Friday, February 29, 2008

Pasty Dan

Shaughnessy must have been feeling a little pasty. He has returned to Florida to work on his tan and write about pasty college students who stand enamored of their big league heroes. (Last year he called them pasty white so a little variety is good) Not a bad article. And it is always nice to have a reference to Schilling holding court with the media.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Boston Globe Reductions

Chris and others on this blog have been predicting that pink slips were forthcoming at the Globe. Unfortunately, that is the case. Dan Kennedy, a visitor to this blog, has broken the new on his blog, Media Nation. Details are here:

OB posted the recent quarterly profit line from the Globe...I guess his point was that all is rosey. Not so according to the Boston Globe publisher who says, "As you all know, these are difficult times in the newspaper business." Some good commentary at Dan's site,

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Emperor Has No Clothes

Picked this up on BSMW

Our friend Shaughnessy has picked up an award for his outstanding column writing. Results are here:

Wonder if he struck a deal with the devil?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

What the hell?

Seriously, what the hell is he thinking? Is it time for an exorcism?

The one omission in today's column....Suddenly it's clear, the devil took over the Boston Globe sports department some 20 years ago and left his spawn at the keyboard leaving us all to suffer.

Otherwise, I won't dignify this inane rubbish.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Whither Dan?

Where is Dan? Last spring when Shaughnessy shoowed up to spring training, he wrote articles for about 18 days in a row. I thought we would get more of the same when Dan started this spring. Dan wrote a few pieces but they have abruptly stopped. Why would they send him on a Florida assignment and then have sit there and contribute nothing? [Insert punchline here.] Did they pull him back to the mothership? Did they finally come to their senses?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Skip the Middleman

Faced with threats of irrelevancy, one might expect Dan to work harder and produce work that provides a unique perspective for his readers. Instead, Dan either lashes out with vitriolic attacks or produces columns that are little more than transcripts of press conferences.

Today, in a tribute to his capitulation, Dan combines the vitriol with the laziness.

The column is ostensibly about John Henry, but Dan manages to twist it around to his white whale, Curt Schilling, leading with a couple of shots at Schilling and a Patriots/Matt Walsh reference. Just the type of stuff you would expect.

What is most striking about the column, though, is how unnecessary Dan is. You can skip the middleman and decide for yourself. has a video of the Curt Schilling interview session, which the Boston Globe was not invited to. The reader can watch the video and make her mind up about Schilling's attitude. No longer does she need to rely on Dan's dubious characterization that Schilling is "mad at the ball club." Further, outside of the shots at Schilling, the column is just a straight rehash of Henry's statements. A transcript posted on a blog could easily take the place of most of Dan's column. It would probably be a whole lot cheaper for the struggling NY Times Empire, too.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Welcome Change of Pace

After a boring transcription of a Theo press conference, a rambling, illogical mess, and an unwarranted, illogical personal attack, Dan loses the vitriol and works to craft an actual well thought out column.

Too bad that there isn't much to say about Josh Beckett that we already don't know. As Dan points out, Beckett doesn't provide many interesting quotations for the press to run with. The best quotation is provided by Theo Epstein, who said "It's OK for a pitcher to be a little bit of a [expletive] on the mound."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Schilling Obsession Kicks into High Gear

I wonder if Curt Schilling sleeps well at night? I wonder if in the middle of the night he wakes up and sees two beady little eyes in the corner and asks himself, "Is that a rat?" "Oh no, " he mutters to himself, "that's just Dan Shaughnessy."

Shaughnessy's hyper obsession of the Big Lug kicks into high gear this morning as he questions the breakdown of of Schilling's shoulder just months after Schilling signed an $8M contract. While Shaughnessy raises some legitimate questions, in its whole, it is a totally irresponsible and reckless piece of journalism. At its core, there is the hallmark of Shaughnessy: a failure to do a lick of research....Schilling won't talk to him; there is no insight offered by the team; there is no analysis offered by the medical community....but that doesn't stop Shaughnessy from putting this piece of garbage together. Shaughnessy just fills the gap by pontificating, speculating and ripping...

- He hints that Schilling knew his shoulder was hurt before he even signed the contract because he so readily grabbed the Sox lowball offer. This is a really cheap shot--just to casually question someone's ethics like that

- He complains that Schilling has been shaking hands with politicians and cutting ribbons at supermarkets but that he can't throw a ball across the infield.

