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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Bad Casting

Try as he might to cast Antoine Walker as the hero of last night's Heat-Celtics game, Dan's assertion that the former Celt's 13 points somehow made the difference falls way short of the rim.

There's this odd tenet of sportswriting that says that for the sake of drama, it's OK to ignore what actually happened on the court. And what happened was that Shaq bullied his way around floor for 16 (would have been more if he made a few free throws) and Dwayne Wade scored 24 points and Shandon Anderson rang up 15 in just 23 minutes. And without all that, Walker's late-game binge would have been meaningless. But never let the facts get in the way of a good tale.

And where would a good drama be without a villian? Dan writes:
'Toine said he wanted to stay in Boston after the nifty run he had in the spring of 2005, but said talks never got off the ground with Ainge. "For some reason, Danny didn't want me to come back," Walker said.
Let's consider that, shall we? For the season, Walker has been busting pine, while the immortal, undrafted Udonis Haslem starts ahead of him. He averages just shy of 27 minutes a game -- seventh on the team -- and is shooting just 43% -- far below the Celt's team average of 47%. For this performance, the Heat will pay him the bargain basement sum of $40 million through the 2010-2011 season. Still think Ainge was wrong not to keep him? Or perhaps Dan thinks the solution to the C's problems was another Mark Blount? By not rebutting Walker, that's the impression he leaves.

Wrong sport watch: Compares Walker's results during the first three quarters of last night's game to the 2005 edition of Sammy Sosa, all while failing to recognize that Walker's entire season has been a trainwreck.

Star watch: Of the Boston glitterati, is Bill Belichick really the glitterest? "The Celtics' sixth sellout of the season included Boston movers, shakers, fakers, and people who ride in limos," The CHB wrote. Yet of all those movers and shakers, the Pats coach is the only one mentioned by name. For some reason, Shaughnessy has a habit of turning Celtics coverage into Page 6, as he showed May 10, 2003, when his analysis of the Nets-Celtics playoff series could be summed as: "It was certainly a night to see and be seen at the New Garden. Governor Mitt Romney was there and got booed when his face was plastered on the big board. Patriots owner Bob Kraft took a front-row baseline seat."

23 comments:

Michael said...

"The Celtics' sixth sellout of the season included Boston movers, shakers, fakers, and people who ride in limos."

Fakers indeed. I'm trying to remember how many Celtics games Dan's covered this year.

Sheriff said...

Chief, are you implying Sammy Sosa's 2005 season wasn't a complete train wreck?

jenny said...

Yeah, really. I live in Orioles country and let me tell you, if there is such a thing as a trainwreck of an entire season, Sammy Sosa's 2005 was it. Implying otherwise is being WAY too generous.

The Chief said...

Sorry; bad wording. Sosa's 2005 was a trainwreck. So, too, has been Antoine's 2005-06 season.

Beth said...

hmm. the first red sox game of spring training today...manny reported to camp yesterday...johnny damon's been shooting his mouth off...keith foulke's been getting knee injections...

the nfl labor dispute is coming to a head...the patriots still haven't signed adam vinatieri...

and dan's writing a column about basketball.

i hope this is a sign "THE DIABOLICAL PLAN" is working.

The Chief said...

I think it's a sign that the Globe cannot afford underwriting all-expenses paid vacations for its lead columnist, not when it is hemorrhaging red ink everywhere and especially when said columnist is for the most part updating columns written months or years earlier (didn't that practice get Mike Barnicle fired?).

Now if they really wanted to stop the bleeding, I can suggest one staff cut that would really make a difference.

objectivebruce said...

Where is the Globe "hemorrhaging red ink?" Where is it reported that the Globe, or the Times Co.'s New England Media Group posted a quarterly loss? I don't know whether it;s true or not, but I can't recall reading anywhere that The Globe lost money.

If you can't provide evidence of the company actually losing money on Boston Globe operations (declining circulation, job cuts, even reduced ad revenue are not an operating loss), then "hemorrhaging red ink" needs a correction. Like the false claims of Shaugnessey saying the MIAA named a Superbowl MVP needs a correction. I doubt it'll be happening, since it's easier to take potshots, take quotes out of context from 10 years ago or run archive searches in a silly attempt to play "gotcha." It's interesting that this blog, and the knee-jerk jealousy-driven responses, utterly fail to come close to the standard it purports to set for a columnist.

