Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dan, Rehashed

The CHB outdoes himself today, flip-flopping all over the sports page like a netted cod. He criticizes the Red Sox for overspending for Daisuke Matsuzaka while also arguing that the Sox are finally waking up to the "fact" they need to "win now." The piece epitomizes everything that is wrong with Dan Shaughnessy:

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 ... "

His racism:
*“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“[T]hese 2006 Red Sox are a new-look team, stressing defense, pitching, and boredom … the Idiot culture is gone and has been replaced by an organizational professionalism that would make Boss Steinbrenner proud.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.

His hypocrisy:
"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?


fadedredsoxhat said...

Hopefully, Dan will retire as well when he gets the first pink slip after the sale of the Globe.

Chief, Jenny, Vader, Couch Potato, and even you Bruce and anyone that I'm forgetting to mention right well!

Anonymous said...

You missed these gems:

Another "young Theo" reference.

Another "Theo's minions" reference.

And let's not forget the obligatory "dump on Manny" reference. It's like crack with this guy.

Sorry to see you go, Chief, but I can understand. Wading through the garbage that is CHB's writing would wear anyone down. Take care.

Anonymous said...

chief and jenny, i am sad to see you go! reading this blog has been such a delight. in any case, thank you for all the effort.

koot said...

Please don't end this!

You don't understand... since I began following the Red Sox and paying attention to the Boston media... there has been this incredibe disgust I have towards CHB. I tried to dismiss it, I tried reading more of his articles, but it still was there. It grew and grew. I worried about myself, what was I becoming? I'm such a nice person, I love everyone... but not only could I not find any love in my heart for Dan.

I had a heart-to-heart with myself. "Koot, what is wrong with you? What did this man do to make you so bitter? What are you becoming?" I was afraid I was losing my mind. I would read one paragraph of a CHB article, and literally be unable to finish, because I was so angry and frustrated.

Then, I discovered this wonderful webpage. My feelings were validated! I'm not the problem. Dan's the problem. I'm not the only one carrying this secret desire to see CHB fired and never allowed to write again!

Thanks everyone.

Jim said...

NOOOOOO!!!! You can't stop the wonderful work you've been doing on this website. What can we do to convince you to continue your quest to prove the CHB is hands down the most incompetent sports writer in Boston's long and storied history???

dbvader said...

Booo!!!!! HISSS!!!!

This is the internet and I demand, nay, am entitled to other people entertaining me for free. It's in the fucking constitution for chrissakes. (I threw in the gratuitous profanity to get OB's panties in a twist.)

the chief - did you decide to quit because you ran out of inspiration for the objectivebruce bits? Like Jerry Seinfeld, you felt you exhausted the character's possibilities.

I understand. The site was inspired and you caught every bit of twisted logic and personal attacks.

Thank you.

michael said...

It was a hell of a run. Thanks for saying what so many of us thought.

ObjectiveBruce said...

Text of a statement released this evening:

ObjectiveBruce today congratulated the creator of the Web site "Dan Shaughnessy Watch" for his decision to close the site.

"The site had consistently added nothing in the way of journalistic criticism," Bruce stated. "Even knee-jerk reactions will run their course over time, and the failure to provide any intelligent, substantive criticism of Shaughnessy -- or any other aspect of the media for that matter -- clearly led to the site's demise."

Bruce, a veteran media observer who pointed out repeated and egregious lapses of fact and logic on the Shaughnessy site, issued the statement from his newspaper-strewn headquarters, and predicted that an effort to re-launch the site would be made "but the second team is the second team and it will probably collapse of its own irrelevance."

ObjectiveBruce said...

Couldn't resist.

Thanks to chief and jenny for a lively debate.

troywestfield said...

Do you guys think Shaughnessy's columns might get any better now that 'bruce' isn't distracted by this site?

Chief and jenny, thanks for all the great work. It was much appreciated.

Shawn said...

Cheif, Jenny, thanks. I didn't always agree with your analyses, but the forum to discuss, diss and rage about Shank was needed.

Bruce, I got sidetracked from pulling together my case, but if you want to continue the Ortiz/Minneapolis/Boston discussion, let me know. (Sneak preview - Minneapolis' offensive philosophy will never generate a 35-home run hitter, and I'd be stunned with a 30-HR hitter)

dbvader said...

You must be pretty stunned then. Mornueau and Hunter hit over 30. And Cuddyer could reach it in the next few years.
I agree with your point, though. Papi's quotations make it clear that the Twins failed to appreciate and develop what they had.

Monkeesfan said...

Darn, I'm going to miss the Shanking Of Shank Shaughnessy. Thanks for the run.

Shawn said...

Damn DB. I'm gonna go shut up now. :(

The Couch Potato said...

