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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Little Insight

It's just two days after we were hit with the biggest story hands-down in baseball in months.

The questions abound:
* Did Barry Bonds use steroids or other performance enhancing chemicals?
* Did the authors/publishers time the book's publication in order to affect the upcoming baseball season?
* Is there proof that steroids or PECs actually make a difference in a player's on-the-field performance (insert Raffy joke here)?
* How should baseball react?
* How should fans react?

And so on.

And then there's this little event going on right now called the World Baseball Classic, which holds lots of promise even if the execution and timing aren't necessarily ideal.

So what does The CHB write about today? Grady Little and Terry Francona and their freewheeling (ha ha) days as roommates while coaching in the minor leagues 14 years ago.

Sample insight: "Did Francona learn from the man who preceded him in the corner office at Fenway? 'I'm sure I did,' said Francona. ... 'But I can't sit here and tell you one thing that he did different.' "

It's an incredible display of mindlessness. Even Jim Rice's non-election to the Hall of Fame merited more coverage from Dan. But remember, he "writes for the readers."

14 comments:

jenny said...

You know, I really don't understand why he wrote this column. Most Red Sox fans are trying to ignore Grady Little's existence. They don't care about his relationship with Terry Francona in 1992. Not a whit. I was hoping he'd written it to relay some funny anecdote or something. The only column he's ever written that I actually enjoyed was the one about the front office's spring training house. The mental image of Jed Hoyer getting hosed down with a fire extinguisher at 2AM still makes me laugh. So I was hoping for something similar here. But no.

On the other hand, should we be grateful? Every boring, irrelevant column CHB writes is one that isn't a)ripping Sox ownership, b)assaulting Theo's character, c)trashing player X, or d)cooing over Larry Bird/Bobby Orr/Tom Brady.

Anonymous said...

I know this is a CHB site, but this seems a good place to ask: Now that the Bruins shipped Samsonov out of town, what are the odds that Dupont rehashes his "now that the Bruins got rid of their problem child, everything is going to be A-OK and things are going to turn around!!!" column that he's written for each of the Bruins last 5,754 attempts at an overhaul? About 99 percent?

dbvader said...

That piece was Shanktastic. Have nothing new to say and no insight to offer? Make a story out of a coincidence. If it paid for CHB's kids college educations, it can fill a midweek column by a clown.

dbvader said...

Why hasn't the Globe corrected calling Jed Lowrie "Jed Lower" in the Sunday Sox Notes?

The Chief said...

No kidding. Even the Metro covered it, and with some of the same quotes.

objectivebruce said...

Excellent points. Certainly being the first to report that the Sox manager who gets all of the blame for a bloop hit that cost a pennant in 2003 once lived with his successor, the man who brought home the first world series title in 86 years, is of no interest. We should have had another column braying at Bobby Bonds or shedding some light on the incredible competition and pagentry of the World Baseball "Classic." Why this is as bad as being the first to get Jim Ed Rice to speak about his feelings about being passed over for the Hall of Fame. But as jenny says, in another incredibly erudite comment, at least he isn't "trashing" one of our beloved Red Sox, or commenting on the General Manager who bolted the team in a huff only to return, or criticizing the owners who actually once let a fan walk out of the ballpark without spending every cent he had on him when he entered the ancient facility to take one of thousands of obstructed view seats (it was Sept. 15, 2003, Derek Lowe made quick work of the D-Rays and my son had a dollar in his pocket when we left the park, the result of incredibly poor money management in choosing not to get his ice cream in a souvenir helmet and thereby having a buck left over which was impossible to spend since n-o-t-h-i-n-g at the ballpark cost a dollar). And thank God we didn't have to read any column with perspective that including alluding to three athletes whose tenure here was magical. Jenny clearly is on her game with such incisive commentary.

Hopefully someone will bring this wealth of constructive criticism to Shaugnessey's attention. Hopefully he will respond with something we can appreciate, such as a column that rips people we don't like or who the sainted owners target for bashing, preferably in the talk-radio fashion of personal attack laced with vulgarity. Now that's the kind of real journalism we need and that we haven't seen since Larry Claflin's liver gave out.

Thanks to one and all for such incisive criticism. We can't let this guy get away with columns built on reporting rather than boosting the Home Town Team, especially when they're built on reporting things we didn't know about, such as Grady and Tito living together, or on giving perspective we didn't have to things we did know about, like Rice and the Hall.

objectivebruce said...

