Thursday, March 29, 2007

Everybody is just happy for a free meal

Apparently, a bunch of writers had lunch with Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima, and their translators. Tony Massarotti has the lineup of reporters looking for a free lunch at a country club.

Here is what some of them had to say:

Rob Bradford;

Sean McAdam;

Michael Silverman;

Ian Browne of

Jeff Goldberg weighs in

and Dan-O

They all go over the same quotations and a worrisome(?) moment when Matsuzaka bumped his elbow. Never has more ink, blah, blah.

Dan did offer a unique sartorial critique. Always bringing the fastball. And he manages to mention the $103 million arm. After that Gil Meche contract, Matsuzaka's signing is just silly.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Sky is Falling, Day Two

Today's reason Red Sox fans should forget about the next six months is Coco Crisp. Apparently, Dan is not familiar with the concept of small sample size. After thirteen meaningless spring training games, Dan is ready to consign Crisp to the scrapheap. (He should get a pass for last season. He never recovered from the broken finger, which had to be surgically repaired.) Dan does note that prior to the injury Crisp was progressing nicely, but in total the tone is over the top and the worry is misplaced. Not matter what happens, Crisp will not become Dwayne Hosey, a journeyman minor leaguer who made his MLB debut at 28. (Dan, it doesn't help accusations of racism when your simple mind can make comparisons only between players of the same race.) And I'd worry more about the the two guys batting before Crisp in the lineup.

Another thing to note is Dan attacks Crisp for stating he doesn't care what the fans think. Normally, that attitude would be a good thing, but in Dan's twisted world if an athlete doesn't cower at the thought of playing in Boston before the world's most demanding fans and their proxies, the reporters, you disrespect the fans (mostly the reporters, though). If Dan were in New York, he would be ripping A-Rod for caring too much. You cannot win with this guy.

Pedroia Watch
Then there's Dustin Pedroia. Any chance the kid is in over his head?

Get it, he's short! Maybe someone can answer me. Has there ever been a rookie in the majors before? Because Dan's attitude seems to suggest that Pedroia's situation is unique in the history of baseball.

Whenever you read or hear Shaughnessy attack Pedroia remember these numbers:


Those are his minor league career BA/OBP/SLG. And he is only 23 this year.

Edits for clarity

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Stirring the Pot, Take 15,487

As Dave M has pointed out, Dan has an amazing ability to comment on media hype at the same time that he participates in the frenzy without realizing the contradiction.

Today's column is a perfect example. After recapping Matsuzaka's rough start, Dan writes "The result of all this will be a five-day frenzy of Dice-K speculation on two continents. Is he hurt? Is he frustrated? Is he a diva? Is he physically and mentally prepared for his first big league start next Friday in Kansas City?

Only in Boston. Only here could there be a crisis after a guy throws a five-inning no-hitter."

As much as he can try to hide it, Dan wants the irrational hype and frenzy. He lives for discussions about whether a player is "mentally" ready or a "diva" because these types of discussions are inherently unprovable and you can have any half ass opinion on the subjects. That is much easier than discussing what goes on the field like whether a pitcher's motion changed or whether he was throwing a different set of pitches.

Further on, Dan's xenophobia pops up. He offers that Matsuzaka's publicist delivered a "head-scratching statement", presumably because there were a few words and phrases that were awkward to the American ear. Anybody who has taken more than a semester of a foreign language will understand that there are words or phrases that do not accurately translate. There is nothing head-scratching about it.

Monday, March 26, 2007

We Are Not Alone

I thought readers of this site would appreciate links to what other basement dwellers are writing about Dan's latest.

Curt in his big basement in Medfield gives his response. points out the huge discrepancy between Dan's attempt at humor and the actual questions at 38pitches.

The posters at BaseballThinkFactory, no fans of Schilling, weigh in against Dan's latest attack.

I am going to spend the rest of the night composing a well worded but nasty email to Shank and his boss. Feel free to provide your own emails in the comments.

