Friday, December 30, 2016
If I were the congenial type, I'd be inclined to say congratulations.
Just got e-mail from the Globe about our print subscription:There were 44 comments to that article - at least three said they're cancelling their subscriptions after this latest increase.
The Globe's newsroom works tirelessly to bring you meaningful, original reporting every day. We are committed to continuing to do so, but we need your help. In order to continue producing the award-winning journalism you know and love, we find it necessary to increase our home delivery rates. Your new weekly rate will be...
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Picked-up pieces while waiting for Thursday night’s Celtics game in Cleveland . . .Shank has always hated numbers and statistics. Today he loves them both, because it suits his agenda (this and his next paragraph):
■ Why do I feel like I’ll still be saying I’m not sold on this Patriots defense when the Duck Boats are parading down Boylston Street Feb. 7?
■ Stat geeks and Patriot toadies are twisting themselves into knots to tell us that the Patriots really didn’t have an easy schedule this year, but we know what we saw. We saw them play a bunch of bum quarterbacks and almost zero elite offenses.On Saturday, Shank didn't know much about the 2016 New England Patriots (this is a week after going to Denver and winning, 16 - 3):
Four days later, however, he knows all about their defense:
Tomato Can season of 2016 marches on. Yet another game in which we learn nothing about the Patriots.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) December 24, 2016
When the season ends Sunday, the Patriots will have played half their games against teams in the bottom third of the league in offense. They faced none of the top six offenses. Here’s hoping they are ready if they face a competent QB/offense in the playoffs. Matt McGloin, Tom Savage, and Matt Moore no doubt have Bill Belichick lying awake at night.Stolen from yesterday's Boston version of ESPN is this little tidbit - how few differences can you spot?
Since Belichick became Patriots coach in 2000, the AFC East has had 23 head coaches (including interims).
■ Since Belichick took over as head coach of the Patriots, the Bills, Dolphins, and Jets have had 23 head coaches and interim head coaches. The list includes legends such as Perry Fewell, Joe Philbin, Chan Gailey, and Dan “Tomato Can” Campbell. Over the same 16-year span, the second-best quarterback in the division is probably Chad Pennington.At this point, you've read blatant examples of short sightedness, rank ignorance, duplicity, overuse of canned cliches (canned - get it?), stolen column themes and / or trolling behavior. While he didn't throw in an obligatory mention of Larry Bird, he came close with Kevin McHale. These are the problems with Dan Shaughnessy in general and especially with his mailed-in Picked Up Pieces columns.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Saturday, December 24, 2016
I guess that new receiver, Michael Floyd, doesn't pique his interest enough.
Tomato Can season of 2016 marches on. Yet another game in which we learn nothing about the Patriots.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) December 24, 2016
Who says you can't teach an old dog old tricks?
Ho hum. The usual with the coin toss. Nothing exciting about this one.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) December 24, 2016
Friday, December 23, 2016
On SportsHub now until 2, filling in for Zo and Beetle with Adam Kaufman. Hope to get some Mitch Miller on.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) December 23, 2016
Mitch Miller? Seriously?
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Which NFC team do you want the Patriots to play in the Super Bowl Feb. 5 in Houston?First, dismiss the rest of the entire American Football Conference:
The Dallas Cowboys? The Seattle Seahawks? The New York (gulp) football Giants?
This is what keeps me awake these nights. I’ve got no time for the rest of the regular season or the Tomato Can Foxborough festival that will be billed as the AFC playoffs. Bill Belichick, Ernie Adams, Matt Patricia, and Josh McDaniels can game-plan for the rugged Jets and Dolphins over these next two weekends. I have moved on . . . to the Super Bowl.Go forth and read the rest of the column, for it is boring and oh so predictable...
While acknowledging that the Patriots could possibly play the Packers, Lions, Falcons or some other mystery guest in Super Bowl LI, I think we all know that it’s going to be Dallas, Seattle or New York, and those are clearly the most interesting prospective matchups for New England.
UPDATE, 12/22/2016 AT 1:20 PM - link added so you can 'enjoy' the rest of the article...
Monday, December 19, 2016
Are Patriots this good, or is every other team a Tomato Can?
DENVER — It must be December in the AFC. Chestnuts are roasting on open fires and Tomato Cans are falling down in front of the sons of Bill Belichick.
Enjoy this as long as it lasts, people. You are not likely to see it ever again in professional sports.
It was yet another hat and T-shirt game for the New England Patriots Sunday. Playing one of their best games of the season, the Patriots Trumped the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, 16-3, at Mile High, winning the AFC East for the eighth consecutive season and the 13th time in the last 14 years. The Patriots are 14-2 in AFC East titles since Tom Brady took over at quarterback in 2001.
