say about any of this. Yesterday, for the first time ever, he rejected this typist's request for an interview." Maybe Harry recalls the fallout from the Dirty Laundry column and is wisely keeping his can closed.

Surprise of the day: No reference to Bobby Orr. I'm shocked! Shocked, I tells ya!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Through the Wickets

How many errors can Dan make in a single column? Let's count:

1. "Atlanta's Dayton Moore took himself out of the running for Red Sox general manager Tuesday, joining Kevin Towers, Doug Melvin, J.P. Ricciardi, Brian Sabean, Terry Ryan, Chris Antonetti, and Tony LaCava in the long list of those who've said "not interested" to Larry Lucchino."

Melvin, Ricciardi, Sabean and Ryan are under contract, so saying no was really their bosses' decision, not theirs. And Ricciardi's "no" came three years ago, pre Theo.

2. "Lucchino addressed the GM search -- and a few other issues that have made him a New England dartboard on par with Haywood Sullivan after Sully forgot to mail Carlton Fisk's contract."

No, Dan is a New England dartboard. Lucchino is just disliked intensely.

3. Lucchino: "We're not going to have any further comments on Theo. ... I believe Tom [Werner] said it's time to turn the page on that."

Dan: "So the Sox aren't saying yes or no on the Theo rumor that won't go away."

Wrong. The Sox said "no." Repeatedly. You just don't listen well.

4. "They obviously waited too long to negotiate with Theo and now they look like George McGovern trying to find a running mate in 1972."

They obviously made a mistake in leaking info to Dan. The rest of that statement is unprovable.

5. "This is the first time the current ownership group has been blasted in Boston."

The Henry group was torched before they even put their names on their office doors. Dan should know: He led the torching.

6. "Now they know a little about how Bob Kraft felt after he alienated Bill Parcells, got too involved, and suffered through the Pete Carroll era."

Gee, that sure worked out poorly for the Pats, didn't it? i guess if they don't alientate Parcells, they win four straight Super Bowls, instead of the lousy three that they got.

7. "They can put all the positive spin on it they want, but this represents the first crisis for this ownership group."

See no. 5.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Saturday, November 12, 2005

All Over the Place

Quick: What's today's subject? In the first 129 words of today's column, Shaughnessy mentions (in order) Bill Parcells, Drew Bledsoe, Roger Clemens, M.L. Carr, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

So if you guessed Tim Duncan and what life would be like had the ping pong balls bounded the Celtics way, you'd be right.

Cliche watch: "Clemens had just left the Red Sox for the Blue Jays after being told he was in the twilight of his career."

Bird watch: "[Ainge] played in many of the games in which the Celtics beat the Spurs -- 20 straight -- Back In The Day of Bird, Chief, and McHale."

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Dan the Stalker?

"I have never intentionally read Dan Shaughnessy."
--Rafael Palmiero, Nov. 10, 2005

No column from Dan today, but if you want a good laugh, read this comment on the CHB from Bruce Allen at Boston Sports Media Watch. The last line is priceless:
Gordon Edes and Michael Silverman report that the Red Sox are not trying to lure Theo Epstein back into the fold, so that rumor can be put to bed. Sean McAdam also reports on the rumors, but apparently prior to the announcement last night by John Henry and Tom Werner that they were not pursuing Theo. Part of me says that these rumors of the Red Sox trying to get Theo to change his mind are coming from the Red Sox, as an effort at damage control. Even with the denial last night, with recent events you can't help but think that. Do you think the irrelevant one, Dan Shaughnessy, wrote that column yesterday on his own? He can deny to his grave that he wasn't told to write, but events of the recent (and distant) past put a cloud of doubt and distrust over that claim. It can't be pointed out enough that Shaughnessy used a Red Sox owner (Werner) to get his daughter a Hollywood internship. You don't think he "owes" them big time? And don't email me, Dan.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Dan Defies Logic (Redux)

In his now famous Dirty Laundry column, Dan wrote: “The only unfortunate aspect is that the embers will smolder for years to come.”

Here's what I wrote in response: "Darn right. Dan himself will see to that."

That prophecy didn't take long to come true. Writing about the Red Sox' vacant GM position today, the CHB offers this novel thought: "The Red Sox should offer the job to Brookline native Theo Epstein."

"This is not as stupid as it sounds," he goes on to say. Question to Dan: Just how badly did that curling iron burn your brain?

