Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Wrapping

Shank emerges after a one week absence to write about the Celtics' first game of the year. It's a pretty good column until he interjects yet another Red Sox reference in a non-Red Sox piece:
What is it about headphones and ownership guilt? When the 2011 Chicken-and-Beer Red Sox complained about playing a late-season day-night doubleheader, they were treated to a night on John Henry’s yacht and a complimentary set of headphones. The gesture was widely mocked. So what are we to make of the NBA trying to show some sweetness after a 161-day lockout that cut each player’s 2011-12 salary by 19.5 percent?
What is it about Shank and the Red Sox?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dan Shaughnessy, The Ultimate Hypocrite?

Before I begin - am I being fair or unfair with this post?

Dan Shaughnessy on accused child molester Jerry Sandusky (or rather, Sandusky's former connection with the Penn State football program):
Penn State should cancel the rest of its football season.


Legendary coach Joe Paterno and school president Graham B. Spanier were fired by the Board of Trustees late Wednesday night, and these same officials would do well to take the next step and announce the cancellation of the remainder of Penn State’s football season, starting with tomorrow’s “big game’’ against Nebraska.

Then send pink slips to everyone working on the football staff.

It’s time to start over, folks. This has gone on far too long already.

Shank, on accused child molester (and fellow baseball writer) Bill Conlin:
Read it for yourself. I believe the same level of information is / was available for both Sandusky & Conlin, but Shank fails to mount his high horse on a fellow baseball writer. I wonder why that is?

Monday, December 19, 2011

DHL Dan - IX

When we get back-to-back columns from Shank, the second one tends to be of lesser quality than the first. On that scale, Shank comes through.
DENVER - Leave it to the Patriots to ruin things for everybody else.

Sports fans of America yesterday turned their eyes toward this stadium one mile above sea level, hoping to see another miracle; a burning bush, a football Fatima, perhaps 80,000 fans feasting on a few fishes and loaves.

No. There was no Tebow Time this time. Instead, we witnessed another routine execution by the brutal New England assassins who’ve ruled the AFC East in nine of the past 11 seasons.

Patriots 41, Broncos 23. Praise the Lord and pass the humble pie.
Over the top, cliche ridden and chock full of lame song lyrics - the definitive Shank column, everyone!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Shank turns into a holy roller for this column.
DENVER - Holy cow. Holy Toledo. Holy smokes. Holy water. Holy holiday. Holy Any Given Sunday of Obligation.
The rest of the column is readable, believe it or not...

Friday, December 16, 2011

And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - IV

Presiding over the decline of a company in a near-obsolete industry can be quite rewarding:
The New York Times Company (parent company of the Boston Globe - Ed.) today abruptly announced that its 61-year-old chief executive officer, Janet Robinson, will leave at the end of the year, with no permanent successor lined up.

An SEC filing says Ms. Robinson will get $4.5 million plus health insurance for a 12-month retirement and consulting agreement, including "two-year non-competition, non-solicitation and non-disparagement covenants, a three-year cooperation covenant and an indefinite confidentiality covenant."

The Times itself reported that Ms. Robinson's pay in 2009 was $4.9 million, so she'll earn almost as much as a retired consultant as as a full-time CEO.

The handy investment calculator on the Times corporate Web site shows that $10,000 invested in NYT stock the day Ms. Robinson took over as CEO, on December 27, 2004, would be worth $1,855.14 today, a decline of 81.45%. The price of the stock went from $40.59 when she took over to $7.53 today, and though some dividends were paid out early in her tenure as CEO, the dividend has since been suspended.

It's all almost enough to be grist for one of those angry New York Times editorials or business section columns about executives whose outsized pay bears no relation to performance. In this case, the board hasn't fired the chairman, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., whose family controls the board and the company through a special class of stock. Ms. Robinson could perhaps argue that she earned her pay by serving as someone outside the family for the family to blame for the poor performance.

Which do you think accounts for more of the $4.5 million, the non-competition covenant or the non-disparagement covenant? Mark your calendar for two years from now when the non-disparagement agreement expires.
I have December 16, 2013 marked on my calendar. I'm looking forward to some December fireworks!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


The things you miss when you're at a tax seminar. I wonder if this was reported in the Boston Globe?
Sam Shaughnessy, who as a star outfielder in high school was the subject of father Dan's book Senior Year, then played a year of college ball at BC, was arrested last Friday in Brookline, Mass. The charges: disorderly conduct, assault and battery on a police officer, and resisting arrest.

According to Wicked Local Brookline, Sam Shaughnessy approached police as they were making another arrest. Police say he appeared drunk (it was late morning!) and was bleeding from his knuckles and leg.

UPDATE at 8:45 AM - Answer to the above question is no. I'm shocked...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Swing And A Miss

I thought I had Shank's next column pegged with the previous post. I was thinking Shank would zig when instead he zagged and instead climbed aboard the Rob Gronkowski bandwagon:
LANDOVER, Md. - Twenty-two-year-old tight end Rob Gronkowski has emerged as everybody’s favorite Patriot. Sure, that guy Brady’s OK, but Gronk is the man-child who catches everything, sheds tacklers like he’s dusting dandruff off his shoulders, and gets to the end zone more than any tight end in NFL history.

I say it’s because of his neck. You’ve never seen a guy with a neck like this. Must be tough buying shirts.
A decent column ensues, even by Shank's low standards. This paragraph stuck out for me:
We are 13 games into this Patriots season and we know so little about the local 11. They are 10-3 and every other quarterback in the conference seems to be hurt or awful, but it’s hard to have good feelings about New England’s playoff prospects. There’s no running game, the defense lacks talent and depth, and they never put together a solid 60 minutes.
Maybe I'm nitpicking just a bit, but isn't the first sentence contradicted by the third? I think anyone watching the Patriots play this season would have drawn the same conclusion two months ago.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Missing In Action

We've not had a column from Shank in almost a week. Here's a guess on the topic of his next epic work:
Manny Ramirez has officially been reinstated from the voluntary retirement list by Major League Baseball, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney on Saturday morning.
Right in his wheelhouse, wouldn't you say?

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Zero Horsepower

For those of us that watch professional football at any level of interest, Shank states the obvious: The Colts are not good this year. Shank feigns disinterest in the game, telling us he'll be taking a nap instead. As you'd expect with any half-assed Shank column, it is chock full of Shankisms, like "the immortal Dan Orlovsky" and "the immortal Kenneth “Gameday" Sims", a mention of the Red Sox ("The Colts without Manning have folded up like the September Red Sox."), the “18-12 Overture", and a mention of Indy's stadium, known to Shank as the "Lucas Oil (Can Boyd) Stadium". The only thing missing from the column is a Beatles or Springsteen song lyric.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Glowing Words, Indeed

Shank celebrates the arrival of Bobby Valentine as the 45th manager of the Boston Red Sox. Why is it that almost every single person reporting on this hiring has to mention he's the 45th manager? Is there something unique with the number 45 that I haven't picked up on?

A straightforward recap of Valentine's career and the people involved in the decision are mentioned in the first part of the column. The words 'John Henry' and 'Liverpool' are now destined to be combined in the same sentence whenever Shank takes a shot at mentions John Henry. Shank should open a new toy store - "Cheap Shots 'R Us".
Swell stuff. So good, so good, so good. Boston baseball’s winter of defection and discord was badly in need of this Sweet Caroline moment.
Forget the fact that it's not even winter yet (I know, poetic license and all that), but what better way is there to kill a column's momentum then the obligatory lame lyric mention - Sweet Caroline, a unique combination of banal pedestrian boredom, death by overplay, and Shank's seal of approval. It's a triple play!

Remember all that bitching and moaning Shank did over the past two months, trashing the process & everyone involved?
It doesn’t really matter now anyway.
That's convenient, isn't it? Do you think Shank will remember that sentiment when the Sox hit their first five game losing streak?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shank's Stomping His Feet Again

My, what a petulant little whiner this guy can be...
Tomorrow marks the two-month anniversary of Terry Francona’s last day on the job and still the Red Sox are without a manager.

The Clarence Thomas hearings were swifter and tidier than this.
Unless you're name's Clarence Thomas, you would agree. Or is this a classic non sequitur?
The world champion St. Louis Cardinals needed 12 days to find a manager after Tony La Russa resigned.
Look what kind of a manager that will get you. Due diligence is, like, so last century!

That, and a few other points from his November 20th column, are rehashed and folded into a few current updates to get a new column. Is this a new thing, partial recycling?

This was pretty funny:
I reached Lucchino briefly in his office yesterday morning. He said he couldn't talk to me. He said there would be no announcement yesterday.

I followed that up with, “Do you have any comment on how indecisive this makes you guys look?’’

“Goodbye, Dan,’’ he answered. “Nice to talk to you.’’


