Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Return of the Monkeys

Terry Francona's contract extension gives The CHB all the reason he needs to trot out all his favorite comparisons. "Francona's success has elevated him above the sad status of unfortunate sons like Grady Little and Don Zimmer, but he's not considered a genius on a par with Coach Bill. Affable Tito still gets routinely hooted on sports talk radio, and there are a lot of Sox fans who maintain that Boston won its championship in spite of the man in the corner office."

Count The CHB as one of those "fans." Here’s his shot at the Sox manager from Sept. 26, 2004:
For almost six months, he was just harmless, never-say-bunt Tito. A player's boss in the tradition of Pete Carroll, Terry Francona told us he loved his guys and he took blame for anything they did wrong. He drove some fans crazy with game strategy and pitcher deployment (the usual stuff), but most of Red Sox Nation viewed him as a benign bystander in the 2004 quest for the grail. And then came Friday night when Francona morphed into Grady Lite.
Going a little farther back, here’s what he said Aug. 29, 2004:
Some of us think you put the players first too much. We fear you take too many bullets for the fellows. Not enough tough love. Certainly nothing public.
And June 3, 2004: "That's exactly what He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named said right up until the day the Red Sox sent him back to Pinehurst, N.C."

Back to today’s piece: "Until this week, it seemed the Sox were willing to let Francona start the 2006 season as a lame duck manager …” Not to those who have been paying attention. This approach is in line with the closed-mouth stance Sox management have taken since The CHB, et al, created the Epstein maelstrom.

“No details were released, but the Sox no doubt gave Francona a significant bump in salary.” Interesting that Dan thinks the Red Sox should openly comment on the salaries of their personnel. Just like the Globe does. Not.

“Would he like to be here a long time?” In the ocean of idiotic logic that is Dan’s brain, this may be the dumbest question yet. Francona just signed a new contract. How many ways do you think he would possibly answer this question?

Most of the line of questioning followed Dan’s past interviews with Francona:
*Aug. 29, 2004: "But don't expect him to listen to nitwit radio. 'I think I have a pretty good perspective on that," he said. [R]eally I don't listen to it that much.' "

*July 19, 2005: "I don't wake up in the morning and run to the radio to see how I'm being perceived," Terry Francona said before last night's 3-1 loss to the Devil Rays. "I'd be in trouble if I did that."

*March 15, 2006: "I have no idea how I am perceived," Francona said. "That's the times we live in, and in a major market that's what sports radio has become -- who can out-smart-aleck each other -- and it doesn't interest me."

Finally, Dan can’t seem to mention Francona’s name without bringing up Grady Little or Don Zimmer, which he did today and in all the aforementioned columns. Obsessed much with the past, Dan-o?

Like we said yesterday, it's time to hire some new monkeys.


troywestfield said...


Sorry, just now getting to your inane comments of March 13:

"Ever hear of a pitcher being asked to eat innings on a night when he doesn't have it when its down-to-the-wire in a pennant race? Of course not."

Actually, it happens frequently. Joe Torre even does it. Team's down by too many too late, and they more or less give up on that game to keep their bullpen studs fresh for the next few days. Thought I remembered it happening recently ... like, oh, say, 2004. In the ALCS. Tim Wakefield. Five runs in 3.1 innings. Of course, it wasn't a pennant race. So feel free to observe the letter and not the spirit, so as not to have to admit your wrongness.

Oh, and it's "it's." And "down to the wire" wouldn't need to be hyphenated. I'd suggest you get the copy desk to edit your stuff here, too, but I've seen your award-winning section lately, and I don't know if it would help.

Also, I like where you accuse the chief of nitpicking ...

"... clearly every paragraph the columnist writes is analyzed and pertinent phrases run through the Globe archives for the sole purpose of taking cheap shots."

... a post after doing so yourself:

"Touched out for playoff seedings, not, as the blogger wrote, for the division title. Wrong again."

At least, I assume you're criticizing him for nitpicking; I don't really know what "... pertinent phrases run through the Globe archives ..." means. It's kind of incoherent. That's how we know it's you, Dan.

When do we see the correction?

objectivebruce said...

A twi-nighter today! Not much intelligent discussion in either the original post or in the first posted response.

I'm not Dan. Never met him. But if your delusions of grandeur want you to think that, there is nothing I can do about it.

So you really think the Sox conceded game three and decided, in the fifth inning, to go ahead and lose to take their chances down 0-3 in games?

And this on a day when the blogger put his Globe archive account into overdrive, although it seems like wasted energy since the posting makes absolutely no sense.

Is there a point in there?

One need not correct differences of opinion, but clearly the factual mistakes of the original blogger still need correcting. But that won't happen; apparently pride goeth before hypocrisy.

troywestfield said...

