Dan's March 11th piece on one of the state schoolboy basketball championship games is indicative of what he can do when he puts his mind to it.
Shank can be one heck of a columnist when he applies himself and doesn't take shortcuts, regurgitate past columns or wax nostalgic over the immortal eighties by trotting out his suitcase full of well-worn cliches.
It's sort of sad that he's tanked his reputation in recent years by cutting corners. In fairness to Dan, his editors could force him to become a better journalist, or at the very least, hold his feet to the fire and make him write better and not coast his way to a paycheck. I found it very telling that he told me in a March 13th e-mail, "[N]o need for us to argue the merits of column writing."
Indeed, if his Globe editors cared enough they could profoundly impact his columns. Too bad they don't bother. Hey, it's a paycheck.