Dial tone.
In conclusion, here's some fun stuff on Bobby V, Shank's preferred candidate. It would be interesting to have Valentine around if only for the following dynamic:
His reputation also includes the way he deals with reporters. A reporter who covered him in Texas told me a long time ago that Valentine has a divide-and-conquer strategy by which he pits the writers against each other and divides them into two groups: those who will do his bidding and those who won’t. Guess which group gets Bobby’s leaks?

They are Bobby’s Boys, and they will write anything to make Valentine happy because he makes them happy by leaking stories to them. Valentine’s interview with the Red Sox provided Bobby’s Boys with their latest opportunity to extol his virtues.
Any guess as to where Shank would end up in this food chain?

Dirty Laundry II, coming to a Shank column in 2012!

UPDATE AT 8:55PM - It's official!
Logically, as one man accused of presiding over a boozy clubhouse leaves town, one accused of presiding over a gang of loafing potheads enters.

He's been out of MLB for a while. Valentine was shitcanned after the stonery 2002 Mets finished 75-86, and he managed Japan's Chiba Lotte Marines from 2004-2009. He then left Japan and returned to Connecticut, where he opened a sports bar and took a low-level municipal government position. This year, he replaced Joe Morgan on Sunday Night Baseball and turned up all over ESPN.

And now he's the manager of the Sox, per ESPN's Gordon Edes. This is gonna be a fun year in Boston.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Empty Feeling

Shank goes to another high school football game and gets another decent column out of it. I like the way he just happens to find a local angle to blend into the Penn State angle.
It’s always a drag when you lose the last football game of your high school career, especially when it’s Thanksgiving and they dedicate the stadium to your school’s legendary coach.

This was what it was like for Catholic Memorial seniors at the newly named James R. O’Connor Stadium yesterday. A spectacular season and a chance to win the Catholic Conference and make it to the playoffs (and maybe the Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium) went down the disposal with lumpy mashed potatoes when CM was beaten by BC High, 13-0.
CM's best two players have committed to playing at Penn State:
But there will be more football for CM stars Armani Reeves and Camren Williams, and that’s where this gets interesting. Reeves, a running back/defensive back, and Williams, a linebacker/tight end, have both given verbal commitments to Penn State.
"Distraction", "we want to focus on the game"., etc. proceeds for the next couple of paragraphs, then Williams talks to Shank:
“I am still committed to Penn State, yes,’’ said Williams, son of Brent Williams, who played eight of his 11 NFL seasons with the Patriots and serves as an assistant coach at CM. “Penn State has the best kinesiology [study of human movement] school in the country and that’s what I want to study. I love the campus. As a student, I am still committed to Penn State. As a football player, that’s still a question. We don’t really know what happened and we don’t know what’s going to happen.’’
...while Reeves does the smart thing and runs for the exit:
Reeves couldn’t be found after the loss to BC High. He was as elusive off the field as he’s been during his spectacular career on Baker Street. He’s got a chance to be the Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year and will play with Williams at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Phoenix in January.
Inadvertent or clever working in of the Gerry Rafferty reference there?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Shanksgiving Tale

Even the likes of Shank realize it's in bad form to trash local sports figures such as Curt Schilling, Manny Ramirez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Claude Julien, Bill Belichick, and Red Sox management and ownership one day from Thanksgiving, so we get the annual local high school athlete column. If Jonathan DiBiaso makes it to the National Football League, he can look forward to Shank treating him like Tony Eason.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shank Hearts Valentine

I neglected to mention Shank's other potential column subject - Bobby Valentine is the bomb!
He is married to the daughter of Ralph Branca, who threw the gopher ball to Bobby Thomson at the Polo Grounds in 1951. His first roommate in professional baseball was Bill Buckner, when the two were drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1968. He managed the Texas Rangers, who were once managed by Ted Williams. He also managed the New York Mets, who inflicted immeasurable pain to our region in 1986.

Is there any doubt that Bobby Valentine is destined to be the next manager of the Boston Red Sox?

No. There can be no doubt. This is a man directly connected to the two most infamous moments in baseball’s 20th century. And that is only one of the reasons that he is the perfect fit to be the 45th manager in the storied history of the Boston Red Sox.
Shank's in such a great mood he trots out lame song lyrics to buttress his cheerleading for Valentine:
Valentine desperately wants this job. If we can quote Don Henley we can say that Bobby V would walk on his lips through busted glass to get to the corner office at Fenway Park.
Some words stick out more than others:
New York City folks who endured the tragedy of the fallen towers in 2001 will tell you that Bobby Valentine was the real deal when it came to caring for victims after the attacks. For once in his life, he was all action, little talk. Not bad for a guy who’s often been portrayed as a fraud and a poser.
Shank will be using those two words to describe Valentine when the Red Sox have their first serious losing streak.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Seventh Circle Of Hell?

I might be going out on a limb here, but it looks like Bobby Fucking Valentine will be the next manager of the Boston Red Sox. Maybe I'm reading too much into this paragraph:
Valentine had a conversation with Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino in 2003, before Terry Francona was hired. During that process, Valentine also had come highly recommended to Red Sox majority owner John W. Henry by longtime Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda.
I'm aware this guy knows his stuff, but I've always had the impression of Valentine as a clown / buffoon, and that was well before the fake nose / moustache routine in the dugout that Shank alluded to earlier today. If anything, it sealed my opinion of him. I take Valentine as seriously as, for instance, Donald Trump as a presidential candidate or savvy businessman.

Shank column prediction - he'll still bitch & moan about the selection process, along the lines of 'it's about time'.

No, You're A Doofus!

The Red Sox take their time hiring a new manager, which gets Shank's panties in a bunch.
Can the Red Sox do anything else to boost their image as a doofus organization?
High school diction at its finest!
Remember when the Yawkey Way boys were a mere team, playing baseball games?

Not anymore. The Sox don’t play games in November (they don’t play in October anymore, either, come to think of it). But they are in the news, and on our minds much more than the Celtics, Bruins or midseason Patriots.
I wonder if he wrote that last sentence with a straight face. The Celtics are locked out, the Bruins just won their eight consecutive game last night and the Patriots are atop the AFC East with a 6 - 3 record. Who does Shank think he's kidding?
Things got so bad last week that Miss Heidi left without even leaving a note (the good news on that one is it finally gives Tom Werner something to do). Can’t say we blame her.
I'll be charitable here - to imply the Red Sox organization had any say in Heidi's departure just means that Shank's reaching for negative things to hang on the Red Sox ownership. Indirect affect, perhaps, but direct? Sorry, but Shank's wrong on that point.
It doesn’t really matter how long it takes if the Sox wind up getting the right guy, but this process at the very least raises questions about the chain of command on Yawkey Way.
I wonder how many local sports reporters and columnists have been raising questions about the chain of command on Yawkey Way?

Red Sox columns by Shank since Oct. 24 (including two picked up pieces columns) = six.

By Bob Ryan = zero.

By Tony Massariotti = six.

By Ron Borges = zero.

By Steve Buckley (excluding article on Luis tiant) = two.

By Gerry Callahan = zero.

By Johnn Tomase = too many to count.

My conclusion - a mixed bag. Reviewing John Tomase's columns, I find the 'let's shit on Red Sox management & ownership' genre of columns to be of less frequency than Shank's totals. I don't find Mazz's columns nearly as harsh on the Sox brain trust as Shank's; your results may vary. With that filtering, I think it's not 'raising questions', it's Shank raising the questions.
After the soft parade of Dale Sveum, Pete Mackanin, Sandy Alomar Jr., Torey Lovullo, and Gene Lamont, Sox ownership effectively emasculated new general manager Ben Cherington in Milwaukee last week, thumbing their noses at Sveum, the choice of Ben and his baseball ops team. Then we find out the owners wanted a guy like Bobby Valentine all along.

So, what was the Dale and Pony Show at Fenway over the last three weeks? Was it really necessary to trot all those guys out in front of the media so we could find out that none of it was serious?

Why the misdirection? Why make your serious new GM look powerless right out of the gate (Ben is in the Dominican Republic this weekend, scouting Yoenis Cespedes while the grown-ups resume the managerial search)? What is happening at the top?
Shank mentioned two managers that he'd prefer lead the Red Sox - Bobby Valentine was one of them. You'd think he'd be somewhat happy about this development, but that's not the Shank we know and love...
John Henry has gone underground since bursting into the SportsHub studios. It’s pretty clear that pork bellies, Liverpool, and his new family have taken his attention away from the Red Sox. Meanwhile, Inspector Werner is now on the case looking for the next Heidi and more of that nifty, award-winning NESN programming. That leaves Larry Lucchino, “the man who runs the Red Sox.’’
I'll bet $50 that Shank wanted to write Inspector Clouseau instead. But he can't trash the guy who gave his daughter an internship in Werner's Hollywood company, can he?
Without saying much of anything, Larry is presenting as the de facto GM of the Red Sox, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The Sox could have used some of Larry’s urgency when Jonathan Papelbon was allowed to walk without receiving an offer.
Papelbon was determined to test the free agent market come hell or high water. Any offer the Red Sox would have put forth had a very high probability of being rejected. The fact that he was the first free agent signed tells you one thing - he wanted out of Boston, period.
Now it’s on to Bobby V.