Chief and Jenny - thanks for the laughs, the outrage, and the chance to hoist CHB on a petard or two. Sorry I disappeared after the baseball season was over - blogging about it daily took more out of me than I had anticipated, so I well understand your decision.

Take care & Happy Turkey Day everyone. Even you, OB! :-)


Anonymous said...

Dan, he's so bad though, he's good, but we need people like you to shout 'Look, the emperor has no clothes!'

Good work, carry on

dbvader said...

the chief,
You have to comeback for today's unsubstantiated rip job on a player of color. Shank-tastic!

dbvader said...

Check out the forum on 11/22/06 for some great Shank bashing. A great parody around page 4.

The Chief said...

Yeah, it was hard not to unretire after seeing that piece of unmitigated garbage.

Dan Kennedy said...

Oh, Jesus ... does this mean you're going to spend even more time here? Just kidding.

I dropped in to see if you'd had anything to say about this, a column in which Shaughnessy's mind-reading powers seem to be particularly acute. Well, I guess I already know what you'd say.

Sorry you're walking away — Hope you change your mind.

ObjectiveBruce said...

Manny's race had absolutely nothing to do with a dead-on column about his fiasco of a last two months of the 2006 season.

But this is Boston and we simply luv our Red Sox players!! Luv luv luv, hearts, hearts, hearts. Criticize one of our beloved? Bad man. Baaad man.

To paraphrase the great Frazier, it makes me wanna 'fro up.

ObjectiveBruce said...

Manny's race had absolutely nothing to do with a dead-on column about his fiasco of a last two months of the 2006 season.

But this is Boston and we simply luv our Red Sox players!! Luv luv luv, hearts, hearts, hearts. Criticize one of our beloved? Bad man. Baaad man.

To paraphrase the great Frazier, it makes me wanna 'fro up.

The Chief said...

OB, you're repeating again. Next time, try cooking the turkey first.

dbvader said...

Know what I love?
I love watching one of the 20 best hitters of all time.
I love writers who can back up their opinions with facts and quotations, instead of speculating about what other people might say if they felt the least built inclined to speak to a muckraker like Shank.

dbvader said...

Quotation from a Bob Ryan interview:
Q. You're known for your passionate opinions – how do you maintain your passion?

A. It's interesting how that has evolved and separated me from the pack. I just turned 60. When I started I saw guys get jaded at 40 and then they got really jaded and terminally unhappy. The late Ray Fitzgerald was an example, but that's another story. That's not me.

The answer is: I still like the games. That's why so many sports editors are missing the boat as they try to re-invent the newspaper. I still like the games. I see people crafting columns in the fifth inning or the third quarter and I say, "You're not watching the game". And people say, "I'm writing about the people and the color". Well, guess what? It starts with the game. If I'm flipping the dial as I was a week ago in my hotel room in New York – Brown and Yale were tied with six minutes to go – I'm hanging around to see what happens. I couldn't name a player on either team, but I was curious to see how it came out. I like the games. I don't think enough people actually like the games.

Which brings us to the next question, which I am anticipating, and which I feel very passionately about.

I don't relate to people who are not fans. Some writers insist they can't be fans – I read your interview with Dave Hooker – (Dan) Shaughnessy (Boston Globe) will tell you that – but I am very much a fan. That's my DNA – it's why I have an advantage over most other people. I can convey that to my readers – they know that if they hang in with me over a period of time there's no doubt I am one of them. That is simply not the case with the vast majority of my colleagues. How can they function – I don't get it. I can't be clinical. Even though I don't like football it doesn't mean I can't go to a game and get into it – and I'm more into football now than ever because of what the Patriots have done the last six years.


The section in bold is a perfect description of Shank.

ObjectriveBruce said...

Uh, I think Shaugnessy nailed the stats right on the money and substantiated what he said.

Manny's RBI total after Aug. 20: 2.

The comparison of excuses given for his absence for much of the last month and a half of the season, and the excuses given for taking all-star-break
vacations was accurate.

If you don't think Francona, Schilling and Ortiz know Manny quit on the team this year, then your luv, luv, luv for your heroes and obsessive jock-sniffing are completely out of control.

As for columns alleged to be written in the fifth inning, sometimes material must be filed before a game is over -- or even before it starts -- to make presstime for certain editions. Some of the commentators on this site, lacking both common sense and any understanding of how the media operate, often parade their ignorance in this regard -- especially when they completely miss columns as with the baseball classic piece.

That being said, the fact that Manny Money is no longer considered upspeakable money may argue in favor of keeping him, especially in light of the local entry's monumental stupidity in letting Gonzalez walk. Or the monumental stupidity in letting Cabrera walk.

The Chief said...

For a measly $8M/year, Cabrera was the 18th best shortstop in the majors in 2005. He then upped his output in 2006 ... to 12th.

Not re-signing him was one of Epstein's smartest moves.

