Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Great Unraveling

Just one more thought on Shank's hot take from last night:
Did OKC unravel in the playoffs against the team with the second best regular season record in the NBA? Naturally, Shank won't discuss that angle. It doesn't fit his narrative.

It would be more intellectually honest (if I can be allowed to use 'intellect' and 'Dan Shaughnessy' in an unironic sense in the same sentence) to say OKC simply ran into a buzzsaw when they engaged Golden State in the Western Conference finals. Once again, that would require a bit more honesty and a bit less hyperbole in his tweets, which Shank is either unwilling or unable to do.

Hot Takes, By Dan Shaughnessy - II

It seems like Twitter does not have a spell check tool:

Reader feedback is about what you'd expect:

Revisionist History - II

Shank wants you to forget about all of his Red Sox columns over the past year:
BALTIMORE — Remember all that stuff about “urgency”, and last place three times in four years, and John Farrell on the hot seat, and the Red Sox struggling to regain relevance in their own market?

Yeah, forget all that.
Throw in some awful puns...
Knuckleballer Steven Wright floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee for the full nine innings, stifling a thunderous Oriole lineup on four hits.
... a paint by numbers game recap and the back of Dustin Pedroia's hand to Shank's face:
I told Betts how impressed we all were.

“I did the same exact thing last year in Kansas City,’’ he deadpanned. “Pedey was the hitter.’’

I checked with Dustin Pedroia.

“Of course,’’ said Pedroia. “Pay attention. Watch the games.’’
And you have the typical Shank faux-bandwagon Red Sox column.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Hot Takes, By Dan Shaughnessy

Having said nothing about the NBA Playoffs since the Celtics lost in the first round and Shank's oh-so predictable burial thereof , he took to Twitter earlier today to predict the future like Nostradmus:
During the game, Shank feels the need to troll:
Next up - a pro forma column or two about the NBA Finals where Shank can remind you of his pick to win it all. Or not!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Column on Boggs a Sad Affair

I looked at the headline of today's piece on the retiring of Wade Boggs' number, and said the following:

  • Chicken
  • Riding the cop's horse after the World Series win
  • Margo Adams.

Then I read the column.

"Only Wade could insist that he ate chicken three times a day, 365 days a year." Check.

"Boggs won a World Series with the Yankees and infuriated more Sox fans when he hopped on a New York City police horse to celebrate the victory at Yankee Stadium." Check.

Surprisingly, there was no reference to Margo Adams (although The CHB did throw in the anecdote about Boggs' wife running over him during spring training).

The rest is the usual soulless recitation of facts. So dull, in fact, a reference to Boggs' widely known affair with Adams would have been welcome.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The One Where Shank Lectures Robert Kraft

Not exactly sure what prompted this little fit of pique (probably this column), but there it is:

You still mad, bro?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Backhanded Compliment

Watching the beginning of tonight's Red Sox game, when the 1986 Boston Red Sox were being honored, I was sitting there, thinking - 'I'm imagining Shank doing a column right now, larding up the insults and cheap shots for coming one strike away from winning the World Series'.

I wasn't far off the mark - check out the massively insulting nickname Shank conjured up to 'commemorate' this team:
They were Boston’s One Strike Away Boys of Summer. Coming off a perfectly boring .500 season, the 1986 Red Sox took over first place in mid May and stayed there the rest of the season. They staged (what was at the time) the greatest comeback in ALCS history in Game 5 in Anaheim. Then they came closer to winning the World Series — without actually winning — than any team in history. They were the ones who could have broken the Curse, purged the ghosts, and prompted New Englanders to ring church bells and place Sox artifacts on gravestones of those who never lived to see it happen.
This insult is repeated throughout the column, with a paint by the numbers recollection of various points of that season. Typical Shank hatchet job.

Trolling Tweets, by Dan Shaughnessy

Shank doesn't do subtlety very well:
In May of 2013, I interviewed Ortiz in person and asked him about PEDs. It was a taped conversation. Among other things, I asked him if he understood why people might be suspicious of his performance and bat speed at his age. A few of his answers are worth repeating now:

“I don’t care what people say, bro. That’s the bottom line. If you struggle, it’s bad. If you do well, it’s bad, too. I don’t care. I got nothing to hide, bro.

