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!