Wednesday, April 30, 2008

One Dinosaur Writes About Another Dinosaur

In circumstances that I am sure many of the readers wished were reversed, Dan writes a farewell from the Boston sports media to Bob Lobel.

And it is fitting that Shank, a master of the worn out phrase, favorably mentions Lobel's use of 'why can't we get players like that?' for "the millionth time."

It is a decent, if redundant, piece listing many of the well known highlights of Lobel's career, capturing his sense of whimsy. However, what is most interesting about the column is what it is lacking: any personal reflections. Dan offers nothing more than what we have seen watching Lobel over the decades.

Dan's Back and Boy Is He Pissed!

Dan rips into the Celtics today. He is upset at the older Celtics becoming unnerved by the younger Hawks and acting out. He makes space for three paragraphs on Paul Pierce's "menacing gesture" toward the Hawks' bench. It's a lot of talk for something Dan admittedly has little knowledge of.

Edit: Dan's colleague Bob Ryan tells everybody to relax. Thanks to Universal Hub for the link.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Shaughnessy and the Bruins

Shaughnessy logs two article about the Bruins in today's paper. The first is a game recap with the angle that the Bruins are forcing fans to take notice and make a place in their busy calendars for tracking the Bruins plight through the playoffs. The second takes a look at the re-birth of Phil Kessel after being benched for half the series but then scoring a big goal last night. This is a lot of work for Shank churning out two article in one evening and you have to wonder if he will have to take another week off after this series is over to catch his journalistic breath.

Shaughnessy columns are pretty straight forward. It should be noted, however, that this is Shaughnessy's fourth straight article about the Bruins and everyone of them contains some reference to the Red Sox. Why he feels the need to do this, I don't know. There is a particularly odd one:

This young man [Kessel] works inside a cone of silence. It's easier getting Bartolo Colon to talk.
What? Colon has been with the Red Sox for a month and Shaughnessy is already commenting on his silence with the media? Maybe he has to bring up Colon because he has long since given up hope that any other established Red Sox will talk to him?

Yet again, he gets in a gratuitous shot at Belichick:

When he [Kessel] does speak, he slips into cliché-riddled bits right out of the Bill Belichick media playbook.

Turn on ESPN and you will get cliche' after cliche' from one athlete to the next but Shank feels compelled to call out Belichick as the standard-bearer for cliche'-speak? Belichick is not worse than any other coach or player but Shaughnessy can never just let it seem to go.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Shaughnessy Article puts Sinden in Hot Water

Apparently, Harry Sinden's job is in jeopardy because of his comments in a column by our old friend Dan Shaughnessy. One wonders if it is this kind of thing that gives Shaughnessy a reputation in some circles as a cutting edge journalist? On some level, you have to give Shaughnessy credit for stirring the pot. On another level, you have to wonder if he was a pawn for Harry Sinden's agenda or yet again, if he took Sinden's quotes out of context.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

For the Record

Because the Boston Globe won't do it.

This was the opening of Dan's March 30, 2008 column (click on image):

Unfortunately, Humphrey Bogart died in January 1957, more than year before the Dodgers played their first home game in LA. (Thanks to a poster at for pointing this out.)

And you might think that the Boston Globe would acknowledge this error, considering that the online edition was quickly changed.

Yet neither the online nor the print edition of the Boston Globe has acknowledged Shank's egregious mistake of having a dead man at a L.A. Dodgers game.

What has the fastidious corrections department of Morrissey Boulevard addressed in the last two weeks?

April 15-
Because of a reporting error, the name of Accelerated Marketing Partners was incorrectly spelled in a Boston Sunday Globe Real Estate story on home buyers.

April 13-
Because of a reporting error, a March 23 City Weekly article about the new website incorrectly attributed a quote saying the site appeared to be designed by an eighth-grader. The comment was made by Tammy Schuetz Cook, from the blog Bostonfoodandwhine.

April 6-
Due to incorrect information from Jonathan Bekemeier, a Globe North story on Sunday March 30 about tax abatements in Malden stated that he had never applied for an abatement. Bekemeier has applied before.

April 3-
Because of a reporting error, an obituary in yesterday's Globe of advertising executive Joseph E. Gallagher gave incorrect cities and towns where he grew up and later lived. He grew up in North Adams and was a resident of Wellesley and Dover.

April 1-
Because of a reporting error, a Bette Davis quote from the film "Cabin in the Cotton" was inaccurate in a story in Sunday's Movies section. The line was, "I'd like to kiss you, but I just washed my hair."

So, the misquotation of an 70 year old film, errors in the childhood facts of a subject of an obituary, whether someone applied for a tax abatement, the incorrect attribution of a quotation from a blog, and the misspelling of a company seeking to promote itself in the Real Estate section are all worthy of correction, yet a year-old corpse watching the L.A. Dodgers requires no correction or clarification?

