Monday, January 30, 2006

Dan-isms, Part 3

The King of Contradictions rides again.

"If you are a fan, you cannot be an objective reporter." -- to John Molori, Boston Sports Review, Jan. 30, 2006.

"I'm sick of him, you know?" -- on Pedro Martinez, Dan Shaughnessy's Two Cents on FM Talk 96.9 with Bob Lobel, August 2004.


“[W]hat I hated about that piece, is that the guy won’t use his name. … If the guy would use his name, I'd have a lot more respect for the piece. It’s easy to go off when no one knows who they are.” -- At a forum at the John F. Kennedy Library and Foundation, March 30, 2004.

"I'm certainly not going to reveal a source." -- Responding to the Dirty Laundry column, on Dennis and Callahan's WEEI show, Nov. 2, 2005.

"This dynamic made Theo less than popular with some of his hard-working friends in baseball operations." -- On Theo Epstein, Jan. 20, 2006. (Note: No source provided.)


"Everyone knows Theo is better-suited for the position than Jim Beattie, Jim Bowden, Ben Cherington, Peter Woodfork, Craig Shipley, Jed Hoyer, Dan Duquette, or Lou Gorman."
"Theo Epstein can come back. It's not too late. The Red Sox are looking for a general manager and he's clearly the best man for the job." -- on Epstein, Boston Globe, Nov. 9, 2005.

"Again, I choose to believe that Epstein is smarter and more mature than that. Much smarter. And much more mature." -- Boston Globe, Nov. 1, 2005.

“[W]e ended up having a good chat. I thanked him for everything. My column had nothing to do with his resignation.” -- Discussing Theo Epstein, John Molori's Sports Blitz, Nov. 21, 2005.

"[T]here wasn't much honor or glory in Theo's comportment after he left Fenway in that gorilla suit Oct. 31. Rather, he undermined the credibility of the entire Boston front office ... He revealed himself to be every bit the cutthroat politician Lucchino is. He's been at best, immature and at worst, duplicitous." -- Boston Globe, Jan. 20, 2006.


“[Y]ou need to have that trust of the fan that the game is not fixed.” – at the JFK Library forum, March 30, 2004.

"Does anyone seriously think the Patriots went all out to win against the Dolphins? Does anyone think they should have? It's a fact of sporting life that pointless late season games are manytimes played with marked loss of enthusiasm, especially by teams 'saving' themselves for the playoffs." -- "objectivebruce" (aka The CHB), Jan. 29, 2006.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

This Sun Wannabe is a Real, er, Moon

Classic Shaughnessy today. His make-believe fight for the little man is really a front for shots at Red Sox management.

Let's start at the top:
It was an announcement that barely got anyone's attention. A couple of weeks back, the Red Sox and NESN declared the end of their Friday night relationship with Channel 38, committing all locally televised Red Sox games to pay cable.
Could it be that the reason it flew under the radar was because the Boston Globe's lead sports columnist was too busy whining about Larry Bigbie to notice? (Note: He offered essentially the same approach when writing on Bill Mueller's departure in December.)

Then he writes: "It's unfortunate. It's also elitist, classist, and probably greedy, too. The Sox are putting all their games on NESN because it means more money for the organization." Funny, just a few weeks ago the Globe was conducting an online poll asking whether readers would be willing to pay for Web content -- including Shaughnessy's. Why? "More money for the organization," perhaps? Where's the column on that?

Heck, a historian like Dan should know that over time teams (read: businesses) do all they can to separate fans from their wallets. Time was, baseball allowed fans to watch live games for free. Then they built bleachers in order to generate -- what was it again? -- more revenue. And not long ago fans could bring their own food and drinks to games. No more (a few stadiums excepted). A better argument would be to ask why the Atlanta Braves and Chicago White Sox, for two, can sell gameday tickets for under $10 and still compete with the high revenue squads. (Hint: A park that holds more than 34,000 people would be a start.)

And maybe he missed the decade-long legal wrangling between the Tribune Co., which owns the Cubs, and nearby landlords who let fans watch games at Wrigley from their rooftops. The Cubs went so far as to erect giant sheets to keep the would-be Peeping Fans in check -- until they ponied up millions for the viewing rights, that is.