This is going to be great. Let’s hope Valentine brings the fake nose and glasses he wore in the Mets dugout. Maybe he has a Groucho mask.
Or a Dan Shaughnessy wig...

UPDATE at 10:05 PM - Shank writes:
Speaking of pathetic, we have the Cirque-de-so-lame managerial search, which is now coming up on its eighth week. The world champion St. Louis Cardinals needed only 12 days to find their man.
That man would be Mike Matheny, who just walked away from an approximate $4 million mortgage and was sued by the lending bank the next month. Do you think the Red Sox just might be performing more due diligence in their managerial search than other teams? Is it possible things like this matter to the Red Sox and might be a factor in the length of time of their managerial search? We don't know, but Shank apparently doesn't think so. Maybe Matheny and real estate mogul Donald Trump can get together on a project?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Is Shank Done At CNN / SI?

No CNN / SI posts from Shank in seven weeks. I'd like to think they got sick of him reusing Boston Globe columns. Since I can't find squat on any public details, we'll do what Shank does so well - rely on rumors and innuendo!


Reader Ian e-mails me a pretty good fisking of Shank's November 14th column. Not that I'm making excuses or anything (right!), but this is the level of mocking a lazy, mail-it-in dead tree columnist so richly deserves.

Addition By Subtraction?

The website Awful Announcing laments the departure of Red Sox sideline babe Heidi Watney, who's moving back to her home state of California to cover the freakin' L.A. Lakers? How could you betray us like that, Heidi?

All kidding aside, good for her. But you know that's not the main reason I link to this post:
If only Boston could find a way to get rid of Dan Shaughnessy:
Check out the embedded video clip, if only to catch Shank at the height of his dorkiness.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Back On The Bandwagon, Etc.

Every now and then, Shank writes an interesting column that makes many valid points, is well written and grips you from beginning to end.

This is not one of those columns...

Instead we get another picked up pieces column; it's like an early Christmas present, except you feel like you're in county lockup when you're opening it.
Picked-up pieces while making plans for the Patriots in the AFC Championship game . . .
Seems like only yesterday when Shank was making plans... to go to Vail instead.
Why did we waste so much time on Albert Haynesworth when we had Andre Carter here all along?
Might be the same reason we all jumped off the Patriots bandwagon two weeks ago...
What a story it will be if Jacoby Ellsbury is named American League Most Valuable Player Monday. He’s got a better chance than you might think.
Shank did nothing but shit on Ellsbury in print and on the radio for nearly the entire 2010 season, and now says it's a good story? A better story would be for Shank to say he was wrong about Ellsbury. Then again, I'm probably not getting that unicorn for my birthday, either.
I’m gonna miss Geno on the big board at the end of Celtics home victories.
Shank's favorite decade - the Sixties or Seventies? It's a tough call!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Back To The Red Sox

Shank's latest concern about the Sox - what's up with the managers they're interviewing?
Yesterday it was Gene Lamont, a 64-year-old man who has been in professional baseball for 47 years. On Friday it was Torey Lovullo, a veteran of nine seasons managing in the minors. Last Wednesday, it was Sandy Alomar Jr., a nice former player with no managerial experience.

Before that, it was 60-year-old bench coach Pete Mackanin with his nifty handkerchief, great hair, and iPad. We’ve also seen Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum, the man who made us all forget Wendell “Send ’Em In’’ Kim.

No-Names On Parade. This is the theme of the Red Sox managerial search in November 2011.
I think the column makes some good points, but 1) this is the first positive mention of former Sox manager Joe Morgan in about five years (convenient, when it helps Shank) and 2) he mentions, among others, Bobby Valentine and Ozzie Guillen as a preferred type of manager? Is he serious? He's just stirring the pot again, right?

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Obligatory Penn State Column

Longtime readers of this site / Shank's columns are aware of his occasional tendency towards the sanctimonious. I was expecting just that with this column, and Shank delivers.
Penn State should cancel the rest of its football season.


Legendary coach Joe Paterno and school president Graham B. Spanier were fired by the Board of Trustees late Wednesday night, and these same officials would do well to take the next step and announce the cancellation of the remainder of Penn State’s football season, starting with tomorrow’s “big game’’ against Nebraska.

Then send pink slips to everyone working on the football staff.

It’s time to start over, folks. This has gone on far too long already.
I'm having trouble figuring out why the players should be punished if Shank's sanctions were to become enforced. I think it's obvious Shank doesn't care about / didn't consider that angle.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Better Late Than Never?

I wasn't able to connect to Blogger, Google or Bing for the past four days from my primary computer because I'd timeout trying to connect with IE and Firefox. The eventual fix was to refresh the DNS table on my modem, which has to be pushed through by the ISP or simply unplugging the modem for a minute & plugging it back in. Guess I need to figure out what information, exactly, is stored in the modem's memory; I suspect it's something besides a DNS table. And in case you're wondering, cable modems can be hacked.

What we don't need to figure out is Shank's last two columns. With the Patriots / Ginats game looming on Sunday, what more obvious angle was there for Shank to harp on?
FOXBOROUGH - You can say it was four years ago and has no bearing on today’s game. You can say that one has nothing to do with the other.

But that is no fun, and it is not true for most of us.

The New York Giants play at Gillette Stadium today, and this is no ordinary game between a pair of Northeast Corridor rivals with matching 5-2 records.

It’s the same two quarterbacks. It’s the same two head coaches. It’s the same two logos.

Obviously, a Patriots victory today won’t make up for what happened in the desert in Arizona in February 2008, but there’s no way this is just another game for the New England Patriots and their fans.
And if the Patriots didn't win (they did not), there's just more grist for Shank's mill:
But that is no fun, and it is not true for most of us.

The New York Giants play at Gillette Stadium today, and this is no ordinary game between a pair of Northeast Corridor rivals with matching 5-2 records.

It’s the same two quarterbacks. It’s the same two head coaches. It’s the same two logos.

Obviously, a Patriots victory today won’t make up for what happened in the desert in Arizona in February 2008, but there’s no way this is just another game for the New England Patriots and their fans.

A lot of the cast members were the same. Bill Belichick, Tom Coughlin, Tom Brady, and Eli Manning all picked up where they left off four years ago in the Roman Numeral Game.

Just like last time we got a hard-fought game with limited offense that loosened up at the finish. The Patriots scored on a touchdown pass to take a 3-point lead late in the fourth, but they left too much time on the clock, and Manning somehow took the Giants down the field for a winning touchdown in the closing seconds. Brady got the ball back for a couple of desperation tosses as the clock wound down to zero.

Sound familiar?
Why, yes it does. It's because Shank throughly enjoys reminding us of it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Sir Shaughnessy, The Provincial

Perhaps it is Shank's unique combination of laziness (his only column on the World Series this year) and affinities for the negative (column on the losing team, Texas Rangers) and the regional (Boston Red Sox, natch!) that's able to produce a gem for the ages. As befits the arrogant, Shank presumes to speak on behalf of the entire Red Sox Nation:
Dear Texas Rangers fans:

We feel your pain. We know what it’s like. For almost a week, the baseball world has been celebrating the St. Louis Cardinals and their dramatic crawl from the crypt. We’ve seen footage of the Cardinals parading alongside the Arch, and wreaths have been thrown at the feet of Tony La Russa, Albert Pujols, David Freese, and Chris Carpenter.

But we know it’s different back in your town. In Dallas-Fort Worth, the World Series will not be remembered for the Cardinals winning. It’ll be remembered as the one that got away - one of the great choke jobs of all-time.
From the comments section, here's an all-time Top Ten summary of Shank:
"Good thing there is always a losing team. If there wasn't, Dan would have nothing to write about."

Monday, October 31, 2011

Off The Bandwagon, Again

After yesterday's loss to the Steelers, Shank is, until the next winning streak, off the Patriots bandwagon:
PITTSBURGH - Watching the Patriots beat the Steelers at Heinz Field used to be one of those certainties of life, like Tom Menino carrying Hyde Park or Springsteen selling out the Meadowlands in less than an hour. In the immortal words of Pedro Martinez, the Patriots were the Steelers’ daddies.