“Testing is not my problem. Being tested — I ask to go in and get it done. I got no problem with that. I’m not going to screw everything that I have done in my career because I test positive for steroids. That’s not going to happen.

“I guarantee you that later, you are not going to find out that I tested positive for some [expletive]. It’s not happening. Guaranteed. Guaranteed.’’

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Rehash Radio - XII

Clockwork Shaughnessy, everybody!

How predictable was yesterday's Picked Up Pieces column? I e-mailed the following to my co-blogger at high noon yesterday: "I can feel a Picked Up Pieces column being written as we speak; Shank needs it (or something else) to regurgitate on 98.5 tomorrow." He even managed to rehash his PED accusation to Ortiz from 2013. Now that's going through the motions!

Dan Does Drugs

Expect to see this theme often this year: Papi and PEDs.

It's a one-man meme with The CHB, who can't seem to move off the refrain that no man in his 40s, save for a few dead white guys, could possibly be capable of the assault on pitching that Papi is administering this season.

Perhaps it's because he was so fooled by Barry Bonds, whom Shank feted for years even after Bonds' head had grown to the size of one of those watermelons you might see at an Arkansas county fair.

Let's go back to The CHB's comments from Oct. 18, 2002, on the eve of the Giants-Angels World Series, when he all but proposed to Bonds:
Why does America hate Barry Bonds so much? Is it because he's too good? Is it because we constantly hear that his teammates can't stand him? Is it the phony, Carl Everett-esque point to the heavens when he crosses the plate after homering? Is it because he sounds so insincere? Are we threatened by the prospect of him passing hardball gods Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, and Hank Aaron on the all-time homer list? Bonds is the central figure of this World Series. It is difficult to come up with another player who's gotten more attention before the start of the event. We want to know how/if the Angels will pitch to him. We want to see if he can finally perform in the clutch. Despite his (relatively) strong showing in the first two rounds, Bonds will still be remembered as a postseason bust if he fails in this World Series. And so many are rooting against him. It should make for fascinating theater.
In the midst of all that manlove, nothing there about steroids. Oops.

Another highlight (lowlight?) of this picked up pieces (of shit) column: A shot at "the increasingly unhinged Curt Schilling," who says Red Sox owner John Henry is "not a good person."

Ironically, snark aside The CHB would probably agree, but honestly, who cares? Henry is there to win World Series and write checks. Personally, if he does those two things, I could care less if he spends his nights putting up all the stray kittens in Brookline into a sack and tossing them into the Charles.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Tito Lay

With the Indians and former Red Sox manager Tito Francona in town, The CHB opts for nostalgia today, for reasons unknown.

We say reasons unknown because Francona is now in his fourth season as skipper of the Indians. During that time, he has visited Fenway Park 11 times. It's old news, except to those with severe memory problems who are resigned to repeating themselves.

Just like Dan!

Speaking of memory problems, The CHB must think these are the 1976 Indians. He refers to them as a team with "no stars and no payroll":

  • Cory Kluber, 2014 Cy Young Award winner, 2015 top 10 Cy Young votes; 
  • Francisco Lindor, 2015 Rookie of the Year runner up; lifetime BA .317
  • Michael Brantley; finished 3d in AL MVP vote in 2014; lifetime BA .292
  • Danny Salazar, lifetime ERA 3.48, averages 10Ks/9 innings
  • Carlos Carrasco, finished 13th in the Cy Young vote in 2015

So be it. The CHB wants to insinuate that Tito is such a great manager, the Indians on winning simply on the strength of his ability. And, he wants to needle Francona's former bosses -- John Henry, Tom Werner, et al -- for apparently no being pen pals with their ex employee. (You think The CHB keeps in touch with Arthur Sulzberger?)

And while it's true that in terms of salary the Indians are closer to the bottom of the majors than the top, when it comes to the alleged need to spend money, who is the loudest of them all?


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Positive Tweets, By Dan Shaughnessy

Shank didn't enjoy his latest journey near Fenway Park:


Reader feedback was fully understanding and supportive:

Revisionist History

Now that the 2016 Boston Red Sox are kicking ass, Shank decides to rub former Sox GM Theo Epstein's balls:
It’s not Dave Dombrowski. It’s not Ben Cherington, either. It’s not Mike Hazen. It’s not ownership. It’s certainly not Bill James.