I have contacted the Globe to address this issue, but I have received no response and it has not addressed the error.

Therefore, I offer my own Globe Correction:

For the record

February, 31, Never

Correction: Because of a columnist's habitual laziness and ignorance, and a cowardly editorial attitude toward said columnist, a column that ran over two weeks ago was incorrect in stating that the corpse of Humphrey Bogart watched the L.A. Dodgers in the Coliseum. Bogart was comfortably interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dan and Hockey, Part Deaux

Maybe you read Dan's column on Monday and thought that Dan hadn't been following hockey that much over the years. And then you look at today's paper and notice that Dan is again writing about hockey, maybe trying to redeem himself. Well you can forget that notion. With the very first two words of his column, Dan makes it clear he has nothing to say about the current team. Irrelevancy, thy name is Shank.

The topic of today's column is Harry Sinden, a man who has had little, if anything, to do with the on ice product for the last 18 months. A man who hasn't been the GM since 2000. The man who was complicit in Jeremy Jacobs cheapness and oversaw a criminally understaffed front office and scouting department.

As for the column, it a good interview with Sinden calling out players past and present that Dan wrote before the game and stuck in a few, brief references to last night's game. And as an extra special bonus feature, we get another Red Sox reference.

My point isn't that Harry Sinden doesn't have interesting things to say or that his opinion is irrelevant. But maybe we could get to read the opinions of someone who has been around the team a little bit more, somebody who wasn't in Florida with the owner watching Game 2 on Saturday night.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dan and Hockey

Two tastes that don't go great together.

Dan uses all his hockey knowledge for this one, with references to Booby Orr, Cam Neely, and Patrick Roy (the last as part of a horrible joke). Part a look at Canadien fans storming the Garden, part game recap, this piece was awful. The writing was stilted as Dan abruptly shifted back and forth among themes. Some quotations from Montreal fans would have been nice instead of the obligatory Red Sox references.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Beckett's Return to Dominance

Dan provides a Red Sox game recap (one of two in today's Globe) but with a particular focus on Josh Beckett's strong start.

Dan's starts off painting a dubious picture of doom and gloom:

Sometimes you need a stopper because you are in last place and a chunk of your fan base is already in a lather. Your DH is carrying a baby-grand on his back, your bullpen looks old and creaky, it takes four hits to push a run across the plate, and the guys are talking about REM instead of RBIs.
This is a typical Shaughnessy convention--he paints a negative picture (hyperbole and all) so as to establish a backdrop of bad news against which he can spin a positive story. It is not a bad convention per se but the above attempt rings hollow.

I also found the following sequence odd:
Two hours and 11 minutes after the stoppage, Papelbon returned and fanned A-Rod on three pitches to send the game to Neil Diamond and preserve the win for Beckett. Boston's great, goofy closer got the side in order in the ninth - two more strikeouts.

He talks about the strikeout of ARod in the 8th as preserving the win and sending the game to Neil Diamond only to then recognize that Papelbon also had to pitch the 9th. Shaughnessy is trying to be cute here so he can squeeze in a pop culture reference but his timing is very bad.

From there, Shaughnessy plays it straight although he wanders between game recap and the angle on Beckett. Not sure why the Globe had to send both Edes and Shaughnessy to this one - Shaughnessy's contribution is marginal at best.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Big Papi's Slump

Shaughnessy discusses the batting struggles of David Ortiz. He says Big Papi is struggling with injuries; he is struggling with umpires; and he is struggling with bad luck. He says Big Papi will snap out of it soon enough and all will be well.

He employs references to Murphy's Law, the Mendoza Line, Rob Lowe and Barry Manilow. He also dusts off the history books (Did you know that Ortiz used to platoon with Jeremy Giambi?)

This is your standard Shaughnessy fare...simple observations coupled with a litany of benign/mundane pop culture references. It is what it is....a snoozefest

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Opening Day Ceremonies

Classic rock reference ("Tangerine trees and marmalade skies. Lugo in the sky with Neil Diamonds.")? Check

Dig at Schill? Check

Dan manages to sneak both those staple into his detailed recap of yesterday's ceremonies and game. A pretty good piece with some original humor. I am just glad he was there to capture all the nonsense and I could change the channel.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Have you heard...

the Red Sox were on a long trip to begin the season? Because if you haven't, Dan will tell you all about it. Again.

Some items about the changes at Fenway, which players were around the ballpark. And that is about it. Nothing on the first seven games of the season or what to look forward to this year. You know, stuff that would be interesting. But, of course, that would take some thought and effort.