One would think that if Dan were truly outraged by whether Joe Six-pack gets his games for free, he would offer to do something about it. He could take a page from Baltimore Sun columnist Dan Rodricks, who in an effort to reduce that city's out-of-control homicide rate wrote an open column inviting drug dealers and gang members to call him for help in finding a way out of their criminal lives. He could have used his mighty pen to command the city's wealthy to help subsidize cable for those 5% who don't have it. He could even have offered to donate the first $30. And maybe he could enlist those poor kids the Globe dispatches to city neighborhoods to hawk subscriptions to take up collections for those put out by the Sox's money-grab.

But, as we noted at the top, The CHB's true agenda lies somewhere else, as this line makes clear: "It's a little lame for Werner to pin this whole thing on McGrail. The move is simply too big for the NESN president to make alone. This goes all the way to the top: John W. Henry."

That would be Red Sox chairman John Henry, the same man who has been feeding scoops to Globe reporter Chris Snow while shunning the man who thinks he is the sun around which Red Sox Nation revolves.

That's the real story.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Scoop Shaughnessy

In the past 30 days The CHB has brought up what he feels are two major stories: 1) the Patriots' laydown to the Dolphins on the last game of the regular season and 2) the canceling of an agreed-upon deal between the Red Sox and Rockies by Theo Epstein and his subsequent passing the buck to upper management (read: Larry Lucchino).

We know The CHB feels these are the most important stories going because he's brought each up -- in caustic tones -- at least three times.

We wonder why, however, with such earth-shattering "scoops" at his fingertips, Dan doesn't follow through on either story? While any real reporter would be rubbing their PC-gnarled hands with glee over a tanked football game, Mr. "I write for the readers" tosses out his insinuations (sans proof, of course) and just walks away. Think about all the fun it would conjure up, with all those gamblers who lost having quite the axe to grind -- and in the head of a certain Patriots head coach, no less.

Reminds me of the old Perry Mason shows where the courtroom naturally falls for any old hypothesis the cunning lawyer offers up. Dan seems to think that whatever he spews, the readers will naturally eat up. In the real world, though, we generally like our innuendos a little more in-the-end, if you know what I mean. In other words, if it's Brangelina vs. Bigbie, Brangelina wins every time.

Dan, here's your chance: Put up, or shut up.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

'The Curse of the Lucchino'

Let's consider how many player transactions the Red Sox make in a typical season, shall we? OK!

In 2005, the Sox conducted roughly 150 transactions (trades, free agent signings, waiver moves, DL moves, etc.) That's nearly one per game. And it's reasonable to believe that for every move they made, there were probably several others considered.

Given all that action, there's little reason to get hung up on a trade involving a minor league catcher and a fourth outfielder, especially when said trade never came off. Except, of course, if you have little reason.

Last week, the Red Sox announced Theo Epstein would return to its management ranks. Now, all those who believe that the presence of Epstein makes the Sox stronger raise your hands. I don't see yours up, Dan. I wonder why.

Perhaps it's because Dan is out on a shaky limb after first not having the sense to leave a non-story alone and then following that with repeated trashings of Theo over the past three months.

Now, with Epstein back in the fold, surely the Globe's lead columnist can put it all into perspective for us. Or not.
Step back for a second there and listen to what the man is saying -- or not saying. The Bigbie deal -- in which the Rockies obtained Bigbie from the Orioles, with the intention of sending him to the Sox for Adam Stern and Kelly Shoppach -- involved territorial rights between Epstein and Lucchino. The early, popular version was that Lucchino killed Theo's deal. It was later reported that ownership volunteered to take the hit on a deal Theo no longer wanted to make.
Let's put aside for the moment that Mr. Hysterical is the only -- repeat -- only person in this galaxy or any other who cares about Larry Bigbie (and that includes Bigbie's mom). Makes one wonder whether Dan is Bigbie's own CHB, if you know what I mean. That last line of that quote is equally peculiar. As Dan was the one who in his Dirty Laundry column tattled on Theo, why not own up to it, instead of sidestepping it as if it came from "that other paper?" Plenty of stomach, but no guts, Dan.

More laughs. Dan calls the Red Sox paranoid: "Not sure precisely when the new ownership group morphed into the Nixon White House, but expect managed news from Yawkey Way from this point forward." Hello kettle, you're looking might black today!

