Friday, March 26, 2010

Shank Goes National

Writing the obligatory underdog column about last night's Cornell (+8.5) vs. Kentucky basketball game results in lots of positive feedback from Wildcat fans:

■“You can have Boston, the Northeast, Ted Kennedy, and the Red Sox.’’

■“I’d be hard-pressed to think of a more inane, pointless profession than a sports writer — Wait, I got it . . . how about signholder — you know the guy who holds a small placard and stands right outside of the business he’s promoting. That guy . . . that’s who you are Dan.’’

■“You and many others, especially the eastern and northeastern press, love to hammer lowly ‘hillbilly’ Kentucky for no reason while lettin the same stuff we are accused of go unreported with northeastern teams.’’

■“You should be ashamed of your elitist self. Tough job market? For the Ivy League Cornell players, that’s laughable. Try the job market for Kentucky seniors. The Cornell players have been handed everything their entire lives.’’

■ “While many people in my state can only laugh at your intolerable lack of sports knowledge and your ‘please pick me’ infatuation with appealing to people’s underdog bones, I actually feel pity for you.’’

■“Your [sic, told you] a disgrace to your paper and your readers. Know your facts a little better before you go and play the ‘world against Cornell’ role up next time. Also, what exactly are you implying by using the words ‘bags of cash’ to run a Kentucky program?

■ “Boston makes Mississippi and Alabama look progressive on race relations — proud of that, are ya?’’

■“I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky from the year of our Lord 2008, and I take superlative umbrage to your comments regarding the Cornell/UK basketball game.’’
Thanks to Shank, the image of the stodgy, elitist New Englander is further entrenched...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Grinding The Axe

Following Nomar Garciaparra's 'retirement' as a member of the Red Sox last week, Shank dreams up other Red Sox retirement scenarios involving Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez, Grady Little and Jurrasic Carl Everett, with some sand kicked in the face of Lou Merloni.

The one word summary - pathetic.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lack of Effort

That's Shank's basic complaint about the Bruins in their 3-0 loss to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

Two thoughts: I have a similar feeling after reading this column. And Shank has this knack for kicking a team when they're down...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dave M Calls It

Well, not a tough call, mind you, but Dave M. comments in the previous thread:

I can hear Shaughnessy now - "he quit on the Sox" - "lasting image of him sulking as he watched Jeter dive over the rail...."; "he was never happy in boston" " he hated the media"; and "it's insidious to think he would actually work for espn" etc etc

God, please spare us
Let's see how close this prediction measures up to reality:

Dan Shaughnessy

In historically bad taste here


Great player.

Total fraud.

Welcome home, Nomie.

I hate to be the turd fly in the punch bowl here, but yesterday’s lovefest involving Nomar Garciaparra and the Red Sox was truly nauseating. If Nomar had been hooked up to a polygraph, the machine would have exploded.
Funny how a guy who delighted in taking shot after shot at Nomar can write the following with no hint of irony:

Do not be fooled. Life is long and people change. There is certainly every possibility that Nomar has matured and will henceforth pledge allegiance to Boston and spread the Gospel of the Red Sox. But it’s downright fraudulent to deny or ignore how bad this relationship was at the end. Nomar hated Boston and the Red Sox in 2004, and the Sox knew they had to get rid of him if they had a chance to win a World Series. It was nasty and personal and it was obvious to everyone who was around the team in that iconic season.
Shank amply contributed to the situation he now mocks as fraudulent. I'd say that's a pretty strong example of hypocrisy, yes?

In yesterday’s sorry spirit of disingenuousness and hypocrisy, Garciaparra announced that he has taken a job with ESPN. This makes him a member of the media, which is like Sarah Palin telling us she is going to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
One wonders if Shank can review his columns on Nomar over the years and reach the same conclusion.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Walking Tall

Shank returns from sunny Fort Myers to watch Cohasset high school win its second girls basketball state championship. As with nearly all his articles that don't deal with professional athletes, it is well written and venom free. There's a bonus Red Auerbach mention; unfortunately there's no room for the obligatory Larry Bird reference.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Two In The Hat

The suddenly prolific Shank bangs out two more columns this weekend, profiling Jonathan Paplebon, or, as Yosemite Sam used to say in the last century:

It was the first time we’d seen the big galoot since he was pummeled in the final inning of the 2009 season - the one and only hiccup in an illustrious postseason career.
I think that was a compliment; we'll know for sure if Paplebon blows a few saves.

Shank then recycles a theme from two weeks ago, decrying the blandness of hanging out in nice weather for a few weeks. It shows up in this column, as he gets pissy about blog boys, robotic Sox players, cliché-talkin Sox players, The Bland Sox, pink hats, and (wait for it)...

Much as it kills me to say this, the Bland Sox could use a guy like the Big Blowhard right about now.
What's also bland is using the same theme from two weeks ago to write this column.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Believe The Hype

Shank lays it on thick in yesterday's column, discussing a young pitching prospect for the Sox:

FORT MYERS, Fla. - It was only one inning. It was against a college team. But maybe someday we’ll tell our grandchildren about it. Maybe someday City of Palms Park will be renamed “Casey Kelly Field.’’


And now he is a 20-year-old starter getting more hype than perhaps any pitcher in the Sox system since Roger Clemens was drafted after winning the 1983 College World Series at the University of Texas.

Kelly is 6 feet 3 inches, 195 pounds, and keeps his hair Hoosier-short. Everything about him says “future ace.’’ He is the second-highest-ranked Baseball America prospect in the Sox system. But unlike the young Clemens, he is poised, well-mannered, respectful, and cheerful. Kelly said the thing that made him most nervous yesterday was throwing to a veteran like Victor Martinez. He said Martinez wanted the young pitcher to shake him off a couple of times to confuse the hitters. Kelly couldn’t do it. Too green. Too polite.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Night In The Ruts

Proving once again that a week in Red Sox training camp means running out of things to write, Shank poses the eternal question:

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Cup or no cup? That is the question.

It’s a delicate issue regarding a delicate area. The punch lines are infinite, but it’s not funny when a guy gets hit in his testicles and he’s not covered by the triangular hard-shell plastic designed to protect a man’s private parts.
I think I should have put a cup on before reading this article...

Monday, March 01, 2010

Aces High

In today's column Shank has few questions about the Red Sox starting pitching.

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Three aces. Three guys who won the deciding game of a World Series. All before the age of 25.

Jon Lester was 23 when he got the start in the fourth game of the 2007 World Series. He pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings, allowing three hits and walking three with three strikeouts. Lester was the winning pitcher in the Red Sox’ 4-3 clincher at Coors Field.

Josh Beckett was 23 when he took the ball for the Marlins in the sixth game of the 2003 World Series at Yankee Stadium. He pitched a five-hit shutout, beating the Yankees, 2-0, and was named Series Most Valuable Player. He was the youngest pitcher (23 years 5 months 10 days) to win a deciding Series game since Bret Saberhagen in 1985.

Rookie Angels righty John Lackey had just turned 24 when he started the seventh game of the 2002 Series against the Giants. Lackey went five innings, giving up one run on four hits and fanning four before turning a 4-1 lead over to Brendan Donnelly. Lackey faced Barry Bonds twice that night, getting Bonds on a liner to short, then surrendering an infield hit to the single-season home run king in the fourth inning. Lackey became the first rookie starter to win a seventh game of the Series since the immortal Babe Adams beat the Tigers for Pittsburgh in 1909.
Behold! The return of the most annoying adjective in Shank's arsenal!

It's refreshing to see him acknowledge the obvious strength of the Red Sox, at least this week.