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.