Friday, March 27, 2009

Meet the Hendersons

Dan turned in a solid, workmanlike column Thursday, March 25, featuring the Hendersons -- Gerald and Gerald, Jr.

He's even got quotes from both, and -- from the sounds of them -- I'll stake money (but not much, mind you) that Dan actually obtained those thoughts in one-on-one interviews.

It's a crying shame that Dan doesn't apply himself like this consistently, instead of utilizing shortcuts and his usual templates that oftentimes make his columns indistinguishable, vindictive and vain. Some days he's Bob Ryan but most days he's Dilbert.

On a personal note, my wife and I are off to Fort Myers today for the weekend to do a spring training book signing. Since my laptop is on the fritz I'm hoping one of my compatriots on the site will post entries over the weekend. If not, I'll see ya Monday.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Another Prospect for Dan's Hit List

I was bowled over this morning to get an e-mail from my publisher notifying me that my book, It Was Never About the Babe, which our hero, CHB, thought was "unfair" to him, had been endorsed ... in the Irish Times!

Stunned can't describe the feeling. And the author of the review, long-time Boston journalist, George Kimball, denigrates Dan's mythical thesis on decades of Red Sox failure, as well. I can't help but believe that Danny Boy's Irish eyes won't be smiling.

"Gutlon argues that the Red Sox were cursed, all right. For more than 80 years they were cursed by a policy of institutionalized racism and a mind-boggling litany of wrong-headed business decisions ...

"... although he is a professional journalist by trade, Gutlon is first and foremost a lifelong Red Sox fan, and what he brings to the table in his eminently readable new book is a comprehensive accumulation of anecdotal evidence delivered from that perspective – the winning argument, if you will, in a hypothetical bar-room debate on the subject."

And the hits just keep on coming!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shank the Sham and His Pharisees

All of us blog boys (and girls) over the age of fifty certainly can identify the above play on words -- based upon the Sixties band Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs (who could forget Little Red Riding Hood or Wooly Bully?).

What brings it to mind is Dan's over-the-top, self-serving, self-imposed appearance on Dan Patrick's radio program on Tuesday. In the words of my DSW compatriot, Dave M. ...

"Shaughnessy was on the Dan Patrick Show ... and man, what an absolute joke ... all the pettiness revealed itself ... First, it was Shaughnessy who forced his way ... on the ... show - calling in to offer his opinion. Unfortunately, Patrick seemed all [too] willing to oblige. All the typical crap [concerning Curt Schilling] - complaints about the blog; complaints about the politics; complaints about being unethical for accepting [$8 million] while injured; and complaints about being … a big lug. Shank claims to be brave enough to call Schilling out on his inconsistencies but that Schilling always picks one member of the local media to pick on and it was poor little Shaughnessy."

What a surprise! First, to don the cape of a super hero! The maligned defender of all thing true and just. Yep, that's our boy!

OK, let's see. Why don't we go through Dave's points sequentially, shall we?

First, imagine Schilling's temerity to establish his own blog so he can offer his own opinion and bypass the media-imposed filters. That, in itself, should warrant a prison term, eh? Oh, and the guy's a right winger who openly, vehemently and vocally supported John McCain? Well, that should warrant the electric chair.

As far as the unethically obtained $8 million? I seem to recall Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein's public pronouncement thereafter that Schilling passed his physical with flying colors before the "big lug" signed his 2008 contract. But, naturally, Shank never bothered to correct his previous scurrilous claim. Guess Theo (backed by his minions, of course!) should've saved his breath.

(Sort of reminds me of Dan's identification of one of the three black Negro League players who tried out for the Sox back in 1945, Marvin Williamson. Uh, Dan, his name was Marvin Williams. Yet, twenty printings later, Dan's fairy tale "Curse" book continues to misidentify the man. Surprise! Surprise! Now that's responsible reporting!)

Inconsistencies? Boy, Dan, you are just such a pillar of integrity. Not!!!

Granted, I think Shank deliberately writes inflammatory columns and makes ridiculous assertions simply to attract attention and generate buzz. I also believe that the CHB goes out of his way to insert himself into the story, to become a play-AH in his own right. That said, I am outraged that the man has so little self-perspective that he constantly perceives himself as a victim.

I don't think I could put it any better than Roger Bournival who posted the following:

"In other words, intentionally pissing off fans and readers (let's assume, for argument's sake, they are one and the same) is a testament to the noble columnist's objectivity and perspective (whatever the latter's supposed to mean). Criticism of said columns by 'basement-dwelling blog boys' (a rough, but accurate portrayal of well, us! by yourself, Shank and other defenders of the ever-shrinking, dying, dead-tree media) is thus minimized and summarily dismissed. Failure to incorporate self-analytical and self-correcting procedures in one's work product results in a recursive process that reduces the eventual answer to zero."
Whatever one thinks of Schilling's faith, politics or outspoken persona, the man is genuine. And without his presence in 2004 and 2007 the Red Sox would still be seeking the Holy Grail of another world championship.

