Monday, December 24, 2012

The Four Horsemen Were All Named Larry Bird

The CHB consumes 783 words to regurgitate one of the most cliched and trite punchlines of 2012: the "end" of the Mayan calendar.*

From the Tricky Dick Nixon opening to the "no tomorrow" close, the entire column is one huge cliche, which, of course, is The CHB's lame attempt at a joke.

But the lesson, other than that the CHB, given 23 years to come up with something original for this piece,** failed miserably (surprise!), is that when his mendacity intertwines with his amateurish comedy, mendacity wins every time. What a shock.

The other sad truth is, it may take the end of the world to finally rid us of the crap Shaughnessy peddles each week.

*Shaughnessy's entire column rests on the widely discredited notion that the so-called "end" of the calendar meant the apocalypse is upon us. Unfortunately for Shank, we've been reading about that misapprehension for at least a year. One wonders if he still tells knock-knock jokes around the office.
**Speaking of unoriginal, chalk up another Larry Bird sighting.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Season's Bleatings

Since the prophecies of the Mayans have proven false, we are treated to more Dan Shaughnessy columns. In this case we are revisiting Shank's dumbest column of the year as one of the year's fifty worst, selected by David Wagner at the Atlantic Wire.
Dan Shaughnessy in The Boston Globe on blood-lusting bloggers You know those awful fans who cheer when an athlete on the other team gets injured? That's basically what bloggers do for a living, according to Dan Shaughnessy. Oh, and their responsible for such taunts, too. "It is about fanboy bloggers who kill everyone and everything under the brave cloak of anonymity," he writes.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Trouble with History

Oh this is precious.

The CHB takes a break from flip-flopping on the NFL to weigh in on the 2013 baseball season. Never mind that this is still 2012, but what the hey!

And yes, per usual, Shank trots out all the tired history of the Red Sox' last-place finishes. Must be exhausting spending all that time cutting and pasting from Wikipedia  each day.

And then the CHB lays into the acquisitions. While he can't quite call the Sox cheap, the implication is clear. What Mr. Wikihistory can't seem to recall, however, is how similar the Red Sox of 2013 are starting to look to the Red Sox of 2003.  Kevin Millar was a Marlins reject who we stole from Japan. The Opening Day DH was the "other" Giambi. The immortal Todd Walker was at second. Trot Nixon was coming off a down year where he hit just .256. Bill Mueller was a Cubs castoff who had his .262 in the weaker league the year before. And some slob columnist was calling new pickup David Ortiz a  "giant sack of you-know-what" before he had even stepped on the field.

So once more, we recap Shank's less-than-brilliant Sox forecasts:
  • Like in 2003, when he wrote the Red Sox will win the World Series. (They didn't.)
  • And in July 2004, when he wrote the Red Sox won't win the World Series. (They did.)
  • And in September 2009, when he wrote "It feels like the Red Sox are going to the World Series." (They didn't.) 
  • And in September 2011, when he wrote "It is not 1978.  (It was.)

That team made it to the seventh game of the ALCS, and then won the whole shebang the next year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Head in the Air

For at least the fourth time in the past month (and who knows how many more on the vomit-inducing Dan Shaughnessy Show?), The CHB determines that wins and losses in the NFL come down to who wins the opening coin flip.


Then he contradicts himself within almost successive paragraphs, first writing

"[The 49ers] ignored the league-wide memo that urges all Patriot opponents to wet their pants at the sight of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. They did not forget everything they knew. They did not do stupid things...."

And following that with

"The plain truth is the Niners could have led, 44-3 when it was 31-3. They fumbled inside the Patriot 10. Colin Kaepernick overthrew one of his receivers who had beaten the coverage. They missed a 39-yard field goal."

Oh yes, and whining about fawning fanboys and proclaiming he's the only guy in town who looks at the Patriots objectively, he reiterates his preseason prediction that the Pats are Super Bowl bound.


Monday, December 17, 2012

All Drewn Up

How long until The CHB makes snide and unfounded comparisons between Stephen Drew and his brother (and ex Red Sox RF) J.D.?

Our guess is, the bitterness rises even before the ink is dry on a Sox contract with Drew the Younger.

Shank will probably even compare him to Eddie Bird.

Friday, December 14, 2012

All In

In today's column, Shank continues his I Heart The Patriots Tour.
Tom Brady knows.

You could hear it when he spoke after Monday night’s 42-14 beatdown of the previously 11-1 Houston Texans. And again Wednesday.

Brady knows this is the year. He knows that this Patriots team has an opportunity to finish what the 2007 team and the 2011 team started. The 2012 Patriots have positioned themselves to win Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3 at the Superdome in New Orleans.
Shank fills out the column with the obligatory man crush fluff:
He looked truly happy.

Why not? Tom Brady is the personification of “Living the Dream.’’ He has two healthy sons and a newborn daughter. He is better looking than George Clooney, has more money than Jay Gatsby, and is married to the highest-earning model in the world.

He can pull off anything. Who else could promote men’s UGG boots and live to talk about it?

Mark Wahlberg — another guy who Has It All — visited the Patriots’ sideline before Monday night’s rout. Marky Mark is wealthy, famous, accomplished, and has a picture-perfect family. He was “The Fighter.’’ He invented “Entourage.’’ He is the executive producer of “Boardwalk Empire,’’ one of the best television series of all time.

And like everybody else, Mark Wahlberg wishes he was Tom Brady.
You'd think some people would be embarassed writing shit like that last sentence. You'd also think some people would be embarassed with the obviously transparent jump on the bandwagon in the midst of a winning streak when it was less than a month ago he was finding fault with the Patriots in any manner possible.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shank Nails It

The New England Patriots won handily last night, 42 - 14, a result that concerns DSW commenter Monkeesfan:
Shank will become more insufferable now because he nailed this one - the Texans got crushed 42-14.
Lo and behold, the Boston sports columnist who hijacked the bandwagon.
Patriots look like they’re heading to Super Bowl

FOXBOROUGH — The Falcons don’t scare me a bit. The Niners could provide some resistance and we’ll get a look at them this weekend. But if you really want to know the truth, the team that scares me in Super Bowl XLVII is the . . . New York Giants.

Sorry for the buzzkill. But the Giants are on my mind today.

The Patriots are going to play in the Super Bowl Feb. 3 in New Orleans. Nobody in the AFC is better than New England. Not this year.
Insufferable is pretty apt here; the only thing missing is a few 'sons of Belichick' Shankisms to put it over the top.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Is Shank Trolling Us?

One line only from today's column:
The Patriots are going to win their “Monday Night Football” game against the Texans, and they are going to dominate.
Why would he say something like that? Granted, the Patriots have five blowout wins this year - at Tennessee, at Buffalo, the London game versus Saint Louis, versus Indianapolis and the Jets game a fortnight ago. I'm pretty sure the Texans are playing better football than those teams. I'm not saying it won't happen but it's not likely.

I think this is a setup for a pissy column tomorrow if the Patriots lose, nothing more. All that from one sentence. I'll ask Mike if I can change the masthead to 'We barely read him so you don't have to.'

Friday, December 07, 2012

The Terry Francona Project

The former Red Sox manager's book will be out next month. You may know that Our Man Shank is the book's co-writer.
When he wasn't on the "Baseball Tonight" set, Francona, along with Dan Shaughnessy, wrote a book about his eight seasons in Boston. It's scheduled to come out in January.

"I hope people want to buy it," he said with a laugh. "It's eight years of a lot of funny [stories], some emotional [stories], a couple sad things. Dan busted his rear end on this thing. First of all, the fact that me and him were together doing it was a shock to me (you are not alone, Tito - Ed.). First time I picked him up, I told him, 'You have to black out the windows because I don't want people to see me driving you around.' I had a year I could do it because under normal circumstances you can't do it. It ended up being kind of fun.

"I think for the most part, if somebody ends up being bent out of shape, that was not ever the intent. It was just to tell the story and I hope people take it that way because I think it's a really good story."
This marks the second time today I read a sentence about Shank that I never thought I would read. I think it's time to start drinking heavily, for the Apocalypse is upon us!

Looking Good?