The Chief said...

For the record, the first time Manny missed two games in a row the entire season was Aug. 24-25, and at that point he had played in 122 of the team's 128 games. At that point the Sox were 5.5 games out of first and the season was effectively over.

And when he sat down more or less for good a week later, the team was 8 games out. Manny didn't quit on the team; the team was toast.

But of course, it's Manny's fault!

But somehow -- although he never names any names -- Dan is certain the players, coaches and management thinks Manny quit on them. Never mind that no one -- no one -- has said a word on or off the record.

In most places, that's called slander.

Don't let the facts get in the way of a good racial smear. You and Dan still own slaves, OB?

Anonymous said...

So am I to believe that it is okay for a column to be written in the fifth inning of a game when the writer is being paid to watch the whole thing?

It is according to OB.

When you put it in those terms, Bruce, it seems to me that "The Writer" is far more concerned with making deadlines- which leads to him getting paid- than by actually being a good writer about what is going on.

Seems like a pretty serious indictment of Shaughnessy to me. But then again, what do I know? I'm just a fan who "Hero worships" and is "Jock sniffing" Manny. It's not like I'm the target audience that Shank should be writing too.

Oh wait a minute, yes I am.

dbvader said...

As for columns alleged to be written in the fifth inning, sometimes material must be filed before a game is over -- or even before it starts -- to make presstime for certain editions. Some of the commentators on this site, lacking both common sense and any understanding of how the media operate, often parade their ignorance in this regard -- especially when they completely miss columns as with the baseball classic piece.

You are the one parading your ignorance. First, Danny boy was being criticized by his colleague. Don't you think Ryan knows what he is talking about?

Second, go back to the WS coverage in the Globe. Ronald McDonald's bastard son handed in two game columns with a paragraph of game coverage. Ryan working on the same deadlines and longer games, was able to hand in columns about the game itself and not some warmed over history lesson.

You continue to display blind devotion to a writer who doesn't give a damn. Everybody except you and Joe Sullivan understands this fact.

fadedredsoxhat said...

I nominate dbvader to be the new blogger of this site.

dbvader said...

I have more material attacking Shank's latest irrelevant mention of country clubs.

Plus, I want to get on Deadspin. Me and you, OB.

Please, I just want to piss off OB one more time.

dbvader said...

the chief,
CHB-hating nation turns their lonely eyes to you. A completely meaningless hypothetical used simply to trot out his usual targets with lame jokes and references? It is begging for your editorial.

jdj said...

Where are you guys?

I thought Dan's criticism of OJ Simpson this morning was oh-so-brave. It really takes a brave writer to take a stand against that guy. Definitely not a writer just trying to hit his word count in a mail-it-in "Emptying out the Desk Drawer" column.

ObjectiveBruce said...

OK, I guess this knee-jerk reaction leads one to see things in a Ryan interview that just aren't there. Where is the reference to Shaughnessy? Damned if I can find it. Maybe you just imagined it was there.

And you know what? For a defending championship team, I'll take a shortstop who makes 7 errors in a season over one who makes 30. But then, I don't luv, luv, luv Theo.

I'll let the confoundingly idiotic remark about facts "getting in the way of a good racial smear" speak for itself.

The Chief said...

What did the Angels do with Cabrera that the Red Sox didn't without him?

That's what I thought.

The numbers don't lie: Cabrera sucked. He made absolutely no difference in the Red Sox' 2004 run. And he would have made absolutely no difference the two seasons since.

Shawn said...

Not offensively, Chief, but I doubt the Sox were going to win anything with Nomar playing short. Nomar had 6 errors in 37 games to OCab's 8 in 57. Fielding % was nine points higher, and his range factor, while still below league average, was a DAMN sight better than Nomar's (4.12 to 3.85). [all]

OCab was a defensive upgrade, which is what the Sox needed. He was also an attitude upgrade, as Nomar was dragging the mood in the clubhouse down. Do I resent Nomar for it? Not really. He was a special, special player once, and I'm grateful I got to see him rake. I hope he wins a ring. And I've got nothing against Orlando, either, but for the money he was making, he wasn't worth it.

Bruce: Was Renteria a mistake? Theo's the first that'll tell you it sure ended up that way. Dude was hurt, and his slow start plus reticent demeanor soured the fans on him and he never recovered that season. But I wouldn't want Cabrera over Renteria. Bruce, tell me why you would. The defense? Look at the numbers, man. OCab had an out of character season in 2005, and so did Renteria. From 2001 to 2006, Cabrera averaged 16 errors a season, and Renteria averaged 18. If you take out 2005, then Cabrera jumps to 17.8 errors a season and Edgar falls to 16.6. Range factor per 9 kind of jumps around, but Edgar comes out ahead. So Edgar's making less errors while usually getting to more balls than Cabrera. I'm sorry, but I just don't think you can convince me that he was the wrong SS to sign based on what we knew at the time.