No more. The Steelers spanked your football team yesterday, walking out of the Big Ketchup Bottle with a 25-17 victory that felt like a blowout.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Toughest Out

Shank writes a pretty good column today about Larry Lucchino. As with a few of Shank's previous columns, one glaring omission of fact is made:
The Lucchino-Epstein tandem delivered a World Series championship in 2004, but things blew up a year later when Epstein abruptly resigned because he thought Lucchino was leaking information that reflected poorly on the baseball judgment of the young GM. Epstein returned a few months later, but the relationship was never the same. In Theo’s final years, there was limited dialogue between baseball ops and all other departments at Fenway.
That would be Shank's direct involvement in said leaked information. Unless your last name is Shaughnessy, I think that's worth noting...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Should've Left It There, Shank

Forced to reach his monthly quota of insipid inspiring columns, Shank tricks treats us to another blase picked up pieces column where he takes shots at just about everyone except for Manny Ramirez and Curt Schilling. Nearly the entire column is negative.

Miserable and ugly, just in time for Halloween!

This Explais A Lot

Since Shank won't have Theo Epstein to kick around anymore, we get one last decent column out of it.
It happens all the time when you get to be a cagey old sportswriter. You’re in a press box for a college game and a nervous, skinny kid with clear eyes and not-so-clear skin bounds up the steps, introduces himself, and tells you he wants to be a sportswriter after college. Sometimes he hands you the school rag and asks you to let him know what you think of his stuff.

That’s how I met Theo Epstein.

It was Nov. 20, 1993, and I was in the press box at Yale Bowl in New Haven when the 19-year-old Epstein came over to say hello and show me his latest entry in the Yale Daily News.

Appropriately enough, Epstein’s column was a rip job on legendary Yale coach Carmen Cozza. The Elis were staggering through a 3-7 season and the headline over Epstein’s column was, “Is It Time for Carm to Go?’’
Kindred spirits?
When Epstein walked away in October 2005 because of a breakdown of trust between him and Sox CEO Larry Lucchino (Epstein’s mentor), there was shock and fury in Red Sox Nation.
Like this infamous column had nothing to do with it. Disingenuous Dan at his least convincing ...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Beating A Dead Horse

Shank continues to ignore the baseball playoffs and World Series with yet another Red Sox column; I think Shank referred to that yesterday as "amplification". Shank's amp goes to eleven!

Shank bitches about this saga leaving a "sour taste". What's really leaving a sour taste, at least for this commenter, is the fact that Shank continues to insult his readers by rehashing previous columns. I challenge anyone out there to identify any substantial difference between those two columns.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Bucket Of Popeye's

Shank does his part to keep the memory of the 2011 Red Sox alive. Time for everyone to come clean!
Your turn, Josh Beckett. You, too, John Lackey. Time for the rest of the beer-swillin’, biscuit-eatin’, fried-chicken munchin’ Red Sox starting pitchers to fess up.

The 1919 Chicago White Sox had Eight Men Out. The 2011 Red Sox have Three Men and a Bucket of Popeye’s.

The Red Sox hideous off season of 2011 continues, and today we had more truth set free when Jon Lester returned a phone call from the Globe’s Pete Abraham and confirmed information which until now has been only a “sourced report’’: instead of staying on the bench pulling for their struggling teammates, Red Sox starting pitchers were back in the clubhouse drinking beer and diving into the 16-piece family meal ($31.99, includes three large sides and eight biscuits) during the 2011 season.
Interesting that Jon Lester basically admits that former manager Terry Francona had few, if any, controls over the team this year.
We applaud Lester for coming forward. Unfortunately, his statements are only going to amplify the noise. The admissions certify the notion that the 2011 Sox are destined to be remembered as perhaps the most loathed Boston team in history.
Amplification also includes many Shank Red Sox columns for the foreseeable future.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Shank slaps together his ninth consecutive column on the Red Sox; this must be the slow sports news month. Typical Shank elements appear in the column; first among them is the convenient memory lapse / intentional disregard for the facts in order to bash his enemy:
John Henry lit the latest match Friday afternoon when he burst into the studios of 98.5 The Sports Hub on Leo Birmingham Parkway in Brighton in an overdue effort to tell his side of things.
Shank devoted an entire column to John Henry's appearance on the Dennis & Callahan radio show the week before, on October 7th, so I vote for lying prick intentional disregard of the facts.

What's a Shank column without a massively dated pop culture reference?
Unfiltered Henry was great stuff. His anger reminded me of “Back to the Future’s’’ George McFly rescuing a damsel in distress, cocking his fist, and telling Biff, “Get your damn hands off her.’’
I wonder if Shank still has it on Betamax?

Did I mention other sports in what's supposed to be a Red Sox column?
I’m told there is a pretty big football game going on at Gillette Stadium this afternoon. Indeed, this is the best part of the Patriots schedule. They had the Jets here last week, the Cowboys are here today, and after a bye week Bill Belichick & Co. will be in Pittsburgh.

As ever, football television ratings will be boffo, millions of fantasy players will bore fellow Americans, ESPN will furnish hundreds of hours of analysis, and all the data will support the obvious truth that the NFL is our national pastime. Football is king.
Shank, provincial? Come on, man!
Everywhere except Boston.
Just a Springsteen quote and a Schilling cheap shot away from the definitive Shank column; so close but yet so far...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Captain Chaos

Who better to keep fanning the flames of the postseason Red Sox than our human bellows machine, Dan Shaughnessy? The worse it gets for the Sox, the better it is for Shank.
Utter chaos.

It’s back to the bad old days over on Yawkey Way. The Red Sox of 2011 are the Red Sox of Buddy LeRoux and Haywood Sullivan - doofus co-owners wrestling on the carpet of their Fenway Park offices back in 1983. They are the Red Sox of Tom Yawkey and his chorus line of drunken employees finishing out of the money from the 1930s through the ’60s.

There are so many things wrong with the Sox at this hour, it’s difficult to know where to start. The manager is gone, the general manager is gone, the owners are in hiding, and the players are a loathsome lot totally unworthy of the money and adulation they receive.

Theo Epstein’s gone. It was a seismic event when Shank assisted mightily when he quit in 2005. This time, his departure is lost in the mix as the Sox go from freefall to nuclear fallout. The Fenway lawn is scorched earth.
Yes, a few things Shank says are overstated, but I think he's basically on target. I also think he's more or less genuinely pissed off, or at least it seems to help his writing in this column.

Then again, I think Dave M. paraphrased that quality like this = Shank - writing the occasionally good column makes it stand out because all his others suck by comparison...

UPDATE at 8:22 PM - False start penalty commited by Shaughnessy? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Will Shank Lose It?

I'm expecting every gasket to blow very soon...

Oh, and Shank (not sure if he reads the blog anymore)? Just a reminder to temper your comments on particular members of ownership, because you still owe Tom Werner one.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Feels Good?

Shank takes a column off from his Bash The Red Sox Ownership Tour to take in yesterday's Patriots win over the New York Jets.
FOXBOROUGH - It had to feel good.

Bill Belichick’s never going to admit this, but there is a healthy obsession with the Jets at Gillette Stadium and it’s a great day any time you can pin a loss on the donkeys from New York.

You saw a little of this truth when NFL Films wired Bill throughout the 2009 season. The friendly folks from the house network somehow managed to come away with nothing on the Richard Seymour trade or the infamous Late Gate episode, but they did catch Bill gloating a little when he walked out of the office and said it was a “good day’’ because the Patriots beat the Titans and the Jets lost to the Bills .
Fans of Shankology know how the rest of the column will proceed: talk about the Patriots postseason blues since 2007, a few sentences about Tom Brady and the rest (read - a lot of backhanded compliments) on coach Bill Belichick. In that sense, the column does not disappoint.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Happy 57th Birthday, Bruce!

Bruce - just wanted to wish you the best as you get closer to cashing your Social Security cheques.

Please don't respond with your usual nonsense about my math being bad or other unconvincing feeble countermeasures (that's a military term you're likely not familiar with). Yes, I am taunting you. Yes, I would love to launch my post that will reveal your identity and cause you a fair amount of personal and professional embarrassment.

Bruce, a former Boston Globe employee, now works for a local liberal outfit (shocker!) that publishes on dead tree on a quarterly basis ('in-depth, balanced, and independent'? Balderdash!) and they've redesigned their website since I last developed my dossier on Bruce. He has also appeared (another shocker!) on Howie Carr's radio show, about one year ago.

Noted on the quartely's Web masthead - "It is also the type of journalism that’s badly needed today as the economic model that fuels most news media is running out of gas." Glad you jumped ship when you did, Bruce? Doesn't that make you a raving hypocrite with all your previous blather about 'the Globe ain't going anywhere'?

Oh, and along those lines, you just did a story on a local hack, (Mr.) O'Brien! A liberal circle jerk on WGBH, complete with a 10:42 video clip! Why didn't you ever do these stories when you were a Globie? This is great!

In case you're wondering, Bruce, I have about sixty pages in said dossier. I've talked to a few Globies (one current, one retired) without finishing my descriptive sentence about you before both guys ID'd you. You stick out like a sore thumb. We've also traced a number of your comment postings to Boston Globe IP addresses when you were there, and I will congratulate on some of your residual intelligence for not repeating that mistake thereafter. Gotta love those AOL dynamic IP addresses, don't you?

