Sunday, February 26, 2017

Shank's Getting Bored Already

That's the feeling that comes across as Shank writes his annual column on Carl Yastrzemski .
FORT MYERS, Fla. — His photo was on the cover of the Globe Magazine last Sunday — a 28-year-old Carl Yastrzemski chomping on a cigar, his head swathed in shaving cream, a throng of news photographers and cameramen following his every move.

It was the best of all the days in the best of all the seasons. It was Oct. 1, 1967, a Sunday afternoon, the final day of an epic regular season, and the Red Sox had just learned via their clubhouse radio that the California Angels had defeated the Detroit Tigers in Tiger Stadium, delivering the Boston Red Sox to their first World Series in 21 years.

“I think that was the best moment,’’ Yaz said last week in a telephone interview. “It was Sunday and we were behind and we rallied. That was a big thing. [Jim] Lonborg beating the bunt out. We were going up against a great pitcher in Dean Chance.’’
I'm sure you've read parts of this column before.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Promise Broken, Again

Dan Shaughnessy, October 25, 2015:
I promise never to rip Sandoval for being out of shape or going on the disabled list.
Dan Shaughnessy, earlier this afternoon:
FORT MYERS, Fla. — It was good to see Pablo Sandoval playing baseball again Thursday afternoon. The slimmed-down Kung Fu Panda started at third base against the Northeastern Huskies,
The last time we saw the Panda in action was last April, when his belt succumbed to his swollen gut and literally exploded in mid-swing at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
The Panda has been a punch line around here for the better part of two seasons.
No. Nothing like that. We watched the Panda’s BMI rise while his OPS fell.
In the wake of a second straight last-place finish by the Red Sox in 2015, Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez became Boston baseball’s Pinata Twins — blamed for everything that was wrong with the team. (blamed by...whom? - ed.)
He showed up looking out of shape, and no one believed the Sox when they insisted he had only 17 percent body fat (“Did they say 70 percent?” we wondered).
We know he’s on a low-carb regimen and he dropped a few lbs. by riding his mountain bike to the park and doing some boxing in the offseason. He says he has something to prove. He says his shoulder is healed. He says he’s OK again from the right side. (surely not trying to create doubt here, right? - ed.)
Sandoval played three grueling innings against Northeastern.
Much like Shank's daily grueling one mile run!

Surprise, Surprise

What is this - an actual baseball story by Shank?
FORT MYERS, Fla. — There don’t seem to be any openings in the Red Sox starting lineup. The outfield is flush with young stars, Hanley Ramirez is going to be the designated hitter, and the infield is set with Mitch Moreland and Pablo Sandoval anchoring the corners. Despite what the Sox may say, there is virtually no competition for jobs.

Except behind the plate. Watch out for Christian Vazquez.

Vazquez lost the job to Sandy Leon last season. He tried to come back from Tommy John surgery too soon, struggled behind the plate, hit only .227 in 57 games, and was sent back to the minors. Leon, perceived as a journeyman even though he’s only a year older than Vazquez, had a career year, hitting .310 with 7 homers and 35 RBIs in 78 games. Vazquez played in only six games for Boston after July 2.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Remembering His Good Buddy Pedro Martinez

Hey, Pedro - remember when I called you a diva when I was running you out of town, then continued to talk shit about you later on?

We're good now, right?

Your pal, Shank
FORT MYERS, Fla. — He is Red Sox royalty, a Hall of Fame talent who already had won a Cy Young Award when he first came to the Red Sox from the small market of Montreal in 1998.

The buzz these days is that it takes a year for a star pitcher to acclimate to Boston — Josh Beckett, Rick Porcello, and David Price all come to mind — but it didn’t take long for Pedro Martinez. He was great at Fenway, right from the start.
Then Pedro says...
He signed autographs for 45 minutes after the session, then took a few minutes to talk about what it’s like for an ace pitcher (this means you, Chris Sale) to introduce himself to the Boston baseball market.

