Thursday, May 29, 2008

I don't get paid enough for this crap

We all knew that Dan would be happy after a Celts' win, as he has been alternating between joy and agony for the length of the series.

What stunned me about this column was it's sheer stupidity. A reader will know what lays in store by the third sentence:

"We didn't even have courtside fan Bill Belichick tossing a red beanbag to challenge an official's call."

What else?

He misuses the talk radio term "Long time. First Time."

He starts listing things.

And this paragraph is placed awkwardly between one regarding the temperature in the building and one about the game:

The stars came out for Boston's big game. Belichick was seated next to the Pistons' bench and had a chance to visit with Tedy Bruschi and Vince Wilfork along the baseline. You didn't have to look far to see John Havlicek, Penny Marshall, and Ellen Pompeo.

Hey Dan, just because you wrote the paragraph during or before the game, doesn't mean you have to shoehorn it into the final column.

The final few paragraphs are just a mishmash of statistics and restatements of what he wrote earlier.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Crunch Time for Garnett

Dan has Kevin Garnett with something left to prove in the Playoffs.

A good straightforward piece supported by examples of times where the Celtics needed Garnett to step up.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Look Ahead

Dan takes a look at the Finals matchup that everyone is hoping for.

I think Dan hopes for the Celtics-Lakers rematch because he can trot out all his tired references and they won't seem so dated or inapt.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Shaughnessy's Commentary on Today's Athlete

Thanks to Objective Bruce for pointing out a second piece from Shaughnessy this AM - a commentary about how today's athletes have a different relationship with reporters than 20 or years ago. Our friend OB said the commentary "is an excellent look at the level of access and familiarity of journalists to and with players."

When I first read it, I thought it was intriguing on one level but problematic on several other levels. I then read the column by Pat Jordan which inspired Shaughnessy's effort and it reenforced my belief of what a shallow writer Shaughnessy has become. And I conclude that the column is problematic on pretty much all levels.

Shaughnessy quickly acknowledges that his commentary was inspired by Jordan's article and another article by Mitch Albom. If you have the time, read Jordan's piece and then read Shaughnessy. First off, Shaughnessy is nothing but a copy cat here -- there s no original thought. He jumps on Jordan's bandwagon and simply says "Hey, I feel the same way too." but his analysis is not nearly as sound as Jordan's. Whereas Shaughnessy bemoans the lack of access, he offers no insight as to why this has occurred. Jordan does and does it reasonably well.

In either case, does it not occur to Shaughnessy and Jordan that there is a line between a journalist and the people they cover? Both appear to have crossed it. Jordan admits that Seaver wanted to be portrayed in a certain it possible that Jordan was a pawn as Seaver invited him in and treated him warmly? Shaughnessy meanwhile longs for the days when athletes and reporters rode to the airport together for road trips. It is subtle and perhaps not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but can a reporter really maintain objectivity when he has these buddy-buddy relationships? (Thanks to Mike B1 for hammering this point home)

On another level, I think Shaughnessy is guilty of waxing too poetic about the good ole days. Is it really that much different now? We still get stories about Dustin Pedroia and his card games with Francona. Shaughnessy talks about player's nicknames from the 80's but I am sure he could reel through the nicknames on this team as well. On his Japan trip, Shaughnessy also gave some personal glimpses into the different players as they prepared for the long road trip. Really not much different than the kinds of examples he gives from those good ole days.

On yet another level, Shaughnessy is hypocritical. In his past work, he comes across very hard against the fans who engage in hero worship of these athletes. He is sharply critical of men who wear jerseys with player's names on them. Yet he concludes this little piece with "ultimately, it erodes the connection between sports fans and their heroes." So why does he care so much about feeding this hero worship with one hand and ripping it apart with another? It is

Finally Shaughnessy does come across as a bitter and even jealous. He talks about his colleague Marc Spears who has more access than others and speculates that this is because he was a former player himself. He also hints that Spears works hard at it. Can Shaughnessy fathom the possibility that it is not the publicists to blame and that it may be case of a generational and/or racial divide? Shaughnessy can't be bothered with thinking about this because as usual, his analysis is weak. As a result, his commentary does come across as whiney on yet another level.

So Objective Bruce, I disagree that this commentary was excellent. I can call it copy cat; I can call it hypocrtitical; I can call it shallow; I can call it illustrative of an ethical breach; and I can say it is borne from jealousy but I can't call it excellent. Sorry.

Maybe we can move on? Please!

