Links

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Manny's in Camp

and Dan is writing about it.

It is not a column, so Dan plays it straight for the most part.

One thing to note. In the middle of the story, Dan writes about a fan's encounter with Manny:

""Oh my God, I touched him!," said a man who was wearing a Curt Schilling jersey and appeared to be more than 50 years old."

How excited do you think Dan got when he witnessed this scene?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Dan's New Favorite Red Sox

And I might have to agree after Brendan Donnelly told Dan this:

"Last year's over. I could ask the same thing about Boston last year. That's over. If you want to stir the [expletive] pot that way . . . You want to stir the pot? I'll [expletive] stir it with you."

Schilling must have given Donnelly a quick lesson on The Way of the Shank.

In all, a pretty informative column. It would be tough to write a bad one with the quotations Donnelly offers up. Just let the tape recorder roll.

Dan ends with this:

"Great mix of ability and attitude. This guy is going to be a good fit in Boston."

Good to hear.

One thing though. Dan needs to look at the statistics a little more skeptically. Dan writes "Donnelly was 6-0 with a 3.94 ERA last year, but the Sox were able to get him in exchange for lefty pitching prospect Phil Seibel." First, W-L is meaningless for relievers. Second, there are severe limitations to the value of ERA for relievers. Besides, outside of Boston, a 3.94 ERA for a reliever is not very good, regardless. Finally, Donnelly's K/9IP has been going down while his walk and HR rates have been going up. That is not a good sign for a 35 year-old pitcher.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Schilling Speaks Out on CHB

I picked up this link from Boston Sports Media...Schilling (Gehrig38) speaks very candidly about Shaughnessy on the SOSH boards. Some great quotes:

On the part where Shaughnessy says from a distance, it appeared that Schilling and John Henry were having a heated discussion:

Now we'll just have to let hacks and idiots like CHB stir up something that does not exist.

Some other lines

One of the lines CHB failed to put into the article he wrote a few weeks back was me, on the phone, calling him an asshole. He knows as sure as he's reading this right now that I think he's a giant sphincter.
Writers like him, and there are others I can assure you, are the reason athletes come to despise members of the media. They aren't all like that but it's just hard to figure out who's who sometimes.
They can hate the fact that I talk on EEI, or write in these forums, hell he's done it for 4 years, but it's still going to happen and at the end of the day he's still going to be the most misinformed guy in this group when it comes to the Sox and their fans.

More Matsuzaka

Today, Shaughnessy gives us a blow-by-blow description of Daisuke Matsuzaka's first live batting practice. An interesting enough read absent any fat attacks on Schilling and no-show reports on Manny Ramirez.

Two things strike me...

- Shaughnessy has mocked and criticized all of the attention received by Matsuzaka's and yet he flames the fire with a detailed story about live batting practice. (I suppose I should not be too harsh, however, because if Shaughnessy had not covered it, someone else would have)

- Again, Shaughnessy paints the picture that this spectacle is a unique one-of-the-kind phenomenon in the history of sports media coverage (more layups on an 8 foot goal?). Francona quickly puts the damper on that thought process when he is asked if "he'd ever seen anything like it."

"Yes," he said. "I had Michael Jordan. And this guy can't dunk, so I've seen it." (Francona managed Jordan in the Arizona Fall League in 1994.)

(Imagine that Shank: A media circus and a Boston area team/player wasn't even involved...unthinkable)

I apologize for not writing about yesterday's column on Josh Beckett. Shaughnessy wrote how Beckett could be the forgotten man in the Red Sox pitching rotation. It was an uninspired piece. When I read an article like this, I would like to see insight as to how or why Beckett will be able to put last year's relatively poor season behind him. Outside of Shaughnessy stating that Beckett is not making excuses for last year, there is little insight.

But we were treated to some nice swipes at Curt Schilling....Shaughnessy is wholly fixated on Schilling and I am sure Schilling will be the target of Shaughnessy's annual "Let's drive this guy out of town" campaign. Previous year recipients of this campaign include Nomar, Manny, and Carl Everett to name a few.