Dan needed three weeks to write this

huge steaming pile?

One sarcastic joke repeated six times. Dan will never be confused with Mark Twain.

Dan ends with this 'question': "What do you say to those media morons who contend that you are a self-important blowhard with an ill-informed opinion about everything and an insatiable need to be worshipped by sheep-like fans and late-night blog boys who live in Ma's basement?"

This is rich. Dan devotes almost all the column to spew tired generalizations and lame jokes and finishes by using 'media morons' ironically. My head hurts.

I don't read 38pitches. I have too many other things I am interested in and there is too much MPMPOOPPMRPOP talk, or whatever it is. But after briefly browsing the Q&A's, Dan's characterization is wildly offbase. All Dan's column does is further show the alienation between Dan and his subjects and audience.

Just know this: If you are interested in how Curt's changeup is going along, or any other aspect of Curt's pitching, you are a sycophantic, loser who lives in your Mom's basement. To be more successful, be like Dan. Give up any particular interest in the little things that make baseball great and just worry about which player to irrationally bash in order to coverup your increasing irrelevancy.

I hope Jim Rome is looking for a full time co-host.

The Long Regional Nightmare is Over

Dan has returned to write for the Globe after some time away from the pages, including a week spent putting up with Jim Rome's ranting. (An authentic Chicago Blitz pennant for anyone who can satisfactorily explain how Jim Rome continues to have a job discussing sports. If it weren't for sycophantic interviews, stupid emails, and two-second pauses, the guy wouldn't have a show.)

Contrary to rumblings on the internet, a freshly tanned Dan is not returning to Boston after failing to land the role of Beaker in the touring company of the Muppet Show.

Whatever the reason for the return, Dan blessed us with a couple of "blog posts" on Extra Bases yesterday afternoon. In the first, Dan mentions that the first pitch of the game was between the "key players in the infamous Sox-Marlins deal when Theo Epstein was gone in November of 2005." There is so much in there for Dan to feast on. He must have thanked the Fat #3 in the Sky for this random occurrence. At least we were spared any "Curse of Hanley Ramirez" mention. Dan is probably leaving that for Daniel Shaughnessy III to write about.

Dan ends the second post with this typical gem: "Bill James was in the press box, reviewing his creation of the 2007 Red Sox." Either Dan believes this and is an idiot who has failed to comprehend any report about James' role in the Front Office, or it is an attempt to ridicule "Young Theo" for using statistics more advanced than batting average. Either way, it is another example of Dan's inability to offer any analysis that advances the discussion.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Where is Dan?

It's funny. I often wish Dan would just go away but now that he has just written 3 times in the past 22 days, I find myself missing the old curly-haired lug. In late Feb and early March, he had written two weeks of stories in a row and maybe that (coupled with his St Patrick's Day parade appearance) just tuckered the man out.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

It's time to put an end to this fruitless crusade

I was giddy for a moment after reading the above title to today's column. Alas, Dan is not leaving the Globe.

Instead, he is talking about the Holy Cross Men's Basketball team. Nothing like some Patriot League talk to get you fired up for March Madness. Maybe HC in the Tournament can be the catalyst for a truce between Dan and Bill Simmons. Those two are the only people I can figure would care for this column.

Completely Random Reference Watch:
"Fifty-four years. That's before Robert Parish was born..."

"...led the Crusaders past the Deacons five days after Jim Rice was born in Anderson, S.C."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

He's Alive

Dan writes about the last game for Savio Prep's boys basketball team. A nice story showing that Dan can still write. As further proof, you can read Dan's letter to Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch about Alan Greenberg. (About halfway down the page.)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

He Can't Resist

Dan writes the game story and the Notebook today. He plays it straight overall, but two notes show Dan's true colors.

First is this note: "Among those in the Sox media guide with bios longer than Theo Epstein's: Dr. Charles Steinberg and Larry Cancro."

