Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dan Lombardi

Have you always wanted to build your own New England Patriots football roster? Are you willing to endure a brief critique of your roster by the noted football guru, Shank Shaughnessy? Then click here, build your own roster and sit through Shank's pearls of wisdom, for a limited time only!

Monday, August 18, 2014

The CHB 'Breaks' Down

What in the ... ?

Leave it to Roger Clemens to negate the Scrooge that is The CHB. The result: A piece on the pitfalls of fame.

  • I can’t imagine what it’s like to be David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, or Larry Bird. You can’t possibly stop and accommodate everyone.
  • How would you like to be forever defined by your worst moment?
  • I find some of it wildly unfair. 

The CHB complaining about bad press? Get real. This is the guy who takes credit for running Nomar Garciaparra out of town. And who tried to run Jim Rice out of town. And Curt Schilling. And Theo Epstein. And Carl Everett. Oh, and Roger Clemens too!

This is the guy who can't write "Dan Duquette" without mentioning "twilight of his career," who called David Ortiz a "sad sack of you-know-what," who mocks any athlete who denies having used PEDs, who complains bitterly when Bill Belichick ignores him.

Is The CHB succumbing to the pressure of being the best-known misanthrope in a small town?

P.S. A Larry Bird sighting!

Friday, August 15, 2014

And Now, Batting For #21, Roger Clemens...

I agree with my blog mate's assessment of Shank's recent softball interview with Roger Clemens, but I believe there's an additional reason Shank's going easy on Clemens the past few years (sharply contrasted with many previous attacks on Clemens, acknowledged by Shank himself here in the second paragraph):
Let me tell you the story of Clementine.

Clementine is a 6-foot-tall white teddy bear that sits in a shed behind my house. Clementine is 16 years old and a little worn around the edges. The big bear is dirty, moth-ridden, and has duct tape covering holes where stuffing would come out.

Clementine came to our house in a giant cardboard box delivered in a UPS truck in the winter of 1993-94. When the driver and I discovered that the return address was “Katy, Texas,’’ we checked to see if the thing was ticking. Roger Clemens was no friend of mine, and I was concerned the box might contain a Trojan Horse or some other mayhem maker.

No. It contained a get-well gift for 8-year-old Kate Shaughnessy, who’d just been diagnosed with leukemia. There was an autographed baseball from Clemens and the big white bear. Kate smiled and named him/her Clementine. And Clementine stayed in her room until she graduated from college.
It's pretty clear that Clemens knows how to work the media, or at least certain members of the media.

This column is Shank paraphrasing John Kerry - "I was against Roger Clemens, before I was for him!"

Failure to Launch

The CHB is a coward. There it is.

This is the guy who, from the safety of a keyboard, has the audacity to say Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell must have used PEDs, despite no evidence of the same.

But given the opportunity to confront another potential Hall of Famer, one whose ex dealer and a close teammate both fingered as a user, Shank pulls his punches.

Instead, he asks Roger Clemens whether he feels slighted for not being elected to the Hall. Coward. And when relating the meeting, The CHB even resorts to the third person -- "Folks think he's dirty" and "He cannot break free of the accusations and perception that he cheated" -- rather than taking a position himself. Coward.

Shank also repeatedly reminds readers of Dan Duquette's parting shot at Rocket Roger when he left for free agency ("twilight of his career"), then proceeds to list off all Clemens' post Red Sox accomplishments. But since he cheated (right?), and since steroids enhance performance (right?), doesn't that mean Duquette was ... right?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Coming back from a mini-vacation, Shank treats us to a picked up pieces column, abandoning any chance of his daughter getting another cushy job or internship from Red Sox chairman Tom Werner:
Picked-up pieces while following Jon Lester to Oakland and John Lackey to St. Louis:

■ Tom Werner for commissioner? Please. The Red Sox “chairman” is a nice guy, but he ran the Padres into the ground 20 years ago and nobody ever has been quite sure what he does for the Red Sox, even as John Henry and Larry Lucchino have spent too much precious time trying to make sure folks know he has done a lot.
We have an interesting observation on Patriots coach Bill Belichick:
■ If history holds, look for Bill Belichick to pick the pockets of the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles soon. Just ask fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Belichick butters up his opponents by letting them into the circle of trust with “joint” practices, then he kicks their butts in real games and acquires their disgruntled and/or underappreciated top talents such as Darrelle Revis, Aqib Talib, and LeGarrette Blount. It’s foolproof.
And we have another attempt by Shank to rewrite history / lie through his teeth with respect to former Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford:
■ Carl Crawford needs to just shut up about Boston. He was treated with kid gloves here the whole time. His failure with the Sox was his own underachievement. Nothing more. And now he’s the highest-paid fourth outfielder in the game.
Readers may wish to peruse this brief compilation of Shank treating Carl Crawford with brass knuckles kid gloves.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Commissioner Column is Low-Brow Comedy

Tom Werner has had plenty of hits (and made plenty of money) in his TV days on shows with stale jokes, so it is fitting that in response to Werner's interview for baseball commissioner The CHB submits a piece full of unfunny one-liners.

Shaughnessy doesn't think Werner has a shot -- surprise! -- which seems awfully strange given that the last time the owners are (unwillingly) replacing one of their own (Bud Selig) and seem distrustful of outsiders, given the self-inflicted debacle they created during ex commissioner Fay Vincent's reign.

While Selig lackey Rob Manfred appears to be the frontrunner, White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf is hugely influential and, per many observers, is not yet sold on the MLB lawyer's candidacy, which is notable given Reinsdorf led the charge to oust Vincent.

Indeed, Shank's column resembles Jon Heyman's, and given it comes two days after the CBS sportwriter's, one has to wonder whether The CHB has followed a long Globe tradition and started borrowing other's work.

And yes, he ends with yet another complaint about Jon Lester's departure. (Were they dating or something) Why let that lie?

Waxing Nostalgic

Shank joins the Red Sox road trip, who are in St. Louis to play the Cardinals for a three game series. He runs into John Lackey and attempts to make a negative story out of it.
ST. LOUIS — You could feel the bitterness. Dare we say, hatred?

In his first interview with Hub reporters since he was traded by the Red Sox last Thursday, John Lackey reluctantly submitted to questions from New England sports media in the Cardinals dugout late Tuesday afternoon. I haven’t felt this kind of loathing since walking into the Adrian Gonzalez/Josh Beckett/Carl Crawford charm-fest in Dodger Stadium last summer.

Sorry, but it’s not just media meanies. Lackey’s got a problem with Boston baseball. Why else would he admit he’s OK pitching for the Cardinals for a contractually-agreed-upon $500,000 next season, but not for the Red Sox.
Now let's look at what Lackey actually said:
How did he feel when he heard about the trade?

“Pretty excited, actually,’’ said Lackey. “I wasn’t really surprised. Honestly, this is a good place for me to be. I was pretty happy with where it happened. I’m happy with what happened.’’

He said winning a ring is the only reason he’s still playing. It pleases him to be in position to do this with the Cardinals.

Were there any conversations with the Red Sox regarding extending his minimum major league wage deal for next season?

“No,’’ he said. “Not really. We didn’t get that far ahead.’’

Asked if his new happiness is a direct result of being out of Boston, he countered with, “Absolutely not. I have some great friends on that team that I left. We had a great year last year. It was a ton of fun with those guys. It’s just part of the game.’’
Just a little different, no? Lackey continues on in that vein, and concludes the interview with a Captain Obvious statement:
Lackey grew uncomfortable when he was pressed on his unwillingness to give the Red Sox the guarantee he’s giving the Cardinals.

“You guys are trying to stir stuff up.’’
And.... scene!

Sunday, August 03, 2014

You Could See His Point (if First He'd Remove His Hat)

Give The CHB credit: When he wants to make a point, no matter how trite, he can top the naggiest of housewives.

John Henry won't pay $140 million for a player over the age of 30. That's his point. Actually, that doesn't sound like such a bad thing.

But The CHB has a bone and he ain't giving it up.

Just he like said on July 31. And on July 30. And on July 24 (in a column on soccer, no less). And on July 20. And on July 15. And July 11.

All in all, in the eight of Shank's past nine columns have been bitches about Red Sox ownership and money.

And he accuses Red Sox ownership of tunnel vision. By those standards, Shank does his work in a catheter.