None of the above.

No. This Red Sox team you have come to love early in the 2016 Boston baseball season — this team that looks like it might be a worst-to-first facsimile of the 2013 bearded wonders — was largely built by Theo Epstein.

He was the Camelot Kid from Brookline when he became general manager of the Red Sox at the age of 28 in November of 2002. He took charge of a roster assembled by Dan Duquette, made big bold deals, and got all the credit when the Sox won their first World Series in the biblical October of 2004.
Naturally, Shank was singing a different tune a few years ago:
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The blame pie is big and heavy.

There’s a giant slice for Bobby Valentine. We all know Bobby’s the reason everything went wrong with the 2012 Red Sox. Ownership gets three hefty slices. John, Tom, and Larry lost their way in the name of sellouts, bricks, and NESN ratings. Theo Epstein is a handy dartboard ornament. He gets a solid slice of blame pie.
Last but certainly not least, who can forget the infamous Dirty Laundry column?
Let's start with Theo being a ''baseball guy" while Larry is a lawyer with a lofty title (CEO). Granted, Epstein is a student of the game, but it's a mistake to say he knows more about baseball than Lucchino or anyone else in the Red Sox baseball operation. Theo is 31 years old and did not play baseball past high school. He spent four years at Yale and three years at law school. That hardly leaves time for much more than rotisserie league scouting. He can read the data and has a horde of trusty, like-minded minions, but we're not talking about a lifetime of beating the bushes and scouting prospects. Lucchino was a good high school baseball player and made it to the NCAA Final Four with Princeton's basketball team. He came to baseball as an executive in 1979, when Theo was 5 years old. That doesn't make him George Digby or Ray Boone, but he's not Les Otten, either.

Lucchino-bashers, and they are legion, maintain that he repeatedly has undermined Theo and on occasion killed deals made by Epstein and the minions. There was one, for sure. When Theo's assistant Josh Byrnes (hired by Arizona as GM Friday) made a deal with Colorado, Epstein thought he had a better deal with another club and requested that Lucchino fall on the sword and invoke the ownership approval clause to kill the Rockies deal. Accustomed to people hating him, Lucchino took the fall, killing the deal and saving Epstein.
Publicly, Theo always has talked about ''mutual respect" regarding his relationship with dad Larry. They know that their silence produced considerable speculation and acrimony. Fans and media members have taken shots and taken sides. The Sox tomorrow will present a united front. It still can work. The only unfortunate aspect is that the embers will smolder for years to come. We know too much now.
Dan Shaughnessy - the ultimate weathervane.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Rehash Radio - XI

Wash, rinse, repeat:

Random Tweets, By Dan Shaughnessy

Did I miss something, or is Shank going into a Cliff Clavin phase?

UPDATE, 2:12 AM: Yup - I missed something that was staring me in the face. RIP, Dick.

And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - XXXVII

With a Democrat in the White House for the past seven years and four months, the Boston Globe suddenly seems concerned about the potential abuse of executive power at the Federal level:
Donald Trump says so many things that are offensive, incorrect, and dishonest that it is often impossible to keep up. In just the past few days, he’s flip-flopped on his tax position, his support for raising the minimum wage, and his so-called Muslim ban.
But there’s a good reason why Bezos might be concerned about Trump going after him, if he became president.

Trump said he would.
So, Trump flip-flops on a lot of subjects, but Cohen takes him at his word on this one? How convenient, as the Church Lady would say!

Previous of Cohen's columns do not indicate an interest in this subject prior to Trump's bashing of Bezos, naturally. Da Tech Guy has a partial list of various authoritarian presidential actions since January 2009, not including the most recent and most ridiculous, under the threat of losing Federal funding.

Nice schools ya got there - would be a shame was sumthin' to happen to it...

Monday, May 16, 2016

Luck Of The Irish

Danny Boy's wondering if the Celtics are going to get lucky tomorrow night, when the NBA holds its draft lottery:
The NBA Draft Lottery is Tuesday night and your Boston Celtics have a chance at the No. 1 pick in the entire draft.

