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.