Dan writes about the Celtics' decisive victory over the Pistons in Game 3 of their playoff series last night. Dan says the Celtics had their game faces on and played crisp basketball in winning their first playoff game on the road.

One thing he mentions that makes you realize how ridiculously drawn out the playoffs are is that the Celtics have not won at home since April 14--it has been a long long time. This also helps you realize about how long Shaughnessy has harped on this home-road story line - it has been a long, long time. It will be nice to finally move on. No telling what he will grab on to next.

As a game recap, Dan's account is pretty good. Where Dan always seems to falter in my opinion is when he editorializes. He says things like "There's certainly great temptation to overstate Boston's decisive win last night." in a story in which he does just that -- hinting now that the Celtics have won game 3 that their path to the finals is clear.

He also continues his rants about the peripheral -- in Cleveland, he hated the "diff board" and in Detroit, he hates the noise and pyrotechnics. Although I tend to agree with him that things like these are grating, it is not as if it is a new occurrence--NBA arenas have been packaging games like this for years (and I believe Stern has recently stated he would like to take it down a notch or two)

Bottom line: It is a decent enough read just with your typical Shaughnessy stock room side commentary.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Detroit Connection

Today Shaughnessy examines the connection between Boston and Detroit sports teams, examining the team vs team history of the Bruins v. Red Wings; Red Sox v. Tigers; and Celtics v. Pistons. (Sorry, not much there with respect to Patriots v. Lions)

If you like walks down memory lane then this one is for you. Some nice little nuggets to include discussions on how much Larry Bird hated Bill Laiimbeer.

I am not about to say this column was great but it is a pleasant enough read. Shaughnessy typically does a good job with historical retrospectives (except for when he has dead people showing up for baseball games)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Home Loss

Shaughnessy discusses the Celtics’ first playoff loss at home. He says the rules have changed and if the Celtics want to advance, they will have to finally win one on the road.
Today’s effort was predictable. Worse than that, however, it was filled with inane and idiotic commentary.

He says, “The Detroit Pistons, ladies and gents, are not the Atlanta Hawks, nor are they the Cleveland Cavaliers.” The implication being that they are a much better team than the Hawks and Cavaliers, apparently forgetting the Cavaliers bumped the Pistons from the playoffs just a year ago?

He says, “….the playoffs have officially started for the Celtics.” You know, this kind of statement would be appropriate if the Celtics had won their first two series in 4 or 5 games. Given, however, that the Celtics were taken to the seventh game in the first round by a team with a regular season losing record, I think it is safe to say the playoffs “officially” started for the Celtics much longer ago.

He talks about all the good things that have happened to Boston sports teams this weekend—Celtics previous wins and the Red Sox’ sweeps and he tops off the list of things to make us happy with this: “Bill Parcell’s best player is AWOL, “Dancing with the Stars.” This is a forced-cultural reference for the-sake of appearing “hip”. Jason Taylor has been on that show for weeks now—it’s a non story and given the respective state of the Patriots and Dolphins, I don’t think a single Patriots fan has derived pleasure from this whole Dancing with the Stars story. The Dolphins are not particularly relevant.

He says, “The Celtics ran out to an early 6-point lead, but who can trust any kind of lead in these playoffs after what the Lakers did to the Spurs at Staples Center Wednesday?” What a complete and idiotic statement. To compare a blown 6 point first half lead to a blown 20 point second half lead is ridiculous. If Belichick were to make a statement like this in a post game press conference, Shaughnessy would skewer him for saying nothing. The irony is that Shaughnessy spews out cliché-ridden statements like this all the time.

How he continues to get away with mailing it in like this continues to amaze me.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ray Allen Watch

Dan does his best Debbie Downer impression after a big win with a look at the struggles of Ray Allen.

I think it happened like this. With a late start Dan needed/wanted to have most of his column written so he chose a general topic from over the course of the playoffs. And Allen's troubles worked perfect for Dan's needs. If Allen has an off night, then no trouble. If Allen goes off, he re-writes the article as Allen overcoming his struggles to help the Celtics. The quotations from Monday, the Rip Hamilton angle all work regardless of the outcome. You got to be pretty smart to be a lazy as Dan.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Very Special Win

Dan has the details from a special night at Fenway Park. It is a good read, worth the time for some of the details about Lester and his path to baseball history.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Paul Pierce has the greatest playoff game of his career in Game Seven to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals and Dan writes about LeBron James?