He goes on to recite the names of several persons who "left and came back" Billy Martin, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Harry Sinden, Ray Bourque among others. Let's look at that list: Martin was fired over and again; Bourque was traded; Jordan's father had just been murdered; Ali was brain damaged; Sinden never recaptured his early coaching success. Great comparisons, Dan.

And how about this bit of unfettered nastiness:
It's not a suggestion from Curt Schilling or any of his little late-night, on-line friends. ... It's just something that makes sense.

This is a thinly veiled reference to the Sons of Sam Horn board -- which Dan doubtlessly reads and probably leans on for ideas. Wonder if he knows that Eric Van (IQ 143) is one of those "online friends"; the same Eric Van who provides analysis for the late, great Sox GM for whose return the CHB is lobbying. Confused yet? Dan sure is.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Go Back to the Sox

I always look forward to the days when Dan doesn't write about the Red Sox. Unless, that is, he writes about something else.

Today's topic: The Celtics. He writes: "Certainly if the Celtics continue to play like this, they're going to matter again around here..." And like the one-man SI jinx he is, as soon as these words hit the street, Gang Green managed to drop its second in a row -- to the hapless Bobcats.

In a bit of irony, the column is titled "They sure got our attention." Of course, for Dan, who must share a brain with Benjy from The Sound and the Fury, 1,000 words is too long to possibly stick to any one subject. Sure enough, the piece invokes, on multiple occasions, the Patriots and (who else?) the Red Sox.

Sox mania isn't about to subside and the Patriots are preparing to play the Game of the Year on "Monday Night Football," so it's going to be difficult for the Celtics to get your attention.

Darn right, especially when you keep interjecting unrelated items from other sports into your columns.

Bird Alert: "It wasn't always like this, of course. There was a time when the Celtics were No. 1 -- when Larry and Chief and Kevin and a guard named Danny Ainge walked through that door and patrolled the parquet."

Friday, November 04, 2005

Milking It

No Dan yesterday or today, but look at this: The Globe still has The Column displayed high on its Red Sox page, along with the Tuesday NECN clip of the columnist-cum-multimedia man. (Nothing's happened since then, guys? Like Theo's press conference, for example?)

Seems the Globe either doesn't recognize -- or doesn't care -- of its ace columnist's role in all of this. Whetever happened to journalists reporting the news, instead of making it?

Edit: When I checked back at 11:50 a.m., the link to The Column had been removed.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Dan Being Dan

From this morning's appearance on the Dennis and Callahan show on WEEI (850 AM).

John Dennis: Was there a purpose to feeding the salary info to Edes and Snow?

CHB: I think the guys on our paper did their work and reported what they knew. It’s insulting to say it was spoonfed to them.


JD: So you don’t think the column should have pissed off Theo?

CHB: He’s 31. ... Nothing was leaked. I did my work. Most of that stuff in the column was stuff that was out ... in my book.

Gerry Callahan: The only thing that changed after the deal was almost done was your column. They agreed not to talk ... Someone violated that trust.

CHB: If that’s true, they have to work them out themselves. It’s not my job ... we’re not in the business of filtering out that stuff. All I did was write what I believe. The facts are facts. ... A lot of it’s opinion.

JD: When you have a longstanding mole, does it change the veracity [the need to always challenge that source]?
CHB: I suppose that’s true, but you have to guard against that. If you’re talking about the Colorado trade situation, I had more than one source.


JD: Did it occur to you as you wrote that piece that it would get the attention of and piss off Theo?

CHB: That was one of things in the column. Too much was out there. Maybe I knew too much. They would have to answer that. ... I know both of these guys pretty well ... and Larry’s side wasn’t getting out there.


JD: You might not regret it, and I know it's not your job, but do you think the sides involved regret it?

CHB: I write for the readers. I thought there had been too much, complete negligence, Larry was being portrayed as a bean counter, not a baseball guy, and in my opinion that’s not true.


JD: ... Do you use [take advantage of] your sources?

CHB: I don’t know. That’s a little scary. I can’t quite make that connection. Everybody uses their sources.

JD: Do they use you?

CHB: You try not to be used.


CHB: Most of this has been written before. It’s old stuff.

JD: What about the Colorado thing? That was new to me.

CHB: That was new. ... And I know it was absolutely true.

Caller: What possible motive could you have had, even if you had written them before? Sometimes when you are arguing with your wife, it’s best not to bring up things that happened in the past.

CHB: My job is to tell the readers what’s going on, about the relationship between these two guys. ... I can’t believe it’s that shallow, that kneejerk.

GC: You’ve said that Larry’s not your source. Or that you had other sources. That your source wasn't Larry.

