Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Picked up useless pieces of trivia

Dan's "Picked Up Pieces" are not typically founts of knowledge, but today's example of lazy journalism is particularly empty. When the third item is that the Fenway Coke Bottles will be moved before next season, there isn't a whole lot of meat on those bones.

Dan leads by stating that Pats fans should have rooted for the Colts to win last Sunday, stating "Wouldn't that be like beating Derek Jeter and Friends en route to the 2004 World Series win?" A lamer argument has never been made. You play the teams you play. All that matters is winning the Super Bowl.

After an item revealing Shank's subconscious xenophobia ("Those foreigners with their hard to pronounce names. How wacky!"), an item about two things nobody cares about (Boston Magazine and Charlie Jacobs), Dan states he found out why he is not going to Beijing to cover the Olympics. Is it because CHB shows no interest in any other sport than basketball and has no interest in learning about or appreciating any other sport? Of course not! That would mean Shank is much more self aware than he has ever shown himself to be. Rather its because Dan is too critical for the sensibilities of the Chinese government. Funny joke, Dan.

Dan goes on to finish up with his typical flotsam: a dig at sabermetrics; a lot of items about people you don't know or care about; and dated references.

I made it to the end of the piece because that's my job, that's what I do, but I challenge any of you to get past the fourth item. Good luck!!


Monkeesfan said...

Shank, I don't get the whole "It won't be as big an accomplishment to win the Superbowl without beating the Colts in the playoffs" mentality. It's irrelevent. The Colts are a fraud playoff team, Shank, they lost again; accept it, we play the San Diego Chargers, a better team than a lot of us may have thought they'd be.

I'll give Shank credit for noting Red China is trying to screen out journalists who might tell the truth; Commentary had a piece written by a journalist detailing this practice.

Why does Shank hate the sabermatricians? Shank, you love Jim Rice, you want him in the Hall Of Fame, but he didn't play long enough or strong enough for it. You want him in as a rejection of the steroid cheaters, fine, baseball should reject the steroid era, but that's not enough, Shank, Jim Rice didn't do enough to warrant Cooperstown.

Anonymous said...

What a complete waste of space. But, I bet I know what his next POS column will be about:

Anonymous said...

Shank's point about not playing the Colts is ridiculous. You would ALWAYS prefer to have played the team that LOST its previous game, because they are not playing as well! The Chargers went on the road and beat Indy. What does that mean, Shank? It means the Chargers are a tougher matchup than the Colts.

Mr. Nobody said...

ummm, didn't the Pats already beat the Colts on the road?

Anonymous said...

what does that have to do with anything? i didn't say that the chargers were better than the patriots because they beat the colts on the road. i said the chargers were a tougher opponent at this moment than the colts, so to argue that the chargers make the road to the SB easier is stupid.

dbvader said...

Things are getting ugly over at BTF

Exposing many instances of Dan's faulty logic and hypocrisy. But Dan has never been one for consistency or accountability.

Chris said...

Coming up next: Dan Shaughnessy's big 'A-haaaa!' moment when he gets to pen a 'See-I-Told-You-So' column on Randy Moss.

Is it just a mere coincidence that Shaughnessy is never there in the post-game interview room to ask a question of Mr. Moss directly? Shaughnessy would pee his pants with fright if Moss came within 100 feet of him.

Chris said...

Ooops...looks like Shaughnessy and MacMullan flipped a coin to see who would pen the 'We-Told-You-So!' piece on Randy Moss.

MacMullan won.

oldskool138 said...

I love how the uber-feminine Jackie Mac tries to compare this incident to the Christian Peter rape case. Then she backs off saying that Moss hasn't been charged with a crime but only after implying that Bob Kraft should dump Moss if he is brought up on charges.

I'm not asking the Globe to ball wash or be homers but why all the pessimism and vitriol towards the sports stars in this town. Benefit of the doubt doesn't sell papers (not that they're selling many of them these days). Shank and Jackie Mac are always digging for dirt so they can breathlessly report to you that the men they think you idolize are really the scum of the earth.

Chris said...

I have two words for MacMullan:

Mike Nifong.

Monkeesfan said...

And Jerkie McMullan did the Richard Seymour excusemongering piece, too - he's still banged up from playing fullback in 2005? Felger for a change got this right - Seymour looks like he's jaking it. McMullan is the gender-swapped Shank.

Monkeesfan said...

mr. nobody, yep, the Patriots already beat the Colts on the road this year, and they knocked Bob Sanders out of the game like the Chargers did.

ObjectiveBruce said...

1. Notes columns are hardly lazy journalism. Items are typically saved over a period of time for that purpose.

2. Looks like the sycophants are circling the wagons around Mr. Moss. Does this mean we can expect Wil Cordero or Dick Drago Day next spring?

3. Like it or not, the Coke bottles have become an identifying mark and are even used to describe home runs. Moving them isn't Paqe One news but it certainly qualifies for a notes column.

4. The correct pronunciation of someone's name is hardy xenophobic.

5. Nobody cares about a magazine article quoting that the president of one of the pro sports teams vets out stories about his club? Why that's the sort of thing you journalism 'experts' love to jump on when you're running off with your silly commentaries. Now that it's been discredited "nobody cares?" Pshaw.

6. "Nobody" cares about John Harrington, Marvin Miller, Rudy Giuliani, Tom Coughlin, Ray Allen, Melanie Griffin, Kevin Youkilis, the latest freshman center for the most successful college basketball program in history, a hockey general manager talking of his favoring "pugnacity" at the bottom of his roster in the wimped-down NHL or Mike Love, Jethro Tull and Warren Zevon. And you call Shaughnessy lazy?