It looks like I jumped the gun on Shank a few days ago. Today's column summarizes the recent efforts by the Red Sox to change their roster for the 2013 season. Since I generally don't give a rat's ass about baseball, I will avoid weighing in on each acquisition and potential trade rumors (i.e., Lester and Ellsbury), but will instead point out 'interesting' parts of the column.
That’s right, people. This nattering nabob of negativity is happy to see the Red Sox overpaying for the likes of Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes, and David Ross (there’s no truth to the rumor that I just made up Ben Cherington was walking about Nashville saying, “three-year, $39 million contracts for everybody!”).
Shank has no problem with the perceived overspending now; he'll be singing a different tune if / when the Sox hit their first serious losing streak. He's on the bandwagon now; will he be riding shotgun in early June?
These new faces are believed to be “character” guys. Victorino, Napoli, and Gomes are legitimate big-league ballplayers who have played on the biggest stage. They represent an improvement over the people in the pitiful lineups submitted by goofball Bobby Valentine in September 2012.
Shank just loves goofballs. Or used to...
Do I care that the Sox overpaid for Messrs. Napoli and Victorino? Do I care that the Sox gave David Ortiz a two-year contract (a.k.a. lifetime achievement award) when Ortiz had no bidders for his services? Not a bit. It’s not my money.
Did you ever think Shank would ever write that last sentence? Me neither.
Building for the future. There’s the issue. If the Red Sox are building for the future, they should be all about scouting and player development. They should admit that they will be terrible this year and get on with their future. They should save their money for better free agent classes.

But it’s hard to do this in Boston.
Mainly because of nattering nabobs of negativity like Shank, who will shit on the Red Sox players, managment and ownership at the drop of a hat.

Allen on Shank

Bruce Allen over at Boston Sports Media Watch has taken aim at The CHB's rerunning the same worn-out insults about the Patriots.

Read it here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Early Lump Of Coal

"Let's see... five columns in the past two weeks... can't rag on Bill Belichick, too obvious... Can't do a whole column about Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino or other recent Red Sox news; that's too much work... Gotta get something out there...

I got it! I'll do another picked up peices column! Brilliant!"
Picked-up pieces while waiting for the Patriots to defer after they win the coin toss Monday night . . .
Where have we heard the coin toss line before?
All that said, Miller’s contribution to baseball’s plague of the late 1990s (and beyond) — a.k.a. “the steroid era” — cannot be understated. Nobody fought drug testing harder than Miller. In his view, it was a violation of civil liberties. Most important, it was a bargaining chip (Miller also had some kooky Bill James-like ideas that there was nothing wrong with PEDs). Miller’s place in sports history is eternal, but he gets a big slice of the blame pie for the steroids mess.
How about baseball writers and sports columnists that didn't write jack shit about it the whole time? Using that logic, don't you guys get the rest of the 'blame pie'?
I love the Red Sox’ acquisition of Mike Napoli, but like a lot of Sox watchers of a certain age, the rhetoric around the new slugger reminds me of the Danny Cater deal. A legendary “Fenway hitter” and Sox killer, Cater was acquired by the Sox for lefthanded reliever Sparky Lyle after the 1971 season. Over three seasons in Boston, Cater hit .262, averaging 5 homers and 27 RBIs. Lyle went on to win the Cy Young Award for the 1977 Yankees.
You heard it here first - Napoli will be the next Carl Crawford.
Sports Illustrated’s magazine sales will not spike in Cleveland when they see LeBron James on the cover as “Sportsman of the Year.’’
Way to go out on a limb there...
How’s this for obscenity? Head football coaching changes at five SEC schools — Mississippi, Texas A&M, Auburn, Kentucky, and Tennessee — will cost an aggregate $26.85 million in buyout payments. Auburn, which has dumped two coaches since 2008, is on the hook for more than $12 million. This is another reason I’m proud that I don’t live in a big-time college football town. Take that, Brother Ryan.
First off - why should Shank care what a school does with its money? Second, Shank loves to remind people that Boston's not a big-time college football town unless it suits his purposes.

Read the rest, if you dare.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Flipping over the Pats

Yesterday the CHB called the AFC East "lame-o" and said the contest pitting the Patriots and the Dolphins would be over at the coin flip.

Today he says he says we take the Patriots for granted. "We are spoiled. A win, even when it clinches a division title/playoff spot, isn’t good enough anymore."

At least he dragged himself away from the buffet and free beer long enough to change his mind on that, because the rest of the piece is a cut-and-paste from Sunday's column.

Oh, the life of the flipper.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Cold Blooded in Miami

 The CHB commits some 874 words to set up the Patriots for a smackdown should they lose today in Miami.

The tripe piece is a long-winded complaint about the Patriots' decade-long dominance of the AFC East.

Per usual, it is littered with references to people and teams completely unrelated to the matter at hand: Shaquille O’Neal, Red Auerbach, the Boston Bruins, the Boston Garden, the Boston Celtics, the Red Sox, and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. And like all CHB mail-ins, there's the run-through of an assortment of unrelated statistics and a near-biography of anyone on the Dophins with a tie to the Boston area.
Once again, instead of appreciating the extended stretch of excellence, Shaughnessy has to belittle the accomplishment. One almost forgets he predicted the Pats to make the Super Bowl this year. Aren't they supposed to roll over their opponents?

And after all the snark of today's column (which should be titled "Another Shaughnessy mail-in? Ho-hum"), should the Patriots get upset, expect The CHB to be front and center Monday with a piece that utterly dismisses the team's playoff chances.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Alexandra 'Sasha' McHale

Shank's latest column talks about the recent passing of 'Sasha' McHale, Kevin McHale's daughter. Full article is at the link.

Monday, November 26, 2012

You're Fired!

After four years on the job and this season's 2 - 10 record, Boston College football coach Frank Spaziani gets shitcanned. Shank takes the predictable parochial route while pretending to care about the former coach.
We are old people who mail handwritten letters and make phone calls while the rest of the world sends e-mails and texts.
Correction - you are an old person using snail mail and rotary phones, so speak for yourself.
We are English-speaking tourists, dropped into a city square in Sicily, trying to understand what everyone is saying. We are sports-crazed Bostonians, blissfully unaware why the rest of the country makes such a big deal out of college football. Boston College, the only Division 1 program in Greater Boston, fired its football coach on Sunday. After four disappointing seasons, bottoming out with this year’s 2-10 bomb, Frank Spaziani was relieved of his duties by new athletic director Brad Bates.
This one's buried behind the Great Globe Paywall, so my guess is that we're not missing much...

Thursday, November 22, 2012


As traditional as turkey and football, today's Shanksgiving column is designed to make you believe he's not the asshole he usually is during the rest of the season.
If the lion sleeps tonight, it’s probably because he ate too much tryptophan.


But football owns Thanksgiving — especially in Massachusetts, where just about every high school plays its final regular-season game this morning.

The first Thanksgiving was in 1621 at Plymouth Plantation, just a few miles from where Plymouth North (3-6) will play Plymouth South (7-3) at 10 a.m.
Et cetera, ad nauseum. Somehow it's always about Massachusetts, but you knew that already.

You also knew Monday's column was written not to disprove the notion that Shank's a lazy columnist. He is; that was his first column in eleven days. It was written for one purpose only - to leverage Gronkowski's forearm break in order to take shots at Bill Belichick, and nothing else. Mike's post below amply demonstrates this. Today's column is an annual, disingenuous staple written in order to lull the reader into believing there's a compassionate side to Dan Shaughnessy. Poppycock.

Tomorrow's column, or non-column, will prove the theorem; if the Patriots win, no column will be written unless something happens in that game that allows Shank to take one or more shots at Belichick and / or owner Robert Kraft. If the Patriots lose, all fucking hell will break loose.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Whiner's Lines

The CHB is all in a huff today because the Patriots aren't ... well, they aren't something.

First it's that Rob Gronkoswki was playing near the end of a blowout victory. "Gronk didn’t need to be on the field and the grid god got even, breaking the bone of New England’s Sub Zero superstar," sayeth His Shankness.

Oh, but it seems anyone who actually knows something about, you know, football defended the decison:

  • "Jeff Saturday was my right guard on the PAT team, and I'd never think of taking him off," says ex Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy. "All my years in football, I never heard anyone, never heard Chuck Noll saying, 'Well, we better get Jack Ham off the PAT team.' It's not something I'd question."
  • "You always leave your starters in on the PAT, even on the field-goal block team," says ex Super Bowl winning linebacker Tedy Bruschi.

So Shank moves on to the next bitch:  "We can’t go there yet because the Patriots haven’t even acknowledged the injury."

Except that they have: "Asked for an update Monday on Gronkowski, coach Bill Belichick said, 'I don't really have anything. I know that our medical people are looking at all the players today when they come in, trying to assess their situation, like we always do on Monday. I'll catch up with them as they've had a chance (to gather that information).' "

So we go to the third and final whine, which is really the point of the entire column: "Belichick stonewalls just because he can." Yes, yes he does. And so far, that seems to be working. Five Super Bowl appearances, three victories...seriously, you really need the coach to be Smilin Jack Connors?

