Friday, May 29, 2015


It's been a while since Shank officially mailed in a column, hasn't it?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Beating A Dead Horse

Or, rewriting the same column for the sixth time:
Looking back at The Needle and the Damage Done, there is still one thing I can’t get my head around.

It’s easy to believe that the Patriots bent the rules, created their own system of preparing game-day footballs, then covered it up and lied about it when they got caught. The whole thing is absurd, and probably wildly unlucky. Everybody does stuff like this, but the Patriots keep getting caught because they do it more than anybody else, they win, and there are jealous rats who hate them.
Yeah, can't think of anybody off the top of my head...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Hopefully, Shank's Next Column

It seems that Shank's gleeful series of columns on Deflategate has more or less run its course, which means he can turn his attention to his traditional summertime tradition, shitting on the Red Sox:
Dan Shaughnessy said the team likes playing for manager John Farrell, but suggested that maybe the Red Sox have gotten a bit too comfortable.

"They know their not going to get spanked or humiliated in front of the media," said Shaughnessy. "He's not gonna call them out. When that sort of behavior, effort or complacency is tolerated by the manager, guys like that, they don't have to play that hard… you can mail it in a little bit here because the manager makes it more comfortable for you. That's the issue."
A few hours afterwards, the Red Sox got clobbered 12 - 5 by the Los Angeles Angels, so look for a classic Sox doom & gloomer any day now from His Shankness.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

'Madness in the Spring'

Yesterday it was, could Bob Kraft be assembling a commissioner coup? Today it's "Bob wimped out."

To recap:
  • The CHB believes the Patriots cheated and then lied about it.
  • The CHB believes the Patriots had its punishment coming if for no other reason they have been guilty of the crime of "arrogance" (which in CHB talk is the same as "winning").
  • The CHB believes writing the same column seven or eight times in a row will somehow change people's minds, or not, because we, too, are "arrogant."
Given that the NFL rules don't allow appeals from ownership, the smart thing for Kraft was to concede, so naturally The CHB sees this as a sign of weakness, even though he thinks they are as guilty as OJ.

What I found comical is that Shank has spent multiple columns on the Deflategate story over multiple days in San Francisco and has yet to land an interview with a Patriots player or employee.

There's also this odd Jethro Tull reference thrown in ("Patriot fans spitting out pieces of their broken luck," which is funny in that if anyone has less need for an aqualung, it's The CHB, who is already full of air (and probably has spent more than one afternoon in a boozy haze sitting on a park bench with snot running down his nose).

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

CSI (CHB's Shitty Investigation)

The mystery behind the Patriots' response to Deflatage deepens, but Dan is on the case!

  • Why, for instance, if the Patriots did no wrong, did they suspend two lower-level employees for their roles?
  • Will Robert Kraft sue the NFL?
  • Could Kraft be working behind the scenes to oust NFL commissioner Roger Goodell?

It's spell-bounding drama, and the way The CHB tells it, readers surely will be on tenterhooks, at least until we learn what in the hell tenterhooks are.

What's telling, of course, is no one is talking to The CHB. The hometown columnist couldn't even score an interview with Kraft, who chose instead to talk with Peter King of Sports Illustrated.

This is where not being a dick would come in handy. Too late for that!

Friday, May 15, 2015


From Shank's column, May 13, 2015 (date correction from the last post):

It is one of the biggest sports stories of our lifetime and it is our only topic for the foreseeable future.

And here to deliver his latest salvo against the New England Patriots, is Captain Obsession.
SEATTLE — Now the Patriots want you to believe that Jim McNally referred to himself as “The Deflator’’ because he was always trying to lose weight.

Wow. In non-legal, unscientific terms, that’s what we call a good old-fashioned whopper.

The Patriots are insulting your intelligence again. Because they can. Because they know that most Patriots fans believe the team can do no wrong.

The Patriots are merely victims of jealous rivals and a league run by buffoons. They hate us ’cause they ain’t us. Got it? Good.

Fort Foxborough has become an NFL college town on a par with Tallahassee, Fla. The Patriots are not going down without a fight and will enjoy universal support of a fan base thankful for all the franchise has accomplished in the last 15 years.
While in Seattle, Shank does what he does well - troll an entire town:
I originally came to Seattle to talk to Seahawks fans about Pete Carroll and the worst coaching decision in the history of sports. I wanted to know how Hawks fans felt about losing the Super Bowl to New England when Carroll elected to throw a slant pass over the middle when he was 1 yard from a Lombardi Trophy and had the NFL’s best downhill runner in his huddle.