CHB: I don’t remember if I said that.

JD: Do you think that Larry knew of, or approved of, what your source was doing?

CHB: No.


JD: One last time, Larry Luchino was not the source of your Sunday column, and Larry approved of, or knew of, Sunday's actions?

CHB: To the best of my knowledge, that's correct.

Note the revisionist history. In The Column, Dan says too much about the individuals and the contract talks has already been said. In trying to defend himself, he says "Larry’s side wasn’t getting out there." Which is it?

Obviously Dan the Samaritan felt sorry for poor Larry Lucchino, whose high school baseball prowess wasn't getting its due. So he writes a piece glorifying the baseball genius that is Lucchino. Left unasked: Must it be a zero-sum game? Couldn't he have penned a piece that lauded Larry without trashing Theo in the process?

Answer: Of course not; it was just Dan being Dan.

Columnist, or Talking Head?

Dan doesn't pen a column today, but when would he have the time? Here's a rundown of his media appearances:

Nov. 2
Kiss FM (Kiss 108FM-radio)
WTKK (96.9FM-radio)
WFAN New York (66AM-radio)
ESPN Radio (890/1400AM-radio)
NECN (tv) (interviewed for sports news spot)

Nov. 3
WEEI (850AM-radio)

Question: Will Oct. 30 go down in Boston lore as DS-Day?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Poor Logic, Run Amok

Today Dan offers his sentiments on a deal gone dead, and in defending his role -- which he spends much of the 906-word column doing -- he distorts and twists logic in a way that would make Scooter Libby proud.

Let's roll the tape.

There's been a lot of talk about cartels, smear campaigns, and taking sides, but the fact is that only two men know the truth about the proposed Rockies trade: Lucchino and Epstein. And both know that one of them is spinning a story in an effort to make himself look good and the other look bad. The Epstein camp had its version out there all summer. Lucchino's camp responded Sunday. Still, no one has disputed the version put forth by the Lucchino camp, and one could view that scenario in a positive fashion -- an example of two men who can make things work without worrying about who gets credit or blame.

This last sentence is the clincher: Dan regurgitates a bit of old gossip that is not germane to, well, anything, then makes the dubious case that because no one contested it (also dubious, never mind that Epstein was clearly adhering to an earlier agreement not to wage a media battle over his contract), that means it must be true!

By that thinking, since no one disputed that Dan is Gordon Edes' "Curly Haired Boyfriend," then that must be the case. Enjoy the Perrier tonight while watching Extreme Makeover, boys.

Finally, let's not forget that this entire recounting occured in a column in which Dan calls for everyone to leave the two parties alone!

Monday, October 31, 2005

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Disingenuous Dan

No more talking about Theo Epstein! says Dan Shaughnessy, who never, ever wrote a word about someone else’s private matters. He then spends 1229 words not talking about him.

If anyone knows dirty laundry, it’s Shaughnessy. He’s aired so much, he probably has his own clothesline on Yawkey Way.

Yet that doesn't stop him from clucking around like a giant curly-haired chicken. “It's too bad it went this far,” Moral Man Dan claims. “The unfortunate part of the entire episode is that a lot of inside stuff went public.” This from a fellow who has made a career out using the pages of the Globe to torture Carl Everett, Jimy Williams, Nomar Garciaparra and countless other Boston sportsmen who made the mistake of opening their mouths while at work and and in earshot of the Great Lurking Eavesdropper. Suggested title for Dan's next book: How Black is Your Kettle?

“The only unfortunate aspect is that the embers will smolder for years to come.” Darn right. Dan himself will see to that.

Self-promotion alert: “The above sentence appeared in a book I wrote on the 2004 Red Sox championship season and it was the only line Theo objected to.”

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Sorry for the Delay

My wife had a baby and I've been dealing with more important things, like changing his dirty diapers, than Dan da Man.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Dan Does it Again!

In a mailed-in column that for the most part is about the first World Series game in Texas (a snooze of a topic if ever there was one), Dan actually finds a way to shoehorn in none other than Larry Bird:

Twenty years ago, I was sitting with a couple of writers and a couple of Celtics in the atrium lounge of the Dallas Hyatt when hundreds of young people started pouring through the lobby en route to a Bruce Springsteen concert next door at Reunion Arena.

"Springsteen, who's he?" asked Larry Bird.

"Larry, he's the you of rock and roll," I told him.

"Well, he must be pretty good, then," offered Larry.

