Thursday, November 16, 2006
His problem with facts:
*“The Red Sox just spent $51.1 million for the right to negotiate with a player.” Wrong. The Red Sox didn’t spend anything to negotiate with him. They pay only if he signs. Try reading Nick Carfado, Dan-o.
*“One year later, the Contreras contretemps was followed by the Alex Rodriguez Valentine's Day fiasco.” Since that “fiasco,” the Red Sox have been to the playoffs twice and won a World Series – one more than A-Rod’s Yankees.
His incoherent babble:
*He complains about the dollar figures tossed around, but then acknowledges that its the right move. "The figures are absolutely staggering." ... "We will resist the temptation here to trace Contreras's disappointing career with the Yankees and wonder if that fate could find Matsuzaka." ... "[T]he urgency is back on Yawkey Way and this can only be a good thing ... "
*“That would send the Dice Man (D-Mat? We badly need a nickname for this guy) …” Why? Because Dan finds it hard to pronounce anything more complicated than Whitey MacPaddy.
His failing memory:
*“The 2006 Red Sox suffered an unspeakable spate of injuries, but their dysfunctional roster was woefully equipped for land mines encountered in the second half of the season.” Let's recall what Shaughnessy wrote on April 3, 2006: “[T]hese 2006 Red Sox are a new-look team, stressing defense, pitching, and boredom … the Idiot culture is gone and has been replaced by an organizational professionalism that would make Boss Steinbrenner proud.
*On that same day, he also predicted the Sox would win the AL East: “[M]any experts … dismiss the Red Sox as a noncontender and perhaps a third-place team in the vaunted American League East. … That opinion is not shared here. … It says here this is the year the Red Sox finally vault over the Yankees and win the AL East outright for the first time since 1995 (ah, the Kevin Kennedy years).” Dan, get thee to a neurologist.
"Boston's sad, sloppy September was little more than extended spring training (at whopping big league prices)." Right, like the Boston Globe cuts subscription prices every time they have a layoff.
Tuck this away. The CHB writes, “A Red Sox starting rotation of Matsuzaka, Jonathan Papelbon, Josh Beckett, Curt Schilling, and Tim Wakefield looks pretty good.” Let’s remember this when, in the midst of a three-game losing streak in June, The CHB spends a good 40 inches of column space bitching about how the Sox management should have known better than to bet the season on a rotation made up primarily of guys who had either never started in the majors or are old enough to be dead.
And a quick farewell. It’s nonsense like this that a little more than a year ago spurred me to launch this column. All good things end, however, and this is one. I am officially retiring this site. Thanks to everyone who read and commented, especially Jenny, who carried this place for the past several months.
Maybe we’ll get lucky and Dan will realize it’s time for him to go too.
Hey, we can wish, right?
Thursday, November 09, 2006
What was most annoying about NBC's telecast of the Patriots and Colts last Sunday night? Was it John Madden's incessant references to "wham" blocks, or those John Mellencamp Silverado commercials? A close third would be the beer ads with Dick Vermeil and Bill Walsh at pretend press conferences.I actually identify with this particular rant. I think the John Cougar Mellencamp commercials were hands-down the worst part of Sunday night, because they had me wishing for political ads. I don't know a single person who likes those commercials. The Coors Light commercials with Dick Vermeil and Bill Walsh were obnoxious for their terrible editing. And what is a "wham" block? I must have missed the explanation amid all the inane blathering that usually comes out of Madden's mouth. The good news is, he's lost more than most people had to begin with, but the bad news is, he's lost a LOT.
Why do I get the feeling that Dustin Pedroia, through no fault of his own, is destined to become the line in the sand in Fort Myers next spring? Theo Epstein and the minions love the little guy. Longtime scouts, people who wear baseball uniforms, and most fans are not convinced. This will be interesting.Look! It's another "Theo Epstein and his little weenie friends are a bunch of dorks who don't know anything about baseball and should just go home and play World of Warcraft because they're so tethered to their iMacs" rant! And the statement about the scouting opinion of Pedroia is misleading. Just because they are not convinced doesn't mean Pedroia can't be good. Most scouts are not convinced about anybody, because drafting in baseball is a notoriously inexact science. I have seen good things about Pedroia. How about this little thing called "wait and see," Dan? He can't be worse than the Singles-Hitting Statue, otherwise known as Mark Lorettta.
Please, tell us the 2006 Patriots aren't going to wind up like the 2006 Red Sox.This is followed by a bunch of asinine analysis attempting to compare baseball to football and Rodney Harrison to Jason Varitek. You came to this conclusion after a loss to the best team in football, Dan? Do continue.
There are already as many Bryant 24s as Bryant 8s at Staples Center. Personally, I think he did it to honor Manny Ramírez.*vomits*
The Boston Garden's new video board is terrific, but something has to be done about the sound system on Causeway Street. It's muffled in many parts of the building and we're missing some good stuff when people speak.Wow. I think we may have just found one of the only reasonable lines in the entire article. Somebody fix that sound system! Really. I'm serious.
"The 1980s happened, too"? What is that supposed to mean? The 1985-86 Celtics had eight white players and four black players. They also went 40-1 at home, won the championship easily, and may have been the best NBA team in history. Oh, then the team was picked by a black head coach, K.C. Jones -- hired by Red. Enough of the high-brow criticism. With Red, it was about talent, not color. And that's exactly why Auerbach was every bit a "crusading barrier crasher." He went with the best players when nobody else would. No need to apologize for going with the best players in the 1980s.I think we may have also just found the only man in Boston Dan will defend to the hilt. This is actually a very solid analysis. I'm a little surprised he left out Len Bias, though. It would seem to further his point, however tragically.
It's weird to see that TV spot featuring athletes at home. Nomar Garciaparra and Mia Hamm? Aren't these the all-time privacy buffs? And now they're showing off their crib, Deion Sanders style?If you're going to be random with this column, I guess you have to go the whole way, because I don't really know why this is in here. How about remarking on Nomar swinging that giant knife like a baseball bat to cut the lemon, Dan? It makes me nervous every time. I'm sure you could make some insulting remark about it.
Bob Lobel reports that Bill Belichick's postgame press conference late Sunday was a true walkoff moment. "It was a walkoff press conference," observed Lobel. "The coach walked off in mid-answer!"Irrelevant tangent: I firmly believe Bob Lobel is insane, and I also believe he is drunk on camera for a good portion of the time. His post-2004 World Series interviews gave me the impression that he had been consuming liberally during the game and was, by that point, completely trashed. This made for a very hilarious interview of a decidedly sober John Henry, and a very hilarious interview of a tipsy Theo who, while instructing the fans in Boston to "celebrate responsibly," waved his can of beer in the camera and chugged it while Lobel was asking him the next question. Great moment.
Bet Tony La Russa shows up at a Patriots game this year. In the history of baseball managers, only Connie Mack and John McGraw won more games than La Russa.I think Dan likes Tony La Russa.
Still trying to figure out what Dave Wallace and Ron Jackson did wrong? Same here. Two of the most decent men who ever wore Boston uniforms. Jackson was replaced by Dave Magadan, who may be a fine hitting instructor, but most hitting coaches are hired by the manager, not the general manager.I'm going to go ahead and say they were asked to leave because a) Wallace is reportedly no good at working with younger pitchers, and b) Ron Jackson apparently has problems with analyzing swings, which is important for a hitting coach. I don't know how you can separate the quality of offense the last few years from the hitting coach. I'm going to say the offense was pretty good by itself just because the players were good, but go ahead and think it was Ron Jackson, Dan! And by all means, credit Dave Wallace for how good Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling are. As far as said coaches being hired by the manager and not the general manager, I don't think this is true, but I do appreciate that you're just trying to tell us that Theo is a meddling little busybody and you hate him.
So is it the XXL part we have a problem with, the Schilling part, or the jersey part? Are fans now not allowed to wear jerseys and idolize players because *gasp* sports has little bearing on real life? Where ever did you come up with that philosophical gem, Dan?
"Blah blah yadda yadda . . . If I wanted to be an ass, I would ask if it really makes sense for a middle-aged man to be awed by a younger man who happens to be really good at putting a ball through a hole suspended 10 feet above the ground." (Paul Shirley)
Just something to ponder next time you button up your XXL Schilling jersey.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
It's actually pretty good. It's a nice tribute, and it trucks along nicely for several paragraphs, until we hit this bit:
There he is, injecting himself into the middle of a story again. What's even stranger is that this story is about him injecting himself into the middle of something he shouldn't be, the NBA meetings. "Here's a random segment about how I interrupted Red Auerbach and made him look at my cute baby! Oh, and did you know I'm so special that Red gave me cigars?" I also love his flippant remark about "company violations." Is this the same daughter who got an internship thanks to Daddy doing some leaning on Tom Werner in violation of every existing standard of journalistic ethics?