I sure hope Shank gets a day off soon--it must be tough toiling away in the sun.

Friday, February 23, 2007

What is your favorite Shankism?

(Preface: I apologize for the lack of hypertext links throughout, dave m)

Last summer, I was amused to read a bit from one of the readers of Boston Sports Media. He researched the number of times Shaughnessy had used a line about grey poupon mustard in his column. For example, on May 4, 2006, Shaughnessy wrote:
Whatever happened to peanuts, Cracker Jacks, and Fenway Franks? You won't hear ''Kill the ump!" or ''Yankees suck!" in the EMC Club. It goes something more like, ''Pardon me, could you pass the Grey Poupon?"
On April 27, 1992, he wrote:

Now they don't talk back. All- Star Reggie Lewis throws down a dunk, then says, ''Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?'' I don't know about you, but I miss the trash-talking days of yore.
In sum total, the self-plagiarizing Shank has used the grey poupon line an astonishing13 times….5/4/06, 10/14/03, 8/16/02, 5/21/99, 1/12/98, 8/20/97, 1/24/96, 5/8/95, 11/20/94, 8/14/93, 6/19/93, 2/25/93, 4/27/92

On February 18, 2007, Shank took a familiar stab at Manny Ramirez portraying Manny as a clueless dunce. He wrote:
Can't wait for that Manny Moment when he sees Daisuke Matsuzaka for the first time and asks teammates, "Hey, who is that Japanese guy and why is he wearing Johnny Damon's number?"

On December 14, 2006, CHB wrote in an advice column to Matsuzaka::

Do not be surprised or insulted when a Spanish-speaking player wearing No. 24 greets you at spring training with, "Hey, who are you? When did we get you? Were you in Pawtucket last year? I love playing in Pawtucket."
As for other familiar refrains from Shank land, here are some recaps:

“Daddy Globe”/”Daddy Times”: 11/16/06, 8/24/06, 6/18/06, 5/4/06, 4/11/06, 12/16/05, 4/18/05, 10/31/04, 10/31/03, 1/30/03

“Diva” or “Dominican Diva”: 2/18/05, 2/11/05, 9/17/03, 8/26/03, 8/21/03, 8/7/03

“Young Theo”: 12/10/06, 11/16/06, 8/20/06, 2/19/06, 11/9/05, 9/23/05, 3/27/05, 1/5/05, 10/28/03, 7/30/03, 4/12/03, 3/5/03, 2/18/03, 1/17/03, 12/16/02, 11/26/02 (Bob Ryan has used it once over this time span)

Elvis References: 2/18/07, 2/16/07, 1/14/07, 4/26/06, 2/19/06, 11/13/05, 5/11/05, 11/23/03, 5/21/03, 3/5/03, 1/28/03, 12/16/02, 1/31/02, 8/24/01, 8/16/00, 11/11/99, 11/13/83

“Daddy Butch”: Too many to list

Theo and the Minions: 2/18/07; 11/16/06; 11/9/06; 8/19/06; 4/5/06; 11/29/05; 10/30/05; 6/26/05; 1/5/05; 10/28/03 (“seemheads” not minions); 12/16/02 (Theo and his “posse”)

“Blowhard” (Curt Schilling reference): 2/23/07, 2/18/07; 2/2/07, 6/26/05 plus a host of other disparaging remarks about Schilling

“Fanboy” or “Blogger”: 2/18/07; 12/1/06; 8/27/06; 12/30/05; 12/21/05; 7/29/05


I am sure we are missing a few references. Do you have a favorite Shank-ism? List it here and we will see how many we can find.

The Blowhard

Wow, the Blowhard has been busy this week--6 columns in a row! It has shocked me that we have gone since Sunday without much mention of either Manny or Curt, although Dan got a nice dig in on Schilling yesterday, comparing him to John Candy. I am really surprised CHB has not made any references to Manny and the car show although I'm sure we will get that soon enough

Today's column centers on the Red Sox and Schilling breaking off contract talks for next year. Shaughnessy gives the minute-by-minute unfolding of the morning and he breathlessly reports:

"Shortly after Hoyer told Henry what Schilling said on the radio, the owner engaged in a one-on-one discussion with Schilling. From a distance, the exchange seemed less than amicable."

