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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

No Love Lost Here

Monday, June 14, 2021

This Was Not A Difficult Call

Dan Shaughnessy Watch, April 12, 2021:
My final point - you and I know that at some point down the road, say when Calipari steps in some dog crap again, he'll go right back to 'disrespecting' the school. It's tough to teach an old dog new tricks.
Dan Shaughnessy, a few hours ago:
Honoring John Calipari and Marcus Camby with statues is not a good look for UMass

There have been some bad ideas in our New England sports universe in recent years. There was the push for the 2024 Olympic Games, the Red Sox signing of Pablo Sandoval, and the Patriots’ estimation that it was not worth keeping Tom Brady around for another few years.

And now we have folks at the University of Massachusetts — our State U — breathlessly announcing Monday that they are going to “immortalize four basketball legends” with a dedication of statues to Julius Erving, Jack Leaman, Marcus Camby, and John Calipari outside the Mullins Center Sept. 11.

That’s right, ladies and gents. Our State U plans to dedicate statues to Camby and Calipari, two hoop talents who won big, then brought disgrace to UMass when the Minutemen’s 1996 Final Four appearance was vacated because of NCAA violations. UMass was officially erased from Final Four history and ordered to return $151,000 in tournament money.
I'm wondering if John Calipari killed any of Shank's pets, or did the old Kraft Super Bowl Snub on him, but I think the best explanation for the animosity is it's cheap grandstanding at Cal's expense, and that's notable to me because I don't see a lot of evidence of Shank doing the same to Marcus Camby with any regularity.

I'm, more amused by a) the utter predictability of this column and b) some of the Twitter crowd going to town on him:

DHL Dan CXL - Pointed Questions For Alex Cora

Shank (finally or otherwise) notices cheating in baseball, and makes the Red Sox manager squirm and evade:
Picked-up pieces while wishing anyone loved me as much as Bill Belichick loves Cam Newton …

▪ Alex Cora is one fine big league manager. It’s great for the Red Sox that he’s back, and New England is excited with the team’s fast start.

We know all about Cora’s baggage. Major League Baseball suspended him for a year for his role in the world champion Houston Astros’ cheating scandal of 2017. Cora’s 2018 world champion Red Sox also were caught and punished by MLB for illegal sign stealing (video room shenanigans).

Now that MLB is cracking down on pitchers for using illegal sticky substances to make the baseball spin, I would think Cora has put his hurlers on notice. More than anyone in the game, Cora can ill afford to be associated with another cheating scandal.

When Cora was asked about this issue at a group Zoom session Wednesday, he said, “I don’t think it’s in the manager’s hands. It think it’s more the players.”
Preemptive throwing of players under the bus, or just deciding not to take that bullet? Here we have the Sox' general manager getting the 'ol Goodyear treatment:
I spoke with Cora one-on-one Friday morning to ask about recommendations he may have made to his pitchers.

“We had a meeting in spring training and Chaim [Bloom] addressed that part,” Cora answered.

Given his personal history, does Cora feel any need to be particularly vigilant on the issue?

“Um … like I said, Chaim talked about it in spring training,” said Cora. “He was very open about it, so now we have to wait for the memo or whatever they are going to do and then we’ll address it again.”
Let me also note - Felger referenced this column in the 2:00 hour of today's Felger & Mazz show. One hand washes the other...

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Burial By Proxy

The Boston Bruins lost their 2nd round playoff series to the New York Islanders last night, 6 - 2. Instead of the usual Shank burial of the local team after the playoffs ('they're just not that good', et. al), he'll let former Bruins general manager Harry Sinden do it for him:
Harry Sinden was just like the rest of us Wednesday night. He watched the Bruins from the comfort of his home and found himself yelling at the TV as their season ended with a 6-2 loss to the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.

“I was into it pretty good,” Sinden said with a chuckle Thursday morning. “I told my wife, ‘If you don’t like me yelling, you can go upstairs.’ ”

Now 88, Sinden is listed fourth on the Bruins administrative masthead as “Senior Advisor to the Owner and Alternate Governor.” He was Bobby Orr’s first head coach with the Bruins in 1966 and acquired both Cam Neely (trade) and Don Sweeney (draft), the two men who run the Bruins for Jeremy Jacobs in 2021.

Friday, June 04, 2021

Boston Globe Death Watch - XIII

It's been a while since there's been anything new on this front, but the union representing most of the Globies is still whining: If you clowns don't like the pay / conditions there, then quit. Learn to code, bitchez!

DHL Dan CXXXIX - No Longer On The Ortiz Case

Shank updates us on the David ortiz case, which seems like it's going nowhere:
It turns out Ed Davis is no longer on the David Ortiz case, and other picked-up pieces from the sports world

Picked-up pieces while wondering whether Celtics players have chartered a jet so they can fly to Milwaukee to cheer for Kyrie in the next round …

▪ Boston super cop Ed Davis is no longer cracking the case on the two-year-old shooting of David Ortiz in the Dominican Republic. Ortiz hired Davis to get to the bottom of things, but the search proved futile, and according to Davis, the investigation is ongoing in the DR with more than a dozen suspects still in custody.