Next complaint, please!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Shank Could Use Your Help

When natural disasters strike and affect our fellow man, we ought to reach out and lend a helping hand.
Nearly half of the thousands of homeowners waiting for FEMA and other governmental disaster assistance following Sandy had let their flood insurance lapse, according to industry estimates.

“We were told flood insurance went up to $2,400 a year,” said Dan Shaughnessy of Rockaway Park, whose home was destroyed. “My wife was just laid off, and we haven’t had [the ocean] touch the bay since 1936, so I said, ‘OK, right now, while money is tight, I’ll cut out the $2,400 a year.’ ”
“Luckily, FEMA came through with $30,000, thank God, which is going to help us move forward,” Shaughnessy said.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Do Columnists Get Bye Weeks?

It's been well over a week since Shank wrote his last Boston Globe column. Today's game between the Patriots and Colts may have produced a Shank column like this one, but you'd be wrong.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gone Fishing?

We haven't seen our man Shank in print for a week now, but he has made the rounds at Comcast Sports New England (November 7th, November 11 and November 12) and CBS Local (November 6 and November 12).

Before you click on the CNSNE links, annoying ad warning; annoying Shank voice warning on the other two...

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Tommy Points

Shank has a very good column on longtime Boston Celtic Tommy Heinsohn.
You know him as the color man on Celtics television broadcasts. You know him as Fred Flintstone barking about referees. You know him as a booming, opinionated guy who loves the Celtics and has no use for the lugs running up and down the floor in visitors uniforms.

He is Tommy Heinsohn, Mr. Celtics, an institution on Causeway Street.

What too many of you don’t know is that Heinsohn was one of the greatest Celtics of all time, and that he coached more Celtic seasons than any man other than Red Auerbach. In one way or another, Heinsohn has been part of the Celtics for 57 years.

He played when Johnny Most honked for the Celtics. And now he has become a hulking, ex-jock version of Most. Heinsohn is the ultimate homer and we love him for it. But there is so much more about him that you need to know.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Shiny Happy Papi

The man who Shank once called 'a sad sack of you-know-what' has signed a two year deal with the Red Sox.
His first Red Sox manager was Grady Little. He was here before “Fever Pitch” and the new version of “Tessie.’’ In his early days as a Red Sox pinch hitter, he warmed the bench alongside Lou Merloni.

David Ortiz goes back. Trupiano Way Back. He was in uniform with the Red Sox the night Aaron Boone broke New England’s heart and he was in the dugout when Robert Andino ended Boston’s 2011 season in Baltimore.
From there we're treated to a recap of Ortiz's career, comparisons to other Red Sox sluggers and one 'sons of Tito Francona' mention. In other words, another formulatic, paint by the numbers column.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Hop On The Green Line

Shank takes a walk down memory lane before tonight's Celtics home opener against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Ode to the Celtics.

Paul Pierce played with Antoine Walker, who played with Rick Fox, who played with Larry Bird, who played with Dave Cowens, who played with John Havlicek, who played with Bob Cousy.

This is one of the things I love about the Celtics. There are only five guys separating Truth from the Cooz.

Friday night is the 67th home opener for our local NBA franchise.
This is one of his better efforts in recent memory, aside from the following disingenuous paragraph:
But this current Celtics group has given us little to challenge. Wyc Grousbeck, Steve Pagliuca & Associates are fans, but they aren’t calling plays from the bench. They deliver a pretty good product. They haven’t insulted or pandered to their fans. We were skeptical about them in the early days, but as owners go, they have ranked surprisingly low on the buffoonery scale.
Robert Kraft has owned the New England Patriots since 1994. They have won numerous division titles since that time, have appeared in six Super Bowls in that time span and won three of them. Has Robert Kraft given 'us' little to challenge? Yes. Has that prevented Shank from taking all sorts of shots at Kraft? No bleepin' way - I can't link to all the examples.

John Henry & Tom Werner have been the lead owners of the Boston Red Sox since 2002. They have won two World Series championships since that time, when many fans would think they would pass on before the Red Sox would win a World Series, let alone two. Has this ownership group given 'us' little to challenge? Until September 2011, that answer would be yes. Has that prevented Shank from taking all sorts of shots at, let's face it, John Henry (since Tom Werner got Shank's daughter an internship four plus years ago)? Once again, no way in hell, and once again, I can't link to all the examples.

It's too bad Shank has to trash an otherwise good column with demonstrably false statements like the above paragraph.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Content For The Next Shank PUP Column

Shank hasn't been shitting on too many people recently. The lawsuit against Curt Schilling ought to change that a bit.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Rhode Island's economic development agency on Thursday sued former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and some of its former officials, saying they committed fraud and other acts that misled the state into approving a $75 million loan guarantee to his failed video game company.

UPDATE AT 7:05 pm - Zero Hedge piles on:
Doping cyclists, UK banks which manipulate every possible thing they are involved with, and now embezzling one-time baseball millionaire greats with bloodied socks... Is nothing sacred anymore?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cold Shoulder, Side Of Bullshit

Shank stayed in Miami yesterday to cover the Heat's win over the Celtics, 120 - 107. Let's skip the game stuff and go straight to the Ray Allen story:
MIAMI — Does it really have to be like this?

Ray Allen didn’t like losing his starting job in Boston (to Avery Bradley - ed.). Ray didn’t like Rajon Rondo. He didn’t feel appreciated by the Celtics.

So Ray made a deal with the hoop devil. He signed with the Miami Heat.

And now Kevin Garnett gives him the Sicilian “you’re dead to me’’ attitude.
KG's reaction, or lack thereof, isn't exactly a secret - was Shank expecting KG to send flowers and a box of chocolates?
Allen’s role as a reserve with the Heat is somewhat amusing to Celtics fans who trash him for leaving because he was no longer a starter in Boston. Still, it’s understandable why he would go to Miami: it’s a shot at another ring, he’ll always be open, and the weather is significantly better than it was in his last four basketball outposts: Boston, Seattle, Milwaukee, and Storrs, Conn.
There's a wee bit more to the story than Shank lets onto, which may be understandable, given that this is Shank's first column on the subject.

Let's go ahead and watch the butchering of what's left of the column:
But the takeaway moment of opening night was the Big Chill from Garnett. It was a cold moment, almost Red Sox-ian.
Has anyone figured out why Shank needs to insert a Red Sox reference into nearly all of his columns?
And it made you wonder . . . why does it always end badly in Boston?
You know something? I wonder about that myself. You might want to ask Nomar Garciaparra about that. Or Manny Ramirez, or Theo Epstein, or Pedro Martinez, or Curt Schilling, or Roger Clemens, or...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The 2012 - 2013 Boston Celtics

Without a local team, coach, manager or owner to dump on in a week, Shank sets his sights on the Boston Celtics, who start their regular season tonight against the Miami Heat.
MIAMI — It was a dark and stormy night less than five months ago.

We were Celtic-centric. We were still stinging from another Super Bowl stunner, surprised that the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins were eliminated from the playoffs, and somewhat concerned with the increasingly goofy behavior of Bobby Valentine.

But we had the Celtics. They were everybody’s favorite team in New England, enjoying a feel-good run through the NBA playoffs. They had defied the critics in taking a 3-2 series lead against the supposedly indomitable Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. It looked like the Celtics would close out the choking pretenders at the Garden in Game 6, but LeBron James went into Wilt Chamberlain overdrive and knotted the series.

And so we all took our talents to South Beach for Game 7. Anticipating a lengthy road trip that would take them to Oklahoma City for a couple of games after winning in Miami, the Celtics packed string ties and Buddy Lee shirts. We reminded ourselves that the Celtics were 21-7 in Game 7s. The Heat would undoubtedly choke in the big one. Roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair. We were all going to Thunder Road.
This is the typical Shank opening season column formula; mention all the other local teams, recap the prior season, update the roster for the new season and throw in a Bruce Springsteen reference. Not too predictable...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Shank's Busy Weekend

The Boston Globe's leading sports columnist has been busy covering the major sporting events over the past few days, including the World Series and the Patriots big win over the St. Louis Rams in London yesterday.

Oh, wait - you mean he didn't write anything at all in nearly a week?

Never mind...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - XVI

The HMS Titantic keeps taking on water...
The quarter showed the negative impact of the Times's introduction of a digital "paywall" to the New York Times and Boston Globe Web sites, limiting nonsubscribers' access to the sites.

