Friday, October 31, 2008

Pierce's Place

Dan discusses Paul Pierce's place in Celtics history now that Pierce has won an NBA championship with the team. A fair article all things considered (outside of the Cry me a Doc Rivers line) although it meanders a bit.

This must be reflective week for Dan as he steps back and ponders the legacies of folks like Pierce and Belichick. It makes one wonder though if this will be a long winter--there is really no one in the Boston sports landscape for him to take easy shots at now. We can only hope that Schilling decides to re-sign.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dan Parachutes In

So, after nine months of passive-aggressive shots at Bill Belichick, Dan goes back to Foxboro for a press conference and to tell us how great Belichick is.

It's a bunch of quotations interspersed with Dan's comments about how Belichick isn't telling us what he is really thinking. Of course, none of these quotations have anything to do with the play on the field, just the general tripe that lazy sportswriters love to dwell on when they don't know what they are talking about.

And Dan sure proves that last point by dwelling on the height of the Patriots' defensive backfield. Note to Dan: Most every DB in the NFL, especially CB's, are short.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Be Happy Game 7 Didn't Go Long

I missed this piece earlier in the week because Dan was able to crank out a game piece in time to make the online Globe edition.

It starts:
I was reading Hawthorne's "The House of the Seven Gables" when I had an urge for a 7UP. So I went to 7-Eleven and bought seven cans. It was 7 p.m.

No need to read any further.

Thanks to Barstool Sports for noticing this.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Diving Into Football

After the Red Sox playoff run, Dan's focus shifts to football and last night's Patriots-Broncos match.

Not too good. Dan must not have been paying attention to the football with all that writing he had to do for the Red Sox. Take this question:

"It made you wonder . . . how could the Broncos be 4-2?"

The answer is some bad wins and a gift from the refs against San Diego. He also somehow manages to shoehorn a Red Sox mention and Barack Obama's acceptance speech. Dan really had nothing to say, ultimately resorting to tired trivia about the Patriots and Monday Night Football.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nose to the Grindstone

People have accused Dan of "mailing it in" on occasion. Last year, he previewed the World Series by stating that nobody knew who the Rockies were and Dan couldn't really be bothered to tell us. But this postseason there was no hint of such laziness. And his "the immortal player Dan was too lazy to know about" shtick wasn't prominent. (At least as I can tell. I hardly read his columns any more.)

Today's piece was pretty good. It was a good recap of the game with a little bit of perspective.

There is one hyperbole alert:

"The Rays never played .500 ball before this year, but in October of '08 they are every bit as talented as any Yankees team the Sox battled in the last decade."

That is a slight overstatement.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Our Roller Coaster Ride is Almost Complete

Dan offers up the game recap and for the most part, he plays it straight. But then he gets into his asinine "Let's call this series over " schtick. If he were an ER doctor, you would probably hear him say, "The Rays, Time of Death, 12:16" But then you would hear the other docs yelling at him "But the patient hasn't died yet, you idiot." And Shaughnessy would respond, "Well, I just felt the need to say something."

Today he does this by concluding with, "And the Red Sox are planning on starting the World Series Wednesday night at Fenway against the Philadelphia Phillies." I, for one, don't believe in curses or jinxes and I would never claim that Shaughnessy has just jinxed the Red Sox because that would amount to conceding that Shaughnessy has power he clearly does not. I just find it incredibly annoying...but then again, we are talking Shaughnessy.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Choker Rays?

Dan examines how the Rays might react to the colossal lost on Thursday night and compares them to the Angels of the past couple of decades--the 1986 Angels who could not recover after a similar Game 5 loss and the Angels of more recent vintage who Shaughnessy claims have little Red Sox dancing in their heads.

Dr Dan loves to explore the psych side of winning and losing and so this was a natural column for him - a lot of rehash of years gone by coupled with superficial speculation and analysis and you have a Shaughnessy column.

Friday, October 17, 2008


What a game! If you watch the video of Shaughnessy that accompanies his game story, it is actually pretty see a boyish excitement reveal itself and in a rare instance, I actually feel like giving the guy a high five and saying "Yes, the Sox did it!"

