Can the Cubs stay here a few more days? If this really is a 2017 World Series preview (a lofty goal for the teetering Local Nine, I’ll admit), the Cracker Jack-eating baseball world should be very happy.Nice to have 'the rage' sucked out of this column, isn't it?
“This is good for the industry,’’ Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Saturday after a 7-4 win over the Red Sox. “This has been playoff-like baseball with two really good teams playing the game properly.’’
It’s all true. The series has lived up to its billing. And for two days, all the rage has been sucked out of Fenway.
Strange days, indeed.
Sunday, April 30, 2017
Friday, April 28, 2017
For 17 yrs I've had a dream job covering baseball for ESPN. Today is my last day. Thanks to all the great people at ESPN, MLB & all of you!— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) April 26, 2017
By all means - let's give out a plaque in the Baseball Hall of Fame to somebody for merely writing about baseball. Oh, wait...
Jayson, your place in Cooperstown awaits. Truly one of the great reporters I have known, with such passion for the game. Stunning loss. https://t.co/48Yn3QM7oK— Gordon Edes (@GordonEdes) April 26, 2017
Monday, April 24, 2017
CHICAGO — The Celtics thrashed the Bulls yet again Sunday night, this time by a score of 104-95, and now appear in total control of a series that is knotted, 2-2.Not too much sarcasm there...
What gives, you ask? How could the top-seeded Celtics have looked so bad losing twice at home, then come to Chicago and rout the Bulls early and often in back-to-back games?
The conventional answer, of course, would be the fact that Rajon Rondo broke his right thumb in Game 2 in Boston and was on the bench tripping opponents and being his usual pouty self all weekend. It turns out Rondo is more valuable to the Bulls than Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade, or Robin Lopez. Maybe more than Jordan in the old days. Perhaps there’ll be a Rondo statue outside the United Center someday. Clearly, he is The Franchise.
Interesting to note - the last three Shank columns did not have a comments section in any of them. It seems like that's an on-again, off-again Globe policy.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
CHICAGO — This was so much better. The Celtics did not quit. They weathered the inevitable storm. Marcus Smart didn’t give any fans the finger. The Celts did not play like the worst No. 1 seed in NBA history. They were not frauds.By which Shank means he will not rip them until their next loss.
The Celtics restored their dignity and got back into their first-round series with a gut-check, 104-87 Game 3 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Friday night. That should stop the noise. For a while, anyway.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
The Celts and B's just lost four playoff games - 1 each day -- in 4 consecutive days at the Garden. I am suggesting this must be a record.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) April 20, 2017
Too bad there's really no way to check that sort of thing!
The Bruins have lost nine of their last ten games to the Senators.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) April 20, 2017
Would this count as a trend?
Reader response is as expected:
@Dan_Shaughnessy Shaughnessy has trolled 33 out of 36 years in Boston. Would this count as a trend?— goathubsports.com (@goathubsports) April 20, 2017
@Dan_Shaughnessy Not a word about hockey all year from Mr. Positive, now that the B's are down, here he comes to pile on. So pra-dick-table.— Joe Costa (@joepcosta) April 20, 2017
WASHINGTON — Of all the weird days in Boston sports over the decades, this might have been the weirdest.
Wednesday afternoon, the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots went to the White House to visit a polarizing president who practically made the team one of his platform planks in the final days of the most stunning election of our time.
Patriots owner Bob Kraft and coach Bill Belichick have made no secret of their respect for and allegiance to President Trump, but several New England players boycotted the White House trip for political or personal reasons. Just a few hours before the team met with Trump in the Oval Office, Tom Brady sent word that he would not make it because of “personal family matters’’ (his ill mother reportedly was visiting him in Boston).
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
It was shaping up as a perfect Marathon Monday.I can count the number of this year's Bruins columns by Shank on one hand, and he wants us to buy that load of crap?
Postcard weather. A seamless 26-mile Boston Strong race with the usual thousands of feel-good/inspirational stories. A third straight win for the Red Sox at Fenway. And finally . . . the Bruins brought the NHL playoffs back to the Garden and recovered from a 3-0 second-period deficit against the Ottawa Senators.
But they could not finish. The Bruins battled back to a 3-3 tie, and gave us some great hockey, only to lose in the sixth minute of overtime on a power-play goal by Bobby Ryan after a cheesy
roughing penalty on Bruins forward Riley Nash. Garden fans peppered the ice with water bottles to show their disgust with the zebras. Ottawa leads the series, two games to one.