In 1984, I brought my young wife and infant daughter to the NBA meetings in Salt Lake City. Red had given me a box of cigars when our daughter was born (probably a company violation to accept them, but hopefully the statute of limitations on graft has expired) and I was anxious to have him take a look at our 6-week-old baby. Red took one look at little Sarah, blew some smoke past my wife's head, and said, "Lady, you got a lot of balls bringing that baby all the way out here. Yes, sir, a lot of balls."
It took a while to explain to my wife that this was Red's highest form of praise.
Modern laws be damned, the Celtics should hand out cigars at the Garden opening night. After the anthem, before the opening tap, turn out the lights and let everybody light up a Hoyo de Monterrey. It'll smell like victory.This is actually kind of a nice idea for a tribute. I'm merely confused as to what he's referring to when he talks about "modern laws." Laws about smoking indoors? Okay, sure, that's modern. I can buy that. How about the law prohibiting the importation of Hoyo de Monterrey cigars? That has been illegal since September 4, 1961, when Congress passed the Foreign Assistance Act instituting a trade embargo against Cuba. Not exactly modern.
All in all, not a bad tribute, though.
Monday, October 23, 2006
But no, that is not the purpose of today's column. Today, Dan has discovered an essential truth of life:
A) Playoff baseball is played in October.
B) In many northern cities, it tends to get kind of cold in October.
C) Therefore, playoff baseball is kind of cold.
For Dan and others who may be interested, here is a basic scientific explanation of what causes the seasons on the NOAA website, and thus, why it is cold in Detroit in October, when playoff baseball is played.
I'm betting Dan got the idea for this column when he became chilled during the brief walk from the hotel lobby to his taxi. "Gee, it's cold! I'll write a column about how cold it is." And today's effort was born.
Despite perhaps ten paragraphs of complaining, no solution to the problem of this cold, if it really is a problem, is ever proposed. Do we shorten the season? Spend billions of dollars to make all stadiums enclosed and with climate control? Learn to deal with nature as humans have been doing for thousands of years? So many options!
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Saturday, October 21, 2006
There's no computer on his desk. Jim Leyland doesn't spend a lot of time looking at spreadsheets and percentages. He is not a numbers cruncher and he probably wouldn't last long in a room with Bill James, Billy Beane, and Theo Epstein.If this article doesn't show up on Fire Joe Morgan sometime in the next day or two, I'll think those guys have fallen asleep at the switch. This is the kind of stuff they live for. "Jim Leyland doesn't like numbers! Computers are evil! He's nothing like those stathead dorks Billy Beane and Theo Epstein, who actually know how to turn on a computer and operate Microsoft Excel! What a waste of time!"
I have no problem with the fact that Leyland isn't a stats guy. He's a successful manager who's gotten more public compliments from his players in the last few days than I can remember any other manager getting. And, to use what seems to be a favorite expression of the Red Sox FO, "there's more than one way to skin a cat."
What I do have a problem with is Dan's derisive tone. He's probably been saving that snarky line since the A's were eliminated. I'm surprised he managed to restrain himself until today.
He'd be gone even quicker if they were gathered in a non-smoking room. Leyland's got to have his Marlboros.Time for me to climb up on my soap box. There is nothing folksy and charming about chain smoking, Dan, so stop writing about it as if it's some kind of running joke. I keep seeing this line about Marlboros in pretty much every article about Leyland, and I don't know why the media is treating it as if it's something really cute and quirky. Chain smoking is a sad and disgusting addiction. Leyland's need to constantly smoke is not only terrible for his own health, but is polluting the air around him and putting others at risk. I'm sure that in this hypothetical meeting Dan speaks of, Theo and the two Bills would be quite grateful if Leyland takes his Marlboros elsewhere so they don't get cancer from the secondhand smoke.
End of sanctimonious nitpick. Back to the article.
He doesn't have a Francona bone in his body. He's a manager, not a baby sitter. If Manny Ramírez quit on him, he'd call him out. Or he'd quit himself.I know exactly where this dislike of Francona came from: it's a nasty comment Tito made about Dan in Seth Mnookin's book in which he told Dan he'd lost all respect for him. You and me both, Tito, although I don't know if I ever had any respect to lose in the first place.
Also, once again, Dan makes insulting generalizations without all the facts. How does he have any idea what the dynamic between Francona and the players is? Does he really think Francona is a glorified baby-sitter? And what is this assumption that Manny quit on people? I keep seeing this thrown around (mostly in the Globe, it's important to note) and I haven't seen a single shred of substantive proof for any of it.
He's a little uncomfortable in the eye of the storm. Earlier in the week, when the Tigers were waiting for the Cardinals and Mets to finish their National League Championship Series, Leyland said, "I don't photograph very well. I'm tired of everybody saying I'm craggy, Marlboro man and all that [expletive]. My wife thinks I'm good-looking. When I look in the mirror, I think I look a lot younger than in my pictures [he's 61]. You guys are doing a horse-[expletive] job."This is a great quote. Especially the last sentence.
He's had the golden touch throughout this postseason. Rookie pitchers in big games? No problem. Alexis Gomez as DH? The guy hit a homer and knocked in four runs. Pulling a starter in the middle of a count? Tough toenails. This isn't about tiptoeing around egos of big-league ballplayers.Another indirect shot at Manny and Francona. I'm already dreading the end of the World Series, when the offseason really kicks into high gear and we're forced to read pages upon pages of pure speculation as to what teams are going to do because the media really has no clue. I can already see what the theme of the Globe coverage is going to be.
It was a high school moment on a big-league stage, rare in this cynical century.The phrase "cynical century" as uttered by Dan Shaughnessy is so ironic it's making me nauseous.
His Tigers swept the Cardinals in three games in June, outscoring the Redbirds, 21-13. Naturally, he says that means nothing.It doesn't. It's called a "small sample size." It means "this data set is not good to use in predicting future outcomes, because it could be the product of random chance." Perhaps that's too geeky, though.
Leyland's brother, Tom, is a Catholic priest. His wife, Katie, is well versed in Red Sox lore. His teenage daughter, Kellie, toured Boston College when the Tigers played at Fenway in August and Leyland might be at The Heights for parents weekend in a few years. But right now there's a World Series to be won for a town that deserves something good.First of all, where's the mention of this son that was brought up a few paragraphs ago? You know, the one whose baseball team Leyland used to coach? And second, what in the world does the last sentence of the paragraph have to do with the first three?
At this hour, Jim Leyland and the 2006 Tigers are the best story in baseball.Yeah, they are, and I'm rooting for them tonight. But I'm tired of hearing about what a great story they are. Last year, Ozzie Guillen and the White Sox were a great story. The year before that, the "cursed" Red Sox were everybody's favorite. The year before that. . .okay, you get my point.
Friday, October 13, 2006
I was shelling peanuts and hardly paying attention as Tony La Russa delivered a rambling answer to a pregame question regarding the expanded format of today's baseball playoffs.We learn two things from this line. First, Dan doesn't listen to his interview subjects. This should hardly surprise anyone, since he misquotes them and takes them out of context so often. Second, he appears not to like Tony La Russa. Add another successful well-known figure to the list of people Dan doesn't like. Anyone see a pattern developing here? How snobby of you, Dan. Why would you brag that you don't listen when other people are talking? That's appallingly rude, especially for a guy who's PAID to listen.
(For the record, I don't like Tony La Russa, either. He's whiny and he wears sunglasses in the dark. That bothers me, and I'm not joking. Plus he tends to throw his injured players under the bus. See Rolen, Scott and Edmonds, Jim.)
Whoa. It is what it is. That got my attention. Brought me back to Gillette Stadium. It is what it is is the ultimate Bill Belichick phrase. When Belichick is rightfully honored with his image on a silver dollar, It is what it is will replace E Pluribus Unum. It is the mantra of the Church of Belichick. It explains everything and it explains nothing (try it out on your wife or boss next time you're in trouble), which makes it the perfect Belichick answer."Image on a silver dollar?" "Church of Belichick?" I don't even know what to do with this paragraph, that is how awful it is. Seriously, Dan, what is your problem with Belichick? He's not good for soundbites? His sense of fashion offends you? He's, I don't know, smart and successful, sort of like Theo Epstein? Cut the sarcastic deification before I throw up. It's a tired act and nobody's actually absorbing any of your point of view. Of course, maybe that's why you keep trying to beat us all over the head with it.
Standing behind the batting cage, the two gods of game-calling talked for a solid hour while the Cardinals took batting practice. Had they been joined by pompous Phil Jackson, we'd have had a sports Yalta -- the greatest collection of coaching geniuses ever assembled -- with the obvious exception of anyplace Red Auerbach ever went.For the record, "pompous" Phil Jackson is not on the same level as Belichick and Auerbach. I don't think La Russa really is, either, but I guess that's debatable.
