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?