“I’m just a security guy here, so I don’t want to go off on a tangent,” Davis said Thursday. “The bottom line on it is this: This is a very complicated and still-dangerous situation that we’re looking at. We provided the government down there with important information and there’s still no resolution.
Here's something amusing - Danny Ainge lied to Shank last month:
▪ I had this exchange with Danny Ainge on May 14:

Me: Are you coming back?

Ainge: Of course.

Me: Is [Brad] Stevens coming back?

Ainge: Of course.

After resigning this past Wednesday, Ainge told the Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach that in late March he approached Celtics ownership and told them he did not think he had the energy to continue on the job.

So which is it? Did Ainge know he was leaving back in March, or was this a sudden departure after things fell apart in the first round of the playoffs?

I checked in with Ainge to ask about the timeline discrepancy.
Rest at the link.

Thursday, June 03, 2021

Shank On The Celtics' Front Office Changes

I'm kind of impressed that Shank banged this one out in under two hours:
A weird, abrupt ending for Danny Ainge, a daunting new challenge for Brad Stevens with Celtics

It happened overnight.

Literally.

The soft and annoying Boston Celtics of 2020-21 were eliminated from the playoffs Tuesday evening in Brooklyn, a 123-109 noncompetitive whimper at the end of one of the most disappointing local sports seasons of all time.

And then, after a meeting back in Boston Wednesday morning, the team issued a press release at 11:01 a.m. announcing that Danny Ainge was retiring and coach Brad Stevens would be leaving the bench and moving into Ainge’s position as president of basketball operations.
Love the picture - Ainge looks like he's in a hostage video.

He Came To Bury Them

With a Game 5 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, the Boston Celtics are out of the playoffs and Shank is here to shovel dirt on their grave:
Mercifully it’s over, but Celtics need big changes after a season of failure and disappointment

It’s over. The bull gang can put the parquet panels in storage for the summer. Let’s thank the hoop god for that.

Now it’s time for a change. Fire basketball boss Danny Ainge. Fire coach Brad Stevens. Fire the roster. Something has to give. The Boston Celtics simply cannot stand pat after the season we just witnessed.

Kyrie Irving (25 points) and the Brooklyn Nets put the Celtics out of their misery Tuesday in Brooklyn, beating the soft C’s, 123-109, in Game 5 at the quiet Barclays Center to advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs.

Monday, May 31, 2021

The Knucklehead Column

Here's Shank's Game 4 recap between the Celtics and Nets:
It just gets worse.

Kyrie Irving scored 39 against the Celtics in a 141-126, Game 4 drubbing Sunday night, then stomped on the Celtic midcourt logo before leaving. When Irving exited the floor with his teammates, a fan wearing a Kevin Garnett jersey fired a water bottle at Irving, narrowly missing his head. The fan was apprehended by Boston Police and led from the lower bowl in handcuffs.

“It’s unfortunate that sports has come to this crossroads, where you are seeing a lot of old ways come up,” said Irving. “It’s been that way in history, in terms of entertainment, performers in sports, for a long period of time. Underlying racism and just treating people like they’re in a human zoo. Throwing stuff at people, saying things. There’s a certain point where it just gets to be too much. I called it out. I wanted to keep it strictly basketball. But people just feel very entitled out here . . . we’re not at the theatre. We’re not throwing tomatoes and other random stuff at the people that are performing. It’s too much.”

Sunday, May 30, 2021

DHL Dan CXXXVIII - Kyrie's Homecoming

Former Boston Celtic Kyrie Irving got a warm and loving reception on Friday night:
Boston fans didn’t cross the line with Kyrie Irving Friday night, and let’s keep it that way

Picked-up pieces while loving our return to sports played in front of full houses:

▪ Boston fans stood tall at the Garden Friday night. They booed Kyrie Irving every time he touched the basketball. They delivered harsh chants in Kyrie’s direction. But nothing went over the line. After the big Celtics win and Irving’s subpar game, even the complex and sometimes loathsome Kyrie said, “It’s basketball. I’ve been in a few environments in my life. If it’s nothing extra, I’m cool with it.’’

Good. Let’s have more of the same Sunday when the Garden is full for Game 4. Boo Irving because he lied to you about staying here and quit on your team. Just as you booed Roger Clemens when he came back here with the Yankees. Just as you would let Rick Pitino have it if he ever walked through that door on Causeway Street. But “nothing extra” please.
It almost makes you wonder - if Kyrie (and Marcus Smart, for that matter) really heard N-bomb(s) when it supposedly happened, why are we only hearing about it now?