Also, "sports Yalta?" I guess I'm more insulting the readership here, but I'd bet a significant amount of money that the percentage of readers who know what the Yalta conference was and who was there is below 40.
(It was a 1945 conference between FDR, Stalin, and Churchill where they agreed upon how to deal with Nazi Germany after its surrender and Stalin agreed to help the US in Japan after the war in Europe was over, by the way.)
Belichick acknowledges knowing little about baseball.Yeah, and I'd bet another significant amount of money that Belichick's slight knowledge of baseball is a lot more than other people's slight knowledge of baseball.
Belichick wore a La Russa jersey to his press conference Tuesday at Gillette Stadium. He looked like one of those 54-year-old goobers you see wearing Curt Schilling shirts to Fenway.Ladies and gentlemen, Dan Shaughnessy. So verbose and creative that he resorts to calling people "goobers." Are you kidding me, Dan? And what in the world is wrong with 54-year-old men wearing Schilling jerseys? At what arbitrary point does that start to offend you? I have a Big Papi t-shirt, is that also gooberish? Grow up. "Goobers?" Seriously.
The Patriots coach gave up baseball for lacrosse at an early age. He's got square eyes from watching so much football film, which leaves little time for baseball viewing.I don't even know what the last sentence means. "Square eyes?" Huh? I'll assume it's an insult, since it usually is.
``I really don't understand it that well," he said after his hour with the Cardinals hardball master. ``I was in the dugout with him in spring training and I couldn't believe how much was involved. He calls every pitch. Every pitch! He's involved with the pitcher stepping off the rubber and moving guys in the outfield, figuring out whether they're going to steal, whether they're going to squeeze. It was fascinating."Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Tony La Russa is the exception here, not the rule. Most managers let their catchers call the majority of the pitches, and the pitcher decides whether he wants to step off the rubber. This just furthers my impression that La Russa is a whiny, micro-managing control freak, but perhaps I'm biased.
Whatever you say, Coach. I mean . . . it is what it is.This column is a piece of rubbish. I mean. . .it is what it is.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
It's ironic, though, don't you think? Why does Dan continually write columns indirectly complaining about the media? You ARE the media, Dan, in case you hadn't noticed. You've committed every sin you rail about.
Here is the column, in a nutshell: "A plane crashed into a building. The news got all frantic and treated it like terrorism. It turned out to be Cory Lidle. The story deflated."
Suddenly, a lot of television watchers switched from CNN to ESPN. The international news story was becoming a sad sports story.ESPN was the last station I thought of turning to. I had CNN Headline on all afternoon. Why would I want to listen to Steve Phillips talk about this?
And why isn't this still an international news story? A plane flew into the side of a building. Yes, it was a known athlete piloting it, but it was still a plane crashing into a building. That shouldn't happen. What went wrong? This doesn't have to be a sports story.
I don't want to pick at this too badly because of the nature of the subject matter. There's really nothing tasteless in here except for the fact that he's Dan Shaughnessy and therefore everything is inherently tasteless.
Thoughts and prayers go out to the Lidle family and the families of the flight instructor and the injured firefighters. A horrible, random tragedy.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
"Now every team has a handler who is there to limit everything we do," says Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, who began covering professional baseball in the 1970s. "It's a stupid game we have to play. Every day, our access is shrinking."
"It's preposterous," Shaughnessy says. "The self-importance today is off the charts."
Actually, the irony is off the charts. He could be talking about himself. And if reporters' access is shrinking, so-called writers like Shaughnessy who exist solely to do hatchet jobs on athletes deserve nothing more.
We got to watch a $200 million choke job. Every year it's more expensive. And every year, it's the same result.
Dan, as you all knew he would, chimes in this morning. Not much here, folks. Well, okay, there's this:
But today we come to celebrate the colossal flop of the 2006 Pinstripes.Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Dan spend much of the last 6 weeks saying how stupid the Red Sox were and how they should be more like the Yankees, who were probably going to go all the way? Hmmm. Now it turns out their net advantage was exactly 4 extra games, for a nice sum of $80 million. We sucked, too, and we did it for less!
Red Sox fans are still licking their wounds from the five-game disgrace at Fenway Park in August, but if you love to hate the Yankees, it doesn't get any better than what went down the last three days in New York and Detroit.Anybody here still bemoaning that series? Honestly, I got over it weeks ago. Maybe I'm the only one.
Brian Cashman has to trade him now (assuming A-Rod waives his no-trade, and why wouldn't he?).I keep seeing this, and I don't buy it. Torre batted him 8th, sure, but there's news that Torre may be fired. Why does Cashman have to trade him? Until November, he's the reigning AL MVP. And with Texas picking up no small portion of his salary, he's not exactly a huge hit to the Yankee checkbook, no more so than any of the other overpaid geezers they have on that team.
As a side note, I think the expression on Brian Cashman's face as he watched from the box seats yesterday is now my new favorite expression, narrowly edging out the "deer in the headlights" look Peyton Manning gets during playoff games.
The numbers are numbing. Six straight years of playoff failure. A $200 million payroll going home after only one round. It should make some of you smile to realize that since the end of the 2000 season, George Steinbrenner has spent $1.2 billion in player salaries (plus luxury taxes) and he's 0 for 6 in championships. The Yankees were 3-1 favorites to beat the Tigers in the first round, then got swept three straight after winning the first game.I printed this because it makes me laugh. It's all right there in front of you. The Yankees, ladies and gentlemen. $1.2 billion and 0 for 6. Keep doing what you're doing, George!
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Yesterday's column on Derek Jeter featured a strange sidetrack on Nomar Garciaparra. Today's piece, which had more to do with commuting and Red Sox past than baseball present, mentioned no less than seven former Boston employees. In order:
* Derek Lowe
* Grady Little
* Bill Mueller
* Dave Jauss
* Nomar Garciaparra
* Dennis Eckersley
* Lowe (again)
* Cliff Floyd
* Nomar (again)
* Nomar (again) .
The CHB also managed to work in references to the Red Sox World Series' teams of 1946 and 1967, Fenway Park and the CITGO sign.
Meet the new CHB. Same as the old CHB.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
It's been more than two years since "Nomie" was the regular Red Sox SS, yet The CHB recalls those happy times like they were yesterday -- and never forgets to mention how Garciaparra watched while Jeter carelessly threw himself into the Boston stands chasing a popup.
"That was the play that ultimately made Boston realize that Nomar Garciaparra (he was sulking on the bench when Jeter put himself in the hospital) had to go," asserts The CHB. Revisionist history aside, that would be the same Garciaparra who finished in the top 11 of the MVP race six times; the same Garciaparra who was hitting .321 and slugging .500 when he was traded; the same Garciaparra who was clearly hurt that season (he was on the DL three times all told) and has spent a career fighting injuries both major and nagging; the same Garciaparra about whom Nick Carfado presciently wrote in June 2004:
Nomar Garciaparra just wants to play. Boston's All-Star shortstop is tired of the stories -- some new, others that have been around for years -- that always seem to crop up when his name is mentioned.Overall, it's quintessential CHB, overrating the significance of a single game in order to back up a dubious hypothesis. Who's next up for the CHB Love Machine? Brian Doyle?
Some of those tales include whether Garciaparra purposely delayed his return from a recent Achilles' injury as a message to management, either in response to not receiving a contract extension or lingering bitterness over the offseason pursuit of Alex Rodriguez. He's tired of people speculating about property he's thinking of buying or selling.
Monday, October 02, 2006
In other words, same poo, different day.
Apparently, Cincinnati is nice this time of year, because he chose to completely flip-flop on his stance from last week and start being positive about the Patriots again. With a 38-13 victory, that's not so hard, is it, Dan? Sort of like the guy who only believes in God when it's sunny and 75 out.
National television commentators talked about it. Scribes wrote about it. Fans looked at the game films after the Denver debacle and dissected Brady's every gesture. Nonstop nuance. Forget about body surfing, body painting, body politic, body by BALCO, and Jesse ``The Body" Ventura -- we were immersed in Brady's body language.You know, I keep hearing about what a good writer Shaughnessy is, even if the content is sometimes bothersome, but I really don't see it. The metaphors and allusions to pop culture are awkward and forced. The parallel structure isn't parallel. The diction is lazy. It's like he doesn't even try.
I was about to say that those reporters asked him one of the silliest questions I've heard in awhile, but I think that award goes to Brady's dad. Congratulations, sir!
``How's your body language now?" we asked him.
``The word of the week, right there," he said with a grin. ``Even my dad was like, `Tell me about your body language', and I'm like, `Are you kidding me? Dad, not you, too!' I think instead of talking about concentrating on how you're walking or all that, I think worrying about how I'm passing the ball and how we're executing and converting on third down and converting in the red zone -- I think that's the reason why we won the game."