This is an exciting morning...I shouldargue that Shaughnessy did not need to add the gratuitious shot at Schilling. Plus we have the tired time stamp (12:16) technique. And I could also point out DBVader's prescience in yesterday's piece when he wrote

But this small sample size problem is just an example of the basic flaw in Dan's thesis. Dan claims that this team, down 3-1, is somehow different than all the other teams that have come back from the same deficit because this one looks
bad. But all those teams looked bad, that's why they were down 3-1. After seeing
the Red Sox get blown out in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS, nobody thought they looked
good, poised to roar back. But they did because they began to play better, much
better. You cannot predict, just hope that it happens.
But I will show some restraint. It's a good day. Shank's story is actually good given that he had to rewrite everything minutes before deadline. If you see Shaughnessy today, give him a high five. The Sox did good. And he did okay too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

If Dan Can Do It . . . .

If one were to read today's Shank column (or the one he wrote a year ago when the Red Sox were down 3-1 to the Indians) and conclude based on it that he sucked as a writer, you would be committing a mistake in logic. One column is not enough to show that a columnist is good or bad. To truly determine that Shank sucked, you would need to look at his whole body of work.

Dan makes such a mistake in today's column, blaming players for poor hitting over a four-game period. (My favorite is "Organization poster boy Dustin Pedroia is hitting .172 against the Tribe", implying that there is something wrong about an organization with a 2b hitting .380/.440.) Let's ignore what happened over six months for what happened over the last week. This is the same type of irrational, panicked thinking that CHB would slam fans for engaging in.

But this small sample size problem is just an example of the basic flaw in Dan's thesis. Dan claims that this team, down 3-1, is somehow different than all the other teams that have come back from the same deficit because this one looks bad. But all those teams looked bad, that's why they were down 3-1. After seeing the Red Sox get blown out in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS, nobody thought they looked good, poised to roar back. But they did because they began to play better, much better. You cannot predict, just hope that it happens.

Factual Error
Manny Delcarmen is not one of Theo's guys. He was drafted in 2000.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Lot Can Change

Dan's look at last night's game mixes in some reflections on the state of the Patriots, comparing the big comedowns of both teams. I think it captures the situation well.

Does Dan read the messageboard over at Boston Sports Media Watch?

Jason Varitek looks as though he might calcify in mid-swing.

I know that members like to call Varitek "The Calcifying Captain."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Give It to Dan

I don't much care for Dan's "Picked Up Pieces" columns. Usually, the pieces are creations of laziness, obvious and/or dated observations and lame jokes.

Today's piece is an exception
. With the playoffs, Dan has a chance for some timely and interesting observations. The piece however did not get off to a good start. The first paragraph was a Warren Zevon reference. (Dan, Peter Gammons owns the exclusive rights to Warren Zevon references.) The second paragraph was a reference to how late games end. SHUT UP!!!! SHUT UP!!!!

What really caught my attention was the following paragraph, which I had to read twice:
Do not underestimate the residue of hard feelings in the wake of Francona hitting for Jason Varitek a second time in these playoffs. Tito lifted Varitek for J.D. Drew against Dan Wheeler in the ninth inning of Game 2. It's refreshingly bold given Tito's reputation at a "player's manager" and it makes good sense, but be assured the captain sees this as an act of abject betrayal.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Roller Coaster Dan

Oh yes, just one day after Dan declared (five times no less) that it just felt like the Red Sox were going to the World Series, the seeds of doubt have crept in and Dan writes

It makes you wonder about those dreams of a third Boston World Series in five seasons.

If Dan used any shred of analysis, he would not have rambled on (five times no less) about the Red Sox making the World Series. If he had studied the situation, he would have realized that the Rays have hung tough all season. He would have realized that there were plenty of questions about Beckett's health. If this one lousy start happened to Beckett last year, it would have been an anomaly. This year, while this start was disappointing for Beckett, it was neither surprising nor unpredictable. As always, Dan rides with the wind. He is incapable of cogent analysis. (There is even a little video vignette on the site with Dan apologizing for predicting a Red Sox World Series appearance. How pathetic.) The Red Sox may very well end up going to the World Series but for Dan to call it after Game 1 was just idiotic.

