Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Back On The Bandwagon

Today's Boston Globe column by Shank has the title "Getting ahead of ourselves", a title chock full of irony. It was only three weeks ago when Shank was shoveling dirt on the Patriot's coffin, but today he offers a much rosier picture of the Patriot's playoff 'tournament' chances.

I can't say this column was well thought out on a few levels. He ignores the upcoming game against the Houston Texans and assumes the Pats will win the first round playoff game, then mulls over the preferred team for the Pats to play in the second round, all the while using the royal 'we' when making these assumptions, like everyone agrees with him. He concludes the column by stating the Pats are the team that nobody wants to play come January. Three weeks ago he says the Pats will 'probably' make the playoffs, yet we're now led to believe the first round playoff game's a sure thing? Amazing what a few wins will do to change one's perspective.

Let's hope the Pats avoid the Curse of the Shank.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Reverting To Form

Shank's eight CNN / SI article is a semi-decent read of the upcoming New Year's hockey game between the Bruins and the Flyers. Longtime Shankophiles will recognize trademark Shank elements throughout the article: Beatles & Stones references, bemoaning hockey as less popular as football, baseball & basketball (ignoring his own lack of articles on hockey vs. the other sports), crapping on Red Sox ownership for committing the high crime of revenue generation, and reusing portions of a previous column to help him write this column. Can't say I'm terribly surprised with this 'effort'...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bases Touched

Today's Shank column treats us to a history of Fenway Park for events other than baseball games. It's a pretty interesting review of Fenway history, and I'm pretty sure Shank's been to a number of these events since he's been with the Globe.

Joe Namath and Mick Jagger played Fenway Park. So did Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Frank Sinatra, the Harlem Globetrotters, and the E Street Band.

Oh, and that mop-top from Liverpool who used to be in a band known as the Beatles? Yes, Paul McCartney played Fenway, too.
We know about the Beatles, Shank; you've only quoted them a few hundred times in your columns over the years...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Christmas Carroll

Shank's first column in five days treats us to a conversation with USC football coach Pete Carroll, formerly of the New England Patriots, and a semi-preview of tonight's bowl game between USC (-7 or -7.5, depending on your local bookie) and Boston College.

He is the man who bridged the gap between the Tuna and the Hoodie. He is the first head coach hired by Bob Kraft, forever known around New England as Mr. Pumped-and-Jacked, and tonight he’ll be coaching USC against Boston College in the Emerald Bowl.

Pete Carroll still follows the Patriots and says he has fond memories of his three seasons as their head coach.
Overall impression of the article: Not great, not terrible = Meh, until I got to this part:

Ask him about Boston College and he sounds like Belichick artificially inflating the upcoming tomato can.
The use of the phrase 'tomato can' to describe a mere touchdown underdog doesn't quite work, in my opinion. 'Tomato can' implies an easy win against a pushover opponent. Because I only track NFL games like this, I can't provide a true apples-to-apples comparison to recent college football games, so let's review what Shank may have called last week's 'tomato can' games, in order of tomato can goodness (home team in CAPS):

1) DEN -14 vs. Oak = OAK upsets Denver, 20-19.
2) AZ -12 vs. Det = AZ wins 31-24 and takes the final lead with about 4 1/2 minutes remaining.
3) BAL -11 vs. Chi = BAL wins easily, 31-7.
4) HOU -10.5 vs. Stl = HOU wins 16-13, takes the final lead with 4:36 remaining.
5) Min -9 at CAR = CAR upsets Minnesota 26-7, breaking out the can of whupass on Brett and the boys.
6) PHI -8.5 vs. Sf = PHI wins 27-13.
7) NO -7 vs. Dal = DAL upsets an undefeated team, 24-17.
8) Ne -7 at BUF = NE wins, 17-10.

Taken together, we have 8 'tomato can' games that resulted in three upsets (OAK, CAR and DAL), two that were competitive (AZ / DET and HOU / STL), one 'meh' game (NE) and two 'tomato can' wins (BAL and PHI). If Shank's going to continue the use of that phrase, he may wish to consider changing the parameters to larger point spreads.

Honorable mention: SD -6.5 vs. Cin. was won by San Diego, 27-24 on a last-minute field goal, and SEA -6.5 vs. Tb was won by Tampa Bay, 24 - 7.

Monday, December 21, 2009

This Explains A Lot

Guess who's writing for nowadays? That's right, our own Danny Boy!

In retrospect, this explains the lack of Globe production. It looks like he writes one article a week for them (seven total so far), and two of them repeat themes he wrote about in Boston's Boring Broadsheet, although I must point out that they're not the same columns (one about Holy Cross QB Dominic Randolph; the other was the dump he took on on John Henry & Theo Epstein nearly a fortnight ago).

The differences between those seven CNN / SI articles and the Globe columns could not be more striking. All of the CNN / SI articles are well written and nearly devoid of the legendary Shank trademarks, while the last four Globe columns leave something / a lot to be desired. I can only speculate that a condition of the CNN / SI gig is to submit quality columns and / or 'drop the attitude', like such points should need to be emphasized.

When clicking on the link to his CNN / SI archive, check out the heading:

Dan Shuaghnessy > ARCHIVE
Copy desk! Get me rewrite!

Turd In The Punchbowl

The New England Patriots beat the Buffalo Bills yesterday, 17 - 10. It wasn't the most memorable win against a longtime division rival, but it was a road win and Randy Moss played a lot better then he has in the previous few games. Leave it to Shank to bring up nearly every negative angle from the game:

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - The Moss-shank Redemption Tour rolled through Ralph Wilson Stadium yesterday and Randy’s people no doubt were happy with the returns.

The Patriots staggered to a grotesque 17-10 victory over the hideous Bills, winning their first legitimate road game (and it only took them until Dec. 20), and virtually locking up the soft-shell AFC East. On a day when Tom Brady looked like J.P. Losman, Moss returned to the land of the living with five catches for 70 yards, including a nifty 13-yard tippy-toe grab in the back of the end zone.

Moss hasn’t been saying much for publication in the last month, but he had something on his mind after this one, and he was already in full rant as he burst into the interview room bound for the podium.

“I’m gonna make it real brief,’’ Moss started. “Y’all had two weeks to do y’all’s talking; let me do mine. It has been a really tough couple weeks, but you move on. That is the nature of this game. I am happy that we got this victory and I appreciate all the support from my true fans, the players, the coaches, my family, and loved ones. I have been in this league for 12 years and I have been through a lot. These shoulders I have on my body, you could put the Earth on it. Just to let you know, I bounce back. I appreciate it.’’

Did Dan note the irony of the phrase 'Moss-shank Redemption Tour'?

I saw that Moss interview, and I don't think it qualified as a rant. Tom Terrific didn't have a great game, but does Brady's game merit comparisons to J.P. Losman? The entire column reeks of cynicism and hyperbole and serves one purpose - to reinforce the notion that Randy Moss is Shank's new whipping post. A few months from now Shank's new target will probably be Rasheed Wallace. It's as though a fair portion of Shank's articles need this angle for them to have any substance to them.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Is Shank Snowed In Today?

It's been five days since his last post, and for the last thirty-five days, that's been his approximate output (about one column every four days). By way of comparison, his 'production' for the same period last year was about one column every three days, and we were calling him lazy back then, albeit for a different reason.

If Shank was lazy then, does this make him half in the casket now?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Turn On A Dime Dan

What a difference a week makes!

Today Shank heralds the signing of John Lackey as a step towards the Red Sox competing with the Yankees next year. A mere five days ago Shank was more or less throwing in the towel on the 2010 season for the Red Sox. Does one signing warrant a 180 degree turn? Only if he can drag us along with him (emphasis mine):

Theo Epstein had us worried last week when he delivered his unfortunate “bridge’’ speech in his Marriott suite in downtown Indianapolis. It sounded like the Sox were going to go cheap while waiting for Jose Iglesias, Ryan Kalish, Casey Kelly, and Ryan Westmoreland.

The backlash was immediate. Sox fans are in no mood to forfeit the 2010 season, standing on the “Lars Anderson’’ Bridge.

