Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Ask, and ye shall receive:
It’s liberating.

We can all stop now. We can stop scoreboard watching, and doing math tricks, and harboring silly hope that there’s a big surge ahead that will thrust the Red Sox into the 2010 playoffs.

Better to cease with the torment now and accept the obvious. The Sox are not going to be in the hunt in October. The Boston baseball season is going to end Sunday, Oct. 3, at Fenway Park. When Game No. 162 is over, the Yankees will leave town and start their American League Division Series. The Sox will scatter to the four winds.
I think having 20 guys on the disabled list during the year is the only reason Shank's column isn't as vicious as I was expecting.

Anyone else believe Shank had half this article written back in February?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Shank On Patriots / Jets

We're all waiting for the inevitable 2010 Red Sox post-mortem / reaming from Shank, but we'll have to make do until then with another good CNN / SI column:

The pro football season can't start soon enough. Here in New England, we can't wait for Week 2 when the Patriots play the Jets at the new football theatre (WTF? - Ed.) off exit 16W in the Meadowlands.

The Patriots and their fans hate the Jets with the proverbial power of 10,000 suns. It's Red Sox-Yankees with tailgates and goal posts.
I didn't agree with this sentiment last year, but as time and events march on, I'm closer to agreeing with it. Shank starts the rivalry's history with Bill Parcells bolting for the Jets in 1997 and takes it to last week's comment by Tom Brady that he hates the Jets.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Good Josh, Bad Josh

Making up for lost productivity over the past month, Shank bangs out his third consecutive column in as many days. Today he focuses on Josh Beckett, who's not exactly having a career year in 2010 but had a good game yesterday until the seventh inning.

Also worth mentioning - good Shank writing and, um, most of his other stuff...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


In rare consecutive day columns, Shank ponders Johnny Damon's reason(s) for not coming to Boston. Naturally, he trashes Damon's book before coming close with...

It really makes me wonder how bad things got for him in Boston at the end, when he was negotiating for a new contract after the 2005 season.
He then trashes Red Sox fans (childish, inane, nitwits) before coming out with this gem:

Damon came here from Oakland because Boston offered the best deal. When his contract was up, the Sox offered four years at $40 million while the Yankees offered four years at $52 million. It’s a significant difference. Damon wasn’t a guy who left for one extra dollar. He left because the Yankees outbid the Sox — by a lot.
That's not exactly how Shank viewed the situation at the time:

Johnny Damon is a Yankee and it looks like the Red Sox don't know what they are doing. ... So now your Boston Red Sox have no center fielder, no shortstop, and no first baseman to go along with no Theo Epstein and no clue. It's fair to say this is becoming a winter of discontent in Red Sox Nation. Ben and Jed and Craig and Larry and Tom and John and Crosby, Stills & Nash can spin this anyway they want, but Sox fans can't escape the conclusion that there's chaos at the top. The Josh Beckett trade bought some goodwill and glad tidings, but losing Damon to the Yankees is a devastating blow to the foundation of the Nation.
And the finish:

Damon’s decision to eschew Boston hurts the Red Sox on and off the field. And we may never know the real reason.
It's kind of funny to observe the undisputed heavyweight champion of running athletes out of Boston act like he doesn't understand why Johnny Damon isn't coming back to the Red Sox.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Shank returns from his late summer vacation to remind us that Roger Clemens isn't a complete asshole:

Let me tell you the story of Clementine.

Clementine is a 6-foot-tall white teddy bear that sits in a shed behind my house. Clementine is 16 years old and a little worn around the edges. The big bear is dirty, moth-ridden, and has duct tape covering holes where stuffing would come out.

Clementine came to our house in a giant cardboard box delivered in a UPS truck in the winter of 1993-94. When the driver and I discovered that the return address was “Katy, Texas,’’ we checked to see if the thing was ticking. Roger Clemens was no friend of mine, and I was concerned the box might contain a Trojan Horse or some other mayhem maker.

No. It contained a get-well gift for 8-year-old Kate Shaughnessy, who’d just been diagnosed with leukemia. There was an autographed baseball from Clemens and the big white bear. Kate smiled and named him/her Clementine. And Clementine stayed in her room until she graduated from college.
The rest of the column chronicles Clemens' baseball career and his current federal grand jury indictment.

It's little wonder Shank didn't bury Clemens with this column...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Back from vacation, Shank devotes his weekly CNN / SI column to the latest Red Sox controversy: Bard or Papelbon as closer?

A closer controversy is not unlike a quarterback controversy. You know the drill: veteran star struggles... kid steps in and makes everything look easy... fans want to kick the old guy to the curb and go with the young gun.

Say hello to Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard, the two most important residents of the Red Sox bullpen.
The rest of the column is informative and reasonable, like so few of his Globe columns.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nail Biter, and Shaq

That's Shank's nutshell description of yesterday's 2-1 win over the Yankees. It's the first time in a while that Shank seems to write about the Red Sox in a level headed manner.

On the other hand, check out his CNN / SI article on Shaquille O'Neal. He describes the trade as a good trade. For a columnist who constantly pointed out the collective age of the Celtics roster, then add Shaq to the mix, and declare it a good trade is a bit baffling.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Mound Of Trouble

That's how Shank describes Josh Beckett's start last night against the Yankees, which resulted in a 7-2 Red Sox loss. It's a decent Shank column; slightly critical without the trademark vindictiveness, cheap shots and lame song lyrics.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Cheap Trick

Shank takes a trip to New York to write an underwhelming column after a 6 - 3 Red Sox win. Since this is the first of a four game series, little can be read into the first win, and that's precisely what we get with this column. One may get the impression that Shank would have buried the 2010 Red Sox had they lost last night. We'll see by Tuesday, won't we?

A shot at Shank's new whipping boy (With the bases loaded and two outs, Vazquez walked Jacoby Ellsbury, who is 0 for 12 since coming back from Pawtucket (maybe Ellsbury needed more games in the minors).) and Shank's classic disclaimer (Your Sox are going to have company in their quixotic quest.) finish off a lame column.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

It's A Twofer

Shank bangs out a pair of columns, one of them at CNN / SI, where he wonders why Rick Pitino still has a job. Among other tidbits,

Leaving himself open to ridicule on top of scorn, he said the encounter lasted only 15 seconds. He made himself a punchline.
What's worse then being a Minuteman? A Pitino!

Next up, Shank takes yet another shot at Jacoby Ellsbury. After three plus months, you do have to wonder what the hell is going on.

It’s impossible and unfair to measure another man’s pain.
But Shank does it anyway. It helps to write this column after a Red Sox loss, and now Ellsbury is the new Nomar / Manny / Schilling in Shank's eyes, complete with mentioning a trade / a comparison to Nomar circa 2004.

Meanwhile, the wounded Sox are sinking in the American League East.
This, after a mere week after jumping back on the bandwagon. This guy's shameless.