The gentle folks of the Pacific Northwest were happy to talk about the disappointing loss.

“It still hurts, but he’s a good coach and a good guy,’’ said A.J. Thingh, who owns a Seattle limousine company. “I’m not really mad at him. He’s done good work. One bad call doesn’t make someone a bad coach.’’

(Tell that to Grady Little.)
Tune in next time for another exciting Deflategate column!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fifth Time's A Charm

From Shank's column, May 12, 2015:
It is one of the biggest sports stories of our lifetime and it is our only topic for the foreseeable future.
How right he is! It should be obvious to anyone by now that 1) Shank hates the New England Patriots football team and 2) five columns in six days from the normally non-prolific columnist is proof positive that he is motivated primarily by any combination of the following traits - jealousy, envy, hatred, antipathy, pettiness, grudge holding and negativity.
Deflategate thoughts as we await appeals and Bob Kraft perhaps ponders seceding from the NFL . . .

■ I remain impressed by the physicists, magicians, jugglers of truth, and truthfully mad scientists who have made it their life mission to poke holes in the easily poked Wells Report. These folks are Tom Brady Vulcans and Klingons, speaking a language no one else knows. They are Krafty Krishnas, banging tambourines, chanting, and dancing around Gillette Stadium.

They are like the thousands of conspiracy theorists who have written books and devoted millions of hours to the flawed findings of the Warren Commission. They are Wells Report buffs, and they will not rest until Brady and the Patriots are cleared of all these trumped-up charges.

Among hundreds of missives I’ve received from the buffs, my favorite was from the gentleman who wrote, “I have a PHD in engineering specializing in process engineering (keeping things within tolerance). I spent 24 or so hours analyzing the Wells Report and writing this rebuttel. I would like to see it published somewhere before Tom Brady gets suspended.’’

The gentleman’s eight-page, single-spaced “rebuttel” concluded with, “Summary: The Wells Report is wicked stupid . . . Tom Brady is freakin’ awesome . . . Go Pats!!!!!”
Which has been Shank's M.O. from the start of this recent barrage of columns - dismiss and discount any evidence supporting the Patriots and relentlessly hammer away at the evidence making the Patriots look bad.

Toward the end of this column, however, it seems that Shank acknowledges some of these points:
■ Deep down, everybody (even you, Keyshawn) knows these punishments are too harsh. The Patriots are paying for a decade of flipping off the league, noncompliance with Wells, Spygate, and the league’s clumsy attempt to right its own ship after a year of horrible publicity over botched punishments.

■ Deflategate will not affect the Patriots competitively this season. Brady probably will get a couple of games shaved from his suspension. Meanwhile, the Patriots will get a good look at the future in Jimmy Garoppolo. The AFC East will still be the Warhol Division; the Patriots will win it easily, getting their first-round bye and second-round home game. They will also have the “us against the world” mentality that motivated them to 18-0 after Spygate in 2007.

■ I can’t help but wonder whether Matt Estrella ever hung out with Jim McNally and/or John Jastremski. Those three could get busts in the Rogues Wing of the Patriot Place Hall of Shame.

Piling On

Shank invents a lame excuse to continue to pile on the New England Patriots, and devotes this column to Tom Brady in particular.
SAN MATEO, Calif. — It could be Boston College High School on Morrissey Boulevard or Xaverian Brothers in Westwood. It could be Catholic Memorial in West Roxbury or Archbishop Williams in Braintree.

Except for the trophy case.

Except for the plaques on the school’s athletic Hall of Fame.

It’s there that you see that this is not your ordinary Catholic high school. It is there that you see photos of two of the greatest athletes of all time. It is there that you see Tom Brady. And Barry Bonds.

I flew to San Francisco to cover the Red Sox series against the Oakland A’s, but that plan blew up Monday when the Deflategate sanctions were levied by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. It is one of the biggest sports stories of our lifetime and it is my our only topic for the foreseeable future.
Lovely - we have three hatchet job columns and this one in the past week on Deflategate, and now we can expect more? Just fuckin' shoot me now...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

And It's Sticky

Like that was a tough call in the last post, wasn't it?
This will stick with Tom Brady and the Super Bowl champions forever.
And Shank will do everything possible to make sure that happens. This is better for Shank than Christmas is for kids.
The NFL dropped the hammer on Brady and the Patriots late Monday afternoon. In the wake of NFL investigator Ted Wells’s 243-page “Deflategate” report, the league suspended Brady for four games, fined the Patriots $1 million (largest in NFL history), and took away two draft picks, including the club’s No. 1 selection in 2016.

