Sunday, August 20, 2006

SS Dan runs aground

There are three categories of Dan Shaughnessy columns, roughly proportioned this way:

1)Good (2%)
2)Boring (58%)
3)Offensive (40%)

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.


jenny said...

Too lazy to edit: I cringed at the "three-hour tour" line in the first paragraph. Who remembers that awful commercial with the guys singing in the middle of the ocean with a double bass? Where they go "three-hour too-er?" HORRIBLE. Now the song is stuck in my head. I think it might be an Applebee's or a Red Lobster commercial.

fadedredsoxhat said...

Dan Schadenfreude is determined to win his personal war with Young Theo. Young Theo's biggest crime was winning a World Series which ended the real free ride, the gravy train called "The Curse of the Bambino". Anyone can see that CHB is indirectly making himself part of the story. We know this because he already has.

Michael Leggett said...

One has to consider Lucchino as the brains behind much of this, as Dopey Dan is his lackey writer.

jenny said...

I think Dan just hates Theo because Theo is what he isn't: young, successful, and popular. Dan's ding-dong, if you will (not to engage in speculation, haha), is deficient in comparison. So he has to crap all over Theo just to try to make himself feel better. When Theo left, everyone was begging him to come back. If Dan left, we'd be driving him to the airport (and trying to get into an accident on the way). This is the latest salt in the wound. Theo gets engaged and his boss throws him a lavish party with all his friends while Dan sits at home in his study staring at a copy of his book and wondering why the world sucks.

I think it's jealousy. A psychologist would have a field day.

The Chief said...

When Theo announced he was returning to the club, we said that it was bad news for The CHB. I don't think it was any surprise that Dan took a long break while the Sox were running out to an AL East lead; there just wasn't much nasty he could say.

Now, with the team in a slump, he's writing everyday. And he's got Epstein in his sights. Let's ignore, for the moment, that Shaughnasty hailed the arrival of his new whipping boy, Josh Beckett (unless that was Theo, dressed in a Josh Beckett outfit walking nine Yankees yesterday). In today's piece, The CHB cracks wise that Esptein blew it by not trading Delcarmen, et al, before the trading deadline. But where, exactly, would those pitchers have been sent? To Atlanta, for Andruw Jones. Jones has a good arm, but I don't think he would have been any better this weekend.

Now the rumor mill says the Sox would have turned around and shipped Jones to the Astros for Roy Oswalt. Perhaps. But it doesn't appear that the 'stros are pulling the plug on this season yet. The better move there would have been to ship out Clemens, who almost assuredly will not be back in a Houston uniform next year.

Shaughnessy seems to think that the Sox brain trust should have, nay, could have found someone who can get outs when it counts. Who did he expect them to get, Cy Young? There wasn't much available, and those who were ranged from the dried up Greg Maddux to the never ripened Jeremy Affeldt.

Oh, sorry, I forgot the immortal Kyle Loshe was there for the picking. My bad.

P.S. Great hedline, Jenny.

Steve said...

Bobby Abreu!

Taking the issue to your place from Dan's comment thread.

You say Abreu (or more properly, Abreu's offensive performance) is "not great, let alone "very best".

Even without the power, I'll take Abreu over almost any other OF'er in the game. So he's lost one tool of the 5-tool set - he's still got OBP to die for, speed on the bases, hitting for average and defense.

Who out there has all 5? Who would you rather have in your OF? (And among them, who's available?)

My list is:
Manny, Beltran, Wells, Bay, Holliday, Dunn, Sizemore, Vlad, and maybe Soriano.

One of the "very best"? Abreu makes my top 10, so I'll stand by it.

Beth said...

what offended me most about this drivel (and yes, sad to say, i did read it) was dan's PALPABLE glee in getting to slam the entire red sox organization. his UNCONTAINABLE JOY in our misery is what makes me wish he'd fall off a cliff. what a miserable little toad he is.

The Chief said...

You left off Vernon Wells and Lance Berkman.

