Friday, June 30, 2006
Today, we learn that the Boston Red Sox are playing fairly well.
Really? Wow. I had no idea. ESPN has only told me approximately 8 million times that they have won 12 straight games and that they have some huge long errorless streak going. I've only, you know, watched all these wins, being a Sox fan. The Red Sox are looking good? Who would have guessed it?
Honestly, what is the point of this column? There really isn't much to say about it, because the game recap is right above it and contains pretty much the same information. So let's just leave it at that.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Summoning the ghost of Saul Bellow, The CHB ticked off a litany of names and out-of-place references: John Wasdin, Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, Johnny Damon, Cal Ripken, Barbra Streisand, Ann Coulter (!). Other than naming names, though, intermixed with a pedestrian game account, the column lacked any sense of depth or proportion of what the game meant to Martínez.
The CHB did note that Pedro didn't have his best stuff (eight runs allowed on seven hits and two walks in three innings), yet he (thankfully) shelved the childish nicknames (the Dominican Diva, for example) and his usual snideness, save one line: "We saw some of old Pedro when he drilled Loretta in the wrist on an 0 and 2 pitch with two outs and nobody aboard in the second" (as if Pedro, down 4-0 at that point and with Ortiz and Manny due up next, would really pick that spot to make a point).
Perhaps The CHB let up as he sensed -- correctly for a change -- that the winds were blowing Pedro's way, that Boston fans recognized the masterful performance he put on during his time in Boston and were ready to welcome him home.
No, you don't need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows. Just read Dan.
Grady Little watch (you knew there would be one, didn't you?): "He rarely cracked 90 miles per hour and needed 75 pitches to get through the three frames. Even Grady Little would have pulled him out of this one."
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Today's piece is intended to be a smarmy, heart-warming work about the 1986 Red Sox, the infamous Bill Buckner posse. Unheralded! Fantastic! Surprising! Soul-crushing! You get the idea. Right off the bat, we get such nonsense as this:
The Red Sox? They were well below the radar, coming off a thoroughly boring 81-81 season.Okay, I don't live in Boston, and I wasn't around then, but have the Red Sox ever been below anybody's radar? I have trouble believing this. And since when is 81-81 boring? Seems pretty exciting to me. The season could go either way after that. But what do I know?
Minor nitpick: "Sweet Caroline" was written by Neil Diamond in 1969 (yes, I had to look that up). So technically, it was there. Just not at Fenway. But I know what he meant.
There was no Nation, no Monster Section, no pink hats, no ``Sweet Caroline", no Curse, and no automatic sellout for every game.
Major nitpick: Yup, people, there's that "Curse" again! It wasn't there yet because a certain ugly curly-haired columnist hadn't yet come up with a completely stupid way to make money by writing a book about an odd coincidence! And here he is, pimping it! Yay for CHB!
Also, why does he list things that have only occurred since the Henry/Werner/Lucchino group took over? Nation? Monster Section? Automatic sellout? Not exactly ancient history, Dan. Most of us can remember back farther than 4 years.
They've all been treated unfairly, of course, and I'll own up to my contributions in this area.Oh my gosh. Is CHB apologizing? Look at this! Oh, wait. He says "I'll own up to my contributions." Future tense. Then he never does. Never mentions anything he said previously. I should have known better.
Now, we get to the most ridiculous paragraph I've ever seen:
Holy shit, Dan. No, they didn't. The '04 Red Sox had the most unlikely comeback in the history of sports. Coming back from down 3-0 in the series had never happened before. Please don't tell me you've forgotten all this already, how magical it was, how unexpected: it was two freaking years ago! Coming back from down 3-1, winning one game in extras, and then the other two "easily" is nowhere near as unlikely as coming back from down 3-0, never done before in MLB history, winning two games in extras, winning a game with a pitcher who probably shouldn't have been able to walk at all, and then winning the fourth game easily. Utter BS. Just wow.
These men who'll be honored tonight engineered a comeback every bit as unlikely as what the '04 Red Sox did against the Yankees. Trailing the California Angels, three games to one, they came back from a 5-2 deficit in the ninth inning of Game 5 in Anaheim. And it was Buckner who started the rally with a single up the middle in the ninth. A home run by Dave Henderson became instant Boston folklore as the Sox rallied to win Game 5, 7-6, in 11 innings.
They won the next two in Boston with ease, then took the first two games of the Series in New York.
I firmly believe this to be a hot load of crap, but I might be wrong.