The number of digital subscriptions at the Times, Globe and International Herald Tribune rose 11% from the second quarter to 592,000. That helped lift circulation revenue to $234 million, up 7.4% from the year-earlier quarter. But advertising revenue fell 8.9% to $182 million, primarily due to lower national display and real-estate classified revenue, the company said. Revenue slipped 0.6% to $449 million.

Both print and digital advertising contributed to the advertising decline—10.9% for print, and 2.2% for digital. The company blamed the digital advertising decline on a weak economy and price pressure caused by a glut of inventory and the rise of programmatic ad buying. The company expects the advertising outlook in the fourth quarter to be similar to the third quarter, it said.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thus Sprach Homer

Shank gets a mini vacation to San Francisco and tries to gin up interest in this year's World Series between the Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants. There will be default interest, at least for the first two games, since there are no other major sports events on television until the weekend.
SAN FRANCISCO — Five years ago, the Patriots were on their way to an 18-0 record, the Ubuntu Celtics were in the early days of a championship season, Boston College’s football team was ranked second in the nation, John Farrell was Terry Francona’s first-year pitching coach . . . and the Red Sox were in the World Series against the Colorado Rockies.

Those were the days when you cared about the World Series. You couldn’t wait for Jonathan Papelbon to pull a 12-pack box over his head and do another Riverdance on the Fenway lawn.
So boozing's okay when Papelbon used to do it? Got it!
Baseball mattered. The World Series mattered.
You might think a columnist with Shank's three decades plus experience could focus almost exclusively on the subject at hand. Unfortunately, Shank feels the need to interject many parochial items in his column that you would think primarily involve the two teams, or the World Series in general. But you would be wrong:
■ The Kung Fu Panda. What is not to love about the Giants’ third baseman? Pablo Sandoval is baseball’s biggest loser and baseball’s biggest winner simultaneously. He must have the worst body of any athlete competing for a championship this year. He also has got the best nickname since Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd. Sandoval is Everyman, batting in the middle of the lineup for a team in the World Series.

■ Al Alburquerque. The Detroit reliever hacked off everybody in Oakland when he fielded the final out of a Division Series game and kissed the baseball before throwing it to first base.

■ Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro. Can’t you just hear Bob Lobel voicing over his highlights, saying, “Why can’t we get players like that?’’ Scutaro holds a special place in Red Sox lore. His baserunning blunder in Baltimore contributed to the final loss on the final night of the 2011 season. He flung his glove into the dugout when he came off the field as the Orioles celebrated at home plate. He was dumped during the offseason in a front office effort to avoid the luxury tax. He was also one of the Red Sox’ best players during the 7-20 collapse of 2011. Scutaro hit .387 (36 for 93) in his final month with the Red Sox. And now he is the MVP of the National League Championship Series (14 hits).

■ Tigers manager Jim Leyland wears spikes and smokes in his office. His wife is from Greater Boston and he has been known to complain about the cost of college tuition.

■ If you’ve tailgated on Commander Shea Field before a BC football game, you’ve stood in the spot where Buster Posey called pitches for Florida State against the Eagles in a three-game ACC baseball series in 2008.
No shots at the Red Sox or John Henry - is this Shank's new found restraint?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Whack Job

So two days after the Red Sox "were taking too long" to hire a new manager, John Farrell is now locked up as the skipper and "he’s got time to assemble his staff and his team."

Huh. Yet that's about the most sensible thing The CHB has to say in this 834-word regurgitation of his most common complaints, whines and bitches.

Most of the piece is the same old shtick: the owners are dysfunctional, the pitchers entitled, the support staff whackos. No surprises there. It wouldn't be a CHB column, though, without some flip-flops, of course.

When Terry Franconca was hired, Shank advised him to "Get caller ID on your cellphone and accept any calls from B. James in the 816 (Kansas City) area code."

Today, after two World Series wins, Bill James is now "a kooky cont­rarian in Lawrence, Kan. — a man intent on the reinvention of the way we all think about baseball."

Guess Shank is still mad that James' methods destroyed that whole "Curse" nonsense.

Bad hair and hard feelings are no way to go through life, Dan.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Great Moments In Sports Columnist Whining

October 18, 2012:
"I am worried that the Sox are taking too long to work out a deal with Toronto."
October 20, 2012:
Red Sox hire John Farrell as new manager
There's just no way to make some people happy...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hired Learning

The Red Sox fired Bobby Valentine on Oct. 4. Today is Oct. 18. Obviously the Red Sox have waited too long to replace Valentine and have thus undermined the 2013 season. Or so insists The CHB.

Unfortunately, as history has so often shown, The CHB is wrong, all wrong!

After the Red Sox fired Grady Little in 2003, they did not hire Terry Francona until Dec. 4. That one turned out OK, or so I seem to recall. 

In The Yankees replaced Buck Showalter with Joe Torre on Nov. 2, 1995. He skippered the Bombers to six pennants and four World Series titles.

When the Cardinals fired interim manager Mike Jorgensen following the 1995 season, they waited until Oct. 23 to hire Tony La Russa. Two more World Series wins there.

By the way, when George Steinbrenner hired Torre, he gave him a two-year deal. So I guess the argument that a contract of fewer than three years equates to lame duck status is invalid, too.

So patience, young grasshopper. After all, we've been waiting nearly 60 years for you to grow a brain.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Raining On Their Parade

A loss for the Patriots equals a good column, at least from Shank's vantage point. Without the Red Sox to dump on, this loss allows him to start ripping on Bill Belichick full time again. At least we now know why Shank didn't write about the Pats / Bills game two weeks ago...
SEATTLE — Ouch. This was like getting beaten by a team managed by Bobby Valentine.

It was a field day for the headline writers . . .

Clueless in Seattle.

Hopeless in Seattle.

Winless in Seattle.
And then it all came apart like a plywood guard shack in a hurricane. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson embarrassed the New England secondary, throwing a bunch of home run balls in a couple of touchdown drives. The Patriots had no answers, and there was Pete pumped and jacked on the Seattle sideline as the Seahawks stunned the Patriots, 24-23.

While Pete did his Mick Jagger routine in the closing seconds, Belichick looked like Bogie standing in the rain on the train platform in Paris, reading the “good-bye forever” note from Ingrid Bergman.

Angry Birds 24, Patriots 23 . . . easily one of the worst losses of the Belichick-Kraft era.

You know it had to kill Bill to stand there after the game and say, “They outplayed us today, outcoached us.’’
It takes a special kind of warped mind to write with such obvious glee and enthusiasm at another's misfortune, be it a person or a team. Either that, or Shank's a natural born asshole. Read on for more Shank shots at the Patriots and Bill Belichick. And Red Sox comparisons, which no Shank column should be without.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Jacked, Pumped And Amped

I'm halfway impressed with Shank this morning. Really! He manages to squeeze an entire column out of the subject of the noise level at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, where the Patriots are playing the Seahawks this afternoon.

OF COURSE there's a Spinal Tap reference...
It Might Get Loud. Does It Go To 11?

I have my earplugs. I am ready for Patriots vs. Seahawks at CenturyLink Field Sunday afternoon. Like the coach of the Seahawks, everybody here is pumped, jacked, and amped. This was the birthplace of Boeing, and Seattle fans pride themselves on their ability to generate the sound of a 747 taking off from Logan.

For a playoff game against the Saints in January 2011, Seattle fans rocked their stadium enough to register as a small earthquake on a seismometer near their home field. They were nominated for the coveted cover of “Madden 12.’’ They are going to make life tough on the Patriots today.
Shank has a flashback in the middle of the column:
Belichick turned up the volume during practice at Gillette Stadium last week. He bombarded his team with Green Day, Pearl Jam, and Jimi Hendrix.

I love the idea of Stevan Ridley taking a handoff to the tune of “All Along the Watchtower,’’ “Purple Haze,’’ or perhaps Hendrix’s skull-imploding national anthem at Woodstock.

Does Belichick know that Hendrix grew up in Seattle?

Bet he does. How could the master of preparation miss a detail like that one?
You know what will really impress? An article on the game itself.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Shaughnessy, Oct. 4, 2012: "Looking forward, it's very clear Ben Cherington wants to hire John Farrell. It's blatant."

Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe, Oct. 10, 2012: "Source: Red Sox Intend to Interview Tim Wallach"

Unnamed byline, Boston Globe, Oct. 11, 2012: "Brad Ausmus to Interview for Red Sox Manager Job"

So what happened to Farrell? And why is the Globe's main sports columnist getting scooped left and right?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Piling On

The sun will rise, the sun will set, and Shank will write one or two columns every year that will generate nationwide criticism and ridicule. Yesterday's soapbox faux tantrum was one of those columns.

Greg Boysen, Second City Hockey:
Yesterday Boston blow hole Dan Shaughnessy stayed awake long enough throw all bloggers into a large group and rip us to shreds in one big generalized slam. His is article about Kansas City Chiefs fans cheering when Matt Cassel got injured he let loose with this bias comment:
Awful Announcing:
What Dan Shaughnessy has done here is create a hierarchy of people who scare old guard sportswriters that depend on vague generalities, stereotypes, and blanket statements as crutches.
Kirk Minihane, WEEI:
Shaughnessy doesn't hate the Internet, he hates change. He'd give anything for it to be 1986 all over again, a world in which newspapers were king and no one else had a platform to question, a world in which the readers could do nothing but write a letter to the editor as a form of protest or opinion. He can't believe someone can sit in their house or at some Starbucks and basically come to the same conclusion as he does on a topic and have a forum to express that thought. He's been a sports critic, really, in his life as a columnist -- and, when's he focused, a terrific one -- and he can't comprehend that he has to share some of the stage with the commoners. He thinks he knows more than you do about sports because he's sat in a press box for 30 years, because he's talked to players before and after games. I've covered games in press boxes and watched them on TV, and guess what? There's almost no difference. You know just as much as some of them do, and now there's a place to express that. One day some people realized this, and it drives guys like Shaughnessy crazy. It's called insecurity. And, yeah, some bloggers are lousy and petty and out of touch, and some newspaper columnists are great and thoughful and even avoid "Animal House" references at all costs, but that's not really the point.

I don't believe Shaughnessy truly thinks blogging and fantasy football is the reason fans cheered when Cassel went down. He' s too smart for that nonsense to be rooted in reality. That rant probably was written months ago, he was just looking for a reason to squeeze it in somewhere.
Seems these guys know Shank like we do - writing, in part, just to generate controversy.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Mr. Manners

Booing is wrong, and people who do it are bad, bad, bad!

So sayeth the Shank, who in a way reminiscent of Miss Manners, expresses his distaste for the fans' lack of civility and his manlove for a Chief lineman who criticized the crowd for piling on after Matt Cassel was knocked out of the game.

Now, let's get one thing straight: The Chiefs fans weren't actually cheering because Cassel got hurt; they were cheering because he would no longer be in the game, manning a club that has gone 22-31 since his arrival from New England prior to the 2009 season. They had a point: Cassel's QB rating is a pedestrian 81% for his career, a mark he's topped only once in the four seasons he's helmed the Chiefs.

But this is where The CHB's hypocrisy switched into overdrive: "I’ve certainly done my share of tweaking and exposing professional athletes or organizations who don’t give an honest effort to live up to their contracts or fulfill the team-fan accord."

Would that be "tweaking" like when he called David Ortiz a sad sack of you-know-what? Was it tweaking when he called Carl Everett "the Ebola virus of the Boston clubhouse?" Or when he wrote “We have rejoiced in the retirement of Keith Foulke?” Would that be "exposing" when he wrote, "Why does America hate Barry Bonds so much? Is it because he's too good?" all while neglecting to mention Bonds' PED use for another five years. Was that exposing when he accused Manny Ramirez, the previous season's World Series MVP, of quitting on the team during a month where he put up a .930 OPS and 6 HRs in 24 games?

No, that would just be the Holy Cross Hypocrite, doing what he does best.

Friday, October 05, 2012


Is there any doubt that Shank's next column will be a Brady / Manning column? You know, like this one, or this one, or this one?

The Valentine Era - It's A Wrap!

Shank has a very good column on Bobby Valentine's tenure with the 2012 Boston Red Sox.

Naturally, Shank has to mar one of his better columns in quite some time by taking a shot at owner John Henry:
The one constant was the absence of Henry. The principal owner missed last year’s Francona firing after he suffered a minor injury when he slipped and fell on his yacht. Henry was not present for Thursday’s round-tables.

“The job of dealing with the press, for better or worse, falls with Ben and me,’’ said Lucchino.

And let’s not forget that the big Liverpool-Udinese match from Enfield (sic - should be Anfield - ed.) was unfolding while Lucchino and Cherington explained the firing of Valentine. Victims of a dreaded “own goal,” Liverpool lost, 3-2.

Hope nobody got sacked.
The new Liverpool manager has been there for four whole months; give it time, Shank...

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Bobby Valentine Death Watch

As we wait for the ax to be swung, I'll belatedly link to Shank's (hopefully) penultimate post-mortem column on the 2012 Boston Red Sox. You've already read this column about nine hundred times in one form or another this year, so what were you missing?

Speaking of Bobby Valentine, this must be some kind of metaphor:
According to the New York Times, the avid bicyclist (Valentine) crashed his ride in New York City earlier in the day, suffering minor hip and knee injuries. The cause of his accident? He was reading a text message.
Can’t you just picture it like in the movies? Bobby V is riding furiously through the New York streets, desperately trying to escape from Peter Abraham and Dan Shaughnessy chasing him on speed boats that inexplicably work on the road, knocking over fruit carts and, wouldn’t you know it, two bakers are carrying a meticulously crafted cake across the street right in front of his path for God knows what reason and SPLOOSH, down goes Bobby. He’s alright, so we’re allowed to joke.
What about the cake? Don't leave us hanging...

UPDATE at 1:04 PM - Shitcanned.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Shank's Next Column - II

Maybe Shank won't be too lazy to write about or at least mention old friend Curt Schilling tomorrow:
MEDFIELD, Mass. (WPRI) - Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has put his 26-acre property outside Boston on the market and is seeking nearly $3.5 million.

The home is being listed by Landmark Residential , which boasts that the “extremely private” property has the amenities for “relaxed family gatherings and sports enthusiasts.”

“Once inside the complex there is a heated pool with waterfall, sports court, beach volley ball court, batting/pitching cage and putting green,” the online description of the property says.

The colonial-style house has 20 rooms, including seven bedrooms, five bathrooms, and three half-bathrooms. It was built in 1997 and has an assessed value of $4.15 million, according to municipal property records.
Who would buy this house? My money's on Rob Gronkowski. Might need to add a vertical brass pole or two...

Just Curious...

Shank has written six columns for the Globe since September 9th. You would be hard pressed to find these columns in one of the two places you would normally look for them. Is this because the Globe's web people are as lazy as Shank; is it because of the URL's to many of the recent columns are no longer starting with and thus not placed on the columnist's 'home pages'; or is it something more sinister, like Shank slowly getting pushed aside, his visibility being purposefully reduced? As Shank speculates on Bobby Valentine's departure, does it make sense to do the same with Our Man Shank, given this recent burying / absence of his columns from their normal places?

With respect to the last column Shank should have written (yesterday's Patriots / Bills wrapup), was the column not written because of the Patriots 52 - 28 win? Shank, devoting three whole paragraphs to the subject, all but explicitly predicted a Patriots losss in the Sunday column. Does it take that long to wipe egg off of one's face?

Monday, October 01, 2012


How lazy is a Boston Globe sports columnist when they send you out to Buffalo, supposedly to cover yesterday's Patriors / Bills game, you devote your Sunday column to saying next to nothing about the game, then on the day after the game you explicitly say nothing about the game by not even writing a column about said game?

Did Shank close the Anchor Bar again, either / both nights?

A rhetorical question - do you mail in a column when you don't even bother to write one? This editor says YES!

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Shank takes a trip to Buffalo to cover today's Patriots - Bills game, then says next to nothing about the game he's ostensibly there to cover.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — A year later, once again, we have Patriots, Bills, Red Sox, Orioles, and Yankees.

We have Ralph Wilson Stadium, Camden Yards, and Yankee Stadium.

We have a football coach hoping to make it to the Super Bowl, and a baseball manager scheduled for a firing squad at the end of the week.

It is the last weekend of September, and our local teams are playing the same opponents in the same places where they played at this time last year. Everything is the same . . . and everything is different.
Much like the content of this column. The casual Boston sports fan already knows what's going on with the Patriots and Red Sox; Shank simply restates the obvious in order to fill up column inches. He devotes three thin paragraphs on the subject he's allegedly in Buffalo to talk about:
The view is a little different now. The 2012 Patriots arrive in Buffalo with a two-game losing streak. They are in last place in the AFC East, trailing both the Bills and the hated Jets by a full game.