- He suggests that Schilling hurt his shoulder after signing the contract by doing something non baseball related (blogging or reaching for a doughnut...oh that's a good one, Dan)

- Of course, Shaughnessy is critical of Schilling's methods for communicating to the public...between the blog and paid appearances on the radio.*

(*Is it not ironic that this comes one day after the NESN article in which Shaughnessy complains about the media exposure of the Red Sox but only to be feasting like a pig from the trough himself? Schilling is no more of a media whore than Shaughnessy is. Seriously, how nice it must be for Shaughnessy to moonlight like this--he should be focused on his primary job as columnist but he is too busy filling the airwaves himself. Maybe if he took time to research instead of finding new ways to collect a paycheck, we would not be treated to this crap day after day. )

Shaughnessy lays this whole bloody mess at the feet of Schilling. No blame for the Red Sox? After all, they are the ones who signed him to the contract knowing that his velocity was down; they did not insure his contract; they did a physical and pressed ahead anyway. They had to know it was a gamble and they pressed ahead anyway. There are two parties to a contract and because one side is Schilling, Shaughnessy puts his blinders on and fires away.

In the end, this was an amateurish hack job. In the ultimate irony....Shaughnessy, the media whore himself, is spread too thin with writing books and showing up on TV to be capable of writing a legitimate piece. I wonder if Shaughnessy wakes up in the middle of night and sees the beady eyes of a monster in the corner and thinks to himself "That must be the Big Lug" before he realizes that he is just looking in the mirror.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Red Sox: All Day and All Night

Dan writes in disbelief that the Red Sox sprint training workouts are being now aired on NESN. The only thing missing from today's column are shots at the grown men wearing Schilling jerseys and/or tuning in from Ma's basement. On the other hand, we are treated to a shot at Schilling's blog for the umpteenth time--Shaughnessy is forever fixated on the Big Lug and it is going to be a sad day when Schilling retires. Wouldn't it be nice if they rode into the sunset together?

Dan uses the column again as a vehicle to show how wildly popular the Red Sox have become but he suggests that the whole experience will be hollow. In my mind, it boils down to economics - supply and demand. NESN wouldn't do this unless they felt there was a demand for it. I am sure a lot of New Englanders (after a cold winter and continued talk of Spygate) will tune in to feast on the first signs of spring. After all, there is a magical element to spring training. If the numbers don't pan out, they won't do it anymore--it's really as simple as that.

Basically, standard Shaughnessy fare...Dan's article is replete with all the Shaughnessy classics - references to parades in Groton; the digs on Schilling and other wonderful cultural references. CHB elevates his hipness quotient by suggesting that the Sox are more popular than Hannah Montana. I liked that one.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Spring Break Training With Dan

If today's column is any measure, get ready for an impressive chronicle of the Red Sox spring training.

Dan basically uses two-thirds of his column to transcribe Theo Epstein's opening press conference. The rest if filler with gratuitous shots all around.

I liked this line the best:

"Theo has earned this good will. He was right about the Sox' prospects last year."

You wouldn't be referring to Dustin Pedroia, would you Dan?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Oh No!

Dan's take on the story that you cannot shake.

Fearless Dan concludes that both McNamee and Clemens lied, that both had bad performances. Bold stuff you won't get anywhere else.

And Dan manages to get this wrong:

"Pettitte's deposition shreds Clemens's story. Under oath, Pettitte told Congress that Clemens admitted using HGH. Twice. Pettitte said he relayed the conversations to his wife. Mrs. Pettitte recalls the conversations and said so in her affidavit.

Well, as Dan's colleagues over at the NYT reported Pettitte testified about a single conversation with Clemens, which Roger later disputed according to the affidavit.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Dan Just Doesn't Get it

Today, Dan engages in a discussion that thousands of New England sports fans have been doing all week...trying to rank the Patriots loss in the Super Bowl in the list of all-time worst moments in Boston sports history. He writes this column just a week after prematurely trying to place the Pat's season in the tops of all time list.