There are a few other gems in there as well

. Dan loves the "While New England slept" bit. It is quite a dichotomy....Shaughnessy frequently criticizes the Red Sox zealots who live and die with the teams fortunes. At the same time, he criticizes Tampa for its lack of tradition. Yet Tampa's stadium was rocking last night while New England slept?

- Dan takes a jab at the way the Red Sox handling of players with injuries when he writes
"It makes you wonder why the Sox are so stubborn with star players (remember Mike Lowell?) who are not physically able to perform." Are you serious, Dr Shaughnessy? Have you not been following this team recently? Can you discuss the way the way they have shut down people like Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, JD Drew, Julio Lugo, David Ortiz, Hideki Okajima? Whose careers have they jeapordized by their stubborness? (Actually I would worry about Ortiz)

- Of course, there is always the gratuitous shot ot Grady Little for whenever a manager leaves a pitcher in too long. Its funny once or twice but gets tired after a dozen plus uses

Other than that, this was a fine and much needed piece of journalistic wonder. And since you probably have plenty of energy since you went to bed while the Red Sox were still playing last night, you can read Shank's piece on Kevin Youklis for a Theo and the Minions reference (oh by the way, I dont think anyone commented on this but in a recent piece, Dan referred to them as "Theo and his baseball operations staff"

Finally, please note that the Globe has added a section for readers to comment on Shaughnessy's pieces. Some entertaining comments.

Have a great Sunday...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What is wrong with this Guy?

Seriously, what is this guy's issue? One game into the ALCS and Shaughnessy is ready to declare this thing is over? What is he smoking? Has he lost his mind? Five references to the World Series after Game 1?

Here are the 5 separate references

It's only one game. So how come it already feels like the Red Sox are going to the World Series?

So how come it already feels like the Red Sox are going to the World Series?

This is the way it's been for quite some time, and that's why it already feels like the Red Sox are going to the World Series.

On to the ninth. On to Jonathan Papelbon and a 1-2-3 ninth. On to the World Series. At least that's the way it feels.

It's only one game and already it feels like the Red Sox are going back to the World Series.

What a total and complete moron. And here is my favorite quote:

Including their historic ALCS comeback in 2004, the Sox are 23-7 in their last 30 postseason games. Toss out the 2005 Division Series sweep at the hands of the White Sox and Boston is 23-4 in tournament play since the embarrassing loss to the Yankees.

He may just as well said, "the Sox are 23-7 in their last 30 postseason games. Toss out the 7 losses and they are an amazing 23-0." And why the hell does he keep referring to it as tournament play? It is the playoffs for crying out loud.

I am seriously beginning to wonder if this guy has completely lost it?

Unbelievable. Bring on a new columnist. The old one has lost it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

You Knew This Was Coming....

You knew this was coming from a mile away....or should I say a Manny Ramirez tapeshot homerun away?

Shaughnessy treats us to one of his many walks down memory lane. This time, we visit Tampa St Petersburg, a place where Shank says the sports tradition is mighty thin. He contrasts this to the tradition rich histories of New York, Cleveland, and Chicago. Come on Shank, as if Cleveland and Chicago would offer a more compelling match-up because of their richer histories? The Ray's history may be short but given that, the animosity that has developed between them and the Red Sox is pretty rich. I'd take this series in terms of interest than pretty much any other series save perhaps the Yankees.

Shank manages to dig up reference to every exhibition game he possibly can in which a Boston team was involved that was played in this area. He also makes the relevation that the Super Bowl will be played here in 4 months and wouldn't it be nifty if the Red Sox win this Series and the Patriots win the Super Bowl? Didn't Shaughnessy write the Patriots off three weeks ago?

Shank can never resist the jabs even if he has to strain to do it...let's follow this sequence...Scott Williamson claims to have seen a ghost at a Tampa hotel...Scott Williamson was in the bullpen when Grady Little stuck with Pedro Martinez on a fateful night in 2003 so lets therefore bring up a Grady Little/2003 Game 7 reference. It's a natural fit for this column. (Oh by the way, Williamson was pretty clutch for the Red Sox in a few playoff games)

Shaughnessy's whole premise is that Tampa has no sports history and that the Tropicana Dome is an abhorent pit and yet Shaughnessy throws out a little tidbit about the Ted Williams museum being located here and concludes "Pretty cool - for a place that came close to being named the Knuckledome." So is it cool Shank? Or is it a second rate sports city with a crappy stadium and no tradition?

