In the spirit of Shank himself, let me begin by stating the obvious. Dan Shaughnessy is a columnist. Columnists, unlike traditional reporters, are given much latitude. They can speculate; they can use humor; they can inject personal opinion. When you read a column, the expectation is that you will be treated to a unique insight or be told a story that you have not heard multiple times elsewhere. Let me end this paragraph by stating the obvious. Dan Shaughnessy fails as a columnist.
Today, we are treated to yet another look at Daisuke Matsuzaka. Shaughnessy bemoans the beast that is the press attention being given to Matsuzaka. Let’s see, where do I start? First of all, the Matsuzaka coming out party has already been mocked ad nauseum. See, for example, Gerry Callahan’s mocking column from earlier in the week. In a bit of irony, Shank says “it’s a little embarrassing the way we’re reacting to the introduction of the Japanese hurler.” Shaughnessy, aren’t you perpetuating the very beast by writing this column? Shaughnessy asks “Are we not staid old Boston?” Come on Shank, do you really believe that characterization of Boston? Aren’t you the same guy who got on the pulpit the other day to remind us that we are too focused on sports stars and that we need to remember the true heroes? Is all of this attention really a big surprise to you? Give me a break.
A few other thoughts:
- Shank loves Gerry Callahan’s characterization of the press. Shank himself wishes he could have come up with Callahan’s “Million Cameraman March” to describe the press contingent. I am sorry but I don’t think that line is particularly funny—at least not funny enough to wish it were your own. (I like Jeff Horrigan's rattlesnake similie instead)
- I, for one, despise the whole “Dice-K” nickname. Reminds me too much of the horrid comedian Dice Clay. Shank perpetuates that god awful nickname four times today.
- Once again, Shank spurts out the line that it cost the Red Sox $51 million just to talk to Matsuzaka. That’s not really true—the $51 million should be considered a part of the overall signing package. If they had not signed him, they would not have been on the hook for the money in which case they would have talked with him for $0.
Shank ends his column with the familiar platitude that it doesn’t matter what words are spoken by the player or the press during all this hoopla; what matters is what happens on the field. Thanks, Shank, for your grand insight.