Thursday, June 30, 2016

Great Free Agency Calls, By Dan Shaughnessy

Dan Shaughnessy, on the roster needs of the Boston Bruins, three days ago:
I say, “Go Big or Go Home.”

Make a splash. No more talk about “assets.’’ Get some proven players. Durant. Butler. Cousins. Stamkos. Subban.

I bet you're wondering just how well those two calls turned out?
(Steve) Stamkos surrendered his free agency Wednesday. He agreed to an eight-year, $68 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The person requested anonymity because the contract has not been announced. Although he would have become an unrestricted free agent Friday, Stamkos realized his best move was to stay put.surrendered his free agency Wednesday. He agreed to an eight-year, $68 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The person requested anonymity because the contract has not been announced. Although he would have become an unrestricted free agent Friday, Stamkos realized his best move was to stay put.
After the P.K. Subban-for-Shea Weber trade, the Predators have the Warriors’ same winning combination of an innovative system and the personnel to execute it. And like Steve Kerr’s system, Peter Lavioette’s succeeds by redefining positions. It allows defensemen to play more like forwards, pinching as far as the goal line in the offensive zone and carrying the puck end-to-end. Granted, Nashville is not the only team to give their defensemen the green light to do this, but the Predators make it a feature, with at least one player abandoning the blue line on every offensive possession.
I can understand not knowing about the Subban trade, as it seems to have caught a lot of people off guard, but you would think a sports columnist may have read a column or two about Stamkos' situation and wondered if it would be a good thing for him to leave a perennial playoff team. Not Shank, apparently.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Kiss Of Death

NBA superstar Kevin Durant becomes an unrestricted free agent in about nineteen hours, and Boston is on his list of franchises he will talk to in the upcoming days. Leave it to Shank to nuke any chance of the Celtics landing him, with The Big Lie saved for last:
As for the media, they are a bunch of softies. You may have heard that we are a tough media town, but that is no longer the case. Nobody wants any trouble anymore. You will never be criticized. The Green Teamers at Comcast will basically give you their entire network to use as your own. Just wait until you get your first Tommy Points.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Rehash Radio - XVI

Here to re-read yesterday's column is:

Just Do It?

Shank's not impressed with the recent drafts by the Celtics and Bruins:
Our winter sports teams are taking the prudent, patient path in their efforts to return to championship level. And it’s driving me crazy. I keep hearing thoughtful, measured analysis of the Celtics’ and Bruins’ drafts and their shared reluctance to mortgage their futures.

Count me out.

I say, “Go Big or Go Home.”

Make a splash. No more talk about “assets.’’ Get some proven players. Durant. Butler. Cousins. Stamkos. Subban.

Get them all! Why let a little thing like the salary cap get in the way? And does Shank really want the Celtics to sign a known head case like DeMarcus Cousins? He'll trash whatever chemistry this Celtics team has.
I know this is the kind of overreaction that prompted the Red Sox to sign Pablo Sandoval to a $95 million contract after the Panda’s Giants won the World Series while the Sox were finishing last in 2014. I don’t care.
And you remember who was the biggest cheerleader in Boston for that trade, don't you? How'd that work out, Shank?

He's right - he doesn't care. Just sign, sign, sign those players, and when one of those signings turns to shit, Shank will write a column or two second-guessing that signing, because it's a no-lose situation for him.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Second Blue Moon Observed

Shank takes another break from crapping on the local professional sports teams to eulogize a former teammate of his.
Stanley J. Kopec Jr. died of brain cancer at his home in Pepperell at the age of 63 last week. He taught math, worked in high tech for three decades, and loved to play golf. By all accounts, he lived a quiet and happy life in Central Massachusetts. He leaves his wife, his sister, and extended family members. His obituary read, “As genuine as they come, there was not a bone of pretense in his body.’’

I know that’s true. Fifty years ago, Stan was my baseball teammate. We always called him “Woody.’’

I lost touch with Woody a long time ago. We connected a few times at reunions and funerals — and occasionally he’d send me an e-mail about something in the world of sports — but life and choices simply sent us in different directions.

When a friend sent me a text notifying me of Woody’s passing, I got to thinking about the bonds we form as teammates.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Once In A Blue Moon

The day before the Boston Celtics exercise the third overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft, we witness a very, very unusual event - a decent column by Shank:
At times like this we need Red Auerbach.

Red always knew what to do. Red was thinking at a higher level than the other guys. Red knew how to pick the pockets of the other general managers. Red knew how to get a better player with a lower selection.

As we sit here on the threshold of the 2016 NBA Draft — with the Celtics in need of help and holding the third overall pick — it is comforting that we have Red’s basketball progeny calling the shots.

Danny Ainge is Red Auerbach’s basketball son.
A bit of a stretch, but Shank does a good job explaining why in the rest of the column.

This part stood out for me:
Still, Red was bloodless, a forefather of the Bill Belichick method.
So in Shank's eyes - Red = good; Bill = bad.