You're stupid. You want the blogger to correct his interpretation -- not a factual mistake, but an interpretation -- of Shaughnessy's poorly worded sentence -- so poorly that most people who've commented on it, here and elsewhere, agreed with the blogger's interpretation. Not yours. Your INTERPRETATION. There's also no need to correct yourself when you aren't proven wrong. Or when you're a blogger, by the way. See a lot of corrections on blogs, do you? No. Globe? Not as many as there should be, but yes. Precedent.

What are my delusions of grandeur, incidentally? Jousting with you? Trust me, no grandeur in that. Jousting with Dan Shaughnessy? I've done it, son, and there's no grandeur there either. Argued with him for an hour on the phone, because he can't just quietly accept that someone thinks he sucks. Instead, he has to make empty and irrelevant arguments. And he does it with everyone who criticizes him via e-mail. Those are the two ways we all know that you are him.

"Is there a point in there?"

Dunno. I've read your post twice now, and I still haven't found one.

objectivebruce said...

People who begin to read an article or column with an agenda of hate and the preconceived notion that they will find something they don't like are apt to come to the wrong conclusions about what they read. Sometimes it's deliberate, as in the "what can I find to quibble about today, oh no there's nothing better toss some phrases through the archives" mentality we see in this blog

Now if I understand the broken English of the previous comment, bloggers aren't supposed to correct their errors when their venom-filled agendas taint their reading skills to the point that they spew falsehoods in a petty effort to make something of their lives by launching ill-conceived and irrational public attacks on others.

It should be clear I'm not him, but in the grand tradition of the knee-jerk reactions that drive this blog and it's mindless fans, you consider facts a troublesome technicality that get in the way of your jealousy-driven petty feuds.

troywestfield said...

Sorry there Red, but my English actually is impeccable. Although I understand your confusion; clearly you are no English expert, what with your apostrophe issues and all. (Hint: "It's" means "it is"; "its" is the possessive form. Ask the copy desk about it.) I always suspected you were a Republican, and this move right out of their playbook would seem to confirm it: State a falsehood and act as if it is truth.

By the way, I totally agree with the first paragraph of your last comment. Sometimes the Chief is nitpicking. But the spirit of the blog is pure: Hacks like you who don't serve your readership but rather choose to antagonize it need watchdogs. Anyone who reads your columns would be well advised to come here and learn of the dissembling contained therein.

It's comical, really; for years, columnists had carte blanche to criticize the performances and words of the athletes and coaches they "covered." Now you have observers "covering" you. But your columns are forced upon the fandom; if I want to read a column about the game they sent you to, and don't want to turn to another paper, I either have to read you or have to do without. The Chief created one of millions of Web sites, and he is criticizing your performance as you have criticized the athletes we watch. Your own paper has admitted and corrected your errors, although some were blamed on the poor copy editors. Yet you choose to go after the Chief because he, along with most of your readers that day, couldn't interpret what you wrote. I wasn't very far into my career as a columnist when I realized that when my readership didn't get me, it was my fault, not theirs. You will die believing nothing was ever your fault.

You can use the word "petty" as many times in a given post as you like. The "fact" is, you're demanding the blogger retract his interpretation -- one, I might note, that hasn't been proven incorrect. There's only one way you can come close to proving the Chief was wrong: by outing yourself and "revealing" your identity (surprising none of us, of course), then confirming what you meant when you wrote that line. Only then, and only if we choose to believe you, would the Chief's interpretation seem to be wrong. Don't waste your time; I'd be surprised if he apologized for or retracted anything then, either. Because it's an interpretation. Not a statement of fact.

If you must attempt to rebut, please make some valid points this time. I'm bored arguing with a straw man, and won't keep it up forever.

Tom Gordon said...

Wow, well put. I don't claim to be an expert on any of this stuff, but it seems to me that Troy made and excellent point, whereas "Bruce" is just looking for a fight. Honestly, I come here every time Danny Boy writes just to laugh at the criticisms. Personally, I used to like him for one book: "Seeing Red." This one book was given to me as a gift when I was a kid, and it really got me interested in sports and the past. Now, I'm a college student with a passion for sports. Did that book play a role in defining my sports past; sure it did. But just because I initially liked some of the things that Shaughnessy wrote doesn't mean that I haven't been concerned with his more recent work. It seems to me like he has become bitter and focused on the negative, a master of spin. So I know this has been rambling, but I just wish more writers today would try to return to uniting readers, and not always focusing of the negative and dividing their readers. So to sum it all up, Dan used to be a good writer, and I wonder where that went. And I agree with Troy. Happy Saint Patrick's Day everyone!

objectivebruce said...

Most people who use "impeccable" English remember to use a verb in their sentences.

It is absolutely amazing that you have this hang-up that I am Shaughnessy.

AS for the Republican playbook, I'd say the blogger and his fans seem to have done a fairly good job taking a lesson there. The old "repeat it often enough and they'll believe it's true" approach seems to be a favorite.