OK, you’ve heard this one before, right?

The Celtics? The NBA Draft Lottery? They go together like peanut butter and . . . blast furnace slag cement. Like Dean Martin and . . . Jerry Trupiano.
Thus the tone of the column is set - inane references to other sports mishaps, ancient basketball stories and the retelling of past Celtics' draft lotteries gone bad, naturally bringing out the 'best' in Shank.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

DHL Dan LIV - Pending?

Why do I get the feeling that one of these kind of columns is imminent? Because Shank needs something to regurgitate on Tuesday's 98.5 The Sports Hub appearance, that's why!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Keep On Trolling

Shank curses the Red Sox, who went on to lose last night.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

LeBron Or Bust / Delusional Dan

Since the Red Sox are on a four game winning streak, Shank has been forced to 'write' about other subjects, including (surprise) his reminder that the Cleveland Cavaliers will win this year's NBA championship. He doesn't really believe it, though. He's just trying in vain to make up for the last time he pissed off an entire U.S. city. Otherwise, why would he contradict himself so many times in the same column?
How can you not root for Cavaliers to win it all?
Because the Golden State Warriors will run through them like crap through a goose?
These things I believe:

1. LeBron James is the best player in the NBA.
Let’s talk LeBron first. You all know that Stephen Curry was just named NBA MVP for the second straight year. Golden State’s sharpshooting guard was a unanimous pick. His team set the league record with 73 wins, and many expect the Warriors to win a second straight NBA title.
He still has some trouble closing and has won championships only twice in six appearances in the NBA Finals,
I will never understand the irrational LeBron hate that pollutes the sports landscape. Certainly “The Decision” was odious, and LeBron is a bit of a poseur, but he has done little to earn the hate that is showered on his huge head nightly.
Other than that, these statements were accurate!

Talk about the gall of Shank to half-lecture his readers about irrational hate - how many times has he taken a dump on the Kraft family, Bill Belichick, the Patriots, Claude Julien, the Bruins, or about two dozen current and former Red Sox players (just a partial list) over the past thirty years?
This year the Cavs are healthy. LeBron, Irving, and Love make for a nifty Big Three.
Are they playing any better than Steph Curry, Klay Thomson & Draymond Green?
They have the maniacal J.R. Smith and Channing Frye draining rainbow jumpers from international waters. Tristan Thompson is a rebounding robot. Iman Shumpert is a serviceable two-way player.
Look at the Warriors' bench - Shaun Livingston, Leandro Barbosa, Mo (Buckets) Speights, Festus Ezili, and Andre Iguodala. J.R. Smith's a headcase who can be counted on to screw the pooch at the worst possible time.

So, let's review - Lebron is, according to Shank, the best player, but...
But this is about the city of Cleveland more than it is about LeBron James or the Cleveland basketball team.

UPDATE, AT 4:40 PM - A commenter accuses Shank of plagiarizing last year's column of the same theme, where he writes, in part:
Sorry, I know many of you will find it hard to cheer for LeBron James. He’s a little full of himself, he has been a Celtics rival for many years, and he inspires a lot of irrational hatred for a guy who never really has done anything offensive other than stage an ill-conceived media event with Jim Gray.
Verdict - GUILTY!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Ted or Dead

Straw man: a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent's argument, while actually refuting an argument that was not advanced by that opponent.

This fallacy comes into play today with The CHB's positing that Ted Williams was the greatest Red Sox player of all time and that David Ortiz, well, isn't.

"I can’t believe I’m even posing the question. It’s ridiculous. It feels like a sin against the church of Boston baseball."

Well, given that pretty much everything Shank writes is a sin against logic (not to mention an insult to intelligence), that should come as no surprise. But since our job is to debunk the bunk, let's have at it.

We'll start with the basic argument, which is, who cares?

Answer: No one. Because no one is talking about it, save some moronic "television sports debate show" host. (And Shank complains that fanboy bloggers never leave the house. It makes one wonder whose backyard shed said announcer has been living in.)

