Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shank On The NBA Finals

Shank's weekly CNN / SI column focuses on Dirk Nowitzki and LeBron James, who start the NBA Finals tonight. Well trodden ground is covered; one of these players needs a ring to vaunt themselves into discussions of the greatest players of all time. And Shank manages to do this without a reference to baseball players. Amazing!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Shank Talks To #4

Shank talks to Bobby Orr a day after the Bruins get into the Stanley Cup. It's a good article for two reasons - Bobby does most of the talking, and Shank does not.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pond Hockey Warriors?

I'm not sure where Shank gets all of his cheap, stupid cliches, but they're all present in this lame, lame column.
This is the reward for those who have waited; all you pond hockey warriors, mayors of Hockeytown, and folks who lived through too many men on the ice and last spring’s epic fold against the Flyers.
Anyone want to invest in Nathan Horton’s Donuts?
There has to be a way for Mayor Tom Menino to take credit for this High Renaissance of Boston sports.
Hub Hockey Krishnas have schooled their young on a 39-year Cup drought, which is encroaching on territory formerly occupied by citizens of Red Sox Nation.
And what Shank hockey article is complete with a baseball reference?
It was perhaps the best dual shutout since Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal went 16 innings in 1963.
Dan Shaughnessy - redefining awful...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Back To Earth

Shank's seventh hockey themed column of 2011 was a lot less hyperbolic than yesterday's column. While realistic Bruins fans knew for months that their power play was, to put it mildly, lacking, Shank barely acknowledges this fact.
The last time most of us actually saw the Stanley Cup was in 2001, when Ray Bourque, who toiled 21 seasons for the Bruins, brought it here from Colorado to remind us what it looks like.


Believe it or not, some Bruins fans like it better this way. There were folks in Boston yesterday who were saying they’d rather see the Bruins drop Game 6 and come home for a Friday night Game 7 to advance to the Stanley Cup finals.

Back in 2004, there were arrogant New York fans content to see the Yankees lose Games 4 and 5 of the American League Championship Series at Fenway Park so they could come home and win it at Yankee Stadium. How’d that work out for them?
You know Shank's about to bail on a local pro sports team when he refers to them as...
No Teddy Bear Picnic this time. Your Bruins tomorrow will be lugging decades of pressure onto the ice.
The rest of the column is generally a game recap, the usual paint-by-numbers closing for the typical Shank column.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Bandwagon Columnist

Sensing that the Boston Bruins are one win away from a Stanley Cup Finals appearance, Shank lays it on thick. My only surprise is that he hasn't broken the axles on the bandwagon, jumping up & down so hard.

He writes this sentence, seemingly without a hint of irony:
Local sport media big shots who have dissed the Bruins for a couple of decades are going to have to take a crash course in Hockey 101.
Finish the column with non-hockey references (Tampa's coach is "Belichickian", our coach is Grady Julien) and appearances by Ringo Starr and Archie Bunker, and you have the template for the Shank Bandwagon ColumnTM.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Goin' Gonzo

Shank's weekly CNN / SI column takes a longer look at Adrian Gonzalez. Shank chats him up as a potential Triple Crown threat:
There were stormy days in Boston when the Red Sox were outbid in the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes three and a half years ago. Sox bosses John Henry and Larry Lucchino visited the free agent slugger's home during the offseason, then said they felt deceived and used by Teixeira and agent, Scott Boras. The Boston brass was ripped and ridiculed (by Shank, natch - Ed.) when Teixeira wound up with the Yankees. It got worse when the Yankees went on to win the 2008 World Series.

Here we are in the early part of the 2011 season and Boston fans are suddenly OK with the guy they have at first base. After playing in all of Boston's 46 games, Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .342 with nine homers and a MLB-best 41 RBIs. He poses a threat to win baseball's first Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski turned the trick in the magical summer of 1967. At Fenway, Gonzalez might be a better fit than Teixeira.
And just when you thought Yo Adrian had been mercifully retired...
Fans can't get enough of Yo Adrian's sweet left-handed stroke.
The rest of the column redeems the gratuitous Stallone quote.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Apocalypse Now

With the Chicago Cubs coming to town, Shank devotes today's column to all things Boston - Chicago. Of course there's a Grady Little cheap shot, but for some reason passes on shots to Nomar, Schilling & Claude Julien, but it's a pleasant change of pace, even for one column.