For the Patriots, winning the AFC East has become like signing up for Facebook or getting a letter of acceptance from the University of Phoenix. It’s professional sports’ version of a Newton youth soccer participation trophy. All the Patriots have to do to win is show up, play their traditional tight game, and wait for the other guys to make mistakes.
The chorus line of dunce coaches (Cam Cameron?) and bum quarterbacks (Thad Lewis?) populating the AFC East in this century stretches from Orchard Park to Miami Gardens with an annual stop at Exit 16W off the Jersey Turnpike. And the beneficiaries of this abject ineptitude are your New England Patriots — a team that never, ever takes a year off.
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Pats lose toss. Denver defers. Pats to receive kickoff.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) December 18, 2016
Boring. Hat and t-shirt game for Pats. Top-2 seed there, too.
DENVER — Larry Bird wrote a fine autobiography with our own Bob Ryan in 1989 and the back of the tome included a bonus section in which Larry talked about his favorite and least-favorite arenas.OK, it's actually a decent leadup to this:
A sampling: “I don’t like playing in New Jersey. I knew I wasn’t going to like it the first time I walked in the building. I never liked to shoot there . . . There are few places I hate more than the Kingdome . . . I never liked the Silverdome . . . I’ve had some bad games in Oakland, including my 0-for-9 game during my second year . . . It’s always a tough game in Denver, both because of the Nuggets themselves and because of the altitude.’’
Which brings us to Tom Brady’s personal House of Horrors — Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Brady is 2-7 in Denver (and one of those was against the Tim Tebow Broncos). In Pedro Martinez parlance, Mile High is Tom Brady’s “Daddy.’’What follows from here is a paint-by-numbers and 100% completely predictable history of all Tom Brady games in Denver. Throw in a few quotes from Brady & Belichick, and it's a
Friday, December 16, 2016
In the hands of a skilled journalist, it's a fair question. But Shank is no skilled journalist.
As such, he can't actually address the real question. Instead, he resorts to the usual trinity of whispers, innuendos and lies, such as Jeff Bagwell is suspect because he got bigger as he got older. (As if that never happened before. Ever seen Tony Gwynn?)
But at least the white guys get some benefit of the doubt. (Was there seriously any question about Rogers Clemens using? His best friend testified under oath that he shot him up.) He falls back on his cliched racial denigrations (Sammy Sosa "played the language-barrier card before Congress," as if being Dominican is the same as growing up in Groton).
But why the change of heart? I have to think it has something to do with this guy:
Curt Schilling has, in the minds of many Hall voters, gone a step too far when he retweeted a photo of a guy in a shirt that read "Rope. Tree. Journalist." Shank and his ilk were all over talk radio saying this was the last straw, and that Schilling was welcome to shit all over any politician he pleased as and waste millions of dollars of the public's money long as he didn't wish ill on the Fourth Estate.
To that end, Shank's take is that Schilling's latest volley pushes him out of Hall consideration because of the so-called "character clause." Here's what the Hall actually says about voting:
Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.
It doesn't take a brain surgeon, or even a sports journalist, to recognize that character stops when the player retires. There's nothing in the clause that indicates that an ex-player who, for instance, gets busted drunk driving, as Carlton Fisk did, should be kicked out. Heck, Tony LaRussa got busted several times and they still voted him in. Is retweeting a bad joke honestly worse than getting behind the wheel of a 2-ton vehicle after a night of scotch ("I love scotch. Scotchy scotch scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly")?
So what about Shank's character? What about a guy who called David Ortiz, perhaps the most important athlete in the history of Boston sports ever, a "sad sack of you know what?" What about years of racist spitting and sputtering against every black and Hispanic athlete to cross 128? That didn't seem to stop him from accepting the Spink (or should that be Pink?) Award for baseball writing.
Big Papi is ultimately why The CHB wrote this column. Because in five years, he will have to decide whether to vote in Big Papi. Shank thinks Papi is a fraud. But if anyone can spot a fraud, it's a fraud.
Oh and Shank, if voting for the Hall is truly the "most volatile and toxic thing we do all year," there's always a remedy: Quit.
Dear Colleagues,Sure took them long enough to figure this one out. Then again, it'll take them the better part of the year to generate this revenue in terms of rental income at the same time they're paying for rent to house the newly displaced employees, plus the costs to renovate the space they're going to rent out, so the NYT will probably show a loss for the first two or three quarters of 2017.