Once again, we have questions about the young New England defense. The Patriots couldn’t stop Joe Flacco in the fourth quarter last week at Baltimore, just as they couldn’t stop Harvard’s Ryan Fitzpatrick when they played in Buffalo last year.

We are no longer talking about the Patriots as a 16-0 team. We are no longer certain that they will finish first in the AFC East. The Patriots have lost three of their last four games. They are suddenly vulnerable.
At least we are updated on the important things, like "Where do New England area sportswriters go after a football game?"
A few hours after the football game, members of the New England media gathered at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo. It’s the birthplace of Buffalo wings. When you cover sports for a living and travel to Buffalo, you are required to close the Anchor Bar.

We did the job.
Bars in Buffalo close at 4:00 AM. I know Mike will be shocked, SHOCKED at Shank's revelation. Any bets that Shank wrote this column on the back of a napkin while he was waiting on his order of chicken and beer?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Look Away

Shank today accuses Red Sox management of using the celebrations of the 100-year anniversary of Fenway Park as a front to obscure the performance on the field, calling it "a last shameless attempt to direct your eyes away from the playing field." (As if the connotations of a losing record are so complex, your average fan hasn't yet figured it out.)

The solution, says the Bold One, is to hire former Red Sox pitching coach and now Blue Jays manager John Farrell, because no one can turn around a fourth-place team like a guy who is coaching a fifth-place team!

And The CHB -- who when it comes to baseball matters has been right about, what, 3% of the time? --  claims that the Sox need to lose as much as possible "because they need to hit rock bottom in order to get better." 

There you go again, Dan, quoting your AA counselor. 

We say, Direct your eyes from the writer for the Globe.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Moonlighting / Get Me Rewrite!

At least we know where Shank's been recently, besides writing columns for the Boston Globe:
Boston Herald columnist Dan Shaughnessy knows how out of hand things have gotten, and even takes offense to the NFL trying to play the old "they got it right" card.

"The statement that came out today is pretty much an insult to our intelligence," Shaughnessy said. "Basically, nobody is buying that. We know what our eyes told us, what we saw."

Shaughnessy continued: "With the dollars that are being wages (sic) here, to have the product compromised over such a short amount of money is preposterous."
Other than that, it was an accurate quote...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Leap Too Far

The CHB's wrapup of the Patriots-Ravens matchup Sunday night has all the color and life of a plate of tripe.

Put another way, there's nothing but nothing there. Of course, he does manage to work in the obligatory gratituous shot at the Red Sox:

"Walking past Camden Yards on the way to M & T Bank Stadium, I had flashbacks from last Sept. 28 when the Red Sox melted into a puddle of sorrow in the shadows of Eutaw Street."

Reading this column, I had flashbacks to pretty much every run-of-the-mill, mailed-in piece The CHB has ever written. Not a happy place to be.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Asking The Stupid Questions

We were eagerly awaiting Shank's first column in a week, and with him finally realizing it's no longer sport to dump on the Red Sox this season with an entire column, Shank talks up tonight's Patriots - Ravens game with a "serious" question:
Are Ravens now a rival for the Patriots?
Like they weren't rivals from January 10, 2010, nearly three years ago? I think you're a little late on this one, Shank!

Shank then trots out the same tired formula he always does when comparing Boston against Our Newest Rival.
We want the Baltimore Ravens to be our natural-born football rivals.

We can make this work.

Boston-Baltimore. We have history. We have tradition.

Patriots vs. Ravens. Patriots vs. Colts (in the old days). Celtics vs. Bullets (in the older days). Red Sox vs. Orioles (ouch). USS Constitution vs. USS Constellation. Waterfront vs. Inner Harbor. Ralph Waldo Emerson vs. Edgar Allan Poe. “Good Will Hunting” vs. “Diner.” Mass. General vs. Johns Hopkins. Lobster rolls vs. crab cakes.

Luis Tiant vs. Jim Palmer.

Baltimore gave us Janet Marie Smith, who rebuilt Fenway Park. Baltimore gave us Larry Lucchino, who hired Bobby Valentine.
You get the idea. I should check the tires on Shank's car; they're probably retreads, too.

But what's a Shank column without another dig at the Red Sox, complete with a decades old song reference?
And then there was last Sept. 28, at Camden Yards. The day the music died in Boston baseball.

A soft liner to left . . . Crawford can’t make the play! . . . Here comes Reimold to the plate and the throw is not in time! . . . Tito fired . . . Chicken and beer . . . John Henry storming into The SportsHub . . . Theo resigns . . . Bobby hired . . . The return of the “varsity” . . . the palace mutiny . . . worst roster in the history of baseball . . . Nava is coming out to hit for Iglesias . . .

On and on it goes.
That's an understatement...

UPDATE AT 2:10 pm - Steve Buckley and I agree on the rivalry timeline, for what that's worth.


So Shank, talking with one of the titans of baseball brilliance Michael Felger, says Ben Cherington should quit if he doesn't get to choose the manager.

It's a shocking statement for a guy who prides himself so much on baseball history. Doesn't The CHB remember that the one and only George Steinbrenner hired (and fired) every manager of the Yankees during his 37-year reign? And that the Yankees won seven World Series championships during that time?

Can it be the same CHB, who has been whining for two years that the John Henry Group isn't involved enough in the team, is now bitching that the ownership is too involved? (head spinning)

Oh, and there's the gratuitous shot at Bill James. Let's go over this again:
  • No. of World Series wins with Bill James-influencing the Red Sox: 2
  • No. of World Series wins with Bill James not influencing the Red Sox: 0
Perhaps that math is too much for Shank.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Don't Believe The Hype

That's what Shank is selling with today's column concerning a potential sale of the Boston Red Sox, first reported by Fox Business Network yesterday.
Don Draper sat in John Henry’s seat next to the Red Sox dugout for the Yankee finale Thursday night.

Perfect. “Mad Men” comes to Fenway Park for the final days of the train-wreck season of 2012.

“Mad Men.” It works in many ways. The Red Sox owners love money. They love to sell their product and they do it well. They are geniuses of presentation. They are the Ultimate Ad Men of Major League Baseball.

They are also mad men, as in angry. They won’t look in the mirror. They want to blame everybody else for what has happened. They want you to remember that this is all Theo Epstein’s fault.
No, Shank, you want the fans to remember this is all Theo's fault. Shank does not do disingenuous well.

So, to sell or not to sell?
Henry, Werner, and Lucchino say it’s not true. I believe them. I think they are fans. I think they are men in their 60s and even in bad times like this, this is nothing more fun than owning Fenway Park and the Boston Red Sox. Lucchino has re-upped with the Red Sox for three more years. This will keep him in Boston until he is 70.

Maybe I’m the fool. Maybe Henry is Montgomery Burns, cares only about cash, and will unload the Sox and laugh as he flies to his new home in Liverpool. Maybe Lucchino will bail on Boston.

I’m betting against it.
This is wishful thinking on Shank's part, and his contention that current ownership are fans is contradicted by the third paragraph in this column ('Red Sox owners love money', etc.), so yes, he is the fool here. Getting rid of Beckett, Gonzalez and Crawford is a classic way of cleaning up the balance sheet before a sale by getting rid of future liabilities. That, and John Henry is first and foremost a businessman. If Shank thinks current Sox ownership are fans first, he's a poor judge of character. I say the team gets sold within two months.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Short at Center

Today, Mr. Grumpy has in his sights Jacoby Ellsbury, calling him "greatest flight risk since Whitey Bulger."

Now, yes, it is just a tad extreme to compare a baseball player to the man who topped the FBI's Most Wanted list for years, and who is accused of murdering more than a dozen people. Then again, excrement extreme is what The CHB is known for.

But Shank's crystal ball tells him that the Red Sox are "not going to contend next year with him in center field." Never mind that Ellsbury was runnerup in the AL MVP race just last year. Clearly, he sucks.

The CHB insists the Sox "must trade" Ellsbury immediately, but in the next breath notes Ellsbury's apparent brittleness and lack of performance: "He’s not even Carl Crawford this season. Trade the dude." How are the Sox to get quality in return for this apparent sack of crap? The CHB never gets around to saying. Keep in mind, Shank was the one who insisted the Red Sox keep Kevin Youkilis, who is just as brittle as Ellsbury (not to mention older and less valuable), and for whom the Red Sox already had more-than-capable replacements, and whined like a two-year-old that they didn't get enough in return for him. But no matter. That was two months ago, and drinking does hamper the memory.
And The CHB cites Bill Ballou of the Worcester Telegram. Is that the same Bill Ballou who has repeatedly said Bill James has been right? The same Bill James The CHB routinely mocks?