OK, so only about 10 million words have been spoken regarding this whole issue. And that makes it oh-so-easy for the media to look up something one of the parties said weeks or months ago and, upon finding any slight discrepancy, drive a truck through it. Well, turnabout is fair play, Sybil.

Buried in Dan's column is this little line: "We know the fans want [the media] to move on, pretend none of this ever happened." I guess Dan forgets that on Nov. 2 he told Dennis and Callahan, "I write for the readers."

Today's column rebukes that: "It was a story," writes The CHB. "It is a story. It will always be a story." Great. The Curse of the Lucchino, coming soon to a Barnes & Noble near you.

Wouldn't it be fun if the Globe staff dedicated so many pieces to its own internal personnel matters?

There's a word for such behavior: hypocrisy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Two for Tuesday

The Charlotte, er New Orleans, er Oklahoma City Hornets played in Boston last night. I guess that merits a column about how they have yet to play a real "home" game this season.

Also today, a snide brief on how the Red Sox will opt for a statement versus holding a press conference discussing the return of Theo Epstein. The brief (253 words) begins "More strangeness from Fenway?" and concludes "As of late last night, Henry, Lucchino, and Tom Werner had not returned calls from the Globe." Gee, I can't imagine why, with all the venom spit their way of late, they wouldn't want to jump back in the snake pit.

Larry Bird watch: "Larry Bird once went for 60 in New Orleans." (We assume he means points, not Buds.)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Snow Job

Dan's trashing of Theo Epstein isn't 48 hours old and already his fellow Globe writers are taking shots at his Friday column.

Recall that on Friday the CHB described a Boston front office steeped in chaos and confusion. Of course, issuing blanket statements with no supporting evidence is a Shaughnessy hallmark. Wonder what he thinks of Chris Snow's excellent rebuttal today, for which he interviewed several parties including uber-agent Scott Boras, Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi and San Diego GM Kevin Towers and found them all singing the praises of Boston management over the past three months.

Say what? On Friday Dan claimed an "an inside look at how it works over at Fenway these days." Yet several paragraphs later, he allows that "For the record, this 17 percent cartel correspondent has not spoken with Lucchino, Epstein, or Dr. Charles Steinberg since before Christmas." I guess that's Dan's way of saying his column is his work, and not a plant by one of the Sox officers. What's startling, though, is the admission by the Globe's lead sports columnist to being out of the loop with most of the key Sox officials. That's nothing to be proud of.

Big Mac attack. On Saturday, Jackie MacMullen called for Esptein to publicly explain his actions over the past three months. I'm sure that Ms. MacMullen would do and has done the same every time she changed or considered changing jobs. Epstein is an employee of a private company, not an elected official. His relationship with his employer is none of our business.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Prodigal Son Returns, and Sybil Ain't Happy

The CHB is one pissed-off dude this morning. Clearly the CHB read the predictions in this space last night, then did exactly the opposite.

On Nov. 9, the CHB proposed that the Sox and Epstein reconcile: "The Red Sox should offer the job to Brookline native Theo Epstein." In the same column, he wrote: "The Red Sox are looking for a general manager and he's clearly the best man for the job."

Now that the prodigal son has returned, however, Sybil's working overtime. Today he calls Epstein a "cutthroat politician," "immature" and "duplicitous." Writes Dan: "[H]e undermined the credibility of the entire Boston front office by straddling the fence regarding his place in the organization."

This is too good.

Again, no doubt in response to what was written here last night, he plays up what he considers to be inside information, claiming: "At 7:13 p.m., I got an e-mail from Henry that read, 'I want to give you a heads up that we are going to make an announcement tonight.' " Somehow, I bet every media person in Boston was cc'd on that one.

Indeed, in Chris Snow's story today, he says Boston owner John Henry told him of Epstein's imminent return yesterday morning: "[I]n an interview with the Globe yesterday prior to the team's formal announcement, acknowledged Epstein would be coming back ..." How's it feel to be scooped by a rookie (again), Dan?

Why all the ire? We can't help but recall what Dan wrote on Nov. 18: "They obviously waited too long to negotiate with Theo and now they look like George McGovern trying to find a running mate in 1972." That now smacks of Dan was trying to cover his tracks after the Dirty Laundry column. Far from being a happy camper now that Epstein is coming back, we suspect Dan will be frozen out of Fenway ongoings like Michael Jordan in the 1985 All-Star Game.