After reading that, I feel like tuning into General Hospital to get a dose of reality. I despise this type of reporting. "From a distance" and "seemed"? Typical Shaughnessy--he likes to stoke the fire with school-girl speculation.

John Candy (yesterday) and Serena Williams (today) comparisons aside, Shaughnessy does echo what I have heard consistently from elsewhere that Schilling looks very much overweight. The Red Sox are making a business decision based on Schilling's condition and age and it is a perfectly logical one. Shaughnessy spells that out just fine.

If Schilling does not return next year, there has got to be a part of Shaughnessy that will be very depressed. The Globe sports page will be a lesser place without references to Blowhards, fan-boy bloggers, and Curt's late night little friends. These things helped fill the void after the depressing departure of "the curse"...but all good things must come to an end.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Typical Dan

Today is Dan's first passive-aggressive rip job on JD Drew. Nothing much there. Dan continues to claim that the signing was corrupt and he gets in a couple of subtle digs at Curt Schilling's weight.

A couple of points of clarification:

Dan writes that Drew has been ripped by Tony La Russa and Schilling. He has been, but they ripped him for totally different issues. La Russa questioned his motivation and Schilling attacked him for refusing to sign with the Phillies.

Dan writes that the NY Times claimed the Dodgers were considering tampering charges. One columnist made the claim, and some have questioned its validity. Further, Boston wasn't the only team seeking to sign Drew. If you look back on rotoworld.com, the Angels and Cubs (among others) were interested in Drew. It wasn't the bag job Dan wants you to think it was. But if it can dirty Theo, Dan will write it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Dan Talks to His BFF

Dan gets an interview with Red Sox owner John Henry today. They go through a couple of non-issues:

-New business partner Jack Roush's comments about Toyota in NASCAR

-ticket prices (Dan is correct to note that the Red Sox could charge more for their tickets, but citing the fact that Fenway has the highest average ticket prices is misleading. Fenway is among the smallest stadiums in the Majors. The Red Sox do not have the thousands of cheap seats that the Yankees, Dodgers, Angels, and Astros sell.)

-Schilling's contract status

-Lugo over Gonzalez at SS

-the apparently "corrupt" Drew signing (Stop trying to stir things up. Carlos Lee signed for $100/6 years; Gary Matthews Jr. signed for $50/5 years. Other than Murray Chass, nobody claims that there was anything corrupt.)

-and whether the Lucchino-Epstein split hurt the team in '06 (I am certain that Dan wanted the answer to be 'yes.')

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Whole Lot of Nothing

Dan's view on Tom Brady's pending fatherhood. He takes a whole column to say that it isn't a big deal. Some people will care and others will not. Dan likes to defend himself by stating that he is paid for his opinions. I hope it isn't much. This column was bland and middle of the road, tough to find any opinion in it.

Not much else to note. I really don't care for the topic.

A few items:

-"modeling watches we can't afford."
Spare us the "I'm a common man" bit. You have written a bunch of books, including this piece of crap that did fairly well, and its follow up. (Read the reviews; they are hilarious.)

-Dan offers up another strained analogy:"A football field is 100 yards by 53 1/3 yards. When you are dropping back to pass and the blitzing linebacker is in your face mask, you can throw the ball out of bounds and start over.

Off the playing field, in 2007, nothing is out of bounds."
.

-"What this does remind us is that Brady -- like all of us -- is human."
But Dan, just last week you told us to "get real a bit" and not idolize players. And all the time you were idolizing Tom Brady.

-Dan notes that "nothing is out of bounds" and that it is simply part of celebrity culture. But he's wrong. There is something he can do: Don't write columns about it.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Digging Through the Recycling Bin

Not much today. Dan just talks about the pitchers' fielding drills, nothing you couldn't have read in Rob Bradford's blog yesterday.