The penalties were stiffer than the Patriots and their fans expected. As recently as January, owner Robert Kraft was asking for an apology from the league for raising the issue and embarrassing the team during Super Bowl week.

Now the league has determined that the Patriots are serial cheaters. In the eyes of the NFL, and much of Football America, the Patriots are Alex Rodriguez. For the second time in eight years, New England is being punished in the name of “the integrity of the game.’’ Blindly loyal fans can continue to bay at the moon, but unless the Patriots secede from the NFL, this doesn’t go away for Brady and the team.

The Patriots are a tremendously successful franchise. They win the AFC East every year and they have won four Super Bowls since 2001. Under the direction of Bill Belichick, they do things their own way and pay no heed to their critics. They regularly push the envelope and stretch the rules, and they win. This doesn’t make a lot of friends. And now it’s a field day for the army of Patriots enemies.
Leading the charge with three Patriots columns in five days and a bunch of gleeful tweets is General Shaughnessy.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Shank Shoots His Wad

With the announcement of sanctions against the New England Patriots for 'Deflategate', Shank's entire month is made:

Exit questions - do we get another sanctimonious column out of Shank now? Is he writing that column as we speak?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Brady, Patriots Make The CHB Wet

Now that an NFL investigation is complete, the Patriots in general and Tom Brady in particular are going to pay a tremendous price for their role in deflating footballs during the playoffs last season.

The Patriots are sanctimonious, arrogant, and "obstructionists."

Tom Brady is a lying cheater.

Bob Kraft is an insane whiner.

That's The CHB's column today in a nutshell.

So Tom Brady is now a wicked person, in the vein of other evildoers like Manny Ramirez, Nomar Garciaparra and Theo Epstein. Obviously whatever the worst offense you ever committed in your life is who you are. (What does that say about (Son of) Sam Shaughnessy, who got drunk and was busted for assaulting a cop?)

We needn't loo far in the Shank canon for instruction. Here's what The CHB wrote on Bill Parcell's induction to the Hall of Fame in August 2013:

He is renowned as the great, almighty Tuna, the quintessential Jersey guy who engaged reporters and insisted, “You are what your record says you are.’’ ... Parcells is the man who rescued the Patriots from irrelevance and maybe from a move to St. Louis. More than Bob Kraft, Tom Brady or Bill Belichick, Parcells is the man who changed the culture of football in Foxborough.

If Parcells is a local hero, and responsible for the Patriots culture, then isn't Parcells to blame? And if you are what your record says you are, well, doesn't that mean Patriots are Super Bowl champions?

Ever since their second Super Bowl loss to the Giants, The CHB has been writing some variation of the theme that the Patriots are done. This past year scuttled that pseudo franchise-in-the-making. Shank may be saying a hard rain's gonna fall (wicked bad cliche alert!), but it says The CHB is, once again, all wet.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Dump Taken

Does anyone else out there get the impression that Shank has been sitting on this column for five months?
It’s a bad day for the Patriots. It’s an especially bad day for New England’s iconic quarterback, Tom Brady.

The Patriots are Super Bowl champs, but the NFL also believes the Patriots are cheaters. The Patriots certainly didn’t need to illegally deflate footballs to beat the Indianapolis Colts, 45-7, in the AFC Championship game, but according to Ted Wells’s report released Wednesday, they went ahead and did it anyway.

The reports also says it is “more probable than not” that Brady “was at least generally aware” of the tampering. Golden Boy Tom is likely to be sanctioned when the NFL doles out its punishment in the wake of the damning report issued Wednesday afternoon.
Read on, to bask in his glee at taking his best shot yet at Bill Belichick and now Tom Brady.
The Patriots won the Super Bowl fair and square, with PSI-regulation footballs. They did not need deflated footballs to beat the Colts. It certainly cannot be proven that the Patriots were doing this every week. But now they have armed their legion of enemies with a new weapon.
Which would include Dan Shaughnessy. But you knew that already.

