Monday, August 31, 2015


Buried in the Globe's sports section is Shank's Picked up Pieces column from Saturday, where he 'discusses' many topics, from Tom Werner and Don Orsillo to DeflateGate and Darryl Dawkins.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Classy, Professional Tweets, By Dan Shaughnessy

If you're dusting off the cheap shots at the Krafts, it must be football season:

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Don Orsillo Gets Axed

Shank finally gets around to the firing of Red Sox TV announcer Don Orsillo.
This Tuesday, while the Sox were in Chicago, WEEI reported that Orsillo would be done with NESN at the end of this season. Sox owners and NESN officials (the team owns 80 percent of NESN) did not respond to reporters’ inquiries after word leaked, and Orsillo issued a polite “no comment” from Chicago.

At 7:50 p.m. Tuesday, shortly before the Sox played the White Sox, NESN issued a statement on its website confirming Dave O’Brien would replace Orsillo for the 2016 Sox season.

Ratings are down, the Sox are in last place for the third time in four years, and they can’t simply fire another pitching coach.

And so Don Orsillo is gone. Without any explanation from ownership or Orsillo’s bosses at NESN. And he’s apparently expected to finish out the season as if none of this is happening. Awkward.
If anyone runs into the suit responsible for this (Joseph Maar), kick him in the nuts for me, ok?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jim Lonborg

There's a charity baseball game tomorrow night in Cambridge featuring former Red Sox pitching great Jim Lonborg, so Shank gets a column out of it.
Twenty-two-year-old Tim Kurkjian had a chance to bat against 61-year-old Bob Feller back in the summer of 1979. Kurkjian, now a popular baseball analyst with ESPN, was then a cub reporter covering the Alexandria Dukes for the Washington Star.

On that fateful night 36 years ago, media members were invited to hit against Feller, an aging Hall of Famer who was forever making a buck barnstroming across the USA.

“It was amazing,’’ recalls Kurkjian. “Bob Feller was my dad’s hero. He was one of the greatest pitchers who ever lived. And there I was, standing in the batter’s box, hitting against him in this pregame exhibition.

“He wasn’t throwing very hard. He was 61 years old! So I got a couple of hits.

“When it was over, they gave me a certificate with my name on it, which had some large print at the bottom. It said something like, ‘The aforementioned slugger acknowledges that if he had faced Bob Feller in his prime, the results might have been different.’ No kidding! I’m sure I would have lit him up when he was throwing 101 miles an hour in 1940!’’

All of which brings us to Jim Lonborg, a 73-year-old South Shore dentist who will be toeing the rubber for charity at St. Peter’s Field in Cambridge on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Monday, August 24, 2015

CHB Column Latest Underperformer

Six days after The CHB was laid to waste, scooped on the Dave Dombrowski hiring by the likes of Heidi Watney (!) and David Wade (!!), he picks up the pieces long enough to claim the renewed energy at Fenway owes itself to players worried about losing their jobs.

Who, exactly, is worried remains to be seen.

Pablo Sandoval has a huge contract, and the Red Sox don't have a viable replacement at third base. He ain't worried. Hanley Ramirez has an even huger contract, and while they have lots of outfielders, none of them is making $22 million a year. He ain't worried either.

Dustin Pedroia is injured but the heart and soul of the team and has a contract that runs through 2021. The only guy in the system who might be able to fill his spot today is the current starting centerfielder, Mookie Betts. He ain't worried.

And on it goes. The other underperformers have already been traded (Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino) or released (Justin Masterson), or are on the DL and unlikely to be booted without a long look next spring.

The other myth The CHB tries to push is that the Red Sox are suddenly going to return to the Stone Ages of baseball; that is, when the league RBI leader was the default MVP. Ha! Wonder if Shank knows the difference between the Red Sox and, say the Cardinals and Giants is not their scouts but rather their so-called baseball people NOT taking the stats guys' advice. Keep in mind, it was the stats guys who said don't sign Sandoval. The CHB, on the other hand, made it the platform of his off-season campaign. Who's the smart guy now?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Dave Dombrowski was named head of the Boston Red Sox's baseball operations last night, and Ben Cherington, the GM since 2011, has resigned.

It's the biggest story, hands down, of the Red Sox season in 2015, and The CHB is nowhere to be found.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Jealous Shank

That's okay, Shank - you can just show everyone your Pulitzer Prize...

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Deflated Column

As we wait for the Federal court proceedings to work itself out, Shank may have finally come down with Deflategate Fatigue Syndrome.
The symptoms are obvious.