If Dan was more interested in facts than stirring the pot, he would realize that Steinberg and Cancro have longer bios because they are decades older than Theo. Cancro has been with the Red Sox for over 20 years.

The second irrelevant note is: "Roger Dean Stadium here in Jupiter is where Grady Little managed his first game with the Red Sox in 2002."

Hey Curly Haired Cursemonger. The Red Sox won in 2004. Sorry it took your meal ticket away, but fans have moved on and do not care about meaningless trivia.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

For Crying Out Loud

Wow! It's like the perfect union....Shaughnessy invokes a Larry Bird comparison to set the stage for his column about Daisuke's Matsuzaka's spring training game debut. This is the third in a series - we have already been treated to stories about Matsuzaka's arrival to camp; his first live batting practice; and his first game with college umpires. Next will be his first game with MLB umpires and then of course we will be treated to his first regular season game. Has Shaughnessy created this media monster? No. Yet he continues to contribute to it in a way to make it so painstakingly miserable

I wish Shaughnessy would make up his freaking mind. On the one hand, he is obviously consumed by the mania because he keeps writing and writing. Yet, I get the image of Shaughnessy 17 years ago holding young Sam's dirty diaper with an outstretched arm and then tightly pinching his nose with the other. He obviously thinks the attention is laughable... He compares two events that he truly holds sacred (landing on the moon and Larry Bird's first game as a Celtic) to this event where deep down you know he is truly waiting for the Daisuke phenomenon to fail so he can hang it like an albatross across the necks of Theo and the minions. Only then will Shank find true happiness in this signing.

At some point, Shaughnessy may be forced to recognize the brilliance of it all. Part of the Red Sox business case for signing Matsuzaka was the international interest (and hence business revenue) it would generate. So far, so good. Shaughnessy would probably choke on a gyro ball sandwich (with a little gray poupon of course) however, before acknowledging any brilliance on the part of young Theo.

One final comment - Shaughnessy does use the column to make a Planet Manny reference but it is more after thought than anything. A small blessing in disguise, I suppose.

Friday, March 02, 2007

College vs. MLB

Shaughnessy provides a look ("Mismatch made in heaven") at the vast chasm that exists between the talent and skill level of college baseball players versus major leaguers. The story is prompted as the Sox faced the "pasty-white" Northeastern University team. By and large, it's not a bad article and provides some good insight.

The acerbic Shaughnessy pokes through a little bit. In addition to the unneeded "pasty white" comment:

- He latches onto a quote from Brendan Donnelly who says that college players going against major leaguers is like Dustin Pedroia going up against Shaquille O'Neal. Shaughnessy liked that comparison and refers to it later in the article. (But he really makes no disparaging comments about Pedroia)

- He gets in yet another subtle dig in at the Daisuke phenomenon when he says Daisuke Matsuzaka may be the greatest pitcher who ever lived. Just let it go Dan.

- And oh yes, another reference to the gyroball. It is at least the second time in the past 10 days where Shaughnessy ends a column with a little quip about the mystical gyroball pitch, this time wondering if the Boston College players will see it tonight. Just let it go Dan.

Shaughnessy's consecutive days writing streak continues--coming up on two straight weeks. Some blog responders might suggest he is fighting for his job.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Mighty Morphin' Storyline

Dan is the news reporting guy today. In the game story, Dan switches from 'Schilling is fat' to 'Schilling was fat and is upset the Red Sox did not extend his contract.' A seamless transition of storylines by Dan.

In the Notes, Dan has the rest of the game story. In what I hope is not a sign of things to come, Dan brings up Alex Gonzalez's name after Julio Lugo commits an error. It will be much easier to note Lugo's errors than the times he got on base when Gonzalez would have hit a weak grounder to the left side of the infield, thus distorting any simple Lugo-Gonzalez observations.

Dan refuses to let go of the Manny Car Show talk as Dan dedicates the second 'note' to the topic. It's over, Dan. It wasn't much of a story to begin with, and it is no longer a story after Manny reported. Move on.