It is a rambling mess (This sentence appears out of nowhere: "Pitchers' fielding practice, a favorite activity of the departed Joe Kerrigan, took on a whole new meaning during last year's World Series when Tigers hurlers committed five errors in five games against the Cardinals.") and contains his typically facile sarcasm ("Red Sox pitchers and catchers went through their first grueling (9:30 a.m. to 11:12 a.m.) workout of the 2007 season yesterday."), which is rich considering it comes from a man who "jogs" for only a mile each day.

There are people who claim that CHB is a good writer. But his repetitive use of sarcasm exposes him as a poor columnist. Sarcasm is easy, something anybody can do, and it wears thin very quickly if it isn't clever. Dan's attempts most often aren't. Rather, they are obvious and simple. A better (or more industrious?) writer would avoid the constant sarcasm that Shank pumps out.

Oh, Dan notes there are a lot of Japanese media members. Tomorrow, Dan tells us water is wet. (See how easy it is?)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Crap Sandwich

I have varying theories about how Shaughnessy puts together his column. One theory has him sitting in front of his keyboard—one hand mindlessly typing and spewing out clich├ęd thoughts while the other hand is dipped in a bag of Cheetos as he intently watches Rosie on The View. Another perspective has Shank backed in a corner by mobsters cowering for his life. He somehow manages to lay his hands on a machine gun and he furiously fires hoping that he will hit his mark and yet he always seems to miss. A final theory is that “Big Daddy Globe” retired Shank five years ago in a purge and they replaced with him a computer program that uses a random generator to produce columns. They have pre-programmed certain thoughts (“Manny quit”) and catch-phrases (“Theo and his minions”) which appear and re-appear. (Note: I think they better fire that computer programmer).

I like the computer program theory for today’s effort—the random generator was in overdrive. The main theme for today is that Manny quit last year and Shank breathlessly awaits for Manny’s appearance at spring training. More on this in a minute but I would like to quickly recap the worn out Shank-isms that Dan trots out today….

We have the tired refrain that Florida sucks (Fort Myers is a “godforsaken town”); there is a reference to “Elvis Matsuzaka”; Shank calls Schilling the “Big Blowhard”; we get a "Theo and his minions" reference; I always love mentions of “fanboy bloggers” and we are treated to one of those today. Another tired technique is Shank’s attempt to paint Ramirez as the clueless wonder….Shaughnessy writes…”Can’t wait for that Manny Moment when he sees Daisuke Matsuzaka for the first time and asks teammates. “Hey, who is that Japanese guy and why is he wearing Johnny Damon’s number?”

One of Shaughnessy’s other classic techniques is where he subtly lays claim as the voice of “Red Sox Nation” by using “We”. He says “We have rejoiced in the retirement of Keith Foulke”; “We won’t sleep until the Sox make a decision on [Schilling’s contract]; and “We don’t care if he talks.” He also loves to tell his readership what they should believe. He says, “…please don’t be a stooge and attempt to perpetuate the farcical theory that Manny was too wounded to play last summer.” (By the way, who rejoiced in the retirement of Keith Foulke anyway? Shaughnessy hated him because he wasn’t passionate enough about baseball. Yet Shank hates us because we are too passionate about sports.)

As for the main theme, for the umpteenth time, Shank claims that Manny quit on the team last year during the infamous Yankees series. To be honest, I don’t really know if Manny quit. But Shaughnessy offers no tangible proof. He simply asks that we take it on faith that he is right. I don’t think many (if any) Red Sox players talk to him so I have a hard time believing that Shank's voice somehow represents what Manny’s teammates truly believe behind the scenes.


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.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Pedroia Watch

Dan is nothing if not repetitive. He finds a joke or reference and beats it into the ground. He finds something he doesn't like and continually harps on it. Since the beginning of the new year, Dan has laid down a steady beat questioning Dustin Pedroia.

To start off, a brief statistical background of Pedroia.

Some of the highlights:
He will be only 23 this season;
His career minor league numbers are .308/.392/.454
In his minor league career, he has 121 XBH, 125 BB, and only 77 K.