Now it looks like you won’t have to wait. Either the Sox suddenly realized that fans won’t settle for a couple of soft seasons, or they’ve been dealing close to the vest. The bottom line is that John Henry apparently plans to stay in the money game and compete with the Yankees.

Lackey (five years, north of $80 million) is a fine start.

Translation = "I was wrong. I got sucked in once again before everything played out in the open. All I had to do last Thursday was shit on Bill Belichick one more time instead of shitting on John Henry and Theo Epstein, and I could have cleanly jumped on the Sox bandwagon again." - Dan Shaughnessy.

And what's a Shank Sox column without a cheap shot at Curt Schilling?

...He’s got attitude (think Schill without the fraud factor)...

I must admit being amused and amazed at Shank's petty vindictiveness at Curt for the past few years, but I can't quite figure out this use of the term 'fraud' that Shank uses to describe Curt. Is this a reference to Curt's last season as a Red Sox?

Throw in a cameo by the trite cliche 'Theo and his minions', and you have a standard Shank column: hop back on the bandwagon, failure to admit mistakes / jumping the gun once again, do the passive / aggressive Kabuki dance with Theo Epstein, and finish it off with a kick to Curt 's balls.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dated Cartoon Metaphor Column

Finishing off an awesome one - two combination of back-to-back columns, Shank empties the rest of his bladder in Gillette Stadium. Adalius Thomas is bitching because he and three other Patriots were sent home during Wednesday's vicious snowstorm, and Shank quotes him with great enthusiasm while making comparisons to a cartoon show that hasn't run on network television in thirty years.

Lameness aside, Shank has another shield for which to take shots at Belichick, and otherwise cites several concerns with the rest of the team. He seems to forget, or conveniently omits, that Thomas has been in the doghouse all year and many people think he's one of the problems (dogging it, etc.) during the games.

Overall Shank effort today - good subject manner matter, shaky execution, poor choice of comparisons.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

'Ol Piss & Vinegar is back

... with a vengeance:

Dan Shaughnessy
Sox have a bridge to sell us
Fans shouldn’t buy this approach

By Dan Shaughnessy
Globe Columnist / December 10, 2009

Storm the gates of Fenway Park. Cancel your NESN package. Stick your head out the window and say, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!’’

Why the sudden release of steam?

Do not buy the bill of goods the Red Sox are selling.

John Henry and Theo Epstein are preparing you for the Big Slide. While they continue to raise ticket prices and drain every dollar out of Fenway, they are telling you to put your expectations on the shelf. No more “championship-driven’’ campaign for your Red Sox. The Sox are building a “bridge’’ for the future. They are giving up on competing with those big, bad Yankees.

I agree with the basic thrust of the article, but it's amusing to watch Shank use 'the fans' as a shield / badge of honor when taking his semi-annual dump on John Henry & Theo Epstein when, somewhere during the All-Star break, it's an even money bet Shank does the backflip and starts calling Red Sox fans 'pink hats', 'minions' and much, much more!

Style points deducted for failure to work in a dig at Curt Schilling...

Monday, December 07, 2009

Slipping Away

Fresh off a short vacation / assignment to Miami, today's Shank column recaps the Patriot's woes over the past week. Maybe what the Patriots need is a recently available offensive coordinator?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shank on High School Football

Another good column by Shank today, focusing on the Reading high school football team and their former coach Mike Boyd, who succumbed to lung cancer earlier this year. The last line of the column takes the quality down a few notches, though.

Monday, November 23, 2009

No More Northeastern Football

Shank writes today about a made 4th down play by Bill Belichick the death of football at Northeastern University due primarily to financial reasons. Since there isn't a head coach to rip for making decisions of dubious merit, the result is a pretty good, well researched column.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Obligatory Larry Bird Column

Shank devotes today's column to Larry Legend and the book "When the Game was Ours", co-authored with Earvin 'Magic' Johnson and formally written by Jackie MacMullan. I have the book and I hope to read it over the holidays.

Naturally, Shank has to screw up the premise of the column right off the bat:

INDIANAPOLIS - Larry Bird was not in the house when Bill Belichick decided to go for it on fourth and 2 from his 28.

Unfortunately, I believe this is going to be a Shank StapleTM for quite some time, as if Shank's reputation as a petty, vindictive writer needed any more padding...

P.S. I caught Shank on the local sports show last night. Interesting to note that, when discussing Sunday's Patriots game with the N.Y. Jets, Michael Felger was far more negative than Shank was, even stating that he thinks the Jets will win that game, in spite of being 10 1/2 point underdogs on the road. Could this be the reason Shank appears on the local shows, especially with Felger, in an attempt to come off as the least negative local sports talking head?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bad Call Belichick - II

There's something I forgot to mention yesterday - what's the over / under on how many columns will Shank wring out of this one call by Bill Belichick?

Aside from some of Shank's standard lameness (Lucas Oil Can Boyd Stadium), bellyaching about lack of media access and a martyr complex (maybe I’ll escape the Nixonian Enemies List), it's wash, rinse, repeat from yesterday's column.

Then again, maybe Shank's right. Is he on par with Nixon's enemies list, or just the shit list?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bad Call By Bill B.?

I believe this is the column Shank has been waiting nearly a decade to write.

This was as bad as anything the Red Sox ever did. Had it been a playoff game, it would be right up there with Bucky Dent, Bill Buckner, Aaron Boone, and History Derailed in Glendale, Ariz.

And Bill Belichick played the part of Grady Little.

While I agree with the sentiment of "what the hell is he doing?" when Belichick went for it on 4th and 2, Shank overstates the magnitude of the error by comparing this game to four playoff / championship games. The Grady Little comparison is the pro forma cheap shot, among others.

Belichick is known as the consummate gambler. He's gambled many times before, and won. This time, he gambled and lost. Does Shank consider this angle at all? Not for a second.

Even the legions of zombies who say “In Bill We Trust’’ and the formidable pay-for-play Patriot media machine will have a hard time defending the brilliant coach on this one.

In the world of Dan Shaughnessy, if you like Belichick as a coach, you're basically brain dead. It's always nice to hear such cheery sentiments from a columnist who 'writes for the fans' he's insulting at the same time.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Leading up to tonight's Patriots / Colts game, there must have been dozens of articles comparing quarterbacks Tom Brady & Peyton Manning. Clearly thinking outside the box, Shank gives us... another Brady / Manning column!

And what Shank comparison column would be complete without the obligatory Bird / Magic reference?


Last Tuesday, Brady was reminded that he and Manning are often compared to Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

While the Bird / Magic angle has been badly overused by Shank in the past, his comparisons of Brady with Bird & Manning with Magic are spot on.

Shank then proceeds to mail in the remainder of the comparison column:


Outside the sports arena, Brady vs. Manning works well as a Ginger-Mary Ann Game:

Brady is Mary Ann, Manning is Ginger.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Overlooked No Longer

In today's column Shank profiles Dominic Randolph, a Division 1-AA senior quarterback with hopes of being drafted by the NFL. Since Dominic plays at Shank's alma mater (Holy Cross), we get a pretty good column out of it.

Almost without exception, any Shank column that is not about professional sports or athletes is far better than, for example, this one, or this one. Has Shank found his niche?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Smooth Shank

The Patriots win a tight game yesterday against a division rival and are currently 6 - 2 heading into next week's game against Indianapolis. Leave it to Shank to go negative and dump on Randy Moss!

FOXBOROUGH - He comes off as rude, ridiculous, self-important, and difficult. And nobody gives a hoot because Randy Moss can make plays on the football field.


With a reporter in the middle of a follow-up question, Moss abruptly turned and walked off the stage, out of the room, Bonds-like. There was no need for more talking. He had given us his game (six catches, 147 yards) and that would have to be enough.

We’re never going to know Randy Moss. He came to New England two years ago carrying considerable baggage and there was speculation he was finished as an impact player. All Moss has done since coming to the Patriots is catch passes and win games. He is a captain and he’s got Foxborough game balls. Woe is the reporter who accuses Moss of going through the motions. Belichick and his minions are ever-ready to defend Randy with froth and fury.