When we moved into our new building in 2007, we saw it as a modern headquarters for a modern New York Times. We still feel that way.
But as Mark mentioned in the State of The Times last month, after a good deal of consideration, we have determined that the way that we use our headquarters building needs to evolve to better match the changes you and your colleagues have been driving across every part of the company.
The current way we have configured our office makes us slower and less collaborative. It is also, frankly, too expensive to occupy this many floors when we don’t truly need them.
We’ve made the decision to consolidate our footprint across the building to create a more dynamic, modern and open workplace, one that is better suited to the moment. We’re planning significant investments in a redesign of our existing space in order to facilitate more cross-departmental collaboration.
We expect a substantial financial benefit as well. All told, we will vacate at least eight floors, allowing us to generate significant rental income.
The Globe's also undergoing their own downsizing moves, so their combined appeal is becoming more selective.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
We'll see soon enough.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
They are like those random Japanese soldiers who combed the jungles of the Philippines and kept fighting World War II years after Japan’s formal surrender in 1945.
They are the Deflategate Truthers and they got some new energy in recent days when Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported that the Giants sent a couple of suspiciously deflated footballs to the NFL office after losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers Dec. 4 at Heinz Field.
The report was shot down swiftly by the league office with this statement: “The officiating game ball procedures were followed and there were no chain of command issues. All footballs were in compliance and no formal complaint was filed by the Giants with our office.’’
That, naturally, did not cut it with the Deflategate Truthers. The Patriots Media Cartel swung into action and apologies are being demanded once again. Jonathan Kraft took his message to the airwaves on the Patriots’ in-house pregame show Monday night.
Plus, there's this:
The science has never mattered.It may be a bit different with footballs, but I ride a road bike during the non-winter months, 700 CC rims, 23 cm wide tires in the front and 25 cm in the back. Generally I put 100 PSI in the front tire and 110 PSI in the back. Since I'm an old fuck, I ride every other day. When I get to the next ride, both tires bleed at least 5 PSI over that approximate 48 hour period. Rubber is porous, regardless how it's used, and anyone who has bothered to learn basic physics or atmospherics can tell you air molecules condense when it gets cold. When it comes to science or numbers, Shank is a blithering idiot.
Monday, December 12, 2016
Bill Belichick cares about football history more than any coach in the NFL. He’s speaks minimally on the current state of his playoff-bound Patriots, but get him started on Amos Alonzo Stagg, Paul Brown, or the 1941 Detroit Lions (for whom his dad Steve was a fullback) and stand back for a discourse that will have the depth of a Ken Burns documentary delivered with the eloquence of Winston Churchill.Sorry, folks - no Clive Rush reference!
All of which makes New England’s “Monday Night Football” match with the Baltimore Ravens much more interesting than your run-of-the mill routs that have dotted the Patriots’ 2016 schedule with alarming and boring regularity.
By the way, how many 'blowouts' do you see in the 2016 Patriots schedule? I see four or five, not as many as Shank's trying to make you believe.
There's a shift in the middle of the column, as Shank needs to downplay the previous 13 games the patriots have played this season:
History suggests that the Patriots have reached the end of the Tomato Can Road (really, could they have faced more impotent offenses, horrible quarterbacks, frightened coaches, and teams whose best player was injured?). This entire Patriots season has been nothing more than a layup drill with an 8-foot rim. Week after week we have learned nothing about the Patriots.Remind us again, Shank and the Boston Globe - how many beat writers do you have assigned to the Patriots, and they've managed to learn nothing about this team in over three and a half months? How can Shank write such drivel with a straight face? Is this what's now being called 'fake news'?
He then goes on to recount the history between the two teams that he probably copied and pasted from previous Ravens - Patriots columns, then concludes on this line of bullshit:
It’s all about the history when it comes to the Patriots and Ravens. The games are generally good, but some of the history is bad. Which is why we can’t wait for Monday night.'The games are generally good', except for Shank's prediction about the previous game between the two clubs:
Friday, December 09, 2016
Doug Franklin, a top executive with Cox Enterprises and Cox Media Group, will succeed Mike Sheehan as chief executive officer of the Boston Globe on January 1, according to an announcement made a little while ago by Globe publisher John Henry.
Henry’s memo, a copy of which was obtained by Media Nation, is effusive in its praise of Sheehan, crediting the former Hill Holliday advertising executive with untangling the Globe from the New York Times Company, which sold the Globe to Henry in 2013; moving the Globe‘s printing operations to a new facility in Taunton; and preparing the news and business staffs to move to downtown Boston in mid-2017.