At the same time there were multiple theories on Brady's sub-par performance: He wasn't getting the help he needed. He was frustrated because the Patriots let his top two receivers go. He was upset because he took less dough to stay in New England and management wasn't holding up its end. He was injured. His receivers were running the wrong routes. He couldn't remember what he was doing after popping an Ambien. On and on it went.Uh, the first three theories are the exact same theory written three different ways, Dan. Simply put, "he didn't have the personnel and was frustrated about it." But I guess you have to get to a certain word count.
And what's up with the Ambien theory? Is it just random rubbish or is it a joke about Terrell Owens? How funny! Not.
Turns out he was right. The Patriots yesterday were firing on all cylinders.Hear that? That's the sound of Dan vomiting on his keyboard as he types this compliment.
Indeed, Patriots fans have come to expect to see Bill Belichick outsmart the other team, and that's what we saw yesterday.Anyone know the Heimlich? I think he's choking! He just had to say something nice about Belichick!
His only interception came on a ball tipped by Doug Gabriel, who looked remarkably like Wily Mo Peña running back on a long fly ball in Fenway's right field.Ah, there it is. Heaven forbid we get through a football column without a cheap shot at the baseball team.
I guess we'll get the Red Sox post-mortem tomorrow. I've set the over/unders as follows:
- bad song lyrics: 2
- references to "young Theo": 5
- references to "minions": 3
- "Manny being Manny" insults: 2
- gorilla jokes: 2
- Casablanca references: 1
- incorrect/misleading statistics: 8
- rational, measured responses to the season: 0
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Well, I didn't anticipate Dan doing a column on it, so I take it all back. It got worse this morning with this insensitive pile of rubbish. I'm sort of speechless right now--that's how bothered I am by this piece. But let's carry on anyway:
First of all, the title is incredibly offensive. "We snapped to attention?" "Attention seeker Owens was given some more?" This makes me wonder what Dan would have said if it had actually turned out to be a suicide attempt. You know what, Dan? People who try suicide usually ARE seeking attention, and you know what? You'd better give them exactly what they want without judgment or resentment, because otherwise they have a tendency to wind up dead. I've spent 2+ hours on the phone talking someone out of it in the middle of the night before, and I have three friends with suicide attempts on their records, so I'm not just spouting Dr. Phil here. It doesn't matter to me that T.O. himself apparently didn't try suicide; it's the principle of the thing.
So there you have it. A new low in TV tabloid journalism. James Frey is reportedly already at work on events of the day.If you plug "Dan Shaughnessy" into this sentence in place of "James Frey," the sentence still has exactly the same meaning! How funny!
It is hard to believe, isn't it? Which is why I don't think anybody, in their heart of hearts (Dan probably doesn't understand this concept), believes that. And why would the Dallas police release the 911 call? It's an invasion of privacy.
We're never going to know the real story, of course. Only Owens really knows what happened. We know he loves attention. But it's hard to believe he would stoop to these depths just to make himself a bigger story. The tape of Etheredge's 911 call might shed more light on this and you can be sure the Dallas and Philadelphia media will produce said audio within a few hours.
But why do we care?
Also, we care because anybody who doesn't care when a public figure or anyone else allegedly tries to kill himself has something wrong with them. If this was a story about Tom Brady attempting suicide, Dan, you'd be singing a different tune. If it was about Theo Epstein, you'd be laughing and jumping for joy.*
First of all, yes, they will, because it'll be a good football game if nothing else. Second of all, I don't know what to make of the first paragraph. He spends much of the column ripping T.O. and indirectly listing reasons we should doubt his story, then says we shouldn't doubt it? Yeah, okay. Just Dan being Dan, I guess. I give up.
But he does not seem to be a liar and there is really no reason to doubt his story from the strange Tuesday night. In the end, Terrell Owens is an entertainer, not that much different from Paris Hilton, Tom Cruise, or Mel Gibson. He is flawed, just like the rest of us. He needs attention and we provide. Never more than yesterday.
The Cowboys play at Philadelphia Oct. 8. Think anyone will be watching that one?
*Note: I don't actually mean that. He's not THAT awful.
Monday, September 25, 2006
In this column, Dan communicates the urgent message that he thinks Belichick is an arrogant snot.
The Patriots dominate the rest of the NFL but stubborn Mike Shanahan simply won't sign on to the theory that he's supposed to lose because the New England organization is smarter and better-prepared.This "smarter and better-prepared" rubbish is media hype, Dan. You are the media. You could stop perpetuating it, but that would also prevent you from unloading on Belichick, so I guess that's not actually a viable option.
It proves only that arrogant attrition can catch up with any organization. Sometimes it's actually the team with the better players that wins.Arrogant attrition, huh? I can see the theme of this column: Bill Belichick is arrogant. Guess what: if anyone has a reason to be, it's him. When did you start channeling Ron Borges? One of each of you is too much.
There was more booing at Gillette Stadium and the Patriots truly look like a team in distress, but we'd do well to remember that New England's 2003 Super Bowl champs were pancaked by Buffalo, 31-0, in September.Anybody who boos the Patriots 3 games into the season after all the success they've brought to the city is too stupid and ungrateful to be allowed to be a fan. Go back to your basements, guys. Mean? Yes. But these people really irritate me. It's like they're taking their Red Sox frustrations out on the football team or something.
All in all, not a great show. The game was scheduled to be broadcast early this morning in Beijing and one could easily see why several million Chinese might not give a damn. Given this sample of American football, new viewers in Asia might prefer something more along the lines of a Jerry Lewis Film Festival.First of all, they might not give a damn because, as you said, it's early in the morning there and they all have to go to work. Of course, they might actually give a damn because the vast majority of stuff on Chinese state television is absolutely horrendous. It makes tonight's game look like the premiere of "The Godfather."
Not to be confused with the Scorpion Bowl at the Kowloon off Route 1, the China Bowl will be played in Beijing's Workers Stadium, the site of the soccer competition for the XXIX Olympics. You'll have to rise at 8:30 a.m. to catch the Patriots and Seahawks in what could be a rematch of Super Bowl XLI.What a funny joke! Oh, wait, no it wasn't. This sounds vaguely racist to me, too, but perhaps I'm too cynical.
Also, getting up at 8:30? What a burden. Sigh.
It's hard to believe Coach Bill could be thrilled with the decision to fly halfway around the world during the Patriots' preseason. The vaunted New York Yankees spent two months complaining about jet lag after they opened their 2004 regular season in Japan.Yes, because these situations and sports are so incredibly comparable! Baseball vs. football, regular season vs. preseason, rigorous schedule vs. one game a week, etc. Extremely comparable!
Mike Mussina still hasn't recovered.OK, this is funny.
No word yet on whether Bob Kraft plans to show off a championship ring to Chinese president Hu Jintao, but the government officials no doubt will applaud Belichick's crackdown on free speech in the Patriot locker room.He isn't seriously comparing Belichick's taciturn demeanor with the Chinese Communist Party, is he? What a horrendous comparison. Why don't we compare their roster management with the Tian'anmen Square massacre? That would also be incredibly appropriate, sensitive, and rich in historical perspective.
Coach Bill was in boring overdrive after the spanking.Oh, I get it. He's arrogant AND he gives you bad soundbites! And he's successful! Just like Theo! I see the pattern here!
It gets tougher before it gets easier. Next week the Patriots go to Cincinnati to face the 3-0 Bengals. Coach Bill says they have to play better.What is the point of the last sentence other than to drive home the point that the columnist is really petty and immature?
Please leave the Patriot-bashing beat to your friend Ron Borges, Dan. I can't take this. If we put the two of you together, we'd have the worst football columnist on the planet. Has Borges apologized for criticizing the Richard Seymour draft pick yet?
Sunday, September 24, 2006
This column is horrendous. There's not really much else to say. It is as bad as anything Shaughnessy has ever written about Manny, although (I can't believe I'm saying this) it's less subtle. Just a terrible, terrible article.
In the middle, we get this gem:
While the Red Sox crumbled when Ramírez went on hiatus -- last night was the 22d game out of 30 Ramírez has missed since taking himself out of the last game of the Yankee massacre Aug. 21, during which he has been paid $1.918 million (calculated on his base salary of $15 million this season) -- he had the audacity this week, through agent Greg Genske, to reiterate to the Red Sox his desire to be traded this winter.First of all, there is every reason in the world to doubt this phrase (remember Gordon's brilliant article last winter, the one entitled "Epstein signs three-year contract?"). Second of all, I can't believe we have to go through this again. 6 more months of anti-Manny columns and baseless speculation about this enigmatic player is enough to make me wish Theo would quit again just so there's something else to write about. I'm dreading the offseason.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
So the point here is that you like their system, Dan? OK, I can see that it's working. Guess what? The Red sox are trying to implement pretty much the same system save the emphasis on small ball. Yet you keep tearing them a new one. Do you not see the parallels here, Dan? Or are you too busy ignoring everything Theo says because you're trying to think of more ways to discredit him? I'd bet on that.
