Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Patriots and the Expectations Game

Shaughnessy has another column on the Patriots today - this time, he speculates how Belichick and the Pats will handle the lofty expectations from the media and the fans.

In the past, Shaughnessy contends that the Pats have played the "We don't get any respect" card. They won't be able to do that this year since the prevailing thought is that they are so loaded. Shaughnessy offers quotes from a phone interview he had with Bill Parcells. Parcells essentially says it's a new year and you have to start over. He also interviews Belichick who says the Pats are approaching the year one day at a time. Yawn.

Three notes of interest...

- Shaughnessy gets Parcells to warm up about the Pats on a personal level:

Obviously, when you have a relative on the team, you want good things to happen," said the Tuna. "And when there's a guy who worked for you for a long time, you hope things go well...


- Shaughnessy misses a great chance to compare/contrast Parcells/Owens to Belichick/Moss.

- Shaughnessy has a two game hitting streak with current cultural reference, calling ESPN's "Who's now" one of the worst ideas in the history of the network

Friday, July 27, 2007

I wish he would stick to baseball

Today is the first day of Patriot's training camp and Shaughnessy speculates about the upcoming season. It is particular torture when Shaughnessy steps outside of Red Sox world to cover the other local teams.

Shaughnessy starts with the "All is well in the world"
technique as he discusses where to stay in Arizona for the Super Bowl and detailing his hope that it is not too cold in Boston for the Super Bowl parade. When he has used this technique in the past, we have debated whether he is being his overly cynical and/or bitterly sarcastic self. I will cut him a little slack on this one - he seems to be using the technique just to set the stage for describing a season for which people have high expectations.

He then proceeds, however, to make two head-scratching comparisons. He says expectations are sky high for the Patriots this year just as they were for the 86 Celtics because of Bill Walton's arrival and the 78 Sox with Dennis Eckersley's arrival. Granted, the Celts had won titles in 81 and 84 and Walton was a nice fit but I dont recall Walton's acquisition pushing expectations above and beyond - he was a reserve player in the twilight of his career. The Red Sox reference is even more puzzling --the Sox had been in the World Series in 75 but to suggest that adding Eckersley convinced people that the Sox were a lock for the Series in 1978 does not resonate well with me--a poor analogy for this year's Patriots team.

He takes a pot shot (again) at Bob and Myra for selling their sanctimonious soles for the acquisition of Moss and Meriweather. We have discussed this before but this sanctimony of which Shaughnessy speaks seems to be more of a media creation than a Patriots creation. The Patriots have taken other character gambles in the past in the Kraft era.

Other quick notes:

- Shank trots out two other favorite conventions - we are treated to a "Sons of Belichick" reference and a "Mssrs." use.

- Cultural reference alert: Shaughnessy goes mostly modern today - a Tim Donaghy joke ("even Tim Donaghy thinks the Pats are a lock"--pretty funny) and a Harry Potter reference as well.

Bottom Line: Not much here - not sure what Shaughnessy has contributed in any meaningful way to the dialogue.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Another picked up pieces column

And this one has:

More Selig quotations from his days old press conference.

More Bonds.

And the astute observation that the Tigers are good and the Angels aren't the same team the Red Sox swept in April. Glad Dan is there to tell us. Among Sportscenter, Baseball Tonight, FOX, and the internet I don't know where else I could find that information.

There are other inane and obvious nuggets in the column that you all can spot.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Barry, Barry, Barry

Dan outdoes himself for self-contradiction. He writes his second Barry Bonds column in four days (and third in less than a month), all the while complaining about the drudgery of the chase. But that is all Dan can do; document the problem and provide a few quotations. He acknowledges the limitation when at the end of today's column he writes "The whole thing is a little silly. There are much more important issues in baseball." Then why waste two columns going over the same ground?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Look at Okajima

Dan has a look at Hideki Okajima. A pretty good column with some interesting quotations from the reliever. Dan of course does his best to ruin the intro with a hanging chads reference. Does he really think his tired jokes are funny? How can he think it is good writing?

Monday, July 09, 2007

"This will not end well"

The poster at deadspin could not have been more correct.

Apparently one of Dan Shaughnessy's daughters has circulated an email that implores its recipients to post positive reviews about "Senior Year", CHB's latest turn at long form writing, on The email, once made public, seems to have backfired.

Whether the original email is true, I have no idea.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Apologize for not posting lately - I am in the process of moving to Virginia and internet access on the road is dicey at best.

Quick recap--today's column on Bonds (All Star preview) is more of the same thought process from his Bonds column several weeks ago (his first game at Fenway)

Bonds is a pariah...It's a joyless/fradulent chase - okay Dan - we know where you are coming from.

No new insights here but how do you know that Frank Robinson didnt cheat? I am not saying he did but Shaughnessy is guilty of the halo effect of assuming all players from the 70s and before are beyond reproach.

Hope to get back in a regular rhythm in two weeks