A sampling of what people say about him:
John Sickels rates him the #7 Red Sox prospect and gives him a B;
SoxProspects.com rates him the #4 Sox Prospect and gives him a B;
Baseball America rates him the #6 Red Sox Prospect;
si.com rates him the #68 Prospect in MLB.

A couple of notes from scouts:
Ken Rosenthal writes that "some scouts believe he simply can't play."
Nick Cafardo relays one scout's advice for Pedroia to spray the ball and work on his footwork.

A few statistical projections:
ZiPS - .274/.347/.394
Marcel Projections - .257/.328/.414
Chone Projections - .283/.356/.416
(all three projections can be found at fangraphs.com)

Those are the statistics and what some people who follow the minors very closely have to say.

Here is what Dan has been saying:
At the beginning of November, Pedroia is Dan's second picked up piece:
"Why do I get the feeling that Dustin Pedroia, through no fault of his own, is destined to become the line in the sand in Fort Myers next spring? Theo Epstein and the minions love the little guy. Longtime scouts, people who wear baseball uniforms, and most fans are not convinced. This will be interesting."

He continues the Theo v. scouts theme a month later:
"...Theo/minion Poster Boys, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis..."

In a February boston.com chat:
"still not sold on pedroia at 2b". . . "obviously they didn't want to pay loretta. org loves pedroia. lot of questions about him, though"

In this February column
, Dan includes Pedroia in a list of things we will talk about, but shouldn't take too seriously:
"We'll question Dustin Pedroia's ability to get the job done at second base"

In a column towards the end of March, Dan includes Pedroia in a list of questions in the lineup:Then there's Dustin Pedroia. Any chance the kid is in over his head? (Did you notice the clever short joke?)

In the Page One, Opening Day column, Dan offers this bit of insight on the upcoming season, "Dustin Pedroia is a suspect/prospect" We are still waiting for an explanation as to why this particular prospect is suspect.

After Opening Day, Dan writes a sidebar on Pedroia's day. He is short and he "is a poster boy for Theo Epstein and his crew of baseball stat men, and there is organizational split on Pedroia's ability to make an impact."

Mark "They didn't want to pay" Loretta hit .285/.345/.361 last season. (All three are below his career numbers and at or near his full season lows.)

Your thoughts and mine in the comments section throughout the season as Dan keeps the beat steady.

Edit - 3/28/07
Edit - 4/2/07
Edit - 4/3/07

Monday, February 12, 2007

Dan Hates You and Thinks You Are Stupid

Dan today reminds us of local news story you might have missed, a Boston firefighter who rescued three young children from a burning house this Saturday. A remarkable feat of heroism, and Dan gives a brief recap.

Dan uses this opportunity to remind us dimwitted readers that sports stars are not heroes, that heroes are people like firefighter Andrew Lee. Thanks Dan. This statement must be one of the biggest cliches in sportswriting. Weren't we reminded of this by Dan's colleagues after 9/11? And doesn't some local columnist always trot out this angle after every example of heroism by police or firefighter?

Its not that these heroes shouldn't be praised, but we don't need to be reminded that the real heroes are not on the field. We get it. And most well adjusted, semi-bright 16-year olds have figured it out. At some point in our lives we realize that there are more important things than sports and we are disabused of any notion that sports stars are infallible or worthy of any special respect. It doesn't mean we can't still enjoy following our favorite teams and players.

But Dan thinks that a passion for sports is evidence of a warped personality and a lack of perspective; or in Dan's lexicon, you are a "fanboy."

A fan's passion for sports does not preclude other interests or a full and rich life. Indeed, it adds to it. It is what we have in common. But in Dan's world, if you don't have a detached, cynical take on things, you are a childlike idiot.

Another thing Dan should take note of. As a group, firefighters are some of the most passionate fans I have come across. He should go to a Sox-Yankees game, either in the Bronx or Fenway, and see how many of the out-of-towners are firefighters. They come by the busload. But, I guess they don't have the proper perspective.

