Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Carry That Weight - II(a)

With all the excitement of Hurricane Irene now past us, I stumbled upon Shank's latest CNN / SI offering. If you've read his August 15th Globe column on Wakefield, then you've already read the CNN / SI column.

Recycling is environmentally friendly!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Where's Waldo? II

Bob Ryan manages to crank out four Globe columns in the span of a week while Shank does one. Since I saw him on the Baseball Insiders yesterday, I doubt he's on another 'vacation'. Lazy as always?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sybil's Back!

Shank's month long hiatus from his CNN / SI gig ended today.
Brace yourself, NFL. It looks like Bill Belichick plans to come back from the lockout with guns blazing.


Playoff failure is a sore subject in Foxborough these days. While putting together some pretty nifty regular-season records, the Pats haven't gone anywhere in the tournament. Fact is, they haven't won a playoff game since the 2007 AFC Championship Game. This means that 13 teams -- the Seahawks, Jets, Ravens, Packers, Steelers, Bears, Cowboys, Cardinals, Colts, Vikings, Eagles, Chargers and Giants have all won playoff games since the last time Belichick and Brady won a playoff game.
Safe to say there's some obvious 'sampling' from today's Globe column (see below)?

About the Sybil comparison - why does Shank lack the balls to rip the Patriots in the CNN / SI columns, as he's free to do in the Globe columns?

There's A Fat Albert Joke Somewhere

My only question - what took Shank so damn long?

First, he calls a perfect season for the Patriots:
It looks like the 2011 Patriots are destined to be the greatest team in the history of football. This is going to be revenge for Glendale, Ariz., and don’t you forget it.

Tell Mercury Morris and friends to put away the champagne. Even though the Seahawks, Jets, Ravens, Packers, Steelers, Bears, Cowboys, Cardinals, Colts, Vikings, Eagles, Chargers, and Giants have all won playoff games in the four years since the Patriots last won a playoff game, it’s pretty clear that this is the best team ever.
And we know how Shank's predictions usually fare.

I wonder why Shank took this long to bitch about Albert Haynesworth?
Best of all, they have a secret - and we mean secret - weapon that is almost never seen, rarely practices, and is unlikely to be deployed in a preseason game. Don’t tell the Dolphins, but the Patriots plan to surprise them in the season opener Sept. 12 when they wheel out the great Albert Haynesworth.
Remember that Shank used up his quota of saying nice things about the Patriots for quite a while. This column makes it official:
The legion of Patriot sycophants constantly remind us that the Patriots never claim to be different from other organizations. That’s just a creation of the media, they say.

Wrong, fanboys. The Patriots regularly distance themselves from the rest of the league with comments like Kraft’s.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Misery Loves Company

The only time we get three Globe columns in a week from Shank nowadays is when there's something bad to write about.
Four losses in five games. Nine hits and three runs in 27 innings over two days at home against the Rays. David Ortiz is wearing a ski boot on his right foot and Carl Crawford is harder to find than Albert Haynesworth.

These three games marked the first time since 1974 that the Red Sox failed to get more than three hits in three consecutive games. They have gone five games without a double.

Is this a slump? Is it time to panic here in the hardball hub of the universe? Does anybody really care about finishing in first place anymore?
It's not time to panic yet - we'll wait until after the Royals series, then we'll panic!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Carry That Weight - II

As we wait for Tim Wakefield to earn his 200th major league win, Shank devotes a column to it, complete with cheesy alliteration, a Rolling Stones reference, and quoting a song lyric by The Band.

Nothing says 2011 like quoting bands that are older than dirt...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hybrid Column - Like A True Globie

Shank straddles the fine line between a normal worthless column and a picked up pieces column, a perfect piece when you're on a West Coast trip and a game column has no chance of meeting the dead tree deadline.
SEATTLE - Forgive me if there are any typographical errors in this column. I just shook hands with Wily Mo Pena and I’m now soaking my right mitt in a bucket of ice, hoping the feeling returns by the middle innings.

Wily Mo was called back up to the bigs last night by the Mariners and batted in the No. 5 spot against Josh Beckett at Safeco Field.
I did a double take myself when I saw him at the plate last night. Pena looks like one of the few former Red Sox players not vilified by Shank during or after his tenure with the team.

The second half of the column reads like your typical, semi-interesting picked up pieces column. My favorite nugget:
Tomorrow is the two-month anniversary of the Bruins’ Stanley Cup win. Sweet memory.
Yup - no bigger supporter of the Bruins than our man Shank...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Shank On Big Papi

Shank puts together a pretty good column on David Ortiz today. It covers Big Papi's career from the Dominican Summer League through the current year.

Remember when Big Papi was all done?

Is it me, or does Shank only write about any Red Sox road series when the Globe sends him there (and thus forced to write about them)?

I wonder how that Twitter thing's working out for him?

Monday, August 08, 2011

It Must Be "Be Nice To Your Boss Day"

Shank covers the last game of the Yankees / Red Sox series and spots Carlos Slim in the stands:
You never know who’s going to show up when the Yankees play the Red Sox.

Take last night, for example. ESPN game. Sox and Yankees tied for first place. Two of the top three payrolls in baseball. Baltimore-style humidity. Four hours and 15 minutes of hardball tension. A stunning, walkoff win by the Sox when Josh Reddick singled home pinch runner Darnell McDonald in the 10th. And who do we get hanging around the Sox clubhouse late in the afternoon?

