Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Happy Dan

Dan gives us one of his stock columns today. This is the one in which he is exaggeratedly positive about everything. Red Sox are going great, the weather is great, the Patriots will go 16-0, something once thought bad for you will be found to be good, etc. I guess it's what he does when there is no player or team to beat up. And there is a Springsteen reference to boot. He can't be bothered to be original. Get ready for a whole summer of nothing from Dan.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ho Hum

Dan strings together a few quotations and sticks in some play by play and his column is done.

Dan has Dustin Pedroia and Alex Rodriguez talking about the latter's hard slide to break up a double play on Tuesday. Nothing much there except another Schilling and his blog comment.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

JAC - Just Another Column

A column about Julian Tavarez winds it way to being about Roger Clemens.

A boring affair except for the end when Dan does his best to whip fans into a frenzy about the possible return of Clemens and slip in a paragraph length reference to a near riot at a Rolling Stones concert 35 years ago.

Dan mentions that Clemens is slated to return to the Majors next Tuesday. Dan implies that Clemens would be on schedule to pitch the Sunday Night Game at Fenway and suggests that if he were not to pitch he would be ducking the Red Sox. Nice thought, except that the Yankees have an off day next Thursday, putting Clemens on schedule to pitch Monday, June 4. I know this is shocking, but Dan omitted a key piece of information in order solely to stir the pot.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Maybe he will call me next

After a long week spent unsuccessfully flogging his new book (#5303 on with a bullet!) all the while finding time to watch himself on tv and allegedly make angry phonecalls to his detractors and their bosses, Dan returns.

And turns in possibly one of the worst columns I have ever been forced to read. I actually felt bad by the end.

They are just some headscratchers in this one. Dan mentions that only four other teams in MLB history have had a 10 1/2 game lead at this point. What are the four other teams? We don't find out.

He goes on to mention how this year is different from 1978 because "the Red Sox didn't have the pitching" and the Yankees "bear little resemblance to the blood-and-thunder rogues"(You can't sneak that Springsteen reference by me, Dan) of 1978.

If only this were true. The Red Sox pitching in 1978 was pretty good also. And this year's Yankees offense is much better than the 1978 edition. But I guess grit and tobacco juice are what make "blood-and-thunder rogues."

A couple of worn out references to Steinbrenner's past; "the immortal Tyler Clippard" (ever notice how Dan belittles any player he has never heard of? If he bothered to care, he would notice Clippard has had a very nice minor league career); and a 2003 reference without mention of Grady Little or Pedro Martinez.

And then it gets weird. Two paragraphs spent on Chazz Palmintiri, including this gem: "Chazz turned to the guy sitting to his right and whispered something like "Now, yous can't leave."" Great scene; lame, forced reference.

And he ties things up with this counterfactual statement "Imagine: a quality start for the Yankees. Very rare. In the spring of '07, there've been more Boston Pops brawls than Yankees pitching gems. Wrong. Off the top of my head: Philip Hughes no-hitter through 6 and Wang's near no-hitter.

It was a truly terrible column. Nothing there except some tired historical references, inaccurate statements, and warmed over game play-by-play. Oh, last time Dan said the Red Sox had the division won, the Yankees were a game back within a month, having picked up five games in that span.

Edit: Philip Hughes spelling and no-hitter through six

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


For those of you checking back for OB and Dan's latest, I have some posts from over at Barstool Sports.

Here is a very clever take on how to write your own Shaughnessy column

Here is piece on how Dan attacks guys with character while ripping others for lacking it.

Here are some people over at BSMW offering their own take on a Shaughnessy column.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Favorite Target

Sunday's column is an odd conglomeration. This is foreshadowed by the title "Decision for Schilling? No. Lots going on? Yes" So even the guy who writes the headline is struggling to succinctly distill Shaughnessy's message.

The message is that Schilling had a busy week off the field and a messy one on the field yesterday. To his credit, Shaughnessy does not blame yesterday's poor performance on the off-field stuff (specifically, the Roger Clemens "We don't need him quote" and the Bonds bashing)

Yet, this is another column with precious little insight. As he details Schilling's off-field activities, he adds nothing to the discussion. As he reviews Schilling's game yesterday, he describes a rough 6th inning in some detail but that is about it.

