Thursday, July 29, 2010

What An Asshole

I could have gone with an alternate headline, say, 'I Was Wrong' when describing the belief that Shank would not discuss the recent 6 - 4 road trip by the Red Sox. However, the real headline barely captures my complete disgust with this columnist.

Dan Shaughnessy, July 27, 2010:

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Reading Red Sox dispatches from Oakland and Seattle was depressing. The estimable Amalie Benjamin and indefatigable Pete Abraham kept me up to date as the Sox stumbled out West, but I had to come out here to see for myself. The SS Francona is taking on water, listing badly, and I wanted one last look before it sinks into the Pacific, under the Theo Epstein Bridge to 2011.
Dan Shaughnessy, two fucking days later:

ANAHEIM, Calif. — I’m in. I believe. I just saw Marco Scutaro hit a grand slam to complete a three-game Red Sox sweep of the Angels. The Sox look like they are ready for a big stretch run.

The Sox just played 10 games in 10 days in three cities. They won six, lost four, and ordered room service 214 times. They looked dead in Seattle, and now they are coming home with bounce in their step and real hopes for August and September.
Dan Shaughnessy, the ultimate fair weather friend, turns on a dime yet again based on essentially a three game stretch. Dan Shaughnessy, shamelessly back on the bandwagon after pointing out all that is wrong with the Red Sox two weeks ago. Hypocritical Dan Shaughnessy, after many articles bemoaning the lack of offense of the Red Sox (sorry, there's too many of them to link to), now bursts with pride (and finally acknowledges) about the batting lineup:

Offense? For all the winter worries about scoring runs, the Sox are second in the league in runs and homers. They hit four jacks yesterday, including Scutaro’s bases-loaded blast that cracked open a 3-3 game in the eighth inning. They have had more doubles than Don Draper and the boys at Sterling-Cooper.
Nice to see Shank upgrade pop culture references from the Seinfeld era, isn't it?

A single begrudging acknowledgement of his past criticisms of the Red Sox is the only redeeming quality I see in this column:

I came to Los Angeles to bury them, but now my glass is half-full.
More like half full of shit. It's both amusing and infuriating to see the alleged ace Boston Globe sports columnist act like a flighty, ditzy high school blonde that can barely make up his or her mind on anything, much less stick to his convictions for any length of time greater than a couple of days. Either that, or this is part of a huge game he's playing just to get a few more eyeballs on his columns. Whichever it is, he's still an asshole.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sweep It Under The Rug

The Red Sox complete a three game sweep of the Angels to finish their road trip at 7 - 7, which isn't bad for a team chasing a playoff spot. Will Shank, in future criticisms of the 2010 Red Sox, omit this inconvenient fact as he's done before?

UPDATE, 7/29/10 at 9:15 AM - The road trip was 6 - 4, not 7 - 7 (I included the series against Texas in my original tally). Thanks to commenter Q for setting me straight. However, that just means there's less of a chance of Shank mentioning it.

Just Say No-No

In rare mid-season form, Shank 'treats' us to back-to-back Globe columns. Right off the bat, we're exposed to lame song lyrics:

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Welcome to the No-Hit Zone of Major League Baseball, 2010. Must be the season of the pitch.
The rest of the article quotes baseball players & managers for their theories on the spike in no-hitters. I wonder if it ever occurred to Shank that, given this trend, his near constant criticism of the Red Sox and their emphasis on pitching just might be wrong and happen to coincide with this trend?

Where else can you get thoughtful, incisive analysis like this?

Put it this way: The Tampa Bay Rays have played 99 games this year and three of them were no-hitters. That’s like the same Greyhound Bus getting hit by three bolts of lightning.
Memo to the Boston Globe - you can save a lot of money and not send Shank on cross-country trips and still get the same 'quality' product.

UPDATE at 9:50 AM - Naturally, Shank's following other people's leads.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Return Of Bitter Dan

Shank takes a trip to the West Coast, shovel in hand, to start burying the 2010 Red Sox.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Reading Red Sox dispatches from Oakland and Seattle was depressing. The estimable Amalie Benjamin and indefatigable Pete Abraham kept me up to date as the Sox stumbled out West, but I had to come out here to see for myself. The SS Francona is taking on water, listing badly, and I wanted one last look before it sinks into the Pacific, under the Theo Epstein Bridge to 2011.
Shank discusses last night's game, the injury situation and a few Shots at Jacoby Ellsbury (AKA Old Blood & Guts).