Using VORP, Abreu is only no. 3 among all RFs this year, behind Dye and Vlad ahead of Ichiro. Among all OF, he's 10th, slightly ahead of Gary Matthews Jr.

Again, while I wouldn't kick him out of my OF, I don't think he's who you build a team around. I don't dispute what he brings to the table. But at $27.7M for 240 or so games, I would take any of those other guys ahead of him.

Steve said...

Hey, I didn't leave off Wells, and I'll take Abreu over Berkman any day.

3rd best RF'er?

You're Makin' Ma Point!

Pricey, though - I'll give you that.

fadedredsoxhat said...

Too pricey, indeed! I'll live with a Hinske/WMP platoon in RF next year. Its possible that David Murphy and Jacoby Ellsbury might be ready next year. I'm all for Andruw Jones but I think that waiting until he is a free agent is better than giving up kids to get him. To get the $15M players, you have to have the $500K players.

jenny said...

I hope he doesn't write tomorrow, because I'm really dreading having to analyze it after tonight's horrific loss.

jenny said...

Oh, and this column was also bad enough to be dealt with by the good folks at Fire Joe Morgan.

fadedredsoxhat said...

CHB has nothing for Monday but Edes, Cafardo, and Massarotti gave no indication in thier articles/columns that they are the sharks CHB is referring to.

ObjectiveBruce said...

Little Jenny has outdone herself this time. What a ranting load of nonsense?

Three-hour tour, for openers, refers to the S.S. Minnow. Not a commercial for one of those bland microwave-and-grill restaurants.

And the potential ending of Theo's honeymoon with the fans in the same weekend as he goes sailing with ownership to celebrate his engagement is the height of irony.

Fact is, the Sawx and Yanks have gone head to head for the past seven years. Now the locals are closer to third than to first, after the worst stretch since Joe Kerrigan. The reality is the club did nothing to improve itself at midseason after finding itself woefully pitching-short after trading a starter for a platoon player while the Yankees went out and filled a gap in their lineup with an all star. (Derek Lowe's last four starts' BTW, are 3-1, 6 ER in 30.2 innings at a salary of $9.5M. Matt Clement's last four starts are ancient history, at a salary of $9.825M)

Son of Boston Massacre it is. Unfortunately, Jenny is more interested in the glib and the vulgar rather than looking at history a bit. After the '78 massacre, the Sox went into a tailspin that bottomed out in their first sub-.500 season since before '67.

"This isn't remotely that bad," may the most idiotic line on this blog yet.

Sure Theo's team won a World Series, with Johnny Damon, Manny Rameriz, Trot Nixon, Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe courtesy of prior regimes.

The honeymoon is over. That was the point and this column was dead-on.

The Chief said...

This is a classic non-story. The only people who felt married to Theo were the media. They built him up. So they (and by "they" I mean the CHB and talk radio) are the ones who are in hysterics now that the Sox are slipping. Fans care about the team, not about the front office (except when the media is for personal reasons trying to bring down the FO).

As for Lowe, that's revisionist history, Bruce. Lowe's last season with Boston: 5.42 ERA in 182 innings. He then moves to LA, by far the best pitcher's park, and to the National League, by far the easier league. All we need do is look at Chan Ho Park and how he did when he moved from LA to Texas as a model for what a waste it would have been for Boston to re-sign one-pitch Lowe. Clement was a guy with good stats and no history of arm trouble coming off a season where he struck out 190 in 181 innings and had a 3.68 in a hitter's park. He was clearly the better option at the time, even if it hasn't worked out as planned.

Which reminds me: that's quite a CHB-like case you're making. Hmm...

The Chief said...


Berkman: 33 HR/.313/.416/.612 in 400 ABs.
Abreu 9 HR/.300/.440/.451 in 417 ABs.

Nixon: 7 HR/.294/.396/.426 in 310 ABs.

Berkman's power far overwhelms Abreu's slight advantage in OBP. And Berkman is 2 years younger. Heck, before he switched leagues, Abreu's line (8/.277/.427/.434) looked a lot like Trot's. It remains to be seen how BA will do once the league has had a second look at him.