For the unordained, working in references to Larry Bird is a common Dan technique, like he did here in an April, 19, 2003, hatchet job on Boston Bruin Joe Thorton ("Not to bring up unfair comparisons, but Larry Bird would never have said those words."), and again here, discussing Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera ("This would be like Larry Bird getting booed at Boston Garden."), and again here, writing the day before the Sox-Yankees ALCS, and here, in a March 3, 2003, piece on boxer (!) Jose Ruiz ("Though he was never a local sports celebrity like Bobby Orr, Larry Bird, or Pedro Martinez"), and most recently just last Sept. 26.

(Re the alleged Bird-Springsteen comment, the twist is that perhaps Dan is embellishing just where the episode took place. As Gerry Callahan wrote for Sports Illustrated on Sept. 30, 1998, the event took place "in a less pricey pub in Dallas.")

Back to today's column, where in culminating his latest Larry analogy Dan makes the startling admission: "That exchange is sort of beside the point, but I love telling the story."

Well, at least he recognizes it, even if his editors don't.

Friday, October 07, 2005

If the Pattern Fits

"It's not a pattern you want to fall into," says Theo Epstein in Dan's latest "effort" (which, at just 882 words, is for the typically longwinded Dan barely more than a throat clearing. Maybe it was getting dark and he still had to get his run in). "But it's the personality of this club not to do things easily. It's too cliche to say we've done it before, but obviously we have. But we can't rely on it because history doesn't win games."

Ah, but history does write columns. In those 882 words, he raises the ghosts of the infamous Chicago Black Sox, ex Red Sox mediocrities Matt Young and Orlando Cabrera, ex Red Sox stud Pedro Martinez, and of course, the 2004 Sox. Never gone there before.

Indeed, other folks write columns that sometimes cover the same ground, like Howard Ulman, who covers the BoSox for the AP, and ProJo's Sean McAdam.

And sometimes, even Dan himself, the day before (!), whose effort on Thursday contained this nugget: ''It's not a pattern you want to fall into," said general manager Theo Epstein. “It's the personality of this team to not do things easily."

It’s not a pattern you want to fall into. That is, not unless you’re Dan Shaughnessy.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Today, Dan summons the ghost of Bill Buckner. What a nasty, bitter guy. Dan comes off like a Country-Western song, you know, the ones where the singer's dog dies, his woman runs off with his best friend, and his whiskey bottle's done empty.

The old joke is that if you play a CW song backwards, the wife comes back, the dog is reborn and the whiskey bottle is full again.

Hmmm. I wonder whether, if you read Dan's column backward, he'd morph into a upbeat, forward-looking, funny guy?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Dan Knows Rivalries

Dan knows what's missing from the looming Red Sox-White Sox playoffs showdown: A lack of history between the two teams. (Never mind that they are two of the original American League franchises.)

We all know Dan knows rivalries. After all, he wrote a book on them. And another. And another.

Oh, and he's even HAD a few of his own: Remember Carl Everett? Dan won't have to look far for him this week; he's batting fifth for the White Sox.

Then there was Dan's attack earlier this year on Michael Holley, civil rights, and the entire African-American race.

And what's reported to be an online chat transcript, from the Boston Dirt Dogs site, features this Dantastic admission: "i have had guys get in my face for years -- clemens, vaughn, boggs, boyd, scott wedman, quinn buckner, robert Parish. name that tune." Gee, what a shock.

Note to self: Always best to start fights with players on the opposing team. Where I come from, guys like Parish used to pee on guys like Shaughnessy in the showers. (And Parish probably could have hit him sitting in the upper balcony at the old Garden; he's said to be hung like, well, let's just call him Mr. Ed.)

And finally, today's out-of-leftfield snide remark alert: "Oh, and remember the 1919 White Sox, the team that threw the World Series? They had a pitcher named Bill James. Not sure why, but that has to mean something."

Friday, September 30, 2005

Who Plays Who?

Although Dan couldn't figure out the possible playoff scenarios, you can, with the help of Baseball Prospectus (subscription required). Here's how it works, in their words:

How’s this for a stone gas: the Red Sox, Yankees, White Sox and Indians finishing in a four-way tie? It could happen and it wouldn’t take anything too far out of the ordinary to make it so.

95-win scenario:
New York splits with Baltimore, takes two of three from Boston
Boston takes three of four from Toronto, one of three from New York
Chicago takes one of four from Detroit, is swept by Cleveland
Cleveland is swept by Tampa Bay and then sweeps Chicago

96-win scenario:
New York sweeps Baltimore, takes one of three from Boston
Boston takes three of four from Toronto and two of three from New York
Chicago takes one of four from Detroit and one of three from Cleveland
Cleveland takes two of three Tampa Bay and two of three from Chicago

There are a couple of other variations that will get all four teams there as well.