Shank says just enough nice things about Moss so it doesn't come off as a complete hatchet job, but we know better than that...

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Big Tuna

Shank pens an interesting column on Bill Parcells as a backdrop before this afternoon's game between the Patriots and the Miami Dolphins. He mentions many of Parcell's past efforts at rebuilding franchises (N.Y. Giants, Patriots, Jets) but may have ran out of column inches by omitting his stint as Dallas Cowboys coach, which wasn't his best effort by any stretch (34-32 over 4 seasons).

One amusing nugget:

Parcells is the Man Behind The Curtain in Miami. He has what might be the greatest job in the history of sports. He gets to run an NFL franchise with all of the fun and none of the nonsense. He lives on the beach, makes $4 million per year, enjoys total autonomy, and doesn’t have to talk to the media.

Just a few minor edits, and behold:
Shaughnessy is the Man on Morrissey Boulevard. He has what might be the greatest job in the history of newspapers. He gets to write a major sports column whenever he damn well feels like it with all of the fun and none of the nonsense. He lives in Newton, MA, makes six figures per year, enjoys total autonomy, and doesn’t have to talk to athletes.

Do you think Shank wrote his paragraph with any feeling of self-awareness?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Theater Of The Absurd

Shank finally takes interest in the World Series, and that's because Pedro Martinez will take the mound tonight against the New York Yankees. That, or he's playing the New England angle. Some note the shameless appropriation angle of the column, while the rest of us bask in the irony of Shank hyping Pedro to death years after spearheading the effort to run him out of Boston.

"Hey, Pedro, we're cool, right?"

Add in an Elvis sighting and a dig at Schilling, and it's a wrap...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

You Dirty Rat

Shank pads his expense account via TD Garden and examines the latest accusations by Tim Donaghy that NBA games aren't on the up and up.


There is probably some truth in Donaghy’s new charges. The ref rat claims stars get special treatment - not exactly a “stop the presses’’ bulletin.

It’s not hard to imagine refs playing parlor games regarding who might make the first call of the night. Maybe a guy did T-up Rasheed Wallace in order to make his fellow refs responsible for tipping the ball boys. Some refs don’t like some players. It’s only human.

But fixing games and gambling on games is another matter. Making sure a series goes seven games is corrupt. Helping the Celtics and Lakers at the expense of the Cavaliers and Spurs is consumer fraud. It’s criminal.

And I’m not buying it.

Donaghy is a crook and a rat. He’s also broke and back in prison. And he’s trying to make a buck. His claims got some traction yesterday on the local talk shows. The unsubstantiated charges make great Internet fodder. And I am writing about it because, well, people are talking about it.

But I simply refuse to believe that the games we watch are not on the level.

Call me naive. It won’t be the first time. Certainly those of us who bought into the Sosa-McGwire home run chase of 1998 were snookered. I never thought Pete Rose would have bet on baseball while he was managing the Reds. If I’d covered the 1919 World Series, I’d have probably written at great length about the White Sox choking and underperforming.

But tanking?

Say it ain’t so.

I went to the Garden last night to watch the Celtics and the Bulls. I kept my eyes on Tom Washington, Eric Lewis, and Zach Zarba. I saw nothing suspicious. There are going to be bad calls, suspect calls. I just don’t think the refs are in the bag.

Of course you saw nothing suspicious! If you know you're being looked at, especially after resolving contentious labor issues, are you going to be calling games in an exemplary manner, or not?

If someone was snookered once by taking a position before all the facts are available, why would someone be willing to take a similar position again, given the examples cited? If Shank wants to possibly get snooked again, fine. The wiser position is no position. We don't have all the facts at this time, so we'll see how it plays out.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Baby Bird

Shank pens a pretty interesting comparison of the treatment of Glen Davis' recent brawl and the bar fight Larry Bird was involved in back in 1985 during the playoffs with the Sixers. I very vaguely remember that brawl, largely attributed to the lack of local coverage thereof. Shank brings it up not necessarily to draw comparisons between the two but rather to highlight that late night brawls involving athletes isn't exactly a standing headline (i.e., Arson suspected in Lawrence fire).

Interested readers can find a few more details of the Larry Bird fight here.

Bird didn’t speak to me for seven months after I wrote the Chelsea’s story in 1985.

You have a way with people, Dan!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hands On

There's one last dispatch from London from Shank, focusing on wide receivers Sam Aiken and Brandon Tate. The column is free of all the usual problems associated with a Shank column, and based on yesterday's woefully hideous column, I discover why at the end:

Christopher L. Gasper of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

I don't know about you, but I'm psyched to check out the other new receiver for the Patriots:
Along with Aiken, Tate has a shot at being the Patriots’ third receiver behind Randy Moss and Wes Walker.

Get me rewrite!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bloody Awful, Bloody Useless

That's my reaction to Shank's third and hopefully last column on the Patriots game at Wembley Stadium. He's obviously bored writing it, and has a massively patronizing tone towards the fans who attended the game. There's far too much nonsense in this column to point out on a case by case basis. The lack of effort put forth for this column is glaring by the third paragraph.

In the wake of the Titans slaughter, the Patriots were once again Pinball Wizards. With no distractions, hearing no buzzers and bells, New England led, 21-0, with 11 minutes to go in the first half.

How do you think he does it?
I don't know...
What makes Shank so bad?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Inside Track?

Our second London dispatch reads a lot like the inane gossip served up by these two broads at the Boston Herald. The brave may click on the link for the full drivel, but I will spare you and only offer a brief sample of Shank's man-crush on Tom Terrific:

LONDON - Tom Brady, international icon?

Not quite.

Tom’s wife is internationally famous. Gisele is a goddess in Europe and just about everywhere else on the planet. Tom is not even an international man of mystery.

That's the most up to date pop-culture reference as we're likely to see from Shank. Bravo!

Over here, he’s just a good-looking American football player who occasionally shows up on ads for Nike, Glaceau Smartwater, Stetson cologne, Visa, and Netjets.

London Fog?

That account belongs to Gisele. She’s famous like Jacko and Bono.

Tom? He’s not David Beckham, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Lance Armstrong, Roger Federer, Kobe Bryant, or LeBron James. Over here, he’s not even Serena Williams.

I’ve been checking for three days. Haven’t seen a poster of Tom. Haven’t seen Tom’s photo on the cover of any local newspa pers or magazines. Went to Waterstone’s bookstore in Piccadilly Circus Friday night and there wasn’t a single copy of Charles Pierce’s “Moving The Chains.’’ For that matter, there wasn’t any book regarding American football, though I did see the Beckham bio in which the uber-star rips the Braintree Sheraton.

Only two Shank signatures are detected here - the headline of the article, quoting from the Beatles, naturally, and in the next paragraph, his barely concealed contempt for Patriots fans that he refers to as yahoos.

Shank-on-Thames then goes on to lament the lack of Brady coverage in the London papers. The fact that Tom Brady cannot generate even a decent amount of coverage the day before playing at Wembley reinforces his point he made yesterday that NFL expansion overseas is a dumb idea. If you're having trouble getting an NFL team in the second largest U.S. market, you'd think that would be telling.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Great Moments In Philadelphia Sports Fan History

I expect no less from the city whose fans booed Santa Claus. Stay classy, guys!


We have our first London dispatch from Shank, which focuses mainly on the recent attempt to export the NFL overseas. Shank thinks this is a dumb idea, and I agree with him almost entirely. Anyone remember NFL Europe? It didn't have a lot of staying power, did it? You're also going up against Premier League soccer, which runs in the fall just as the NFL does. I don't think Brits will give up their soccer to watch / attend, for instance, Detroit vs. Oakland.

I tried looking for some prior attendance numbers at Wembley and / or NFL Europe and came across this article which stated one game for the NFL Europe's London Monarchs had an attendance figure of 6,000. The notion of trying it again has bad idea written all over it.

LONDON - The city is beautiful. The people seem to like us again.

