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!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Train Wreck Radio

Who are the Einsteins that think stuff like this makes for good radio?
(Aug. 13, 2012) The Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy is in for Gresh, so Zo led things off talking with Shaughnessy about the Boston Red Sox. The soap opera at Fenway continued since Zo was last in, so Shaughnessy is in charge of getting him up to date.
I had something more interesting to do that morning as I was watching paint dry...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Asleep At The Wheel?

One would think that the soap opera that is the 2012 Boston Red Sox would provide Shank with endless opportunities to bash everyone in the Red Sox organization from ownership to the grounds crew. Really, why stop with just one dump a week on the Olde Towne Team? Kick a team when they're down - it's easier that way!

Michael Felger pointed out on his radio show yesterday that the story that started this most recent chapter was done by Yahoo Sports, with no local writers doing any original reporting or digging. So where the hell is Shank on this one?

And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - XII

The Liberal Death Star New York Times, parent company of the Boston Globe, came out with the quarterly financial statements last week. In a development that should surprise no one, the company continues to bleed red. Net loss for the quarter = $88.1 million. Management is largely silent on the forward looking statements, which can be found here. Like there's anything positive to say...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hollow Man

The CHB has long since perfected the ability to pen piece together a column with zero effort. Today's mail-job work is one such example.

To wit, only Shaughnessy could write a 994-word obituary on Johnny Pesky and have it come across as completely sterile. But here, and only here, does The CHB truly excel. He works in all the obligatory nostalgia -- Carlton Fisk, the 1975 World Series, Jim Rice, Nomar Garciaparra, Dominic DiMaggio, Tony Conigliaro, Carl Yastrzemski, Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx., Roger Clemens, Mo Vaughn. It's as if The CHB just read a piece on search engine optimization and stuffed all those names hoping for some cheap traffic.

And yes, The CHB rehashes the (incorrect) account of how Duquette kicked Pesky out of the dugout, an act which all parties agree was done on behalf of then-manager Jimy Williams.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ripped to Shreds

When the 800mg Tylenol capsules can't fix The CHB's alcohol-addled brain fast enough, he writes about ... nothing and calls it "Picked Up Pieces." Let's start the shredding!

"[Bob] Ryan came on board with the inimitable Peter Gammons in June of 1968 when the country was in shock over the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy."

As the New Yorker used to say, "Block that metaphor!"

"Count me as one who missed the memo that the Red Sox are allowing beer in the clubhouse on the road after games. ... Now we’re all supposed to shrug and say it’s no big deal that the beer is still there on the road?"

Yes. Because -- lo and behold -- based on their team record, alcohol (or the lack of it) apparently has had no effect on the Red Sox this season. Maybe some things in baseball come down to luck and timing after all. Who knew.

"Watch Bruce [Jenner] on Kardashian TV. The once-great Jenner is our male Joan Rivers."

So The CHB is saying he watches the Kardashians. What a shock. Probably where he gets most of his material.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The One Where The CHB Decries Success

For today's version of Stupid Human Tricks, The CHB ties himself into a knot trying to decide whether the Red Sox management, Bobby Valentine or the team itself is to blame for this year's underperformance. Ultimately -- meaning for today -- he settles on owner John Henry.

But what's not allowed: discussion of injuries. No matter that the Sox have lost their starting 2B, SS, 3B, LF, CF, RF and DH, all to the DL, plus countless pitchers of all stripes. That's not a good reason, according to Shaughnessy. Which is fair, in a way, since no one blames his complete lack of logic on the fact that he's a total retard.

The CHB clearly is drooling over the prospect of continuing to lay into Henry for having the audacity to own more than one professional franchise. This is disingenuous, of course (see "retard," above), for many reasons. If Henry were making daily decisions, Shaughnessy would attack him for interfering. Oh, and one may recall Jerry Reinsdorf, another hands-off executive who just happens to own the Bulls and the White Sox, they of a combined seven league titles.

Maybe Shaughnessy's just jealous that it was Henry, and not himself, who ended up nailing the very becoming Linda Pizzuti.  Ah well, Shank, back to the fatties at The Fours for you.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Speaking Of Nothing New

Shank takes his bi-weekly piss on the Boston Red Sox.
Red Sox owners got back from the Olympics on Saturday.

As part of the ongoing effort to assist our former business partners (alas, the New York Times Co. no longer owns 17 percent of the fabled franchise), here’s what the Sox bosses missed while they were overseeing their all-important LeBron James investment in London:

They missed another week of dead-ass, .500 baseball. They missed three straight losses to the Tigers and Twins. They missed Friday night, when the tin soldiers of Fenway held a 5-1 lead over the moribund Twins, then lost 6-5, in 10, falling below .500 yet again.
At least Shank has a new cliche! Can't wait to read it fifty more times over the next two months.
They missed a chance to trade Adrian Gonzalez to the Dodgers for a bunch of players who could help build for the future in Boston. The Dodgers really wanted Gonzo and I’m thinking the Sox could learn to live without him just as they learned to live without Nick Esasky.
Yes, they could do a trade to help the team, even though Shank said the opposite just six days ago. And do you remember when Shank had a embarrassing man crush on Gonzo? Seems like only yesterday...

The rest of the column is just Shank piling on, missing few targets.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Bobby V to CHB: You're An Idiot!

The manager of the Red Sox video-bombed Shaughnessy last night, telling a camera filming The CHB that "I'm not trying to get fired folks ... It was all made up by him."

Another revelation: The CHB has teeth! I figured he just gummed the beer bottles open.