Tom said...

Ok Dan, you really told us...

The Chief said...

Don't go there Dan. No doubt you have seen the Feb. 7 letter the Guild's governing board sent to Globe publisher Richard Gilman:

The decision to outsource the work of the Globe’s Maintenance department was a disgrace and affront to our membership, and puts a question mark next to the Company’s dedication and commitment to its product and its employees.

...

To take millions of dollars in bonus money, continue to award management bonuses, and create new high-level management positions seems to show a neglect of fiduciary duty for, to borrow a phrase we have consistently heard from Globe labor management representatives, “a struggling company and industry.”

The Chief said...

P.S. I am jealous of your perm, though. Where do you have it done?

objectivebruce said...

Apparently, we like using terms we don't understand. Here's a primer: "hemorrhaging red ink" means losing money. It does not mean showing less profits, it does not mean declining revenue, it does not mean engaging in a tiff with the unions. It means the profit and loss statement is in the negative numbers.

I guess there is no evidence the Globe is "hemorrhaging red ink," which means that if you hold yourself to the same standards that you attempt to hold The Globe, a correction will follow.

It appears to be put up or shut up time.

Beth said...

note dan's clever lack of response to *my* hypothesis.

and dan, it's generally the expectation that a paper will issue a correction on something it reports falsely--but in our "little latenight blog world" corrections in the comments section of blogs aren't really, erm, "done."

i think the term you're really looking for is "apology" or "admission" that the chief was wrong (which i really don't know about either way). but holding a comments section on a blog "to the same standards" as the globe is...well...pathetic.

it's like when jon stewart went on crossfire, and tucker carlson started jumping on him about how *he* had thrown john kerry softball questions when he was on the daily show--and jon stewart looked at him incredulously and said, "yeah, but the lead-in to my show is puppets making crank phone calls."

if blogs as a whole are beneath your "standards", why read them? why argue with their authors? why demand a "correction", which really has to be the silliest thing i've ever heard?

look, clearly you could hardly suck at your job any worse, so you've probably got someone in your pocket or blackmail pictures somewhere, or even simple seniority going for you. SOMETHING obviously gives you job security even though virtually every red sox fan i've ever talked to hates your guts and most of us don't read your stuff at all. why then be threatened by a blog? seems like you've got it made.

objectivebruce said...

If one makes an error in a public forum one that one has started in order to criticize one's betters, than one ought to have the decency to correct them.

And by the way, you'll all have to do another correction:

I'm not Dan. Never met him. But if it suits your pathetic fantasies to think I am, there's probably nothing I can do about it, since you've already proven that facts are immaterial to getting your jollies with half-baked screeds.

The Chief said...

Sure thing Dan.

Beth said...

//If one makes an error in a public forum one that one has started in order to criticize one's betters, than one ought to have the decency to correct them.

And by the way, you'll all have to do another correction:

I'm not Dan. Never met him. But if it suits your pathetic fantasies to think I am, there's probably nothing I can do about it, since you've already proven that facts are immaterial to getting your jollies with half-baked screeds.//

So you're the ONE dan fan on the planet, eh? wow. never thought i'd see one alive. you're pretty subservient, too. you're NOT dan, but you believe dan is YOUR "better" too? maybe that's something you should talk to a professional about--your inferiority complex to dan shaughnessy and your need to spend so much time and energy online defending him while...slamming people who hang out online?

the point, whoever you are, is that whether or not the chief adheres to a "standard" doesn't mean dan, or the globe, or whoever he's criticizing doesn't have to.

it doesn't make dan a better, or even acceptable, writer, to harangue and criticize the chief.

put another way: how many home runs does dan shaughnessy, whether you're him or not, hit a year? about 40 less than manny, right? and yet i doubt he would accept that that doesn't give him the right to criticize manny's character, behavior, work ethic, etc.

whether you're dan or not, you need to pick another argument. really.

Anonymous said...

You know, if the Globe isn't losing money and is still firing its janitors to save a buck, that makes them an even worse organization than if they were indeed bleeding red ink.

objectivebruce said...

I'd say he's sold enough books, appeared on enough television broadcasts,and burned enough phrases into the sports vernacular so that he doesn't need me to defend him, and I disagree with a lot of what he says, especially as regards Garciaparra and Martinez.