"They like me. They really like me!" Either that, or they're just patting you on the back before they lift your wallet...


Playing NFL games in London is just a bad idea. It’s not necessary. Patriots fans know I am right. Tomorrow’s joust is a “home’’ game for the Bucs. Imagine how you’d feel if this Wembley whim cost the team one of their precious eight dates at Gillette? Imagine how much Bill Belichick likes flying six hours across the ocean and getting his team into town around 5:30 a.m. two days before a game that counts.

Armed with all this skepticism and negativity,

That's our Danny boy!

I had a chance to talk to Roger Goodell. The Commish got into town Thursday, went to Winston Churchill’s war museum with Kraft Thursday night, and spoke with a handful of reporters in his downtown London digs yesterday.

“This is a way to expand our game on a global basis and to broaden the interest in our game,’’ Goodell started. “Every time we’ve played or brought our game, they take to it in a very positive way. They find it exciting. They’re intrigued by the strategy and certain aspects of the game and the hot cheerleaders pageantry. Every time we’ve done it, it’s created more excitement.’’

Sorry. Not buying. This is the league’s worst idea since somebody decided it would be great to play a Super Bowl in Jacksonville.

I'm not buying it, either, and I doubt many Brits will.

UPDATE at 6:59 PM - Barstool Sports piles on.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Multimedia Shank - III

I just caught Shank on the local Comcast Sports Network channel, whch included a lack of support for Adalius Thomas. No argument against that position, but the pre-London trip talk was amusing (I'll look for video and post it if it's available).

Pieces Picked Up

When you run out of major subjects for a column, write about a bunch of little ones instead. One would think Shank would cover the baseball playoffs in their entirety, but when you're jet setting across the globe, who has time for that?

Picked-up pieces while packing for London and wondering how Schill got overlooked by the Nobel Committee . . .

Looks like a few Patriots / Buccaneers columns are in our future and a gratuitous swipe at the Big Lug, all in the first sentence. Shouldn't there be an expiration date on cheap shots aimed at former Boston athletes?

Janet Marie Smith’s departure from Fenway is a big bowl of wrong. With John Henry’s money and Larry Lucchino’s vision, Smith polished Fenway into the jewel that it is today. She found space where there was no space. There are always going to be things about the park that do not work (hello, Sections 3-9), but Smith did more for the park than anyone since Tom Yawkey rebuilt Fenway in 1934. Her departure speaks to new tension inside the walls on Yawkey Way. If you care about the future of the ball club, this is a warning shot.

It's good to know Shank is reporting news instead of spreading rumours and innuendo...

Brady coming out of Sunday’s game early reminded some of the night in Utah when Larry Bird sat down even though he was one steal removed from a quadruple-double.

No article is complete without the random Larry Bird reference!

Here's a good reason to like the Coors commercials:

The idiotic, ubiquitous beer commercials with the doofus kids asking questions of NFL coaches make me want to blast my flat-screen with a shotgun.


Jim Zorn might just as well put a sign on his forehead that reads, “Fire me!’’ He’s reminding us of Clive Rush in the final days.

I have Tom Cable of the Raiders as the first NFL coach to get fired this year. Zorn's making that bet look pretty bad, kind of like this 'effort' by Shank...

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Shank recounts his trip to the World Series in San Francisco twenty years ago this week. His column demonstrates 1) another good column and 2) how being through an earthquake sharpens the mind to many details of a natural disaster and its aftermath.

A few asides:

It was 20 years ago yesterday.

I can't believe he punted on a Sgt. Pepper's reference...

“I was combing my hair in the clubhouse bathroom when it happened,’’ said A’s closer Dennis Eckersley. “I got out of there."

Why am I not surprised?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hot Stove Is Fired Up Early

Not just because of all the great weather we've been having, but Shank gets things rolling about who's likely to be off the team by spring training:

Only four survivors remain from the Red Sox’ greatest season: Kevin Youkilis, Tim Wakefield, David Ortiz, and Jason Varitek. By this time next year, it might just be Youk.

The Greek God of Walks was in the Sox clubhouse at noon yesterday, packing things in the wake of Sunday’s cataclysmic collapse against the Angels. I asked him about Wakefield, Ortiz, and Varitek, none of whom is guaranteed to be back next year.

I think Shank overstates his case by describing the Sox's three game sweep as cataclysmic. I saw a team that had trouble hitting on the road. If that was accompanied by bad starting pitching and poor defense and stupid baserunning and a bullpen that's completely shot, then it would be cataclysmic.

Varitek, Wakefield, and Ortiz are all going to be subject to hot stove rumors.

Starting right here...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Gloom And Doom Dan

Shank delivers the post mortem on the 2008 Boston Red Sox. Shank also manages to work in an Animal House and a Creedence Clearwater Revival reference in a straight-forward column.

I only watched one half of an inning, the top of the ninth. I sure know how to pick 'em.

Speaking of picking 'em...

Saturday, October 10, 2009


If only!

Shank recaps last night's 4-1 loss to the Angels. Now that the Sox are down two games to none, they have become...

Your beloved Red Sox are reeling.

At least he's consistent...

Friday, October 09, 2009

Happy 55th, Bruce!

Just wanted to say 'Happy Birthday!' to the Dan Shaughnessy Watch's resident Globeophile. Write soon!

Tables Turned

The Boston Red Sox lost last night to the Angels, 5-0. Shank gives a vintage recap of the game:

ANAHEIM, Calif. - The Angels hate the Red Sox.

You would, too, if you had to listen to what the Angels have heard for the last couple of weeks.

The Sox are in your head. You will choke in the playoffs against Boston. They beat you with Manny Ramírez and Curt Schilling and now they will beat you with Jon Lester and Jason Bay.

Which is halfway hypocritical, since Shank was one of the sports writers saying these very things. You might admire his use of the passive voice attempting to deflect any blame on his part.

Other Shankisms are deployed throughout the column: The Halos are used on a couple of occasions, a thirty-seven year old Billy Joel song reference is trotted out (Piano Man - killed by massive overplay on commercial radio), and, since we're in the vicinity of the La Brea Tar Pits, we have the pièce de résistance of Shankisms:

After getting one out, the big galoot gave the ball to Darren Oliver, a man once traded to Boston for Jurassic Carl Everett.

Shank can't resist one chest-thumper, though:

Josh Beckett - Boston’s Mr. October in 2007 - gets the ball tonight. Not to be an I-told-you-so, but some of us wanted Beckett to pitch Game 1.

Um, don't the Sox have to score at least one run for this to make a difference?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Going Soft, Shank?

That's what I conclude after reading today's column on Sox captain Jason Varitek. It's not often that we see Shank pen articles that are sympathetic towards an athlete, as this one is. Along with last month's Richard Seymour trade, I think Shank is showing one of three things: 1) he's become rather sentimental of late; 2) he's atoning for past columns where he rips an athlete a new bunghole; or 3) it's a natural ebb in his writing biorhythym, and we'll be reading good old piss & vinegar columns once this phase passes.

One quibble:
Does he feel slighted by fans and media who have turned against him?

I'm pretty sure there's a difference between turning against an athlete (an art where Shank is a sixth-degree black belt) and recognizing that a player is simply too old to be playing effectively at a major league level.

Shank concludes that Varitek has one more start in him. Varitek is quoted as saying, "... but the fact of the matter is that we need to put our best lineup out there". One of these notions is wrong.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

What I Did On My Fall Vacation

I think Shank got out to Anaheim a little too early. Today it appears he actually talked to more athletes, specifically Red Sox players, and their memories of postseasons past.

While the article itself is decent, I'm left wondering if there might have been something else to write about. Since this isn't an obvious rehash of a column from last year, or before that, the answer must be no.

Some of them know a lot about baseball history. Most know less than the average fan. Just because you are good enough to make it to the big leagues does not mean you spent your childhood memorizing the batting averages of the 1977 Seattle Mariners.