When will we learn? The Twins have a system. The fundamentals apply. They cultivate pitchers who throw strikes and fielders who catch the ball. They get runners on base, move them over, and drive them home.Theo has been trying to do this practically since he got here, Dan. And I think every system in baseball tries to teach fundamentals. What you describe is, simply, playing baseball. It's not revolutionary. Also, their system? It tried to turn David Ortiz into a slap hitter. It's directly responsible for one of the weakest offenses in the majors over the last 4 years. But of course let's ignore that.
They play in the image of the people who live in the Twin Cities. They are honest and hard-working and they give you a lot for your money.Ah, stereotyping! Two can play that game. I live near the Twin Cities right now, and let me tell you, there are just as many weirdos and dishonest people here as anywhere else, they're just not as diverse.
Amazing. It is Sept. 20, and the Red Sox have been done for more than three weeks while the Twins are winning with rookie pitchers and talented faces with no names.Hmm. I think there was a three-week period in there where I didn't recognize half the guys on the field for the Sox at any given time. Who's in our rotation? A bunch of no-names. Hmm.
The Twins are 50-24 at home this year, including a 3-0 record vs. your Boston Red Sox. Counting spring training, the Twins are 8-1 overall against your Red Sox. Boston's lone victory was a Grapefruit League contest, which was won only after the Twins had clinched the coveted Mayor's Cup.Why are we including spring training records? That's completely stupid. Spring training games have even less meaning than preseason football. Putting that in there serves no purpose except to baselessly make the team look bad. But when do we care about substance?
It's startling to examine how the fortunes of these two teams have changed after the Sox arrived in the Twin Cities June 12. The Red Sox were a first-place team back then and no one in New England dared make any plans for October.Really? And this is strange? I would call making plans for October in June, no matter what your record was at that time, jumping the gun by quite a bit and, if you believe in that sort of thing, jinxing yourself. But that's odd to you, Dan? Wow.
Minnesota's three-game sweep of the Sox triggered a four-month surge, and last night the Twins pulled within a half-game of the Tigers (even in the loss column).Right after that sweep, the Red Sox went on their 12-game winning streak. But we wouldn't want to mention that, because it would ruin the comparison.
Ryan is sort of the anti-Theo Epstein. He's bald, he's managed to stay out of the limelight, and he's been on something of a hot streak when it comes to deal-making since giving up a tad early on a young David Ortiz after the 2002 season.First of all, the treatment of David Ortiz by the Twins was one of the most stupid, inexcusable management moves of the last 10 years. Let's not treat this as a throwaway line at the end of a paragraph. That was a HUGE mistake. If the Twins hadn't been so stuck in their small-ball slap-hitter system and tried some different things, they might have had a genuinely great power hitter for cheap. But they gave up and let him go for nothing. It was a horrendous move. No one's saying they should have predicted what Ortiz would become, but they sure should have seen him as more than worthless. That alone knocks Terry Ryan's Genius-meter down a few notches.
Second (I did this backwards), let's look at the beginning of the paragraph. So Terry Ryan is the exact opposite of Theo because he is bald? Theo's twin brother will be interested to hear that. He might also be interested in examining the implication that his brother doesn't "manage to stay out of the limelight." Does Dan seriously think Theo is a media-whoring attention-seeker? That he WANTS to be in the limelight? Because that's the stupidest thing I've heard, and it sure sounds like that's what he's trying to imply in a backhanded way. Newsflash, Dan: Theo hates the media. This is incredibly well-documented. The media make his life a living hell. He can't go to the store and buy coffee without getting mobbed. He can't get his hair cut. He can't go to the bar with friends. He can't take his girlfriend to the movies. Basically, it is completely impossible for him to do any of the things that a normal guy his age likes to do, and yet you think he wants this when he has stated on several occasions that it makes his daily life horrendous? That's just ridiculous. Find something less obviously wrong to blame him for next time.
Ryan is the man who acquired closer Joe Nathan, starter Francisco Liriano, and starter Boof Bonser (young Mr. Bonser legally changed his name from John to Boof) for A.J. Pierzynski before the 2004 season.This was a great trade. And I'm more of the opinion that it was about Brian Sabean being a complete idiot who doesn't know the second thing about prospects than it was about Terry Ryan being a genius, but whatever.
Santana is going to win the Cy Young Award, but Minnesota lost Liriano last week when the 22-year-old lefthander reinjured his pitching elbow against Oakland.Santana's going to win the Cy Young? Can I borrow that crystal ball? I need to know how long it's going to take the maintenance people to fix our shower this morning. It's got no cold water and it's been scalding people, but they have to turn the water off to the whole house to fix it and it would be nice to know how long it'll take!
Oh, and they don't have any Mannys being Manny, either. There were no fewer than 20 Twins on the Fenway lawn at 2 p.m. yesterday, and not one player was on the bus when it left the team hotel for the ballpark at 4 p.m. Everybody was already at the park.It wouldn't be a CHB column without at least one denigration of Manny Ramirez. Ladies and gentlemen, Dan Shaughnessy! Exit to your left, recycle your programs at the door!
Monday, September 18, 2006
The '03 draft produced Rocco Baldelli, Mark Teixeira, Jose Reyes, Joe Mauer, Miguel Cabrera, Justin Morneau, Johan Santana, Travis Haffner, Hanley Ramirez, Rich Harden, Lastings Milledge, Brandon Wood, Nick Markakis, Chad Cordero, and Rickey Weeks."Does this paper employ editors? I really wonder. Look at that list again. First of all, Travis Hafner and Rickie Weeks' names are spelled wrong. Second of all, the only players on that list that were actually in the 2003 draft were Brandon Wood, Chad Cordero, Rickie Weeks, Lastings Milledge, and Nick Markakis. The remaining names are flat-out wrong (plus they left out Delmon Young and Conor Jackson). Some of those were international free agent signings and were never drafted. Johan Santana? Try 1995, not 2003. The idiocy of that line is mind-boggling. Did anyone bother to look this up? You can get this info on Baseball America in approximately 25 seconds.
I'm really at a loss here. Of course, the current online version of the article has been edited, so people who didn't see it earlier will never know exactly how stupid and careless the Globe was.
With garbage like this, is it any surprise that columns by the likes of Shaughnessy and Ron Borges continue to be front and center with this paper? If the Herald would improve the quality of their other sections, I guarantee they'd be stealing a LOT of Globe customers. This kind of error is inexcusable.
Monday, September 11, 2006
In the midst of a column about the Patriots, Dan can't resist taking shots at the Red Sox:
New England football fans, ever trusting, loyal, and anxious to pay homage to everything the organization does, were booing the offense with nine minutes to go in the first half of the first game of the season. Julian Tavarez certainly would not have approved, but Brady just shook his head and said, ``I don't blame 'em. I don't think we gave 'em much to cheer. They want to see us do some things offensively, put the ball in the end zone, and we turned the ball over, you know, we can't complete a pass. I'd be booing up there, too, if I were them."The first sentence is highly debatable, especially since he follows up his claim that fans are anxious to laud the organization by pointing out that they were booing REALLY quickly. I think the rope is considerably shorter than you believe, Dan.
And why the shot at Julian Tavarez? Just because Tom Brady didn't complain about booing fans doesn't mean no one is allowed to. I think booing a team that's given you 3 Super Bowls in 5 years less than halfway through the first game of the season is the height of stupidity, and I don't care how bad they looked. Show a little gratitude and have a little bit of rope, huh?
Do we blame the Revolution or is Coach Infallible gaining some perceived competitive edge from the golden sand?This is ridiculous. "Coach Infallible?" Is no one safe? Bill Belichick is on my short list of Boston guys never to boo, no matter what he does on the field. Also on the list: Tom Brady, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, David Ortiz, Jason Varitek, and yes, Keith Foulke. "Coach Infallible?" I guess Belichick's sin is to win too much, which makes people happy. Dan can't stand that. Good grief. When does he start bashing Brady?
This, ladies and gentlemen, is called throwing yourself under the bus, taking one for the team. New England's offense was most inept in the second quarter, when a succession of running plays yielded a succession of three-and-outs and inspired fans to give their heroes the Seanez treatment.Phew. Dan still likes him. And the "Seanez treatment?" You could insert pretty much anybody's name there, and I guarantee you that idiot Boston fans will have booed him at one time or another.
Opening Day was an SOS to the front office.I don't even know what to say here, besides this: YOU CANNOT JUDGE A TEAM BASED ON ONE GAME! Jeez, Dan. Jump to conclusions much?
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Please. Get a grip.
This raises an important question: What purpose does Shaughnessy serve?
Does he raise the collective knowledge of the readers? Does he enlighten or entertain? Does he shed light on problems that need correcting? Do his rantings, accusations, malignings and bitterness serve the public?
The answer to all of the above, of course, is no.