(Sorry about Wells. You are right, of course.)

I really don't think I'm making your point. Third best RF isn't the same as "very best OF'ers in the game."

fadedredsoxhat said...

We should rethink Damon because of one weekend and Derek Lowe based on four starts? C'mon, Bruce.

The Red Sox also won a World Series with Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke instead of the Korean pitchers that previous regimes blew the draft budget on.

CHB wants a Nation that is angry at Theo and, like a loyal minion, Bruce is angry at Theo. Good thing CHB doesn't have many Bruces. The full body of work shows that this franchise has never been in better hands and one season like this does not change that.

Irregaahhdless said...

Any way this can be posted to the main page for everyone to see?

Irregaahhdless said...

Sorry, link was cut off. Here it is, broken up over two lines:

jenny said...

Bruce, if you look at the numbers, this weekend was nowhere near as bad as 1978. That one was a lot less close in terms of sheer pulverization by the opposing offense. So I don't think it has any predictive value.

Also, SS Minnow, whatever. You obviously haven't seen the commercial I was talking about, so forget it.

ObjectiveBruce said...

Sorry children. if the issue is Lowe or Clement, and the money is roughly the same, the choice is clear. Aside from the fact that the Sox $9.8M hurler is riding the pine while Grady Little's $9.5M pitcher is very, very effective, Lowe has had big years in the majors, Clement has been mediocre wen his career is taken as a whole. It's always amusing to read how any pitcher who does well on a national league club is to be discounted but mediocre performance in the junior loop, or "pitching lights out" at Pawtucket is to be admired.

As for this being a non-story, I am having a hard time suppressing the guffaws over that one; the hand-wringing over the legendary Theo column of last fall leading to Master Epstein's "resignation' continues unabated, so it is rather absurd to find that a column about the honeymoon being over can be a "non-story."

fadedredsoxhat said...

The issue isn't Lowe or Clement just like it isn't Damon or Crisp. Just because the replacements haven't performed doesn't mean we have to wish the replaced were still here. There were other possible replacements and some of them have actually been worse, i.e. Carl Pavano. Bruce, what happened to the GM that gave Derek Lowe $36M? You are incorrect in saying that the money between Lowe and Clement are roughly the same because Lowe has one more year. 4Y/$36M for Lowe and 4Y/$52M for Damon are far more high-risk/low-reward deals than 3Y/$28M for Clement and 3Y/$20M for Crisp.

The Chief said...

Bruce, you dismiss Clement for accomplishing the same thing that Lowe has in the NL.

Why don't you show us the column the CHB wrote in October-January 2004 saying the Sox should re-sign Lowe and his 8.99 ERA?

That's what I thought. He didn't even think the Sox should re-up Pedro.

sox fan living in enemy territory said...

Bruce, how old are you? I didn’t get the memo that you had to be a certain age to have an opinion. Nobody is attacking you personally but your condescending tone of superiority is soooo Yankee/Republican like.

Steve said...

OK, I'll give you Berkman. (Why is it that I remember Berkman was hopeless against lefties? That hasn't been true since 2002.)

But even you claim Abreu to be in the top 10% at his position. So I'll moderate my claim by taking out the "very". I still think he's one of the best OF'ers in the game.

jenny said...

I just remembered this now:

I'm sure we all recall the column about a week ago that was basically a milder version of this current column in which Theo talked about "the sound and the fury" that comes his way when the team isn't doing well.

Well, he was on WEEI on Thursday, and was asked about this quote. I believe "Are you a William Faulkner fan?" was the question.

I know this will shock you all, but it turns out Theo was misquoted and that a good half of what he really said was chopped off.

I mean, what a surprise.

Anonymous said...

sox fan in enemy territory, OB is clearly very, very old, Shaughnessy age even, because OB actually understood a cultural reference to Gilligan's Island.

Objectivebruce said...

Old enough so that translating Frazier's Tibialibus Rubris XV, Eboracum Novum V column was a pop quiz.

The Chief said...

Wow, Bruce made a funny!