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. The richest man in the world.

Go ahead, look him up. According to Forbes, in March of 2011 Carlos was worth something north of $74 billion.

Carlos loaned the New York Times $250 million in January of 2009, which the Times is soon to repay in full. Until the debt is settled, Slim is indirectly connected to Red Sox ownership. The Times still owns 7.3 percent of the Sox, so you might say Carlos has a piece of John Henry’s team.
For some strange reason, Shank forgets to mention that the New York Times still owns the Globe, which may explain why Shank's blowing smoke up his ass. That, and the NYT is paying 14 percent interest on that loan, which is one of the reasons that company's on financial life support.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

After Four Hours, Consult Your Physician

That's the first thing that came to mind after reading Shank's over the top praise for the Red Sox after beating the Yankees yesterday. The hyperbole is worthy of an Al Pacino movie.
Jacoby Ellsbury is the new Fred Lynn.
Seems like only yesterday when Shank was trashing Ellsbury like Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Manny Ramirez, Nomar Garciaparra, et. al.
Carl Crawford may not be Edgar Renteria, after all. John Lackey gets the ball in Game 3 of the playoffs.

Can we just fast-forward to the American League Championship Series?

Really. These Red Sox-Yankees games are great theater. Fox and ESPN are delighted that the kingpins are tied for the best record in the AL and scheduled to play another seven times in this 2011 regular season.

But I’m impatient. Enough with the overhyped regular-season jousts of yesterday and today. Can’t we just cut to the chase?

It’s been seven years, my friends. That’s right. Seven long years since the Red Sox and Yankees met in a playoff series. That was quite a memorable event; Boston’s biblical comeback from an 0-3 series deficit. It was better than any Stanley Cup, Super Bowl, or NBA Finals against the Lakers. Given the century of history and Sox frustration, coupled with the new millennium introductions of Alex Rodriguez and the Evil Empire, the Sox-Yankees ALCS of ’04 forever will be the greatest sports story ever told.
This is the first column that mentions Grady Little without Shank pissing on him. Throw in a Beatles reference, and it's your usual back on the bandwagon 'effort' by the Boston Globe's bravest columnist.

High praise, indeed...

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Group Hug, Everybody!

Shank's in Foxboro covering the patriots, and happens on Chad Ochocinco:
I still can’t get my arms around it.

The inimitable Chad Ochocinco, a man destined to make us forget about Bill Lee, Oil Can Boyd, Shaquille O’Neal, and every other free spirit who played for one of our teams, concluded his first Foxborough media session Saturday by suggesting a group hug involving himself and the assembled reporters.

“Before I go,’’ Ochocinco said after a mass interview on the side of the Gillette practice field, “I don’t know you guys - can I get a group hug, really quickly?’’
Shank goes on to tell some funny stories about other athlete / reporter, um, 'physical interactions'. This is one of Shank's better columns in a while, only if it's for things like this:
Our own Bud Collins probably wishes former Sox manager Pinky Higgins was a hugger. Higgins once smashed Bud’s face into a plate of beef Stroganoff.
I have a new favorite dish!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

A Lackey Lackey

The only memorable line in an otherwise straightforward column on Shank's pick for the third starter in the Division Series (that won't start for two months).
Sorry, but I’m a Lackey lackey. Granted, he was downright horrible at the start of this season. He’s got a ridiculous 6.23 ERA. But have faith. Mike Scioscia did. Lackey won the seventh game of the World Series for the Angels when he was a rookie in 2002. Lackey’s ERA in seven ALDS games is 2.40. His career ERA in four ALCS games is 3.70.
It's interesting to note Shank's attitude towards newly acquired pitcher Erik Bedard:
We’re all anxiously awaiting Bedard’s first words to the Boston media (kind of like Albert Haynesworth, minus the rap sheet). Without setting foot in town, Bedard has been portrayed as a guy with the big-game toughness of Matt Young and the disposition of Sean Penn. Maybe he can bring Nomar’s red “line of death’’ back to the Sox clubhouse.

It’s a bit much, actually. Bedard might be the first player run out of town before he gets to town. Even police-blotter Haynesworth didn’t get crushed like this before he joined the team.
And who would know best about running a player out of town than our resident fifth degree black belt in the art, Shank Shaughnessy?

UPDATE, at 8:45 PM - Gerry Callahan does the research on Erik Bedard Shank can't / won't.

Monday, August 01, 2011

The End Of An Era?

No, I'm not talking about Randy Moss' retirement, although I think that's the strong horse candidate for his next Globe hit piece column.

I'm talking about the lack of recent CNN / SI columns. I couldn't find any rumors / scuttlebutt through a Google search, but truth be told, in Shank-like fashion, I didn't exactly search long and hard for it!

From early November 2009 to mid-July of this year, Shank had a CNN / SI column every Monday, and two (!) on April 19, 2010, when Shank proudly yanked his meat waxed ecstatic about how awesome a sports city Boston is. Maybe with the recent "Shank, thou shalt tweet" order from on high in the Globe management structure, he can't do that gig anymore. Which is too bad, as his CNN / SI articles are far superior to his Globe columns. That, and if this Twitter page is for real, Shank tweeting is laughably banal and insipid, much like, well, you know...