His impotence is shocking. Accomplishing at least one of those "feats" on any given day is not all that hard to do. Christ, even Joan Vennochi hits a single once in awhile. Meanwhile, day after day The CHB trudges back to the bench, club in hand, having swung and missed yet again.
He's a waste of newsprint and money. It's high time the New York Times shareholders questioned why their investment dollar is being used to support what is clearly a weak and incompetent Globe management team.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
This column broke my heart. It was well-written and incredibly emotional. Not the Dan we're used to.
I really have nothing to say, other than that that the news about Jon Lester is extremely upsetting and that we should all be thinking about him and praying for him, if one is so inclined. Best wishes, Jon. You can lick this thing. Get well soon.
And may I put in a voluntary plug here for everyone to please donate to the Jimmy Fund. Cancer can hit anyone, whether it be a favorite athlete or someone close to you or even yourself. I've already had two close friends lose parents to cancer (one to lymphoma, though he was MUCH older than Lester) and a grandfather nearly die of it, and I'm barely out of high school. It's everywhere, and they need all the help they can get to find a permanent cure.
Other places you can donate, if the spirit moves you:
American Cancer Society
Children's Miracle Network
Ronald McDonald House Charities
Lymphoma Research Foundation
Friday, September 01, 2006
Think of September at Fenway as Fort Myers with higher ticket prices.We never miss an opportunity, do we, Dan? I could think of several differences between Fenway and Fort Myers other than the ticket prices, such as "Fort Myers has not been around since 1912 and is basically a strip mall with palm trees" or "Fenway is not like Fort Myers, because Florida is really awful to be in this time of year, unless you enjoy getting concussions from flying pieces of aluminum siding and drowning in your car." But moving on!
I watched this press conference. It was the funniest thing ever. Dan kept trying to get Theo to come out and say he was throwing in the towel, and Theo just wouldn't do it. Damned if you do and damned if you don't, Theo. If you say you're throwing it in, he jumps on that. If you don't, he jumps on you for being disingenuous. May I suggest a restraining order?
Sox general manager Theo Epstein was reluctant to admit the significance of yesterday's deal, which is expected to bring Triple A catcher George Kottaras into the fold. Boston's young executive with the faded halo said, ``It doesn't mean that these games aren't important. It doesn't mean that the performances of our players aren't important, but it's a balancing act and we thought this was the right thing to do.
``It's not where we expected to be," he admitted. ``It's not where we want to be. But we're not immune from that kind of month [9-21 in August] . . . This is the reality now. And we're going to work hard to make sure it's not going to happen again."
Now, I actually want to congratulate Dan on this next part. He handles the Lester cancer rumors very well, in a sensitive and appropriate manner. Given that his own daughter had cancer some years ago, he probably knows exactly what the Lesters are feeling right now. Kudos, Dan. Also, kudos for including this quote from Francona:
Irresponsible headline update 2: ``His family is going through a little bit of a loop when they woke up and saw what they saw [including a Herald front-page headline that read, `Sox cancer scare -- Lester's enlarged lymph nodes a big concern.'] "Although this is perhaps somewhat ironic, I think this amounts to calling the Herald out on their incredibly insensitive headline, and I like it. Tony Massarotti, you know you've hit rock bottom when I'm calling Dan a better man than you.
Of course, he then takes most of the second page to play his favorite game: "Crap on Theo Epstein." You can just hear the glee in his voice now that the team has hit a rough patch. How happy you must be, Dan. The team sucks AND you can blame it on Theo! This must be like Christmas!
Thursday, August 31, 2006
There is rampant speculation all over the Internet right now that Jon Lester may have cancer. Said speculation was triggered by this Tony Massarotti article, published late last night in the Herald.
A lot of people are expressing extreme displeasure with the Herald for putting this out there, and I would like to jump on the bandwagon. The article shows an appalling lack of respect for Jon Lester and his family. Massarotti reveals that Lester has "enlarged lymph nodes" and has information from--you guessed it--unnamed sources, and the Herald publishes the sensational headline, "Lester tested for cancer."
First of all, whoever leaked this information should be fired. If it was a Sox official, I want them gone. If it was a health professional, I want them gone and I want them arrested for a HIPAA violation (yes, you can be jailed for that).
And, that said, the Herald should be ashamed of themselves for such an alarmist headline followed up with almost no backing in the article. There are dozens of causes for enlarged lymph nodes. Cancer is only one possibility. Yet that was the one they focused on? There is no information whatsoever in the article besides the illegal revelation that Lester is being tested for cancer. One sentence: "Such a symptom can be caused by an array of issues, from infections to cancer. " No other information given, so here it is: an infection is FAR more likely than cancer. So much more likely that such a headline is ridiculous. The vast majority of swollen lymph nodes are caused by exactly this. I should know, I had lymphadenitis this summer. Pretty much anything can cause swollen lymph nodes.
Yet in this article, we get "Lester tested for cancer!" followed by one sentence about how it could be an infection and a whole pile of smarmy BS about his prospect status. Utterly irresponsible. And what's worse, every news outlet then picked up on it and it's on top of the ESPN site. So Lester, who is probably scared out of his mind, has to deal with the entire world knowing about this when it may not even be true? Shame on you, Boston Herald. You had nothing to go on besides information from sources who legally should not have given you this information, and you published this. Shame on you. Once a tabloid, always a tabloid, I guess.
If it turns out that Lester, God forbid, DOES have cancer, this won't change my stance one bit. It won't justify this.
Irresponsible headline update: Today's article comes with the headline "Lester in Sox' thoughts: Team confirms diagnosis." Does this not make it sound as if they've confirmed the CANCER diagnosis and everybody's now freaking out for him? Is that not what the implication seems to be here? Yet there's really no new information, except that everyone is scared for him (me, too) and that he's had other symptoms like feeling lousy and losing weight (look, more HIPAA violations!). I feel sick enough about what might be happening, why do they have to make it worse?
Monday, August 28, 2006
Anyway, today's piece is about the woes of Terry Francona, and there are many. Let us ignore the sickening cleverness of the canine-themed title and first sentence. I don't see what it has to do with anything, as the theme is not continued.
The last time the Sox lost 17 games in a month, they fired Jimy Williams in mid-month and replaced him with Nutty Professor Joe Kerrigan. The last time they lost 18 games in August, they finished in the basement and were managed by Daddy Butch Hobson.There is something awkward about the way this paragraph is written. The parallel structure doesn't really work. The cutesy nicknames are irritating. Et cetera (uh-oh, a sentence fragment!). Not much to see here, except that I think Dan is really starting to force it, sort of like Bill Simmons and his increasingly contrived pop culture references on ESPN's Page 2.
Something about this passage is incredibly disturbing. Is Dan seriously telling us that the media is just standing around watching Francona spit up blood? And then when he tells them he's overdosed on blood-thinners, they shrug and continue to hammer him with Manny questions? What would they do if they were interviewing Theo and he suddenly passed out at their feet? Write "the strain of a failed season in which nearly every move has been questioned finally got to Epstein yesterday blah blah blah" and walk away? If I'm talking to a guy who is coughing up blood into a towel, I'm going to stop talking to him, ask him if he's OK, and find somebody to help him. I'm sure as hell not going to keep asking him questions. This is really weird.
And what is this doing to Terry Francona, the manager of the 2006 Sox? He was coughing up blood and spitting it into a towel while he answered questions after yesterday's loss.
``I might have OD'd on my blood thinners," explained the beleaguered manager. ``I think I took too much."
Filling out his lineup card has become more difficult than organic chemistry.He wanted to make an analogy to the hardest thing he could think of and all he came up with was organic chemistry? That's the hardest thing he could think of? What kind of courses did he take in college?
The Sox-Held-Hostage-By-Manny-Tour takes a toll on everyone.I actually do appreciate his clarification of the "Sox-Held-Hostage-By-Manny-Tour" reference, and I think it's fairly accurate, but let's not fool ourselves, faking it exactly what he's suggesting that Manny's doing, even if he doesn't want to say it. And that phrase is completely ruined by having too many hyphens in it. Maybe if he used quotation marks?
This is not to suggest that Manny Ramírez is faking, but his curious on-again, off-again availability -- coupled with the increasingly frequent necessity to remove him from games -- gives the manager fits and is taking the team down.
When the lineup's finished, Francona talks with pitching coach Dave Wallace to see who's available in the bullpen and who can start the next day. The bullpen situation is ever-dicey. Mike Timlin has morphed into Steve Crawford, Keith Foulke is always hurt, and the others besides Jonathan Papelbon are either not ready or over the hill.And then whatever the answer, Francona inevitably misuses them. Perhaps Dan should tell him that Mike Timlin has morphed into Steve Crawford, because I don't think he knows. I've been pretty disgusted with the bullpen management the last few nights. Where is Manny Delcarmen?