“I think it’s having to restart your mind,’’ said Pedro, cradling a baseball in his right hand. “For a guy like Price, he pitched in Tampa, where it is quiet and not a lot of attention. It was the same for me in Montreal. It took me almost a year to finally settle in and finally understand what to expect and what I wanted to do.
You were saying, Shank?

Trying To Create Doubt - III

Shank's still hoping for Armageddon at Fort Myers for the Red Sox this spring:
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox players sat still for a 30-minute media training session before their workouts Saturday morning at Fenway South. The tutorial was hardly necessary. Most of these young guys know how to present themselves to fans, and how to work with the no-longer-carnivorous Boston baseball media. (my bullshit meter just broke! - ed.)

Seriously. The 2017 Red Sox have a raft of homegrown young stars who are polite, cooperative, and careful with their words. If you are a baseball fan, you see the sound bites on TV every night during the regular season. Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi, and the rest of them all sound as if they majored in public relations.

“I think individually we all grew up the right way,’’ said Bogaerts, an Aruba native who first came to the big leagues when he was 20 in 2013. “The Red Sox are one of the top organizations in the game and you’ve got to bring that with you. You can’t be disrespectful or impolite; that just doesn’t fly around here.
Read the rest of the column that harkens back to the old days when the Red Sox and local media were more, shall we say, carnivorous.

And the big finish:
True. Call me a dreamer, but with Chris Sale, Pablo Sandoval, and Hanley Ramirez in the fold, I’m hoping there’s still a chance for some old-fashioned clubhouse chaos here in Camp Tranquility.
He wants chaos so he can rip any player or member of management / ownership who contribute to it. Little wonder trust in the media is at or near all-time lows.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Trying To Create Doubt - II

Alternative title - Another Colum About Nothing, a continuing series.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The glow from Super Bowl LI will never dim. Snowflakes aside, our region has been in a good mood almost every hour for the past two weeks. Folks are still agog about the Patriots’ dramatic comeback, and they watch their DVR-preserved copy over and over, like teenagers playing a loop of a favorite song.

All of which has me wondering about the official passing of the Boston sports torch.

Have we really become a football town more than we are a baseball town?
Yes, we are a football town, but it turns out baseball is not dead. This point was hammered home last week when the Globe conducted an online poll asking readers, “What is the greatest story in Boston sports history: the 2004 Red Sox or the 2016 Patriots?’’

More than 5,000 readers responded in a 24-hour period, and the ’04 Sox bagged 73 percent of the vote.
A couple of things here - a) Boston Globe 'readers' taking a poll and responding in a single day do not in any way represent a large enough sample of New England sports fans to draw this conclusion, and b) responding to 'the greatest sports story in Boston sports history' likewise does not necessarily translate to whether Boston is a Patriots or Red Sox town. This isn't the first time Shank has pulled this false / bogus premise and passes it off as a column.

I bet he's hoping Pablo Sandoval puts on 20 pounds over the weekend eating at Chinese and Golden Corral buffets so he can write on, you know, actual baseball things.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Trying To Create Doubt

Smooth sailing for the 2017 Boston Red Sox? Leave it to Shank to take care of that.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Accompanied by club chairman Tom Werner, Red Sox owner John Henry endured his annual “state of the team” press conference at Fenway South Friday morning.

It was positively positive. And dull. Nothing the owner said will change the nap-time narrative of this Red Sox camp. JetBlue Park in 2017 is Tranquility Base. Henry and Werner love it that way.

Me? I miss the bad old days when there was a little hunger, restlessness, and indecision at the top.
Hence the reason for this column.
This week last year, Henry came to Fort Myers and told us, “I was shocked at how bad we were last year . . . We were wrong about everything.’’

In that same session, the owner — the man who hired Bill James and became a billionaire with the help of numbers — also dropped the bomb that the Sox were “overly reliant” on analytics.
News Flash - Shank still hates numbers!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Stick To Sports

Shank's trying to make a political joke here:

Readers give him the business:

Great question...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Obligatory First Red Sox Spring Training Column

Yes, indeed - Shank abandons his family and leaves them alone with the shoveling chores in the middle of winter and beats his pasty white ass down to the confines of sunny Florida to give us his first Red Sox spring training report.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, David Price.
Who are 'Red Sox pitchers that Dan Shaughnessy ran out of town', Alex?
In the last two decades, the Red Sox have acquired several established All-Star pitchers, some with championship rings, some with Cy Young hardware, all with hard-earned reputations and maybe a little baggage.