Parting shots: "ESPN was here, Wednesday night, which meant sharing the press box, elevator and media bathroom with Nomar Garciaparra and Curt Schilling. That’s a lot of awkward for one night, don’t you think?" Only if you are, you know, a dick.

Monday, September 10, 2012

And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - XV

I wonder if this is a good thing for the Globe?
The blue line in the chart above displays total annual print newspaper advertising revenue (for the categories national, retail and classified) based on actual annual data from 1950 to 2011, and estimated annual revenue for 2012 using quarterly data through the second quarter of this year, from the Newspaper Association of America (NAA). The advertising revenues have been adjusted for inflation, and appear in the chart as millions of constant 2012 dollars. Estimated print advertising revenues of $19.0 billion in 2012 will be the lowest annual amount spent on print newspaper advertising since the NAA started tracking ad revenue in 1950.

The decline in print newspaper advertising to a 62-year low is amazing by itself, but the sharp decline in recent years is pretty stunning. This year's ad revenues of $19 billion will be less than half of the $46 billion spent just five years ago in 2007, and a little more than one-third of the $56.5 billion spent in 2004.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Accentuating The Positive

Since the 2012 Boston Red Sox are no longer in contention for the postseason playoffs, Shank will turn to his fall whipping post, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.
The Patriots open their season today against the Titans, seven months after losing the Super Bowl to the Giants.
As if you'd need to read any further...

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Ridden Over

 The CHB proves once again that knowledge is his enemy, taking time out from his busy radio schedule (still laughing about that one) to write that Bill James is NOT the answer, all while noting that James was against the expensive and failed Carl Crawford acquisition.

So The CHB admits James was right, then says we don't need him anyway. Hmmm....makes sense!

Then The CHB hammers Lance Armstrong, calling him a cheater and drug user. Keep in mind, this is the same CHB who ignored all the steroid talk (and praised Barry Bonds) up until the point that the Mitchell Report came out. And for good measure he also ignored any possibility that Armstrong might be doping while the rider was actually, you know, riding. So it's nice to see the Globe's top sports columnist is remaining so far ahead of the curve.

Oh wait, here's Shank's predictions for 2011: "Lance Armstrong will be indicted and Roger Clemens will go to prison." The 0-fer continues!

Anyone else notice how The Globe has quietly brought Shaughnessy back out from behind the pay wall. It seems Boston's paper of record is awaking to the fact that readers view The CHB the way we slow down to gawk at a disabled car: we'll take a passing interest in the wreck, but we would never care enough to actually pay for it.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

'O' My

Waiting for the The CHB column where he tells the world that the Red Sox once had Dan Duquette, GM of the first place Baltimore Orioles, but then fired him for the "Boy Wonder."

That would be the same Dan Duquette who, and Shank has repeatedly reminded us, said Roger Clemens was in the "twilight of his career" upon letting him go to free agency, and mocked him for his managerial choices (Jimy Williams, Joe Kerrigan) and free agent signings (Jose Offerman, et al).

Friday, August 31, 2012


Shank celebrates the last day the Red Sox were considered good.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Today’s the day. The Red Sox have officially reeked for one calendar year. Today marks Day 366 (leap year, people) since the last time everything was peachy in Red Sox Nation.

On this date last year, Josh Beckett pitched seven strong innings and the Sox beat the Yankees, 9-5, at Fenway Park, giving Boston 11 wins in 14 games against the Bronx Bombers (I think the game was a sellout and they might have played “Sweet Caroline” before the home half of the eighth).
The column itself is good, by Shank standards; the fact that he's written more or less the same damn column at least forty times in the same time span shows the reader precisely why Dan Shaughnessy Watch exists in the first place.

We get it - the Red Sox are not a good team. Do we really need eleven such columns this month alone? Lazy, petty & vindictive is no way to go through life, son...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dirty Laundry 2.0

Now that the season is more or less over for the 2012 Boston Red Sox, Shank wants to assign some, most or all of the blame on Theo Epstein.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Red Sox owners are here, and they’re having a hard time keeping the smiles off their faces after what they did to the Dodgers last weekend.

It’s hard not to gloat when you dump more than a quarter of a billion dollars in payroll on the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers, by the way, are 2-3 since the trade was announced, including a 10-0 beating (Josh Beckett’s start) at the hands of the last-place Rockies. Los Angeles Times columnist T. J. Simers wrote, “They appear lifeless and uninspired in three consecutive losses to the dead meat likes of the Marlins and Rockies.’’

But enough about the Sox snookering the Dodgers. John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino are still angry. And I think I know why. It really bothers them that Theo Epstein isn’t getting enough blame for the train wreck that is the Red Sox of the last 12 months.
Since Shank owes Tom Werner for helping to get his daugher an intership six years ago, he'll gladly go to bat for ownership. The representative from Massachusetts now has the floor!
Epstein made a ton of bad moves in the later years of his tenure, then went to Chicago for a $19 million contract and watched from afar as the Sox decomposed. John, Tom, and Larry would like to remind you of this.

So I will do it for them.

Mistakes were made. Money was spent badly. The Sox lost their way and tried to throw money at their problems.
Remember who one of the advocates of higher spending was?
They dished out millions for Johnny Damon, Keith Foulke, Daisuke Matsuzaka and J.D. Drew. They raided rosters of the Have Nots. Now they are complaining about Yankee payroll?

It's absurd. Epstein, like Brian Cashman, can afford to make mistakes. Edgar Renteria and Julio Lugo are examples A and B of Theo's biggest blunders. This year the Sox will pay $18 million to have Lugo and Mike Lowell (trade pending with the Rangers) play for other teams.

Epstein is touting organization prospects named Jose Iglesias, Ryan Kalish, Ryan Westmorland, Casey Kelly and Lars Anderson, but they are a couple of years away. In Boston the message needs to be "win now.''

And that means "Beat the Yankees.''
Of course, you're not fool enough to think Shank did the heavy lifting to make the compelling argument against Theo Epstein, are you?
That’s why it must have felt good this week when the owners read a carve job on Epstein, penned by Tom Van Riper at Forbes. Van Riper said Epstein, “has to go down as the decade’s most overrated baseball executive.’’ The piece said Dan Duquette built the core of the Sox 2004 championship team and that Epstein won the World Series by “tinkering with Duquette’s blueprint.’’
These aren't exactly news flashes to us, but read on to marvel / laugh at Shank's transparent attempt to look fair and impartial.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Trade War

Dan Shaughnessy on CSNNE, July 25, 2012: "I want the Sox to be sellers. I don't want them to go for it this year."

Dan Shaughnessy, Aug. 7, 2012: "The big-spending days are over. The Sox are done."

Dan Shaughnessy, Aug. 29, 2012: "Now comes the reality. The inconvenient truth. Take a good look at Tuesday night’s lineup, a/k/a The Sons of Mario Mendoza. "

Monday, August 27, 2012

And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - XIV

Unconfirmed reports have Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi being suspended for plagiarizing a column (first reported at Free Republic; original quoted article below is unmistakably Howie Carr):
On Aug. 15, GOP political columnist Todd Domke wrote on a WBUR blog that Vice President Joe Biden should apologize for his “chains” remarks. Two days later, in an unsigned editorial, Vennochi wrote, well, basically the same thing.

The bow-tied bumkissers have refused to release the name of their latest scofflaw in the tradition of Mike Barnicle, Patricia X. Smith, Jayson Blair and a host of other Globe pipe artists and journalistic grifters.

But multiple sources have confirmed that the latest member of the Globe Hall of Shame is Vennochi … [Vennochi] did not return several phone calls and an email over the weekend seeking comment on her suspension.
Imagine that - a Globie suspended for plagiarism by ripping off an article about... another plagairist. This article, rich in irony!

Along with radio silence at the Globe on this matter, it's more or less why it's unconfirmed at this point. I'll pile on as this develops.

Real Tough Call There, Mike

From Shank's column on the blockbuster trade:
It would be the biggest Red Sox trade since Babe Ruth was dealt to the Yankees for cash in 1920.

Hope this one works out better.
No, you don't - that would impact sales of your next book, "Curse of the Bambino II - Electric Boogaloo"...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Curse, Redux?

I awoke in a cold sweat this morning with the most horrible thought:

What if The CHB parlays the (imminent) trade of Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford as an opportunity to revive his Curse of the Babe routine?


