You know I could swear I read this morning's column on Wednesday morning. Alas, I looked back to Wednesday and recognized they indeed are distinct pieces but with a common thread -- Shaughnessy wanders aimlessly making one point or another, just hoping and praying that something sticks - something that in a month he can come back to and say "I told you so." There is no sense of coherence...there is no main point. He says lots of things and yet, he says nothing at all. This is Shaughnessy at his laziest....this is Shaughnessy at his best (and I don't mean that as a compliment.)
First, one of Shaughnessy's favorite tactics - his point that any encounter with the Yankees is a scene from another world - that somehow the Red Sox-Yankees series are on a different plane than any other series. Now read his first few paragraphs--and simply plug in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays - yes, those Devil Rays that have only been in existence since the last decade - and the same types of things would apply. Sure, the Red Sox and Yankees have dramatic series and lots of history--I'm not arguing that - but it is hardly unique to the Yankees and Red Sox. Shaughnessy's over-dramatization is like a warped application of the halo effect.
Second, as pointed out on BSMW this week, why do all these writers feel the need to proclaim that the race for the AL East Crown is over and we are not even in September? Hell, Shaughnessy was declaring it over weeks ago....and then he softened when the lead went down to four games....but then he grew more emboldened when the league was at 7, emphatically declaring that it was over on Wednesday ("Fear not, gentle readers. The Red Sox have won the American League East")... Today, just two losses later, he recedes ever so slightly ("Most of us still believe the race in the AL East is over")...But why even make the point at all? It's like Shaughnessy is feeding the expectation machine so that if it ever collapses, he can write another book about the greatest collapse in the history of the modern world...you know, the "Yankees are the daddies", blah, blah, blah. It is absolutely ridiculous.
Speaking of the moronic daddy thing, Shaughnessy dusts that one off today ("If you are a Yankee fan, the better news is that the sweep established the Yanks as wild-card favorites and still Daddies of the Red Sox.") What? Are you kidding me Shaughnessy? Didn't the Sox put that one to bed in 2004---you remember that comeback don't you?. The Yankees are the "daddy" and yet you have repeatedly declared the Yankees aren't topping the Sox in the division this year? What the hell are you smoking?
Then we have the significance of the small sample size which Shaughnessy loves to latch on to...On Wednesday, he wrote...."when the Yanks are bad, they are Superbad (in their last 19 games, they have lost by scores of 15-4, 12-0, 18-9, and 16-0)." Today, he writes things such as "Meanwhile, the vaunted Yankee lineup is finally intact and ever frightful."...this statement coming only two games after the "Superbad" statement and in those two games, they scored a whopping total of 9 runs.
And, oh my favorite statement "Mariano Rivera again reminded us that he is the best there ever has been at the end of games." Rivera is great and all, but if I recall correctly, the Red Sox have had his number a few times before...Shank, do you recall the 2004 World Series?
Finally, it is hard for old Shank not to get his rips in on his old buddy "Schill"....compares him to Al Nipper and in a strange analogy, says the new Schilling is like pork being the new white meat....what???? Of course, once again, he calls him the "Big Blowhard" and makes a crack about Schilling and the Devil Rays...a crack which is sure to be a staple of future columns.
This truly was a sickening column.