I suppose that's because they're more interested at being good at playing the game instead of being the next Peter Gammons.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Daniel Milhous Nixon

Today Shank strolls down memory lane and recites the highlights (or lowlights, if you're an Angels fan) of the Sox-Angels playoff series. Among other things, the column lets Shank relive his two favourite decades, the 1960's and 1970's. He also chronicles former president Richard Nixon, longtime baseball & Angels fan. Overall, the column's a good effort of blending the past and the present.

I thought this part was pretty funny:

Before the first pitch is thrown, the Globe’s staff of crack baseball writers will dissect and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of both ball clubs.

I wonder if they're getting the all expense paid Anaheim trip as well?

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Mini Curse

Looks like I was a little off base in the prior post. This week Shank gets an all-expense paid trip to California to piss off the Angels and remind them of the previous three playoff series, all of which the Angels lost.

What makes this column special? He actually talks to an athlete!

ANAHEIM, Calif. - I am having a moment with John Lackey.

Lackey has just made his last regular-season start of 2009, and he has been coy about which game he will pitch against the Red Sox. Standing in front of his locker while his teammates pack and dress for a final weekend in Oakland, the big righty handles all questions professionally, occasionally smiling and making a joke. But there’s an edge to the proceedings because there’s a guy from Boston in the group.


And he knows. He knows that I know that he knows. He knows that, deep down, the Angels are incredibly frustrated by the Red Sox. He knows that I know the Sox think they can beat the Angels just by showing up.

Shoot yourself in the foot? Lackey knows that the Angels have blown toes off their feet in the playoffs against Boston. They have run themselves out of innings, thrown stupid pitches, and made ridiculous errors. They have lost nine playoff games in 10 tries against the Sox since 2004. And Lackey has seen it all.

Me, too.

So it’s awkward to ask the questions. But that’s what we do.

“Does it tick you off the way Boston has dominated you?’’ I start.

“I really got nothing to say to that,’’ he says, shaking his head. “What else can I say, you know?’’

I do know. I know the Angels are a ball of frustration when it comes to the Red Sox. They hate the Red Sox. They hate coming to Fenway Park, just as the Magic Johnson/Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Lakers hated coming to Old Boston Garden.

Even an oft-used Celtics / Lakers reference doesn't detract from yet another decent article from Shank. Enjoy the run while it lasts...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Skid Row

The Red Sox just lost their sixth straight game. Why do I get the feeling Shank is about to take a world-class, Metamucil powered dump on the Sox for limping into the wild-card slot?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Full House?

After losing to the Yankees on Saturday, Shank hedges his bet and writes about the different approaches to the end of the regular season by managers Joe Girardi and Terry Francona. Shank's World Series predictions are, like, so yesterday!

The proof is in the pudding:

The other team is the Red Sox - asking you to stand back and look at the big picture.

The starting lineups told you everything you needed to know about the respective approaches of these rivals.

This is why you are asked not to be bothered that the Sox are 1-8 against the Yankees since Aug. 6. This is why you should close your eyes and think about October if the Yankees beat the Sox again today and clinch the American League East.

When Shank's aboard the bandwagon, he uses 'we' and 'our' in his sentences. When Shank starts hedging or goes negative, he distances himself from such inclusiveness and uses 'you' and 'your' instead.

I understand the logic of resting pitchers and starting players as the playoffs approach. It's hard to accept this logic when the Yankees have been beating the snot out of the Sox in the past few months.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Close Call

Shank devotes this morning's column to the line drive that hit Jon Lester off the right leg during last night's Sox game with the Yankees. Fortunately for Lester, it turned out to be just a bruise, and he plans on making his next scheduled start against the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.

Fortunately for us, this is the third column in a row that is well written and devoid of the usual Shankisms. Any theories?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

So Much For Shank's Next Four Columns

The Big Lug will not run for the open Mass. Senate seat:

NEW YORK — Curt Schilling won’t test out just how popular he is in Massachusetts.

The former Boston Red Sox pitcher, beloved in the state for his starring role in ending an 86-year championship drought, announced Tuesday he isn’t running for Edward M. Kennedy’s seat in the U.S. Senate.

Earlier this month, Schilling expressed interest in pursuing the post held by the Massachusetts Democrat for almost 50 years before he died in August. But appearing on "Joe Buck Live" on HBO on Tuesday night, Schilling quashed the notion.

"Regardless of the amount of support and outreach that’s been given to me, it just did not make sense," he said.

It would have been entertaining, if nothing else.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Circus Time

Dan follows up on the Pats / Jets game today. He's writing for the fans with these last two columns, and writing rather well.

I wonder how long that's going to last...

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Boston Globe Lives?

Rumors of its death may have been greatly exaggerated. Let's cut to the chase:

Several bills have been introduced in Congress to aid the newspaper industry, including a Senate measure that would allow newspaper companies to restructure as nonprofits with a variety of tax breaks. The President was noncommittal about the legislation but said: "I haven't seen detailed proposals yet, but I'll be happy to look at them."

Sounds like another industry bailout is in the works. Question: will this turn out to be a case of throwing good money after bad?

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Well rested after his last effort, Shank cranks out a pretty good column about today's Patriots - N.Y. Jets game. He chronicles the week's trash talk, gives some good highlights about the rivalry over the past fifty years, and makes a few funny points.

I think he overstates one thing, though:

Patriots fans grow up to hate the Jets the way Red Sox fans hate the Yankees.

In terms of longevity and intensity of the two rivalries, comparing the two is a stretch.

Welcome aboard the Patriots bandwagon, Dan!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bandwagon Dan

In today's column, Dan jumps on the bandwagon that he jumped off of about six weeks ago.

It feels like 2004. It feels like 2007.

It feels like the Red Sox are going to the World Series.

Sorry. I know some of you think this puts some kind of whammy on the locals. I know you think I can “Gowdy’’ the whole season with a single statement.

It's the dreaded curse!

The rest of the column goes over the Sox winning streak, the Rangers fading fast, a gratuitous swipe at Sox ownership, and a very dated reference:

Anybody remember Curly of the Three Stooges winning every boxing match with the help of “Pop Goes the Weasel’’? That’s the effect Fenway Park has on the Red Sox.

I'm sure my father remembers, Shank...

The Red Sox are a rocket sled on rails. They are going to the World Series.

Shank making World Series predictions makes me nervous.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dan On The Pats - Bills Game

Shank focuses on Tom Brady's first game back as the Boston Patriots quarterback. For now, Shank plants many wet, sloppy kisses on Tom, and the column reads like a Peter King parody. Overall, it's an average effort with some of the usual Shank signatures: two Elvis references, a semi-shot at Curt Schilling, and a lame song reference, which no Shank article should be without.

One quibble, though:

He (Belichick - ed.) wore his New England Patriot gray hoodie with cutoff sleeves - a look that was invented in this century.

For those of us that watched the game, it was not a hooded sweatshirt, he was wearing a sweatshirt and the sleeves were cut off near the elbows. It all depends on what look you're going for...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Memory Lane

Today's installment of Shankology is a look at the Boston Patriots. There are two sides to this coin: 54 year old farts like Objective Bruce will enjoy the history Dan tells, and tells fairly well; the under 40 crowd won't know or care what the hell he's talking about and might wonder if he's rewriting yet another column from an earlier year.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dan Nails One

Shank takes U Mass Amherst to task for inviting former coach John Calipari to an event dubbed 'Celebrate UMass Basketball'. You might even say this is an 'excellent and much-needed column', in light of recent events.

Would the state of Illinois invite Rod Blagojevich to a high school government seminar? How ’bout “Jose Canseco Day’’ at the Oakland Coliseum?

Well, I can see both of those things happening. However, the coach bears ultimate responsibility for his program, whether or not the things that make him look sleazy are within his control.

It's a perfect column for Shank, who wastes no time getting up to ramming speed and crashing into the bandwagon.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Dan went back to Norton Monday and finished his coverage of the TPC.

It's an average column, with the occasional annoying material:

It was Stricker the Ball Striker,


TPC Boston, a magnificent course that was crushed by the world’s best players over the last four days, has a par-5, 528-yard 18th hole, which is simply too easy for these guys. Imagine NBA players shooting from the NCAA 3-point line.