Pedroia Watch: Dan takes this opportunity to question again whether Pedroia can play second. We will keep track of Pedroia references as it seems this is Dan's drum for the 2007 season.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Where have you gone Dom Dimaggio?

Today's effort is a very enjoyable read. Great update on Dom Dimaggio as he is set to turn 90--still very active and on the top of his game. As DBvader pointed out a couple of weeks ago on the Jackie Robinson feature, CHB resists the temptation to invoke the old school ballplayers as an archetype in order to cast aspersions at today's generation of ballplayers. Said another way, CHB does not take gratuitous shots at Manny Ramirez and Curt Schilling. Dan must have a soft spot when it comes to writing about old-timers on their birthdays.

Dan does claim that
and you can make a case that he belongs in the Hall of Fame with brother Joe.


Yet, Dan doesn't even attempt to make that case. Dimaggio had a solid career but Hall of Fame like? I am not so sure. If he is going to throw a line like that out there, he should try to back it up.

But again, I very much enjoyed the article...good job Shaughnessy!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

AutoPilot

Not much to read in today's piece. It looks like Dan wrote most of this piece before the game and stuck a paragraph in about the game. He would have been stuck if the Celtics managed to win, but it was a safe bet, though, that they would lose to the Heat.

This column is a chance to reel off a bunch of stats and complain about the current state of the Celtics. Nowhere does he bother to offer any analysis beyond their abysmal record or to suggest how things could be improved. That is Dan's analysis for you. About as deep as a puddle.

Dan also takes this opportunity to trot out some of his distant and irrelevant cast of characters. This time it is Clive Rush and Butch Hobson. Some of the graybeards who post can tell the young whippersnappers all about these two. I am guessing most people under thirty had to look these two up.

But the most annoying dated reference for this writer was "Thanksdad", referring to Paul Gaston, the owner when the Celts last went into the tank. Dan's use of it always has a connotation of a moral failing, as if anything Gaston did was tainted by the fact that he happened to inherit his wealth. I realize fans don't like him for his time as owner, but how he got his money isn't relevant to his decisions. I would like to know what Dan expected Paul Gaston to have done with his family wealth. It's a fact of life for some people and not a sign of moral weakness.

Note: In second to last sentence changed "inheritance" to "family wealth" and fixed typos.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Chat Wrap

Dan spreads his wisdom.

I am disappointed, in both myself and Dan. I should work on my subtlety; my repeated questioning revealed my bias. Dan answered only one of my questions, which was my last and most cynical. I need to change my ways.

But Dan avoided my questions about his questionable associate and his propensity for factual errors.

Instead he fielded a bunch of softball questions from people who know no better than to ask CHB questions about the Pats offseason and the Red Sox starting rotation. These people are competent enough to manipulate their computers to enter a boston.com chat, but aren't smart enough to go to the many websites that offer more knowledge and insight than Shank? God help us.

A few of the highlights as Dan spent more time chatting than he probably does writing a column:

: Dan types like a 14-year old girl on IM. It's great when a professional writer abuses the English language while it is in its dying throes.

: Dan claims the Sox didn't sign Loretta because of money. The Sox didn't sign Loretta because of his collapsing skills. Their biggest question in the lineup isn't their second baseman hitting ninth, but their aging catcher and third baseman.

: Dan missed Francona's statement that Papelbon will not be a closer because the medical staff has ruled that out.

Provide your own thoughts regarding Dan's "insights" in the comments.

Dan Talks to the Masses

If you have not had the pleasure to have an email correspondence with CHB, then come enjoy the next best thing today at 10:30 AM as Dan hosts a chat at boston.com.

Ask him for hair care tips; or what to do when Edes leaves the seat up; or what the earliest is he has ever had a game column written. (My guess is he wrote his World Series columns at least a week in advance.) Whatever you do, bring your A game because we all know Dan will be bringing his.

See you all at 10:30. (My nom de chat will be Dated Music Reference.)

Update: Changed link to chat login.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

An Equal Opportunity Hack

Today Dan shows that his laziness extends to all sports. Give him a press guide and watch him go wild.