It's deliciously ironic that a Philadelphia Inquirer scribe (who apparently disagreed with much of what Curt vociferously stands for) penned a wonderful column entitled Curt Schilling has a lot of detractors, but belongs in the Hall of Fame reprinted in the Boston Herald. Kudos to the Herald for having the guts to print it. And shame on the Globe editors for allowing this vocal version of Harpo Marx to continue to spew his venom without any constraints!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Boston Sports Media Watch "Worst Boston Sports Column Contest"

Bruce Allen had an epiphany while on vacation a couple of weeks ago: Have the BSMW sponsor a contest to identify the worst Boston sports column in recent memory.

Prominently mentioned was one from the poisoned pen of our hero, Dan Shaughnessy.

Here's the link: BSMW Group Project - Worst Boston Sports Column.

Happy hunting!

You're Bloody Predictable, Shank

God forbid that Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe hack extraordinaire, be gracious.

As predicted yesterday by Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch, the CHB used his post as Globe columnist (of sorts) to slam Curt Schilling in the wake of Schilling's retirement announcement.

Shank's March 24th column, with the headline He Was Bloody Good Here, featured few platitudes to the pitcher without whom the Red Sox would still be without a post-1918 World Championship. Instead, he calls Curt "Schill," a "big lug" and an "uber-blowhard."

"I'm going to miss the big lug. In the past 30 years in Boston sports, there haven't been many guys more fun to write about than Curt Schilling. And it's nice to know he's not really going away. The uber-blowhard still will be part of our lives in cyberspace, on the airwaves, and probably at every town meeting and polling place in Suffolk, Middlesex, and Norfolk counties."

Look in the mirror, Dan! Agree or disagree, at least Schilling doesn't sway in the wind with every other paragraph. If there's an uber-blowhard in the room, methinks he might have a big red Afro. And, in my mind, anyway, you should alter your terminology. Change the word "write" to "slander."

You're not only predictable, you're pathetic.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Batten Down the Hatches: Schilling Has Left the Building

Over the years Dan Shaughnessy has -- for whatever reasons -- adopted numerous targets for his venomous tirades, much like Dave "The Colonel" Egan did in the "bad old days." (see: Williams, Theodore S.)

Well, with his announcement on this morning, Curt Schilling made it official: He's retiring from baseball. Interestingly enough, Bruce Allen, founder of Boston Sports Media Watch, wonders if the Shank attacks on the Schill might continue, anyway.

Now, with both Schilling and Manny Ramirez no longer on the premises, Shank is going to have to determine who will serve as his new whipping boy. Lions and tigers and bears! Oh, my!

Maybe we ought to start a lottery to vote on who it should be. Yours truly excluded.

Dan Versus the Pros

OK, let me begin with a slam levelled at one of our erstwhile posters by none other than Dan Shaughnessy's masked defender, the infamous Objective Bruce, affectionately known as "OB."

Quoteth OB [quoting Chris]: "'The vast majority of Boston's professional sports personnel (athletes and management alike) simply turn their back on CHB with utter disdain.' Prove it. Schilling's musings don't count."

All righty then, Brucie. Let us briefly count the ways Danny Boy is consistently iced out on the Boston pro scene, shall we?

Thus far, the Boston Globe has published eleven (11) of Shaughnessy's columns in the month of March. Five (5) of those columns dealt with professional athletes. Are ya with me thus far?

Dan opened the Ides of March with a missive entitled Cassell Trade is a Loud Statement (March 1, 2009), of course dealing with the Patriots' trade of quarterback Matt Cassell to the Kansas City Chiefs. There were NO quotes. Lots of contradictory statements on Dan's part, but NO, I repeat, NO quotes. By the way, he penned the column while in Florida, ostensibly covering spring training, but in reality squandering the Globe's money.

On March 3, 2009, Shaughnessy filed a column with the headline, Masterson on Solid Footing. In it, he quotes Sox manager Francona and pitching coach John Farrell, along with young pitcher Justin Masterson. Frankly, I couldn't determine if Shank got those quotes himself, or culled them from a press conference. My gut says it was the latter, a la his coverage of the Patriots at the Super Bowl last year. Makes sense. On the other hand, Masterson is still so green it's possible he's not yet wise to the ways of the Shankster...