Monday, May 04, 2015

The One Where Shank Pretends To Like Pedro Martinez

Pedro Martinez has written a book about his baseball career. Shank got an advanced copy and devotes today's column to the book he wishes he could have co-wrote with him.

The book.

At last.

He wrote it with the Herald's Mike Silverman. The official publication date is Tuesday. He's got a signing at the Barnes & Noble at the Prudential on Thursday. And you might be able to hunt him down to sign your copy if you make the trek to Cooperstown in July. It will be worth it.

Unless you are old enough and lucky enough to have seen Sandy Koufax in the first half of the 1960s, Pedro's performance with the Red Sox in 1999 and 2000 is probably the best pitching you have ever seen. For those of us who got to cover him every day, he will always be one of the most fascinating, interesting, charming, and downright fun characters who ever walked across the ancient clubhouse at Fenway Park.
At least this column isn't an obvious, transparent attempt on Shank's part to rewrite history.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Oh, That Darn World Series Win!

Cherry-picking at its best, The CHB today rolls out two of his favorite subjects:

1. That the fans aren't tough enough on the Red Sox, and
2. The Red Sox suck.

He's been pushing variations of these themes for years. Unfortunately, he's never sure how to effectively make the case.

For example, he says the Red Sox have been under .500 since September 2011. OK, true, but why is that date important? Answer: It's the one he needs to make his case.

But wait: Didn't the Red Sox win a World Series during that span? Of course! So The CHB deftly parries that unfortunate wrinkle by calling it "incredibly lucky and somewhat inadvertent."

Who knew winning the World Series could be such a bummer?

"It’s a small sample, for sure, but we are now working on 3½ seasons of underachievement for the highly-paid local nine," says Shank. Well, not really. (See aforementioned World Series.)

That highly paid local nine includes Pablo Sandoval, of whom The CHB wrote last fall that the "Red Sox can't sign soon enough." It includes Dustin Pedroia ("no longer able to hit with runners in scoring position"), of whom a Shank column in February was headlined "Dustin Pedroia Ready for Bounceback Season."

It also includes the not-so-highly paid Mookie Betts, of whom The CHB complained the Red Sox were "overvaluing." But if you trade young players like Betts in order to get Cole Hamels, like Shaughnessy said in February, you get even more highly-paid veterans, and oh by the way, one who has a 4.14 ERA and 19 walks in 37 innings. Hard to imagine the Sox would have a better record with him.

The CHB was on Comcast Sports New England earlier this week and when asked where he was for panic level, he wasn't panicking. So why panic two days later?

Because he's Shank. And he needs to write a column.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

A Love Affair Is Born

Lookie here - a second consecutive column on A-Rod!
Let’s not call it “great,’’ but this was certainly one of the more memorable moments in the 103-year history of Fenway Park.

On a night when he was benched, Alex Rodriguez, the lightning rod of baseball hatred, walked to home plate as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning and launched a 3-and-0 Junichi Tazawa pitch into the Monster Seats for his 660th career homer, tying Willie Mays for fourth place on baseball’s all-time list. Fans booed Rodriguez on every step around the bases. The Red Sox made no acknowledgment of the milestone on the scoreboard or over the public address system. It was just another homer by some guy named Rodriguez. Yeesh.

Now it’s Bonds, Aaron, Ruth, Mays, and A-Rod. That’s like Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, and . . . Costanza.
The most hated Boston sportswriter penning back-to-back smoochers for the most hated man in baseball - makes perfect sense!

Friday, May 01, 2015

The Obligatory A-Rod Column

Alex Rodriguez & the New York Yankees are coming to town this weekend, so we get an A-Rod column from Shank, natch:
Awkward Personified comes to Fenway this weekend.

Alex Rodriguez — the one you’ve despised all these years — makes his return to Boston for a three-game series starting Friday night, and A-Rod has a shot to tie Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time home runs list.

Rodriguez has 659 career homers. Mays hit 660. There are no words to express how wrong this feels.

What do you think, Dr. Charles Steinberg? Are the Red Sox going to feature a video montage of A-Rod’s greatest moments as he rounds the bases to the tune of “Times of Your Life’’ after tying the Say Hey Kid? Perhaps the Sox’ well-known choreographer could produce Terry Cashman singing, “Willie, Mickey and the Duke.’’

And what are Fenway fans to do? Other than boo?
Well, they're in the right ballpark for that!