Jon Lester was sent home yesterday because his back hurts in the aftermath of a car accident last week on Storrow Drive. Reminds me of the 1970s when Reggie Cleveland and Rogelio Moret both got into crashes and Bill Lee said, ``We don't need a pitching coach, we need driver's ed."Lester was rear-ended. It was the other guy's fault. He doesn't need driver's ed.
Still wondering why Theo Epstein never signed his contract? The young GM was in Seattle with his free-falling team over the weekend, and who could blame him if he took a cue from thoseFirst of all, do we need to be reminded that Theo is "young" in every single paragraph about him? At what point does this stop? Yes, Dan, we know that he is only 32, which is younger than you. Given that he has accomplished a lot more than you have in two-thirds the time, you shouldn't exactly be advertising this fact. It's not making you look superior to him.
Southwest Airlinescommercials that feature an embarrassing moment followed by the question, ``Want to get away?"
Also, this contract business again? Why? Does Dan know for sure that it hasn't been signed? Theo has been more secretive than a Swiss bank when it comes to his private business, so I don't know how anything has been added to this story since Dan "broke" it in May. And why do I get the feeling that he is indirectly accusing Theo of planning to cut and run?
Oakland tonight. Day 8 of the Sox Held Hostage By Manny Tour.Ah, he took my advice about the hyphens. Thanks.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
I guessed in tonight's SoSH game thread that Dan would have a field day right after Manny failed to slide into third base. Sure enough, here it is.
First of all, he fails to mention that Manny should have been safe. The third baseman was juggling the ball. If you do not have control of the ball while making a tag, the runner is not out. But most reporters will probably miss this, so whatever.
What kills me is that he makes a chronological list of everything Manny has done wrong dating back to last week, then has the audacity to write this:
Bloggers, e-mail friends, fanboys, and other wonderful Globe readers: Please, this is not a Manny rip job.Sounds like we're getting noticed. Dan allegedly writes for the readers, but when they call him on his BS, he can't take it. And if this isn't a rip job, what is it? Everything he writes is a rip job in some form or another, and he can't claim that making a list of every Manny miscue over the last week coincidentally right after he fails to slide into third base isn't an indirect rip job. Don't even bother, Dan; you lost the benefit of the doubt decades ago.
After paragraphs bashing him, we get this cursory mention:
These are facts. Manny Ramírez is hitting .326 with 34 homers and 100 RBIs. He has played in 123 of Boston's first 129 games, which makes him something of a iron man in today's game. As previously stated, he is a modern-day Jimmie Foxx, a certain Hall of Famer, and he works hard at his craft. He has chosen not to talk to the media this year, and we don't care if you don't care. Even when he's not talking, Ramírez is polite, and his presence is anything but a disruption in the clubhouse. He goes about his business in his private orbit and doesn't bother anybody.True, all that. Yet it gets 6 sentences and the rest of the column is. . .I'm not going to bother to count, that's a waste of time. . .a lot longer.
But his silence and his history provoke suspicion, and ours is a most cynical Nation.This is so ironic I think I'm going to vomit. How can anyone read this and not laugh?
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Incredibly, Ortiz's visit to Mass. General went unreported for almost an entire week. He is one of the most famous (and largest) citizens of New England, and yet no one dropped a dime on his hospitalization until it was reported on an obscure website (carpundit.typepad.com) while the Red Sox were in California. Ortiz confirmed the report in a conversation with the Herald's Tony Massarotti Thursday and last night agreed to discuss the matter for the first time.1)Yup, the media dropped the ball here. Dan is part of the media. Therefore, Dan dropped the ball.
2)"Largest citizens of New England?" Are we seriously picking on his size? That's really inane and unnecessary. Yes, every time he slides into third base, I expect to see a headline the next day reporting that the ceiling of the Fenway basement collapsed and injured some baseball ops staffers. But it's all in good fun. With Dan, you can be sure that no jab is in good fun.
3)Now that he's linked this blog on the Globe, it is no longer going to be an obscure website. Free advertising!
4)"Last night agreed to discuss the matter for the first time." Added: "With me! Dan Shaughnessy! Massarotti may have put out a blurb, but I got the scoop! Me! Dan Shaughnessy! Sure, I had to lock David's daughter in an E-Z Storage unit and threaten to put out Photoshopped images of him going down on Stacey Lucchino (I have a lot of pictures of Stacey Lucchino!) but I got the scoop first! Look, here it is!"
As far as I can tell, this arrhythmia thing is just a complete non-story specifically designed to scare Red Sox fans, who are already frazzled enough, thanks very much. Let it die.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Tuesday, the estimable Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, a scribe not given to hyperbole, wrote, ``Josh Beckett is to Boston what Jeff Weaver was to the Yankees: the ace that never was . . . Beckett's head isn't ace-quality. He looked like a raw high school pitcher on Saturday, paying no attention to runners . . . and continuing to get his fat fastball smashed around."Complimenting Tom Verducci, who is "not given to hyperbole," then citing this rubbish heap of a paragraph, makes me laugh. Jeff Weaver and Josh Beckett are not comparable players at all, except that they're both right-handed pitchers. And declaring that "Beckett's head isn't ace-quality?" How would he know? Is Beckett 40 and at the end of his career? Is Verducci a psychiatrist? Give me a break. And let's not pretend like this is only his opinion. Dan cites other authors when they say something nasty that he wants to say, yet claim he didn't say it.
In late July, he signed a contract extension that will pay him $10 million a season for three years. His troubles started shortly after inking the new deal.First of all, it was signed before the All-Star Break, which makes it early/mid-July. Second of all, he was already having problems before that, although maybe Dan doesn't remember because the extension was announced the day he pitched the 1-0 shutout over Kansas City. Before that, he had a 5.12 ERA. Now, it's 5.21. Not much difference. But I think this is just a way of indirectly crapping on Theo, anyway.
This column was less poisonous than the other recent ones, though.
Edit: Found this nice piece on the Oldtimers charity game, which raised funds for cystic fibrosis and cerebral palsy, last night. The kid in the picture is Dan's son, Sam. Let's hope his participation in this event means the apple is falling far from the tree.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
In it, Shaughnessy notes:
* Both were [sic] the strong, silent type.
* Both are shy and would never brag.
* Both were [sic] Hall of Fame ballplayers.
* Both played through injuries. [!!]
* Both were mysterious superstars. Biographers were never able to get a handle on either.
He also wrote, "Both accepted the calls of umpires without complaining." Either Shaughnessy forgot he wrote that [as if!], or perhaps believes that doesn't extend to official scorers.
I don't know what happened; my guess is that Dan has been bombarded with complaints about his negativism in the wake of his recent abortions about Theo and Manny, and that this column is the result. It's quite possibly the most sickeningly sarcastic piece of rubbish I've ever had the misfortune to read. I don't even know where to start, or if I should even bother. Let's start here, though:
Looking at this quote in isolation brings me to the conclusion that Dan's interpretation of it is asinine. Theo did not say "let's not win now," nor did he imply it. In fact, this isn't what he said at all. The last part of the sentence is mere paraphrasing and Dan has conveniently left out six subsequent sentences that better explain the point Theo is trying to make. By consensus of other reputable articles on the same conversation, here is what Theo actually said:
Remember what Theo Epstein told us Sunday night as he stood on the Fenway lawn before Game 4 of the Carnage by Lansdowne Street: ``We're not going to change our approach and all of a sudden try to build an uberteam and all of a sudden win now at the expense of the future."
There you have it. Let's not win now. This should help you enjoy the remaining 36 games of 2006. Just relax and check out Dustin Pedroia's footwork around second base. It's not about 2006 anymore. It's about the future.
"We're not going to change our approach and try to build an uber-team and all of a sudden win now and discard the future. That's not an excuse. I'm not trying to throw a cloak over the clear holes on this team by talking about the future. I'm not. Our goals are now, and our goals are to put ourselves in a position to win every single year. That's the reality. It's going to occasionally leave us short."Had Dan included these other sentences, the impression given would have been vastly different. But it also would have been kinder to Theo, and we can't have that!
If the first slogan is meant to be negatively sarcastic, it fails: I think a lot of Red Sox fans actually appreciate this. The second one is a valid question to be discussed, not made fun of. And the third slogan is so absurd and lacking in perspective that I won't even try to address it. I assume everyone has enough familiarity with the current state of the Bruins to understand how stupid such a comparison is.
Dr. Charles Steinberg is already working on some promotional material for the final Fenway homestands of this season. At this moment he's reviewing three prospective ad campaigns for the non-stretch drive:
``Save that pricey trip to Fort Myers and come see our prospects closer to home."
``Where Would We Play Bobby Abreu?"
``Red Sox: It's called Bruins."
