Thursday, July 31, 2008

The End of the Road

Shaughnessy reflects on the wacky and wonderful tenure of Manny Ramirez as a member of the Boston Red Sox. Lots of Shaughnessys on display

- "Blows with the Wind Shaughnessy " says we're going to miss Manny's silliness to include his goofy antics in left field...this, just days after Shaughnessy ripped his goofy antics in left field

- "Dont let the fact's get in the way Shaughnessy": Shaughnessy says Ramirez' antics in the early years, to include skipping a trip to the White House, were harmless. Ramirez did skip a White House trip in 2005 (as well as 2008) but 2005 was not exactly the early years of Ramirez' tenure with the Sox, was it?

- "Poor word choice" Shaughnessy: First Shaughnessy makes an adjective out of a noun. Says Ramirez has "savant hitting skill". Savant is a noun not an adjective. I also think his continued use of savant to describe Ramirez' skills is insulting. In my thinking, savant is synonymous with idiot savant and the implication is that Ramirez is a dim bulb who somehow magically lucked into his hitting prowess as a freak of nature. It is a subtle personality assassination. Did he ever describe Larry Bird as a savant? or Ted Williams?

- "Contradictory Dan" says in one paragraph that "the Sox should brace for early backlash from the sizable faction of Red Sox Nation that will always worship at the Altar of Manny." Fewer than five sentences later, he says, "In the end, Manny had few friends in his own clubhouse and much of the fan base had turned against him."

- "Inconsistent Shaughnessy"...In discussing the dismantling of the 2004 Red Sox, he says "One by one, those players left town and Manny was alone to carry the mantle of goofiness. He did it well and still put up the numbers." This a strange compliment, given that we are talking the 2005-2008 years--which includes 2006 in which Shaughnessy claims that Ramirez quit and 2007-2008 in which Shaughnessy recently remarked that Ramirez OPS had dropped considerably

- "One sided Dan" talks about the ungluing of Manny's tenure initiated by Manny's slapping of Youklis. If Varitek had done this to Youklis, he would have praised Varitek as a gamer and leader who doesn't put up with whining from his teammates. For Manny, it is lumped in there with the shoving of the traveling secretary

- I am not defending Ramirez here - I think he quit on the team. And I dont think the Red Sox are stupid enough to trade him unless the situation had become untenable. But I do think there is something to Ramirez' criticism of the Red Sox management...they use the press to paint the outgoing superstars as monsters (Nomar, Martinez and now Ramirez) and the press (Shaughnessy and Gammons) seem all too willing to oblige.

- Oh yeah there is "Cliche Dan"--Theo and the minions make an appearance today

It is the end of an era in more ways than one. With Schilling and Ramirez out of the picture Shaughnessy does not have an obvious whipping post for the first time in years. If JD Drew starts to fade, however, he might better watch out. Shank will lump him in with Keith Foulke and start firing away at his lack of passion for the game


JJS37 said...

It must be nice to write an entire article on a guy, sum up everyone's feelings-the fans, the owner, the teammates, and the media, and have a two word quote from the owner via e-mail, and an incomplete quote from an anonymous teammate. How does he do that?

I'm guessing not too many people get excited when they hear "Dan Shaughnessy on the line."

As for the contradictions-wow-you weren't kidding. This guy can't write two paragraphs without straddling the fence. How sore do you think his crotch is?

What a douche bag.

Anonymous said...

Remember when Pedro, Manny and Nomar were the Big Three? All three dark skinned, and all three smeared by the aging white men in the media on their way out.

roger bournival said...

"Contradictory Dan" says in one paragraph that "the Sox should brace for early backlash from the sizable faction of Red Sox Nation that will always worship at the Altar of Manny." Fewer than five sentences later, he says, "In the end, Manny had few friends in his own clubhouse and much of the fan base had turned against him."

Good point. My roommate's a die-hard Sox / Manny fan. Well, he used to be. He finally gave up on Manny once he heard the 'The Sox don't deserve me' diatribe. He's currently slamming doors and yelling at his brother in Seattle about what a complete asshole Manny is (yes, he's just got home from the local watering hole, but still!). I don't see Shank's former contention supported by, admittedly, these few data points that I'm looking at.

Personally, I've always viewed Manny as a prima donna whose antics we put up with because of his abilities on the field, perhaps similar to Pedro and Clemens, but as noted above, the 'The Sox don't deserve me' comment clearly crossed the line.

At the end of the D & C show yesterday, Dennis read some e-mails. Not a single e-mail sent to them supported Manny in any fashion.

