Friday, February 16, 2007

Bemoaning the Beast

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.


Paul said...

If Ted Williams rose from the grave (in his prime) and was going to be the starting left fielder to start the '07 season, Shank would complain about the media presence.

He's never happy. If only one Japanese reporter showed up to cover Dice-K (sorry, I like the nickname) he'd complain about how the Sox spent all this money on a "national treasure" and they only sent one reporter.

And what was that comment about Boston being a "third Gotham team"? That makes no freakin' sense. So what if newspapers from New York want to cover the Sox. They have as much of a right to cover the Sox as Shank does to cover the Brewers.

With him, it's not the glass is half-empty or full. It's more like, the glass isn't clean enough and the water isn't bottled. Talk about out of touch!

Dave M said...

Thanks very much for your comments. Great insight.

Appreciate your bringing up the third Gotham team reference...that reference struck me as really odd but then I forgot to roll it in. What the hell is he thinking?

I suppose I will get use to "Dice-K" :)

dbvader said...

Strained analogy alert:

"So why is Dice-K, who arrived in Florida the week of the 43d anniversary of the Beatles' first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show," touted as the soon-to-be Fenway Elvis?"

How bleeping stupid! The analogy is strained and dated.

Chris said...

Little Danny Boy probably gets paranoid wondering how many of the Globe peons and management tune into this Blog to get the 'real deal' on Le Carrot-Head. Maybe his Momma and Daddy do, too. No friends do, because he doesn't have any.

I can see him shaking his fist at the mere mention of the word 'blog,' and I love it.