It had been more than 1,000 days since the last Stanley Cup tournament game at the Garden and this is not the way we visualized the Bruins’ return to the playoffs.
Friday, April 14, 2017
No . . . Days . . . Off.If you think you're read this column before, it's because you did!
Repeat that nine times. Just like Bill Belichick at the Patriots Super Bowl rally.
No . . . Days . . . Off. That’s the theme around here for Boston sports fans. We have a glut of goodies in front of us in these next two or three weeks.
Just take a look at this upcoming Sunday/Monday. In a 28-hour period starting Sunday night, you can watch the Celtics vs. the Bulls in the playoffs (6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Garden), the Red Sox and the Rays at Fenway (11:05 a.m. Monday), the finish of the 121st Boston Marathon (around 1:10 Monday afternoon on Boylston Street), and the Bruins in Game 3 against Ottawa at the Garden (7 p.m. Monday).
Picked-up pieces while waiting for Larry Lucchino to return a phone call . . .
Is your head spinning? The Sox are off and running. The Celtics and Bruins are readying for the playoffs. Tiger is getting ready to wear the red shirt at the Masters. Two Connecticut schools battled for the NCAA hockey championship in Pittsburgh Saturday night. The Red Sox play the major league’s only morning-start game on Monday and our city is peppered with folks from around the world who are here to watch and run in the 117th Boston Marathon.
Celtics vs. Knicks in the first round of the playoffs? Bring it on! This amounts to a marquee matchup in an ever-diluted playoff spring. These staggering Celtics always can get into the heads of the Knicks. Carmelo Anthony is an overrated ball hog who never will win an NBA championship.
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Fast forward six decades to the New Garden, where the 53-win, top-seeded Celtics will open the playoffs Sunday against old friend Rajon Rondo and the eighth-seeded Chicago Bulls. So here’s the question: Are these Celtics the worst No. 1-seed in postseason history, or are they a worthy lot, bound for the conference finals and perhaps capable of stunning the Cleveland Cavaliers and advancing to the NBA Finals?I think Shank is the kind of guy who can only say something nice to one person - his wife.
I think we know the answer. Today’s Celtics fall in between the two extremes. They are not total frauds reaping the benefits of the Tomato Can NBA East. But nor are they championship driven.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
On now with @ZoandBertrand til 1. We are talking about how we'll rip the C's if they lose in first round. (They won't).— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) April 11, 2017
Sunday, April 09, 2017
Picked-up pieces while trying to decide which of our winter sports teams will play longer into the postseason.Idiot. That's where I stopped reading this mailed-in shit column.
■ It’s been a bad few days for the Celtics. Clearly, the world champion Cleveland Cavaliers are the Celtics’ daddy. The C’s were appropriately spanked Wednesday after the Cavs were informed that a weeknight regular-season game in Boston was some kind of a test of Cleveland’s championship mettle. Thursday night’s subsequent flop in Atlanta was yet another reminder that the Celtics are a long, long way from being championship-caliber.
They have only one scorer and he’s 5 feet 9 inches. They have a thin bench and get outrebounded on a regular basis. Getting to the conference finals with this bunch would be a miracle. Here’s hoping the Green Teamers don’t try to tell us the season is a success if they bow out again in the first round.
■ Granted, I don’t watch a ton of hockey, but I’m pretty sure Patrice Bergeron has never lost a faceoff.
Monday, April 03, 2017
History and ubiquitous connections to the past make it special to live in Boston. There’s very little that’s truly new. Almost nothing stands alone as its own entity.That's what I like about Shank - always accentuating the positive and looking at the bright side of things!
And so it is with the ritual that is the Opening Day of the baseball season here in the Hub of the Universe.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are the Red Sox’ opponent for the franchise’s 117th Opening Day, and this represents only the third time in history that the Pirates have traveled to Boston to play the Sox. The Pirates were here in 1903 for the first World Series and they were here in 2005 for one of these goofy interleague series, which still seem silly and unnecessary. And now the Pirates are here through Thursday to face a Red Sox team that is universally favored to win the American League East for a second straight season.
The Red Sox won 93 games last year, but the season ended badly and quickly when Terry Francona’s Cleveland Indians smoked the Sox in three straight Division Series games. The takeaway from that final week of an otherwise good Red Sox season: In their final nine games, the Sox had eight losses, five David Ortiz celebrations, and an early exit from the tournament.
Sunday, April 02, 2017
Stayed up past midnight watching women's BB last night. Reason? UConn had COMPETITION. Huskies lose in OT. Showed class in a classic!— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) April 1, 2017