The 1986 team deserves credit, not just for coming back against the Angels, not just for making it to Game 7 of the Series, but for putting big league baseball back on the map in New England.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
I'm not Chief. As you may have noticed. Some of you will probably recognize me as "jenny" from the comments, and for those who don't, well, that's me. Chief has asked me to help out with the unenviable task of running CHB's crap through a strainer, and I'm grateful for the invitation. So, with that out of the way, let's get to today's Sunday surprise.
People should not beat their wives.
Shocking, right? I have no problem with this message. Wife-beating is unacceptable. We all know that.
But coming from Dan Shaughnessy? Let's get something straight here: I am NOT comparing the crime of writing insulting garbage in a newspaper to the crime of domestic abuse. There's no comparison. But please. With all the horrible things this man has written about people over the years that HE should be called out publicly way more than he is, this is a little ironic.
You know what the nice message was? The nice message was that the guy got the shit booed out of him every time he stepped out of the dugout. It was abundantly clear that NOBODY approved of what he'd done. As far as those "young folks," let's take a look around the league, Dan. Brett Myers is neither the first nor the last player to beat his wife, as you noted later on with your mention of Wil "Telephone Bludgeon" Cordero. The league is full of drug abusers (and yes, you can take that any way you please), drunk drivers, and other such lovely role models. Sidney Ponson and Jason Michaels are in trouble for assaulting police officers. Point is, Dan, most of these guys are not really people you want your kids emulating. Let's not act like Brett Myers is the sole scum of the earth.
And so he was out there throwing cut fastballs and changeups on a misty, humid afternoon. Nice message for all the young folks watching at home and in the stands.
It's just plain wrong. It's an embarrassment to baseball and an embarrassment to the Phillies. At the very least, Myers would have been better off if he'd been sent home to start counseling with his wife. Or maybe someone in authority could have condemned domestic violence -- in the generic sense. Instead all we got was ``the game must go on" -- 36 hours after a man was arrested for beating his wife.Yes, it is an embarrassment. It's always an embarrassment. Does Dan think for some reason that if he draws attention to this issue, which has already been written about twice in the Globe by other people, it will become more of an embarrassment? Everybody already condemns domestic violence. We don't need Dan Shaughnessy, of all people, to tell us it's wrong, especially when this issue has already been beaten (no pun intended) to death by various other writers. It's quite obvious what everyone thinks of Myers, Dan, since you aptly pointed out the resounding chorus of boos he received from the Fenway crowd. What exactly is the point of this column?
Oh, and I don't think he can go home and start counseling right away. He's not allowed to go near her.
Friday, June 23, 2006
And while ex Red Sox come forward to tell their tales, where is their star columnist?
The Boston Globe edit page today complains that while drugs were running rampant, no one was minding the store: "Selig, the owners, and the union might have stopped it from reaching the scale it did in the late-1990s if baseball had not welcomed the explosion of home runs powered by the drugs as a way to lure back fans disillusioned by the strike of 1994."
But in taking everyone to the whipping shed, the paper conveniently spared a few lashes for the one group whose only job is to inform the public: its very own writers.
While the needles were being filled, where was Dan?
And while the battle and disclosures of today rage on, where is Dan?
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Not much here...just the usual tripe: Dan hates soccer, Mark Cuban and Gary Glitter, and loves Tom Verducci, Jeff Samardzija and Stephen Stills. Whoopee!
In anticipation of the return of Pedro Martinez to Boston, Bruce Allen at Boston Sports Media Watch is offering a "Write like Shaughnessy" contest. I'd highly recommend it. But first, borrow a friend's motorcycle and ride it, helmutless, into a concrete wall. Next, get really, really drunk. Then write your column.
On another note, jenny when you get a moment drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
* A groundbreaking, insider's look at Harvard's equipment man, whose name (Chet Stone) sounds like a porn star's.
* A trio of dispatches from the crucial Twins-Red Sox series.
* A rewrite of his tongue-in-cheek breakdown of the typical Boston fan.
In the Boston fan piece, he interviews the two village idiots, Bob Lobel and Gerry Callahan, perhaps with the rare insight that by putting those two clowns front and center, it would take the attention (and heat) off Dan himself.
In the pieces from Minneapolis, he can barely cast a middle finger toward the Sox; the worst insult he can manage is to call the then-tepid Boston offense "vaunted." He actually sounds like he feels sorry for Matt Clement.