Shank then lectures the fans:

Too bad Boras can’t speak for Hideki Okajima. Okie spit the bit Sunday, then refused to explain his strange decisions regarding his fielding of Mariners bunts. This prompted media members to complain about Okie’s lack of accountability, which in turn prompted assorted fanboys to say the writers are being crybabies. Let’s go over this one more time people: if players don’t explain themselves, they are snubbing you, not us. Personally, I don’t care if any of these guys ever say another word. We only ask them stuff because we presume you want to know. If you are OK with a guy turtling after coughing up a lead, then I’m OK with it.
Last but not least, Shank continues his normal, healthy obsession with Curt Schilling:
Finally, hats off to the ship of fools known as the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. The RIEDC yesterday pledged a $75 million loan guarantee to lure Curt Schilling’s game company (the one with no games) to the Ocean State. It’s the best demonstration of sports sycophants gone wild with public money since the yahoos in Connecticut promised to give Bob Kraft the world to move his team to Yo Adriaen’s Landing in Hartford.
Yesterday's CNN / SI article and this awful piece of 'writing' makes me wonder what standards, if any, exist for Shank at the Boston Globe.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Deal That Wasn't

Still on apparent vacation at the Globe, Shank submits another solid column over at CNN / SI.

Alex Rodriguez is back in the news this week. Going into Monday's four-game series against the Indians in Cleveland, A-Rod is on deck to hit his 600th career home run.

This got me to thinking ... what if A-Rod was hitting all those homers at Fenway Park as the shortstop of the Boston Red Sox?

It almost happened. Actually, it did happen for a few days, but the almighty Major League Baseball Players Association intervened forever changing the fortunes of a bunch of ballclubs when the A-Rod-to-Fenway deal was triggered in the winter of 2003-04.
With the New England Patriots starting training camp this coming Thursday, I trust Shank will be back to Belichick bashing in short order...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Very Good Shank Column

That's because it's not one of his Boston Globe columns:

Among the nauseating aspects of the LeBron James "Decision" (and there were too many to count) is the old and ongoing cozy relationship that exists between LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

You heard all the details. 'Bron, D-Wade and Bosh got together years ago and made a pact to one day join forces. They signed contracts designed to expire simultaneously. They held Cartel meetings during the offseason, and sometimes during the regular season.

Gag me. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned disdain for the opposition? How good can the competition be when the alleged "rivals" are in business together or planning to join forces at a later date?

At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon who covered the 1918 World Series (Ruth really dominated the Cubs in that 1-0 game, didn't he?), sports was better in the days before the players all loved one another.
Ted Williams and Bob Gibson are mentioned further on in the column. Easily his best column this month; or as former poster Dave M. might say, 'Shaughnessy - setting the bar so low that an average column looks good by comparison'. Such a cynic...

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Shank takes a day off with the picked up pieces column. This genre of column is mostly garbage, but there are occasional funny tidbits:

A Globe reader wants to know why Frank Zappa is sitting in the Rangers’ dugout. Actually, that’s Texas pitching coach Mike Maddux.
I was thinking the same thing, actually!

Bravo to Sox executive Jeremy Kapstein (running for Rhode Island lieutenant governor), for ripping the state’s proposal to give 38 Studios (Curt Schilling’s company) a $75 million loan guarantee to bring the company to Rhode Island. “I have serious questions about the viability of that kind of offer to a company that is full of questions,’’ Kapstein told WPRO-AM.
Kapstein said the same thing on Shank's radio program yesterday. I listened to it from 12:30 to 2:00, and there were many subjects covered, including the one just mentioned. Just to backtrack a bit, it's quite clear to me that Shank was in fact ripping Jacoby Ellsbury on previous shows, so the next time Shank tries the passive-aggressive act (And he's getting carved up on Boston's sports talk programs.), let it be known that Shank's doing his part, on air and in print.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Panic Button - II

Last night's Red Sox blowout loss to the Texas Rangers, 7-2, provides Shank with the opportunity to point out all that is wrong with the Olde Towne Team.

Early on, there's this whopper:

I hate to be negative (really), but when do we come out and admit the obvious?
From here, Shank highlights the awful April start, conveniently omits the next two months where the Sox had the best record in baseball, points out all the Sox injuries, then compares the upcoming Sox road trip (rough) to the Yankees & Rays (playing the Orioles, Indians & Royals).

A more honest assessment of the situation would have included that May - June period where the Sox fared much better recordwise, and that the Sox ought to do better when their injured players come off the disabled list. Positive items, however, have no place in certain Shank columns, and this is one of them.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Say Again?

As most baseball writers have done this week, columns abound about George Steinbrenner. Shank goes for the contrarian angle:

You would have liked George Steinbrenner.

An unconvincing column ensues, at least from a New England Red Sox fan's perspective.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jack Craig, R.I.P

Shank writes about fellow Globie Jack Craig, who passed on last week at age 81. It reads like a decent enough column, but since I don't remember Mr. Craig at all, I can't comment further.