Shank then submitted a column published with the headline An Infusion of Intrigue (March 4, 2009), dealing with Sox outfielder J.D. Drew's never-ending physical problems. Dan quotes Tito -- no doubt from a group briefing -- and Drew, via NESN's Heidi Watney. Thanks, Heidi!

Let's move on, shall we? On March 5, 2009, Dan wrote a column entitled Hip Trouble … and Lip Trouble, driving my compatriot, Dave M., to distraction, as El Shanko hammered Manny (who, I must say, is a piece of drek and -- as Jon Papelbon pointed out -- had become a cancer in the Sox clubhouse before the team jettisoned him ... and slammed A-Roid, er, Rod. (Nice hookers, A-Fraud.)

Anyhoo, Dan quotes Manny and Dodgers' owner Frank McCourt in his piece ... via ESPN. By the way, the CHB was at spring training when he purloined most of this column from previous Shankisms.

After that point in time, Dan limited his topics to high school, junior college and college basketball, with the exception of his March 18, 2009 effort, Hottest of the Heat. Shaughnessy quoted the Miami Heat's D-Wade and head coach Erik Spoelstra. Typical, since those out-of-town pro athletes and coaches generally aren't wary of the Big D.

Otherwise, I think it's fairly obvious that Shank is hamstrung in trying to obtain meaningful quotes from professional athletes, coaches and executives in Boston.

How can you refute it, oh Master of Objectivity?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

And They Pay Him to Write This Drivel?

Dan regresses to his usual trite approach to writing in his recap of BC's loss to USC in the first round of the NCAA tournament in his March 21st column.

Chronologically, let's see how Shank meanders down memory lane and, once again, name drops, shall we?

Silvio Conte, Bill Walton, Ed McMahon, Doug Flutie, Will Ferrell, O.J. Simpson, Fleetwood Mac and (tah dah!) Larry Bird.

All of the above -- and more -- are sandwiched among quotes from both coaches, BC's captain, Tyrese Rice and Trojan forward Taj Gibson.

Shank trots out arcane references that are meaningless to many (Mary Ann's ... wasn't she on the SS Minnow with Gilligan?) and brings up one of the very worst of Fleetwood Mac ("Tusk," 1980), and calls the USC squad "dysfunctional," then proceeds to illustrate how dysfunctional and uneven BC's regular season's performance was.

He slams the Trojans for their lack of camaraderie on the floor, likening their "California-cool" attitude to the Red Sox of 1978 with this gem: "These guys looked about as connected as the 1978 (25 players, 25 cabs) Red Sox." Seems to me the "25 players, 25 cabs" reference was much more applicable to the Red Sox of the mid-Sixties, pre-1967.

But virtually no Shaughnessy column is complete without references to the Sox or the Pats or both.

And I was astounded to learn that President Obama's brother-in-law apparently beat the entire USC basketball squad singlehandedly at Oregon State.

Can we get a video of that, Dan?

Shank Logic: New England Only Extends to Rt. 128

Dan's in Minneapolis ostensibly to cover the Boston College Eagles' post-season efforts in the NCAA tournament (one-and-out, as it turns out).

Since his March 20th piece wasn't time stamped, there's no telling when Dan filed his column, but it wasn't posted to Friday morning ... or maybe the Globe techies collectively lurking in their mothers' basements figured out a way to prevent me from accessing it in a timely manner here in Atlanta.

Be that as it may, Dan returns to his hackneyed ways with a trip down memory lane, invoking a variety of cultural icons and limiting the boundaries of New England to the 128 beltway. Then, in inimitable Shank fashion, he contradicts the basic premise of his story and proceeds to briefly outline the March Madness experiences of other men's hoop programs that -- technically, I guess -- exist in other parts of New England.

He begins, "Without the Eagles, New England would not be involved in an annual nationwide sports festival that has grown to monstrous proportions."


After invoking the names of Forrest Gump and his sidekick, Bubba, he then morphs into extolling the tourney's popularity by trotting out "American Idol" and "Dancing with the Stars," mentions the president (of the U.S., not of BC), and lamented the fact that "nobody noticed" BC's No. 2 ranking in college football in 2007, because we all were hung over from the Red Sox World Series victory and caught up in the Patriots' march to 18-0.

Writes Dan, "New England's history in the NCAA basketball tourney is ancient and rare." Uh, last time I checked, Connecticut is actually considered a New England state ... and I seem to recall a couple of latter day NCAA championships trolled in by the UConn men from Storrs.

Combine that minor fact with this next Dannism, "This is BC's 10th NCAA Tournament appearance since 1994." Hardly ancient history, Danny Boy.