One more thing, since I took a shot(and a wicked cheap shot at that) at him in a comment here once, the absolute best writing on the steroid issue and bobby bonds that I have read is in the Sheriff Sully piece titled Tragic Reality. If you haven't read it, read it now.

The Chief said...

First, Bruce? First? The Boston Metro and the Union Leader both had the same story on the same day.

You sound just like Dan.

Quit ducking the issue: The CHB talked Bonds up for ages, then trashed him after the fact as if he knew Bonds was cheating all along.

dbvader said...

"criticizing the owners who actually once let a fan walk out of the ballpark without spending every cent he had on him when he entered the ancient facility to take one of thousands of obstructed view seats"

That is one of the silliest, ignorant, and immature comments I have ever read. The Red Sox in Fenway Park are a business, get over it. I can understand not wanting to pay for obstructed views, but the Red Sox charge so much because somebody else is willing, not because they are evil. Grow up; The Red Sox ownership does not owe you anything. To paraphrase Joe Sheehan, that comment shows that you are an economically ignorant baby.

"And thank God we didn't have to read any column with perspective that including alluding to three athletes whose tenure here was magical."

One of these three left Boston sports thirty years, the other 10 years ago. And it doesn't take much to understand that the three are very good. The problem with Dan's/Bruce's fascination is that Dan does not offer anything interesting or new. These three are just another one of Dan's crutches, an old standby he can use to hide the fact that he has no ability to analyze what is happening right in front of him.

jenny said...

"At least he isn't trashing one of our beloved Red Sox."

And the problem with this is? If I have to read another column like the one about Jeff Stone or Nomar or Pedro or anyone else, I will throw up. Most writers at least try to be civilized human beings. Guess Dan was missing the day they handed that out.

"or commenting on the General Manager who bolted the team in a huff only to return"

If all he was doing was commenting, I'd have no problem. Instead, he's judging when you can bet your house he doesn't have anything close to all of the facts. Not a big fan of unsubstantiated character assassination in major papers; if I wanted that, I'd read the National Enquirer. And I'd love to see a shred of evidence that Theo "bolted the team in a huff." No one has yet provided any. It's like everyone thinks he owes them something. Wrong. Theo owes nobody, not the team, not the fans, anything, including an explanation or his services when he no longer wishes to provide them. It's his life and their business. Separate.

"criticizing the owners who actually once let a fan walk out of the ballpark without spending every cent he had on him when he entered the ancient facility to take one of thousands of obstructed view seats"

Please. As dbvader aptly stated, it's a business. This is simple economics. You charge what the market will bear. And you know if they charged more, people will pay it. Everyone does it. That's capitalism.

"thank God we didn't have to read any column with perspective that including alluding to three athletes whose tenure here was magical."

Yeah, and he doesn't provide any perspective. Everything has been said at least 5000 times, by him and others. You can't really want to read another one, can you?

"Hopefully someone will bring this wealth of constructive criticism to Shaugnessey's attention."

Believe me, I've tried. Probably too hard. He constantly misses the point. I guess the insulting e-mails I get back indicate that he DID get the point and it hit a nerve and he doesn't want to actually respond.

objectivebruce said...

Congratulations!! dbvader and jenny are learning!!! Yes, it is a business. And what a business it is; free advertising galore aimed at the likes of jenny, who cringes when ever a dissenting word is uttered, thinks it's a good thing for reporters to be denied access when they are critical, and brags about not reading responses to what are apparently some insulting e-mails she is apparently fond of sending.

The fact is, the owners of the club waltzed into town, took advantage of an emotional attachment built over generations to a tradition-bound baseball team, and are squeezing every nickle they can out of those people. They don't deserve to be glorified for it and they don't deserve to bask in the spin that they're "upgrading" a dingy, substandard ballpark or have it treated as some sort of glorious historic preservation mission. Care to guess who paid to build the Monster Seats? The Kansas City Royals, Montreal Expos and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, that's who (The collective bargaining agreement provides for a deduction from the luxury tax for ballpark improvements). And care to take a little guess at how much tax advantage there is to Henry and Co. from its ownership of the club? He need it now, since his investment business is losing millions.

Stop being naive. We don't root for Filene's or Joe's Highway Line Striping Company. We root for a baseball club and that rooting interest is precisely what creates the value that they are exploiting.