He is clearly picking his spots, picking subjects and taking positions that are of such little interest to the five readers he has left that no one will bother to criticize him.
In today's column, two items stick out, and for all the wrong reasons.
1. What Dan wrote: "But what about the absurdity of Frank Robinson not making baseball's 30-man All-Century team in 2000? Mark McGwire was on that team. Pete Rose was on that team. Ken Griffey Jr. was on that team. No room for Frank -- a guy who could hit, run, field, and throw? The MVP in both leagues? Pete Rose over Frank Robinson?"
What Dan didn't write: Anything about the omission at the time it occurred.
2. What Dan wrote: "Frank Robinson is quite possibly the most underrated player in the history of baseball. Certainly he got his props, making the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility and being part of 12 All-Star teams. He remains the only man to win the MVP award in both leagues and had his No. 20 uniform jersey retired by both the Reds and Orioles. He was Rookie of the Year with the Reds in 1956 and in 1975 became the first African-American to manage in the majors. Ever-dramatic, Robinson homered in his first game as player-manager of the Indians."
This graf is The CHB in a nutshell. A hypothesis statement, followed by a point by point ticking off of occasionally random facts that completely obliterate that very hypothesis. And amid all Dan is completely oblivious to the fact that his "proof" does not support his argument. Quintessential Shaughnessy.
And it's just another shovel of dirt cast on the vestiges of a mediocre career.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
In this week's Globe magazine, the Mailman rewrites his essay of 16 years ago in which he categorized the sports fans of Boston. For this year's version, he digs up some of the fans he spoke with in the 1990 piece, while also interviewing better-known faces like Bob Lobel and Gerry Callahan, of whom it is said "co-hosts a sports talk show on WEEI radio" (Callahan's Boston Herald affiliation is mysteriously absent). Ain't it sweet when you can take a 4,400 word article, complete with interviews, without ever leaving the press box?
Weird quote of the column: " 'By any measure, it's a football town,' says WEEI's Callahan. 'How can it not be? There's more interest in out-of-town football than there is in out-of-town baseball. The passion for the Red Sox does not make it a baseball town. Look at the TV ratings.' " Ever heard of summer, Gerry? That's when baseball is played. That's also when the weather is nice and people take vacations and there's lots of stuff to do outside. Can't exactly say the same about Sunday afternoons in December in Boston.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
I read today's column while en route from Boston to Philly. My first thought was, Hey Dan, haven't seen you in awhile. My second was, The CHB reappears for this?
Shaughnessy has barely caressed the keyboard of late, and when he has the topics have been for the most part peripheral to sports life in Boston. He's gone from rewriting old columns to barely writing at all -- and sending them by box turtle when he does.
There was the 50,000-word dispatch on some relic at Harvard who handled equipment for the sports teams. That ran almost two weeks ago, and was more or less Dan's only effort until his road trip this week to the baseball Mecca of Minneapolis, where he had drafted a pair of mundane pieces on the key Red Sox-Twins matchup.
On to today's attempted whimsy.
His latest remarks come in response to the announcement that Globe sportswriter Chris Snow is leaving to take a front office job with the Minnesota Wild NHL franchise. There are numerous problems with this piece, as several folks have already cited. Two others are:
* He finishes the piece by calling Snow's move "one in a million," yet before the jump he ticked off no fewer than seven pro sports executives who got their starts as sportswriters.
* His claim that Peter Gammons would make a great GM: "What fan would not be comfortable with Gammons making personnel decisions for his or her team?" Ummm, me (although I think Dan's imitation of Gammons' famously fractured syntax was amusing -- assuming it was intended, of course).
This appears to be the end of the line for Dan. The Red Sox and Yankees are engaged in yet another classic struggle, and the best he can do is weak reminisces. I find it sad, in a way, though not Shakespearean. It's more like seeing the poor sot who used to go around talking to himself in the park now curled in the fetal position waiting to finally succumb to death's grip. So long, Aqualung.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
This is just more evidence that said scribes are stuck, perhaps hopelessly, in a black hole of awareness.
Major League Baseball may have its own rules. But those dictates do not obviate the laws of the nation, and it would be novel if the media quit acting to the contrary.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
I have to say, you'll surely miss him. Where else could you get his special hockey expertise, gleaned from 30-plus years of baseball watching? Where else could you get his wisdom of knowing just whom the B's should hire as GM, and on what terms? Where else could you see his "Make me look just like Ronald McDonald" perm?
Truly a loss for both sides.