Enough clues for everybody? I hope so.

Post one more time, Bruce - make my day...

Saturday, October 08, 2011

I Want Answers, Damn It!

In today's edition of the Theo Epstein saga, our man Shank keeps up the pressure on Red Sox owner John Henry, who is keeping his cards close to the vest.
Sox could use speedy resolution

The Theo Watch continues. He’s either going to the Cubs or he’s staying here for more years/dollars/power. Whatever happens, it needs to happen soon. The Red Sox have a lot of decisions to make, including hiring a new manager, but nothing happens until Theo Epstein’s status is resolved.

Sox owner John Henry ended his long, curious silence yesterday, and hinted that maybe we have seen the last of Theo on Yawkey Way.

“Theo is not going to be the general manager forever,’’ warned the low-talking owner, as he sat in a studio at WEEI, the station that pays him millions of dollars per year.
I'm not sure what that last statement's supposed to mean; I see it as a convenient and cheap way to score some points. Just remember, Shank writes for the fans.

I think Shank's position can be summarized thusly - is he being unreasonable in his demands for Red Sox ownership to make a quick decision with respect to certain managerial positions?

UPDATE at 6:30 PM - Great comment by Monkeesfan in the previous post's comments section:
"BTW, does Shank recall his role in Theo's 2005 hissy-fit?
Of course not! It's called a convenient memory lapse; anyone involved in an argument with your wife / girlfriend knows exactly what I'm talking about. Yet Shank feigns incredulity that Sox ownership might want to take a few more days this time around to get things right...

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Stirring The Pot, Stomping His Feet

Those are the two overwhelming impressions after reading Shank's imperious demands for answers to the Theo Epstein saga.
The silence from Yawkey Way has been louder than a Metallica concert.
How many of you think Shank's ever been to a Metallica concert? Anyone?
Werner insisted that “John wanted to be here,’’’ but from Friday through the dinner hour yesterday, the only thing we got from Thurston Howell III was a tweet from Lovey explaining that John was home from the hospital in time to watch his beloved soccer team.
Shank mocks John Henry & his wife in a most juvenile manner, yet Shank seems baffled that...
I left messages with Epstein and Lucchino yesterday. No reply. I’ve left two messages with Henry. The owner tweeted last night, “Calls and maybe interviews next week.’’
I can see why these guys are rushing to the phone to return Shank's call...

Monday, October 03, 2011

Side Order Of Rehash

As with Terry Francona's last week with the Red Sox, Shank's days as a CNN / SI columnist must also be numbered. This is the second time in as many columns that he has 'sampled' large parts of a Boston Globe column and passed it off as a CNN / SI column.

In order to avoid becoming ther next Ron Borges, you'd think he'd insert some boilerplate language at the end of his column to protect himself - "Large parts of this column have already been written by me yesterday. The CNN / SI editors can't catch everything, and it's OK to steal from yourself, right?"

Boston Globe column, October 1, 2011:
Terry Francona was fired yesterday. The longtime manager and the Red Sox brass used a lot of polite words and tried to make it sound mutual, but Francona turns out to be the first victim of the greatest collapse in baseball history.

On a bizarre and historic Friday at Fenway, the Sox and Francona generated more spin than the Harlem Globetrotters.

Francona blamed himself, worked hard to stay on message, but late in his goodbye press session, he veered off the rails and threw John Henry under the team charter.

“To be honest with you, I’m not sure how much support there was from ownership,’’ Francona offered. “You’ve got to be all-in on this job. It’s got to be everybody together, and I was questioning that a little bit.’’
CNN / SI column, October 2, 2011:
Two days after the apocalyptic ending, manager Terry Francona became the first victim of the carnage, fired by management.

The Sox bosses used a lot of nice words when they cut the manager loose. They said it was Terry's idea to leave. They thanked him for his service. They said it was a mutual parting of ways.

But the man was fired. He managed all season without a contract for 2012. The club never exercised its option to bring him back next year, not even when the Sox went 39 games over .500 for a four-month stretch. They let him dangle all season, and the sloppy finish made it easy to send Francona packing.

Quite possibly the greatest manager in Red Sox history, Francona fell on his sword Friday, citing, "my inability to effectively reach the players ... out of my enormous respect for this organization and the people in it (I told them) they may need to find a different voice to lead the team.''

Unfortunately for Sox management, Francona went off message toward the end of his farewell presser, saying, "To be honest with you, I'm not sure how much support there was from ownership. You've got to be all-in on this job. It's got to be everybody together, and I was questioning that a little bit.''
Sheer coincidence, or another Shank hack job? You make the call!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Piling On

The worse things get for the Red Sox, the better it is for our man Shank. Read this column and compare it to the crap he churned out last week. There's no question he puts forth a better effort with this column, and I love how he uses 'the fans' as a shield to criticize John Henry, et. al., like he ever gave two shits about 'the fans'.
It just keeps getting worse. The general manager has the look of a man who'd rather be working at Wrigley Field. The ex-manager tells us that his players weren't committed to one another and that they showed their true colors when things went south. We get no denial that starting pitchers were drinking in the clubhouse on days when they were not scheduled to pitch. The ex-manager tells us he didn't have the support of ownership.
I wonder how many columns he can wring out of this mess?

Saturday, October 01, 2011


In case your bullshit meter was in the shop yesterday or you were otherwise not able to pick up on yesterday's press conference, Shank is here to again state the obvious.
Terry Francona was fired yesterday. The longtime manager and the Red Sox brass used a lot of polite words and tried to make it sound mutual, but Francona turns out to be the first victim of the greatest collapse in baseball history.

On a bizarre and historic Friday at Fenway, the Sox and Francona generated more spin than the Harlem Globetrotters.

Francona blamed himself, worked hard to stay on message, but late in his goodbye press session, he veered off the rails and threw John Henry under the team charter.

“To be honest with you, I’m not sure how much support there was from ownership,’’ Francona offered. “You’ve got to be all-in on this job. It’s got to be everybody together, and I was questioning that a little bit.’’

Bingo. Henry has had Francona in his crosshairs for a couple of years. Ultimately, Francona was not enough of a numbers guy to satisfy Boston’s Moneyball boss.
Not much of a surprise there, but this is a little interesting:
Based on Francona’s non-denial, it’s apparently true that some of the Sox’ starting pitchers were drinking in the clubhouse during games they were not scheduled to start. A report in yesterday’s Herald broke the story and Francona rejected an opportunity to say that it was untrue.
Funny how things like this only come up after the season ends, to be largely forgotten by the time spring training comes around.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Shank On The Last Sox Game

It's almost as if Shank writes these columns with great satisfaction.
BALTIMORE - The greatest choke in baseball history ended the only way it could have ended, with the Red Sox gagging on the Camden Yards lawn one last time.

Truly unbelievable. This feels like revenge for 2004 and 2007. It is as if the baseball gods are punishing Red Sox Nation for hubris and arrogance and good times that seemed so good, so good, so good.

The Sox were set to pop champagne last night. They were leading the Orioles, 3-2, and the Rays were trailing, 7-0, in the eighth inning. Just a few simple outs and the Sox were going to Texas to start the Division Series tomorrow.
The usual boilerplate claptrap follows (game recap, a few quotes, etc.).

It's time for Shank to start shitting on the Patriots and coach Bill Belichick, now that fall's officially here...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Return Of Captain Obvious

Our guy has a firm grasp on the self-evident:
Still tied, one game left

Season on line for Sox tonight

BALTIMORE - So now it comes to this: One hundred and sixty one games played, one to go. Are the 2011 Red Sox going to go down as the greatest chokers of all time or are they going to make the playoffs?

Led by the first two homers of Ryan Lavarnway’s career, the staggering Sox beat the Orioles, 8-7, last night and remain tied with Tampa Bay in the American League wild-card race. Beleaguered manager Terry Francona tonight hands the ball to struggling lefthander Jon Lester while the Rays joust with the Yankees one last time on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

“We’re just going to come in here and play our butts off and see what happens,’’ said de facto captain Dustin Pedroia. “Nobody’s going to have any regrets. We’re going leave it all out there.’’
"...and give 110 percent & take it one game at a time... oh, wait - this is the one game!"

The rest of Shank's column is your standard game recap, Erik Bedard gets a nickname from him ("Big Game" Bedard), and other facts & things that he repeats from his prior two columns.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Drew Magary Not A Shank Fan

Checking out the daily Deadspin funbag, we get a not-so-subtle reminder of Drew's opinion of the ace Boston Globe sports columnist:
By the way, speaking of the Red Sox, did you see this fucking Shaughnessy column? Did you? The only thing worse than Pubeface's column is the Schwab ad-style artwork of his big stupid face over in the sidebar.

We are reeling. Our world no longer makes sense... Have there been worse days in the history of New England sports?