The Beanpot column is a annual rite. The Boston papers trot out a columnist with little interest in college sports, let alone hockey, and ask him/her to write an interesting column. With no background knowledge, the writer falls back on the press guide and a few recent game recaps.

Dan offers up all the statistics that show BU's dominance, gives BU's rank, and actually talks about a few of the teams' recent games.

But the press guide and a quick search through the Globe Sports archive let Dan down. Dan quotes two BU seniors, Kenny Roche and Sean Sullivan, who happen to be from St. Sebastian's. Using a classic Danism, Dan repeats a phrase (didn't they all play there?) to overemphasize his point and beat it into the ground.

The joke may have worked better if more than two players on the roster were from St. Sebastian's. Or if there were not four other teams with two or more players on the current BC roster. (I guess it isn't as funny to write that it seems like every player comes from the US National Under-18 Team.) But with a little bit of historical knowledge that went beyond the press guide, Dan would have known that Catholic Memorial is the traditional pipeline to the BU hockey program.

Those darn facts. Always tripping up Dan's lame attempts at humor.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Getting in Gear for Baseball

Today is classic Shaughnessy. CHB picks up the phone to call his old friend Schilling and as he says, he does so to take a "rare hike on the high road." This is a classic case of CHB instigating news so that he can write a column. Once again, he injects himself into the story as he does so often. In this case, it is actually an interesting story. As CHB puts it himself, it is Rosie versus Trump. And I am actually liking the CHB-Rosie analogy.

Shank has long standing issues with Schilling and his latest bone to pick with Schilling is the pitcher's recent announcement that he plans to pitch another year despite previous comments that 2007 would be his last. CHB believes that Schilling is playing the Sox and CHB definitely has issues with it. Schilling is articulate enough in his own defense and I would tend to side with Schilling's explanation as opposed to siding with Shaughnessy's distrust.

Perhaps Schilling's timing could be better but you know Schilling's case is nothing compared to what has become an annual rite of summer...that being the issue of Roger Clemens holding the Astros, Red Sox and Yankees hostage, subject to his "Do I want to play?" whims. I don't think Schilling even comes close.

I do give credit to Shaughnessy credit for running this quote from Schilling about CHB

"I think there's things that you write that are absolutely and totally unequivocally uncalled for. I think you take personal vendettas to the paper. I think you rip people in the paper because you don't like them whether they're good people or not. As an athlete, that bothers me, but as a teammate of these people, it bothers me even more . . . I certainly came in with a little bias, but I don't think that given what's happened that it's unmerited."

I think that quote in a nutshell sums up much of the reason why this blog site exists in the first place. Shaughnessy doesn't fight back at the comment and my sense is that he included the quote with a perverse grin on his face as he typed. He probably considers it a badge of honor. If so, Shaughnessy just doesn't get it.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A letdown to start

A fine article by CHB today marking the 88th birthday of Jackie Robinson and his daughter’s efforts in honoring his legacy. An interesting topic with important insights and a few new bits of trivia for this reader (Oil Can Boyd’s father pitched against Hank Aaron and Willie Mays in semi-pro baseball). The interview of Sharon Robinson is good, yet the writing is a little bland; mostly quotations strung together. And he manages to tie it into this week’s historic Super Bowl without being overbearing. Nothing to note.

A fine article is more impressive when one considers that CHB manages to write over one thousand words without any cheap asides or ad hominen attacks. It is a serious subject and only the most cynical observer would expect Shank to use it as a forum to attack his familiar whipping boys. But the article had a few setups I bet he wishes he could have taken a swing at. Oil Can is there; the Elks Club situation came up; and there even was chance to take a swipe at Mo Vaughn (The Hit Dog was one of the few players who continued to wear 42 after its retirement), and by extension Dan Duquette. It must have been tempting, but Dan’s sense of propriety triumphed.

Note: Is it me, or does Dan quote Selig a great deal? Although for this column Selig’s input was relevant, CHB seems to rely too much on a Commissioner with many questionable dealings in his past. But then again, a questionable past never kept Dan from appearing on a friend's talk show.