Addressing the "greatest" question, there's a slew of data that demonstrate that Williams was not only the greatest Red Sox of all time, but he was a top 10 major leaguer of all-time. Ortiz, meanwhile, might barely scratch the Top 10 Red Sox, behind Williams, Cy Young, Lefty Grove, Jimmie Foxx, Yaz, Wade Boggs, Carlton Fisk, Dennis Eckersley, and Joe Cronin, among others, as MLB Hall of Famers who wore the Sox uniform. (That list, of course, does not include Babe Ruth, the greatest of them all.)

Indeed, the Newton Nabob's "logic" has more holes than an encephalopathic brain.

As in, Williams was better than Papi because Beethoven was superior to Prince. (Seriously.)

Even more appalling are the "data" Shank uses to bolster his non-argument. As in, not homers. Not batting average. Not Gold Gloves or any other such measure.

Attendance. (Seriously.)

He cites Richard Johnson (insert your own dick joke here), the Sports Museum in Boston curator (who knew?), who says, "Ted was the reason people went to Fenway from 1939 to 1960."

As if.

The first six years of William's career, the Red Sox averaged between 4,600 and 9,600 fans a game. Granted, that was the run up to the War years. Attendance then peaked in the four-year run after WWII ended, averaging between 18,000 and 20,600 up until 1949. (That run coincided with the Red Sox's best records during the Williams era.) The numbers, while better than the AL average, were still roughly half Fenway's capacity.

As wins became scarcer, so did the crowds. By the time Ted retired, the Fens was down to about 14,000 fans per game, a little over 40% of capacity.

Since Papi joined the Red Sox in 2003, the team has never averaged fewer than 33,000 fans per game or less than 91% of capacity, and Fenway was sold out for entire seasons.

No, fans don't go to see the players. They go to see the team win. And if the team doesn't win, the fans don't go.

Ironically, today The CHB discounts team success when it comes to player rating.

"[I]f championship rings are your only measurement, then Mark Bellhorn (one) is better than Ernie Banks (zero), and Sam Jones (10) is almost twice as good as Michael Jordan (six)."

Again, a sham statement, not to mention hypocritical. After all, who pushes the "winning isn't everything, it's the only thing" argument harder than The CHB? And who pushes the "Bill Russell was the greatest NBA player of all time because he won the most" argument harder than The CHB?

(Oddly enough, Wilt "the Stilt" Chamberlain outscored, outrebounded, and out-assisted Russell in head-to-head matchups, thus underscoring the importance of T.E.A.M.)

Yet that's the sum of this big bowl of stupid soup The CHB musters up. It's almost enough to make poor dead Ted's head spin.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Rehash Radio - X

To paraphrase that guy from 'Office Space', "I wouldn't say I missed it":
They are ripping into Buchholz? Who's buying that one?

Monday, May 09, 2016

Panic Button Disengaged? - II

Shank follows up his earlier Sunday tweets about David Price being made aware of a problem with his pitching mechanics:
NEW YORK — David Price says he’s got it all figured out. Dustin Pedroia went up to Price in the visitors’ clubhouse at Yankee Stadium Sunday afternoon and showed Price a photo of his delivery from past seasons versus a photo of Price now. Price looked at the photos and noticed a difference in the positions of his arms and lift leg.

“It’s an easy fix,’’ the lefthander said.

He said he’ll work on the mechanical problem when he throws a bullpen session at Fenway Park before Monday night’s game against Oakland. Price is scheduled to start Thursday at home against the Astros and he’ll be trying to get back on track after seven uneven starts in which he’s blown four leads and compiled a staggering ERA of 6.75.

“I put myself in this situation,’’ Price said. “I can’t be upset about it. I’ve got to block all that stuff out. This has been, hands down, the worst I’ve thrown a baseball over a seven-game stretch. To me, it can only get better.
Further improvement would involve not talking to Shank.

Memo to David Price - if Shank was around sixty years ago, he would have tried to run Ted Williams out of town, as he did with Nomar Garciaparra, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester (double play!), Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and David Ortiz (another double play!), Curt Schilling and seemingly countless others. His sole purpose(s) in life are to make you miserable, stab you in the back and fuck you over. Just ask Kirk Minihane. Don't give this S.O.B. an inch.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Panic Button Disengaged?