Pierce must have brushed past Dan once in the locker room. Or maybe Dan knows more about James because of the greater national attention.

Bad Joke Alert: This nugget was stashed away in the middle of the column:
Those fears were realized with a couple of minutes left in yesterday's game when the King (if he travels in a road game against the Grizzlies, do they say he's walkin' in Memphis?)

Edit: Apparently, Bob Ryan was assigned the Paul Pierce angle for the Globe.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dan Can't Make Up His Mind

Dan does a Why the Celts/Cavs will win today's game. I apologize in advance _ short post today as I am running a race and got to go. I would suggest you run too--far away from this one.

Will try to post later

Dave M

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Another Celtics Road Loss

Shaughnessy dissects the Celtics latest road loss, a 74-69 defeat at the hands of the Cavaliers in Game 6 of their playoff series. Shaughnessy points out that the Celtics were victims of poor officiating (that call on Pierce was horrid) but that they were also outhustled. Although I have grown a little weary of Shaughnessy's constant harping on the road losses, he's right in that this does not give the Celtics a warm feeling about their playoff hopes.

Although his piece is relatively straightforward, Shaughnessy does include this one asinine line:

"The NBA should be concerned about the home-road disparity. Why even bother to play the games when we all know ahead of time which team is going to win?"

There is a Shaughnessy tendency to draw conclusions on small sample sizes. We are talking about one round of games and Shaughnessy decides to throw up his hands in exasperation and suggest there is an NBA-wide problem. One round does not an alarming trend make. Either there is a long standing pattern that has existed well before this series (and Shaughnessy should have done the homework to investigate this since he has done nothing but talk about home-road disparities for the past 2 plus weeks...but he won't because he is too lazy or busy primping for his TV appearances) or this is a statistical aberration. Either way, Shaughnessy apparently lacks the analytical capacity to figure it out.

Also, Shaughnessy dusts off a favorite old line but does so with a new twist:

Last July, he wrote
"Even Tim Donaghy thinks the Patriots are a lock."

Today, he writes, "Neither Charles Barkley nor Tim Donaghy would bet on the Celtics to beat the Pistons four times at home in the next round."

Ha, ha...that's a good one. Got to love the Barkley injection there to freshen it up a bit.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Challenger to Dan's Title

I am going to lobby for this blog to be renamed Tony Massarotti Watch. His column today was the nastiest, most ignorant piece I have ever read. It tops even Shank's 38pitches parody.

With his giant poke in the readers' eyes, Tony Mazz has taken the title for Nastiest Boston Sports Columnist (Single Column). Dan, of course, retains the title for Nastiest Boston Sport Columnist (Career).

Note: No link because I refuse to facilitate the Boston Herald getting any clicks. I suggest you find a copy on the T to read.

Extra Special Goodiness

What did we do to be so lucky? A Cameragate reference and a shot at blogs in the first two sentences! (Do you think Dan was watching Buzz Bissinger blow up on CostasNow thinking to himself "Now that is an excellent, well reasoned argument!"?)

The rest of the piece is mostly game recap with quotations thrown in. Dan manages to capture the feel of watching the game, with Celtic's fan initial fear being replaced by awe in the third quarter.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Road Woes Continue, Dan Beats Same Horse

Dan has a recap of another disappointing road loss for the Celtics. He plays it straight and even has a quotation from the Commish.

Monday, May 12, 2008

"You don't write funny."

Dan takes a lighthearted look at what Celtics management will do to make the players think they are playing in Boston tonight.

Wait, is 'lighthearted' the term people use when they want to say 'painfully unfunny', but don't want to appear mean? Either way, that is what I meant. By the end of the piece he is simply reeling off names of people who nobody reading would care about.

Update: Apparently Dan got a few facts wrong. Massachusetts Liberal provides the corrections.

Via Universal Hub

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cavalier Attitude

Dan writes about the Celtics' continued road woes in light of a troubling 108-84 loss to the Cavaliers. It is a fair column which poses legitimate concerns. The Celtics will have a tough time competing with the elite if they keep putting up stinkers like this. Can't argue that. It was almost refreshing in that Dan doesnt make reference to a dozen other teams from the NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, ABA, WHL, etc

Friday, May 09, 2008

King James

LeBron James has another bad night and Shaughnessy writes about it...again. With Shaughnessy and the Celtics lately, it feels like we are in summer rerun season. That being said, it is a fair enough look at James' struggles in the past two games; however, I would like to address two points.