Of course, Shaughnessy does get his jabs in. He continues to mock Schilling for the "We don't need him" quote. He also gets a minor slam on Matsuzaka with a dig on the $51 million posting fee.

It's ironic though...these jabs come in a column in which Shank starts off by saying that the Red Sox have "...the best starting pitching this side of the 1971 Orioles". So Shank, please explain why the Red Sox need a 5 inning pitcher who gets special treatment and about $1 million/start? If the Red Sox made that signing, you would have had a field day ripping them for it.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Groan. . .

That is my immediate reaction upon reading the headline to today's column, "Pieces found along the trail." Let's see how bad it can get.

It is a tired format, one that demands a lot of effort either to avoid repeating items that have already flown around the web or to bring a new perspective on an event. And Dan does alright and manages to find some items that I had not picked up, although the wear of the effort shows in places.

Dan leads with an Roger-Evita comparison that ends with ""Don't Cry For Me, NESN Tina." Meh.

A little bit more about Roger, Yankees-Red Sox, and a few bits that he really has been holding on for a while. (Manny Ramirez being taken in the NFL Draft. Mildly amusing when it happened, not so funny 11 days later.)

A few things that struck me:

Spy magazine used to have a feature called "Logrolling." It highlighted authors who would swap glowing praise in blurbs on book jackets. Dan does his half today, praising the new books by Frank Deford and Tim Kurkjian. I am little dubious of the latter's book considering Kurkjian's recollection of the last 25 years of baseball has no PED's in it.

Dan has a bit comparing reactions to Red Sox-Yanks news in Boston and New York including this line "Clemens going to the Yankees was Page One, above the fold, in the Monday Globe. It was below the fold on the cover of the Times." Anyone who has ever read the Paper of Record would recognize the absurdity of citing the Times' treatment of a sports story as indicative of the pulse of New York. In fact, that the story made the front page at all would suggest the Times went overboard.

"Didn't we all like Alex Gonzalez and Mark Loretta a whole lot more than Julio Lugo and Dustin Pedroia? The keystone change at Fenway has done wonders for the career of Alex Cora." Not good timing as Pedroia went deep last night and is looking great. I don't know why I have to remind him, but Loretta stunk last year and barely got a job this year. Also, has anyone else noticed the season Gonzalez is having? He has 7 home runs already. He is hitting .300 with a SLG% over .550.

"You simply would not believe what a big deal it's been in Los Angeles since the Dodger Stadium parking fee was bumped from $10 to $15 this year. The Ripoff Bros. lots around Fenway get $35 without argument. I will never understand Dan's inability to grasp the basics of market economies. They charge $35 because people will pay $35. Pretty simple.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Stirring the Pot

Dan alternates between belittling Red Sox fans as out of touch "fanboys" and stirring the pot trying to whip fans into a frenzy over the Yankees. Thanks, but I will pass, Dan.

The Clemens signing gives Dan the opportunity to write breathless passages like this: "Clemens. At Fenway. In a New York uniform. Again. It's almost as if the Great Bambino himself announced he was making a comeback with the Bronx Bombers."

Or this one: "Some week here in the Hub. First we saw photos of uber-quarterback Tom Brady walking in the East Village wearing a Yankees cap and now the locally loathed Clemens is going back to the team Sox fans love to hate."

Spare us. Fans shouldn't be too upset by this move because Roger just isn't that good anymore. Dan mentioned the last time he faced the Red Sox was Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, but he failed to note what happened in the game. Dan also failed to mention that Roger averaged 6 innings per start in the National League. A pitcher who can only go 5 innings isn't great help for a team with a bad bullpen. Finally, over his last two seasons in the AL, Roger had about a 4.00 ERA. If you look at his game log from 2003, you will see Roger feasted on the bad offenses of the AL while routinely getting rocked by good lineups. So I say, bring him on.

Gratuitous Curt Schillling Dig Watch:
"Ever the blowhard, Schilling declared, "We don't need him" -- a comment of stupefying arrogance that is sure to come up a couple of million times between now and the end of the 2007 postseason."

What was the guy supposed to say? "Julian Tavarez sucks"? I like what Schilling said. Shows confidence in the team and the only people who will bring it up a million times are Dan and his lazy ilk.