Now it’s Chris Sale. He’s the new ace in town. And he comes to us with a four-seam fastball, a filthy slider, and a big bowl of badass.
Despite Shank's bravado, the rest of the column is worth reading, especially for any of you going through football withdrawal.

When Sports And Politics Collide

Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't. In this case, Shank stirs the pot by calling out not the players boycotting the White House visit, but those in the Patriots organization who support Donald Trump.
These empty-calorie ceremonies have traditionally taken place in the White House’s Rose Garden. That’s fitting because the Patriots’ support of Trump has become a thorny issue.
It's only a thorny issue for the reporters covering the Patriots, because they're all fucking Democrats.
The Patriots made history in Super Bowl LI, but some feel they’re on the wrong side of it with their coziness with Trump.
And one of these 'some feel' people is Dan Shaughnessy. Gotta love the use of the passive voice...
The Patriots don’t have to stiff-arm the president, but they would be wise to at least start distancing themselves from some of his polarizing policies..
This has to be the most bogus charge, making a politician's supporters speak out on every damned policy. Do you recall reporters shoving a microphone in a Democrat's face every time John Kerry or Joe Biden said something galactically stupid? Me neither.

Oh, one more thing - remember that time Shank's wife tried donating some money to Nikki Tsongas from a joint checking account? Shank didn't have anything to say about that, yet he now expects the Trump supporters in the Patriots organization (all of three the last I checked) to 'start distancing themselves from some of his polarizing policies'? Funny how that works when the shoe's on the other foot, isn't it, Shank?

This is classic Shank - making a mountain out a molehill.

UPDATE AT 2:25 PM - See what I mean? This USA Today reporter put words in Tom Brady's mouth / deliberately misquoted him to get a clickbait headline. And people wonder why the media is nearly universally hated?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Delusional Dan

The Boston Bruins have won three games in a row after shitcanning Claude Julien six days ago, including a satisfying 4-0 shutout over the Montreal Canadiens last night. Shank manages to talk himself into a ludicrous comparison. Either he's delusional, or he's trying to get a rise out of Bruins fans. Here's his third tweet (yes, the third) of the season on the Bruins (because he's really into hockey):
My buddy John (who would put Kevin Paul Dupont to shame on hockey knowledge if he was writing a column about hockey) sends me this:
If the pooh bear lemmings think a new coach cures the lower lines, defense & backup goaltending, I have some kool aid.
Shank gets some other reminders as well:

Friday, February 10, 2017

Dan Shaughnessy, Attention Whore

Poor Danny Boy - someone's mad at him!

A few people commented on Shank's arrogance:

For what it's worth, I met Cam at a comedy club on Warrenton Street many moons ago, just after he retired. I shook his hand; he damn near crushed it. Human vise-grip! If I was Shank, I'd be avoiding the Garden for a while.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Fake Outrage?

Now that the Patriots' run is over, Shank is forced to turn his attention elsewhere. In his first (yes, first) column on the Bruins of the season (their season's already past the halfway point), Shank takes issue with the timing of Claude Julien's firing.
The Bruins should never be forgiven for the stunt they pulled Tuesday morning: They fired coach Claude Julien on the morning of the Patriots Super Bowl victory parade through the streets of Boston.

This goes beyond weak, beyond cowardly. It’s disrespectful to the winningest coach in franchise history — a guy who has been on the job for 10 years — and it’s an insult to the great sports/hockey fans of Boston.

The timing stinks. We all knew it was time for Claude to go. The Bruins should have fired him at the end of the 2015 season. Or at the end of the 2016 season. Or last week at the All-Star break.
After reading the comments to Shank's column, I seem to be the only one who doesn't care about the timing of this move.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Two Shaughnessys In One

Shank, two and a half weeks ago:

Shank, four hours ago:
So, is Shank now fine with the firing, but not cool with the timing? Seems to me the timing doesn't matter much and is likely a function on securing a new coach before you go ahead and fire the current coach. Anyway, if you're looking for a bit more IQ behind the firing (not a high bar to clear with Shank), check out this Deadspin article.