Now as for the chief's claim that he columnist talked Bonds up for ages, I really, really think remedial reading would do wonders. The Oct. 18, 2002 column, for example, is anything but 'talking Bonds up'

And as for the Metro or Manchester Union Leader running a same day story, so what? A same day story with all the other columns, in all the other newspapers, on Bonds is demanded, but a same day story about an interesting angle to the aftermath of the most controversial managing decision involving the locals since Joe McCarthy put a new baseball in Denny Galehouse's locker is supposed to lose its validity because it is apparently shared with two fish wrappers?.

Not only would the blogger flunk Remedial Reading, he would fare poorly in Logic 001.

objectivebruce said...

Oops, forgot to mention. Baseball is not a business in the traditional sense:

"a baseball exhibition, although made for money, is not trade or commerce in the commonly accepted use of those words ... baseball, ... is neither essentially an interstate activity nor "commerce"

Mr. Justic Holmes, Federal Base Ball Club of Baltimore, Inc. v. National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs et al 259 U.S. 200

Now why don't all you capitalism fans and Red Sox owner bumkissers go write letters demanding the anti-trust laws be extended to Organized Baseball.

The Chief said...

Sure thing Bruce/Dan. "Is it because he's too good?" really sounds like Bonds bashing to me.

And re the Little-Francona report, look back at what you wrote just a few posts ago: "Certainly being the first to report that the Sox manager who gets all of the blame for a bloop hit that cost a pennant in 2003 once lived with his successor, the man who brought home the first world series title in 86 years ...". First, you were wrong. Second, you are an idiot. Third, what does that say about the Great Shaughnessy that he's getting scooped by a couple of "fish wrappers."

Gee, your memory seems as bad as Dan's. Funny how that works.

We all know how Dan works: he watches what other people are doing and steals from them.

dbvader said...

OB/Dan,
Are you purposefully obtuse or just stupid?
Regardless of the anti-trust exemption status, baseball in Boston is a business. The team does not compete against another professional team, but it competes against any number of events for your child's last dollar each and every night. (BTW, if you do not want to waste money on overpriced park food, don't buy it. It works for me.) As for citing the Federal League case, do some research and ask a Con Law prof about its status. The case has no precedential value and, if the SCOTUS would be asked, it would find that baseball is interstate commerce.

"The fact is, the owners of the club waltzed into town, took advantage of an emotional attachment built over generations to a tradition-bound baseball team, and are squeezing every nickle they can out of those people."

Wow, what a condescending, elitist statement. You don't even try to hide your hatred of sports fans, do you? Everybody is a sucker for paying the prices, and only you know the truth. Get over yourself.


"They don't deserve to be glorified for it and they don't deserve to bask in the spin that they're "upgrading" a dingy, substandard ballpark or have it treated as some sort of glorious historic preservation mission. Care to guess who paid to build the Monster Seats? The Kansas City Royals, Montreal Expos and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, that's who (The collective bargaining agreement provides for a deduction from the luxury tax for ballpark improvements). And care to take a little guess at how much tax advantage there is to Henry and Co. from its ownership of the club? He need it now, since his investment business is losing millions."

This quotation may set the record for most lies and half truths per word ever. Ok OB, who is glorifying the ownership? Most people are just happy that they are winning and making improvements to the park after Harrington left it to fall down on itself. (Are you protecting your Irish buddy, Bruce?) As for the issue of the cost of improvements: It seems like a reasonable rule as it recognizes that these teams may have additional costs that should be deductible just like you deduct the interest on your Newton mansion. Second, the same rule would apply if the Sox built another stadium. You attack the Red Sox for improving a "substandard ballpark", but if they were to build a new ballpark they would receive the very same benefit you attack in the next sentence. I guess any argument is okay as long as it is used to attack John Henry and Co.

The last two lines are the worst. What is your point? That Henry is losing money to get a tax deduction? That makes sense. That he is taking a tax deduction that every new owner of a professional sports franchise receives? How stupid of him to do it. You have no clue about business. Henry is not losing millions from his investment business. The business section seems to be as loose with the facts as the sports section. Hedge fund managers charge fees based on money under management and a percentage of gains. Henry is covering his costs just by the money under management fee. He had one bad year. The millions he makes in good years can cover his bad year. I am sure that he planned for this contigency. Henry is not feeling a pinch.

Besides, if he were, he has an absolute legal obligation to the other owners of the Red Sox (including NYT) to act in the best interest of the club itself, and not in his own best interests. If he did not meet his fiduciary obligations, the very sophisticated owners of the Red Sox would put up a huge stink. Get a clue.