The 2007 Red Sox go to Seattle after Minnesota and the Sox could sweep at Safeco. I wouldn't be surprised if they win their first six games. We might even be calling them an uberteam by the time they get to Fenway. The Sox make four trips to the West Coast and I think they're going to win every game. It'll be sweet to see Theo's '07 Machine march through Chavez Ravine. Take that, Grady Little! And those home games with the Yankees? Forget about everything that just happened. The Sox are only going to get better while the Yankees will only get worse. It's obvious if you really know baseball. So stop fretting about what just happened and take the long view for a change.Who exactly is he talking to here? Who set him off like this? The sarcasm is just incredible. He sounds like Joe Morgan ranting about Moneyball.
It's very exciting. Future-rama.I believe the name of the show is actually "Futurama."
And here at 17 percent Daddy Globe we plan to bombard you with happy stories about all the great ballplayers the Sox refused to trade July 31, 2006. Trust me when I tell you that someday soon you're going to be glad to have Manny Delcarmen instead of Roy Oswalt.The first sentence is sour grapes. The second sentence represents a fundamental misunderstanding about what happened at the trade deadline, either due to ignorance and laziness in regards to actually doing research on it, or due to the fact that no one in the front office will tell him. If it's the former, which I suspect it is, shame on him, and how typical. If it's the latter, I applaud everyone who said "no comment." In case you were wondering, though, Dan, the Red Sox were willing to trade prospects for Roy Oswalt. It was the Astros who weren't willing to deal Roy Oswalt for prospects. It's kind of hard for Theo to make a deal when there's nothing on the table, huh?
If you can't see what's happening here, it is your own fault. The Red Sox, like the Patriots, are simply smarter than every other organization.Ah, the easily identifiable stench of a man who has been pushed to his breaking point by an overload of responses defending the front office and feels the need to fire back by making even more ignorant, insulting remarks.
They have vision while the rest of the baseball world wears bifocals.Correct me if I'm wrong, but people with bifocals also have vision, no?
And they rely on a flock of fans who are willing to pay $12 just to walk into an empty ballpark and look at the ancient poles.I went on that tour last year. I had a blast.
Let's face it: 2004 bought a lot of patience and solidified Epstein as a hardball genius. These are days of Camelot at olde Fenway and there's nothing that Edgar Renteria, Matt Clement, Coco Crisp, Rudy Seanez, Julian Tavarez, or Josh Beckett can do to change that.You know he was just dying to add "unfortunately" to the end of that paragraph. This is all about him trying to turn the fans against Theo and the fans not following his lead. Irksome, isn't it, Dan? After all this time, they still like Theo better than you. All that effort, gone to waste; you haven't managed to single-handedly tear him down yet.
Cynics might wonder about the rest of this year. Nattering nabobs might take issue with the top prices in baseball when it's all about the future. Cheapos might ask the Sox to scale back prices since we're no longer worried about '06. Not me. I have seen Baseball Future and its name is Boston Red Sox.I think he needs to be medicated.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
We are treated this fine morning to the many talents of Dan Shaughnessy. Let's take a look.
Dan, the legal eagle: "Minutes later, Francona bobbed and weaved like Sugar Ray Leonard when asked about the conspiracy theory. The manager ... never flatly denied the contention that Ramírez had to be talked into playing Saturday."
Dan the medic: "[We]'re pretty darned sure Manny has faked it in the past to get out of All-Star duties or maybe just to pout when Pedro Martínez was getting time off for dad's birthday."
Dan, the psychologist: "Terry Francona isn't about to challenge Manny. It's simply not worth it. Tito knows how this works. You want to keep Manny happy, so you let him sit when he wants to sit."
Dan, the voice of the players: "For sure, none of Manny's teammates will call him out now because, like Francona, they know there's no upside to challenging Ramírez. ... But you can be pretty sure they're wondering what is going on with the savant slugger as he rests his hamstring while the team is freefalling."
Believing all that means believing the same guy who on June 26, 2005, wrote that the Red Sox would win the AL East in a walk; the same guy who named Josh Beckett the heir to Roger Clemens only to reverse course and practically slander him in the process; the same guy who called David Ortiz "a giant sack of you-know-what"; the same guy who on Dec. 13, 2000, wrote that the signing of Manny Ramirez boosted Dan Duquette "from doofus to genius in less than 24 hours.”
Sounds great Dan! Where do I go to drink that Kool-Aid?
Sunday, August 20, 2006
This latest "effort" falls into the third category. After a few weeks of mostly boring, occasionally good columns, I was harboring a bit of hope that maybe he had been reigned in. But this last column dashed all those hopes.
The good: he really hasn't written anything quite this obnoxious in awhile. The bad: this one is REALLY obnoxious.
I knew we were in for it when I read the opening lines:
The Red Sox brass set sail on John Henry's big boat last night. The owner held a party to celebrate the engagement of his star general manager, Theo Epstein. Nice gesture. Toasts all around, no doubt. A three-hour tour.So John Henry threw a party for Theo, huh? That was really nice of him. Given how rich he is, I'm sure it was a great party. Wait, "no doubt?" That means Dan doesn't know for sure. Which means he wasn't invited. Which means that he's going to be in a snit.
It was undoubtedly nice to get away for a few hours, but there is no safe place for Epstein and Sox management at this moment -- not even on the high seas. The SS Red Sox is sinking fast in the American League.I beg to differ. They got away from you, didn't they, Dan? That qualifies as a "safe place," I think.
Also, is this supposed to make me mad at management? Because all it does is make me mad at the idiot fans who can't get enough perspective to realize that losing three horrendous games to the Yankees is not the end of the world. There's "no safe place?" Yeah, that's something to trumpet. That's something we should be proud of in this town!
The sun no longer shines on the handsome head of young Theo (wonder if he's signed his much-celebrated contract yet). The computer-geek management style has been thoroughly exposed in the last two days and there's a perfect storm brewing upstairs on Yawkey Way.I don't even know what to do with this. "Handsome head of young Theo?" This is either some creepy fake gay vibe or Dan being mad that he's uglier than Theo. If it's the latter, he must be mad at the whole world. Oh, wait! I've solved him!
Also, "the computer-geek management style has been thoroughly exposed?" Yeah, like it was in 2004, huh? Two days is plenty of time to completely invalidate a philosophy that has brought the Red Sox nothing but success for the last 4 years.
The way things are going, Young Theo might don that gorilla suit again, but this time he might need it to hide from an angry Nation of paying customers who want to know why nothing was done at the trade deadline and how you try to win a pennant with no lefty in the bullpen and a collection of dead arms and dead presidents (Mr. Van Buren, I presume) posing as major league pitchers.Yup, this is completely justifiable behavior from the fan base! Why should Theo be allowed to come out of his house and live like a normal person WHEN THE TEAM HAS LOST GAMES? He should be forced to skulk around in fear, because "nothing was done at the trade deadline" and we don't have any lefties in the bullpen! Except for Craig Breslow (when he gets called back up) and that Javier Lopez guy. Oops. I injected facts into the discussion. My apologies. Don't the Red Sox have such a fantastic fan base and media corps? You know it's awesome when the team's losing games and the front office feels like they're in personal danger.
We are now officially in the middle of ``Son of Massacre" weekend. In 1978, it was 42-9 over four games. The Sox were outhit, 67-21, and committed 12 errors while losing four straight at home to the Bombers. The first three games of this series have been equally hideous.Huh? What? How can it have been equally hideous when the score stands at 39-20, like you said barely 3 sentences earlier? The Sox haven't made 12 errors. This isn't remotely that bad.
Oh, and is anybody rethinking that Johnny Damon decision now? On a day when Coco Crisp was rested, Damon continued his Big Bang tour through Boston with three more hits, all doubles. Damon is 9 for 18 this weekend, with three doubles, a triple, two homers, eight RBIs, and five runs. Quite a statement.No. I'm rethinking Crisp, but not the decision to let Damon walk. Let's continue our habit of making sweeping generalizations from little tiny sample sizes! 3 games is plenty of time to decide we should have given him $52 million for the next 4 years!
Odd that Henry would be celebrating Epstein's engagement at a time when the honeymoon is officially over for the most popular and bulletproof general manager in Boston sports history.Yeah, how ironic. It's completely unacceptable for either man to continue with their personal lives in the midst of this baseball disaster! No parties, no girlfriends, and who the hell needs to eat when the Red Sox are doing so badly?The whole engagement thing should be called off completely. What is this celebrating garbage? There's a war on!
The cruise is over and so is the free ride for Theo. No disgrace in that, it happens to all of them, but the Sox need a quick turnaround to keep Epstein out of the shark-infested waters that devoured the likes of Lou Gorman and Dan Duquette.Let's play a game called "Name the Differences Between Lou Gorman, Dan Duquette, and Theo Epstein."
I'll go first. Theo won a World Series. Gorman and Duquette did not.
The free ride is over, but that one little difference is a good enough life raft, I think.
Who didn't see a column like this coming?
8/21 7:15 PM: Edited for removal of line about Jed Hoyer's personal life. It was true, but it was a violation of his privacy and in bad taste.