The first comment sums up the column nicely:
OK, what have you done with Dan! Who really wrote this...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Rehash Radio - XV

Prepare for a few insufferably smug segments of radio:
Well, I'll have to cop to being wrong on that call.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Letter To Cavaliers Fans

Dear Cleveland Cavaliers fans:

Remember that time I took a massive shit on all of you guys and your city during last year's NBA finals, half disguised as praise for your long suffering fans?

We're good now, right?

Your pal,

Dan 'Shank' Shaughnessy

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Columnist Republishes Column / Contradiction Watch

Dan Shaughnessy, May 11, 2016:
He is one of the top 10 talents in the history of the league. He still has some trouble closing and has won championships only twice in six appearances in the NBA Finals, but I can’t believe there’s a coach out there who would not take LeBron first if all players were available for an open draft to assemble a team for this year’s playoffs.

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.

Dan Shaughnessy, about two hours ago:
Another story line is the myth that LeBron doesn’t show up in big games (you were saying? - ed). It’s a big part of the irrational LeBron hate that infects most of the non-Cleveland world.

I love watching James play basketball and have never really understood all the LeBron hate. Sure, he was offensive with “The Decision,’’ and the “not one, not two” smokeshow in Miami. That was a long time ago. He can be something of a poser and sometimes hurts himself when he talks. He’s been known to launch himself into the baseline camera row for effect. He whines to the refs. He can be a coach killer. But the amount of hate and anger he generates is way out of proportion.
Shit like this ought to get you suspended or fired. Instead, we'll just have to settle for mocking him for epic laziness.

Subtle As A Sledgehammer

Via Kirk Minihane's Twitter feed, check out Shank, ostensibly talking about the 1986 Boston Celtics:
Not terribly self-absorbed, is he?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

DHL Dan - LV

Looks like Shank's week long rut of columns that look backward and bore the living shit out everybody continues apace, with his second Picked Up Pieces column in as many weeks. It's the usual collection of anti-Patriot rants, Red Sox bashing and all that:
Picked-up pieces while waiting to see what Danny Ainge has up his sleeve for next Thursday night . . .

■ The NFL is mandating that the Patriots wear numbers on their jerseys during organized team activity practices. Serious stuff there. A self-important league continuing its battle against a self-important organization. The Patriots want us to think they go numberless for “team building.” We know it’s really so that reporters can’t tell who is who.

What I love most is that Patriots fans — the folks who are most hungry for information about their team — are the same ones who madly applaud the team’s paranoia and insistence on secrecy.
Shank also learned a new word this week, so he can give the appearance of being cool and hip (which he ain't):
■ I want both David Ortiz and Madison Bumgarner in the Home Run Derby. Bumgarner can rake.
UPDATE, 6/17/2016, 2:05 PM - Bruce Allen piles on:


Bill Simmons is wildly rich and famous. So why does he have to keep playing the diva and crying about past slights?

This from the guy who got snubbed at a breakfast 20 years ago and has used every opportunity since that day to take it out on the Krafts.
Amen, brother!

Cold As Ice

Shank sure loves living in the past...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Rehash Radio - XIV

Looks like Shank's boring the shit out of his listeners an hour earlier this week.

Jim Palmer Update

Nothing says timely and informative than writing about a pitcher who retired over thirty years ago.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The One Where Shank Gives Out Some Advice

Shank has a small quota of 'I'm not a completely negative trolling asshole' columns to fill every now and then. We get one such column here, where Shank takes issue with asshole sports parents, giving the column a perfect thematic symmetry between author and subject. It's not clear that some recent event compelled Shank to tackle this subject, but here you have it.
This one is for the parents.

Our local high school sports season is winding down. Most scholastic teams are done for another year. Only the very best are still playing, and most state championships will be decided in the upcoming week.

If you have a child who is still playing high school sports, your son or daughter must be playing at a very high level. Every spring we see kids who’ve already picked up their diplomas still reporting for practice, eagerly awaiting championship games.

Maybe your child is one of those lucky and gifted competitors. Or maybe they are done for the spring season and already involved in summer ball, AAU, Little League, Babe Ruth, Legion, or that wonderful thing we have come to know as summer hockey.

Whatever. It matters not whether we’re talking 18-year-old high school graduates or 8-year-old hockey mites.

The thing parents need to remember is that it’s about the kids. It’s not about the parents.

In brief: Try not to care about the game(s) more than your child cares.
All well and fine, but his conclusion could use some self-examination:
Embrace the spirit of sportsmanship and competition.
Except when you shouldn't!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Compare And Contrast

Shank, after David Price's first 2016 loss:
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.
Shank, after David Price's latest loss (video at link):
Dan Shaughnessy explains why he is not ready to start getting down on David Price just yet until he sees a full season of him struggling.
Shank seems like the kind of guy who has trouble deciding on what to order at a restaurant.