Friday, August 24, 2012

Duh, I Like-ah da Bass-bawl

So about a gazillion things going on with the Red Sox tonight, not the least of which could be the team's most significant trade in the past 20 years, and here's The CHB's "question" at the post-game presser: "Pedro Ciriaco, just another clutch hit for you guys."


DHL Dan - XV

You know it's the dog days of summer when Shank 'treats' us to his second Picked Up Pieces column in a fortnight. Treats isn't quite the right word, 'inflicts' is more accurate. I usually describe these 'efforts' as dumpster fodder, and this one is no exception. The majority of the column reads like the weekly dump he's been taking on the Red Sox since the beginning of the season, then he sprinkles in some fluff & sidebars and has the nerve to call the result a column.

Here he is, likely describing lunch with Andy Gresh:
Here’s my take on the sellout streak (778 and counting). It’s like sitting at lunch with someone you don’t know well and noticing that they have spinach in their teeth. The longer you go without saying anything, the worse it gets. You both feel better once you come clean. That’s what the streak has become. The Sox are strangled by their own monster here. Best to admit it’s over and we can all get on with our lives.
Then we're given an example of what passes for clear, strategic thinking:
John Farrell makes a lot of sense as the next Sox manager. He is especially tight with Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen, and the Sox and Jays should be able to do something about the one year remaining on Farrell’s Toronto contract.


Mike Scioscia has been manager of the Angels since 2000 and is signed through 2018. He has been on the hot seat because of the Angels’ underperformance. If the Angels want to make a switch, how about the Sox making a deal to pick up Scioscia’s contract?
Well, which is it? Maybe Shank could have been bothered to take the next logical step and say 'I prefer this guy over that guy', or does that require too much effort? Is anyone else convinced Shank does not proofread his columns before submitting them? This is just further evidence that Shank doesn't have an editor, and the reader will be insulted every time Shank blatantly mails in a column of this stripe, or tunes into 98.5 FM when he's in the booth with Gresh & Zolak.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Spin Doctors

There must have been a blue moon last night; Shank actually sat down and interviewed an athlete, in this case it's Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox. Pedroia gives his side of the story with respect to the Palace Revolt from late last month, which does not mesh with the story as it came out last week (that players, led by Pedroia, wanted manager Bobby Valentine fired).
Exactly one year ago, Dustin Pedroia was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, captured flying through the air as he turned a double play. The Red Sox were finishing up a stretch in which they went 39 games over .500, and the headline accompanying Pedroia’s image was “Heart of the Red Sox.’’

Tuesday night, Pedroia came home to Fenway Park, wearing the scars of his first public flogging by the beast of Boston baseball. He went 1 for 5 against the Angels in another demoralizing 5-3 loss as the Sox dropped five games under .500.
Unlike, say, those uplifting 11-2 losses...
Pedroia was crushed by fans and sports talk radio jockeys last week when news leaked of the Palace Revolt from late July.
Let me remind the readers who one of the sports radio talk jockeys is, just so you know who's stoking this fire.
Fenway folks got angry when it was reported that Pedroia led the “fire Bobby” storm that swept across Red Sox Nation. Boston’s former MVP was characterized as a bad guy in the clubhouse and reminded again that he’s the one who said, “That’s not the way we do things here,” when Valentine attempted to light a fire under Kevin Youkilis.

He took a couple days away from the media when the Sox lost two of three in New York. I caught up with him in the Sox dugout three hours before the series opener against the struggling Angels.
The column gets better from there, primarily due to Shank's silence until the end paragraph, where he slides in a Buffalo Springfield song reference. Time for Shank to update his iPod list, if he knows what an iPod is....

Monday, August 20, 2012

Father to Son

The scene: 11 AM, December 10, 2011, Dan Shaughnessy's kitchen

Dan and his son Sam are sitting at the table. Sam is noticeably hung over, and has marks on his wrists from where he had been handcuffed the night before.

Dan: Well, son, last night it seems you went out, got drunk, screamed obscenities and punched a cop. What do you have to say for yourself?

Sam: I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. If I had stayed at Larry's, none of this would have happened.

Dan: That's an excuse, you lazy beer-and-chicken eating perp.

Sam: I was hurt...I got cut from the BC baseball team and I thought you'd be mad. I know how you hate anything that hurts your book sales. 

Dan: You look like a guy who just hates being here. Maybe we should trade you.

Sam (raises eyebrow, puzzled): Huh?

Dan: You really need to stop ducking my emails and take responsibility.  And no, it doesn't matter if I mistyped your name in the TO line.

Sam (totally bewildered, sputtering): Things aren’t going the way you want them to, so you’re scrutinized more. We sort of made that bed ourselves and it’s up to us to make it better. When we make it better there will be less scrutiny and probably fewer distractions.

Dan: Amen, to that. Finally someone in a position of power admits the reality.

And that is today's column in a nutshell. Just substitute "Ben Cherington/Red Sox" for "Sam." As usual, don't confuse The CHB with the facts.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Follies

Yesterday, The CHB went after Larry Lucchino, writing that Lawyer Larry was guilty of a "ridiculous spin" and that he "simply cannot just tell the truth." Lucchino apparently didn't respond to a Shaughnessy email (The CHB can use a computer! Who knew?), which, coupled with a few extra cold ones, left Dan stewing in the summer heat.

Buzz gone, Shaughnessy awoke to a raging hangover and the realization that in his Schnapps-fueled frenzy, he mistyped Lucchino's email address. Bummer, dude.

So here's The CHB's take on Jon Lester after two good starts in a row: "We can debate the merits of keeping Valentine, Beckett, Lackey, and other misfits of the wreckage of 2012, but there can be no doubt about Jon Lester."

But here's what he wrote on July 18: "[T]here is no excuse for Lester. This is sheer underperformance. And it is killing Boston’s baseball summer."

And on March 4: "This year is a little different. He is not just another established starting pitcher down here with the Red Sox getting his work in. He is a man on a mission to make amends."

Back to July 18: "He looks like a guy who just hates being here. There was sports-talk radio babble about trading Lester at the All-Star break. Now we wonder. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea."

But on Aug. 19: "Despite this terrible season, he is something the Sox can build on. Lester is a keeper."

Flip. Flop.

Oh, and how embarrassing for the columnist who has been calling out Adrian Gonzalez to learn that it was not the All-Star first baseman but now-traded Kelly Shoppach who complained to management about Valentine. Oops. Does that make The CHB a liar? By his math, it most certainly does.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Hazy Shade of Winter (Ale)

Dan Shaughnessy Watch has obtained the lede to the first draft of The CHB's column today:

"It’s good to be back guzzling tall boys on the Sox watch for a few days here in the Bronx."

And the coverup continues.  The CHB believes Red Sox management is lying about the intent of the July players meeting, adding "Once again, the Sox simply cannot just tell the truth."

Shaughnessy, alcohol settling in with full force, then veers to David Page, spending the better part of the piece quoting Tweets from the fired Red Sox strength and conditioning coach, including one where he bashes Clay Buchholz. Way to break the news. By the way, that would be 11-3 Clay Buchholz, who only has thrown six good starts in a row, and has been stellar in 10 of his last 12. If you're going to pick on a pitcher for being out of shape, better to go after one who isn't throwing like Cy Young. 

And Dan, about those Simon & Garfunkel references: They broke up in the 1970s. Just about the time you wrote your last relevant sentence.

And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - XIII

So you're the New York Times, parent company of the Boston Globe. You continue to lose money at an astonishing rate while your subsidiary loses half of its dead tree readership in a three year span and shitcans yet more employees.

So what do you do for an encore? Give the new CEO a boatload of money, that's what!
Incoming New York Times CEO Mark Thompson stands to make at least $8 million dollars by the end of 2013, financial filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed Friday.

The outgoing BBC director general will be paid a base salary of $1 million, a sum that will be substantially padded by assorted perks, bonuses and benefits.

When he starts work in November, the 55-year-old will be eligible for a $3 million signing-on bonus, $100,000 in relocation allowances, $25,000 for legal fees (that non-disclosure agreement sure is expensive - ed) and $333,000 in salary and bonuses until the end of this year.

In 2013 he will also be eligible for $1 million a year under the company's annual incentive program and be able to tap $3 million as part of the company's long-term incentive program, bringing the total to nearly $8.5 million.

The Times, which is America's most prestigious newspaper (ha ha - that's a good one! - ed) as well as a growing online news power, said it had recruited Thompson for his ability to develop non-traditional news products.
Great work, guys!