I'm not certain where these quotes originated from; presumably from an interview sometime today, but it looks like David Price and the Red Sox have spotted something:

Dustin Pedroia - future coach / manager?

If this doesn't work, we'll know when Shank writes a column going Defcon 3 on Price.

Panic Button Engaged

Shank on David Price, December 2, 2015:
Nitwits and analytic overthinkers will immediately fret about how the Sox will not be getting commensurate value three, four, or five years from now.

Who cares? Seriously. Why quarrel with what the Red Sox will be paying Price if he ultimately gets hurt or falters in the final years of this contract?
Shank on David Price, after yesterday's loss to the New York Yankees:
NEW YORK — OK, you are officially allowed to hit the panic button on David Price.

We were holding off before Saturday. Price was, after all, 4-0, and there just seemed to be a few bad innings here and there. His career body of work, his poise, and the notion that we were dealing with a small sample were ample reason to hold hysteria at bay.

Not now. Price at this hour is in full Carl Crawford mode.

Crawford, of course, was the wildly talented Tampa Bay Ray who tortured the Red Sox for multiple seasons, then came to Boston and melted into a puddle of fear, paranoia, and insecurity. A prominent member of the Sox management team observed, “When he played against us — we hated him. When he played for us — we hated him.’’

And now there is David Price, the 30-year-old southpaw who has dominated American League batters since he left Vanderbilt and smothered the Terry Francona Red Sox in the seventh game of the American League Championship Series in 2008.
It takes a special kind of asshole to hang the Carl Crawford tag on someone six weeks into his tenure with the Sox and to half-bury a pitcher with a 4 - 1 record.
Acknowledging that the season is still very young, the Sox must be a tad concerned about their investment.
So now you're concerned about the size of the contract? Typical Shank - kissing his ass when they signed him, wildly overreacting after his first loss as a member of the Red Sox.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Ed Kleven, R.I.P.

Every now and then, Shank will write a column devoid of negativity, pettiness, second guessing and / or character assassination. Today, we get such a column.
Agent Ed Kleven died Wednesday night at the age of 72 after a long battle with multiple sclerosis and leukemia.

Probably you have never heard of Ed. But you know his work. You know his clients and friends. They have peppered and painted the sports landscape around these parts since the mid 1970s.

Eddie negotiated with George Steinbrenner and Howard Hughes. He represented Tony Conigliaro, John Havlicek, Bucky Dent, Gorman Thomas, and Richie Hebner. While rolling his wheelchair around the halls of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in December, he wrapped up a new ESPN deal for the great Tim Kurkjian.
If you surmised that the subject of said column is not an owner or a member of a local professional sports team, you're correct.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Rehash Radio - IX

It's that time of the week again:
The only takeaway from the first two segments (aside from Shank's reuse of his recent columns) - it sounds like 'Beetle' Bertrand is becoming a bit tired of Shank's negativity.

Monday, May 02, 2016


Shank seems pleased by Curt Schilling's lack of recent job prospects (retweeted by him about an hour ago):
Having helped in getting Kirk Minihane tossed off of Comcast Sports New England, we shouldn't be surprised at this.

There's no other way to put it - Dan Shaughnessy is fucking vile...

Did We Start Boozing Early?

Now that Shank can stop pretending about liking the Boston Celtics, he turns to another East Coast NBA team and makes a bold prediction:
If Cleveland makes it to the NBA Finals, they will get buttfucked by the San Antonio Spurs or the Golden State Warriors. Badly. It won't even be close.

This is a sportswriter that's supposedly been following professional basketball since I got out of college?

And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - XXXVIII

This is an interesting way of putting it:
Maybe this is one of those philosophical / existential type of questions, but what is really 'new' from Shank? In the sense that these are his most recent assemblage of words, clichΓ©s and Shankisms, the tweet is accurate. But what does he actually say that is new? Nothing that this blogger can detect - his latest column is another proforma effort jumping on the Red Sox bandwagon, a few trite observations, etc. ad nauseum, completely lacking in imagination and originality.

The only thing shocking is the lack of a Larry Bird mention.

