Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Wrapping

Shank emerges after a one week absence to write about the Celtics' first game of the year. It's a pretty good column until he interjects yet another Red Sox reference in a non-Red Sox piece:
What is it about headphones and ownership guilt? When the 2011 Chicken-and-Beer Red Sox complained about playing a late-season day-night doubleheader, they were treated to a night on John Henry’s yacht and a complimentary set of headphones. The gesture was widely mocked. So what are we to make of the NBA trying to show some sweetness after a 161-day lockout that cut each player’s 2011-12 salary by 19.5 percent?
What is it about Shank and the Red Sox?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dan Shaughnessy, The Ultimate Hypocrite?

Before I begin - am I being fair or unfair with this post?

Dan Shaughnessy on accused child molester Jerry Sandusky (or rather, Sandusky's former connection with the Penn State football program):
Penn State should cancel the rest of its football season.


Legendary coach Joe Paterno and school president Graham B. Spanier were fired by the Board of Trustees late Wednesday night, and these same officials would do well to take the next step and announce the cancellation of the remainder of Penn State’s football season, starting with tomorrow’s “big game’’ against Nebraska.

Then send pink slips to everyone working on the football staff.

It’s time to start over, folks. This has gone on far too long already.

Shank, on accused child molester (and fellow baseball writer) Bill Conlin:
Read it for yourself. I believe the same level of information is / was available for both Sandusky & Conlin, but Shank fails to mount his high horse on a fellow baseball writer. I wonder why that is?

Monday, December 19, 2011

DHL Dan - IX

When we get back-to-back columns from Shank, the second one tends to be of lesser quality than the first. On that scale, Shank comes through.
DENVER - Leave it to the Patriots to ruin things for everybody else.

Sports fans of America yesterday turned their eyes toward this stadium one mile above sea level, hoping to see another miracle; a burning bush, a football Fatima, perhaps 80,000 fans feasting on a few fishes and loaves.

No. There was no Tebow Time this time. Instead, we witnessed another routine execution by the brutal New England assassins who’ve ruled the AFC East in nine of the past 11 seasons.

Patriots 41, Broncos 23. Praise the Lord and pass the humble pie.
Over the top, cliche ridden and chock full of lame song lyrics - the definitive Shank column, everyone!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Shank turns into a holy roller for this column.
DENVER - Holy cow. Holy Toledo. Holy smokes. Holy water. Holy holiday. Holy Any Given Sunday of Obligation.
The rest of the column is readable, believe it or not...

Friday, December 16, 2011

And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - IV

Presiding over the decline of a company in a near-obsolete industry can be quite rewarding:
The New York Times Company (parent company of the Boston Globe - Ed.) today abruptly announced that its 61-year-old chief executive officer, Janet Robinson, will leave at the end of the year, with no permanent successor lined up.

An SEC filing says Ms. Robinson will get $4.5 million plus health insurance for a 12-month retirement and consulting agreement, including "two-year non-competition, non-solicitation and non-disparagement covenants, a three-year cooperation covenant and an indefinite confidentiality covenant."

The Times itself reported that Ms. Robinson's pay in 2009 was $4.9 million, so she'll earn almost as much as a retired consultant as as a full-time CEO.

The handy investment calculator on the Times corporate Web site shows that $10,000 invested in NYT stock the day Ms. Robinson took over as CEO, on December 27, 2004, would be worth $1,855.14 today, a decline of 81.45%. The price of the stock went from $40.59 when she took over to $7.53 today, and though some dividends were paid out early in her tenure as CEO, the dividend has since been suspended.

It's all almost enough to be grist for one of those angry New York Times editorials or business section columns about executives whose outsized pay bears no relation to performance. In this case, the board hasn't fired the chairman, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., whose family controls the board and the company through a special class of stock. Ms. Robinson could perhaps argue that she earned her pay by serving as someone outside the family for the family to blame for the poor performance.

