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.