I wonder how that squares with a certain commenter's insistence that 'we luv, luv, luv our Sawx'?

Did anyone else notice the subtle upgrade from 'Theo and his minions' to 'Theo and the minions'? They're growing by leaps and bounds, maybe they're mutating! Also, it sounds like a great band name!

Dave, FWIW - I see three items in your commentary that the aforementioned certain commenter will take issue with in his usual (strawman / ad hominem / non-sequitur / general boorish / pumping the pom-poms for Shank) fashion. I trust he's um, argumentative enough, as usual, to take the bait. Naturally, there's one of my own above; have at it, Globie...

That will happen right after he reports the Globe's Friday circulation numbers by 9:30 AM.

I think Hegel said it quite well - "Herr Shaughnessy ist eine gro├če Douchen Sack." (sorry, Timmy!)

roger bournival said...

Remember when Pedro, Manny and Nomar were the Big Three? All three dark skinned, and all three smeared by the aging white men in the media on their way out.

I'm not sure if I completely agree with that angle. I know it's been brought up here before, and since the subject's about baseball, I don't pay a lot of attention to it. I would like to get a comparison to Clemens' treatment by the Globe on his way out with the Globe's treatment of the other three guys you mentioned, before commeting further. I really don't remember if Clemens got Shanked on his way out.

Perhaps a Globie supporter (wink wink, nudge nudge) could expand on that point? I mean, before the buyout offer kicks in?

Dave M said...

I am sure ob will make issue of several of my comments particularly the savant one. I have just grown weary of shanks use of it in decribing ramirez.

thanks for the posts as always

dave m

OBjectivebruce said...

Given that Shaughnessy was out in front of virtually the entire sports writing and broadcast contingent in offering a dead-on analysis of the Manny of July 2008, it's really no surprise that the best you can come up with is an incredibly forced, barely lucid piece consisting of little more than a petty effort to deconstruct the column for the express purpose of finding something to complain about.

I disagreed with him on Garciaparra; I disagreed with him on Martinez; I even disagreed with him on Carl Everett. But there are reasons why Shaughnessy is the lead sports columnist on the leading news outlet in town. One of those reasons is you're frequently going to read something written by him with which you take visceral or intellectual disagreement. Another is that he is willing to take a stand and when you take a stand in the world of fun and games -- or in any other endeavor in which achievement is a direct reflection of human skill -- sometimes you're going to be wrong. That's why we have sports columnists; they're not here to act as cheerleaders, despite the demands of the mom's basement crowd.

Shaughnessy had this one pegged all the way and no amount of petty reverse engineering of columns can change that simple fact.

Oh, and "savant skill" is a term widely used in the medical community, but I found its use here to be inappropriate since as a clinical term it has to do with autism. It may have seemed apt for the columnist to use the term in noting Manny's lack of social grace and often inappropriate behaviour with his exceptional and remarkable ability in a solitary endeavor. However, I find its use here as insensitive to people with autism, and particularly with Asperger's syndrome. The copy desk should have flagged that one.

Anonymous said...


You Shanked another one! What a pathetic monotone article lacking true insights.

You’re an Idiot Savant with personal vendettas, unable to really compete in the game so you draw in fools to listen to your xenophobic yarn. If you want true news reporting, and not personal opinions and bias, look around the country and learn how objectivity is standard in the craft of literature.

Bottom Line News Story

Manny won another standoff even with all the stuff the "pitchmen" threw at him. He stood up to a $billion organization, multi-media monster and took all their “inside” pitches and then hit one long and deep. That is a news story!

Amazing day yesterday as the Red Sox went into damage control. They brought out Schill (Theo’s blood brother) and Gammons (Theo’s melodic partner) and off they went to sing us a song and a tune.

Manny Stood Alone!

He preferred other challenges unless the Sox renegotiated and allowed him to retire here in Boston. He deserved an offer. Show the fans the offer that the Front Office presented him! That would be news.

Other News

Here is a sample of what other news people are reporting:

“When they’re (Red Sox) ready to get rid of a player,” Damon said, “they do it.”

Yankees barely contain glee at Ramirez trade By Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports

It’s unfair to continue pointing to this mystical aura around Ramirez, something so difficult to quantify. Manny didn’t hit more than 500 home runs because he sprinkled pixie dust on himself at 7 p.m. every night.

Gone, at least for the next two months, is their greatest foil. Take David Ortiz and his dramatics if you will, but know that there was no one – no one – Yankees pitchers feared more than Manny, and the feeling of horror that once came along with the facing the middle of Boston’s lineup exists no longer.