“These initiatives are as complex as they are risky,” Henry wrote. “Any one of them would be a once-in-a-lifetime challenge for an executive. But the leadership team, working under Mike, has tackled each of them.”
Of Franklin, Henry says: “As I’ve gotten to know Doug over the past few months, I’ve come to understand that he is fearless, energetic, articulate, and passionate in his desire to help the Globe achieve our long-term goal of creating a sustainable business model for high level journalism.”
Tuesday, December 06, 2016
OK, do you think now it might be possible to get David Ortiz to come back for one more season?Just remember there was a Boston Globe sports columnist saying nearly the same thing around that same time.
The Red Sox are loaded. Stacked. It’s time to start making plans for the epic Sox-Cubs World Series in October 2017. I’m already working up some stories on Theo Epstein, Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Anthony Rizzo returning home to Fenway Park to face the Red Sox in the greatest showcase World Series of all time.
Perhaps I am getting carried away. Then again, perhaps not. Name another ball club that can say that the reigning Cy Young Award winner is the third-best starter on the pitching staff.
The Sale trade went down on the sixth anniversary of a seismic 2010 deal in which the Sox acquired Adrian Gonzalez from San Diego for top prospects Rizzo and Casey Kelly. That trade was Epstein’s reluctant concession to “winning now,” and it made the Sox favorites to win the World Series in 2011.
Sports Illustrated picked the Sox to win 100 games (and the World Series) and the Boston Herald greeted the Sox in April with a headline that read “Best Team Ever.’’
Wanna feel old? Larry Bird turns 60 tomorrow— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) December 6, 2016
It's not that that would make me feel old; it's the likes of Soundgarden, Metallica, Alice in Chains and Guns & Roses now entering the play rotation on WZLX (100.7 FM, Boston) because they're now considered 'classic rock', i.e., any group over 20 years in existence.
Monday, December 05, 2016
If you are a Red Sox fan, Bud Selig was your friend.Shank spends a little time on sports talk radio from time to time, and nearly all of that time is spent bashing an athlete, some sports team or some combination of the two. I wonder what Selig bashing might be in those archives?
The predictable howling started across baseball America when Selig was elected to the Hall of Fame Sunday, but Sox fans should be sending him thank you notes for a lot of the good things that have happened to the Boston franchise in this century.
Maligning Selig is a popular parlor game on sports talk radio and across the ever-expanding band of social media. Bud gets blamed for steroids, the cancellation of the 1994 World Series, the All-Star tie in Milwaukee, late-night World Series games, four-hour games, ticket costs, and David Price’s inability to win a playoff start. Swell.
But the totality of his 23 years as commissioner amounts to far more positive than negative, and here in Boston, Selig gets an assist for the championships won in 2004, 2007, and 2013.That makes complete sense. I was checking on one of the bidders for the Red sox that year to look up Frank McCourt, who I knew Shank has slammed good in hard in the past. There were also two other bidders:
It’s simple, really. When the Red Sox were for sale in 2001, it was Selig who assembled John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino and maneuvered the sale in the direction of the Henry group.
“I had nothing to do with any of that,’’ Bud once told me, before adding, “But someday you’ll thank me for it.’’
Selig had a lot to do with it. It was Selig who connected Lucchino with Henry when Henry was dealing with ballpark and ownership issues with the Florida Marlins. Henry was working on selling the Marlins and buying the Angels in 2001. Lucchino, who knew Werner from San Diego, put Henry together with Werner, who was then trying to buy the Red Sox with underfinanced partner Les Otten.
At the urging of Selig, Yawkey Trust boss John Harrington agreed to accept the bid of the Henry group. When MLB owners voted to the approve the sale, Bud Selig made sure the vote was unanimous. Henry, Werner, and Lucchino were Bud’s guys.
Folks in Boston knew McCourt would be a disaster for Major League Baseball. He was a smooth-talking, nicely-dressed, well-mannered guy with parking lots and delusions of grandeur. He fancied himself as a serious bidder for the Red Sox in 2001 when the Yawkey Trust put the team up for sale, but nobody in Boston took McCourt seriously because he didn't have enough of his own money.Bag job, indeed! No reason it can't be both a bag job (the bidding process) and a rousing success. I was also wondering about how adequate Joe O'Donnell's bid was. A few people bring up that point in the comments, so I went to research it. Boy, did Shank really, REALLY HATE this deal when it went down!
The "sale" of the Red Sox turned out to be a bag-job of the highest order. Cable czar Charles Dolan submitted the highest bid, while Boston businessman Joe O'Donnell was viewed as the local favorite to get the team.