Should we believe (all) NBA guys find deep shots easy to make? Shaq?

Stricker looked a little bit like Bill Belichick talking about Tedy Bruschi. This is a Stricker trademark.

Shank mentioning Belichick in nearly every column is a Shank trademark.

The 42-year-old was born in Edgerton - a tiny town in the south central Cheeseland.

Wisconsin. Cheese. We get it, Shank...

Monday, September 07, 2009

Class Act?

Fresh from following Tiger's bathroom breaks in Norton, Shank chimes in on the Richard Seymour trade, and he doesn't like it.

This article is classic Shank. The quota of cheap shots has been met (Coach Belichick, starring as Flatline Bill, Robert & Jonathan Kraft, Curt Schiling, natch, and 'you Belichick toadies'), non-football references are made (1980's Celtics), and we are thankfully spared from lame song lyrics from the era when 8-track tapes ruled the land.

On to the highlights, as they were...

Nonetheless, it’s a shocker.

Surprising, maybe, but a shocker? A buddy and I were watching the ESPN announcement on this trade yesterday morning. The first thing he says: "it's doubtful the Pats were going to resign him next year, and at least we get a draft pick out of it. It's Oakland's draft pick, they suck, and Belichick will probably trade down and get two players out of it. It's a smart move."

Also, the average NFL career spans four years. You have 53 active roster spots, so on average you'll have about a fourth of your roster turn over every year. Yet Shank is shocked, shocked! at this trade? Do I detect some faux outrage here just to take shots at the Patriots? Nahhh, that would be too cynical...

More shocking that the retirements of Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruschi.

Question for Bruce - is this the copy desk's fault?

Patriots fans, ever worshiping at the altar of Hoodie, are stuck with thousands of XXXL No. 93 jerseys.

This, from a scribe who once proclaimed "I write for the fans", now pisses on these same fans. Stay classy, Shank!

Is there any doubt that Bruschi retired because he was told he was going to be cut? Bruschi’s “decision’’ to step down enabled all parties to save facemask.

While that's plausible, I would think a columnist could, you know, make some phone calls and verify this? It's also plausible that Bruschi thought "it's been 13 years, I'm too old for this crap" and called it a career. This lack of inquiry simply allows Shank to take another shot at the Patriots.

The Patriots didn’t come across as thankless meanies, and the classy Bruschi got to leave on his own terms - looking downright senatorial (sorry, Curt).

You knew he was waiting to use that one all week, didn't you? And, somehow, I don't think it's the last one.

Woe is the pundit who questions any Coach Bill decision and, you have to admit, his track record is pretty good.

I wonder if Shank has ever considered the possibility that, on occasion, he has to admit this? This is also classic Shank - when things are good or positive, you'll see references to 'our Red Sox' or some such. When the spleen is being vented, it is now 'you', 'your' or some derivative.

So save some of your applause for Richard Seymour, you Belichick toadies. Seymour was a winner and a class act in our town for eight seasons, and the 2009 Patriots are going to miss him.

We can be thankful there's at least one class act around here, right?

Saturday, September 05, 2009


That's the only way to describe this execrable effort by Shank. Get the barf bags ready and jump right in.

NORTON - Tiger is just like you and me. He occasionally throws a club when he hits a bad shot and he uses a port-o-potty when there is no other option.

That’s right, ladies and gents, Eldrick T. Woods is one of us. If not for the 14 victories in majors, the hundreds of millions of dollars in winnings and endorsements, and his standing as the most famous athlete on the planet, Tiger would be just another guy hacking his way around TPC Boston in this weekend’s Deutsche Bank Championship. He shot a 1-under 70 yesterday and is seven strokes off the lead.

So, Tiger's just like us, except for the fame and riches part!

But you’re still wondering about the trip to the port-o-potty, right?

Um, actually, I wasn't. I was kind of wondering about how Tiger played on Friday, but Dan proceeds, for whatever reason, to devote half the column to Tiger's use of a portable bathroom.

This column exemplifies nearly every criticism of Shank: lazy, contradictory, scattershot and stupid. It's all there, and less...

Thursday, September 03, 2009

More Globe 10.0 With Bob & Shank

The Globe's dynamic duo discuss Josh Beckett and his recent struggles (you'll have to scroll down to the next clip, more as time passes; they don't embed video clips as separate URL's). I would think that these two would share notes beforehand, as Shank stumbled on a couple of fact-type things and was quickly corrected by Bob. I'm aware that Ryan's been on TV more often (ESPN's Sports Reporters, etc.) and for a longer time, but Dan doesn't look comfortable on the telly. Other than that, he's not a bad Ed McMahon to Ryan's Johnny Carson.

In another clip (further down the list), they discuss the second most important New England Patriot (besides Tom Terrific - I'm such a fanboy, ya know!). Shank is much better here in terms of looking comfortable and interacting with Ryan. Maybe he was having, if you'll pardon the expression, a bad hair day in the first clip?

Shank (and Ryan) On The Big Lug

Curious about their opinion on Curt's (various & changing) intentions about running for U.S. Senate? Wonder no more. I only detected one obvious cheap shot by Shank, at the very end of the clip, but both Bob & Dan were fair and reasonable in their opinions on the issue.

Multi Media Dan - II

Since I saw Dan the Man on the Sunday night TV sports show, I though it would be a good idea to include CHB sightings a bit more in radio and TV media, instead of focusing primarily on his Boston Globe columns. Otherwise I'm only posting once a month...

I just stumbled upon this appearance on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan's morning show when Meter & DeOssie were hosting that day, having missed the original broadcast.

This appearance (8/6/09) was a week after Dave M. went nuclear on Shank for claiming that Ortiz lied to us, and two days before Ortiz's press conference, when Shank's lying charge, at least for the moment, became less than airtight. I think Shank's words about Ortiz in the audio clip were chosen somewhat carefully, so is this some pre-emptive backpedaling on Shank's part?

A quick recap of covered topics:

It was a rough start with some uneasy jokes, but the topic soon turned to the Yankees / Sox series, then to David Ortiz and the revelation of him being on the steroid list. Shank noted that Ortiz has a great deal of goodwill from the fan base, but feels he should be defending himself sooner rather than later, and gave some examples of others accused of steroid use quicker to respond to those charges. A few more jokes around minute 11, then some Patriots talk from that point to the conclusion of the appearance. As with Shank's TV appearance on Sunday night, I was pleasantly surprised.

At least he's learning. I remember a Shank interview on WBCN from a few years ago when Hardy interviewed him in the mid-morning section, and Shank came across as a total dick. Then again, so was Hardy. It was like listening to a trainwreck. Some years later, some people still think he's a dick (the In A Gadda Da Vida extended clip is here, start at the 14:00 mark). But that's an improvement!

I wonder when Shank will be on the Dennis & Callahan show again, but when D & C are in the studio themselves? When hell freezes over?

UPDATE at 5:39 PM:

Is The Big Lug sounding more serious about a Senate run?


Now he's saying slim to none on the probability of running. Almost makes Brett Favre look decisive by comparison...

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Dan's Gonna Love This

Oh, my - a blogboy, a Shanque bête noir extrodinaire, is considering a run for the U.S. Senate:

Schilling expresses some interest in Kennedy seat

By GLEN JOHNSON (AP) – 2 hours ago

BOSTON — Curt Schilling, the former major league pitcher who won the allegiance of Bostonians by leading the Red Sox to the 2004 World Series, said Wednesday that he has "some interest" in running for the seat held for nearly 50 years by Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

Schilling, a registered independent and longtime Republican supporter, wrote on his blog that while his family and video gaming company, 38 Studios, are high priorities, "I do have some interest in the possibility."

"That being said, to get to there, from where I am today, many, many things would have to align themselves for that to truly happen," he added.

Any other comment "would be speculation on top of speculation," Schilling said, adding, "My hope is that whatever happens, and whomever it happens to, this state makes the decision and chooses the best person — regardless of sex, race, religion or political affiliation — to help get this state back to the place it deserves to be."

Schilling refused to comment when his office was contacted by phone.