Oh, God. EAT A BAG OF AIDS. Your football team lost in Week 2 and your baseball team has won two titles in the past decade. OMIGAWD! IT'S BILL BUCKYDENTNAHHHBOONE ALL OVAH AGAIN! What a complete ass. When a Boston team wins, he's an ass. When a Boston team loses, he's an ass. AMERICA IS SUFFERING FROM YOUR CUNTINESS.
I'm guessin' that Drew's not much of a New England fan either...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Distress Call

Shank has his best material to write with in the last two columns - a Red Sox loss and a Patriots loss to the Bills. But take heart, folks - Shank's still on the bandwagon!
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - We are reeling. Our world no longer makes sense. The Patriots can’t even beat the Buffalo Bills anymore.

In a skittish September of cataclysmic Red Sox freefall, we still had the Patriots over the Bills. It was right there with death, taxes, and the first penalty in Montreal. Just as Rick and Ilsa always had Paris, we always had the Patriots over the Bills. It was a sure thing.

But now it’s all gone. On a day when Tom Brady was intercepted four times, the Patriots blew a 21-0 lead and lost to the Bills, 34-31, in front of 68,174 long-suffering witnesses at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Patriots had beaten the Bills 15 consecutive times since 2003.
A standard game recap ensues, followed by a few quotes from coach Belichick, and topped off by lame Simon & Garfunkel lyrics to mercifully end this standard Shank 'effort'.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Shank Finally Snaps

It's been a tough two weeks, watching the Red Sox lose a buttload of games. Shank isn't going to take it anymore:
With nowhere else to turn, I called baseball commissioner Bud Selig yesterday.

Left him a message:

Please, Bud. This is your chance to think outside the box. You have sweeping powers that enable you to make unilateral decisions “in the best interests of baseball.’’

How about banishing the 2011 Red Sox from postseason play on the grounds of horsebleep play for the entire month of September?
Nothing like an over the top thought to kick off a column. And now we get to the stand-up comedy routine:
Really, how do you root for these guys anymore? They have the third-highest payroll in baseball. One of the players talked about winning 100 games at the start of spring training. A local tabloid touted them as “Best Team Ever’’ before a game was played.
Remember who else was on that bandwagon?

What a difference six months makes!

Oh - and Bruce? Stay off this site if you value your anonymity. I have a post, ready to go, with the 'Best of OB Quotes' and that NECN clip from April of last year that will remove any doubt as to your identity.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Turn On A Dime Dan = II

Yesterday's column was an exercise in panic and comparisons to previous epic Red Sox playoff collapses. After last night's single win, everything's back to normal in Shankville. We're good, right?
Feel better now?

Josh Beckett came back to the rotation last night and pitched six strong innings. Daniel Bard got back on the horse and struck out the side in the eighth. Mike Aviles tore a hole in the Sports Authority sign with a game-winning homer and the Red Sox stopped the bleeding with a 4-3 victory over the surging Rays.

In the race for the American League wild card, the Sox hold a four-game lead with 12 to play - seven against the Baltimore Zer-O’s.

So there. Terry Francona is not Don Zimmer. Kevin Youkilis is not Butch Hobson. Jacoby Ellsbury is not Fred Lynn, and Don Orsillo is not Ned Martin.

We are not in the Way Back Machine. It is not 1978.
Except that Shank's Friday column did everything possible to convince you this was indeed 1978 redux. Today's column? Bring on the Yankees!

If I was a cynical type, I'd say Shank writes diametrically opposed columns like this just to stir the pot. Either that, or he's bipolar...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Shank - Off the Bandwagon

Behold, the column we've all been waiting for.
There was a time when Red Sox fans expected the Local Nine to collapse. It was an autumnal right (rite? - Ed): The leaves turn brown and the Red Sox turn to dust.

I was a mere college kid in the summer of 1974 when the Red Sox led the vaunted Orioles by seven games on Aug. 23, but wound up finishing third, seven games back.

One year after that collapse, the Sox built another huge lead in late summer. Still, we worried. When the Orioles came to town in September, Baltimore manager Earl Weaver tried to scare all of New England, saying, “We’ve crawled out of more coffins than Bela Lugosi.’’
Great line, Earl! Great editing, copy desk!

Shank tells a few more tales of late summer collapses, then reveals his true position on the Sox (and more nitpicking):
Could it happen to your Boston Red Sox - the “Best Team Ever,’’. the team with the $160 million payroll (four times that of the Rays); the team with 15 All-Stars, two world championships this decade, and six playoff appearances in eight seasons?
I'm pretty sure the two championships happened last decade, but who am I to get in the way of a negative column, especially when Shank invokes the great bogeyman of Red Sox history, just in case you weren't sure:
Scoots was unable to dodge the bat and field the ball simultaneously, so the ball skidded between his legs, Buckner style.
We're only a Springsteen quote and a Schilling cheap shot away from one of the worst finest Shank columns evah!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What Gives?

I'm expecting Shank to rip the Red Sox and we get this column on Tim Wakefield's 200th win instead. I mean, if you can't trash the Patriots, it has to be some other local team, right?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dump Taken?

Just spotted one of Shank's CNN / SI columns in which he boldly declares that neither the Red Sox or Yankees will win the World Series. Here's the meat of it:
With three weeks left in the regular season, the Sox and Yanks think they're the chosen ones this year ... but there's one little problem. Postseason series are won with dominant pitching (remember the salami-bat Giants of 2010?) and -- for all their double-digit scoring and star-laden offenses -- the Red Sox and Yankees don't have consistent pitching beyond their No. 1 starters. That's why neither team is going to win the World Series this year.
In light of the Sox' current skid, I eagerly await the fire-breathing, vitriolic Globe column any day now...

Monday, September 12, 2011

I'm Shocked!

I know Shank's one of the laziest writers out there, but why would he pass on a chance to take a dump on the slumping Red Sox and declare their season over?

I'm guessing he doesn't get paid by the word...

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Shank On Keegan Bradley

Making up for lost time, Shank cranks out his third column in as many days. He's covering the Deutsche Bank Champoinship golf tournament again and has a local angle in Mr. Bradley.
NORTON - Eight years ago, he was one of the dozens of gangly, mumbling high school athletes who trudge into our building on Morrissey Boulevard to get their photo taken in recognition of athletic excellence.

Keegan Bradley of Hopkinton High was our Division 2 golfer of the year in 2003. He got his picture in the Sunday Globe and went to the annual awards reception at the Braintree Marriott to have lunch (chicken fingers, hot dogs), pose for more photos, and pick up his plaque. North Shore legend Dick Jauron (then coach of the Chicago Bears) was the guest speaker and the former Yale star had the undivided attention of the swimmers from Weston, footballers from Everett, and the tall shaggy-haired golfer from the Tri-Valley League.

So, there you go. Before he was a PGA champion, Keegan Bradley was a Globe All-Scholastic.
Shank fails to ask the most important question of all - where's Keegan gonna take a piss?

Friday, September 02, 2011

Two Turds In A Row

Shank follows up his execrable effort from Thursday with a picked up pieces column, complete with references to bands from the 1960's and a gratuitous shot at Albert Haynesworth, Shank's latest whipping post.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Basebrawl / Milestone Reached

The long national nightmare is over - Shank gets off his lazy ass and writes his first Globe column in ten days. And I know what you're going to say - I waited ten days for this shit?
There was serious anticipation at Fenway Park last night. Were the Yankees and Red Sox going to revert to old-school ways? Was there a possibility that a night at Fenway could turn into the Jerry Springer show or a free Rolling Stones concert with Hells Angels providing security?

This is what a lot of us were wondering when Josh Beckett threw the first pitch to Brett Gardner at (Big Gulp-sponsored?) 7:11 p.m.

An ultra-tidy three hours and 16 minutes later (quick one this time), we had our answer. No fisticuffs. No beanballs. No purpose to the pitches.

Just another 9-5 Red Sox domination of the Yankees on the strength of seven innings from Beckett (4-0 vs. New York this year) and two-run homers by David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Jason Varitek. The Sox are 11-3 against the Yanks this season.
Nothing says 'domination' like a single win over the Yankees after losing to them the night before. Nothing says mailed-in Shank column like a thirty year old Rolling Stones reference.

The milestone - this is the 1,000th DSW post. Wheee!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Carry That Weight - II(a)

With all the excitement of Hurricane Irene now past us, I stumbled upon Shank's latest CNN / SI offering. If you've read his August 15th Globe column on Wakefield, then you've already read the CNN / SI column.

Recycling is environmentally friendly!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Where's Waldo? II

Bob Ryan manages to crank out four Globe columns in the span of a week while Shank does one. Since I saw him on the Baseball Insiders yesterday, I doubt he's on another 'vacation'. Lazy as always?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sybil's Back!

Shank's month long hiatus from his CNN / SI gig ended today.
Brace yourself, NFL. It looks like Bill Belichick plans to come back from the lockout with guns blazing.


