So which is it, Shank?
The pending World Series matchup, writes The CHB, is an "emotional duel of guys who were dumped by the Red Sox, or quit the Red Sox."
As you might have guessed, it's a really stupid column.
But first, a shot at the 2016 Red Sox, which despite their 93 wins, were overrated, he argues, because they lost "the majority of their close games."
It's true that the Red Sox were 20-24 in one-run games in 2016. But guess who else was under .500 in one-run games? The Cubs (22-23). And guess who had the best record in the AL East in one-run games? The Yankees (24-12), who finished 9 games back of the Sox. And guess who had the majors' best record in one-run games? The Rangers (36-11), who are sitting home right now too.
It's a specious argument. But then again, The CHB is a specious guy.
The CHB's breakdown of the players who the Sox traded away is equal parts laughable and fallacy. Mike Napoli? Coco Crisp? No one wanted these guys.
Not even Shank, who on Jul. 8, 2015, said: "I would cut Napoli, just let him go." That was a few years after he blasted the Sox for keeping Crisp and letting Johnny Damon walk.
Andrew Miller was a stud, but the Sox picked up a stud lefty starter in return. Don't take my word for it: Shank said so here: "Eduardo Rodriguez has a chance to become Dan Duquette’s Jeff Bagwell."
And just one month ago he said he thought Rodriguez should be the third starter in the playoffs for the Red Sox.
Then there's Theo Epstein, of whom Shaughnessy said his "slow rebuilding style would not have worked in Boston the way it has in Chicago. ... Theo on a six-year plan with a $19 million contract, that's pretty easy to do that. I'm going to sat Boston wouldn't tolerate what Chicago went through to get here."
And in another column, this one for SI, from Dec. 14, 2009: "Epstein is touting organization prospects named Jose Iglesias, Ryan Kalish, Ryan Westmorland, Casey Kelly and Lars Anderson, but they are a couple of years away. In Boston the message needs to be 'win now.'"
In fact, he wrote in August 2012 that Theo deserved more blame for the state of the Red Sox than he's getting. "Epstein made a ton of bad moves in the later years of his tenure, then went to Chicago for a $19 million contract and watched from afar as the Sox decomposed. ... Mistakes were made. Money was spent badly. The Sox lost their way and tried to throw money at their problems."
As for the others:
- Adrian Gonzalez is "the Kryptonite of winning baseball teams. He’s the Cooler."
- "(John) Lackey has simply got to go. He’s coming off the worst season by a starting pitcher in more than a century of Red Sox baseball, and he’s regularly shown up his teammates and his manager."
- Jon Lester was a disloyal ingrate who threw manager Terry Francona under the bus and was a key part on "the most loathed Boston team in history."
- And as for that David Price signing: "The Sox have wisely junked their phony, “We don’t need an ace” philosophy and signed the best free agent pitcher. Not afraid to admit they were wrong, the Sox on Tuesday agreed to a deal with 30-year-old lefthanded starter David Price on a seven-year, $217 million contact. 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's the nitwit now? Shank, to thine own self be true.