Correcting one's error is a simple matter of good grace. One either has it or one does not. Two of the most egregious errors seen recently -- that the Yankees managed to "touch out the Red Sox for the division title" when baseball clearly provides for co-champions in the case of a equal-record tie, and the claim that Shaughnessy stated that the MIAA awards a Superbowl MVP -- are not matters of interpretation.

The fact is, this blog is dedicated to ripping one columnist -- not to critiquing his work. If the name Shaughnessy appears at the top of a column, it is considered to be fodder for diatribes or archive-checking to discover some perceived inconsistency with words written long ago and in another context. I merely have decided not to let this one run amok like so many others who want a public forum, but take offense at idea that their rantings should be held to any sort of standard of fairness and decency.

The Chief said...

"Of all the blogs in all the Internet cafes in all the world, Bruce walks into mine." How sweet.

FadedRedSoxHat said...

You forgot to mention this cheap shot:

"Francona moved his wife and four children (two already in college) from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts last August, a commitment Rivers has been unable to make."

What does Doc Rivers' family have to do with Terry Francona's contract extension? Four paragraphs later, he writes this:

"He said he doesn't know who Glenn Ordway is (this is where the columnist resists the temptation to interject an easy cheap shot)."

Wow! How big of you, CHB! Whats your favorite cookie so we can reward you with a batch of them?

Chief, I'm new to your site and I bookmarked it right away. Dan Shaughnessy is Boston's worst by a long way. He fires off personal shots, he doesn't do his homework, and he is redundant! He knows he's unfireable and it shows in his work. He just cares about producing his 1200 words 2-3 times a week without a whole lot of concern for what sense the 1200 words will make. I'm glad someone is out there who thinks the way I do and studies his archives and holds him accountable online. Someone has to because his employer won't and he knows it. I will tell all my friends about your great site. Keep up the good work.

troywestfield said...

Dan, look, if you want to keep coming here and antagonizing us, that's fine. I'd think you'd get your fill of that with your hideous column, but whatever. But if you actually think you're going to change anyone's mind here, don't waste your time. We see right through you, with your tiresome vendettas against blameless targets and your pathetic "People around here are going to be saying ..." because you're too much of a pussy to say it yourself and stand behind it. Knowing you as I do, it makes perfect sense that you would feel authorized to take shots at whoever you want, then not be able to stand having critics of your own. But I've got to ask what I think a lot of us have wondered. You obviously don't like professional sports. You certainly don't like the athletes and coaches who become popular in Boston through their performances. So why don't you go somewhere else and/or do something else? If you can't find something you like to do for a living, which isn't hard to believe, what about moving somewhere else and writing about that city's athletes and coaches? Or head up to New Hampshire and cover Little League, where you won't be subjected to the diva behavior you can't bear without remarking upon it, repeatedly. Because right now, you're just that guy in everyone's office who hates it there but would rather bitch about it, loudly, for decades than find a job somewhere else. The rest of us are here because we're tired of listening to it. It's like we all went for drinks after work to get away from you -- and then you come walking through the door. But I know you'll never leave, because to even consider it is to consider that the problem might not be everyone else; the problem might be you.

objectivebruce said...

I'm still not Dan, despite your delusions. But facts and fairness are such a rare commodity around this space, you fit right in. I know you like your sports columnists to be either jock-sniffers or part of the crude radio crowd. But that doesn't make me Dan; no matter how hard you wish it.

troywestfield said...

Hey, really great rebuttals of my points. You sure showed me the error of my ways!

Columnists I like:

- Bob Ryan
- Mitch Albom

Pretty sure neither of them has ever been accused of "jock-sniffing," which is quite the elegant turn of the phrase by you, by the way.

Columnists I like who can be described as part of the "crude radio crowd":


Right; none. By the way, drawing conclusions based on zero evidence, and the resulting total wrongness, is tres Dan.

Dan, ob, whatever you want to go by, don't take this the wrong way, but clearly you are an idiot. And by "don't take this the wrong way," I mean don't accuse me of mere name-calling. You really are an idiot. Obtuse, son. You completely ignore all the valid arguments and rebuttals and stick to your baseless accusations and unconvincing defenses of a mean, lazy, talentless jackass. A delusion, by the way, is "a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence." I'll concede that that definitely sounds like one of us, but not the one you pretend to think, given how you present no evidence whatsoever. In fact, I'm pretty sure this is all pretend. You know you're Dan, you know you suck, and you know you're wrong. You won't listen to reason, so I won't bore you with it any longer. I will treat you the way you're supposed to treat a troll -- and, not coincidentally, the way I treat Shaughnessy himself: I'll ignore you. But if you want to continue spending your time arguing with a group of Shaughnessy's critics -- again, a very Danlike thing to do -- by all means, go right ahead. Just strikes me as pathetic, is all.

"Oh, like coming here and criticizing an upstanding and brilliant truth-teller isn't pathetic blah blah blah-"

No, Dan, that's called freedom of speech. What you're doing is just pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Dan is amused by this cute little blog.

Anonymous said...

The rest of us are amused by how much the Globe sports section sucks.