It’s difficult, really, to qualify how thoroughly Ramirez hit the Yankees, other than to say: He wasn’t a thorn in their side. He was the whole rose bush.

“He’s incredibly smart,” Yankees pitcher Darrell Rasner said.

As groundbreaking a moment as that is – someone linking Manny Ramirez with the phrase “incredibly smart” – Rasner tried to explain himself. He is the Yankees’ fifth starter. He has spent bits and pieces of the last four years in the major leagues and faced Ramirez three times. One resulted in a single, the other two walks.
Before that, though – before he ever threw a professional pitch – Rasner used to break down Ramirez’s at-bats and admire the slyness with which he flaunts his baseball IQ.
Sometimes, Rasner said, Ramirez swings and misses at pitches on purpose.

“Good hitters out there will do that,” Rasner said. “Because you start to think, ‘Oh, I’ve got the guy on this one.’ Then you throw that pitch again, and, bam, it’s gone.”


mike_b1 said...

Bruce, please look up dead-on." Getting drunk and hitting on 21-year-olds at The Fours is not one of the definitions.

Shaughnessy doesn't take a stand on anything. He can't: He has no spine. That's why he flips and flops all over the place, like the cold fish he is.

Oh, and out in front of the broadcasting contingent is a redundancy.

Bill said...

And Bruce, you did not disappoint.

The copy desk should have flagged that one.

Much like they should have flagged his labeling Francona as an "enabler."

If he is the leading columnist at the Globe, then, like in a boating disaster, "The captain always goes down with the sinking ship."

9:15, OB/Shank/Dirt Bag...where are today circulation numbers?!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

When someone sees that "typist coming" again can he get us some news .... like the real story as to who is this 64 year old that Manny roughed up.

There is plenty of reference to this guy but the "prosecution" never presents him in court. Convenient.

Sunday Sunflower Seeds said...

Shaughnessy was unanimously ripped for his Nomar column in 2004, but I actually think it's the best column he's ever written. He took a stance and effectively backed it up, whether you agreed with it or not. Here, with Manny, he doesn't seem to know which angle he wants to take and basically just rehashes the time line of events, which all the readers are already familiar with. For the guy who is paid to be the leading columnist for sports in the region, this is a pretty weak effort for a very significant event.

Anonymous said...


"...the lead sports columnist on the leading news outlet in town."

That's awesome, dude!!!! Funniest thing I've read on this site, ever!!!

Keep 'em coming, bunky!

Your pal,


Anonymous said...

Shaughnessy is probably sitting back and waiting for Ortiz to slip up one way or another. After all, he's the only high-profile minority left to tear down on the Red Sox.

The only silver lining is that the old sportswriter bigots are all growing old and the younger generation of sportswriters, for all their flaws, aren't racists.

Anonymous said...

But wouldn't reading the daily newspaper be an overwhelmingly harrowing task for people with Assburger's Syndrome? And isn't the "lead sports columnist on the leading news outlet in town" in He Whose Name is Not Really Bruce's post is something akin to being the number one purveyor of the Happening Now Music of the Today Kids as brought to you by your local distributor of 78rpm disks? Anyway, what's the opposite of savant? Who can come up with the best word for somebody who worms their way into a poorly-paid sinecure in their twenties and spends the rest of their life fitting out their parasitic residence by scab-picking the most base prejudices of their "fan base" to the detriment of the home team. What's up with the "3-2 Kid" by the way?

James said...

like the real story as to who is this 64 year old that Manny roughed up.

There is plenty of reference to this guy but the "prosecution" never presents him in court. Convenient.

His name is Jack McCormick, and he is the traveling secretary for the Boston Red Sox. Manny later apologized for shoving him, but he most definitely shoved him.

James said...

Remember when Pedro, Manny and Nomar were the Big Three? All three dark skinned, and all three smeared by the aging white men in the media on their way out.

The same thing happened to Johnny Damon, why not bring him up? Ohhhhh, because he's white and that would prove you don't have a point.

mike_b1 said...

James, you're way off. When Damon left, Shaughnessy blamed the team.

Here's what he wrote:
-"Losing Damon hurts them on the field and in the arena of popular opinion."

-"So now your Boston Red Sox have no center fielder, no shortstop, and no first baseman to go along with no Theo Epstein and no clue. It's fair to say this is becoming a winter of discontent in Red Sox Nation."
"[L]osing Damon to the Yankees is a devastating blow to the foundation of the Nation."
-"The Sox won't recover from this one easily."

And what happened? The Red Sox won the 2007 WS, while the Damon-era Yankees haven't won crap.

Like I have said, The CHB is always wrong.