Dan lays it on really thick at the end: "So Theo is back, and maybe he never really left. But damage has been done inside the walls of old Fenway."

Damage to whom? The team, which has added a top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher, some serious bullpen help, a starting second baseman, and rid itself of an ineffective shortstop? The fans, who are so upset that they went out and bought up an entire season's worth of tickets? Management, about whom nobody in Boston cares except their families and bankers?

And here we believed him when he told ESPN, "I always say I look at the bright side." Silly us.

Looks like the good times are coming to an end, Dan. Better brush up on your hockey trivia. Here's a hint: the local team is the Bruins.

Bill Clinton watch: "For the record, this 17 percent cartel correspondent has not spoken with Lucchino, Epstein, or Dr. Charles Steinberg since before Christmas." But "spoken with" doesn't include emailing, does it Dan-o? Sneaky.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Prediction: Theo's Return is Bad News for Dan

It was just about three weeks ago when the CHB threw Theo Esptein under the bus, ran him over, then backed up and ran him over again, mocking him no less than four times in his "predictions" for 2006.

Here's what his "Jan. 18" entry said:
Theo Epstein is back. In a cramped press conference held inside the left-field wall (the only part of Fenway not currently under construction), Epstein was introduced as the official ''Baseball Guru" of the Red Sox. Team owner John W. Henry would not specify Epstein's precise rank in the chain of command, but said, ''Theo will be a consultant on all baseball matters. When anything turns out well, we will applaud him madly for his contributions, but he will not be responsible for any moves that fail to succeed." Larry Lucchino was not present at the press conference.

So no doubt tomorrow, when the papers ring out with the news of Theo's return, Dan will go in search of credit. (He'll ignore the Jan. 11 entry forecasting Jim Rice's election to the Hall of Fame, and the Jan. 16 entry, which claimed the Patriots would beat the Colts, 38-7. But never mind all that.)

Here's a prediction: Dan's column tomorrow will lead with "Theo Epstein is walking through that door again."

Another prediction: Dan's scoopless streak -- what's it at, like nine years? -- will continue forever. Theo seems like a reasonable guy, but he's no fool, and now that the CHB has shown his true colors the guess here is Dan's cellphone is about to get very quiet.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Thanks for the Mention

Dear Dan,

In yesterday's post-mortem about the Patriots, thank you for the extended tangent on the Bruins and Celtics. Sure, what could have been a polite reflection on Saturday's game turned into a cheap shot on our franchises, but we do appreciate the attention. After all, any press is good press, right?

No doubt, you have all sorts of ideas on what we should be doing to revive our teams. We wait in anticipation of your helpful, well-considered suggestions, which could only come from an ex-athlete like yourself. Let's do lunch!


Danny Ainge, executive director of basketball operations, Boston Celtics
Michael O'Connell, general manager, Boston Bruins

Sunday, January 15, 2006

'The Greatest Patriots Victory of Them All'

Note to Ron Borges, Jerome Solomon, Nick Carfado and any of the other Globe writers who follow the Patriots on a regular basis: Your employer thinks you suck.

How do I know? Because although the CHB writes about football maybe six times a year -- half of which to inform the world that Tom Brady is Larry Bird -- his accounts of the most important Pats games of the season are run on A1, while the rest of you are relegated inside.

The CHB's reporting of last night's loss in Denver is by any measure a pedestrian account, but hey, Govnr's Park was beckoning. As with all his columns, however, Dan's journalistic epilepsy kicked in a couple times:

Petit mal. "The Patriots won an NFL-record 10 consecutive playoff games, dating to January 2002." Not really. The Patriots didn't make the playoffs for the 2002 season. Thus, saying the Pats won 10 consecutive playoff games is like saying the Steelers won four straight Super Bowls.

Grand mal. "The Dynasty, and three Super Bowls in four years, is officially over." Expect a lot of this in the weeks to come. Truth is, we don't know what's over and what's beginning, and won't for years. If the Pats take it all next year, I'd say the "Dynasty" would be still intact.