- James has two bad games in a row and Shaughnessy feels compelled to make reference to bad showings by star athletes in big venues. Pick a sport....In lazy Shaughnessy form, he ticks off a Ted Williams reference (1946 WS); a Phil Mickelson reference (2006 US Open) and an Alex Rodriguez reference (pick a series)--anything that rolls off the top of his head. For goodness sake, why can't he dig just a little deeper and keep it within the sport? All he has to do...pick any three NBA superstars; dig through the record books--did any of them have two games like this? Was it contained to two games? How did they eventually break out of their slump? How did their teams respond? Why is this so difficult? Because he is flat out lazy. What is really odd is that he has a very detailed break out by quarter of James shot sequences--and perhaps he thinks that gives the appearance that he followed the game closely. But anybody can use a game stat sheet to do that -- you would think an award winning journalist could put a little more effort into it

- Getting back to the ARod thing, Shaughnessy made a comment in his column the other day that drew my ire but I did not write about it but after thinking about it, I will surface it. When the Celtics were struggling against the Hawks, Shaughnessy started to hang the ARod label on Garnett. (i.e., great player when it doesn't count). You know if he had made that point at any time during the season based on Garnett's time with Timberwolves and a long term look at Garnett's playoff history, that would be fair enough (assuming he could back it up). But to make that point 4 or 5 games into Garnett's first playoff series when we really do not have a proper perspective of him in a Celtics uniform during the playoffs was bush. That is a label that you could start hanging on Garnett if the Celtics were to lose 2 or 3 playoff series over a few year span. But Shaughnessy ever prone to hyperbolic knee-jerk reactions played that card. (Side note to OB: I don't care if he roots for the home team or its players--I really dont. Just get sick of the crap that he spews)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Game One

Dan has a look at LeBron James's off night in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semi-finals.

A decent piece with some good quotations from James. Nothing spectacular.

Monday, May 05, 2008

And Exhale

Dan is relieved that the Celtics avoided any place in the "local Hall of Shame." While the Celtics made clear that they were better than the Hawks, there still are questions until "they can win a game without Gino."

Repetitive use of statistic alert: Once again Dan reminds us that the Hawks were 12-33 (including playoffs) on the road.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Celtics *4

Dan writes about "your Celtics" again* today. He says historically Game 7s are supposed to be a great affair but that the fact that today's game 7 is even happening is an embarrassment to us all. The mighty Celtics are vulnerable and other teams watching will be emboldened by the success of the Hawks if the Celtics are fortunate enough to advance. (*This is a classic parenting line. When one of my kids does something bad, my wife says "Look at what YOUR daughter just did.")

This is the 4th Shaughnessy column of the past five which essentially says the same thing. The Celtics are worthy of criticism and I won't debate that (Note to OB: I dont care if Shaughnessy doesnt "root root root" for the home team.) What continues to grate on me is his journalistic laziness. This column, of and in itself, is fair enough. Yet, when it folllows three others that have attacked from the same angle, it is absolutely absurd that he can get away with it.

It is almost as if Shaughnessy takes these losses as a personal affront. Perhaps he is the one writing from Mom's basement? And yes, the Celtics are not playing well. But how about a modicum of credit for the Hawks? They have some excellent young talent that seems to be coming together at the right time. Given that, is it even conceivable that their record belies their talent to some degree? I agree wholeheartedly that the Celtics should never be in this position but giving the Hawks any credit no matter how well deserved would undermine Shaughnessy's premise and so he just can't do it.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Celtics Revisited

Dan's column is similar to yesterday's albeit minus the dated references. He says the Celtics need to make a statement tonight by winning on the road in Atlanta to erase the emerging doubts that they are too old to win the title.

In classic Shaughnessy "contradiction speak", he says,

It's always a mistake to read too much into an early playoff series.

and yet the whole column itself is Shaughnessy reading too much into an early playoff series. Idiot.

And my favorite line is this

Now we have the New Three and a championship-caliber team that has yet to
win a playoff series or a road playoff game.

Well, seeing how this is the first series that the "New Three" has played, of
course they have yet to win a playoff series.


Thursday, May 01, 2008

How Many Dated/Irrelevant References Will There Be?

Dan is still somewhat upset by the Hawks winning two games in Atlanta, but last night's convincing win has placated him somewhat.

But what was more striking was the references. It starts with a 20 year-old SNL skit, followed by a Belichick reference, and includes a 35 year-old song. Way to stay relevant.