Monday, February 06, 2017

And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - XLIX

The Globe jumped the gun on last night's game for their early edition newspaper. Whoops!

Shank's Post Super Bowl Column - II

And now for Useless Argument Time, by Dan Shaughnessy.
Your answer might depend on how the question is framed. So let’s agree that we won’t argue greatest “moment” — such as Bobby Orr flying through the air in 1970, Carlton Fisk clanging one off the foul pole in 1975, Ted Williams saying goodbye in 1999, or Malcolm Butler intercepting at the goal line in 2015.

And let’s not compare all the championships. This doesn’t have to be Patriots 2016 vs. Red Sox 2013 vs. Larry beating Magic in the 1984 Finals vs. the Big Bad Bruins sweeping the Blues in 1970.

No. This little exercise will pose this question and this question only: What is the greatest Boston sports story of all time?
I'll just note one instance of passive-aggressive behavior by Shank:
It boggles the mind to think about all that went into this. The Patriots were branded as cheaters.
Yes, they were - branded by none other than Shank himself.

Shank's Post Super Bowl Column - I

I guarantee you that a much different Shaughnessy column was being written at halftime, ready to take the world's biggest shit on the Patriots organization. Instead, we get this column, after an epic Patriots comeback.
HOUSTON — It will take weeks, months, maybe years to fully absorb this one, but given all the layers of drama, emotion, and improbability, the Patriots’ 34-28 overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons Sunday night might very well be the greatest moment in Boston sports history.

And that, folks, is saying something.

Super Bowl LI at massive NRG Stadium was supposed to be all about revenge and a Roger Goodell trophy moment, but it wound up being the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history and a victory against which all others — in every sport — will forever be measured.
A boring column, actually - most of it is the standard game recap. That's what happens when you're forced to scrap the one you were writing at halftime.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

The Obligatory Super Bowl Day Column

Here it is, folks:
HOUSTON — Tonight the Patriots settle all family business.

This certainly is New England’s game plan as the Patriots take on the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium.

Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and Bob Kraft have been to six previous Super Bowls, but have never carried this much history or emotion into the ultimate game — not even when they tried to complete a perfect season against the New York Giants in February 2008.
If I didn't know any better, I'd say Shank just updated this column from a few weeks ago.

Programming note - No game updates to cover Shank's stupid coin toss tweets, etc., as I'm at a buddy's house watching the game. Go Patriots!

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Old Dog, Old Tricks

Despite the Patriots being a mere three point favorite and the line not moving at all for the past two weeks, Shank has to belittle the Atlanta Falcons one more time:

Reaction is pretty much what you'd expect:

Friday, February 03, 2017

Captain Obvious To The Rescue

"Hmmm... I need to bang out a column soon... I got it - I'll do a column on Scott Pioli! New England connection, here I come!"
With deep New England ties, Scott Pioli is on the other side in this one

HOUSTON — Scott Pioli is in an awkward and delicate position.

He can handle it. Pioli asked Bill Parcells for his daughter’s hand in marriage at the same time Pioli was working for Bill Belichick. When you have pledged lifetime loyalty at the foot of the Tuna — while working for the Hoodie — you know how to handle awkward situations.

Pioli helped build the New England Patriots football dynasty. He was in charge of New England’s draft when the Patriots selected Tom Brady in 2000.
It turns out to be a decent column, with plenty of Pioli history and background.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Trolling Effort Noticed - II

A few days ago, Atlanta sports blog 'Blogging Dirty' picked up on Shank's Falcons troll from last week:
We expected the Atlanta Falcons to get little respect from the New England media, but the Boston Globe just insulted the entire city of Atlanta.

The Atlanta Falcons are receiving very little credit from the New England media. This surprises no one within Falcons Nation as we’re aware the team was completely overlooked for all of 2016. We expected overconfidence from those within Patriots territory, but what the Boston Globe published on Monday crossed the line.