Pyschomotor flashback. And of course, there's no mention of his absurd Dec. 19 prediction that the Pats would defeat Indy in the playoffs this year. Remember, this was supposed to be "The greatest Patriots victory of them all." Or something like that.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

No Hall for Rice Leaves Dan Steaming

On Dec. 6, the CHB opined that a supposed steroid backlash among voters would help sweep Jim Ed Rice into the Hall of Fame: Yesterday, the announcement was handed down and, well, let’s just say the juice is on Dan.

Should Rice’s supporters be steamed? Dan seems to think so. What's disturbing, though, is that in attempting to explain why Rice is cooked, the CHB falls back on that old saw: his testy relationship with the media. (How ironic, now that Jim Ed is one of them. Even more ironic, Rice reportedly declined to speak to local reporters after the announcement.)

Wrote the CHB on Dec. 6: “It's too easy to say Rice isn't in the Hall because he was nasty to the writers.” Those who forget the past are condemned to reread it, I suppose, because Dan wrote essentially the exact same column today. More on his self-plagiarism in a moment.

For evidence Dan conducts the ultimate poll: two reporters, only one of whom is acknowledged to have a vote.

One is Bill Madden of the NY Daily News, who does not vote for Rice. The other, Bob Gillespie of The State, published in Rice’s home state of South Carolina, said: "Most people here say, 'He didn't get along with writers, so people are taking it out on him.' " Well that seals it. The Palmetto State is such a representative demographic, what with so many major league baseball teams down there. Good research, Dan.

Yet from this, the CHB extrapolates that "certainly the possibility exists that Rice's attitude is hurting him at the ballot box." He goes on to suggest that unlike other sour stars, Rice "falls significantly shy of being a no-brainer." From that, I extrapolate that Dan has never heard Rice on NESN.

Here’s where it gets interesting. In his piece today, Gillespie, The State reporter, also quotes –- who else? -– Shaughnessy and Madden. Was this a group project, boys?

Thankfully, instead of concentrating on Rice’s attitude, Gillespie gets at the heart of the matter: The writers he talked to (which included two other voters as well) said that Rice simply lacked Hall numbers.

Here’s wishing Dan would try looking at the statistical reasons why writers are turning up their noses at Rice. Like, perhaps, the strong case against his inclusion presented by Baseball Prospectus.

The rest is just a rehash of Dan’s Dec. 6 piece.

Then: "Rice was the dominant slugger of his time."
Now: "Rice was the American League's dominant hitter from 1975-86."

Then: "He is the only player in major league history with three consecutive seasons of 35 homers and 200 hits."
Now: "He's the only player in big league history with three straight seasons of 35 homers and 200 hits."

Then: "Of the 17 players (who've been on the ballot) boasting at least 350 homers and a .290 average, all are in Cooperstown -- except for Rice and Dick Allen."
Now: "Among 18 players who've been on the ballot with 350 homers and an average of .290, all are in the Hall except for Rice and Dick Allen." (Apparently baseball is played in December, because someone was added to the list; perhaps you could enlighten us, Dan?)

Then: "Other than Rice, the only retired players with at least 382 homers and a career average of .298 are Hank Aaron, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Mel Ott, Babe Ruth, and Ted Williams."
Now: "Rice is one of 10 players with at least 382 homers and an average of .298: The other nine -- Hank Aaron, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Mel Ott, Babe Ruth, and Ted Williams -- all are in the Hall of Fame."

Then: "Do not underestimate the steroids backlash. Voters dread the day they'll be asked to pass judgment on the Hall worthiness of artificially inflated sluggers who hit 500 home runs with help from illegal substances."
Now: “… and the residual stench from the steroid scandal figured to boost Rice's image. We know he was clean when he was hitting cleanup.”

Then: “Eddie Murray made Rice look like a combination of Winston Churchill and Kevin Millar. … [T]here may be voters who do not give Rice a vote because he was nasty.”
Now: “Is Rice coming up short because of his terrible relationship with baseball writers during the time he played? Is this petty payback for years of churlishness? Would Rice be in the Hall of Fame if he'd been as media-friendly as, say, Kevin Millar?”

This was the fifth column of Dan’s published in the Globe in the past week. At first, I was impressed with the volume, even if the content was wanting.