The Shankster also delivers this gem, "As every Worcester schoolchild knows, Holy Cross won the thing back in the day when Bob Cousy was a freshman on Mount St. James (1947)." Dan, perhaps you spent four years at Holy Cross, but you obviously never ventured off campus. Having spent the bulk of the Eighties living and working in Worcester, I know that 99 percent of the schoolchildren in that city only know that the Holy Cross campus is just on the other side of I-290. Trust me, the Crusaders' foray into the stratospheric regions of the NCAA tournament in the late 1940s isn't a staple of the Worcester school system.

So, what are we left with? Just another meandering column that Dan slapped together without doing any footwork. In other words, back to one of the trickster's basic templates. And they pay him to do this. Shame, shame.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Is Dan Feeling the Heat?

Dan turns in yet another good column March 18, on the Miami Heat's visit to Boston to face the Celtics Wednesday night.

The piece includes quotes from Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and the NBA's leading scorer, Dwayne Wade.

Too bad Shank is so distrusted by virtually all Boston-based pro athletes and most club officials that few will give him the time of day, hampering Shaughnessy's ability to produce such columns about Boston's pros...

It's an effective, well-written column without any references to Larry Bird, the Eighties or the straw men Shank loves to knock down. And no hackneyed cliches.

Makes one wonder if the editors at the Globe might be holding Shaughnessy's feet to the fire after a string of half-baked, half-assed columns he submitted during the latter part of the winter. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Will the Real Dan Please Stand Up?

Recently I stumbled across an interesting posting on a website called the Daily Dollop.

My question to you, dear Dan Shaughnessy fans, is this: How accurate is this representation?

What's your educated take?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Three-for-Three? OMG!

Well, Dan continues to astound, with a sterling March 15th column on a day's worth of state high school basketball championship contests at my old stomping grounds formerly known as the Centrum in Worcester.

Dan -- or his editor(s) -- actually did a fine job utilizing Millbury High School's nickname, the Woolies. And, yes, as Shank pointed out, it's gotta be difficult not to root for a team called the Woolies. Wonder if they got the nickname from that huge trash-to-energy plant built in the 1980s...

Either way, Dan's batting .1000 since March 11th. The big question is: Can he keep the streak going?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Two for the Road

Once again, Dan shows he can write a relevant and effective column with this March 12th piece about the Massachusetts Bay Community College men's basketball team and its foray into the upper stratosphere of the JUCO playoffs.

I must duly note that, with the preponderance of quotes the column virtually wrote itself, complementing its formatting.

It truly is a shame that he'll no doubt momentarily return to hack status, with the tacit approval of his Globe editors. Having spent much of my adult life in news and sports reporting I can attest that editors who actually improve your writing are few and far between. Most either ignore the problems posed in one's stories and columns, or simply butcher them.

Giving Credit When Credit Is Due

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.

Hello, Dan ... You Must Be Going

The above title is an offshoot of a quote from the mouth of the inimitable Groucho Marx.

Although I never envisioned becoming a part of this site -- aside from entering my comments regarding other postings -- I've changed my mind, essentially because Dan has berated me for "being unfair" to him in my book, It Was Never About the Babe: The Red Sox, Racism, Mismanagement and the Curse of the Bambino.

I find that accusation both amusing and ironic since Dan has acquired the nickname "Shank" through his relentless and seemingly vindictive attacks on others. Perhaps the best example of this is Curt Schilling, whom Shank continues to shamelessly refer to in his columns. Apparently Curt (another abrasive personality who can easily get under one's skin) upset Dan after his trade to Boston in November, 2003, when he refused to cuddle up to the Shankster.

So, even though Dan lauded Schilling's acquisition by the Boston Red Sox, Curt quickly gained Shank's enmity. From that point onward, Schilling became a moving (and, sometimes, a stationary) target of Dan's. Dan has accused Schilling of "channeling" through a psychotic Astros pitcher who physically attacked his general manager, and of taking millions from the Sox last year even though he knew his shoulder was blown out and couldn't pitch.

Despite the fact that the Red Sox braintrust refuted those claims, Shank never saw it fit to correct that particular charge. I'm sorry, but, Dan, that's unfair! In subsequent postings I'd like to endeavor to illustrate how Dan never saw fit to correct the many, many pieces of misinformation in his tome, The Curse of the Bambino, even though it's in it's 21st printing (at last count), and Shank's gotta know that much of his fairy tale is flat out wrong!

I personally have been pilloried by at least one Dan apologist for refuting the so-called "Curse" even though it's been done before by other authors, albeit in much shorter form. Be that as it may, the myth needed to be buried once and for all.