Tire-kicker McCourt was never in the running. In December 2001, Selig announced that John Henry's bid was the winner. Selig was beholden to Henry (former owner of the Marlins) and put him together with Tom Werner (former owner of the Padres) and Larry Lucchino (former Orioles and Padres boss).
The Red Sox are a public trust. They are the heart and soul of New England. They are as important as any local institution. And last night they changed hands for the first time in 68 years.Looks like we have our answer on the 'maligning Selig' parlor game question!
Michigan-born, Yale grad Tom Yawkey rescued the franchise in 1933, and now we have unknown men named Henry and Werner taking charge of this most-cherished local team.
I wish I felt good about this and I hope I’m wrong. I wish I could get on the bandwagon and believe good things will come of this. Maybe John Henry and Tom Werner will be the best Boston sports owners since Walter Brown. Maybe they will build a new jewel of a ballpark in South Boston and reward us with a string of championship teams in the next decade.
But forgive me if I don’t trust these guys. Any of them ever been to Durgin Park? Any of ‘em know that the L Street Brownies swim in the ocean on New Year’s Day? Any of them know the meaning of Curt Gowdy and “Hi, neighbor, have a ‘Gansett?” Any of them know who hit Tony Conigliaro with that spitball in 1967? And that the pitch was thrown Aug. 18, a Friday night?
Shame on John Harrington. The cowardly little accountant had a chance to do something great and important here. This is the man who befriended Mrs. Yawkey all those years ago and - on that relationship alone - became CEO of the Red Sox and a Big Player in Major League Baseball. The record will show that when it came time to step up, Harrington caved to commissioner Bud Selig and the Lords of the Sport. He chose to serve the Boys in the Club rather than loyal, long-suffering, top-dollar-paying citizens of Red Sox Nation.
So now we have this band of carpetbaggers, taking charge of our most cherished institution.
This was a bag job from start to finish. Bud got his man. The Trust got its money. John Harrington secured his fraudulent place in the Men’s Club of Major League Baseball. And the Red Sox were turned over to people who don’t know Fenway Park from Jellystone Park.
So, has Shank mellowed with age, or is this another convenient lapse of memory? You make the call!
UPDATE AT 8:36 PM - Added the 'carpetbaggers' and 'Jellystone Park' bits from the last link. Reading all the way through that old column was priceless for tidbits like that...
Saturday, December 03, 2016
No Gronk. No problem. The Patriots are still going to the Super Bowl.And you know what that means:
Everybody loves Rob Gronkowski. The big galoot (sorry, Curt Schilling! - ed.) is tons of fun, on and off the football field. We root for his full recovery from a third back surgery and hope there are more rumbling, smashmouth/stiff-arm touchdowns and spiked footballs in his Patriot future.
But everybody needs to calm down regarding what this does to the Patriots’ chances. Of course the Patriots are better with Gronk than without him (don’t underestimate Gronkowski’s contribution to the running game), but take a good look around the AFC. Who is better than the Gronk-less Patriots? Nobody, that’s who. Even without one of the greatest tight ends of all time, the Patriots still have a clean, clear path to Super Bowl LI in Houston in February.
It’s clear by now that there are no dominant teams in the NFL. The 11-1 Cowboys are the flavor of the month and it’s nice to see the Oakland Raiders make some noise on the left coast. But the Patriots’ schedule this year — clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right — tells you everything you need to know about where this is heading. After late-November road wins against the hideous 49ers and Jets, the Patriots return home Sunday to say hello to the 4-7 Los Angeles Rams — the sui generis of Tomato Cans (Bill Belichick has beaten Rams coach Jeff Fisher by an aggregate 104-7 in their last two meetings).
New England will be 10-2 after Sunday’s layup and should finish no worse than 13-3.How'd Shank's prediction work out last week? Anybody?
Just a reminder - Shank isn't exactly writing this column because any of the things mentioned about the Patriots are true. He's writing this column to do what he does every single year - in order to take a world class shit on the Patriots, Bill Belichick and especially the Kraft family should they fail to win the Lombardi Trophy in February.
Thursday, December 01, 2016
■ Count me out on Curt Schilling. I have held my nose and voted for the Big Blowhard in recent years (11-2 in postseason, ridiculous walk/strikeout ratio), and he was up to 52.3 percent (75 percent required) last year, but I shall invoke the “character” clause this year. Schill has transitioned from a mere nuisance to an actual menace to society. His tweet supporting the lynching of journalists was the last straw for this voter. Curt later claimed he was joking. Swell.Shank's fellow members of the media, on civil political discourse. I guess he's cool with that.