Upon further review, when work consists of cut-and-pastes from your past columns, it’s pretty Dan easy.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Mailman Always Writes Twice

What's the secret to the Patriots' amazing 10-game playoff win streak? The defense? The QB? The running game? The coaching?

None of the above, says the CHB today. It's the attitude.

It seems the CHB simply updated his Jan. 7 column, substituting the word "respect" for any reference to "disrepect" in that piece. Now, everyone in the NFL "respects" the Patriots. Wow, how things change in 48 hours.

More mailtime:

Thrown in: For the third straight column, the Mailman accuses the Pats of having thrown their season-ending game in order to ensure a first-round matchup with the Jaguars. "They did not have the luxury that Belichick had on New Year's Day. They could not dictate the identity of their opponent for the next playoff game" and "Obviously he knew what he was doing when he tanked the Miami game and set up a first-round match with the softies from Jacksonville." Would someone please alert the NFL office! No, wait, someone call my bookie!

History lesson no. 1: "If you are a young sports fan in our region, know this: It does not get any better than what we are seeing in this latter half of the 2005-06 Patriots season." I guess nine straight NBA titles and 11 in 13 years just isn't what it used to be.

History lesson no. 2: "The Patriots in 2005-06 are like the 1969 Bill Russell Celtics, who finished in fourth place but won the NBA championship, beating the Chamberlain-West-Baylor Lakers on the road in Game 7." More regurgitation from Dan's Dec. 19 column.

History lesson no. 3: "I prefer to remember the Monday night game the Patriots won in Denver Nov. 3, 2003, just a few days after Grady Little spit the bit in Yankee Stadium." So now it's Little's fault? That's not what you said just a few weeks after that game: "Think Schilling would blow a 5-2 lead in the eighth against the Yankees, then throw his manager under the bus?"

Memory lane no. 1: "A lot of us were hoping for an immediate matchup with the Colts in the RCA Dome next weekend." Remind me, who was it who just three weeks ago announced that the Pats would beat Indy this week? Oh yeah, him.

Memory lane no. 2: "That was in the middle of the season when the Patriots went 14-2 and won their second Super Bowl in three years, squashing theories that they were one-year wonders." Right, yours included.

Memo to Joe Sullivan: This piece's lack of analysis is superseded only by its lack of originality. Want a tip on improving your budget and your coverage? Fire this self-plagiarist and use the money to hire a couple of young, smart reporters. The sports desk -- and greater Boston -- will thank you.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Standing Pat

Today's predictable Patriots plug (you're not the only one who can toss off cheesy alliteration, Dan) is heavy on the game quotes, meaning Dan actually waited until after the first quarter to finish his piece.

Two lines stand out.

First, yet another unsubstantiated dig that the Pats threw their final regular seaon game: "But the Patriots went into the tank (making it look good, of course) and got the team they wanted for first-round fodder." (Any proof of that from all your connections inside the organization, Sybil? Didn't think so.)

And then there was this non-sequiter: "It was 24 degrees at kickoff and it looked like it might be a long night for the Patriots when Brady's first pass careened off the shoulder of umpire Chad Brown." I thought the cold weather spelled doom for the Jags. At least, that's what you said yesterday.

There's a larger problem to all this. The Globe is assigning a columnist to write about a sport of which he knows nothing and doesn't follow (except during the playoffs). As such, he turns in these pedestrian accounts that do nothing to shake the insight tree. Unless, of course, you think such analysis as "Once again, Belichick knew what he was doing" and "You can be sure folks in Denver and Indianapolis noticed" passes for wisdom. Is that really what the Globe pays him for?

To quote reader "objectivebruce": "No wit, no intelligence, nothing to think about. Just pointless babbling." Dan himself couldn't write that better.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Out of Touch

As the Patriots embark on what could result in their fourth Super Bowl in five years, it's only natural that the CHB would dredge up a few fossils (Bill Russell, Red Auerbach, Scott Zolak!) in his coverage. It's an old trick: hide your ignorance of the present by talking about the past. He even manages to drag Derek Jeter into the fray. Wrong season, Sybil.

Then there's this absurd line: "The NFL annually manufactures more non-news than our other three major sports combined." That, from the same person who drones on endlessly about the sale of baseball memorabilia.