Mr. Hockey

Shank weighs in on the death of Gordie Howe in typical, provincial Shank fashion:

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

DHL Dan LIV - Official

Here's an innovative way to mail in a column - have your readers mail theirs in and reprint them!
Since Muhammad Ali died in Arizona late Friday night, we have been treated to hundreds of thorough and loving recollections of the Champ’s life and times.

Like just about everyone else in the world of journalism, I wrote a column about Ali. It appeared in Sunday’s editions of the Globe. After publication, my inbox was pleasantly peppered with memories from readers.

Muhammad Ali certainly was a man of the people. All these years later, it seems that everyone — even the good folks here in New England — has a story involving a special memory or personal interaction with the Champ.

A few favorites:

Rehash Radio - XIII

Shank is rehashing his NBA Finals columns as we speak:
Stephen A. Smith, the professional carnival barker who can singlehandedly ruin broadcasts.

Monday, June 06, 2016

A 'Hidden' Gem

This Shank column from Saturday just sort of came out of hibernation from the Globe's website. Naturally, Shank doesn't like the Warriors and contradicts himself while complaining about it:
This series is supposed to be about the new and future brand of basketball played by the Splash Brothers.
I want the Cavaliers to win because I think it would be better for basketball. This is not Warrior-hating.
No one loves long-range shooting more than me (Larry Bird loves your long range shooting! - ed.), but I don’t want the Warriors’ game to be celebrated as the future of basketball. What they do flies in the face of more than a century of pick-and-rolls, give-and-gos, and three-man weaves. The fact is, Curry and Splash-mate Klay Thompson are legitimate freaks, able to do things that had never been done. They can create space and arc shots from international waters over 7-foot defenders. But this is not how the next generation of teams should be built. It is simply not sustainable.
Last night's Game 2 was more or less a repeat of Game 1.

So, to recap - Shank states that this series is about some 'new and future brand of basketball', compliments Curry & Thompson, then laments said new and future brand of basketball by going off on a half 'get off my lawn' tirade because the game of professional basketball may or may not be changing. The pick & roll and give & go cited by Shank (and ignoring the fast break for whatever reason) are not by themselves what defines professional basketball. It has always been changing - the implementation of the shot clock, the three-point line, the introduction of flagrant fouls (partly because of this epic Kevin McHale clothesline) and other tweaks & refinements more or less render Shank's arguments moot. I suspect he's just butthurt because Cleveland does not have the starting five and bench to compete against the Golden State Warriors, something that has been bloody fucking obvious to anyone (excluding Shank, apparently) who bothered to watch NBA basketball in recent months.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

He's Outta There

Longtime Shank foil Carl Crawford has been designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Dodgers and according to manager Dave Roberts, it sure sounds like his career is over:
"It's one of those things where you look at the player, and Carl has had a great career, 14 years and had a lot of great moments," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "I know he was proud to be a Dodger. He will be missed. What he brought to the club in terms of experience in postseason games, the impact he had on the young players and the veteran players, the experience he brought will be missed, certainly. But it's one of those things where father time I think catches up with everybody."
Just a reminder - Shank loved Crawford before he hated Crawford. I wonder how many columns from now it'll be before Shank reminds everybody of Carl's professional demise.

He's Not The Greatest

Leave it to Shank to make the passing of Muhammad Ali into a trivial column about New England and himself:
Ali had a few connections to Boston and New England. His second fight with Liston was scheduled to be held at the Old Boston Garden in November 1964. Three days before the fight, Ali took ill while staying in Room 611 of the Sherry Biltmore Hotel (146 Mass. Ave.) and was rushed to Boston City Hospital, where he was treated for an incarcerated inguinal hernia. Boston promoter Subway Sam Silverman lost hundreds of thousands of dollars when the bout was postponed. The fight was ultimately moved to Lewiston, Maine, and according Ali biographer Thomas Hauser, Massachusetts boxing authorities would not sanction Ali-Liston II because they feared Silverman was tied to organized crime.
When he readied to return to New England for the rematch, he bought a bus and invited four sportswriters to join him and his entourage on the trip north.
In May 1965, in the tiny Central Maine Youth Center in Lewiston, Ali defeated Liston in less than two minutes of the first round.
Thirty years later, Ali had a couple of other brushes with Boston and New England sports.
On Nov. 2, 1994, Ali came to a fund-raiser dinner at the Park Plaza, where he was honored by Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. The Globe bought a table for the event, and I found myself seated with Greg Moore, who was then our managing editor.
When Ali saw goofy me standing nearby, holding a cardboard image of his young perfect self, he waved me into his circle.
UPDATE, 6/6/2016 AT 4:17 P.M. - Seems appropriate:

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Rodriguez Returns

Last night marked the return of Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, and Shank keeps feigning how awesome he thinks the team is:
BALTIMORE — Eduardo Rodriguez is back, Mookie Betts is Willie Mays, Xander Bogaerts’s hitting streak lives, and when do the Red Sox start the playoffs?
Could you have seen Shank saying that during spring training? Me neither.