What I’m talking about is Dan Shaughnessy’s recent piece of work titled: “It’s hard to get pumped up about a Super Bowl against Atlanta”.
Here's where they (actually, author John Follett) cut loose on Shank:
Shaughnessy Doesn’t Know Football, Much Less the Falcons

Dan Shaughnessy hasn’t paid attention to a single down of Atlanta Falcons’ football this season. He has no idea the offensive weapons the Falcons have, nor a clue how the Patriots can match up against each. Shaughnessy is also oblivious to the Atlanta defense’s road to Super Bowl 51 that included knocking Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, and Aaron Rodgers out of their respective comfort zones.

Not a single ounce of actual football analysis was published by Shaughnessy on Monday. As far as he’s concerned, the Patriots will win Super Bowl 51 simply because the city of Boston has been a winner. It’s not shocking as Shaughnessy knows very little about the game. This much is obvious considering he took a Super Bowl headline and attempted to support it with a lot of basketball talk.

Shaughnessy’s article turns into a nice little history about the rich and prosperous Boston sports scene that predates Larry Bird. He dared to compare the Boston sports market to that of Atlanta, but not without insulting the city of Atlanta in the process.
Congratulations, Atlanta - you got Shanked!

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Big Steaming Heap Of Bullshit

There are multiple angles to take with this latest Shank column, so I think I need to give this one an old fashioned Fisking.
HOUSTON — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was at it again Wednesday. The man is a master of passive aggression and manipulation. If his ginger hair were on fire, he would calmly tell you that he is not warm.
Shank is also a master of passive-aggressive behavior; he's spent the past two years attacking and criticizing the Patriots and Tom Brady on the issue of Deflategate in particular and is now about to change his tune because it suits him, and he has cover from other Boston area media. He has done the same with the Patriots for over two decades, criticizing them at every turn, then pretending to support them whenever they made serious playoff runs. These two sons of bitches ought to be exchanging notes.
Roger Dodger (never heard that one before! - ed.) held his annual Super Bowl media session Wednesday at the Houston Convention Center. We will not bore you with anything Goodell said about the Chargers’ move to Los Angeles, the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas, “Thursday Night Football,” or NFL games in London.
I'm thankful for small favors - let's get ready to rumble!!!
All we care about is Deflategate, and Goodell allowed five Deflategate queries during his 45 minutes at the podium.

Give him credit for taking some bullets. The typical NFL method is to deny the obvious and censor all dissent. In a room with hundreds of hungry reporters, it would have been easy for Goodell to rig the session and make sure he took no questions from New England. He did not do this.
Bear in mind that Shank was quite pleased with this investigation and its eventual outcome, with Shank concluding that Tom Brady and the Patriots are lying cheating bastards as he scolded the entire Patriots Nation.
The Globe’s Ben Volin was first up, and he told the Commish that Bob Kraft (who was sitting in the front row with Jonathan) is still going around telling folks that Goodell got bad Deflategate advice from folks in the league office.

Goodell quickly dismissed that with, “We had a violation. We went through a process. We applied the discipline in accordance with our process. It was litigated, as you know, extensively and validated by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, so we’re moving on.’’
What Goodell doesn't mention is the transmogrification of this case from an equipment violation to a 'conduct detrimental' matter in order to impose the four game suspension on Brady.
Moving on? Not bloody likely. The Patriots and their fans are not moving on. In this spirit, we went at the Commish with both barrels. We fired all the muskets at once. This was no time for decorum.
Need I remind anybody about Shank's passive-aggressive behavior?
“Tom Brady Sr. was highly critical and personally insulting toward you last week,’’ I reminded the commissioner. “You’ve not been in Foxborough for two years since the Deflategate investigation. Your explanation strains all credibility — that you needed to be in Atlanta two weeks in a row.

“It appears you were avoiding Foxborough. The Patriots are here in this game . . . it feels like there is still a war between the Patriots and their fans and you. How would you characterize the situation, and is it not awkward?”