The Chief said...

Shawn, I don't think you are looking at the data correctly. A difference of 1 or 2 errors per season is absolutely meaningless. It could be accounted for a variety of ways, including differences in scoring.

Re Nomar's defense, he was without a doubt the worst fielding SS in the majors at that point. But did Cabrera make a difference? No. Recall that the Sox had Pokey Reese that year, and he was coming off the DL right as Nomar was traded. Consider also, that the Sox pitching staff was 2d in the AL in strikeouts and some 100 K's above the median. (Translated: 100 Ks is the same as playing 3.7 games where the defense doesn't even touch the ball.) This was a team built on preventing teams from putting the ball into play (they were also 3d in the league in fewest walks allowed, just 2 behind the no. 2 team).

This is why the Sox led the league in BA-against by some 7 points. They didn't lead the league in pitching simply because OC played 1/3 of the season at SS.

To be fair, Cabrera was an out machine -- at bat. had an OBP of .320 during his 58 games with the Sox. Nomar's was .367 when traded, and .364 in the 43 games he played for the Cubs after the deal. Whatever Nomar gave up in the field, he more than made up for it at the plate.

Finally, there's no way to prove/disprove the effect of Nomar's departure on the clubhouse. It's absolute conjecture.

As for whether Renteria is a better SS than Cabrera, there's no question: he was in 2004, and he is today.

Shawn said...

FWIW, I'm basing my 'mood' comments on anecdotes and quotes from Seth Mnookin's book. I gave it to my dad to read, or I'd excerpt some.

Chief, the Sox's 2B & SS range factor (PO+A/9) is below league average for 2004, so that lends credence to your argument. I'll buy it. And there's no arguing that the pitching was wicked that year, and that was the greatest component of their success.

But the conventional wisdom at the time of the trade was that the Sox needed to upgrade defensively. What was Theo's comment? The team, as it was, "wasn't built to win"? I am not questioning Nomar's greater contribution with the bat, but I submit that the 2004 Red Sox offense needed that bat less than the defense needed Cabrera's glove.

God, this is why I love baseball :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Chief. And I can't say I blame you for bolting. I loved this blog at first and made the snarky summations of Dan's latest "output" daily reading.
But after awhile it just became tedious. And it must have been 10 times worse for you, since you had to read the entire columns.

Godspeed, friend. Godspeed.

dbvader said...

OK, I guess this knee-jerk reaction leads one to see things in a Ryan interview that just aren't there. Where is the reference to Shaughnessy? Damned if I can find it. Maybe you just imagined it was there.

For once accept things for as they are instead of as how you want them to be. Ryan was talking about columnists who write their pieces before the end of the game. There are only a handful of columnists in Boston, and Shank fits Ryan's description to a tee. Further, you fail to address my second point. Why does Ryan write game columns and Shanknasty write warmed over history lessons that he could have written months before? Your help on this question would help a lot.

Anonymous said...

This last week of Shaughnessy columns scream for this site to be brought back.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see the site reactivated. CHB's prediction column on the Pats-Chargers game took what I believed to be a swipe at Bob Ryan who is one of my favorites. Curious as to whether others felt the same (the line where he says Ryan ought to be on TV)...shut up you ought not to be in the paper

I am willing to team up with anyone who would like to start a new CHB critical blog - anyone? anyone?

The Chief said...

If someone wants to relaunch this site, I'd be more than happy to turn over the keys.

And yes, The CHB and Ryan took shots at each other in their Patriots-Chargers preview columns. It's an ongoing feud.

Objective Bruce said...

How horrid that someone would take a "swipe" at one of your favorites.

Anonymous said...

It is horrid isnt it Bruce? Your one of my favorites too.

I thought it was a cheap shot at Bob Ryan and uncalled for but that is consistent with CHB's shtick

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:20

If you want, I will join up with you. Let me know in the comments and contact the chief. I will contact him also.

Anonymous said...

Anon552 and Chief:

I would love to do 1-2 reviews a week in an effort to bring this site back. If you are willing to do a couple, we may be in good shape

Would like to think I can do it justice.

Dave M

Anonymous said...

Dave M:
I'm in. The site has to continue after it was mentioned in the Phoenix.
"Stop listening. Stop reading. Write letters and ask for offensive on-air “talent” to be fired. Support the city’s good sportswriters — Edes, Ryan, Silverman — and keep tabs on the bad ones at Boston Sports Media Watch and Dan Shaughnessy Watch."


The Chief said...

Dave M and db, send me an email to Thanks.

Anonymous said...


I sent you an email. I even gave a first stab at a column - please see what you think

Dave M

Anonymous said...


I really look forward to teaming up with you. Lets see if we can make this happen

Dave M

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