Playoff failure is a sore subject in Foxborough these days. While putting together some pretty nifty regular-season records, the Pats haven't gone anywhere in the tournament. Fact is, they haven't won a playoff game since the 2007 AFC Championship Game. This means that 13 teams -- the Seahawks, Jets, Ravens, Packers, Steelers, Bears, Cowboys, Cardinals, Colts, Vikings, Eagles, Chargers and Giants have all won playoff games since the last time Belichick and Brady won a playoff game.
Safe to say there's some obvious 'sampling' from today's Globe column (see below)?

About the Sybil comparison - why does Shank lack the balls to rip the Patriots in the CNN / SI columns, as he's free to do in the Globe columns?

There's A Fat Albert Joke Somewhere

My only question - what took Shank so damn long?

First, he calls a perfect season for the Patriots:
It looks like the 2011 Patriots are destined to be the greatest team in the history of football. This is going to be revenge for Glendale, Ariz., and don’t you forget it.

Tell Mercury Morris and friends to put away the champagne. Even though the Seahawks, Jets, Ravens, Packers, Steelers, Bears, Cowboys, Cardinals, Colts, Vikings, Eagles, Chargers, and Giants have all won playoff games in the four years since the Patriots last won a playoff game, it’s pretty clear that this is the best team ever.
And we know how Shank's predictions usually fare.

I wonder why Shank took this long to bitch about Albert Haynesworth?
Best of all, they have a secret - and we mean secret - weapon that is almost never seen, rarely practices, and is unlikely to be deployed in a preseason game. Don’t tell the Dolphins, but the Patriots plan to surprise them in the season opener Sept. 12 when they wheel out the great Albert Haynesworth.
Remember that Shank used up his quota of saying nice things about the Patriots for quite a while. This column makes it official:
The legion of Patriot sycophants constantly remind us that the Patriots never claim to be different from other organizations. That’s just a creation of the media, they say.

Wrong, fanboys. The Patriots regularly distance themselves from the rest of the league with comments like Kraft’s.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Misery Loves Company

The only time we get three Globe columns in a week from Shank nowadays is when there's something bad to write about.
Four losses in five games. Nine hits and three runs in 27 innings over two days at home against the Rays. David Ortiz is wearing a ski boot on his right foot and Carl Crawford is harder to find than Albert Haynesworth.

These three games marked the first time since 1974 that the Red Sox failed to get more than three hits in three consecutive games. They have gone five games without a double.

Is this a slump? Is it time to panic here in the hardball hub of the universe? Does anybody really care about finishing in first place anymore?
It's not time to panic yet - we'll wait until after the Royals series, then we'll panic!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Carry That Weight - II

As we wait for Tim Wakefield to earn his 200th major league win, Shank devotes a column to it, complete with cheesy alliteration, a Rolling Stones reference, and quoting a song lyric by The Band.

Nothing says 2011 like quoting bands that are older than dirt...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hybrid Column - Like A True Globie

Shank straddles the fine line between a normal worthless column and a picked up pieces column, a perfect piece when you're on a West Coast trip and a game column has no chance of meeting the dead tree deadline.
SEATTLE - Forgive me if there are any typographical errors in this column. I just shook hands with Wily Mo Pena and I’m now soaking my right mitt in a bucket of ice, hoping the feeling returns by the middle innings.

Wily Mo was called back up to the bigs last night by the Mariners and batted in the No. 5 spot against Josh Beckett at Safeco Field.
I did a double take myself when I saw him at the plate last night. Pena looks like one of the few former Red Sox players not vilified by Shank during or after his tenure with the team.

The second half of the column reads like your typical, semi-interesting picked up pieces column. My favorite nugget:
Tomorrow is the two-month anniversary of the Bruins’ Stanley Cup win. Sweet memory.
Yup - no bigger supporter of the Bruins than our man Shank...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Shank On Big Papi

Shank puts together a pretty good column on David Ortiz today. It covers Big Papi's career from the Dominican Summer League through the current year.

Remember when Big Papi was all done?

Is it me, or does Shank only write about any Red Sox road series when the Globe sends him there (and thus forced to write about them)?

I wonder how that Twitter thing's working out for him?

Monday, August 08, 2011

It Must Be "Be Nice To Your Boss Day"

Shank covers the last game of the Yankees / Red Sox series and spots Carlos Slim in the stands:
You never know who’s going to show up when the Yankees play the Red Sox.

Take last night, for example. ESPN game. Sox and Yankees tied for first place. Two of the top three payrolls in baseball. Baltimore-style humidity. Four hours and 15 minutes of hardball tension. A stunning, walkoff win by the Sox when Josh Reddick singled home pinch runner Darnell McDonald in the 10th. And who do we get hanging around the Sox clubhouse late in the afternoon?

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. The richest man in the world.

Go ahead, look him up. According to Forbes, in March of 2011 Carlos was worth something north of $74 billion.

Carlos loaned the New York Times $250 million in January of 2009, which the Times is soon to repay in full. Until the debt is settled, Slim is indirectly connected to Red Sox ownership. The Times still owns 7.3 percent of the Sox, so you might say Carlos has a piece of John Henry’s team.
For some strange reason, Shank forgets to mention that the New York Times still owns the Globe, which may explain why Shank's blowing smoke up his ass. That, and the NYT is paying 14 percent interest on that loan, which is one of the reasons that company's on financial life support.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

After Four Hours, Consult Your Physician

That's the first thing that came to mind after reading Shank's over the top praise for the Red Sox after beating the Yankees yesterday. The hyperbole is worthy of an Al Pacino movie.
Jacoby Ellsbury is the new Fred Lynn.
Seems like only yesterday when Shank was trashing Ellsbury like Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Manny Ramirez, Nomar Garciaparra, et. al.
Carl Crawford may not be Edgar Renteria, after all. John Lackey gets the ball in Game 3 of the playoffs.

Can we just fast-forward to the American League Championship Series?

Really. These Red Sox-Yankees games are great theater. Fox and ESPN are delighted that the kingpins are tied for the best record in the AL and scheduled to play another seven times in this 2011 regular season.

But I’m impatient. Enough with the overhyped regular-season jousts of yesterday and today. Can’t we just cut to the chase?

It’s been seven years, my friends. That’s right. Seven long years since the Red Sox and Yankees met in a playoff series. That was quite a memorable event; Boston’s biblical comeback from an 0-3 series deficit. It was better than any Stanley Cup, Super Bowl, or NBA Finals against the Lakers. Given the century of history and Sox frustration, coupled with the new millennium introductions of Alex Rodriguez and the Evil Empire, the Sox-Yankees ALCS of ’04 forever will be the greatest sports story ever told.
This is the first column that mentions Grady Little without Shank pissing on him. Throw in a Beatles reference, and it's your usual back on the bandwagon 'effort' by the Boston Globe's bravest columnist.

High praise, indeed...

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Group Hug, Everybody!

Shank's in Foxboro covering the patriots, and happens on Chad Ochocinco:
I still can’t get my arms around it.

The inimitable Chad Ochocinco, a man destined to make us forget about Bill Lee, Oil Can Boyd, Shaquille O’Neal, and every other free spirit who played for one of our teams, concluded his first Foxborough media session Saturday by suggesting a group hug involving himself and the assembled reporters.

“Before I go,’’ Ochocinco said after a mass interview on the side of the Gillette practice field, “I don’t know you guys - can I get a group hug, really quickly?’’
Shank goes on to tell some funny stories about other athlete / reporter, um, 'physical interactions'. This is one of Shank's better columns in a while, only if it's for things like this:
Our own Bud Collins probably wishes former Sox manager Pinky Higgins was a hugger. Higgins once smashed Bud’s face into a plate of beef Stroganoff.
I have a new favorite dish!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

A Lackey Lackey

The only memorable line in an otherwise straightforward column on Shank's pick for the third starter in the Division Series (that won't start for two months).
Sorry, but I’m a Lackey lackey. Granted, he was downright horrible at the start of this season. He’s got a ridiculous 6.23 ERA. But have faith. Mike Scioscia did. Lackey won the seventh game of the World Series for the Angels when he was a rookie in 2002. Lackey’s ERA in seven ALDS games is 2.40. His career ERA in four ALCS games is 3.70.
It's interesting to note Shank's attitude towards newly acquired pitcher Erik Bedard:
We’re all anxiously awaiting Bedard’s first words to the Boston media (kind of like Albert Haynesworth, minus the rap sheet). Without setting foot in town, Bedard has been portrayed as a guy with the big-game toughness of Matt Young and the disposition of Sean Penn. Maybe he can bring Nomar’s red “line of death’’ back to the Sox clubhouse.

It’s a bit much, actually. Bedard might be the first player run out of town before he gets to town. Even police-blotter Haynesworth didn’t get crushed like this before he joined the team.
And who would know best about running a player out of town than our resident fifth degree black belt in the art, Shank Shaughnessy?