If someone is going to be a self-annointed critic, running off to do keyword searches on The Globe archives so that he can publicly spew knee-jerk venom every time the columnist writes anything, then the self-annointed critic ought to have some standards for truth and accuracy before serving up this tripe for public consumption.

It really takes very little time, or energy, to respond to this. And if I understand the suggestion from "Beth" correctly, she apparently is of the opinion that the blogger does not need to observe the standards for fairness that he himself demands from the public commentator he criticizes because the commentator he criticizes does not hit 40 home runs a year during the annual championship season of the American League of Professional Base Ball Clubs. By this logic, none of us ought to have anything to say about the President of the United States, as none of us have ever received a single electoral vote.

If someone decides to be a media critic in a public forum, then he or she becomes the very thing he or she subjects to criticism -- a public commentator. And a public commentator ought to get the facts straght. Correcting errors is a simple matter of decency. The Globe does it. The blogger doesn't.

Let's just say that in the wiki-world of bloggers, I find their growing ability to influence public discourse through writings that claim an air of respectibility but which are filled with half-truths while devoid of any sort of editorial responsibility to be troubling. This happens to be one to which I choose to respond, at least until I am banned or the bleatings become too absurd to bother. If you can't deal with the substance of the response, it's not my problem.

The Chief said...

You get up at 5:45 a.m. just to write all that, Dan?

Beth said...

//And if I understand the suggestion from "Beth" correctly, she apparently is of the opinion that the blogger does not need to observe the standards for fairness that he himself demands from the public commentator he criticizes because the commentator he criticizes does not hit 40 home runs a year during the annual championship season of the American League of Professional Base Ball Clubs. By this logic, none of us ought to have anything to say about the President of the United States, as none of us have ever received a single electoral vote. //

no. you do not understand my suggestion correctly.

i think you were on the right track when you said "he doesn't need me to defend him."

here's the deal. dan's a public figure. he writes things lots of people read. not everyone will like it. this is a blog about why one guy, the chief, doesn't like his writing. it's an opinion. it's a weblog. it's one website in a vast ocean of thousands of websites you could be reading instead. go find another one and get over it.

not everyone likes what you like. not everyone agrees with your assessment of shaughnessy. it should be clear by now that the writer of this blog certainly isn't going to agree with it, no matter what kind of torturous logic you apply or latin phrases you pull out of your ass. he doesn't need a degree in journalism, experience as a columnist, the same "standards" as the globe or your stamp of approval to express his opinion and provide examples from shaughnessy's columns to demonstrate it. anyone with half a brain knows that. stop wasting your time and ours, and find something else to do. that's the bottom line.

objectivebruce said...

Nobody expects bloggers to reach reportorial standards of professional journalists. But when a blog is offered for public consumption, the blogger can't hide behind the naivete that Beth so cavalierly assigns to his work. If you're going to complain that the columnist makes errors, then you need to correct yourself when the complaint is demonstrably incorrect.

If you want to blog in public, and appoint yourself as a public journalism critic, then you should meet contemporary standards, not for writing or journalism, but for fairness and decency -- especially when a lack of fairness and decency seem to be at the core of those rants published here that are coherent. Beth apparently doesn't quite understand the difference between debating someone's opinions and attempting to assasinate their character. Irresponsible blogging deserves to be called out whenever or whereever it happens, and it's happening right here.

The Chief said...

Tell you what Bruce. Go start a Dan Shaughnessy is God Watch. I'm sure you'll draw lots of fans.

Beth said...

//Beth apparently doesn't quite understand the difference between debating someone's opinions and attempting to assasinate their character.//

no, i DISAGREE with you about whether or not criticizing someone's PUBLIC WORK is "character assassination".

awesome how anyone who disagrees with you or doesn't share your opinions "just doesn't understand".

this is why the chief thinks you're dan himself--you two match in arrogance at the very least.

really, get a life.

The Chief said...

That OB is the one (and only) person who comes to this site and defends The CHB -- which is saying something considering this site gets up to 1200 unique visitors a day -- and is perhaps the only person I know of who claims to understand Dan's butchering of the English language are just a couple of reasons why I think he is Dan.

Circumstantially, we know, for example, that he bitches to coworkers about this site and that colleagues joke about it to him in the press box. I have some harder evidence but I'll save that for later.

If you really want to know now, you are welcome to email me at thechbblows@yahoo.com.