He follows that up with: "... but still it's been a challenge for fans, scribes, and talk-meisters to generate legitimate story lines regarding tonight's game." Well, try telling that to the folks at Football Prospectus. They didn't seem to have any problems. A little knowledge ain't a bad thing, Dan.

Indeed, would it be too much for a columnist who has covered sports for like, five centuries, to trot out a piece of data once in awhile instead of falling back on that old saw about how the weather dictates the victor? ("There'll be some legitimate doubt next weekend. The Patriots will not be playing at home. It will not be cold if the game is played in Indianapolis.") Are Jon Gruden's mind games that mesmerizing? ("Here's what I remember when I first got here, we had never won a game in our history below 42 degrees. We broke that hex beating the Bears in Week 16 in '02, and then we beat the Eagles below 32 degrees [in the 2002 NFC Championship Game]. But, what can I say? Our players aren't really acclimated to the cold weather.")

For the love of Belichick, man, Go out and do some research! Here, I'll do it for you: "Home field advantage increases by roughly 15 percent when a southern team plays in a northern outdoor stadium after November 1, and the effect is even stronger when the game is played at night."

Out-of-season insult watch: "It's a new arrogance in our midst, almost laughable given the history of haunting and hyperbolic gag jobs by the local baseball team." More ancient history, Dan.

Bird watch (his first of 2006!): "Those Celtics (the 11 of 13 Celtics, not the Bird Gang) and these Patriots. Teams of infallibility."

But all in all, I guess we should feel lucky: At least he didn't compare Brady to Bird. For the CHB, that's restraint.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Dan Knows Football

This weekend’s playoff game between the Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars is a layup, says renowned football writer Dan Shaughnessy. That’s right: The CHB is now a football expert.

His rationale for deeming the Jaguars roadkill? “It’s a warm weather team." Well, Dan should know about that. After all, he’s the ultimate fair weather fan.

Here’s the question though: Writers like Peter King, John Clayton and yes, even Ron Borges spend most of the year tracking the NFL. The CHB, on the other hand, sees Curt Schilling in his sleep. So why, at this critical point in the season, would NECN -- nay, anyone -- seek the CHB’s opinion on football, a subject that he couldn’t possibly (and doesn't) know anything about?

Watch the video (the link is on the right, under “Shaughnessy: Jaguars will be road kill”): Dan literally talks out of the side of his mouth.

Monday, January 02, 2006

No Scoops for Vanilla Dan

When was the last time the CHB actually broke a story? Recall that in his most talked about piece of last year, the CHB insisted later that the gist of the story was already "out there."

So while Dan seems to have a Batphone to Dr. Charles Steinberg's desk, it's up to Red Sox beat writers Gordon Edes and Chris Snow to supply the hot news. Heck, even Bob Hohler broke his share while he was on the beat -- and he seemingly couldn't wait to be reassigned.

Today, in his monthly non Red Sox piece, Dan tells us the Pats threw their game against Miami yesterday. Well, maybe they did and maybe they didn’t. And by stating as much he’s simply voicing what all the talk shows were saying anyway.

I guess a few inside scoops are too much too ask for from the Globe's lead columnist.

Bad metaphor watch: “It almost looked like intentional grounding . . . or something Matt Clement threw against the White Sox in the playoffs.” What, you couldn’t come up with a football reference? Like, perhaps, “ or something Flutie threw against the Jets last week.”

Sunday, January 01, 2006


It is well known that Dan Shaughnessy can spin garbage into gold. He pulls off that every time he gets paid for a column. But have you ever wondered what you can spin "Dan Shaughnessy" into?

Here's 19 of the best anagrams (Danagrams?) for "Dan Shaughnessy." I like no. 9; which is your favorite?

1. She shuns gay Dan
2. He’s sunny, had gas (Ed.: well, maybe the second part)
3. Sung a shady hens
4. A sun shy hags den
5. A hang ends hussy
6. Shag a nuns hydes
7. A hun ends shy gas
8. Any gas ends hush
9. He an ass-shy dung
10. Gnashed a shy sun
11. Hand say, He’s snug
12. Handy ass he sung
13. He shun gassy Dan (Ed.: right on!)
14. Dan says he’s hung (Ed.: yeah, right)
15. Hush, Danny gases
16. He has sandy guns
17. Shy as ashen dung
18. Hey - shun Dan’s gas
19. End hush, nag says