“I would say that it is not awkward at all for me,’’ started Goodell (nose growing). “We have a job to do. We do our job when there is a violation. We apply the process and discipline and we came to a conclusion that was supported by the courts.
This is simply astounding - Shank used Deflategate to beat the ever loving shit out of the Patriots and Tom Brady for two years, and this line of questioning was conspicuously absent from the many, many colums he devoted to the subject. I'll call it breathtaking hypocrisy; pure fucking theater.
“So from our standpoint, we understand that fans who are loyal and passionate for a team object and don’t like the outcome. I totally understand that. And I was in Boston two seasons ago for two consecutive playoff games, the same way I was in Atlanta this year. That happens.

“So from our standpoint, this is just about making sure we take care of business and do it in a way that is right and upholding the integrity of all of our teams and our rules for all 32 teams.”

“So you’re not avoiding Foxborough?’’ I yelled. “You would come back there, if they win, for the flag raising?”

“If I’m invited back to Foxborough, I’ll come,’’ he answered.
How many of you are buying that?
Intrepid Bert Breer of MMQB tried to clarify that comment a few minutes later and asked, “To the best of your knowledge, over the last month have you been welcome in Foxborough . . . by the team?”

“I have no doubt that if I wanted to come up to a Patriots game and I asked Mr. Kraft, he would welcome me back,’’ said Goodell. “That’s up to him, though.’’

Breer followed up by asking Goodell how his relationship with the team has changed over the last two years.

“Listen, we had a disagreement about what occurred,’’ said Goodell, sounding a little sick of the topic. “We have been very transparent about what we think the violation was. We went through a lengthy process.
Being sick of the topic seems like the right response when your position is untenable or the matter just comes up too many times for your liking. Maybe it's a variant of the old saw - 'Have you stopped beating your wife?'
“We disagree about that, but I continue to respect and admire Robert, Jonathan, the entire organization. They are an extraordinary organization and they are extraordinary people in my view, so I have a very deep and close relationship to them.

“I’m not afraid of disagreement. I don’t think disagreement leads to distrust or hatred. It’s a disagreement . . . That’s what it is. It’s not personal hatred, which I know people like to make it, but for us it’s about making sure we do what’s right for the league, long-term.’’

When Kelly Sullivan of WPRI in Providence asked Goodell if he’d talked to Brady this year, the commissioner said he does not disclose conversations he may or may not have had with players.
I'll go with 'No, I did not talk with Tom Brady...'

Now, with more explosions!
Tom Curran of CSNNE fired this salvo: “From the players in the league, to fan bases in San Diego, St. Louis, New England, there seems to be an erosion of public trust in you and your office. Do you acknowledge that, and is there any way that you would go about repairing that if you would even seek to do so?’’

This produced a tower of Goodellspeak.

“The thing you have to always do, every day, is earn that trust, earn that credibility by how you act and how you do things,” he said. “Be transparent and make sure people understand the decisions you make.’’

There were many more words, but no true meaning.

The commissioner is not transparent. Fans do not understand the decisions he’s made.

And despite what Roger Dodger says, this is really awkward.
You might call it a big bowl of awkward, to borrow a phrase from the Shankster.

Scumbag Columnist?

Is it me, or is Shank (who did everything possible to pile on Tom Brady last year, including calling him a cheater) exploiting an illness in the Brady family just to get a fucking column out of it?
HOUSTON — We know it has been a trying time for Tom Brady. We know it was hard for him to give up his court appeals and serve his four-game suspension at the start of this season.

We knew Brady was going to get a lot of questions this week about Deflategate, Roger Goodell, Donald Trump, and his opportunity to become the first quarterback to win five Super Bowls.

But we did not know that there has been a personal crisis going on in the Patriot quarterback’s family this year, and we were not expecting Brady to become super emotional in the early days of Super Bowl week. CSNNE’s Tom Curran reported Tuesday that Brady’s mother Galynn has been dealing with an illness for 18 months.
What a fucking hypocrite. "We know it has been a trying time for Tom Brady." after Shank's been piling on him for the better part of two years. Absolutely disgraceful.