And Dan really ought to send a "thank you" letter to my publisher, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., of New York City, since its editor seriously watered down my chapter on the Boston sports media. Otherwise, Shank might have sent a Holy Cross hitman after me.

Finally (for now), I'm using my real personal information to back up my involvement on this website. For one thing, I think that's only fair and proper. A secondary reason, frankly, is I've got a book to promote. And, just for the record, since Dan loves to slam bloggers and Internet addicts, I'm not some cretin holed up in my basement -- we don't have a basement ... we live outside of Atlanta -- endlessly logged on. Our office is off our living room, and that's where our computer is!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Get Over it Dan

Dan's obsession with Manny continues. Dan's obsession with ARod continues. Dan's self-plagiarism continues. Dan's twisted logic continues. And we get all of this in one neat little package.

Dan writes about Manny's signing and ARod's hip.

The Manny part is very similar to an article that he wrote last October when his obsession was in full gear. In October, he wrote

Wow. Unhappy for eight whole years. While the Sox were winning the World Series and fans were worshiping at Manny's feet, he was unhappy. He must have been unhappy when you stood and applauded while he ran onto the field carrying that American flag on the day he became a US citizen. He must have been miserable riding in the duck boat, seeing the hand-held signs of fans who lined the parade route.

Today he writes:
There you go, Sox fans. Manny was suffering while you were cheering for him. He was suffering when the Sox paid him $160 million. It must have been hell, making all that cake, hearing the applause, and seeing little kids and big dads wearing his No. 24 Sox jersey. I guess we'll never know how hard it was to win two World Series, playing in front of baseball's best fans in baseball's best ballpark.
Look I think we all find it hard to believe that someone could be unhappy with all the money and fame and Shaughnessy hammers this home (again and again and again). But ever think that there may be a sincere sentiment there? I honestly dont think Manny ever understood or appreciated the passion of Red Sox fans and he just wasnt comfortable with it. Is that too difficult to comprehend? Get over it, Dan

Then there is this gem
These monstrous issues have two common denominators: Scott Boras and the Red Sox. Boras represents both superstars. And no matter what happens in Baseball America, it's always about the Red Sox.
What? Shaughnessy's tortured logic against puts Boston at the center of everything.I just dont get it. How is ARod's hip all about the Red Sox? How is Manny signing in LA all about the Red Sox? Get over it Dan

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Enough of this Crap

Shaughnessy is apparently in Florida covering the Red Sox but the Globe sports department felt the Cassel trade was a big enough story that we just absolutely needed to hear from the CHB on this one.  The result is an utter piece of meandering crap.  What the hell is Shaughnessy talking about?

He starts off with some notion that there is blind allegiance to Bill Belichick.  What?  The coach has won three Super Bowls and his decisions have turned out to be on target more often than not.  So is it really that absurd to conclude that "His Hoodiness" has built up some immunity and good will?  Even Shaughnessy admits that he was calling for Cassel to be cut at the end of preseason...Belichick turned out to make a pretty good decision by sticking with him, didn't he?  Belichick has certainly earned some benefit of the of the doubt over the years although that should not be confused with "blind allegiance" and the insipid attack at the beginning of today's column.

That being said, Shaughnessy has every right to examine and question the merits of this trade as (unfortunately for us) that is his job.   But he can't seem to make a coherent, consistent point.  He starts off with this blind allegiance b.s. but then drifts to this statement "Intellectually and strategically, this deals makes sense"  But then in the very next paragraph, he goes back on the trade and says it could be the football equivalent of Varitek and Lowe for Slocumb.  Yet, then he goes back to the idea that the Patriots have always been ruled by what makes sense on the field--no place for emotion.  (Isn't that the way a good business is supposed to be run?)  Yet, later he says "saying goodbye to Cassel is particularly risky."  Wait, what?  I guess no matter how this turns out for the Patriots, Shaughnessy can look back to this little gem of a column and say "I told you so."

Shaughnessy concludes with the biggest head scratcher of them all by suggesting that Bill Parcells is somehow behind the scenes on this one by virtue of the fact that he is the father in law of Pioli?  ("There is a smell of tuna in the air.") Shaughnessy, what the hell are you talking about?  Parcells has been Pioli's father in law for years...are you suggesting that Pioli has been working to undermine the Patriots for all these years? Or now that he is free of the clutches of Belichick that he is going to suddenly conspire with Parcells to screw the Patriots?  And exactly how are they going to conspire to do this?  It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.  There is a smell of crap in the air and it's emanating from our self-plagiarizing, lazy, incoherent front page columnist.