You are tired, edgy, and have bags under your eyes. You scan your monthly National Grid bill looking for language about ideal gas laws. After you have blood drawn for your annual physical, you call the doctor’s office to ask about your PSI levels. You know way too much about the vacation schedules of Gerry Callahan and Michael Felger. You get angry every time Chris Mortensen comes on ESPN. You sleep in a Free Brady T-shirt.

But you don’t sleep much.

You have Deflategate Fatigue Syndrome, a.k.a. DFS.
One of his better efforts recently.

A Cancer in the Clubhouse

All of The CHB's hyperventilating and bloviating over the Red Sox goes for naught now that manager John Farrell has been diagnosed with lymphoma.

But never let Shank miss a golden opportunity to revise history. As Roger linked to below, in today's (last night's) piece The CHB surmises, "[E]ven in bad times Farrell has commanded respect and dodged the slings and arrows that traditionally puncture the man in the corner office on Yawkey Way."

Indeed. Just a couple weeks ago, The CHB was referring to Farrell (among others) as one of the "company men ... headed to their third-last place finish in four seasons" and a "subordinate eager to please the bosses".

Slings and arrows 1, respect 0

And The CHB questioned in late June why Farrell still had a job, asking LArry Lucchino, "Why does he have that support? Again, it looks like he’s a company man, who won’t push back and therefore stays on the job."

Slings and arrows 2, respect 0

Oh yes: There's also all the usual background info on Farrell, a CHB staple, as if no one has heard of Wikipedia (which is probably where he gets it all).

The Boston Red Sox have a cancer in their midst all right, but it writes for the Globe.

Friday, August 14, 2015

John Farrell

Red Sox manager John Farrell announced his diagnosis of lymphoma a few hours ago. Shank does the write-up.

Get well soon, John.

Speaking Of Alcohol

Guess whose son has a Twitter account?

I suppose that's better than trying to beat the shit out of a couple of cops...

One Hit Wonders

Shank writes a decent column reflecting on one-time memorable performances of professional athletes.
I’M NOT SURE MALCOLM BUTLER OR DAVE ROBERTS DRINK BEER, but I am sure of this one thing . . . 

They’ll never have to buy another beer in this town.

It’s what we always say. A guy makes a great catch, hits a big homer, or steals a series-saving base, and we say the same thing.

He’ll never have to buy a beer in this town again.

Bernie Carbo stopped drinking alcoholic beverages back in the 1990s, but he’s never going to have to a buy a beer in Boston because he hit one of the biggest homers in Red Sox history when, while pinch-hitting with two outs in the eighth, he drove a Rawley Eastwick cut fastball into the center-field bleachers to tie the sixth game of the epic 1975 World Series. Carbo’s blast set up the Carlton Fisk foul-pole shot — the Good Will Hunting moment that guaranteed that Pudge also would never again have to buy another beer in this town.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


This isn't your normal amalgamation of half-useless thoughts and jumbled logic; Shank takes the Picked-Up Pieces column to a whole 'nother level of rambling and contradictory, disjointed thought.
Picked-up pieces while officially changing my Globe column logo to “The Shaughnessy Report In Context” . . .

■ The more I think about it, I’m predicting that the embarrassed and contrite NFL will rescind all Deflategate penalties and ultimately reward the Patriots with a $2 million apology bonus and a couple of additional draft picks because of . . . you know . . . everything that the league put the Patriots through.
This, after numerous columns, nay, a veritable crusade, taking massive dumps on the Patriots. Gotta love having it both ways!

Shank continues to lobby for the rights to co-write Larry Lucchino's book:
■ Pay attention to what the Red Sox do regarding the Larry Lucchino vacancy. If you are a Sox fan, it’s a bad sign if the front office chooses to operate without a baseball guy to fill Lucchino’s shoes. Lucchino has been responsible for keeping order on Yawkey Way over the last 13 years.

Also, take note that Ben Cherington now mentions “John, Tom, and Mike,’’ instead of “John, Tom, and Larry.’’ “Mike” is Mike Gordon, the second-largest investor in the Red Sox.
'Tomato cans' make their annual reappearance:
■ The tomato cans are lining up nicely in the AFC East. Every year we hear about how the Dolphins, Bills, and Jets are finally going to contend . . . and then the season starts. None of the Patriots’ division opponents has a good quarterback. The Jets are now down one bad QB with Geno Smith getting his jaw broken by a teammate. Very Jetlike.
And there's another Larry Bird sighting:
■ I love how Larry Bird never lets Beezer Carnes off the hook. Carnes was Bird’s Springs Valley High School teammate in French Lick, Ind., and legend holds that Beezer was too lazy to join teammates for early-morning free throw practice before school, then he missed a key foul shot in the state tournament.