The 42-year-old lives in suburban Medfield and campaigned for President George W. Bush in 2004 and Sen. John McCain in 2008.

As a player, he won three World Series, in 2001 with the Arizona Diamondbacks and in 2004 and 2007 with the Red Sox. He became a Sox legend when he won Game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship Series while blood from an injured ankle seeped through his sock. He retired in March.

He and his wife, Shonda, have four children ages 7 to 14.

Reaction among the Red Sox was decidedly jovial Wednesday.

"If he runs, good luck," said first baseman Kevin Youkilis. "I don't know if I'd want to do that job."

Team manager Terry Francona said Schilling should do whatever makes him happy but noted, "I don't think he'd want me as his campaign manager."

So far, no major Republicans have taken out nomination papers to be a candidate in the Jan. 19 special election. Former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey and state Sen. Scott Brown are among those considering campaigns.

Democrats said to be considering a campaign include U.S. Reps. Stephen Lynch of Boston, Michael Capuano of Somerville and John Tierney of Salem, as well as Kennedy's nephew, former U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II.

So far, only state Attorney General Martha Coakley has taken out papers for a Democratic campaign, though she has refused to make any follow-up comment.

Kennedy died last week at age 77 from a brain tumor. A special election to replace him is scheduled for Jan. 19, although the Massachusetts Legislature is considering a bill that would allow Gov. Deval Patrick to fill the seat on an interim basis during the campaign.

That bill is the subject of a hearing next week.

AP freelance writer Mark Didtler in St. Petersburg, Fla., contributed to this report.

Do you think Shank is, at this very moment, reworking his next column (well, if he can be bothered to write one this week, that is) to include some potshots / snide asides at 'the Big Lug'? Do I even have to ask?

One problem I see with this - I understand (from listening to WEEI earlier this week) that the former home of Drew Bledsoe, where the Big Lug currently resides, is still on the market. I don't see how you can square that with running for a U.S. Senate seat unless you take it off the market immediately and convince the wife and kids to go back on plans that are probably already made to book state.

Plus, he may have Joe Perry to deal with. If Al Franken can land a U.S. Senate seat, I suppose anything's possible.


Great Moments In Editing History

Cruising one of my favorite sites, I came across the following sub headline:

The Rays dumped underachieving lefthander Scott Kazmir and the $22 million left on his contract to the Angels. They insist their not waving a white flag.


Update at 1:29 PM:

Corrected sub headline:

The Rays dumped underachieving lefthander Scott Kazmir and the $22 million left on his contract to the Angels. They insist they're not waving a white flag.

Dan Shaughnessy Watch - we get results!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Show Must Go On

Hello, everyone. I've asked the proprietor(s) of this site to grant me the priviledge to throw in my opinions about Dan in a more formal manner.

I'd like to lay a few cards on the table before doing so. For what it's worth, I used to blog here for a few years. In addition to my comments here for the past year or so, it is no secret, then, that I don't like the Boston Globe.

I know a few people that work there, and while I feel a little bad that they eventually will lose their jobs, I shed no tears for the Globe's demise. One might say I'm not inclined to extinguish them in certain manners if they were set on fire. They breathlessy support and otherwise advocate for liberal / left-wing causes, policies and people, a phenomenon that spreads well past the editorial pages, where it rightfully belongs. They kiss the asses of the likes of Kennedy and Kerry while taking huge dumps on Romney or anyone with the '- R' suffix. They adore government programs of all shapes and sizes and don't seem entirely thrilled with the private sector. That infusion of liberalism across the entire newspaper is what caused me to moderate my Globe intake many moons ago.

In 1994 I used to buy the Globe, grab the sports section and throw away the rest of the paper. I believe it was 1995 when Shank was doing an interview with Wade Boggs (yes, he used to actually interview athletes!). I have searched for the transcript high and low a few times, unable to confirm the following, but here is the exchange:

Dan: "What newspapers do you read?"

Wade: "I listen to Rush Limbaugh."

Dan: "Yoooou listen to Rush Limbaugh?"

From that, I am convinced that Dan wanted Wade to tell him how freakin' wonderful the Boston Globe was. Wade didn't bite. I thought, if Shank hates Rush Limbaugh, then Rush must be cool. I've listened to Rush ever since, and I haven't bought the Globe since.

Since this time, the Boston Globe has slowly but surely lost it's shirt. The New York Times has seen it's 1.1 billion investment all but disappear after the 1993 purchase. A commenter on this board refused / failed to respond to my prediction that certain readership parameters would decline by a third. Good call on his part.

Here's the thing - why don't people pay to read the Globe anymore? It's three things. 1) an inability to attract advertising revenue, 2) it's free over the Internet, and 3) the product sucks, so why would you pay fo it? The only quibble is over the percentages assigned to each factor.

I'm not much of a Shank fan, either, but at least now you know why. I believe I was fair in my commentary of him over the past year or so as I acknowledge both good and bad articles he's written, so my intention here (if / when the question is asked, as has been in the past) is simply to carry the torch. For the Globe cheerleaders out there - think of it as public service; I'm just giving back to my community.

And now, with mike's most recent comment in the last thread, such things matter. It's fair for us to comment on what they write, and if they take issue with our commentary, that's fine, and should be welcome. That's the essence of the whole dead tree / internet debate, isn't it?

This is the type of article that Shank writes best, when he's not pissing on someone or trying his best to run them out of town.

I have to add this - I saw the Shankster on a local weekend sports show (a Sunday night 11:30+ show), and I was quite impressed. In tough markets, you need to diversify...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hanging It Up

I have been going back and forth on this in my mind for awhile now but I have decided to hang it up. I have really enjoyed contributing to this site--its been a little over 2 and a half years now for me personally and the website is about to make its 4th anniversary overall.

When I first started posting, there was a comment from someone asking what we were hoping to accomplish with this website. For me personally, I wanted an outlet for my self and for others to share their frustration about Shaughnessy. Dan is a talented writer but I was frustrated with his seeming laziness, his personal vendettas, and his weak logic. Contrary to the opinion of some of those who commented, my agenda was never about protecting heroic athletes against Shaughnessy's biting criticism.

Deep down, I also harbored (a probably misguided) belief that Shaughnessy would happen upon this site and magically change his ways and become a good writer (again?). Let me assure you folks...Shaughnessy is not walking through that door. I actually had a nice 20 minute conversation with Shaughnessy recently. I did not discuss this site with him; I am not sure he knows about it; or if he would even make the connection between me and the site. Even if he is aware of site, he is not changing his ways. For better or worse, he is what he is.

In any event, I had sent him a critical e-mail questioning his ethics in light of his laziness/self-plagiarism for the spring training column and for accusing Ortiz of being a liar without accomplishing due diligence. He offered his rationale which I did not find altogether convincing but I at least respect his willingness to face the heat. He actually went to a lot of trouble to contact me, accommodating my schedule. Considering I questioned his ethics, he was pretty gracious about it all. We had a cordial discussion and agreed to disagree... but it was a civil discussion nonetheless. During our discussion, he made the point that much of the banter on the internet has become shrouded in anonymity and in this transformation of communication, we have lost a lot in terms of civility. I would like to think this site has always been conducted in a mostly civil way but I recognize that at times, I personally have resorted to some amount of petiness and I regret that. The intent is/was to provide constructive criticism. I think we always strived to be fair - giving Shaughnessy credit when he would write a good column but more than often not, it seemed to me that he was mailing it in--which I think is a shame.

But again, Shaughnessy is not going to change at this stage in his career. He has a carved a successful niche for himself and many view him as the voice of New England sports and that is a pretty good accomplishment so I imagine he is doing something right. He seems comfortable with himself and that is good. And from what little I know, he seems to be a compassionate Dad and there is a lot to be said for that.

If anyone is interested in carrying on, please drop me a line - just email me - my email address is in my profile. Other than that, I would like to thank the dedicated followers of this blog and for those who have taken the time to leave comments. I have always enjoyed the banter. I have no idea how many people follow this blog but I am grateful that people would actually take the time to stop by and leave a few words of wisdom. Yes, even thanks to Bruce. Your contrarian voice has been good for business. I dont think I have agreed you with much at all but at least I can give you credit for being able to laugh at yourself - an ability that I see peek through your posts from time to time.