Edit: 'Roger' for 'Dan' in paragraph 4

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Crimson Softball...CHB Style

(Today’s guest blog entry is written by a Mr D.S/OB. of Groton)

It has been a rather lively debate this week for Ye Olde Blog Team. I figured I would try to calm the raging waters. After reading multiple entries from Juli la Chuli, I felt I was reading a twisted Kurt Vonnegut novel (look it up you idiots) and I needed a cathartic cleansing from sports.

I submitted a piece today in the Big Daddy Globe about the Daughters of Jenny Allard, a.k.a., the Harvard women’s softball team. Hell, it’s a win-win proposition for us all. My stupid readers probably know nothing about this softball team and I can probably slap down anything I want and get away with it. Plus, you are not going to find this kind of insight on, oh no sir. Do you think the old Blowhard knows who bats third for the Crimson? I don’t think so but I sure can tell you.

Besides, women’s softball is a good remedy for what ails professional baseball: $103 million moon-faced pitchers who can’t find the plate (I told you that was a stupid signing) and $18 million dollar savant outfielders who quit on their teams in the heat of a pennant race. Face it Blog Nation, I am what you really need—someone who can bring you back to what’s important in life – pure amateur athleticism at its finest. It boggles my mind that television networks pay billions for the rights to televise major league sports and we can’t even get an Ivy League women’s softball score on the ESPN ticker update.

As I watched the game yesterday with the high-brow Harvard alum, I couldn’t help but think about that old commercial. I ate my hot dog and I turned to someone and said “Could you please pass the Gray Poupon?” We all got a big kick out of that one—I’ve still got it, don’t I?.

The Crimson star is clearly Lauren Murphy, she of the 3 home run performance last week. It was Fred Lynn like (look it up). She is the greatest player I have ever seen. If young Theo and the Minions had half of a brain between them, they would sign Ms Murphy to replace the diminutive Dustin Pedroia at second base for the Sox. You Fanboy Bloggers who live in your Mom's basement: Don’t tell me I don’t do any analysis – Ms Murphy has a higher slugging percentage and OPS than the overmatched Pedroia. It is a slam dunk signing.

Ms Murphy is the kind of character we need to clean up the debauchery that has recently littered the Boston sports landscape (Randy Moss? Parents, I hope you are locking your doors at night). I can just picture it now. Ms Murphy will be in the dugout conjugating her Latin…“Sum, es, est, Summus, estis, sunt" (Look it up) and savant Manny will be sitting next to her conjugating his cornrows with a puzzled look, mumbling “Est? It is what it is”.

Oh, yes sir, this is just the kind of journalistic insight that the Boston public deserves. It is sure to boost Globe readership, which contrary to public opinion is not lagging at all. Even if circulation is suffering, who cares? I will always have the last laugh as I cash my $100K+ annual paycheck. Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Randy Moss Hysteria, Day 2

Dan writes about the fan reaction to the Moss trade and his column. He concludes that the fans are cynical, win-at-all-costs, hypocrites.

Dan suggests that New England sports fans would welcome any athlete, regardless of his past history; It's all about the laundry.

He lists other controversial athletes fans might embrace. In Dan's typical modus operandi, he starts with the most outrageous suggestion, Pacman Jones. Moss has been arrested twice in twelve years, Jones has been investigated and/or arrested by police ten times in the last year or so. Included in those investigations, the use of his car by a convicted drug dealer, and his participation in a brutal battery of a stripper and the attempted murder of a bouncer. I don't think any fan base would so irrational as to embrace Jones, except for Oakland, of course.

The list continues with other athletes with issues, either in general or with Boston. I think in a lot of ways their comparisons with the Moss situation fail. Bonds would never work in Boston. He is attacking a sacred record while in the midst of convincing accusations of PED use. Others would never be embraced because of their role as the bad guys in Boston rivalries. (Ulf Samuelsson and Bill Laimbeer? Give fans some credit.) And others never rose to the same heights of antipathy, such as Alex Rodriguez.

Rooting for a sports team is largely irrational. Dan is correct in that regard. But I don't think his list of athletes is very fair to fans or captures the same questions that surround the Moss acquisition. He is no Pacman Jones or Barry Bonds and there is no long history of tormenting the Patriots.

What may be the best comparison is Dennis Johnson, which was brought up by Glenn Ordway this weekend. Dan addresses it and ultimately dismisses it. But it does seem to be the best comparison out there.