Speaking to Dan Patrick a few weeks ago, Bird said, “The dream was to be good enough to play against the big schools. That’s what we tried to do. But unfortunately, I played with a kid who kept missing free throws at the end of the game and we didn’t get there.

“I was at a party about two years ago, and this lady in her 70s looked at my friend and said, ‘What are you doing here? After missing those free throws back in ’74, you shouldn’t even show your face.’ ’’
And the one where Shank tries to wash his hands of the negative shitshow of Boston media by half-clever misdirection (emphasis mine):
■ Stand proud, Boston sports social media tough guys. When David Price was still with the Tigers, the ace lefty said this to WEEI’s John Tomase: “The amount of hatred I get from this fan base blows every other fan base away.’’
See what he tried to do there?

Truly a classic Shank mail it in effort!

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Another Larry Lucchino Column?

Is it just me, or is Shank now lobbying to co-write the following book, 'Larry Lucchino, The Red Sox Years' with these consecutive columns?
NEW YORK — Yankees president Randy Levine says he’s going to miss his counterpart, Larry Lucchino.

“It’s going to be different without him, that’s for sure,’’ Levine said Wednesday from his office at Yankee Stadium. “He was a very formidable adversary. A great competitor. We went back and forth for many, many years. He never backed down. I never backed down.’’

Levine took over as president of the Yankees in 2000 and Lucchino assumed the same post with the Red Sox late in 2001. Their rivalry rhetoric was fun and lively.

Monday, August 03, 2015

The One Where Shank Pretends To Like Larry Lucchino

Shank follows up on yesterday's column sand says lots of nice things about Larry Lucchino.
First it was Tito, Theo, and the Trio. There was a lot of arguing and pushback in the Red Sox front office for eight years while the ball club averaged 93 wins per season, made the playoffs five times, and won two World Series.

Then it was just the Trio, and some company men. There was less dissent at the top. The Sox won another World Series but are headed toward their third last-place finish in four seasons.

Now it’ll just be John Henry and Tom Werner, running things their way, surrounded by loyal, hard-working subordinates eager to please the bosses.

Larry Lucchino was a boss. He had credentials, winning a World Series with the Orioles, taking the Padres to the World Series, and building a couple of spectacular ballparks. According to Henry, Lucchino was the man who “runs the Red Sox.’’ Most of the time, Lucchino ran it quite well, but he’s had less input in recent seasons and now the Sox will move forward without him at the top of the masthead. He will step down as club president and CEO at the end of this season. Werner told the Herald he’s hopeful Lucchino will “continue to be an integral part of upper management.’’
Bet Shank would like to have this one back!

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Missing the Point (Man)

Larry Lucchino is stepping down as CEO of the Boston Red Sox. How many times has The CHB tried to suggest prematurely this was happening?

Let's see....

Feb. 15, 2015: The CHB claims Mike Gordon has usurped Lucchino in the Boston Red Sox pecking order.
July 8, 2014: Says Lucchino is an "absentee owner."
2012/13: Lucchino does not have a contract with Red Sox.

What's classic is that not only did The CHB get the timing wrong -- and by years -- he also got the replacement wrong. It's Sam Kennedy.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Tom Caron

Shank takes a break from shitting on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to devote a column about Tom Caron of NESN.
The WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon starts Aug. 18 and Tom Caron will be anchoring much of the event from NESN’s perch under the center-field bleachers at Fenway Park. Caron has been part of this magnificent event since its inception in 2002, and he’s interviewed dozens of Dana-Farber patients and their families in the course of raising millions of dollars for the fight against cancer.

This year will be different for Tom Caron. This year he will better understand the plight of cancer victims and the language they speak.

Caron had a mass removed from his chest in late March and learned that it tested positive for lymphoma just before starting work at the NESN studios on Friday, April 10 — which turned out to be the night the Red Sox and Yankees engaged in a six-hour-49-minute, 19-inning marathon in the Bronx. Caron planned on telling his wife the bad news after he got home that night, but as the game lurched toward midnight, the delay became intolerable. He called home in the middle of the 12th inning.

“Literally, the longest night of my life,’’ says the 20-year veteran of the New England Sports Network. “Those were long moments. You want to think the best, but you just don’t know.’’
Here's wishing Tom a full recovery.