Friday, August 31, 2007

Rambling and Meandering Incoherence

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 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.


Anonymous said...

Excellent Critque!!! Well done.

Bob McNeil said...

Wow. Nicely sliced and diced. This articulated some of the feelings I was getting reading the column. I tend to speed through his columns now, on guard for the nonsense. And yeah, what it is with all this 'the race is over' crap. Even the most casual fan knows it's stupid to talk like that.

Objectivebruce said...

Pardon me if I don't respond to this one. I got bored and stopped reading after the first graf.

mike_b1 said...

That's the harshest criticism I've heard you level at The CHB in years, OB.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Bruce, I too was bored after reading Shaughnessy's first graf. Glad to hear you admit it

Anonymous said...

A fine critique, indeed. As for Shaughnessy's constant bouncing back and forth between the various (and often contradictory) predictions he makes, it's important to remember he is literally a media whore. The only thing that matters is coming up with a storyline for his columns and his books. He is a whore because he is willing to rip pretty much anyone, make any absurd statement, or simply ignore having taken a diametrically opposite position on an issue in the past simply so he can earn money. It's repulsive, self-loathing behavior that a person with self-respect won't engage in. But he will, as long as the bucks are there. At the same time, I think the Sox '04 Championship has really made him a shell of his former self. It's 2007, the '04 Sox dealt the Yankees the most humiliating defeat in playoff history, and he's referring to something Pedro said after a loss three years ago? Shank, the gravy train has left the station. It always seemed like you reveled in the misery of Sox nation, but that era is over. Tom Yawkey and the aura of total incompetence that surrounded the Sox for decades are things of the past, and so are you. Please, just give it up (I won't hold my breath)

Anonymous said...


Say "graf" again! I get so turned on when you
use that cool newspaper lingo! Growl like
Lou Grant!


Monkeesfan said...

Ranking his posting by Objective Bruce Percentage, OB ranked about a 30. OB's OBP needs to improve.

ObjectiveBruce said...

I was tempted to actually read beyond the opening paragraph of this "critique." But it made no more sense the second time than it did the second.

ObjectiveBruce said...

*than it did the first.

Anonymous said...

what him say?