Bottom line: Another meandering mess from Boston's finest columnist

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

2 for the price of 1

I missed an extra Dan column yesterday, so you get two reviews from me today.

Starting with today's, a look back at a man well known in Boston Don Zimmer. A good look reminding me of what can be so special about baseball lifers.

It was yesterday's that really caught my eye. The strong finger wagging at those young whippersnappers that won't get off his lawn is an expansion on a theme in a column from two weeks ago. And when I say expansion, I mean repeating himself, almost word for word.

Let's compare the two:

"Still, we could be in a place like Pittsburgh or Kansas City where baseball playoffs are merely a sweet memory, like gasoline for 29 cents a gallon."

"There's no more baseball in Pittsburgh this year. Same for Kansas City and Baltimore. The good people of Milwaukee just experienced their first taste of the playoffs since 1982 and their ride lasted only four games."

"Those of us who grew up in the 1950s and '60s remember the hungry years. "

"New Englanders who grew up during the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations had absolutely zero expectations of postseason play involving the Red Sox. It just wasn't going to happen."

"Sure, there has been expansion of baseball's playoff system. There was a time (as late as 1968) when only one of 10 teams in each league qualified for postseason play. That's two of 20. Today, it's eight of 30 making the playoffs - not quite like the old NHL, which took 16 of 21, but it's considerably easier than it was in the old days.

"Granted, it was much more difficult to play into October in those days. In the early 1960s, the Red Sox played in a 10-team American League and there were no preliminary rounds. There were no divisions. There was no wild card. You finished first out of 10 teams after 162 games or you went home.

"That was not the first lengthy Red Sox drought. Way back in the day, the Sox went from 1918 to 1946 without playing a postseason game."

"From 1918 until 1967, the Sox played in exactly one postseason series.

"One of the reasons we immortalize the 1967 Red Sox is because they brought playoff games to Fenway Park for the first time in 19 autumns."

""That's why 1967 remains the most important season in franchise history. It changed the way we thought about the Red Sox."

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Bring On The Tired, Overused Phrase

The Red Sox playoff success has gotten a little routine, so Dan, in tribute, uses one of his tired, routing phrases to lead today's column.

A quick search of the Globe archives for "dan shaughnessy" "bring on the" spits up 33 columns from the recycler. Thanks for staying fresh, Dan.

The rest is a recap of the game, with an emphasis on how these are the new Red Sox, the ones who don't fold after a crucial passed ball. Dan must have been crying, thinking about his lost meal ticket.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Now He Is Just Trying to Annoy Me

This was the sixth sentence of Dan's column today:

The game was played in front of the largest Fenway crowd (39,067) since World War II, lasted 5 hours 19 minutes, and ended at 12:48 this morning when Jered Weaver - making the first relief appearance of his career - got Alex Cora to ground to third base.

Dan goes on to recap the game, highlighting the Angels' struggles to bring in the many baserunners they had last night.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


Shaughnessy writes this morning that Terry Francona has done a wonderful job with the Red Sox but does not get the credit he deserves. A laudatory piece which has a nice perspective but also contains a few annoying Shank-isms:

- He talks about Francona's reaction to an MLB release which refers to him as Coach Francona vice the "manager". Shaughnessy says that true baseballers hate when managers are referred to as coaches. That is all good but this is pretty funny in a column when Shaughnessy refers to baseball's playoffs as a "tournament"...what idiot refers to the baseball playoffs as a tournament?

- He can't resist a dig at Belichick when he says "Just because Francona doesn't intimidate people or try to portray himself as a genius, is that any reason to diminish what the man has done?" Give it a rest Shank

- He talks about Francona's handling of Manny and how hard it must have been on him...this just two months after he ripped Francona for enabling Manny's behavior.

Have a good Sunday

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Daily Double

Dan offers up two tasty treats today...