Which do you think accounts for more of the $4.5 million, the non-competition covenant or the non-disparagement covenant? Mark your calendar for two years from now when the non-disparagement agreement expires.
I have December 16, 2013 marked on my calendar. I'm looking forward to some December fireworks!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


The things you miss when you're at a tax seminar. I wonder if this was reported in the Boston Globe?
Sam Shaughnessy, who as a star outfielder in high school was the subject of father Dan's book Senior Year, then played a year of college ball at BC, was arrested last Friday in Brookline, Mass. The charges: disorderly conduct, assault and battery on a police officer, and resisting arrest.

According to Wicked Local Brookline, Sam Shaughnessy approached police as they were making another arrest. Police say he appeared drunk (it was late morning!) and was bleeding from his knuckles and leg.

UPDATE at 8:45 AM - Answer to the above question is no. I'm shocked...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Swing And A Miss

I thought I had Shank's next column pegged with the previous post. I was thinking Shank would zig when instead he zagged and instead climbed aboard the Rob Gronkowski bandwagon:
LANDOVER, Md. - Twenty-two-year-old tight end Rob Gronkowski has emerged as everybody’s favorite Patriot. Sure, that guy Brady’s OK, but Gronk is the man-child who catches everything, sheds tacklers like he’s dusting dandruff off his shoulders, and gets to the end zone more than any tight end in NFL history.

I say it’s because of his neck. You’ve never seen a guy with a neck like this. Must be tough buying shirts.
A decent column ensues, even by Shank's low standards. This paragraph stuck out for me:
We are 13 games into this Patriots season and we know so little about the local 11. They are 10-3 and every other quarterback in the conference seems to be hurt or awful, but it’s hard to have good feelings about New England’s playoff prospects. There’s no running game, the defense lacks talent and depth, and they never put together a solid 60 minutes.
Maybe I'm nitpicking just a bit, but isn't the first sentence contradicted by the third? I think anyone watching the Patriots play this season would have drawn the same conclusion two months ago.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Missing In Action

We've not had a column from Shank in almost a week. Here's a guess on the topic of his next epic work:
Manny Ramirez has officially been reinstated from the voluntary retirement list by Major League Baseball, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney on Saturday morning.
Right in his wheelhouse, wouldn't you say?

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Zero Horsepower

For those of us that watch professional football at any level of interest, Shank states the obvious: The Colts are not good this year. Shank feigns disinterest in the game, telling us he'll be taking a nap instead. As you'd expect with any half-assed Shank column, it is chock full of Shankisms, like "the immortal Dan Orlovsky" and "the immortal Kenneth “Gameday" Sims", a mention of the Red Sox ("The Colts without Manning have folded up like the September Red Sox."), the “18-12 Overture", and a mention of Indy's stadium, known to Shank as the "Lucas Oil (Can Boyd) Stadium". The only thing missing from the column is a Beatles or Springsteen song lyric.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Glowing Words, Indeed

Shank celebrates the arrival of Bobby Valentine as the 45th manager of the Boston Red Sox. Why is it that almost every single person reporting on this hiring has to mention he's the 45th manager? Is there something unique with the number 45 that I haven't picked up on?

A straightforward recap of Valentine's career and the people involved in the decision are mentioned in the first part of the column. The words 'John Henry' and 'Liverpool' are now destined to be combined in the same sentence whenever Shank takes a shot at mentions John Henry. Shank should open a new toy store - "Cheap Shots 'R Us".
Swell stuff. So good, so good, so good. Boston baseball’s winter of defection and discord was badly in need of this Sweet Caroline moment.
Forget the fact that it's not even winter yet (I know, poetic license and all that), but what better way is there to kill a column's momentum then the obligatory lame lyric mention - Sweet Caroline, a unique combination of banal pedestrian boredom, death by overplay, and Shank's seal of approval. It's a triple play!

Remember all that bitching and moaning Shank did over the past two months, trashing the process & everyone involved?
It doesn’t really matter now anyway.
That's convenient, isn't it? Do you think Shank will remember that sentiment when the Sox hit their first five game losing streak?

Thursday, December 01, 2011