7. Can anyone explain to me how a team can possibly "prefer" to play a team in the late rounds of a single elimination tournament that LOST its last game?

8. How does a 13-3 record in the only division in football with three teams with 10 or more wins equal a "fraud playoff team" (although what the Colts did in tanking a game with playoff implications was much, much worse than the Pat's alleged crimes)

9. How long is "long enough" for the Hall of Fame and do Sandy Koufax's four seasons of more than 17 wins qualify? How about Dizzy Dean's five? Do Ralph Kiner or Hank Greenberg reach the magical "long enough" plateau?

Anonymous said...

Objective Bruce,

Your lack of ability to acknowledge Shank's faults as a columnist means you have no credibility. You blindly defend, never recongnizing the counter-argument. That is a technique called "arguing ineffectively." Others may refer to it as "poorly arguing."

A team would always prefer to play the team that LOST its previous playoff game because that team is presumably not playing as well. This is not rocket science. Obviously, the rules of professional sports leagues are not set up to allow for that. Shank's argument that the Pats' road is now easier (and thereby cheapening the potential accomplishment) is a bad point. The road is tougher if you have to play SD right now than Indy because, clearly, SD is playing better football. Why is that hard for you to understand?

Monkeesfan said...

1 - Bruce, notes columns that don't attempt to tell us anything are lazy writing.

2 - What sycophants? I'm not hearing anything that approaches saying "Randy Moss did not do this, this woman is manuifacturing the entire incident" or anything like that.

3 - The Coke bottles are irrelevent to anything.

4 - Big deal.

5-7 - Yawn.

8 - Simple - the Indianapolis Colts never step up their game in the playoffs. They didn't when they won the Superbowl with Peyton Manning's typical playoff run of seven INTs that playoff season; they faced three abysmal offenses, one worthless coach and two overrated ones, and one Superbowl-caliber team whose defense was weakened by illness and collapsed in surprising manner; that win was given to them by circumstances. Nowhere in the Colts' playoff record is there anything where their own skill and ability won them games.

9 - All those players did more than Jim Rice.

dbvader said...

9. It is a terribly weak argument to judge a player's HoF credentials against a single player in the Hall. The obvious result is a watering down of the Hall. Even so, to compare Rice's best seasons to Koufax's seasons, one of the probably five greatest pitching stretches in the history of baseball, is absurd.

4. Dan has a history of finding foreign names strange and shockingly unpronounceable.

6. Nobody cares what baseball team Rudy played for 50 years ago. Nobody cares what happened to Danny Ainge's baseball career 20 years ago. Nobody cares about baseless speculation about what role Harrington may have had in denying Marvin Miller's entrance into the Hall. Nobody cares about Ray Allen's performance in a 10 year old movie. Nobody cares about dated, tangential references to classic rock.

7. When the magazine is Boston Magazine and the executive is Charlie Jacobs and the controversy is very tame, yes.

Christ, I cannot believe that you think that throwing together random, dated, and largely meaningless trivia is somehow hard or that the results are somehow interesting. Yes, those are some interesting names. Too bad the anecdotes are boring.

Hey OB- Still waiting for you to admit that the coach talked about videotaping defensive signals?

ObjectiveBruce said...

So, let me get this straight. A local team that drew 605,000 fans last year is headed by a guy who claims, in an article published in a magazine that has a circulation in excess of 60,000, that a newspaper with a circulation of 382,000 daily and 560,000 on Sunday routinely allows him to read articles about the team in advance and you say nobody cares?

The biggest baseball fans among current presidential candidates is an avowed Yankee fan and former mayor of New York and once wore a uniform that read Red Sox and you say nobody cares?

The biggest Celtic team in more than two decades includes a new local superstar who can be spotted in an old movie and you say nobody cares?

It's revealed for the first time that the generalmanager of that basketball team had an offer on the table to give up basketball after the team traded him years ago and you say nobody cares?

The suitability of man who shaped the face of modern baseball by raising players out of serfdom for the Hall of Fame is debated and there's speculation about the role played by a former Red Sox owner who who strengthened the team by selling it and you say nobody cares?

Laughable. But let us not permit common sense to get in the way of hatred.

I'm right behind you, vader, in the corrections line.

dbvader said...


The president of the distant fourth place team in the market (when was the last time you heard the Bruins discussed on sports radio?) was misquoted and it was easily cleared up. BFD.

Ray Allen was in a movie 10 bleeping years ago. It is not news now that he is playing in Boston. Thinking it is so is parochialism at its best.

Some guy wore a Red Sox uniform 50 years ago in a LL? I wore a Dodgers, Orioles, A's uniform. What does it matter. It is a minor coincidence signifying nothing.

A 20 year old story about a 30 year old Danny Ainge being offered a chance to play in Toronto is not very interesting in 2008. Anyways, I doubt it is true or accurate. Neither Danny's OBP or SLG ever broke .300 in the MINORS. He would be lucky to hit his weight in the majors.

And the comment about Miller was pure SPECULATION. Dan had no idea whether Harrington did anything in support of or against Miller's election. Meaningless.

OB, you got a FACT wrong. You said the article did not mention videotaping. It did within the first 4 paragraphs. Now fess up.

Monkeesfan said...

BTW, is Shank going to give us his take on those trash-talkers from San Diego? Maybe he can steal material from this look at Philip "Ryan Leaf?" Rivers.

Tim said...


"Xenophobic" and "pshaw" in the same post?

You magnificent bastard, you!

Your pal,