Again, thanks to everyone. I am grateful.

(Edit 8:33, Tuesday): Also, in my haste, I forgot to add thanks to Chief, DBVader and the late Jerry Gutlon- thanks for being great teammates!)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Penny Wise, Penny Foolish

Dan offers a fair assessment of Brad Penny's woeful performance last night against the Yankees. Penny is not working out so well these days and Shaughnessy provides his two cents on the matter.

Update, 8:28: Dan also offers a nice tribute to Yaz as he turns 70. Wow, I feel old. Yaz was a favorite of mine growing up

Sunday, August 16, 2009

More Pieces

Dan writes a picked up pieces column on the 32nd anniversary of Elvis Presley's death. Very consistent with others he has written. If you like this format, you will probably enjoy today's offering, replete with references to Jason Varitek's underoos. If you don't like the format, it is easy enough to chip away at.

I don't particularly mind the format but I find it interesting that Shaughnessy likes to play the moral authority on issues such as steroids, adultery, and conflicts of interest when he himself: uses material from old books and presents it as new material; when he accuses someone of being a liar but does not have all the facts; and acknowledges that he can't be bothered to collect the relevant facts even though it is his job.

Even when he makes a valid point, he surrounds it with his laziness. He questions the millions that Epstein has wasted on free agents (fair enough) but starts with "Not sure if Edgar Renteria and Matt Clement are still on the books...." Dan, would it kill you to find this stuff out?

My carping aside, its your typical Shaughnessy fare. Good for some and not so much for others

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Out of Town

Sorry all - I was out of town and had limited access and so I missed a fine article by Shaughnessy. Hope to get back on track. In the mean time - Bruce - just left you a response on the previous post. Really appreciated your translation of me and so I felt compelled to respond in kind.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Home Again

Dan offers an innocuous look at the Red Sox' return home to Fenway and a win over the Tigers. I am still so disgusted by this past weekend's effort (of Shaughnessy not the Red Sox) and stunned that he still has a job that I care not to comment further.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Shameless Shank

I thought hit Shaughnessy hit a low water mark last fall when he declared the Red Sox playoff series over after the Red Sox won the first game. But then he hit a lower point this spring when he self-plagiarized a column about spring training from a book that he had co-written with another person. But this past week, he has sunk to a whole new level.

Shaughnessy accused David Ortiz of lying but he did not have all the facts and could not be bothered to collect them (see my diatribe in the previous post below). Today's contribution is just as bad. He issues no mea culpas—instead he offers a mammoth rationalization as to why he wrongly/prematurely accused someone of lying. It is downright disgusting. At the least, I credit him for admitting he was too lazy to collect the facts

Click here to read Shaughnessy’s rationalization:

- First, he makes the astounding claim that the reason that Ortiz seems to be getting a pass here is that people like him personally. Meanwhile, Clemens and Bonds are being vilified because people don’t like them personally. Seriously? If you didn’t have your head so far up your arse, you would realize there are worlds of differences between the cases of Bonds, Clemens, and Ortiz. There is no Game of Shadows for Ortiz is there? To this point, no one has come out publicly to say they injected Ortiz with steroids, have they? Give people credit, Dan—they are able to seek the evidence and make their own conclusions. Personality certainly is a factor but it is not the decisive factor that you claim. The cases are different but you are too dense to understand that.

- Shaughnessy does admit to being too lazy although he is probably too stupid to realize he has made this stunning admission. He says

“Seriously, if Donald Fehr, Gene Orza, or Weiner had gone public with their questions about the legitimacy of the (2003) positive results back in February, there would have been less rush to jump on Ortiz when his name came out July 30.”

Did you even bother to ask any of them yourself Dan? Did you even try to get any of the facts right? Isn't that your responsibility before you claim someone is a liar?

Then he quotes Weiner:

"We thought we were pretty darn vocal,’’ Weiner said. “We wrote a long and publicly-released letter to congressmen Waxman and Davis. Maybe we made a mistake of thinking people would read a letter sent to congressmen.’’

and says:
Right. Most of us routinely inspect all correspondence between the Players Association and Congress. Sorry we missed this one.

Sorry you missed this one? Take your sarcasm and shove it. You shouldn’t have missed this one. It is your responsibility as a journalist to do due diligence before you make the accusation that someone has lied. And you didn’t do it. How dare you?

Oh and here is my favorite
“We’re trained to be cynical of accused cheaters who claim innocence.”

Wow, what journalism school did you go to? I thought you were trained to do research to prove your assertions? I thought you were trained to take each individual case and examine it on its own merits? What you seem to be saying is that you have lumped everyone together in one big pot and it is okay to accuse them all of lying because everyone seems to be lying?

Then you have the nerve to end your little piece of trash by suggesting that there were holes in the Ortiz and Wiener’s accounts? Maybe so….but nothing in comparison to the gaping holes in your credibility and ethics. Astonishing

In my nearly three years of working on this site, I have never been this utterly disgusted. Truly, a new low for Shaughnessy. A new low for the Globe. And a new low for journalism.

Shaughnessy Proves The Point

As I mentioned in my earlier post, today’s press conference with Ortiz was very interesting. Contrary to what Objective Bruce may try to lead you to believe, I am not here to criticize Shaughnessy because I am a “fanboy blogger” engaged in the hero worship of athletes. As I mentioned in a previous comment thread, I just retired from the military after 20 years and I know some of our country’s true heroes personally and they are not the ones who play professional sports. And I can assure you I am not doing a little happy dance because David Ortiz has been vindicated. I do think he has been partially vindicated but I very well acknowledge that subsequent information may come to light that could cast Ortiz in a totally different and negative light. Time will tell. But, for me, it is not about Ortiz. It is about Shaughnessy.

I have chosen to dedicate time to this blog because I continue to be dumbfounded how Dan Shaughnessy can be such a widely acclaimed journalist. I (and my wonderful cohorts) have tried to repeatedly point out (and I hope to some degree we have been successful) that he is a lazy, vindictive reactionist. So, yes, today's press conference makes me quite happy because it proves my point vividly and dramatically.

In case you have not been following, last week Dan Shaughnessy quickly ripped into Ortiz after Ortiz’s name was leaked to be on “the list” of steroid users. Shaughnessy declared “David Ortiz lied to you. It seems safe to say that his entire Red Sox career is a lie.” Never mind that Shaughnessy never talked to Ortiz. Never mind that Shaughnessy did not know what Ortiz tested positive for. Never mind that Shaughnessy did not know there was a question of the validity of the test. Never mind that Ortiz did not know he even tested positive for anything. These things did not matter because Shaughnessy was in such a rush to punch out a column. There was no time for fact checking; there was no time for corroboration; there was nothing anyone would expect of a professional journalist. No, this was yellow journalism at its finest This was Shaughnessy…. ever ready to bury a hatchet in someone, any proof be damned

It was offered in one of the comments here that John Powers’ column proved that Ortiz was lying. No, that was not the case. Here is what Powers said: “MLBPA executive director Donald Fehr told House committee chairman Henry Waxman in a letter last summer that the players were not explicitly informed that they had tested positive, but only that they were on a list of players the government had seized, as part of an investigation into an illegal steroids operation.”

Ortiz acknowledged there was some meeting on this issue but that it was confusing. After listening to the union rep explain all the inconsistencies and after re-reading the above from Powers, I would be confused too.

Shaughnessy may eventually prove to be right about Ortiz. But that doesn’t matter. At the time he accused Ortiz of being a liar, he did not have the information to make the accusation. He did not seek the full story because he is lazy. He was ready to prematurely attack because he is vindictive. If anyone lied to us, it was Shaughnessy. If anything is tainted, it is his ethics. He is the one who should be suspended for a year. And he is not the only one – Massarotti and Ryan and many others also piled on. It was disgraceful and shameful.