UPDATE, at 8:45 PM - Gerry Callahan does the research on Erik Bedard Shank can't / won't.

Monday, August 01, 2011

The End Of An Era?

No, I'm not talking about Randy Moss' retirement, although I think that's the strong horse candidate for his next Globe hit piece column.

I'm talking about the lack of recent CNN / SI columns. I couldn't find any rumors / scuttlebutt through a Google search, but truth be told, in Shank-like fashion, I didn't exactly search long and hard for it!

From early November 2009 to mid-July of this year, Shank had a CNN / SI column every Monday, and two (!) on April 19, 2010, when Shank proudly yanked his meat waxed ecstatic about how awesome a sports city Boston is. Maybe with the recent "Shank, thou shalt tweet" order from on high in the Globe management structure, he can't do that gig anymore. Which is too bad, as his CNN / SI articles are far superior to his Globe columns. That, and if this Twitter page is for real, Shank tweeting is laughably banal and insipid, much like, well, you know...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Patriots Glass Half Empty?

The lockout is over, the Patriots are coming off a 14 - 2 regular season and training camp has started with a flourish of free agent signings and the like. Leave it to Shank, after having used up this decade's quota of saying nice things about certain members of the Patriots organization, to mount his high horse of sanctimony and piss on the parade:
Strap yourselves in, Patriots fans. Free agent frenzy is just getting started and - given Haynesworth’s rap sheet - the Patriots have sent the message that they’ll take a chance on anyone with talent. This means there might still be room for Pacman Jones, Dave Meggett, and Manny Ramirez. Too bad The Juice is behind bars.

Once a bastion of teamwork, character, and sanctimony (remember “The Patriot Way’’?), Gillette Stadium is the new Oakland Alameda County Coliseum. The franchise that said “No’’ to Christian Peter is now the place you go to restore your tattered reputation. Ochocinco calls it “Heaven.’’

In this spirit, why don’t the Patriots expand their Misfit Haven to the front office? Anthony Weiner would make a nifty team photographer. Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson could work in public relations, and Tiger Woods might be a good fit as director of the cheerleaders. Why not hire Hells Angels for stadium security on Sundays?
As Monkeesfan noted in a previous comment, some dumb bastard gave Shank the one and only microphone for which to ask questions of the coach during yesterday's press conference. Smart move?

The amusing thing about this article is that Shank undercuts the entire premise of his column towards the end, followed up by a gratuitous Warren Zevon lyric, which in this context is extremely lame:
Tom Brady watched Corey Dillon and Randy Moss come and go in Foxborough. For the most part, those bad dudes behaved while they were in New England. Brady is open-minded about all of his new teammates.
Knowing Shank's rooting against Haynesworth & Ochocinco is all the motivation you and I need to root for them.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What's Wrong With Shank?

(Apologies - my internet connection was hosed for the past 45 hours)

Did you get a load of this column?
Now 70 years old, Kraft has been the face of the Patriots since Jan. 21, 1994 when he bought the franchise from James Orthwein. He went through some growing pains in the early years - announcing he was moving the team to Hartford, publicly feuding with coach Bill Parcells, and sometimes getting a little too involved with football operations. His first coaching hire was Pete Carroll. There was embarrassment when beloved Curtis Martin was pilfered by Parcells and the Jets.

But Kraft proved to be a quick study and today he’s rightfully recognized as one of the more powerful and respected owners in the NFL. In our region, he’s emerged as a latter-day Walter Brown. Trust me when I tell you there is no higher praise for a Boston sports owner.
He hasn't exactly covered himself in glory in many numerous previous columns about Kraft; I find this column very stunning. After a lot of further review, I have to say the summation of his previous venomous columns toward Robert Kraft do not offset this otherwise graceful effort. Not even close...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Shank Says Something Nice About A Kraft

Unfortunately, it's in passing:
She was the conscience and soul of the Patriots, a woman who came to football reluctantly, through marriage, then used the currency of football fame to enhance her lifelong missions of fund-raising and philanthropy.

Myra Kraft was a wonderful wife, mother, and grandmother. She spent her life trying to make things better for everyone else. And we can pay tribute to her here on the sports pages today because by any measurement, Myra Kraft was one of the most important women in the history of New England sports.

“Without Myra Kraft, it’s quite possible we’d be going to Hartford to watch the Patriots,’’ former Globe plagiarist columnist Mike Barnicle said yesterday after it was announced that Myra succumbed to cancer at the age of 68. “Obviously, Bob Kraft has deeps roots in this area, but Myra was so much a part of this community - the larger community beyond the sports world - she was never going to allow her husband to leave.’’
I wonder why it seems that we're only hearing about Myra's philanthropy now; maybe she was just really low-key about it?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Slow News Week

Just as I was saying the best thing about Shank's picked up pieces columns was their infrequency, along comes Shank with another one.
Pardon me if I sound like Larry King, but what’s up with this Twitter madness? It strikes me as trendy, immature, and entirely unnecessary. What you had for lunch is of no interest to me. Increasingly, tweeting seems to be getting athletes in trouble.

Remember Rashard Mendenhall on Osama Bin Laden? The Raiders and Steelers on Hines Ward? All those players ripping Jay Cutler after the loss to the Packers? It’s just too easy to rip off an inane message of 140 characters and hit the “send’’ button.
Or rip off (so to speak) an inane message of a thousand or so words, send it to your editor and call it a column. Besides, Shank's already tweeting!

The last part of this column is rich with irony / hypocrisy as it involves Jacoby Ellsbury:
Q and A with agent Scott Boras from the All-Star Game. On the public relations beating the Red Sox’ Jacoby Ellsbury took in Boston last season:
This S.O.B. led the charge against Ellsbury in print and on the radio, and now he has the nerve to present the situation in the passive tense, as though he had nothing to do with it? For a newspaper columnist, he's got balls...
Was Ellsbury hurt by the criticism?
Translation - did I get to him?
Did Boras ever think Ellsbury and the Sox would have to part company after the wasted year of 2010?
Any talks regarding a contract extension for Ellsbury:
Translation - did my trashing of your client get to you?

This guy really knows how to hold a grudge, doesn't he? Throw in the shot earlier in the column at the Krafts, and that point's a big 10 - 4.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Winning Combination

With this week's CNN / SI column, Shank combines his two favorite things - baseball and himself.
Football and basketball are still locked out. The Women's World Cup, the British Open and Nathan's Hog Dog Eating Contest have all come and gone. The Roger Clemens trial was over before it started.

All we have is baseball. God bless the summer game.
Well, there is a bike race going on in France...
How many of you remember playing summer baseball? Who remembers when your next baseball game was the only thing that mattered?

Growing up in Central Massachusetts, I played all the traditional programs of pre-college baseball -- Little League, Pony League, Babe Ruth and high school. Little League and high school ball were highly structured and the season was always over by early June. Pony League and Babe Ruth were different. There was less structure, fewer rules; not as many coaches and parents getting in the way of our fun. We played when it was hot outside. Summer ball was always the most fun.
A nice piece of youthful nostalgia, or self-indulgent baby boomer claptrap? You make the call!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Another Bandwagon For Shank To Jump On

Not exactly a news flash, but still:
The tipping point for me came Thursday morning when my friend Ken Nigro called from Florida. We covered baseball together in Baltimore a million years ago. Ken is over 70, still reads seven newspapers per day (actual newspapers, my friends),
Finally - we found a Boston Globe subscriber!
He wanted to know if I was going to be in Tampa to watch the Red Sox this weekend. I told him, ‘No.’ Then he switched topics.

“Forget about baseball,’’ said Nigro. “This week I saw the greatest sporting event I’ve ever seen.’’
Loudon, NH?
“Brazil, right?,’’ I asked.

“Yeah,’’ he replied. “That women’s soccer game was the greatest game ever. I’ve never been a soccer fan, but I gotta admit, this is pretty good.’’
Shank then proceeds to bore the hell out of anyone reading the column. You've been warned!

Friday, July 15, 2011


Shank reacts to yesterday's mistrial of Roger Clemens.
You should be infuriated. I am. A lot of sports fans were opposed to this trial on the grounds that it was a waste of money. You know the argument - “who cares if Roger cheated and lied? That was a long time ago. He’s a baseball player. He’s not a threat to society.’’
Did anyone see a hint of this infuriation in Shank's previous article about Clemens? How about this recent one? Yeah, me neither.
I was in the other corner, defending the feds. I wanted to see Clemens stand trial and try to explain how he could stand on front of Congress with such defiance in the face of so much contrary evidence.
What a crock of shit - Shank couldn't have been more firmly planted on the middle of the fence in case something like this happened. Again - read his last two offerings, much like his stances on a number of issues, he deftly straddled the fence so he can have it both ways.

How's Clementine doing, Shank?