What happens then?

Firstly, the teams would play off for the Divisional titles. Boston would head to Yankee Stadium and Chicago to Jacobs. The losers of those games would then play for the wild-card slot. That would be an interesting turn of events. It would be slightly more interesting if the Angels were to go 6-1 and finish with 95 wins as well.

History Repeats and So Does Dan

"History Repeats, Naturally," commands the headline in The Great One's column today. Well, I repeat too, sometimes naturally, sometimes with the help of Metamucil. And shit I did, after reading the dump our man took in the Globe today.

To wit: From "wicked winds" to the "cherished championship" to "sensational string" to "postseason permutations" to "hair hurt," our man has clearly graduated from Alliteration 101.

But he's just gaining momentum, folks. Remember "Block that metaphor!" -- the old New Yorker way of rapping the hands that wrote poor prose? Here's two beauties:

BTM 1: "After the storm, we saw a ballgame that had all the magic ingredients of 2004, fueling a desperate Nation with hope that the Red Sox can overtake the Yankees at Fenway this weekend and win the American League East."

BTM 2: "The game can kill you and it can also bring you back to life. Fenway was alive at 10:31 last night when Ortiz did it again and this weekend we await the next indelible memory -- the tragic or magic moment that folks will be talking about 50 years from now."

Dan then turns his spew onto the rest of baseball, for while it's OK for him to mail it in, God forbid anyone else look after their own best interests first. "The White Sox won the Central early in the day, giving them no incentive for their final three against the Indians, a prospect that threatens the Red Sox." (Never mind that Ozzie Guillen has stated that for the integrity of the game the ChiSox will go full bore this weekend.)

And then there's this nugget: "And the Yankees won for the 15th time in 18 tries, beating the shameless Orioles one last time. Kenesaw Mountain Landis would have sanctioned those quitters from Baltimore." Hmmm...those "quitters" put up 17 runs on the Yanks on Tuesday, then lost a 2-1 squeaker on Wednesday. Something about the overmatched O's running into a chainsaw seems to have escaped Dan here.

And of course, what would a piece-de-Shaughn be without the obligatory personal shot, this time at Bill Belichick: "Unfortunately, trying to figure out who will play who, and where, is tougher than diagramming a Faulkner sentence or getting an interesting quote from Bill Belichick."

Ouch. Seems No. 2 has been long missing from No. 1's life. So has a brain. Just saying.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Dan Blows Brady

Today our man uses one his favorite literary conventions (is it OK to say "Dan Shaughnessy" and "literary" in the same sentence?): comparing superstars in one sport to those in another. In his gush over Tom Brady, he likens the Pats QB to Larry Bird and Bobby Orr. Now I never watched Orr -- I was both too young and too Midwestern -- but I read a lot about him. He came to the Bruins as savior savant; hard to say the same vision was had for Brady, a 6th round pick who collected splinters on the bench for a season-plus until Bledsoe went down. And Larry was much the same as Orr; expectations rode as high as his 6'9 frame. Even that first Super Bowl season, Brady was asked to do little more than protect the ball.

Now there's no doubt Brady is an outstanding QB. Last time I checked, however, hockey and basketball players still played two ways -- offense and defense -- and both sports field far less players on their respective fields at a given time, which magnifies the effect any single player can have. Meanwhile, Tom Terrific is only on the field about 50% of the game, if that, doesn't play defense, doesn't play special teams, yada yada yada. So is comparing a football player to those in other sports perhaps a bit of a stretch? Yeeesssss.

Back to today's column. Doubtlessly there were those who were thinking that since Dan was covering the Pats today, he might actually write a piece sans a shot at the Red Sox (as in "first place Red Sox"). Wrong! Today's column contains this toss off line: "Come to think of it, can Terry Francona borrow Brady and use him out of the bullpen this week?"

Did I mention that the Red Sox are in first place?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Washed Out

No column today. Patience, grasshopper. Genius only comes three times a week.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

So I'm Not the Only One

A legion of Sox fans share their derision for Shaughnessy, whom they affectionately (sic) refer to as the CHB (Curly Haired Boyfriend*).

And a former Globe intern shares his first encounter with Sweet Dan o' Mine.

(*Thanks for the correction!)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Dan Shaughnessy: Suckiest Suck Who Ever Sucked?

Not sure where this beautiful little comic came from, but it sums up our man just perfectly.