Monday, July 12, 2010

What Are The Odds?

Shank's weekly CNN / SI column focuses on Jacoby Ellsbury and his injury situation. Seems the primary focus is how long does it take to come back from a collision with Adrian Beltre when you wind up with cracked ribs and other injuries. More focus is given to the 'other injuries'; how they were diagnosed, by whom they were diagnosed and at whose behest were they diagnosed.

This part is interesting and humorous at the same time (my emphasis):

Ellsbury has played only nine games all season and is clearly at odds with the Sox management, medical staff and teammates. And he's getting carved up on Boston's sports talk programs.
Would you care to guess who one of the hosts of the "Boston's sports talk programs" is?
8am: Bertrand & Gasper
11am: The Dan Shaughnessy Show
2pm: Hardy & Trupiano
6pm: FOX Sports Radio
I listened to part of the Saturday show (about 15 minutes between 12:45 & 1:00) where it was a block about LeBron, so to be fair I can't say with any surety if Ellsbury was discussed prior or subsequent to that block of time. I would not be surprised in the slightest if Shank took part in carving the metaphorical Thanksgiving turkey. Gotta love to be in the position of stirring the pot, then write as though your fingerprints aren't on the knife. One would think that, at a minimum, a disclosure of this situation would be professionally responsible.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


That's Shank's take on the self-indulgent spectacle of LeBron James' one hour ESPN special to announce his decision to play for the Miami Heat.

Truly, has there ever been a more hideous sports-related hour than what we saw Thursday night?

It’s hard to know where to start. We had MeBron speaking of himself in the third person and saying, “I’m going to take my talents to South Beach.’’ We had ESPN lying to us about at what point MeBron would announce his move, then morphing into game-show mode. We had Gray forever forfeiting all semblance of integrity, taunting America (particularly Clevelanders) by intentionally delaying the only question we wanted him to ask. And now we have the Miami Heat — a veritable team of A-Rods, the team we will root against in every game as long as LeBron, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh are together.

Despicable. All of them.
No argument here.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Siesta Over?

As soon as I made my last post, commenter Paul rains on my parade and points out that Shank did indeed write a column today, one that he's been sitting on for a couple of weeks.

A couple of hours before the Red Sox played the Giants June 26 in San Francisco, Darnell McDonald came in from shagging flies to say hello to a small group gathered by the first base dugout at AT&T Park. The Sox outfielder shook hands with Sam Callahan, a 14-year-old boy battling Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone/soft tissue cancer that targets teens.
As noted many times in the past, these are Shank's best columns. Since the Red Sox are doing well, the Celtics' season is over and Bill Belichick isn't around for Shank to take a crap on, maybe we can expect more articles like this one. Naturally, I won't be holding my breath...

Summer Siesta / Jerry Gutlon Tribute

Judging from the previous July postings from Shank, we shouldn't expect much, if anything, from him this month, unless he steps in serious shit. It could be from a reluctance by the cash-strapped Globies to send him to premier sporting events like the World Cup or the Tour de France, or it could be from something else, like a normal bile regeneration before the Patriots start training camp or the Red Sox start a post All-Star game tailspin. It's difficult to figure out what happens from year to year. That's what makes sports so much fun!

As I was researching this, I realized yesterday was the first anniversary of former contributor Jerry Gutlon's passing. I never got to chat with him directly through e-mail or otherwise, and I knew he was a very heavy hitter with respect to his knowledge of the Red Sox and Dan Shaughnessy, and I wish I knew him better. My condolences go out to his wife Kristie and his family, and what little part I can do to carry on his spirit and passion on this site, I hope to do so honorably.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Thanks for Nothing

Shank's first column in over a week was posted on CNN / SI, lamenting the lack of action with respect to the NBA's free agents. For those who follow the NBA, there's next to nothing in this column in terms of new information:

So far, it's been a big, fat, nothing. LeBron is still in Cleveland, D-Wade is still in Miami (no thanks to Heat fans who were sent to the wrong airport terminal to welcome him home), Joe Johnson has agreed to stay in Atlanta, Dirk Nowitzki signed on with Dallas, Rudy Gay stayed with Memphis, and Paul Pierce opted out, only to stay with the Celtics. Wade, Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer are waiting to see what LeBron is going to do.
On the contrary, seems to me there's been, in fact, quite a bit of activity. Of the eight big names, four have made decisions and four have not. Does Shank really have a problem with a few people taking less than a week to make what will be for them the biggest professional decision of their lives?

With Doc Rivers and Paul Pierce re-upping with the Celtics, Shank also reminds us in nine hundred different ways that the Celtics are old, man. Granted, a team that was within one game of winning its 18th championship (which, curiously enough, was not mentioned), but why let that get in the way of a sour column?