Be sure to check out Shank's Twitter page!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kid Gloves

Another Bruins win, another Shank column pretending to be interested in hockey. Shank gets carried away talking about Tyler Seguin and compares coach Claude Julien to Grady Little. You can't have a next to useless Shank column without a tangential Red Sox reference or two, can you?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Father Time

It figures that Shank finds a way to criticize older professional athletes in a respectful manner in his weekly CNN / SI column.

NEW YORK -- I was in Miami last week when the Miami Heat dusted off the old Boston Celtics. The Celts had been hoping that 39-year-old Shaquille O'Neal would rescue their thirtysomething stars, but Shaq never got on track. After contributing early in the season, O'Neal succumbed to leg injuries. After Feb. 1, he played in only three games -- never more than six minutes.

When it was over, Cedric Maxwell, once an NBA Finals MVP, looked at the final stat sheet and said, "Father Time wins again."

I thought of the Old Man and the C's when I got to New York for the weekend series featuring the Red Sox and the Yankees. The Sox swept the Yankees, but the big story in the Bronx was the Posada Adventure.
There's nothing wrong with mentioning this fact. What is wrong is the apparent glee with which Shank writes a few dozen Celtics columns over the past few years mentioning their collective age ad nauseum, like something to bludgeon them with. The other difference(s) - this column exudes a certain amount of respect for Posada. I fail to see this same level of respect with any consistency applied to any local athletes (exclude Adrian Gonzalez - I think you need at least 6 months on Shank's radar screen to be graded), and you'd think he might find room for praise elsewhere. I just find it interesting that Shank finds the time to hype a New York Yankee and next to no one else. Not saying I'm surprised, mind you...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Settle Down, Beavis

We already knew from yesterday's column that Shank's back on the Red Sox bandwagon. Further confirmation is provided in today's column. How do you know for sure?
NEW YORK — Finally .500.

We are one-quarter of the way through the season and The Best Team Ever has won as many games as it has lost.
The column's tone is awfully giddy for a team simply breaking even.

Let's not have one piece of disingenuous writing go unchallenged:
A Hub tabloid declared them “Best Team Ever.’’
Shank did everything except use that exact phrase when declaring the Red Sox 'for real', etc. Nice try, though!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bandwagon Dan, Back On Board

All Aboard!
NEW YORK — You’ve got to like the way this is going. We’re seeing a team on the way up against a team on a southbound train.

The Red Sox thrashed the Yankees in the Bronx last night, 6-0. That means the Sox are 4-1 against the Bombers this year. And tonight we’re looking at Jon Lester on the mound for Boston while Freddy Garcia toes the slab for the unraveling Yanks.

Did I mention that the Yankees are in disarray? New York has lost four straight. The Yanks can’t hit with runners in scoring position. And with Jorge Posada refusing to play last night, they are on the brink of mutiny. It’s almost like the good old days when George and Billy and Reggie went toe-to-toe-to-toe. But those guys were champions. The 2011 Yankees are playing like chumps. Happy Day.

Meanwhile, your Red Sox are coming up on the quarter-mark of an underwhelming season and look like they might finally be getting straight. Tonight they have a chance to climb to .500 for the first time. Josh Beckett smothered the Yanks last night with six shutout innings (nine strikeouts) and Adrian Gonzalez hit his eighth homer since May 3, a three-run shot off CC Sabathia that sealed the game in the seventh.
Shank works in yet another dig at Nomar:
In some ways it was reminiscent of that fateful night in 2004 when Nomar Garciaparra said he couldn’t play for the Red Sox. It turned into a dramatic, extra-inning affair, highlighted by Derek Jeter diving into the stands while Nomar sat and pouted on the Sox bench. Nomie raised his hand for duty in overtime, but Terry Francona wasn’t having it. That was the night the Sox knew they had to trade Garciaparra.
Stay classy (and bitter)!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sketchy Details

Shank gives a straightforward recap of last night's Sox / Yankees game. The Big Galoot makes an appearance in the column, as do Big Baby (Colon, not Glen Davis) and Yo Adrian. Shank also gets a date wrong (Colon won the Cy Young in 2005, not 1995).