Dream Matchup

Its a Given

Both are horrid...more thoughts to follow later tonight

(Update/Edit, 10 pm Saturday:

Just a few more thoughts. Shaughnessy's game recap was more awful regurgitated crap. He must have been really proud of himself for the clever Dock of the Bay reference because he used it again today just as he did on Friday. He goes on and on about how the Angels cant beat the Red Sox in October just as he did on Friday. He starts off listing all the different types of balls (long ball, hard ball, soft ball, wiffle ball) a wonderfully clever technique that, oh by the way, he used on Friday (Doc Ellis, Doc Medich, Doc Rivers, Dr Phil). Add oh yeah some idiot apparently told Dan that the first series is a best of three because he has declared that all the first round series are over.

As for the dream matchup article (He is rooting for Red Sox Dodgers), it is premature crap. Also dredges up some favorite pot shots at folks like Nomar
Closing out for now...have a good night

Dave M

Friday, October 03, 2008

Dr Dan

Dr Dan takes the stand. He also plays the role of judge and jury. He testifies that the Red Sox are in the Angels heads. It is a familiar claim from our expert, being dusted off after just one playoff game. Shaughnessy actually mostly plays it straight (outside of the Dr Phil and Lucy references) and it is not a bad column. But it is one of those columns where you read it and say "I knew this was coming from him." He has become so predictable. He loves to explore the mind games. He also loves to make these declaratives after a single game or event. Some will say he is being "out front" and others will say this is more knee-jerk reaction from CHB. At this point, I'd say its knee jerk. Let the series play out and write this type of column in the post mortem of the entire series and not just the first game

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Give It A Rest

Dan manages to incorporate all his favorite topics in today's column: Manny Ramirez, how late a game ends, and lame, dated song references.

It all leaves you wondering what Boston sports fans did to have Shank writing the front page pieces for the playoffs. At least Dan didn't write 90% of the column before the game and shoehorn some mention of the game into the piece.

Pure, unadulterated crap

Beckett has been the Bob Gibson of his generation and pretty much won the World Series for the Red Sox all by himself in 2007.

Seriously, should anybody read a columnist who makes the above claim? Lester, Schilling, Lowell, and JD Drew had something to do with the Red Sox World Series victory. Dan manages a couple of irrelevant Manny shots also.

Dan also provides a full column for Manny bashing. And at the height of laziness, it is a recap of column written by another hack.

Dan doesn't limit his bashing to Manny. He has some space for you poor delusional fans. After quoting Manny about the Boston atmosphere ("The fans in Boston got your back no matter what, but I'm talking about the people who write all this bull because it means so much to them. If your happiness depends on Boston winning or losing, you have to get a life."), Dan turns it on the fans.

There certainly are people in Boston whose happiness is connected to the Sox' fortunes. But it's not the "people who write this bull." Trust me when I tell you that Sox wins and losses have zero bearing on my happiness.

Yes, Dan is superior to you. He has evolved to such a level that he no longer cares. I don't care about his conclusion. The Red Sox winning doesn't have an affect on my happiness. It is Dan's sneering, condescending attitude that is despicable.

And Dan leaves us with one last bit of misinformation:
There are stars everywhere and you can have a drink at the Ritz with Enrique Wilson without being dimed out by some crazed LA fan.

Ignore the fact that Ramirez lived at the Ritz at the time and wasn't drinking adult beverages. Otherwise, it is a great story.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

And EYE-E-EYE Will Always Love You-oo-woo-oo

Treat a guy to dinner and he will write page one love letters to you.

Dan offers a profile of John Henry and hits all the hot topics: Manny, Theo and Lucchino, Fenway. It is a little creepy at times as Dan goes overboard in his love for Henry, but an interesting read.

One thing I want to scream about:

Seven years in charge of the Red Sox has taught Henry that sometimes the numbers do lie. Sometimes you have to believe in your GM when he says that a 5-foot-6-inch kid named Dustin Pedroia is going to be a .300 hitter in the big leagues.

THE NUMBERS SAID HE WAS GOING TO HIT .300 IN THE BIG LEAGUES. Pedroia hit .308/.392/.453 in the minors with more extra base hits than strikeouts. It was idiots like Shank who looked at Pedroia and dismissed him out of hand because he was short. Pedroia was the ultimate numbers over scouting decision. Dan doesn't have a shred of self awareness.