Dan ultimately concludes that despite the fan's vote which puts this at the top, he would actually put it behind the Sox infamous troika (1986, 1978, 2003) . His premise is that the Patriots have had inordinate success, already winning three Super Bowls this century. No big deal he claims....the Pats have had a great number of years. He does not seem capable of grasping of why Patriots fans are so disconsolate - you have a chance at perfection--a chance to do what no team has ever lived through the ups and downs and the close calls where the Patriots had everything go their get within two minutes of victory....and then poof, it is gone. The Patriots will win many more games in the future and we can hope for a few more Super Bowl victories but the opportunity for perfection like this? An infinitesimal chance. Not only that, the Patriots have almost come a punchline -- how many times will Patriots fans hear "You cheaters got what you deserved!"

Prior to 2004, the Red Sox were lovable losers--so as bad as their defeats were, you could lean on the sympathy from not only fellow Red Sox fans but from many others who could sympathize like long suffering Cubs fans. It's not this way with the Patriots - people seem to genuinely hate the Patriots and this loss gives them ammo--plenty of it to rub Pat's fans faces in it.

A few other points

- Full disclosure: This past week I myself did a rack and stack of the worst moments in Boston history in an email exchange with a friend and I ranked the 78 and 86 Sox ahead of this year's Patriots. I think this owes mostly to the fact that I was much younger when those occurred and thus much more nostalgic. (I also place the 76 Pats team loss to the Raiders near the top of my list)

- Of course Dan has to make reference to Schilling and the question of how ugly his dispute with the Red Sox will be. Guess he has not read the recent articles which claim that Schilling really seems to have come around to the Sox way of thinking

- Whoever patted Dan on the head and said "Good Boy" when Dan coined the phrase "Bill Belichick's History Boys" should be shot

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Super Special Picked Up Pieces

A Dan staple is back. It is hard to believe that he was holding back these tidbits. It has all his staples.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

It All Comes Back to the Red Sox

No column about the Patriots can be complete without the requisite Red Sox references. Because sports fans in New England cannot understand anything without somehow relating it to Red Sox history.

Monday, February 04, 2008

What Can You Say?

Dan has the recap of the awful turn of events. Not a very interesting take.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Blah, blah, blah

This morning's entry attempts to set the stage for today's big game. It almost sounds like it is written for the uninitiated...those people who woke up this morning and for the first time in a year decided to check the sports pages because they heard something about the local football team playing in a big game today. Nothing original , nothing insightful...We get such analysis and tidbits such as this:

"The Patriots are expected to put a lot of points on the board."

"Patriots fans expect New England to score early and often"

"The Patriots have a lot of players who have been here before."
"[Eli] Manning is the younger brother of Patriots nemesis Peyton Manning"

"The Patriots...attempt to become only the second team in NFL history to complete a season without a loss (the 1972 Miami Dolphins finished 17-0)"
Holy cow - what a waste of space! Absolutely nothing original. Compare this to Kevin Paul Dupont's article on Bill Belichick and ask yourself if Dan is capable of writing a piece like that?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Spygate Revisited (Bravo Dan)

Dan writes about the curious re-emergence of the spygate scandal. In a rare instance, I think I agree with every single point that Dan makes and he articulates a number of points that were percolating in my mind. Brings out some interesting stories about Sen Specter being a regular caller to sports radio call in shows. It is an excellent article in my humble opinion.

Later today, I need to go back to do a little research because I don't think Dan has always had this perspective on Spygate but again, I appreciate his perspective this AM.


Friday, February 01, 2008

The Great Debate

As the Patriots' march into the history books enters its final steps, Dan opens the debate of "greatest story ever" of a New England area sports team/athlete. It is a meandering article that covers a lot of familiar ground. Yet, it is a thoughtful article in that Dan does not beat the reader over the head with his answer -- in which he narrows the debate between the 2004 Red Sox and the 2007 Patriots and then seems to imply that his answer would be the 2004 Sox.

He does wander though from point to point. (Attention deficit perhaps? Or just lazy writing?) Early in the article, Shaughnessy calls the area a baseball area first and foremost and points out that the Patriots were not even invented until 1960, casually dismissing the grip of the Pats on the locals. He contrasts this to Pittsburgh which is such a strong football town. But later he acknowledges that the Patriots have done many things to captivate the fans and almost (but not quite) puts the Pats on equal footing.

In the end, however, I think this article would have been better served next week in the aftermath of a victory or defeat. It's premature speculation.