Other than that, it's a decent column...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

And Now It's Over

I'll sum up Shank's column in one sentence - The Celtics are out of the playoffs because they're an old team. Which isn't a news flash - Shank mentions it nearly every single time he's written about the Celtics over the last three years.

P.S. - Missed this column on Rajon Rondo, and this freakin' piece of work from Tuesday. Let me sum that latter column for you:

Blah blah blah - The Celtics are old - blah blah blah.
This is perfect column fodder for Shank; old team, bleak future - great Shank columns!

Monday, May 09, 2011

What A Difference A Game Makes

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Dan Shaughnessy a) absolutely sucks at making predictions and b) shows little, if any, consistency in what passes for analysis when attempting to make these predictions. You'd think someone who has followed professional basketball for thirty years would learn from that vast reservoir of experience. You'd be oh, so wrong...

As a result, we get two massively contradictory columns. Five days ago the Miami Heat is winning the series with the Boston Celtics, 2 - 0, and what does Shank proclaim? Get the shovels out - Celtics are done.

Returning to the Garden, the Boston Celtics win Game 3 two days ago, and what's the opinion now? Probably the greatest freakin' series EVAH!

Fans of this site may be aware that I rarely use this forum in attempt to lecture Shank directly, as such criticism is routinely dismissed by dead tree types as 'fanboy, basement dwelling bloggers' and other such ad hominem substitutes for refutation of the criticisms presented. But how is a rational Globe columnist logically able to defend this pirouette? I strongly emphasize the word 'logically'.

Naturally, in true Shank fashion, he leaves himself an out:
Old NBA Axiom No. 101 holds that a playoff series doesn't start until the road team wins a game.
I'll check you guys in an hour with the update (time stamp at posting - 8:39 PM).

Update at 10:04 PM - Heat win, Shank still sucks, in my book...

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Missed Business

My general routine is to check this page every morning so I don't miss any nuggets of wisdom from the Boston Globe's ace sports columnist. This morning I was expecting a 180 column from Wednesday's column declaring the Celtics as dead meat.

For whatever reason, this column showed up this morning, and after reading it, none of us missed anything. Shank harps on and on and on about last year's collapse at the hands of these same Flyers, but at least he's consistent in his negativity.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

White Heat

The Boston Celtics are down, two games to none, to the Miami Heat in the NBA's Eastern Conference semifinals. It's a great time for Shank to bury the Celtics.
MIAMI — I hate to say it, but this looks very much like the passing of the torch in NBA East.
How do you really know Shank has given up on a local sports team?
Your Boston Celtics have been as signed the job of upholding truth, justice, and the American way of team success.
At least we have the comfort of Shank's shaky track record on predictions, so we got that going for us...

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Time For Some More Boston Globe Bashing

The Boston Globe has successfully rearranged the deck chairs on the Titanic:
The Boston Globe is the 25th-largest Monday-through-Friday paper and the 20th-largest Sunday paper, according to the latest figures released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Both the Globe and the Boston Herald continue to slide. And the Wall Street Journal enjoys the largest Monday-through-Friday circulation nationally, while the New York Times is tops on Sunday.

Locally, the most interesting news is that the Globe’s circulation has stabilized following a huge plunge between 2009 and 2010, which followed significant price increases. Those increases have reportedly improved the paper’s bottom line, but have left the Globe with a much smaller subscriber base.

The Globe’s paid Sunday circulation for the six-month period ending on March 31, 2011, was 356,652, down 22,297, or 5.9 percent, over the six-month period ending on March 31, 2010. The Monday-through-Friday picture was similar: 219,214 in the most recent reporting period, down 13,218, or 5.7 percent.

By contrast, the Globe’s circulation figures for the six months ending on March 31, 2009, were 466,661 on Sunday and 302,638 Monday through Friday, meaning that Sunday circulation last year was down 18.8 percent over the previous year, and Monday-through-Friday circulation was down 23.2 percent.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Talent In South Beach

Shank's weekly CNN / SI column focuses on Dwayne Wade's awesome game against the Celtics yesterday. It's another solid column that, once again, stands out in contrast to many half-assed Globe columns.