Singing A Different Tune

Dan Shaughnessy, three weeks ago:
Are the Red Sox contenders or pretenders?
A few series wins against three bad teams seems to have changed Shank's tune a wee bit:
Remember all that talk about urgency and the need for the 2016 Red Sox to get off to a good start
Yes, Shank - you wrote about it nearly every day over a span of two freaking months!
Turns out it was all true. And the Red Sox thus far have done what they set out to do.

Our local spring sports calendar is suddenly darker, and we are going to need baseball to fill the days and nights and blogs and endless hours of sports talk ("and re-reading half my columns on The Sports Hub every Tuesday!" - ed). The Bruins didn’t make the playoffs, the Celtics checked out early, and the Patriots felt the full wrath of Deflategate punishments in a week in which they were denied a seat in the first round of the draft and learned they’d be playing without Tom Brady in September.
That would depend on whether Brady decides to appeal that decision, but why let that pesky little fact get in the way?

Warning - Shankism Alert! All hands to battlestations - captain to the bridge!
Into the breach stepped the Olde Towne Team, the Local Nine, the Sons of Sam Horn and Nomar Garciaparra. Boston baseball’s April ended on an upswing, and the last-place Red Sox became the first-place Red Sox on May Day.

They are five games over .500 for the first time since the inadvertent (jeez, not this shit again - ed.) championship season of 2013, and we have reason to believe they will once again be playing meaningful games in July, August, September, and (maybe) October. Dozens of questions linger about this team, but at least the Sox are worthy of discussion again. A daring dance with irrelevancy has been averted.
Much to Shank's chagrin...
And while it’s handy to say the Bostons just routed three last-place teams (Houston, Atlanta, and the reeling Yankees), two of those teams were in the playoffs just seven months ago.

While you’re at it, take a good look around the American League and tell me where the good teams reside. The entire league is a collection of average teams waiting to be beaten.

Which brings us back to these Red Sox, who should be turning the clock back to a theme of 2004, when one of the mantras was “Why Not Us?’’
And thus we see a slightly different take of the way Shank routinely treats the New England Patriots. Instead of making absurdly high expectations of the Patriots during the season (for the purpose of criticizing them if / when they fail to meet those expectations), he now considers every American League team to be average, and if the Red Sox somehow do go on to win another World Series, he will call it another inadvertent championship like he did earlier in this column about the 2013 team.

No Shaughnessy column is complete without one piece of howling bullshit:
Being the glass-half-full guy that I am, look at it this way:
Anyone who's buying that needs a freaking MRI scan on their brain.

At least he has something to regurgitate tomorrow morning!

Sunday, May 01, 2016

The Celtics' Glass - Half Empty, Or Half Full?

We're familiar with Shank's perfunctory dismissal of the 2015 - 2016 Boston Celtics. Shank more or less shits on the Celtics throughout the column, and the few positive things he manages to say about the team are minimized:
It’s nice to know that Ainge has a pocket full of primo draft picks and the Celtics have thus far gotten better every year of the Stevens era, but it’s hard for some of us to look at what we saw in the playoffs and feel good about this team. The Celtics simply don’t have enough talent. It’s hard to imagine Boston as a destination for blue-chip free agents. The 2016 playoff experience only reinforced how far the Celtics are from being good. Fortunately for the Celtics, they have a tolerant and sometimes hopelessly optimistic fan base. The Bruins and Red Sox should have it this good.
Compare and contrast that take with Kevin Draper of Deadspin, in an article where it is clear the author did some homework:
Which brings us to today. The core of their current team—Thomas, Bradley, Crowder, Marcus Smart—are all signed for at least two more seasons, and the only contributors they could lose this offseason are Turner, Zeller, and Jared Sullinger. Their coach is still Brad Stevens. Barring a catastrophe, even with no improvement, they’ll be a five seed again.

But improvement there will be! Depending upon exactly where the salary cap falls and what they do with players they can make qualifying offers for, the Celtics will have ~$33 million in salary cap space. If Kevin Durant is smart, Boston is where he’ll sign, but even if he doesn’t, the Celtics will be in play and be an attractive destination for every major free agent.
Draper says more in two paragraphs than Shank does in his entire column. This just reinforces the two main attributes of your normal Shaughnessy - he's lazy and a dick.